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Wind Energy and its benefits

Author: LaV | 29-08-2011, 02:09
Views: 134

We all know how important air is for our life. However today we will focus on the other beneficial part of air and that is energy that is obtained by moving air. The motion results from the heating and cooling of the Earth; thus, wind energy is an indirect form of Solar Energy.We are more in need of renewable sources of energy for our survival and what can be best other than wind energy. Wind energy is one of the oldest forms of energy used to supplement human muscle. The conversion of wind energy to various other useful forms, like electricity, is known as wind power. Wind energy is converted into these forms using wind turbines. There are wind power plants, or wind farms which are clusters of wind machines used to produce electricity. A wind farm usually has dozens of wind machines scattered over a large area.

wind energy

 

There are two types of wind machines (turbines) used today based on the direction of the rotating shaft.

  • Horizontal-axis: Most wind machines being used today are the horizontal-axis type. Horizontal-axis wind machines have blades like airplane propellers. A typical horizontal wind machine stands as tall as a 20-story building and has three blades that span 200 feet across. Wind machines stand tall and wide to capture more wind.

  • Vertical-axis: Vertical-axis wind machines have blades that go from top to bottom and the most common type (Darrieus wind turbine) looks like a giant two-bladed egg beaters. The type of vertical wind machine typically stands 100 feet tall and 50 feet wide. Vertical-axis wind machines make up only a very small percent of the wind machines used today.

Horizontal-axis

Uses of Wind Energy:

  • To pump water from wells using windmills.

  • When a boat lifts a sail, it is using wind energy to push it through the water.

  • In Holland, windmills have been used for centuries to pump water from low-lying areas.

  • Wind is also used to turn large grinding stones to grind wheat or corn.

  • It is used to generate electricity.

Advantage of Wind Energy:

  • Wind energy is free, clean and non-polluting. Wind Energy is free of cost. Wind turbines do not create any air pollution or greenhouse

  •  gases and do not result in toxic radioactive waste.

  • It is ample: One of the greatest advantages of Wind Energy is that it is ample. Wind supply is plentiful, so wind energy is a renewable supply.

  • Suitable for less sunny regions: This creates the possibility of generating energy non-stop, during day and night.

  • Simple technology: There is nothing too complex, mechanically, in terms of designing and building wind turbines.

  • Cheap electricity:  Wind energy is relatively cheap as compared to other sources.

  • Less time involved: It takes only a few months for the energy generated by wind turbines to become greater than the level of energy used to make them

  • Safe: If used and maintained properly wind energy is very safe.

As everything comes in package, even Wind energy has some disadvantages like manufacturing and installation cost of turbines. Turbines may create a lot of noise, which indirectly contributes to noise pollution. Weather is not predictable. However, in front of so many valuable advantages of wind energy, some small negative aspects can be overlooked by the positives it is supplying. So, we may be seeing windmills being built all over the country, which help alleviate the energy crisis, but l am sure that will take many years to come into fruition.

(Source: energyquest.ca.gov, eia.doe.gov, buzzle.com, netpilot.ca, ic.gc.ca)

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