Wind Energy Overview

Wind Energy Overview

Wind is basically the air around us that has gained speed and momentum; it is by using that velocity and kinetic energy in the wind that we are now able to create an alternative source of energy that can meet quite a significant portion of the world’s power needs. The kinetic energy in wind is first converted with the help of a wind turbine into mechanical energy and that is used for simple mechanical operations like pumping water and some of the other functions in a wind farm. However, the use of the mechanical energy is only a small part of a wind energy plant; the real function is of course to convert the mechanical energy collected from the kinetic force in wind into usable electrical energy. This conversion from mechanical to electrical energy is done with the help of a generator and once the conversion is complete, the electricity can be used to supply power to all applications that run on electricity.

Wind farms differ in size depending upon various conditions like the amount of land available for the project and wind conditions. While there are tiny wind farms which work with just a single turbine, there are also huge wind farms which work with clusters of turbines in the US itself, like the Stateline Wind Energy Center in between Oregon and Washington DC. Such a wind energy plant with more than four hundred turbines can generate as much electricity as three hundred MW or even more. Wind energy had been in use since the ancient Babylonian times, but it was mechanical power that they harnessed from the wind because the use of wind as a potential electricity generator was not discovered at that time of course. Europe is of course at the top on the list of places which produce the highest amount of wind generated electricity now as they produce more than seventy percent of the total wind generated power.

Wind energy can contribute greatly towards solving the increasing need for power and also the pressure which that need puts on the fossil fuels which are running out fast. The price for installation and maintenance have also come down drastically when compared to what it was just a few years ago, but the technology on the other hand have only improved with time. All of this has undoubtedly made wind energy a much more reliable and efficient source of power today, but there are still a few disadvantages nonetheless. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of a wind mill is the inconsistency of wind itself. Wind mills also cause noise pollution which makes living nearby a constant problem. Deforestation is also believed to be a side effect of wind mills. Wind energy production has not yet reached perfection, but it still remains a powerful source of alternative energy and perhaps in the near future, even more of the flaws can be shed from the technology.

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