Jun 282012
 

Almost everybody is aware of what a wind turbine is and how they produce energy, but for those whom don’t know I am going to explain. If you imagine a plane propeller seated on top of a tall tower, this is precisely what a turbine looks like. Whenever the wind blows the turbine the blades make the rotor rotate and the movement of the rotor causes the generator within the turbine create power. Inside the generator are lots of magnets and a bunch of copper wire, that creates electricity. It’s really a fairly easy process.

wind turbineWind generators, as the name indicates, require wind to operate. The reason turbines are built so high is to take advantage of the stronger winds found at higher altitudes. The consequence of the stronger wind at that elevation is that the turbines produce more electricity. Obviously there must be enough wind to make electricity from the outset. Historical weather info is carefully analyzed to select sites that will supply sufficient continual winds for the turbines.

This is likely to mean they are located along coastlines where it is generally very windy. Although wind speed is the most important variable to measure, wind direction may also have an impact on the efficiency of the installation. A time tested design, adapted from the original wind powered water pumps, utilizes a tall fin to point the propeller into the wind, regardless of the direction it originates from.

wind turbineBecause of their reliable design, turbines can generate a lot of power that can be used for domestic or commercial applications. When there is no wind, a battery backup installation is used to fulfill electrical needs. One concern is the number of years necessary for the installation charges to be recovered in power savings. A positive factor of these turbines, compared to solar panels, is they do not need sunlight. Solar panels can not work in the dark however wind generators can. Turbines are incredibly clean to run, removing worries about pollution. The standard sources of hydro, including nuclear reactors, create significant pollution that could be eliminated by turbines. Harnessing the energy of the wind is making use of a truly renewable resource. This suggests that turbines will always be able to produce power if they are located in high wind locations.

wind renewable resourceAs with anything there are some drawbacks of implementing wind generators for energy. They’re definitely not a pretty sight, particularly because they’re so big. Many governing bodies choose to put wind turbines on seaside areas and out to sea as a result of the large amounts of wind in these types of areas, but many people protest saying that they blight the scenery.

They are also fairly noisy due to the rotor producing sound as it goes. Another major concern that people have mentioned is that birds and bats (bats especially) have a tendency to fly into them. Bats particularly are susceptible, simply because their sonar system is disturbed by the rapid circulation in the air. There are no figures on how often this happens, nonetheless.

wind turbine on seaConsidering the advantages and disadvantages of wind generators, they have got a lot going in their favor. Wind turbines offer remarkable promise for generating clean, replenishable and safe energy, with few serious downsides.
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What’s inside a wind turbine?

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