What is Wind Energy?
Wind Energy is sufficient, it is very widely used, especially in coastal areas. As we know that we are facing a shortage of fossil fuels, thus it is right to use those energies which are readily available in abundance. We have already dealt with the pros and cons of wind energy, wind farms, windmills, etc., but do not use what is its purpose. Here, we only deal with the use of wind energy and thus transfer the best use of wind energy.
The wind is caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, variations in the earth’s surface, and rotation of the earth. Mountains, bodies of water, and vegetation all influence wind flow patterns. Wind turbines convert the energy in wind to electricity by rotating propeller-like blades around a rotor. The rotor turns the driveshaft, which turns an electric generator. Three key factors affect the amount of energy a turbine can harness from the wind: wind speed, air density, and swept area.
Let us see how wind speed occurs with a simple example. The atmosphere on the ground surface is warm due to the combined heat of the sun and the land. The air at the sea surface is comparatively cold because it is colder than the sea. When hot air moves overhead, (as warm air always does), the air above the ocean moves toward that location. This is how the winds blow.
Definition of Wind Energy
Wind energy or wind power refers to the process by which wind is used to generate electricity, Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. A generator can convert mechanical energy into electricity.
Wind power is a popular sustainable, renewable energy source that has a much smaller impact on the environment compared to burning fossil fuels.
Fun Facts about Wind Energy
- The wind is the speed of air. It is dependent on the irregular heat of the atmosphere by the Sun. The Earth’s surface, vegetation cover, and the topography of the Earth’s rotation are some of the factors that determine the speed and direction of winds.
- The wind is classified on the basis of wind power density or how much energy is available on site for conversion by a wind turbine (watts per square meter). Wind speed is also taken into consideration. Winds are classified from class 1 (lowest) to class 7 (highest). Class 3 winds (wind speeds of 12 mph) and above are best suited for power generation
- Wind speeds are more and more regular at higher altitudes than the surface of the Earth. Also, sea-going winds are more regular and stronger than onshore winds.
- The average onshore wind turbine can power 1500 homes. An average offshore wind turbine can provide power to 3312 average homes.
- Wind energy is an excellent alternative to fossil fuels, a renewable source of energy. Wind farms or power plants do not emit carbon dioxide.
- It is also unique because it does not require water in any form during electricity generation.
What are the Uses of Wind Energy?
The most popular use of wind Energy is now generating electricity. But all of the air through history has also been used for other purposes as seen below.
In addition to manual power to travel across rivers, seas, and oceans, it was used in water transport by boats and ships.
By 200 BC, wind-powered machines were used to grind grain in Persia and pump water into China. It was the merchants and crusaders who brought wind technology from these places to Europe.
The Dutch used huge wind pumps to drain lakes and swamps in the Rhine River delta.
Also, the American colonists used the windmill to pump water to Ara’s wood and to their animals.
The first windmill to produce electric energy was built in 1887 by Professor James Baileth of Glasgow in Scotland. His cloth sail wind turbine was installed in his garden and light operated in his hut in Marykirk, Kincardinshire. Although they tried to offer surplus energy to light the streets of Marykirk, its residents rejected because they believed that electric energy was ‘the work of the devil’.
What is the future of wind energy?
Wind-power vehicle: It was tried in Australia. The vehicle was first pulled by kites that harnessed the power of the wind. The battery was charged while the car was in motion and when there was no air, the car ran on stored battery power. This is a really green way to drive a vehicle.
Wind-powered sea ships: Winds have been used since ancient times to drive water transport. Using the same technique above, giant kites were used to convert wind energy to move the cargo ship. Thus, there has been a drastic reduction in the consumption of fuel and carbon dioxide emissions.
Wind Sport and Activities: Wind energy is very enjoyable in sports and related activities. A thrill is associated with a combination of speed or balance or energy to increase speed. Simple kite flying is an ancient sport that has been taken at various levels. Hot air ballooning, sailing, parasailing, land selling, kite surfing, kite flying, kite bugging, wind skiing, and other innovative adventure sports are popular. Different countries are using these games to promote their tourism industry.
The best use of wind Energy in generating electricity:
While talking so much about wind energy and its use, it is very clear to any common man that it is widely use to generate electricity. This is its best possible use. Even though many other uses are list above, it is useless if we do not highlight Energy generation as the best use. Let us see how wind energy converts into electricity. The kinetic energy in the wind converts into mechanical energy and then into electric energy using wind turbines. It is a high-tech version of a windmill. The wind blows on the blades causing them to rotate. The shape of the blade is similar to the wings of an aircraft and the wind lifts the blade up rather than pushing it. Sensors can detect how much wind intensity and direction it is moving.
