Different types of renewable energies are helping us in generating electrical and heat energy. Wind energy is also a kind of renewable energy which produces wind power with help of wind turbines and windmills etc. Wind power is serving today as an alternate solution to fossil fuels but is more clean, widely distributed and plentiful. This source of power does not release harmful gases while generating electrical energy and also consume little area of land. In large wind farms several hundreds of wind turbines are installed to generate electricity and transmit it to the network.
How wind power served?
Wind power is part of sailing ships from many years and same structure was used by architects for purpose of ventilation in buildings as well. But use of wind to get mechanical power was thought quite late by a Greek engineer Heron of Alexandria. In 9th century for the firs time in history practically windmills were used which spread soon in neighbor countries where it were used to pump seawater for purpose of salt making. Further development in water-pumping windmills was made in US that contributed in expansion of rail transport systems around the world.
In late 18th century a Scottish academic, Professor James Blyth, build wind turbine to produce electricity from it. This experiment became a milestone for development of wind power generator which powered homes in small offices later on. In 1890s, Poul la Cour invented wind turbine to generate electricity but it was use to produce hydrogen and oxygen as well.
Fast rotating wind turbine with rotor blades was invented by him as well. The biggest step was vertical axis wind turbine which influences the design of many turbines later. Till 21st century wind power became major one of the major source to generate electrical power.
How wind power works?
There are two types of wind farms, offshore and onshore. Offshore wind farms are capable to harness more powerful and frequent winds while onshore can bear less impact of wind. With difference in types, construction cost of each of them also varies. Offshore farms provide electricity to large areas while small onshore facilitate isolated locations. According to a research more than 2.5% of total electricity was produced through wind power worldwide. The cost of generating electricity with wind power is less then cost for natural gases and coal etc.
|Offshore wind turbine||Onshore wind turbine
Today wind turbines use wind power to generate electricity which are mounted on a high tower so that they can capture maximum energy of air pressure. The best hight is 100 feet from ground to place a turbine because it gives advantage of faster and less turbulent wind. Propeller like two to three blades are used in turbines to catch the wind energy mounted to a shaft. When wind blows, a pocket of low-pressure air forms on the downwind side of the blade which pulls the blade towards and cause rotor to turn. The force generated in this procedure use to be stronger than actual force of wind and it causes the blades to lift and drag.
Combination of lifts and drags make rotor able to spin like propeller and help generator in making electricity. Turbines are installed individually but they can be linked to a power grid of PV cells system to generate electricity. Many electricity providers around the world are using wind power to supply electricity to customers.
Future power harvest:
Wind power is not going to be limited to turbines only, in future we can expect some new and innovative technologies to generate electricity from wind power. Flying wind farms can be seen as an emerging idea in future as told by NASA. They are planning to build airborne turbines in space with high altitude sending power via nano-tubes to earth. This idea is gathering reserves for implementation and soon we will hear something new about it.