Wind can be used as solar energy and is created by the uneven heating of the atmosphere and irregularities of the earth surface. Vegetative cover, the earth’s terrain and bodies of water are factors that moderate air movement, also known as wind flow. Wind power is harvested using wind turbines on wind farms both on and off shore. Electricity is generated using wind which can be used for specific task or as general power. It can also be stored in a generator and used to power businesses, schools and homes.
Wind power’s main component is wind turbines. Wind is categorized in wind power density classes, ranging from class 1, which is the lowest, to class 7, the highest. Wind turbines consist of the blade, also known as the rotor, drive train and the tower. The blades contain the drive train which is supported by the tower, baring the resemblance to a windmill. Other equipment such as controls, electrical cables, interconnection and ground support equipment is needed for the turbine to function properly.
There are two turbine types, horizontal and vertical axis. The horizontal turbine is similar to traditional wind mills used when pumping water and the vertical turbine is more eggbeater style. Wind turbines are available in many sizes. They can be as tall as a twenty story building with their blades running as long as a football field or as small as thirty feet with blades as small as eight and twenty five feet. The larger turbines can power electricity for approximately 1,400 homes and some of the smaller ones are big enough to supply a single home.
Wind turbines are designed to create energy using the wind. They work when the wind blows, causing the blades to turn, which spins a shaft that is connected to a generator, creating electricity. The electricity can then be used to power anything. The uses for electricity created by wind power are endless. Solar energy from the wind is generated on wind farms. Multiple wind turbines grouped together creating a power plant of energy is known as a wind farm.
Currently there are five regions possessing wind farms Australia, China, United States, Canada and European Union. In the United States there are seven on shore wind farms and four off shore. Texas, Iowa, California, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, and Kansas have on shore wind farms. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Atlantic Wind Connection have off shore wind farms which are located in bodies of water. On shore wind farms are usually located on a block of land that contains a multitude of wind turbines. Despite the wind turbines, the land can be utilized for agricultural purposes. Electricity from these on and off shore farms are harvested in bulk and distributed to customers.
*Infographic from Good