Wind Electricity as Alternative Energy – The Basics
As more and more people make the switch from gas and electricity to alternative fuel sources, the attraction to wind energy is growing. In fact, wind power is the fastest growing form of alternative energy, increasing by a massive 33% from 2008 to 2009. You may know that wind electricity creates power by using turbines that generate power from the air. However, a lack of clear information on the basics of wind electricity can be a roadblock to actually making the switch. Here are the basics on wind electricity to help prepare you to consider the change to alternative energy.
What Do Wind Turbines Do?
Wind turbines function on a principle of kinetic energy. Kinetic energy refers to energy that comes from movement. In the case of a wind turbine, the energy that comes from moving air (wind) is converted into electricity. The large blades on a turbine capture moving air, and that wind makes the blades turn. The motion of the blades turning stimulates an electrical generator, which creates electricity. When the wind blows harder, more electricity is generated. Less wind results in less power.
Varieties of Wind Turbines
There are two basic types of wind turbines: horizontal axis and vertical axis. The horizontal axis is the type that is used in old-fashioned windmills. You may also have seen wind farms with many turbines composed of three blades each. These are also horizontal axis turbines. A horizontal axis turbine is defined by having an axis that runs horizontally and is attached to a support tower. The blades are attached to the horizontal axis. A vertical axis turbine, however, is composed of a vertical pole with an electrical generator attached to the bottom and blades attached to the sides of the pole. On a vertical axis turbine, the blades can be attached at any location on the pole. Sometimes, the blades extend the entire height of the pole.
Wind Turbine Power Capacity
The ability of a wind turbine to generate a certain amount of power is determined by the size of the rotor. The rotor is the part of the turbine that turns, and includes the blades. A larger rotor equals more electricity generated, and a smaller rotor equals less electricity generated. Cost is typically the factor that determines what size rotor a person chooses to install.
Pros and Cons of Wind Turbines
The major advantage to using a wind turbine to power your home or farm is that you don’t need any sort of fuel to operate a wind turbine, and the turbine does not create any harmful emissions. Also, power companies may pay you rent in exchange for allowing them to place wind turbines on your property.
The disadvantage to wind power is the cost of installing a wind turbine. It is a big initial investment, and the power supply can be inconsistent due to the inconsistent nature of wind.
If you want to make the switch from conventional electricity to wind electricity, contact Windpower Technology. At Windpower Technology, we are experts on wind turbine technology. We will come out and visit your property for free to discuss the best options in wind power for your situation. We will design the best system for you, taking into account your desires, your budget and the landscape around you.
We will even guide you through the planning process and help you get the necessary permission to install your wind turbine. Call Windpower Technology, and let us help you make the switch to clean wind energy.