The idea of wind energy is something of a vexed question. As quickly as it is becoming more popular as an idea, it also causes controversy with regard to just where wind turbines and farms would be located.
Firstly, a wind farm can be defined as a number of wind turbines that are grouped together in one set place in order to convert wind energy in to electrical energy. All of the wind turbines in this group (or farm) are interconnected, and can number anything from several dozen up to more than one hundred turbines in total. In terms of location, wind farms are popularly located off-shore, as this kind of location tends to provide much more regular-and much stronger winds-over the surface of the ocean. In such a location, there are also fewer natural and man-made ‘windbreaks’ that would otherwise impair the generating function of the wind turbines themselves. In general, wind turbines so assembled will be set upon the sea bed, and will then, via their sensors, pick up the wind direction and will subsequently absorb as much wind energy as possible. After this, the energy thus absorbed is transported to a generator which is also connected to the turbines. The generator then converts the accumulated energy into electricity and the electricity is finally sent to the grid for distribution and consumption.
The actual turbines that are placed upon the sea bed have erosion protection installed into their bases in order to prevent any damage to the sea bed. The apex of the turbines are then brightly coloured in order to be fully visible to ships so that accidents can be avoided as far as possible. At this point, the sensor inside the turbine turns the head of the turbine to face the wind which the sensor has detected. The blades are then able to collect the wind’s energy for conversion, which takes place inside the turbine’s generator which his powered by a gearbox in order to facilitate energy conversion from wind power to electrical power. Cables are installed under the sea, and these cables transport power to an off-shore transformer which is then converted to high voltage electricity which can then be used by customers that are connected to the utilities grid.
Despite the fact that some people have concerns over the aesthetic appearance of wind farms and turbines, there can be little doubt that they are much more environmentally friendly that the burning of fossil fuels, and this form of energy is becoming more and more popular as people and governments search for clean alternatives to fossil fuels. The relatively lower cost of wind turbines compared to other forms of alternative power such as solar electricity as well as the ability for wind turbines to be established in a wide range of areas (as compared to geothermal plants, for example, which require a specific geo-location for development) have all helped pave the way for wind turbine established both industrially and commercially as well as for general residential use, and increasing usage should be expected to be seen in the coming years.
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