Tag Archive | wind energy and its uses

America’s first offshore wind farm just shut down a diesel plant

America’s first offshore wind farm just helped to shut down a small diesel-fired electric power plant on Block Island, Rhode Island.

Block Island officials on Monday switched on a connection between the island and a cable linking the wind farm to Rhode Island’s mainland power grid.

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How Do Wind Turbines Work?

One of the fastest-growing sources of energy in the world, wind turbines generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gases into the environment (unlike fossil fuels). These modern-day windmills convert mechanical energy from the wind into electrical power.

Most wind turbines have three main parts: the tower (the long stem that connects to the ground); the blades, which connect to a central hub (the rotor); and the nacelle (a box behind the blades that contains the generator).

While there are several different designs for wind turbines — one of which, the “vertical-axis design,” resembles a giant eggbeater — most of these machines have a “horizontal-axis design,” in which the axis of the blades is horizontal to the ground.

Like a giant pinwheel, the rotor of a wind turbine will spin when triggered by a strong-enough wind. The rotor is attached to a drive shaft, which leads into the nacelle behind the blades and activates a generator. The generator creates electricity, which goes to a transformer that converts it to the right voltage for the electricity grid.

The wind turbines used by utility companies to provide power to a grid are usually placed in groups or rows, called “wind farms,” to take full advantage of windy areas.

 

Author Bio

 Elizabeth Palermo
Elizabeth Palermo
Science who writes about science and technology. She graduated with a B.A. from the George Washington University. Elizabeth has traveled throughout the Americas, studying political systems and indigenous cultures and teaching English to students of all ages.

 

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Mini Wind Turbines: Why Many Minis Are Better Than 1 Giant One

Mini wind turbines, (less than .5 kW), are the best way to exploit the power of the wind to make electricity at your house. It is much simpler to focus on using multiple smaller wind devices than to use one large one.

These are the reasons why…

Easier to install – This is the key to more widespread deployment of wind turbine technology worldwide. There is a huge hassle factor associated with buying and installing wind turbines at home. The smaller and more modular these devices become, the higher the adoption rate by general public will be.

Cheaper – Right now, you can purchase a small wind turbine that will serve a single appliance, like a freezer or pump, for under $1,000 on Amazon. That requires a lot of work on your part to mount it, as well. With mini wind turbines, which are a fraction of the size of these larger devices, you can usually install a wind device at your house for under $300.

They more easily fit in small places – The roof is the optimum place for most homeowners to install their wind capacity. It is out of the way and can be made to be out of the line of sight of the neighbors. With these much smaller wind turbines, they can be placed in spots that just don’t attract that much attention.

The concept of mini wind turbines will lead us into the future of home-based, or dispersed energy production. By making wind turbine devices plug and play or small and very simple to install, we are making it a lot more likely that people will buy them and actually use them.

The problem has always been with wind energy that consumers have 2 choices: do all the analytical work yourself and choose the right device and install it in just the right place or, buy from a dealer and let them do all the heavy lifting.

The problems with this status quo are two-fold: the first alternative – doing it yourself – is cheap but a lot less likely to be adopted because of the amount of hassle involved and, if you pay a dealer to do the work for you, you will pay way more for the device than you would if you did it all yourself.

In conclusion, mini wind turbines are an attempt to bridge that gap. By making wind devices small and simple enough that they can easily be installed by the homeowner almost anywhere, the task of bringing wind energy onboard at the house becomes an order of magnitude simpler and more likely to occur.

About the Author
Roger G. Brown has ended up saving many hundreds of companies hard earned cash on their electrical power expenses.