What is wind power? How is it generated?
Wind is a form of solar power. The uneven topography of the earth, its rotational movement and the uneven distribution of heat amongst the different layers of the atmosphere result in differential heating of the earth’s surface. This makes some parts warmer than the others. Like, the equator is always hotter compared to the cold, snow covered poles. The hot air from the warmer zones becomes less dense, light and thus rises up. This upwardly movement of the hot air creates a vacuum which is immediately filled up by the cold and heavy air from the cooler parts. The movement of air caused in this phenomenon is called wind and is essentially a form of energy called kinetic energy. This kinetic energy is captured and harvested by modern techniques as wind energy. And the conversion of this wind energy into a reusable form like electricity is called wind power.
Wind power: The global magnate
To realize the potential of wind power regeneration and application, we first need to understand wind as a resource. Pondering the subject will give us a clear idea about the whole phenomenon. Different surfaces of the earth like the water bodies, land, mountains etc. have different propensities of absorbing sunlight. And there exists a constant temperature difference between the poles and the equator. All of these factors result in the upwardly movement of the hot air and eventually the movement of the cooler air to fill up the vacuum created. Therefore, wind can easily be called the earth’s circulatory system distributing the energy from the cooler regions to the comparatively hotter realms. This energy can be machinated and harnessed by modern methods and transformed into mechanical energy or electricity as required. However, the principal application of this wind power is generating electricity that provides nearly 1% of the world wide requirement of electric power.
development of wind energy conversion systems has seen
quite a rapid growth in the last few years across the
How does wind power work?
Wind energy as mentioned above is machinated my modern methods into the desirable form of energy like mechanical energy or electrical energy. The wind energy generator that is deployed for converting wind energy into mechanical energy is called a wind mill and that used for generating electricity is called a wind energy turbine. To understand how does wind energy work we need to ponder the wind turbine mechanism. A wind energy turbine uses advanced design principles and high technology materials to convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity. A typical wind turbine consists of two or three propeller blades like that of an aircraft. The blades are fitted so as to move in the direction of the wind. The movement of the blades mechanically turns a shaft which is linked to a generator that produces the electric power. Wind turbines of various power ratings are available according to the field of application like high power rated turbines for national and provincial networks whereas low power turbines for household purpose. The power ratings are again dependent on the available amount of wind in a particular area. Thus according to the rule, “the energy in the wind is directly proportional to the cube of the wind speed” it is clear that a stronger wind indicates greater wind energy.
Wind power: the ultimate power
Wind power in the true sense can be regarded as the ultimate power thanks to the innumerable advantages its usage offers to this environment conscious world. Wind, as a resource is absolutely free and has an uninterrupted supply and can be renewed ‘n’ number of times. The environment friendly wind energy generators, unlike the conventional power plants do not emit any air pollutants or greenhouse gases. Economically also the wind energy plants are much cheaper as compared to the conventional power plants since the former has a minimal life-cycle cost like no fuel purchasing and minimum operating expenses. Thanks to all these benefits, the ultimate power is gaining more and more popularity by every passing year.