Do you live in a windy area? If so, you may be able to tap into a clean, renewable energy source to produce power for domestic consumption. In fact, wind energy as a source of power has been in use since 200 B.C. Today, electricity from wind is generated when wind powered turbines rotate due to wind blowing. The turbines then generate the electricity necessary to power homes, businesses, farms, and buildings.
In order to generate significant amounts of electricity, you will see a large number of wind turbines placed near each other. Thus, creating what is called a wind farm.
Some wind farms are offshore, meaning they have been planted/installed on the ocean floor a few miles off the coast, in what is still the continental shelf. Which would be in shallow depths. The wind turbines are interconnected, and the electricity that is generated is then transmitted back to land through undersea power cables.
How Clean Is Wind Power?
Wind power is among the cleanest and safest renewable energy sources. The production of wind energy doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment, since no toxic chemicals are used in its production. In addition, wind power generation doesn’t produce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, wind energy does not contribute to global warming.
Types of Wind Power Turbines
Electricity from wind power is generated using wind turbines. Most home scale wind turbines work by using permanent magnet generators. There are 3 basic types of wind towers used for domestic wind electric systems, namely:
• Free standing towers
• Tilt up towers
• Fixed guyed towers
Uses of Wind Power
Off grid wind power system
Off-grid wind power electric system uses some batteries and usually includes solar electric array and a back up generator. This system should provide all electrical energy because utility electricity power will not be available or desired. It means that this wind power system will significantly produce more energy than what is used. The excess energy keeps battery bank charged because there are times when wind is in excess producing extra energy that cannot be used.
Wind generated energy can lower your monthly electric bills significantly, by up to 50-90%. You can use wind power for lighting and powering devices and appliances at home. The average monthly consumption of electricity at homes is between 1,000 to 2,000 kilowatt hours. Depending on the average wind speed in your area, you can use a wind turbine in the range of 5-15 kilowatts to generate electricity.
Wind-electric water pumping
Wind electric water pumping couples a wind generator to an electric pump mostly through electronics. This is a viable type of system when there is a need for water pumping in windy areas. This need is mostly served by water pumping windmill (wind mechanical) equipment together with solar electric systems. The reason is that there are few complete system packages for this kind of application. Direct heating systems are possible but basically, end user want to use their systems for more than just heating. The heat might also be ‘idle’ at some moments because it is not required round the clock all year.
Wind energy products
There are many products designed to showcase the advantages of using wind power as a renewable energy source. Wind powered lights are an example of such products, mostly designed for garden use. Rather than turn wind power to light for electricity, wind powered garden lights will store the electricity generated in a battery. Which allows you to use the power generated at a later time. Or at a time when there is little to no wind.
Another example are wind powered chargers. These are hand held wind generators that permit storage of wind energy. You can then use the stored power to recharge devices like mobile phones.
As you can see, wind power has it’s many advantages, among other renewable energy sources. In that it’s clean, safe, abundant, and has zero carbon emissions.
One drawback is that it’s expensive to install wind turbines at home for domestic power consumption. Thankfully, there are many technological advances today that are lowering the cost for consumers. Thus, paving the way for more widespread use and installation by the public.