Introduction to wind power energy :
Wind power energy is basically the conversion of wind energy into some useful form of energy. It can either be converted to electrical energy or mechanical energy. For example: Wind turbines convert energy of the wind into electrical energy. Also, in the olden days, there used to be wind mills that used to convert the wind energy directly into mechanical energy. Sail boats are also an excellent example to see the conversion of wind energy into mechanical energy.
Wind Power Energy to Mechanical Energy:
One of the vastly used forms of wind energy in the olden days was the mechanical energy. Right from the wind mills to sail boats all used to run on wind energy.
Sail boats have tall sails that are adjustable according to the wind direction. The wind actually propels the boat in the desired direction. In the ancient times, sailors used to use sail boats and sail ships to navigate in the sea.
Wind mills also use the wind energy to convert into mechanical energy which grinds grains in the mills. This has been a very old practice and is still practiced in some places. These wind mills convert the energy of the wind to rotational energy (mechanical energy) by means of adjustable vanes called sails. This rotational energy is accordingly converted to horizontal or vertical form to grind grains, saw wood etc.
Wind Power Energy to Electrical Energy (Electricity):
Wind energy can also be used to produce electricity. We know that, in today’s time electricity is the most important and needed thing for man. Electricity is used vastly in all fields, from running factories to running small household appliances. Before it was found that wind can be used to produce electricity, we used to be dependent on thermal and hydel power plants.
Wind energy is converted to electricity using the wind turbines. Wind turbine is nothing but a rotary device that extracts energy from the wind. It is similar to a generator used in thermal and hydel power plants. Wind turbine basically can be divided into 3 parts:
Rotor component that includes the blades for converting wind energy to low speed rotational energy.
The generator component that includes the electrical generator and a gear box which converts the low speed incoming rotation to high speed rotation suitable for generating electricity.
The structural support component which includes the tower to support the blades and mechanical parts.
Advantages of Wind Power Energy
The advantages of wind power energy are:
It is ample and so is widely available anywhere in the globe.
It is very cheap.
It doesn’t cause pollution.
It is also a permanent type of energy.
It uses a renewable source of energy.
Disadvantages of Wind Power Energy:
There are also some disadvantages of the wind power energy:
It has very high initial installation cost.
Winds can never be predicted and hence one completely can’t depend on wind power energy as the energy produced may be variable.
Also, wind power energy farms are far away from the cities and hence some critics say it increases the transmission cost to the grids.
Conversion of wind energy
Wind energy system transforms the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical or electrical energy which can be harnessed for practical use.
The energy from wind is created by the turbines and these wind turbines are large poles that feature that feature a three bladed turning mechanism which can be rotated by the wind.
The conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy is called wind power and the uses of wind energy include using wind turbines to make electricity, wind mills for mechanical power, wind pumps for pumping water or drainage, or sails to propel ships.
Wind energy is an alternative to fossil fuels is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean and produces no green house gas emissions during operation.
The electricity produced from wind power can be highly variable at different time scales from hour to hour, daily and seasonally.
advantages and disadvantages of wind energy
Major advantage of wind energy is that it is ample and wind energy is renewable. Wind energy is widely distributed, cheap and also reduces toxic gas emissions. It is also said to diminish the greenhouse effect. It is the cheapest way to produce energy on large scale.
Disadvantages of wind energy are It depends on the wind in an area and therefore it is a variable source of energy. Therefore in areas where large amount of wind energy is needed, one cannot depend completely on wind.
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