Everything You Need to Know About Wind Energy

The concept of using wind to generate energy is not new. All of us might have noticed wind mills once in a while but never put too much thought into it though. Wind energy is one of the renewable sources of energy that is being increasingly adopted these days, finding a wide array of applications. In this article we will discuss the basics of wind energy, i.e. the ways it is harnessed, its advantages and its various applications. Read on.

How is Wind Energy Generated?

The most basic and popular way of generating wind energy is by using wind turbines. The wind turbines are connected to large blades which move along with the wind, converting the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical or electrical energy. The energy generated can be used as mechanical power to operate pumps or grinding machines in agriculture. However, most of the times the energy obtained is converted into electrical energy by connecting the turbine to a generator. The electrical energy is either stored in batteries for small purposes or transmitted through electric cables as mass produce of electricity. Before it is transmitted, the electricity generated by the generator must go through a transformer in order to increase its voltage for long distance transmission.

Advantages of Wind Energy

Compared to energy resources like oil and coal, mechanical and electrical energy generated through wind energy has a number of advantages. Few of them are listed below.

1. Renewable – First and foremost, wind is a renewable source of energy that is absolutely free and available in abundance. In times of energy crisis where wars are happening for energy, wind energy seems like a viable option.

2. Eco-friendly – Unlike coal and gas which leave a lot of carbon footprint behind, wind energy doesn’t cause greenhouse effect and doesn’t release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Hence it is a responsible and sustainable way of generating energy.

3. Less Space – Wind turbines don’t occupy a lot of space and the areas below them can be used for agriculture, grazing or any other purpose.

4. Easily Scalable – Wind turbines can be of different sizes and numbers, meaning they can be used for a wide array of purposes, be it industrial, agricultural or residential. Based on the energy requirement the size and scale of the wind turbines can be decided.

5. Best for Remote Areas – Wind turbines can be an excellent source of electricity in remote areas to where transmission of electricity is difficult and expensive. With a handful of wind turbines it is possible to generate enough electricity to keep that remote area or village self-sustainable.

Applications of Wind Energy

There are a number of applications of wind energy, although the most famous and relevant application is the generation of electricity to power homes and industry. Generation of electricity is done both for self-sustenance and commercial purposes. Apart from generation of electricity, wind energy is used to propel sailboats, run pumps to draw water from wells and underground water storages. Wind energy is also used to grind grains in flourmills instead of using electricity.

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