In the countryside of Dickerson, Maryland there are almost as many wind turbines as there are horses. With 10 wind turbines generating about 36 kilowatts, Dr. Carlos Fernandez-Bueno’s farm might be the template for the Frederick County of the twenty first century.
His company, Potomac Wind Energy, sells, installs and services wind turbines for residential, farm and business use in the continental United States and Puerto Rico. The sky over Dr. Fernandez-Bueno’s farm is shared by windmill designs that span more than a century, and surprisingly very little has changed.
The 1906 Aermotor Windmill, refurbished by Dr. Fernandez-Bueno, provides 2kW with a 10’ diameter and is almost identical to the 2007 Aermotor design. The 2007 Aermotor is larger, and produces more energy, but the form is unchanged in over one hundred years. This 19th century design is still producing energy in the 21st century at recent installations in Adamstown and Finksburg. These windmills wouldn’t look out of place grinding grain in a Hollywood western. The refurbished 1906 model creaks and groans in the wind, while the 2007 design produces little more than a low and gentle whisper.
Towering over the Aermotor windmills are turbines from ReDriven and SkyStream. The largest Redriven turbine on the farm sits atop an 80’ tall tower produces 20kW in the gentle breeze. It’s long, straight blades sprout from an extremely compact nacelle that blends pleasingly into the white clouds and blue sky over the farm. The SkyStream turbines are similar in form, but the fins have a sleek, futuristic curve.
Potomac Wind Energy provides information on state and federal grant and rebate programs on their website at www.potomacwindenergy.com. The also provide professional onsite wind analysis. Special pricing is available for non-profit organizations. [2011 Western MD Solar Tour]