Renewable Energy » Wind Energy http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org Renewable Energy Blog for news, views and opinions on Alternative Energy Sources. Wed, 01 Sep 2010 15:09:00 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.1 Could Wind Energy Be A Source For Noise Pollution? http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/09/01/could-wind-energy-be-a-source-for-noise-pollution/ http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/09/01/could-wind-energy-be-a-source-for-noise-pollution/#comments Wed, 01 Sep 2010 15:09:00 +0000 pansy http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/09/01/could-wind-energy-be-a-source-for-noise-pollution/ Increase in wind power projects near to densely populated areas has given rise to complain of homeowners who are more close to it about noise. Decibel standards have been set by state and local communities for highways, airports and wind projects. The low frequency sound of an operating wind turbine does not disturb many people. Although some people are dreadfully sound sensitive and are in a constant state of upheaval.

The issue of small island of Vinalhaven in Maine’s Penobscot Bay gain fame and attracted a lot of attention of experts from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Though a small group of people was being affected by the turbines. The group of people living within half mile of the turbines complained that the sound wind turbine is too loud but it sometimes psychologically disturbs them. These were 3 GE 1.5 MW wind turbines installed by Fox Island Wind. Vinalhaven is a rural and a very peaceful community. The affected residents also argue that the Maine state compliance levels 55 and 45 for day and night respectively are too loud for such a rural area.

noise-pollution

The residents also assert that the developer of Fox Islands Wind misinformed them while believing that the ambient sounds would cover up the turbines. The officials of Fox Islands Wind say that they are abiding by the state noise standards and they are also looking for some potential adjustments that is minimizing the cut-out of machines, installation of noise cancellation equipments in homes or changing out the parts on turbines.

Naturally, any changes made would affect the economics of the project, and the electricity for the residents may become expensive. For a community whose main occupation is fishing and which is already dealing with high cost of living, it could be a difficult pill to swallow. As the large number of residents support the project and they have no problem and the tension is between the small group affected people and the rest of the community.

45 decibel limit is lower than the standard set for airports, factories and highways and still people are living around these areas. So the reason that what makes these people so angry is that in rural areas like Vinalhaven, 45 decibels is a momentous boost in sound levels. It can considerable change the local soundscape and if the truth is not correctly communicated their maybe a raise in agitation. May be there is something in the low frequency sound of wind turbine that makes it difficult for people to listen to.

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Natural Energy Sources http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/08/17/natural-energy-sources/ http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/08/17/natural-energy-sources/#comments Tue, 17 Aug 2010 05:39:05 +0000 wynberg http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/?p=3802 Most countries of the world are trying to lessen or completely end their dependency on fossil fuel; this is because of the rising prices of fossil fuel and its pollution effects on our environment and our health, which is also contributing a great deal in the climate change and global warming. The use of natural energy for heating, electricity production and fueling purposes is gaining in popularity day by day. By investing in natural and alternative sources of energy can help reduce the burden of fossil fuel on our country’s economy. Anyone can contribute to improve the current condition of our environment by switching to an alternative or natural energy sources. Some natural energy sources are wind energy, solar energy, tidal energy. There are other renewable energy like hydrogen fuel and biomass also.

Solar energy:

Solar energy is the energy which the sun produces in the form of solar radiation. Through the use of solar panels or solar cells, the photons in the solar radiation are converted into electricity. However one disadvantage going with this form of energy is the high prices of solar panels. Large numbers of solar panels are necessary to produce a substantial amount of electricity.

Wind Energy:

Another form of natural energy is wind energy. This form of natural energy source uses a wind turbine which harnesses the power of the wind to produce electricity. In order to produce decent amount of electricity, a large wind turbine is required. These turbines are usually made from minerals obtained in an impure way but after the turbines are built, it requires no fossil fuel or minerals to run it, but may require it for its maintenance.

Wave energy:

Wave energy or tidal energy harnesses the power of the waves to run water turbines to produce electricity. This is a renewable energy source as tides go in and out the turbines.

By doing our part by switching to a natural energy source we will be taking a large step forward in the fight for a better, cleaner and safer environment for us and for our future generation.

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Wind Power Popularity Increasing http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/07/20/wind-power-popularity-increasing/ http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/07/20/wind-power-popularity-increasing/#comments Tue, 20 Jul 2010 17:58:17 +0000 pansy http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/?p=3526 Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, wind mills for mechanical power, wind pumps for pumping water or drainage, or sails to propel ships. At the end of 2009, worldwide nameplate capacity of wind-powered generators was 159.2 gigawatts. Energy production was 340 TWh, which is about 2% of worldwide electricity usage; and is growing rapidly, having doubled in the past three years.

