Discover the different types of wind energy conversion systems and find out how they can be used for your advantage.
Definition and Technique of Production of Wind Energy and Description of the major wind energy conversion systems
Different factors related to the environment contribute to the production of wind energy, which, incidentally, is a type of solar power. The surface of Earth is not uniform, and hence is not equally warmed by sunrays. As such, certain areas become warmer than other regions. In these warmer parts, the air, which is lighter (with less density), moves upwards. This motion of the warm air results in the creation of a void. This space is soon occupied by cooler air from the nearby cold regions. Wind is the term used to describe this movement. Motion energy, or kinetic energy, is generated by these movements of air. Wind energy can be obtained by capturing and processing this kinetic energy, via mechanical methods. Wind energy turbines and wind mills are the two wind energy conversion units that are used in the present day.
Types of the conversion units
Wind energy conversion systems are commonly used to generate electricity and mechanical power by processing wind energy, as and when required. Among the two systems of conversion of wind energy named above, electricity is produced by energy turbines. Wind mills are used to create mechanical power. A study of the efficiency and cost effectiveness of these two conversion units is required. For that, we need a clear insight into the working mechanisms of these systems.
It is very easy to understand how a wind turbine works. A rotor is present, to which the blades (two or three in number) are attached. Now, this rotor is connected to the main shaft, which is then linked to a generator, which starts to spin. Electricity is produced by the generator, as a result of this process. A site that is about 100 feet (or, 30 meters) above the normal ground level is ideal for the installation of wind turbines that would be able to effectively generate electric power. A high amount of electricity is generated at such places, since the supply of wind here is less roiling, and wind flow is quicker as well. On the other hand, the generation of adequate mechanical energy output is dependant on the number of blades that a wind mill has. Whether a wind mill can function efficiently or not also is determined by the speed of wind flows as well. These windmills can be divided in various classes, like wind pumps, tjaskers, and other types, according to their functions. Draining land and/or wells can be considered as sources for generating water. This function is performed by the type of wind mills which are called wind pumps. The water thus pumped out can be used for the drinking purpose of cattle; humans can use this water as well. At places where a low head is necessary, water is raised by another variety of drainage wind energy system, called tjaskers. An in-depth study of the above two types of wind energy conversion systems would reveal information on their efficiency and cost effectiveness.
Wind energy systems: Pros and Cons
The popularity of wind energy system is currently on a consistent upward trend. The fact that, it uses a free source of fuel – the wind, which is also easily renewable, is a significant cause of this growing popularity. Nor do these systems, unlike their fossil fuel plant predecessors, emit environmentally damaging greenhouse gases that can pollute the atmosphere. Hence, the risks of acid rains or damage of the layers of the layers of the atmosphere (by the greenhouse gases) disappear when these wind energy conversion systems are used. These systems generally are put up on ranches in rural areas, for the best performance. The supply of wind is abundant as well, with no chances of exhaustion as long as the sun remains present. Economic practicality is another advantage of these wind energy units, since farmers can continue earning a steady flow of income from the land they take on lease for setting up these energy units. The wind power units take up only a tiny section of this land, making such income generation possible all round the year.
However, although the usage of wind energy plants holds out manifold advantages, there are certain disadvantages attached with these plants as well. Irregular availability of wind energy is the primary negative aspect of the former. Since wind flows are automatic, such flows might not be in keeping with what is required within a certain period by the wind energy units. Areas that are located far from posh regions serve as the best sites for wind. As such, places which need electric supply urgently might not be able to get it in many cases.
The popularity of the wind energy conversion systems is, however, consistently on the rise. This increase in the usage of wind energy is present even in the face of the disadvantages stated above.
Be it in the realm of finance or in terms of eco-friendliness, it makes practical sense to use wind energy. It is, in fact, impossible to turn a blind eye to the many favorable features of this energy source. Thus, it is highly advisable to set up a wind power unit at your home. A manual can come in extremely handy in guiding you in the process of its installation, and would also suggest the part of the house where the system should be set up, for maximum benefits. The places where batteries can be obtained for free and other parts of the system at relatively low rates, the process of completion its wiring, as also the recommended safety measures are also included in the manual. Thus, a manual is of great use when you start to install the wind energy conversion systems in your home.