Most helpful positive review
67 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2010
If you're looking for a resource that covers most everything about residential size wind generators, this book is as good as anything you'll find. It has chapters on how to figure how much wind you have at your site, wind generator types, towers and how to erect them, legal issues, costs and how long it will take for your generator to pay for itself. The use of wind for off-grid and grid tied applications are compared. Maintenance and safety are covered in great detail. In fact, after you read the safety chapter you may decide that wind is not for you. If that's the case, you're in luck, there's a whole chapter on alternatives to wind: photovoltaics, hydro and solar thermal. A chapter on home energy conservation is also included. The amount of information can be overwhelming, but the author does a good job of tying it all together.
The author, Ian Woofendan, has been writing articles on wind and renewable energy for Home Power magazine for many years, and has wind and solar power at his own home. He has a lot of practical, hands-on knowledge that is evident in WPFD.
I've lived with small scale wind over ten years, and I know of only two other books this comprehensive that are oriented towards home-sized systems:
1) Power From the Wind (incidentally co-authored by the author of Wind Power For Dummies), Dan Chiras. This book is excellent, and in many ways equal in scope to WPFD. It runs about 250 pages.
2) Wind Power (Paul Gipe). Very good, but really technical, and includes a lot of information about very large commercial sized generators. 500 pages long!
If I had to get a single book on small scale wind power, Wind Power For Dummies would be my first choice, followed by #1 and then #2.
It also happens to be the cheapest of the three.