Much like solar energy, wind energy is recommended because it makes use of a renewable (and free!) energy source. While solar power uses the sunlight, wind turbines are used to generate energy. Back then, wind energy was mostly used for big corporations. Nowadays, it’s more accessible for homes as well. Although those living in sunny areas prefer the use of solar panels, wind energy is also becoming a more popular alternative.
Wind Turbines: How do they work?
The amount of energy generated is dependent on the efficiency of your wind turbine. The way these turbines work depend on what kind they are, either horizontal or vertical axis. The horizontal axis turbines are much more popular, and are the ones used in windmills. Propeller blades are mounted on a horizontal rotator shaft and are directed towards the wind. Once the wind blows, both the rotator shaft and the blades spin, allowing electricity to be generated. On the other hand, vertical axis turbines have a vertical rotator shaft and need not be directed towards the wind.
If you’re deciding whether or not to use wind energy, the first thing you should do would be to gauge the amount of wind in your area. Remember that tall structures like trees and buildings can affect wind efficiency. If you live in the city, your wind turbine has to be placed atop a tower or other high structures.
Before making a purchase, make sure that you’re investing on something of good quality and durability. Don’t buy the first cheap wind turbine you see. Compare different brands, specifically their reputation and warranty. Reading a few customer reviews might be helpful as well. Although it might be easier to purchase a readymade wind turbine, you can construct one by hand.
Turbine Blades: How effective are they?
Your wind turbines depend a great deal on the efficiency of your turbine blades. How can you keep them efficient? Here are a few tips.
– Size matters.
The size of your turbine blades affects your turbine’s efficiency. Larger and longer blades are capable of producing more energy than their smaller and shorter counterparts.
– Upwind vs. Downwind designs.
For areas that have more upwind, use appropriate upwind designs to guarantee that energy will be generated. Sweeps, which are curved tips, also allow the blades to turn more effectively in areas with low wind.
– It’s all about spacing.
Make sure the blades are neither too close nor too far apart from each other.
– Place in appropriate areas.
Areas with more wind correspond to more energy generated. That’s why most turbines are placed along the coast.
Perks and Drawbacks
Much like everything else, your wind turbines also come with a catch. Outlined below are a few of its pro’s and con’s.
– Wind is a free, renewable energy
– Helps promote a more environment-friendly lifestyle
– Accessible even for remote areas
– Inexpensive to construct
– Requires only a small area (even your rooftop!)
– “Wind Turbine Syndrome”, wherein the low frequency sounds and vibrations of a turbine can affect the inner ear
– Highly dependent on wind, so the amount of electricity produced isn’t constant
– Can be rather risky to install
– More expensive and less efficient than a solar power installation.
Now that you’ve learned the basics when it comes to wind energy, you can help save the Earth by opting for a more environment-friendly lifestyle.