What Is Wind Energy?
Wind power means conversion of wind energy in more useful forms of energy. To convert this power into heat or electric energy different technologies are used like turbines, windmills, pumps or sails of ships etc. Most affordable and widely used conversion method used with this power is installation of wind turbines or windmills. To start a wind power plant for industrial purpose large area is required, but for individuals small windmills can easily set at backyard or garden of house. Wind farms consist of hundreds of huge size wind turbines that generate power and transfer it to electric power stations. One major issue faced with construction of large wind is cost, as using wind power as source of electricity is still expensive.
Fascinating facts about wind power:
- Wind power is one of the fastest growing renewable sources of electricity production worldwide.
- Wind power is a form of solar power as wind blow due to heat of sun.
- This generated pollution free energy and found abundant in many parts of the world.
- Generating energy through wind is economically competitive.
- Installation of wind turbines at small and large scale takes small area of land.
- About 36.5% of total electricity produced worldwide in year 2011 was through wind power.
- Wind is very explosive in Germany, Europe and America because of climate conditions.
- Wind power can easily fulfill the gap created by shortage of fossil fuels.
- After government incentives it is expected that wind power sector will get attention from individuals as well.
- This is a long term energy source; it does not emit pollution and works reliably.
Wind Power Cuts Load Shedding:
Many underdeveloped countries are facing terrible load shedding issues from last couple of years. Wind power can help those countries in cutting load shedding. Windmills can add 3.68 million units to fulfill energy requirements, in this way duration of power cut can fall from 8-9 hours to 2-3 hours daily. India is also facing issue of load shedding, as a solution they installed windmills. Indian Wind Power Association chairman K. Kasthoorirangaian told DC, “They are getting 1,394 MW to 2,700 MW average generations from windmills.” India is planning to get advance technology to increase the rate.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Renewable and Non-Polluting:
Wind power is free of cost and widely available renewable resource, therefore we do not need to worry about the fact that what if it ends. With wind power we generate clean, non-polluting electricity unlike the conventional power plants that emit greenhouse gasses in the air.
Free of cost:
Installing wind turbines needs money, but after that using wind and generating electricity is completely free as no one as for money for wind that you uses. Wind is free fuel and this feature makes it the cheapest source of generating electricity.
Wind turbines are available in different sizes and designs to meet different needs. The largest wind turbine is as long as 20 story building and takes land more than 100 yards, it can generated electricity to meets needs of more than 1400 homes. The smallest turbine is 30 foot high and its diameter is 8 feet which can be installed in garden or farm of a house easily.
Although wind power plants put lesser effect on environment as compared to fossil fuel plants, but still they add to noise pollution in the environment. It’s blades create visual impact on birds and kills them by flying into rotors.
Supply and transport issues:
One major issue that individuals living in small houses face during installation of wind turbine is transportation issue. Besides this wind is also not available all the time, which can add negative aspects to this technology.
How Does Wind Power Works?
Wind is an infinite source of natural energy that is rising as an alternate solution against fossil fuel industry. Today this is among some most sustainable ways of generating electricity as this power does not emit harmful gases or heat to environment that can cause increase in global warming. This eco-friendly and cost competitive renewable source is helping in protecting our lives and surroundings from bad aspects. In 2008, more than 27,000 (MW) of electricity was produced with this source of energy which gave profit of $51.5 billion worldwide.
How wind power starts?
Wind power itself is nothing; it is form of solar energy because heat of sun produces wind. Radiations of sun heats different particles on earth including sand, water, stone and various types of soil. These particles absorb heat, retain it for some time and then release this heat in absence of sun which makes earth warmer. When this heat releases the air above earth’s surface gets warmer which reduces atmospheric pressure on the surface. To replace this empty space of released heat and air, cooler air starts moving and due to this movement flow air come into existence which is called wind.
Moving air or wind is great source of kinetic energy as well. With help of technology this kinetic energy is captured and converted into other forms of energy including electric and mechanical energy etc. Wind turbines are designed to capture wind energy and generate clean and renewable electric power for home and business uses.
>How wind turbines work?
Easiest and commonly used wind electricity generation method is using wind turbines. Wind rotates large turbine blades and movement of these blades results generation of electricity. We can easily demonstrate the process
- Wind turns the turbine blades
- Movement of blades spin the shaft which generates electricity
- An inverter converts electricity from DA to AC
- Alternate current moves towards storage space or main power line
A horizontal axis wind turbine has three main parts, the tower, the blades, and nacelle. Nacelle is the part where major actions are performed including turning motion into electricity. To maintain the frequency and voltage of current generated constant speed turbines are installed. These wind turbines can adjust the blades according to pressure of wind. Home users can install small size wind turbine such as 500w that is enough to supply power to few appliances. At industrial level or power stations collection of 2Kw turbines is commonly used. Energy produced by each wind turbine depends on some external factors like size of blades, style or turbine, diameter and power of wind.
Wind power economics:
According to a global consensus wind power is generating as much power today as we get from eight large nuclear power plants. This calculation does not counts utility-scale turbines, but small turbines that are used at home level are also part of it. Many people count this wind power as expensive source of electricity as compared to coal or nuclear power. But still wind power is motivational because it is clean, and it’s renewable. It does not release harmful gases like CO2 and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere as coal or other non-renewable resources do.
Government incentives are also helping in popularity of wind power systems. User are getting Production Tax Credit, Net metering, Renewable-energy credits and Installation tax credits with installation of wind turbines at individual level. This competitive product is fighting a battle to stand on its own as viable power source and government is supporting it for all good reasons. The American Wind Energy Association project says, “wind will provide 6 percent of all U.S. electricity by 2020.”