The first use of wind energy was through wind mills. Wind mills had engines which used to produce energy using wind. This energy was usually used in rural and agricultural areas for grinding, pumping, hammering and various farm needs. Even today, wind energy is used in large scale wind farms to provide electricity to rural areas and other far reaching locations. Wind energy is being used extensively in areas like China, Denmark, Germany, Spain and in some areas of the United States of America.

Wind powering technology is regaining its popularity. There are many regions which has strong wind sources. As the production cost drops, the three-blade turbines that produced tiny volumes of electricity for remote cottages is spreading across. Large-scale wind farms are connected to the electric power transmission network; smaller facilities are used to provide electricity to isolated locations. Companies increasingly buy back surplus electricity produced by small domestic turbines.

Wind energy, is an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation. However, the construction of wind farms is not universally welcomed because of their visual impact and other effects on the environment. It not only cuts our dependence on fossil fuels, but also creates new jobs. Some advantages of wind power are as follows:

  • Wind Energy is ample and renewable.
  • Wind Energy is widely distributed, cheap, and also reducing toxic gas emissions.
  • Wind Energy is also helps to diminish the greenhouse effect.
  • It is readily available around the globe, and therefore there would be no need of dependence for energy for any country.

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Greenbird, Wind-Powered Vehicle http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/07/19/greenbird-wind-powered-vehicle/ http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/07/19/greenbird-wind-powered-vehicle/#comments Mon, 19 Jul 2010 17:00:00 +0000 pansy http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/?p=3518 Wind-powered vehicles have traditionally been associated with seafaring vehicles that, until the advent of steam engines, relied primarily upon winds which were used to drive the sails of such vehicles to their destinations. However, terrestrial sail-based wind propulsion in the form of land sailing and land windsurfing are also popular recreational activities. Wind-powered electric vehicles primarily use wind-turbines installed at a strategic point of the vehicle, which are then converted into electric energy which causes the vehicle to propel.

A terrestrial wind-powered electric vehicle includes Ventomobile. The “Ventomobile” is a solely wind powered lightweight three wheeler. This design is used by Mercedes-Benz Formula Zero, as well as the Greenbird. Greenbird currently holds a world record for fastest Wind powered vehicle. This vehicle is designed and piloted by “Richard Jenkins”, which broke the land speed world record for a wind-powered vehicle in 2009.

It is described as a “very high performance sailboat” which uses solid wing, rather than a sail, to generate movement. The shape of the craft, especially at such high speeds, the wings also provide lift; which is a useful trait for an aircraft, but very risky for a car. To reimburse for this, the designers have added small wings to “stick” the car to the ground, in the same way as Formula 1 cars do.

Greenbird weighs 600kg when it’s standing still. However at speed, the effect of the wings makes her weigh just over a tone. Greenbird broke world record while reaching the amazing speed of 126.1 mph (202.9 km/h or 109.6 knots) on the hard-pan of the Nevada desert in 2009, which was previously held by American Bob Schumacher, who hit the speed of 116 mph back in 1999 on his vehicle Iron Duck. Jenkins spent 10 years to design Greenbird.

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What Is Wind Energy http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/07/13/what-is-wind-energy/ http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/07/13/what-is-wind-energy/#comments Tue, 13 Jul 2010 18:08:00 +0000 Farah http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/?p=3487 Wind energy is just like the concept of solar energy, where the latter uses the energy provided by the sun and the former converts the wind into usable energy. Wind energy is also an alternative energy to the fossil fuel that we are now consuming at an alarming pace. The concept of wind energy is not new as it has been around since the 2000 BC where Egyptians would use sails to move their boat through the force of the wind. Large windmills of around 30 feet and 16 foot long blades was used since the 10th century BC.

There are some scientific facts about the wind patterns that need to be understood, before we can understand its use. Solar heat is absorbed at different levels by different environments. Oceans, forests, deserts, valleys all have different heat as well as wind pressures. The air above land heats up more quickly as compared to air above water and as this warm air rises, the cool air from lakes and rivers come in to fill the vacuum left by the hot air. This process is the opposite at night. Factors such as change of seasons, day/night, humidity and cyclones etc determine the pattern of the wind.

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With the combination of the sun’s energy and the wind on the Earth’s surface, there is wind energy which can be used as a renewable energy source. For places that have a high amount of wind pressure instead of sunlight, then wind energy comes in as the perfect alternative.

