Meaning of wind energy: Its sources; Nature of the main wind energy conversion systems
Several factors related to the environment can combine to transform solar energy into wind. The surface of the planet earth is, by nature, not uniform. These uneven earth terrains can only be unequally warmed up by the sun. As a natural consequence, some places on the planet remain cooler than certain other areas. The air in the warm regions weighs less due to lower density levels. Hence, it begins to move up. The void hence created gets soon taken up by the colder, denser air that rushes in from the local areas. This type of motion in air produces a type of kinetic energy (or motional energy). Wind energy can be acquired by properly processing this kinetic energy by completely updated machines. Wind energy turbines and wind mills are the two wind energy conversion systems that are most commonly in use.
The different wind energy conversion systems
Mechanical energy or electrical power can be obtained from properly treating wind energy, by the wind energy generators, according to the specific requirements. Two such generators have been named above. Electricity is obtained from wind energy by using wind turbines. Wind mills can process wind resources to generate mechanical energy. Which one of the two conversion systems is more efficient, or can cut down costs more can be deduced from an in-depth study of these systems.
The way of working of wind turbines is rather easy. A normal wind turbine generally has two to three blades. These blades are put up to a rotor, which is then implanted on to a main shaft. The shaft, in turn, is attached to an electric generator. When the latter starts to move, electric power starts to get produced. Wind turbines that are supposed to generated electricity are usually put up on raised sites that are about 30 meters (or, 100 feet) raised from the ground level. A desirable quantity of electricity can be obtained from these turbines, since the latter get less roiling winds (with greater velocities) at those sites. The number of blades of a windmill is, on the other hand, the most crucial determinant of the efficiency of the latter devices. The ability to produce outputs also varies with the speed at which wind blows in an area. Tjaskers, wind pumps are some of the types of windmills (differentiated on the basis of their functions). Tjaskers are used to pump up water from places which need a smaller head. On the same token, wind pumps are those wind mills that are used in wells or drainage areas for pumping out water. The water thus obtained can be used by human beings. The cattle can also drink this water. A comparative study of the couple of wind energy conversion systems mentioned above is often required to find their efficiency and relative cost levels.
Pros and cons of using wind energy conversion systems
The popularity of wind energy system is currently on a consistent upward trend. The fact that, it uses a free source of fuel - the wind, which is also easily renewable, is a significant cause of this growing popularity. Nor do these systems, unlike their fossil fuel plant predecessors, emit environmentally damaging greenhouse gases that can pollute the atmosphere. Hence, the risks of acid rains or damage of the layers of the layers of the atmosphere (by the greenhouse gases) disappear when these wind energy conversion systems are used. These systems generally are put up on ranches in rural areas, for the best performance. The supply of wind is abundant as well, with no chances of exhaustion as long as the sun remains present. Economic practicality is another advantage of these wind energy units, since farmers can continue earning a steady flow of income from the land they take on lease for setting up these energy units. The wind power units take up only a tiny section of this land, making such income generation possible all round the year.
Despite there are manifold benefits of these wind energy systems, the latter has a notable downside too. Wind flow is an involuntary phenomenon which can be rather irregular, not reaching the required places within the scheduled time. Also, these wind energy units should ideally be built at sites located far away from posh areas. Thus, the places that actually need the electricity from these plants might not get it.
However, this disadvantage has not come in the way of the wind energy plants becoming increasingly popular all over the world. Indeed the present day world needs an energy source that can sustain the atmosphere and can be renewed.
It is simply impossible to remain unaware of the innumerable benefits of wind energy conversion systems. It is recommended that you set up such a system at your home, after learning about them from a manual. Such a manual would have detailed stepwise instructions on the installation of the system, the wiring patterns used, the places where cheap components, along with free batteries, can be found, and the necessary safeguards. You will also get to know which part of the home would be ideal for installing the system. Once correctly installed, these wind energy conversion systems give off multifarious financial and ecological benefits.