Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Technology
Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource in the world. The challenge is to find efficient ways to transform it into useful forms of energy such as electricity. Solar PV panels offer a practical method to convert energy from the sun directly into electricity. The panels can be placed almost anywhere there is a direct view of the sky—mounted on poles, placed on rooftops, and even incorporated into the design of buildings.
Wind Turbine Technology
Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the wind to mechanical power. The wind turns the blades on the wind turbine around a rotor shaft, which spins the generator and creates electricity. The turbines are mounted on towers (approximately 100 feet) to take full advantage of the wind resource. Depending on the location and other variables the tower may be slightly shorter or taller. Location is very important to the overall efficiency of a wind turbine. Nearby structures or trees can block your wind resource. Please refer to “Installation Process for Wind” for more information about site selection and tower height. This guide will also help you evaluate other decisions involved in the installation process.
Although, the Illinois Wind Schools Program only offers the installation of 1-5 kW turbines, much larger turbines exist. These 100 kW to 1 MW turbines are used on the utility-scale and are usually seen in large groups.