Article by Elfers Eurbin
Alternative sources of energy are very much a topical issue these days, given how pricy fuel has become. One such alternative energy source is wind power, the promise of which when harnessed in massive amounts, as on wind farms, is being analyzed. Utilizing wind as an alternative energy source means having an inexhaustible power that is incredibly clean. Wind is caused by differences in the temperature on the ground, which comes from the heat of the sun, so in essence wind power could be said to be sourced from solar power. Harnessing the wind hence creates electrical energy.
Wind farms as a large-scale way of capturing the energy generated by wind has been adopted by a number of countries. A lot of different wind turbines, along with their propeller-like blades, are set up in a certain area, in order to gather the wind’s power. Wind farms, due to the large number of turbines working in concert, have the capability to create energy in large quantities. A familiarity of the principles involved in wind farms will show their potential effectiveness. Wind energy starts with the wind turning the blades of the turbine, which are connected to a central shaft. The shaft that is turning is linked to a generator, which is cranked by the spinning action, making electrical energy. It makes use of the same principles as hydropower generation, except that wind power rather than flowing water is utilised.
Sufficient energy for a town or bigger area needs a lot of turbines, as one is hardly enough for a household or small farm. The great energy yield possible from a wind farm is based on the mass capability of many turbines grouped together. The energy that is produced can be stored in cells, like batteries, or in an already existing electricity grid, making it possible to meet the power needs of whole residential areas. Modern wind turbines are much more efficient than the older ones, as they can face the wind, face away from the wind, or even catch gusts from different angles.
Bigger blades and taller turbines too make for better efficiency. Calculating the efficiency of wind turbines is made difficult by the complexity of factors involved. No two wind farms are the same, due to the variation in terrain, wind and turbine size. Nonetheless, the standard turbine converts approximately 20% of the power in wind to electricity. Peak production efficiency is reached when the wind blows at no less than 5 miles an hour, and not more than 20 miles an hour.
Wind power with an efficiency rating of twenty percent is higher than solar by 5% to 7%, but solar is a lot more constant than wind. Wind technology is progressing, and when put side by side with other renewable sources of energy, it is favorable. Amongst alternative sources of energy it has become essential, but has not yet found worldwide favour. Among the leading nations in the utilization of wind power is Germany.
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