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Basics of Wind Energy

As population increases, so does the demand for energy.

At present, the US relies mostly on coal and natural gas for fueling electricity needs. However, these resources are becoming scarce, and eventually, alternative power sources must be used.

The energy grids that are currently supplying the US with electricity are also getting worn out due to continuous use for years now, and need constant maintenance and repairs.

Investors have tapped into a new energy source – wind – and are spending on wind energy production as an alternative power source. And why not? Wind is ever present, and will be around as long as earth lives.

At present, wind energy production is increasing annually at the rate of 30 percent or higher. And as long as wind is present, the energy business will continue to boom.

Wind Energy as a Power Source

Air or wind flows on earth, and it is high time to use it as the main source of energy.

Wind energy is created with the help of wind turbines that harness wind and turns it into kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is then converted to electricity.

Currently, wind energy has been classified into three types:

Distributed Wind

This type of energy is created from small wind turbines and usually generate about 100 kilowatts of power. It is sufficient to power a home or farm. It can also power a small business.

Utility-scale Wind

Big turbines produce this type of energy. It is able to produce a minimum capacity of 700 watts to as much as 1.8 megawatts. They are usually grouped to produce this much power.

Utility-scale wind is connected to a power supply grid that distributes electricity to houses, businesses, and industries.

Offshore Wind

It is called ‘offshore’ because the wind turbines are built in bodies of water or in continental shelves.

Turbines that power this type are far larger than the land-based ones, and could produce more energy.

How Energy is Captured and Used

A turbine is a machine that converts wind into energy. It has blade or vane attachments which capture the wind’s kinetic energy. The collected kinetic energy then goes into a shaft attached to a gearbox. The gearbox then rotates and starts the generator.

This combination of parts are encased in a nacelle that sits on top of a 262 feet high steel post.

A gauge that measures wind speed is able to determine the direction where the strongest wind comes from, and the blades rotate to face it.

The machine also has a sensor that measures the strength of winds, and shuts down the blades if the wind speed reaches 55 miles an hour. A six to nine miles an hour wind speed, on the other hand, is already able to generate electricity. The stronger the wind, the higher the electricity production.

Electricity Distribution

All wind turbines are interconnected, and the collected energy from these turbines go through distribution lines, then to transmission lines that lead to the main power grid before reaching consumers.

Wind-Powered Generators – Their Pro’s and Con’s

Electricity is now such a huge part of our life that the manner in which we use it’s something that we’ve already begun taking for granted. We eat power for almost what we do, and almost everything that we do demands using electrical energy. Nevertheless, few individuals know or perhaps interested in the simple fact that the comfort, as well as convenience that we are from electrical energy, is purchased at a great value. The majority of our available electricity originates from power plants which are fueled by fossil fuels like coal and oil. Our use of these non-renewable power is responsible for the release of greenhouse gases over several years, leading to climate change that’s endangering the ecology of our world. Due to the hazards that utilizing fossil fuels is creating our environment, we have to think about alternate energy sources seriously, like wind-driven generators.

Simply because their name suggests, wind-powered generators change the physical force exerted by the blowing wind to the power that we are able to make use of. This physical force is usually more than sufficient to fuel an electrical generator. Mankind isn’t a stranger to using the potential of the wind as a supply of power. The early Persians, for example, used windmills to chop wood, grind grain as well as pump water. Windmills are still used in farms that are numerous for a selection of jobs in this age and day.

Despite the reality, we’re acquainted with how the wind is able to present our power, it wasn’t until the 1970s that it had been exploited as a possible source of electrical energy. Nevertheless, specialists continue to be uncertain about using wind power to its complete potential. No matter the reality that wind power is renewable and extremely effective, it’s as many disadvantages as it’s advantages.

Certainly, the biggest advantage we are able to get from wind-driven generators is they don’t create some greenhouse emissions. What this means is that wind power is entirely safe and won’t aggravate the difficulties that we’ve on global warming. Neither will it release things which will harm the populace residing close to the wind generator.

Apart from being secure sources of power, generators driven by the blowing wind can come up with around the same amount of electricity that fossil fuel-run power plants produce, provided that the generators are nicely designed and there’s ample wind energy to the safety belt. A generator may even provide energy for a whole community in case its wind turbines are linked to one another.

As mentioned above, wind power just as a lot of disadvantages as they do benefits. Clearly, a wind turbine won’t run if there’s no wind. The motion of the wind is primarily determined by geographical functions and the place of the area along with the time of season and day of the entire year. Wind energy may just be used fully in locations that receive a great deal of wind, like the coastal areas.

Apart from these limits, wind generators are also generally big and bulky. That’s since the bigger they’re, the more power they’re able to gather. The more power they’re able to gather, the more power they can produce.

Despite these drawbacks, many scientists are completely committed to finding a means to harness wind energy much more efficiently. Perhaps, later on, we are able to begin depending on wind-driven generators to supply us with power rather compared to fossil fuel-run power plants. For certain, wind power is among the greatest solutions to our energy demands which are safe for our planet.