Intriguing Wind Energy Facts

wind energy facts

Wind Energy Facts

The wind is an inexhaustible ecological source of energy whose global potential far exceeds the world’s electricity needs. Wind power is instantaneous, the most economical renewable energy source.

The depletion of fossil reserves fuels and environmental problems caused by their exploitation has led in the early 1990s until the return of wind turbine use. The development trends of the use of wind power are optimistic in all variants.

Below, read more about historical, basic, as well as lesser-known wind energy facts.

Wind energy facts through history

Now for some fun facts about wind energy.

The oldest known depiction of the use of wind power on an Egyptian vase depicting sailing ship dates from 3,500 BC.

The modern wind turbine with a horizontal shaft and vertical blades originated in Europe around 1100. These first wind turbines used sails instead of rotors. Smaller versions of this design still use today to extract water in rural communities around the world.

The first known wind turbine to produce electricity was a vertical shaft wind turbine designed in 1887 by Scottish Professor James Blyth of Glasgow. It was 18 m high, the rotor was 17 m in diameter, and produced 12kW.

The first attempt to generate electricity using wind power in the us is attributed to Charles F. Brush from Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Its wind turbine had the same characteristics as Blythe’s, with the difference that it had a horizontal shaft and more blades.

The modern design of the wind turbine, with three blades on top of a high, closed tower, called the Dutch concept. The prototype made by Johannes Juul in 1956 worked for eleven years without maintenance.

The oil crisis in 1973 and 1979 increased American interest in wind power. As early as 1980, the United States was considered one of the world’s leaders in wind technology. But during the 1990s, interest eased with falling oil prices.

The United States today took the lead in wind energy production after China, followed by Germany, India, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Canada, and Italy.

Basic wind energy facts

Wind power

Wind power is a form of solar energy. The heat emitted by the Sun heats the Earth in some places more than in others. The earth heats the air above it, creating pockets of warmer and colder air. Warmer air rises and colder air flows to fill the space. This is how the wind creates.

Local winds – occur in the ground layer of the atmosphere and result from local differences in atmospheric pressure. Mountain winds appear because of the warming of the sunny sides of the mountain. The wind power is higher at the top than at the bottom. 

Sea winds occur as a result of the temperature difference between the sea and the land. The best position for sea winds is the open sea, but the cost of installation and energy portability is too high.

Global winds – are the result of different warming of air masses in the Earth’s atmosphere. At the equator, the air heats up faster than at the poles, so this difference in temperature creates winds.

To get maximum efficiency, it is necessary to determine the micro-location. This is the location where wind power is greatest, where the wind turbine could convert most of that energy into a usable form. 

Wind power depends on wind speed and air density, which is affected by temperature, pressure air, and altitude.

Now, wind energy has proven to be the most serious renewable energy source achieved in technology development.

The main reasons for this are a large amount of energy, the possibility of converting it into electricity using wind turbines, falling prices of wind turbines and related equipment in proportion to the growing use of wind energy, ecologically clean way of converting energy, low land occupancy.

Facts about wind energy

Wind power technology

The wind turbine turns the kinetic energy of the air moving (wind) using the rotor blades, the transmission mechanism, and an electric generator into electricity.

Today’s wind turbines use sophisticated aerodynamics to achieve maximum efficiency. Integrated instruments monitor both wind speed and direction, as well as how the steering motor turns the turbine towards the wind.

The propellers can also rotate at their base to get maximum energy from the prevailing winds.

Most wind turbine blades made of fiberglass or a mixture of wood and epoxy, and the towers made of stainless steel.

Today, there are thousands of wind turbine designs that use both vertical and horizontal axes.

How big should a wind turbine be?

A balance needs between the energy that can create by the power of local winds and the costs of construction, transport, and installation. Larger wind turbines produce more electricity, but you should not spend money on a turbine that is too big for the wind power.

How high should the wind turbine be?

The height of the wind turbine tower must be at least half the diameter of the rotor (otherwise it will hit the ground during the first rotation of the propeller). Usually, the optimal height is from 1 to 1.5 sizes of the rotor diameter.

Higher towers raise the propellers higher, where the wind is stronger and more stable, but when it comes to aesthetics, people prefer the look of wind turbines whose tower height is approximately equal to the diameter of the rotor.

Where do wind turbines work best?

Once installed, modern turbines are 98% reliable, meaning they have an average of only 2% downtime. Wind turbines work best in places where there is little that could interfere with the free movement of the wind – in open valleys, hilltops, mountain pastures, and on the high seas.

Wind energy in the United States

wind turbine

The United States, for example, has many potential locations for wind turbines along its shores. Further information can be gain from U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The wind will never create 100% of our electricity because the wind does not always blow. This also applies to solar energy that not generates during the night. This does not mean that we will always need fossil fuel because green sources such as hydro and biofuel can provide the reserve.

Lesser-known wind energy fun facts

  • Wind energy provides more jobs than any energy technology. Each megawatt of new wind energy capacity creates 15-19 new jobs. But, the wind will, of course, always be free.
  • When we compare the energy recovery for different fuel sources (the amount of energy produced compared to the amount of energy used to produce that energy) wind farms have a recovery of 17-39 times more than energy consumption.
  • Although the wind is unpredictable, most wind turbines are set to generate 65-90% of the time. As wind speeds change, they do not always work with 100% efficiency. However, wind movements speed up during the day and slow down during the night, which is like the pattern of normal daily energy consumption.
  • Wind energy is the safest technologies for energy production. In about 25 years of intensive work and with over 70,000 turbines installed around the world, no one injured during the normal operation of wind turbines.
  • Within a radius of 300 m, the average wind turbine makes as much noise as a refrigerator. It is a different story when you stand 300 m from a classic power plant.
  • Wind turbines cause a flickering shadow effect that can bother you. This effect occurs when the rising or setting sun passes directly behind a moving wind turbine.

This possibility takes into account when planning the installation site. Flickering is an inconvenience, but it has never really hurt anyone.

  • Wind power planner’s work with environmentalists to ensure that wind turbines are not on the migration route or in bird and bat habitats. There are real concerns about minimizing the potential adverse impact.

Every form of human technology affects the environment and our society. We mustn’t subject wind energy to the standard of absolute environmental perfection.

It is also very important to limit blasting, oil drilling, industry by-products, tanker spills, oil spills, storage explosions, unavoidable smog, and greenhouse gas emissions as normal side effects of the fossil fuel industry.

Thank you for reading this far, I hope that you have enjoyed these wind energy facts, now read my Wind Energy Advantages and Disadvantages article.

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