The Power of the Wind
What is wind power, how does it work, and how can it be best utilized? Learn the basic information you need to know about wind power, as well as its advantages and disadvantages.
Wind power may be invisible to the eye, but it can potent when correctly harnessed.
Wind has been a source of energy for a long time. It was used by the Chinese and by the Babylonians 4,000 years ago, to power pumps for irrigation. In The Middle Ages, Europeans use windmills to grind corn.
At present, wind power can be harnessed to produce electricity.
This is basically done by erecting a tall tower, with a propeller on top. The wind makes the propeller rotate, and the rotating mechanisms then generate electricity.
A wind farm is an area with several such towers operating, which, combined, produce enough energy to provide power to a whole area. The more wind towers there are, the more electricity is produced.
Location is key to maintaining a productive wind farm. The area should have steady, strong winds, blowing at all times. Ideal regions include coastal areas, open plains, hills tops, and mountain gaps. Some wind farms are located offshore. The average wind velocity should be approximately 25 km per hour.
Aside from the location, the size of the propeller is an essential factor as well. The bigger the propeller, the larger the volume of wind that can be harnessed, in order to extract energy. The blades can be angled, so as to cope best with the wind speed.
Some wind towers are designed to turn the propeller with the direction of the wind. There designs utilize vertical turbines.
The height of the towers should also be set to the wind's strongest point. In some areas, the land below is used as farmland. That maximizes the space and productivity of the area and ensures that the land is not be wasted at all.
Pros and Cons of Using Wind Power
There are advantages as well as disadvantages to using wind power.
When the wind isn't blowing, a wind farm won't produce power. Another disadvantage is that many suitable areas have a high real estate value, especially in the case of coastal lots. Some don't like it when the wind towers block scenery, and consider windmills as eyesores. Wind generators are noisy, which can be very disturbing to some.
Wind power has its advantages as well. Some wind farms are tourist attractions and bring visitors into an area. Remote areas which are off the main energy grids can use the wind, for a supply of electricity to their communities. It is free, and the turbines don't need to be powered by fuel in order to run. It produces no damaging side effect, and emits no dangerous gases into the air.
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