Contemplating Wind Energy? You’re on the Right Path
Wind energy is one of the many forms of renewable energy.
The others include solar, biomass, geothermal etc. Renewable energy sources cannot be depleted and produce very low amounts of carbon emissions to the environment as opposed to the carbon based fuels (fossil fuels) that emit high amounts of carbon emissions to the environment.
Due to the high amounts of carbon emissions to the environment, there has been an unprecedented rise in the temperatures of the atmosphere. This phenomenon is known as global warming. Though some climate scientists disagree that carbon emissions do not have a direct impact on the rise of these temperatures; opinion is rapidly converging on the need to save our planet from extinction.
Wind energy has been touted as the renewable energy source with the highest chances of curbing these emissions. A wind turbine is the device used to generate energy from the wind. It converts the kinetic energy of the wind to mechanical energy and then to electricity. A wind turbine consists of a hub, rotor blades, a mounting known as a tower, a generator and an electrical system to store the energy from the turbine.
The principle of the wind turbine is much like that of an aircraft.
It uses the Bernoulli’s principle i.e. speed is inversely proportional to pressure. Because the upper surface of the rotor blade has a smaller surface area, air flows much faster and consequently the pressure is less. On the lower surface, there is a much larger surface area, which leads to a higher pressure on the lower side than on the upper side. In an aircraft, this would cause a lift but since the blades are constrained by the hub at the centre this causes rotation and hence the conversion of the wind’s kinetic energy into mechanical energy.
The mechanical energy of the rotor blades is converted to electricity by a generator. Remember the difference between a generator and a motor; a generator converts mechanical energy to electrical energy whereas a motor converts electrical energy to mechanical energy. There are two types of wind turbines; the horizontal axis wind turbine and the vertical axis wind turbine.
A wind farm engineer will have to optimize power by varying the space between wind turbines while at the same time making sure that he does not use too much of the land. Space will play a role because as wind hits a turbine, it will become less turbulent and loose its energy and hence their will be less energy available for the downstream wind turbines.
On the other hand spacing them too much apart will lead to uneconomical use of land with no apparent increase in the power output. A wind turbine is actually fairly easy to construct and you can make one right in your homestead and save on the power bills from the energy utility and at the same time save our planet. You don’t have to be Al Gore to do that.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com by Collins_Okango
Energy Alternatives – Wind Energy
By Owen Jones
I am certain that you would like to get off the electricity grid.
Who would not like to put a halt to those growing monthly bills? The problem is that no one is stepping up to the plate to tell us how to do it. Politicians are just starting to ring the alarm bells even though they have known about the forecasted oil shortage for decades – just as we all have.
The difference is that we are not being paid to make the right decisions for the country like they are. We look to our elected representatives for guidance, but there is not much forthcoming. Yes, there are a few grants on hand for the installation of alternative energy sources, but they will only benefit the middle and upper classes who can afford them anyway. They will also benefit the companies that sell these goods, because they will get their asking price from the state, which will pay with poor people’s taxes. Lovely!
Where are the government hand-outs (not money) showing people how they can make and install their own solar panels and wind turbines without having to make somebody else rich by doing so? Surely, if the government were serious about sustainable energy, it would have worked out a way to allow ordinary people to help themselves?
You can actually construct a fairly effective wind turbine from scrapyard parts and components from a DIY store like Radio Shack. But no politician is telling you that. They want you to spend $45,000 on a green system and even better if you put it on your credit card or overdraft.
The reason why you should consider making your own wind turbine is that you can almost certainly get the parts for less than $500. It sounds like a huge saving and believe me, it is, but you will have to do a great deal of work to do yourself, instead of lying back and watching a contractor do it for you. But I guess that you realized that already, eh?
I know that ‘building your own wind turbine’ sounds fantastic, out of the normal person’s league, but in a way that is because we have become too focused. When asked your job, you might say that you are a data enterer of a maths teacher, a miner or a writer, but that is NOT all that you are and certainly not all that you could be.
Take a deep breath and buy some drawings to construct a wind turbine or, if that is too daunting a solar panel. Believe me, once you have built one, the next one is far easier and the icing on the cake, is when your energy device is standing there, hooked up to your home electricity supply and giving you a bit of freedom from the grid.
It will inspire you to make another one and become even more independent and, who knows, you may even stop what you are doing now and build units for your neighbours. you may become an eco-warrior!
Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with a favourite subject – alternative power sources. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com by Owen Jones