By Elaine Shay
Wind has been considered as a downside of regions, a factor that conspired against urbanization, highlighting destructive power of the wind. But more recently, technology has provided a whole new outlook on the wind. Regions with steady regular wind have proven to be the most suitable ones to produce a new way of cheap and clean energy: wind energy. You can read more information about it by reading the article below.
Wind energy can be “harvested” with the use of wind turbines. Wind turbines are roughly structures with big propellers that take advantage of the constant movement of the propeller, generating energy. In the same way mills took advantage of wind, typically to extract water from the soil, these new wind turbines generate electricity in an efficient way. Technically, it can be said that they convert the free everlasting kinetic energy of the wind into electricity. No chemistry is involved, because it is simply an ingenious device that transforms energy into usable ways.
A Wind Turbine Energy consists mostly of three main components: the rotor blades, the shaft and the generator. A lot can be said about the design of the blades. They need to be aerodynamically shaped, so as to make the most of the wind, with the least loss of energy. This includes careful consideration of the materials blades are made of. At first, wood was the preferred material. Later on light metals were used, like aluminum. The most suitable is carbon fiber, an extremely light material, amazingly resistant. The shaft is connected to the rotor. It transfers the movement to the rotor, which has one end attached to a regular electric generator. Here is where the electric energy is produced. This is a very simple, yet very effective mechanism. Electricity will be produced as long as the blades spin.
The generator works using the properties of electromagnetic induction. The core of the generator is made of magnets, that when moved constantly close to a conducting material –copper wires, most typically-, produce a difference of electric tension –voltage. Magnets have this amazing property: to release electrons: energy.
Windmills are used in areas where traditional wiring is not present, for instance in rural areas. In 1930, 600.000 windmills provided water and electricity to many rural areas in the United States. By 2006, new windmills were developed that could produce up to 4 mega Watts of electric power, enough to supply energy to a small neighborhood with one single mill. The new wind turbines have a completely different design from traditional mills, the axis being placed vertically, instead of horizontally. This new layout helps maximize the power of rotation of the wind. This design is called VAWT.
The size of the Wind Turbine Energy mills is highly relevant. The bigger the mill is, the most energy it can produce. The drawback is that bigger structures require bigger parts that will necessary gain in weight. That is why new materials such as carbon nanotubes and glass fibers are so effective when designing mills.
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