This is the reason why wind turbines are created at places where there is a very high wind pressure and with speed of almost 160km/hour.  These turbines do not take up much space as compared to massive power stations or nuclear plants. It occupies a few square meters for the base and the land around the turbines are mostly used for agricultural purposes.

Installing a wind turbine is however not an easy task as the position of the place is to be chosen very carefully, keeping in mind wind pressure and speed. The set back to wind energy system is the unreliability of the constantly changing wind patterns. Sometimes either its too low and it cannot be therefore totally dependent upon. Another problem is the turbine construction cost and the noise pollution caused.

These are minor problems that could be easily be tackled with the advancement in technology. The combined use of solar and wind energy if targeted on a global scale could be the next energy source that could eventually save the world.

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US Approves First Offshore Wind Farm http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/05/14/us-approves-first-offshore-wind-farm/ http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/05/14/us-approves-first-offshore-wind-farm/#comments Fri, 14 May 2010 16:47:25 +0000 admin http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/?p=3182 Nine years of intense lobbying by Greens has finally paid off. It was tough, it was hard. There were intense debates and politics was done on the issue. Finally very first offshore wind farm to generate electricity has been approved. As announced in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Mr. Ken Salazar who is Secretary of Interior.

capecod-offshore

Mr. Salazar revealed that a 130 turbine wind farm will be built with estimated cost of $900 million. It would generate 450 Megawatt of electricity out of thin air!

This is great news for environmentalists across the nation. Europe already has hundreds of offshore farms generating thousands of megawatts from air.

Studies have shown that US has enough potential to full fill all it electricity demand if it allows offshore wind farms to be installed without restrictions.

Wind Farms are being apposed on grounds that they would ruin the aesthetic beauty of beaches. such a lame excuse lobbied by Oil interest. But with approval of this wind farm, gateway is opened for other wind projects on eastern seaboard.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/05/08/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-wind-energy-2/ http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/05/08/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-wind-energy-2/#comments Sat, 08 May 2010 17:27:00 +0000 noor http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/?p=3126 There are several advantages and disadvantages associated with wind energy that include the numerous problems linked with wind turbines too.

wind farm

In this era, we need to look for the various options available to replace the depleting natural resources. It is important to look for more environmental friendly energy sources to help us make our future bright, and wind energy is one of the main sources of renewable energy.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of wind energy for the generation of electricity.

Advantages:

· Wind energy is quite harmless for the environment, as it does not require any burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity.

· Wind turbines consume less space a compared to the average power station. Windmills only require a few square meters for the base, which allows the land surrounding the turbine to be used for many purposes, including agriculture.

· Latest technologies have made the transformation of wind energy into electrical energy much more efficient. The wind is cost free, and we can make more cash using free source of energy.

· Wind turbines are great for generating electricity in remote locations, such as mountainous areas and remote countryside. Wind turbines come in several different sizes to support varying population levels.

· Wind energy, when combined with solar electricity makes up a great stable source of energy for both developed and developing countries.

Disadvantages:

· The biggest disadvantage of using wind energy is the unreliability factor. In many areas, the wind strength is very low to support a wind turbine or wind farm, and this is where the use of solar power can prove to be a great alternative.

· Wind turbines produce less electricity as compared to the average fossil fueled power station. This means that multiple wind turbines would need to be built in order to make a sound impact.

· Wind turbines can be very expensive and costly to build and may affect the surrounding wildlife during the build process.

· The noise coming from the commercial wind turbines is quite similar to the noise produced from a small jet engine, which can prove to be a big disadvantage if you live close by.

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Understanding The Way Wind Turbines Work http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/04/20/understanding-the-way-wind-turbines-work/ http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/04/20/understanding-the-way-wind-turbines-work/#comments Tue, 20 Apr 2010 09:48:38 +0000 fayyaz http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/?p=2978 Though in last many years man has been setting new records of the progress that he has been making, however, he has paid a huge price for this progress and that has put his survival on the planet earth in danger. The way factories are coughing up the carbon venom in to the air, it has caused severe contamination in the air we breathe in.wind turbine

However, now man has started realizing this problem and has started putting his efforts in correcting the mistake he has been making in last couple of centuries. An important thing that is increasing the pollution in the air is generation of energy through coal and oil. Instead of using the thermal or wind resources for producing electricity man has been relying upon the sources that are not only expensive but that are also dangerous for the health.

Useful alternate for producing energy

In order to increase the awareness of our readers about the alternative resources of electricity production, here in the present article we are going to mention about how by utilizing the wind resources, by wind mills we can fulfill our need of creating energy.

