Energy Resource – Wind Power

We’ve utilized the wind as an energy source for a long period of time. The Babylonians and Chinese were utilizing wind power to pump water for watering crops 4,000 years ago, and sailing boats were around long before that. Wind power was utilized in the Middle Ages, in Europe, to grind corn, which is where the term “windmill” comes from.

How it works:

The Sun warms our environment unevenly, so some spots become warmer than others. These warm patches of air rise, other air blows in to change them – and we feel a wind blowing.

We can utilize the energy in the wind by building a high tower, with a big propeller on the top. The wind blows the prop round, which turns a generator to produce electrical power. We tend to construct a number of these towers together, to make a “wind farm” and produce more electrical energy. The more towers, the more wind, and the bigger the propellers, the more electricity we can make.

It’s just worth developing wind farms in places that have strong, steady winds, although boats and caravans significantly have small wind generators to help keep their batteries charged. The very best locations for wind farms are in seaside locations, at the tops of rounded hills, open plains and gaps in mountains – places where the wind is strong and dependable. Some are offshore.

To be beneficial, you need an average wind speed of around 25 km/h. Isolated locations such as farms might have their own wind generators. In California, several “wind farms” supply electricity to houses around Los Angeles. Most wind farms in the UK are in Cornwall or Wales.

The props are big, to extract energy from the biggest possible volume of air. The blades can be angled to “great” or “coarse” pitch, to cope with differing wind speeds, and the generator and propeller can look to face the wind wherever it originates from. Some designs utilize vertical turbines, which do not need to be turned to deal with the wind. The towers are tall, to obtain the props as high as possible, approximately where the wind is more powerful. This means that the land below can still be used for farming.

Benefits

  • Produces no waste or greenhouse gases.
  • The land below can generally still be utilized for farming.
  • Wind farms can be tourist destinations.
  • A good approach of supplying energy to remote areas.

Downsides

  • The wind is not always predictable – some days have no wind.
  • Appropriate locations for wind farms are often near the coast, where land is costly.
  • Some individuals feel that covering the landscape with these towers is undesirable.
  • Can kill birds – moving flocks have the tendency to like strong winds. However, this is uncommon, and we tend not to construct wind farms on migratory routes anyway.
  • Can affect television reception if you live nearby.
  • Can be loud. Wind generators have a credibility for making a continuous, low, “swooshing” sound day and night, which can own you nuts.

Having stated that, as aerodynamic designs have actually enhanced contemporary wind farms are much quieter. A lot quieter than, say, a fossil fuel power station; and wind farms tend not to be near suburbs anyway. The little contemporary wind generators utilized on boats and caravans make hardly any sound at all.

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