How Wind Power Works
How is wind power harvested?
Wind power is actually a form of solar power, because wind is caused by heat from the sun. Solar radiation heats every part of the earth's surfaces but not at the same time. Different surfaces such as sand, water, stone and various types of soil, all absorb, retain, reflect and release heat at different rates.
How is wind converted into electricity?
Wind power is produced by using wind generators to harness the kinetic energy of wind. It is gaining worldwide popularity as a large scale energy source, although it still only provides less than one percent of global energy consumption.
Advantages of wind power
- The wind is free and with modern technology it can be captured efficiently.
- Once the wind turbine is built, the energy it produces does not cause green house gases or other pollutants.
- Many people find wind farms an interesting feature of the landscape.
- Remote areas that are not connected to the electricity power grid can use wind turbines to produce their own supply.
- Wind turbines are available in a range of sizes which means a vast range of people and businesses can use them. Single households to small towns and villages can make good use of range of wind turbines available today.
Disadvantages of wind power
- The strength of the wind is not constant and it varies from zero to storm force. This means that wind turbines produce the same amount of electricity all the time.
- Many people feel that the countryside should be left untouched, without these large structures being built, so that it can be left in it's natural form.
- Wind turbines are noisy, each one can generate the same level of noise as a family car traveling at 70 mph.
- Large wind farms are needed to provide entire communities with enough electricity, for example, the largest single turbine available today can only provide enough electricity for 475 homes, when running at full capacity.