The blades connected to a rotating shaft or rotor which, in turn, connects to a generator where mechanical energy convert into electrical energy. Electricity transmits through cables to a substation and then to power lines to homes and businesses.
There are two types of wind turbines depending on the direction of the rotating shaft.
Horizontal axis wind turbines: These commonly use for energy generation.
Vertical axis wind turbines: Individual wind turbines create small scale electricity such as e.g. For a house or a farm. Huge groups of wind turbines, called wind farms or wind parks, generate more energy.
What is a wind farm?
Definition: Wind farms are huge locations on which many wind turbines install to harness wind energy for electricity generation. Those farms can contain hundreds or more wind turbines, which together produce electricity. The preferred areas where wind farms are located are the areas where the wind is available on a regular and consistent basis.
Types of wind farms
There are two types of wind farms as per the details given below:
- On Shore Wind Farm
- Off-Shore Wind Farm
On Shore Wind Farm
Onshore wind farms are wind farms that are located in hilly or mountainous areas. The hilly and mountainous regions are places that are said to carry high-frequency air on a consistent basis. To take advantage of this, onshore wind farms are built. These are the wind farms on which agriculture will run by hand while wind turbines produce electricity.
Off shore wind farms
Offshore wind farms are wind farms that are located in water. This is in an ocean or ocean because the wind speed is always higher in open water than on land. Thus, offshore wind farms are said to exploit more wind because the speed is always higher.
Wind farms in the US
The United States is one of the major countries where a large number of wind farms are located. Thus America produces a part of electricity using wind energy because they know the importance of wind energy and its importance. About 3% of the country’s total electricity produced by wind energy. The state of California has the largest wind farms in the country. An important fact is that there are no offshore establishments in the country. The largest wind farm in the United States is the Altamont nearby wind farm.
On-shore installations are flourishing across the country. Thus, agriculture and wind turbines move together. Since wind turbines help greatly in cooling the temperature on crops, the yield can very high, provided that the crops being cultivated require low temperatures.
Effect of wind farms on nature
Since wind turbines and wind energy do not emit any toxic gases nor cause any kind of air pollution and use any fuel other than that, it does not have any ill effects on nature. Coastal installations also make it possible for agriculture, it saves on land and thus no land remains untapped. While these are the positives of wind farms, there are also some negatives.
The main negative is the slaughter of birds with wind turbine blades. Since the number of bird slaughter is very high, it can have a direct impact on the ecological balance of nature.
Effect of wind farms on humans
There is no great impact on humans because it does not cause any air pollution, it is a clean resource. Its only side effect is the noise pollution that causes it. According to studies by the United States Research Council, if wind farms or wind turbines install half a mile away, this should not be a major issue for humans.
This also supports by Australian studies where it states that a minimum distance of two kilometers has to travel from the residential area to the wind farms.
Wind farms are sources where electricity being produce. It mainly sees as a grid system. While there are some drawbacks, wind energy is one of the best resources that can use to produce electricity because it is a clean and free resource available in abundance around the world. Furthermore, it is not a contributor to any air pollution. Any criticism can be set aside apart from positing positivity as the world is in danger of pollution and its consequences.
Wind energy is a green source and the most abundant available source of energy. The only disadvantage is that it is an alternate source i.e. air does not always flow. Countries like Denmark produce 40% of their energy using air. Other countries in Europe have improved their wind energy generation capabilities, thus reducing their dependence on fossil fuels and reducing their carbon footprint.
Wind energy has a very strong and stable level of public support and now requires beneficial regulations and investment by governments to drive its growth.
Pros and Cons of Wind Energy
Advantages of Wind Energy
1) Clean resources
Wind energy never pollutes or contaminates the air or water nor causes any kind of pollution. It does not emit any kind of toxic gaseous. No greenhouse effect, no side effect, or any such issue can drag wind resources below the line of quality resources. The use of this clean resource creates a healthy and clean environment.
2) Renewable energy
Renewable energy is the energy that can created again and again. Since air produced free of charge as a result of natural phenomena, it will never end. Due to these qualities of wind energy, wind energy has an immense impact on society. This cleanest renewable energy is environmentally fit for the future.
3) Inexhaustible energy
Wind energy is unlimited, meaning it never ends. As we explain, the air caused by additional heating of the Earth’s surface. As long as the surface anomalies of the Sun and Earth exist, there will be an adequate supply of air. There will be no risk of wind energy shortage at any time.
