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Wind Energy
How Wind Power Works
Wind turbines have blades designed like airplane wings. They rotate due to a pressure differential caused by air moving over the surface of the blade. The blades turn a rotor which drives an electrical generator. Turbines are designed to automatically face the wind either mechanically or by computer-controlled drive systems.
Wind turbines can operate at variable speeds or at fixed speeds. Variable speed designs are more complex but convert wind power into electricity more efficiently. Most new projects use variable speed design.
From: U.S. Department of Energy Wind Energy Program
AWEA Wind Web Tutorial
Oregon Wind Working Group
Wind project financial calculator
Wind Resource Assessment
Noise Regulation and Wind Energy Facilities
Wind Information for Landowners
"Apples & Oranges 2002 - Choosing a Home-Sized Wind Generator" pdf
Reprinted with permission from Home Power magazine August/Sept 2002 and author Mick Sagrillo. The Oregon Department of Energy makes no guarantee of the accuracy of the information provided and does not endorse any of the products discussed.
Outside Links:
Wind Powering America
United States Department of Energy - Wind Energy Program
American Wind Energy Association
Renewables Northwest Project: Wind Power 
Water-Pumping Systems
Mechanical water pumping is often a great use of wind resources. Remote agriculture and ranching sites often have no electric supply. Along the coast range and in the Columbia Plateau there are opportunities to install this tried and true wind device that has been heavily relied upon for water pumping in the Midwest and western United States for over a hundred years. Mechanical wind turbines use low technology components, have low maintenance, are highly reliable and when combined with water storage provide great service at low cost. In areas where the wind resource is marginal or seasonal, hybrid systems that combine solar photovoltaic and wind are common.