Wind Energy and Wind Power
Wind is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and rotation of the earth.
Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth’s terrain, bodies of water, and vegetative cover.
This wind flow, or motion energy, when “harvested” by modern wind turbines, can be used to generate electricity.
How Wind Power Is Generated
The terms “wind energy” or “wind power” describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity.
Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. 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 to power homes, businesses, schools, and the like.
Wind turbines, like aircraft propeller blades, turn in the moving air and power an electric generator that supplies an electric current.
Simply stated, a wind turbine is the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity.
The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity.
Creating Electricity from Wind
To create electricity from wind the shaft of the turbine must be connected to a generator. The generator uses the turning motion of the shaft to rotate a rotor which has oppositely charge magnets and is surrounded by copper wire loops.
Electromagnetic induction is created by the rotor spinning around the inside of the core, generating electricity.
WIND POWER BENEFITS
Wind energy is a source of renewable energy. It does not contaminate, it is inexhaustible and reduces the use of fossil fuels, which are the origin of greenhouse gasses that cause global warming. In addition, wind energy is a “native” energy, because it is available practically everywhere on the plant, which contributes to reducing energy imports and to creating wealth and local employment.For these reasons, producing electricity through wind energy and its efficient use contributes to sustainable development.
Wind energy does not emit toxic substances or contaminants into the air, which can be very damaging to the environment and to human beings. Toxic substances can acidify land and water ecosystems, and corrode buildings. Air contaminants can trigger heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases like asthma.
Wind energy does not generate waste or contaminate water—an extremely important factor given the scarcity of water. Unlike fossil fuels and nuclear power plants, wind energy has one of the lowest water-consumption footprints, which makes it a key for conserving hydrological resources.
Wind energy benefits
- Renewable energy
- Not pollutant
- Reduces the use of fossil fuels
- Reduces energy imports
- Creates wealth and local employment
- Contributes to sustainable development