Wind energy is available round the clock and on the calendar. As it is unlimited, it means that it is always available. There is no time that air is not available. Thus, if wind turbines fitted, most of the time it will not happen that the wind turbine is idle.
5) No pollution
Pollution is one of the biggest difficulties in the world. There are various types of pollution. Wind energy is a clean resource, it does not emit any kind of pollution. While it is a clean resource, it is also safe at the same time. As wind energy used, there will be a drastic reduction in fossil fuel usage. The use of fossil fuels and pollution are interdependent. Thus, a reduction in fossil fuel use will reduce pollution.
Wind energy does not pose any threat to the world in any way. Furthermore, it helps mankind and the earth to be safe and free from pollution to a great extent.
6) Conserve energy
Wind energy helps us conserve fossil fuels and other resources that are facing shortages. The use of wind energy will lead to an overall reduction in fossil fuel uses. We have been facing a long-standing threat regarding fossil fuels, the greenhouse effect, etc. There is no such concern as we replace wind energy with these fossil fuels.
7) Effective cost
As wind energy is readily available, that too for free, it is not an expensive way of generating electricity. The cost that is coming is for installing wind turbines and also for land. The cost of installing wind turbines has come down significantly as technology has boomed. Turbines are also incorporate into lakes and oceans. Thus, the cost of land can also keep separate. The land use to install wind turbines can also use for agricultural purposes as the wind turbines are very large and the land between the turbines not use.
Thus, the cost converts very effectively at the end of the day.
8) Effective use of land
Landowners, who cultivate the land, can install wind turbines using a grid system. It will be cost-effective and at the same time, it uses the land very effectively. It is a nest egg for landlords as it is an additional income. They can also use electricity for their own use so that their electricity bill also reduced significantly.
9) Job oriented
As the industry of wind turbines and wind farms developed, the number of jobs increased rapidly. Installation, service, and maintenance of wind turbines require a lot of human resources. Thus, the boom in wind energy reflected in the country’s economic growth.
We have talked about the benefits of wind energy. Now, what will it be like when we talk about its benefits from the point of view of society? The advantages of wind energy will be similar but we will force it to classify it into:
Economic benefits of wind energy
- Economic benefits: All cost-effectiveness will be economic benefits, such as cost-effectiveness, reduced use of fossil fuels, additional income for landowners, job creation, and more.
- Social benefits: All social benefits such as free energy, resident occupation, agricultural assistance, etc. come under social benefits.
- Environmental benefits: Environmental good is the overall good of the environment; Such as no pollution, clean air, and better use of land.
Wind energy is great potential energy that is still not fully utilized by society. Since a lot of research and studies are done regarding its use, the claim of wind energy as the fuel of tomorrow will emphasize.
Disadvantages of Wind energy
It is very clear that all coins have two parts – a good side and a bad side. So in relation to wind energy, we are digging deeply into the loss of wind energy. Considering all its benefits as well, it has not chosen as the most desired option for energy. What limits this to happen?
Even though the wind is known for its abundance, it is not reliable as it is predictable. The wind caused by the movement of air from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas caused by the uneven surface of the earth and heat from the sun in those areas. Thus, relying on wind energy beyond a certain point is not a good idea.
Wind energy is the cleanest resource we will ever have, but the inconsistent nature is pulling it from being one of the top resources for energy generation. No one can predict air availability and non-availability. Wind turbines will never work continuously or continuously as it can only work with wind gusts. It is sure that wind turbines establish only after a study about the area. But this does not mean that wind turbines will never be idle. Hurricanes or tornadoes develop anytime they are about to destroy wind turbines.
Since wind energy is not compatible, it is also not reliable. Many times there will be no wind in any such area, which proves to be a good supply of wind energy. This cannot be foreseen on any basis. Even tornadoes and hurricanes are always dangerous; Wind turbines cannot uninstall on those areas within that short time span. All these make wind energy unreliable.
3) Limited use
Wind turbines that use wind energy can install on areas that have constant wind and high wind speeds. There are only a few places that have high speed and abundant wind energy. For example the mountainous or mountainous regions, coastal region, etc. Therefore, the use of wind energy is limit to only a few regions.
In addition, wind turbines cannot install in high-density areas of the population. Unlike solar cells, they cannot install in all the homes or places we want to do. Unexpected areas may specifically accept the installation of wind turbines.
