Wind energy is the energy generated using the abundantly available wind in the atmosphere. It is a renewable source of energy that is available sufficiently and can power millions of homes at once. The uneven heating on the earth’s surface by the sun causes wind that contain kinetic energy due to its motion. Making use of this kind of energy will reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources like fossil fuels, that will positively have a drastic impact on the environment. Wind energy is generated with the help of wind turbines, where its kinetic energy is converted into mechanical form to produce electricity. There are three types of wind energy.
- Utility-scale wind: Wind turbines that generate 100KW to megawatts of electricity, which is then transferred to the grids to the power operators
- Distributed wind: Wind turbines that generate less than 100KW of power, that is directly installed to power homes and small businesses.
- Offshore wind: They’re the one that is installed in the middle of the water body or off the shore that develops massive amounts of power.
Working of Wind Turbines
The wind contains kinetic energy that is collected by the turbine blades of the wind turbine, which causes a lift in the blades and inturn spins the blades which connected to a shaft, that produces electricity due to the blades’ rotational motion. A gearing system connected to the shaft increases the intensity of these rotations and generates a higher intensity of power.
Nowadays, these wind turbines are installed in the outskirts of a city or higher elevated areas, which is called a wind farm. Ideal conditions to install the wind turbines require a minimum wind speed of 9mph for medium to mall sized turbines and 13mph for utility turbines.
How we get the energy
All turbines are connected so that the electricity generated can be easily transported to more massive transmission lines and can travel across longer distances without much loss. This is done with the help of power grids. The electricity is stored in power grids and distributed across the city by power operators. They are transmitted with the help of distribution lines or network transmission lines, and hence ensuring every home and every building receives an abundance of electricity throughout the day for 365 days.
Association with the environment
Wind energy is one of the renewable forms of energy; that has proved its efficiency for ages now. Wind energy for electricity has only seen drastic improvements over the years. However, one crucial aspect of hampering production is the intermittency of wind. A key metric used to gauge its production is the capacity factor, which is the maximum capacity of the wind in one-year v/s the amount produced for that particular year and 90% of the times it is proved to be successful.
Due to the large scale benefits by wind energy, many countries are facing funding for the betterment of the system. According to a report, in 2016, over 950 billion KW of power was produced solely by wind energy in 128 countries.