Like other sources of electricity generation, the process of the production of electricity through wind mills is accomplished with the help of turbines. The turbines of the wind mills can be generally be divided into two parts. The first type of the turbine is known as the horizontal turbine while the second one is known as the vertical turbine. Both of these designs utilize the wind power in a different way to produce the electricity.

The horizontal wind turbines are the designs that are commonly used for the generation of electricity. As the blades of the wind mills spins, the spinning motion helps the turbines to start creating energy. On the contrary in the vertical turbine, the centre of the force of the wind is there in the centre of the wind mill which helps in starting the process of generation of energy. Rest of the process is almost similar in both types of wind mills.

An easy example to understand the function of electricity generation

In order to understand the process of electricity generation through wind mills in rather an easy way, you can take the example of an electric fan. As the fan is turned on, it blows out air for you, the wind mills work rather in the opposite way. Here the electricity is generated when the wind blows and moves the blades of wind mills.

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Facts About Wind Energy http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/04/16/facts-about-wind-energy/ http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/04/16/facts-about-wind-energy/#comments Fri, 16 Apr 2010 13:41:00 +0000 noor http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/?p=2963 Wind energy is one of the fastest growing source of renewable energy in the world. Apart from being a clean power source, wind energy is one of the cheapest source of energy.

wind

As the United States has plenty of wind, the use of wind energy can fairly reduce the country’s dependence on rapidly depleting natural resources.

Wind energy is not a new concept to generate power. Long ago, the Egyptians used wind energy to sail their ships on the Nile River over 5,000 years ago. In Persia, windmills were developed about 500 to 900 A.D. for grinding grains and pumping water. The same concept has been modernized to generate electricity.

There are mainly two types of wind turbines being used today. Horizontal-axis turbines have the axis of their rotating shaft horizontal to the ground, whereas the vertical-axis turbines have the axis of the rotating shaft vertical to the ground. Horizontal-axis turbines are more commonly being used today.

Wind turbines can be of various sizes ranging from small turbines having a capacity of 100 kilowatts, to large turbines with a capacity of more 5 million watts.

Although wind energy is a great source of energy, but the unreliable nature of wind makes it difficult for us to harness it properly. We may experience great force of wind on one day, and sometimes it may not blow at all, making it impossible for us to use wind energy to fulfill all of our energy needs. Still, the U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that wind power could fulfill 20% of the nation’s electricity requirements by 2030.

However, certain important issues related to the usage of wind energy such as the negative effect on wild bird populations and their visual impact on the land and sea, need to be addressed before its usage becomes common.

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Aerodynamic Turbines http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/04/06/aerodynamic-turbines/ http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/2010/04/06/aerodynamic-turbines/#comments Tue, 06 Apr 2010 15:32:00 +0000 noor http://www.solarpowerwindenergy.org/?p=2916 Nowadays, windmills don’t just rely on the wind’s force to push the blades into motion in order to produce energy. Modern turbines use more complicated and refined aerodynamic principles to make use of the wind’s energy most efficiently.

aerodynamics

The two basic aerodynamic forces that work together in wind-turbine rotors are lift, which acts perpendicular to the direction of wind flow; and drag, which acts parallel to the direction of wind flow.

The blades of a turbine are shaped just like airplane wings, using an airfoil design. One surface of the blade is a little rounded, whereas the other side is quite flat.

Actually what happens in lift is that when the wind travels over the rounded, downwind face of the blade, it is forced to move more rapidly in order to reach the end of the blade in time to meet the wind travelling over the flat, upwind face of the blade. As faster moving air has a greater atmosphere, the downwind, curved surface ends up with a low-pressure pocket just above it. The low-pressure area sucks the blade downwards, causing an effect known as “lift.”

On the upper side of the blade, the wind moves slower hence creating an area of higher pressure that pushes on the blade, trying to slow it down. Similar to what happens to an airplane wing, a high lift-to-drag ratio is created to turn the turbine blade effectively. Moreover, turbine blades are twisted so they can always present an angle that takes full advantage of the ideal lift-to-drag force ratio.

However, aerodynamics alone cannot be responsible for the effective working of the wind turbines. The construction and specially the size of the blades also matter as longer blades capture more energy from the wind and hence generate greater electricity.

The height of the tower also plays a vital role in the production capacity. The higher the turbine, the more energy it can capture as wind speeds increase with height . Wind closer to the ground is much slower due to ground friction and ground-level objects that hinder the flow of the wind.

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