The factor that makes the wind inefficient or inefficient is that it does not use the entire wind that passes through the wind turbine. About 3 / 4th of the air being used to produce electricity by wind turbines. Compared, it is to the cost of installation of the wind turbine, it is not worth the cost of energy generation.
5) Non storable
As we discussed in the previous head of inefficiency, wind turbines only use less than 3/4 of the wind that turbines pass through. If the turbine can store all the wind energy, it fully utilizes and it is efficient. Unfortunately, there is neither such a technique for using full wind energy nor for storing air.
It was highly discussed and underlined that wind energy is the cleanest resource that does not cause pollution. But it is a small exception that wind turbines make a lot of noise. This is a major reason why wind turbines do not include in residential areas. This is an add for the limitations of wind energy. The noise generated by wind turbines while generating electricity is a noise pollution agent.
7) Danger to birds
Wind turbines endanger flying birds and other animals as birds fly in wind turbines that are rotating, resulting in killing themselves. Underground animals are also at risk as wind turbine installations are getting deeper below ground. Wind turbine blades are usually very high, which kills birds. From the date it was established, it has killed more than 45000 birds so far.
8) High installation cost
The wind turbine installation is very expensive. The wind turbine itself is very expensive, barring all other costs. Transportation and installation etc. imposed additional costs on the entire amount of the installation. In addition, this wind turbine requires service at regular intervals and has to replace after several years of use. All this increases the cost of the wind turbine.
9) More land requirements
A wind turbine certainly does not help in power generation. It is usually a farm that installs on a wind farm with an N number of wind turbines simultaneously. Thus, more land requires the construction or installation of a wind farm. Although it is said that this land can also use for agricultural purposes, crops that can be grown on such wind farms are obstruct. On a farm, which already has agriculture; The installation of wind turbines will surely destroy farming. Thus, the land required for the wind turbine is very vast.
Some interesting facts about wind farms
One may have seen wind turbines grouped in rows on flat land or on gently rolling hills. These called wind farms. Earlier they were seen on land, but now they are also seen in the sea. These are divide into onshore and offshore wind farms.
- Wind farms consume broad areas of land.
- They are usually located near diverse habitats in ecologically sensitive areas.
- Wind power plants are local in the US, located mostly in Texas, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Kansas, Iowa, and California.
- Most states in the Central Plains have 10% of their generation coming from wind energy. These include North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Maine, Vermont, Kansas, and Idaho.
- The initial offshore wind farm in the US is the Deep-Water Wind Project off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island. Consisting of 5 turbines with 240-foot-long blades, this is a modest 30-megawatt project that began operations in 2016.
- The Alta Wind Energy Center in California is America’s biggest wind farm with a capacity of 1548MW.
- China and the European Union are leaders in the number of installed wind turbines
- Offshore turbines are anchored on the sea bed at a depth of 30 meters.
- Floating offshore turbines have anchors that fix ocean beds at 60 meters.
- Birds and bats are killed by spinning with the blade. This has caused concern for species that are threatened by turbines.
- Some people notice the presence of the wind farms on which they stand.
Jobs and investment perspective
Global investment in wind energy is increasing every year. Developing nations like China, India, South Africa, Mexico, and Chile are investing more in renewables than developing nations. According to the American Wind Energy Association, Building, new wind farms in the US have added an average of $ 13 billion to the US economy over the past decade. ‘
The wind industry has produced more jobs. These are possible from research to production to installation to maintenance. Civil and electrical works also require for the construction of a wind turbine or wind farm. In the US alone, 73000 well-paid jobs are support by American wind power. It consists of 20000 manufacturing operations.
What is the use of wind energy?
The terms “wind energy” and “wind power” both describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity.
Definition of wind energy
Wind energy (or wind power) refers to the process of creating electricity using the wind, or air flows that occur naturally in the earth’s atmosphere. Modern wind turbines are used to capture kinetic energy from the wind and generate electricity.
How efficient is wind energy?
Wind energy, also known as wind power, is the means of harnessing wind and turning it into electricity. The average wind efficiency of turbines is between 35-45%.
Is wind energy expensive?
Wind power is more expensive than power from old, established power plants, but is cost competitive with any new power plant. Today, wind power plants can generate electricity for less than 5 cents per kilowatt-hour, a price that is competitive with new coal- or gas-fired power plants.
Why wind power is the best?
Wind is a renewable energy source. Overall, using wind to produce energy has fewer effects on the environment than many other energy sources. Wind turbines may also reduce the amount of electricity generation from fossil fuels, which results in lower total air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.