Wind Power Electricity
There are different sources of electricity. Most of our electricity today comes from power plants in which power generators are fueled by things like coal and petroleum. Alternatives like solar power and wind power are available as well and increasing in popularity due to the fact they are known as clean and renewable sources. The different sources of energy fit the different needs of the consumers.
Each energy source has its own advantages and disadvantages that may determine its availability and feasibility in any given application.
Electric power from wind is an example of clean energy. When generating electricity from wind, there are no harmful chemicals or gases emitted during the process. As a matter of fact, most environmentalists push for the implementation of more wind turbines to power communities and provide them with their basic need for electricity. Just imagine a world with clean sources of energy: it would be wind-powered, smokeless, odorless, and environmentally friendly.
To understand the basic operation of converting wind to electricity, one needs to understand the generator itself. A generator is an electrical machine that converts kinetic energy to electrical energy. There are a lot of articles on the internet that discuss in detail how they operate. As an electric generator, it needs a “prime mover” in order to operate and produce electricity. The prime mover is actually any mechanical force that rotates a certain part of the generator. There was a period in history when people manually rotated the generator for power production. This of course was very impractical. We need other sources of mechanical force to act as the prime mover of the generator. In the mid 1900’s, engineers began to design generators with wind as their prime movers. Later in 1970’s, the first practical wind powered generator was in operation, and so began the era of wind-powered electricity.
Wind power generation is most ideally located where there is a strong wind almost all the day, every day. The most common locations are beaches and coastal areas where there is a sea breeze during the daytime and land breeze during the night time. With enough wind power, electricity generation can go as high as several kilowatts to megawatts, enough to provide power to a small to medium sized community. Islands with wind generators located on the mainland can provide their own power. Submarine power cables are very impractical and dangerous at the same time. So by using wind energy, the island can still have electricity. Archipelagoes will benefit this kind of electric power generation.
There are many advantages that wind energy offers. It answers both the problems of decreasing sources of fossil fuels and the need for a clean energy sources. For years, it remained a minority in providing electric power to communities, but as technology and the demand for clean, renewable energy sources increase, we will likely find it used more and more.
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