“Technically, utility-scale wind and
small-scale wind are the same,” Kruse
said. “They both use a large propeller
driven by the wind that converts kinetic
energy into electricity [see Figure 5].
So in that context, they’re identical. But
that is where it ends.
“Where they really differ from each
other is on the market side. Small-scale
wind energy is used for what we call on-site, or distributed, generation [see lead
image]. We actually prefer to call ourselves on-site or distributed wind, rather
than small wind. We provide power for
an application right on that site, rather
than large-scale, or utility-scale, wind,
which generally comprises very large-megawatt machines that are grouped
together on wind farms, designed to
produce bulk power for a city.”
How Wind Systems
Work With the Grid
Instead of storing the energy the wind
turbines produce, Southwest Windpower’s systems are set up to use wind energy in conjunction with power from the
When the wind blows, the energy
that is being generated by the turbine’s
spinning blades replaces energy that
manufacturers otherwise would pay for
in their monthly bills. When the wind is
not blowing, it is business as usual with
the customer’s electric utility.
Distributed wind systems have great
applicability for manufacturing plants
(see Figure 6), as well as residential
homes in rural and remote areas, com-
mercial properties, and microgrids.