Wind Energy Guide

What is Wind Power?
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As air moves, giving rise to wind, it develops kinetic energy like any other mass that gets into motion. With the help of appropriate technology, this kinetic energy of wind can be harnessed and converted to different forms of energy that include mechanical and electrical power. This is what is referred to as wind power. Wind power is also a variation of solar power since it is primarily caused due to the solar heat warming the earth’s surface. As the rays of the sun hit the earth, all the regions are heated up (unequally) that include different parts of the terrain as well as the oceans. When one particular region gets more heated than its neighboring location, the air above it becomes lighter and goes up, creating a temporary low pressure area there. As a result, the surrounding cool air rushes in to fill up the void. Known as Thermal, this is how storm conditions are brewed and the wind develops its power.

What Is Wind Power


This power of the wind was known to us since the earliest days when we utilized it to propel sailing boats first and then large seagoing sailing vessels that roamed freely all over the oceans. In fact, veteran sailors were so enamored of the wind’s driving power that some seasonal winds were given colloquial names like the Trade Wind, Continental Wind, Roaring Forties, etc. The great explorer, Christopher Columbus was so sure of wind power that he sailed confidentially for more than a month at a stretch before his men could locate land.


Wind power was also utilized by our ancestors in the form of windmills for grinding corn and drawing water. Instances of such crude mechanical mills were abundant in Persia in 200 BC while in Rome they were commonly used as early as in 250 AD. While more than 2500 windmills were used in Denmark during 1900 for crushing corn and pumping water, windmills helped farming and ranching in North America to a great extent. Expansion of rail transport system throughout the world was also partly possible on account windmills as they were extensively used in pumping water for the early steam locomotives.


However, wind power was first utilized for generating electricity by Prof. James Blyth of Glasgow who did it with the help of a cloth sailed wind turbine which was installed on a 33 feet high tower in his holiday cottage in July 1887. Although it provided adequate electricity to light up his lovely cottage for quite sometime, the project was eventually abandoned as people in those days considered electricity as “the work of the devil”. Similar fate awaited Charles F. Bush of Cleveland, OH who had built a sturdier wind turbine that supplied power from 1887 till the beginning of 1900 when the turbine fell into disuse as electricity was freely available from Cleveland’s central power stations.


The scenario however, started changing sometime later when The New York Times ran an article entitled “Homespun Electricity, From the Wind” in which the writer profiled several success stories in praise of residential wind energy for generation of electricity. It contained, among others, accounts of how Rena Wilson and her husband had taken advantage of the gusts of wind blowing through their estate near Urbana, Illinois by erecting a 56-feet high wind turbine. The overjoyed couple was in high spirits to observe that that their electricity bills had dropped for $90 to $10 immediately after the turbine started spinning.


Today, wind energy is labeled as a safe and clean energy and it is utilized by many Americans to generate electricity for home use while large wind parks have started providing power to the national grid. It certainly seems like wind power is the future. Personal wind power is great news because on the one hand it is clean and good for the environment, and on the other, it saves you on your power bills. But cheap wind power is even better. It is the right move to install such a system because of the tremendous advantages. But before you can gain from cheap wind power, you need to know a few things such as where to buy cheap parts from, safety precautions, choosing the best location and wiring the system.

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