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How it Works

Windis created by 1-2% of the Sun's energy absorbed by Earth heating the air and creating convection currents in the atmosphere, making the warm air rise, then condense. Wind power harnesses this natural, renewable source by utilising it to power a generator. The electrical generator itself is connected to the blades (called a rotor) through a gearbox which increases the rotational speed by about 50 times so it can generate grid-level output levels. The amount of power available through wind power is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. The gearbox increases the available power by the square of the radius, so substantial power can be generated in high wind areas.

The difficult part is designing the actual fan blades to be as efficient and as durable as possible. Most designs are like the windmills pictured, however instead of using the 'drag' principal used in traditional windmills, modern wind power generators work on the 'lift' principal, enhancing efficiency from 40-67%. Another problem is durability, as the structures are usually quite big so are subject to large forces.

Environmental Impact

Wind generation is a very environmentally sound mode of electricity production. It only requires a piece of land in a high wind area which are often mostly uninhabited plains and the actual material to build the generators. Efficiency, however is not nearly as great as some other ways of generating power. A wind turbine typically produces 80 times the energy used to build, operate and dismantle it in its operating lifetime.

Benefits

  • Little Environmental Impact
  • Renewable Source
  • Inexpensive to Build
  • No Waste or Pollution

Disadvantages

  • Not as efficient as other methods
  • Turbines have to be replaced often due to stress and fatigue
  • Only works when its windy
  • this was a report for Science

Wind power could be a significant source of clean electrical production. Right now no countries or electrical systems produce more than ten percent of their energy from wind power because wind power is a relatively new technology.

There is a great possibility that more countries will begin using wind power for their energy because wind power has great potential. In fact it’s much greater than the current world energy consumption.

However, the amount of production depends on economics. People worry about the cost of wind energy farms. It might cost a lot for the wind energy farms, but technically in the end we would be gaining a lot.

Most forms of energy production create some other kind of payment. For example, electrical production causes pollution which increases health expenses, reduces agricultural productivity, and causes other problems. Carbon dioxide produced from fossil fuels could cause even greater costs to society in the form of global warming.

Wind energy is one of the most cost effective forms of energy. Though it might be expensive, it’s very environment friendly, so it won’t cause any external costs.Also the cost of wind production has decreased a lot because of technological improvements. I’m sure there will be even more technological improvements and then there would be even more price reductions.

Some don’t like wind power because wind turbines can kill birds and bat species. This might be true, but it’s nothing compared to the number that die from other human activities such as traffic, hunting, power lines, high rise buildings, and especially the environment impacts of using non-clean power sources.

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