Wind power is the process in which mechanical and electrical power is captured and generated by the wind. Amazing right? If you are like most, you are likely to have plenty of questions about this renewable energy source.
To help you understand more about how this method of power generation can benefit users and the environment, we’ve collected some of the most frequently asked questions about wind power and the most cohesive answers. Here’s what you need to know:
1. What Is Wind Energy And How Is It Captured?
Wind energy is captured through the use of wind turbines with massive propellers – similar to aircraft blades – that turn as they are blown by the wind. This turning movement powers an electric generator which collects and stores an electric current that will be used for energy distribution and consumer use.
These wind turbines resemble traditional farm windmills. There are multiple turbines grouped together and tied to a single power plant to generate bulk electrical power. This will then be distributed into the local utility grid and distributed to customers just like conventional power plants.
2. How Big Are Wind Turbines?
Wind turbines come in a variety of sizes that can serve a number of consumer needs. The largest blade span can be larger than the length of a football field and stand more than 20 stories high. This size of turbine can generate enough power to produce electricity for as many as 1,400 homes.
Smaller turbines may have a blade span of 8 – 25 feet and stand up to 30 feet high. This smaller type of wind turbine can fully supply the needed power for a single home or small business.
3. What Are Wind Turbines Made Of?
No matter what size turbine, these wind powered electrical generating machines are made of a few simple components:
- rotor (part that rotates in the wind)
- electrical generator
- speed-control system
4. What Are The Advantages of Wind Power?
There are multiple public opinion surveys that consistently show how wind- and other renewable energy forms are significantly preferred over conventional methods of energy generation. Wind energy is considered a renewable resource, and there’s no cost associated, so no matter how much is used – the supply of wind will remain the same.
Wind energy is also a great source for clean, non-polluting, electric energy. This type of power plant will emit no air pollutants or greenhouse gases during electrical power production either.
5. Will Production of Wind Power Negatively Affect The Environment?
While wind power plants have a relatively small impact on the environment when compared to conventional fossil fuel power plants, there are a few concerns. Most of these concerns have been solved or significantly reduced due to technological developments and well-thought-out placement of wind farms. Environmental impacts can include:
- Bird and bat mortality rates
- Noise produced by rotor blades in motion
- Aesthetic and visual impacts