The Office of energy efficiency and renewable energy (2017) describes wind as a form of solar energy that forms when there is the uneven distribution of heat in the earth’s atmosphere. Furthermore, the surface is irregularly shaped; the rotation of the earth also causes the wind to be formed. The flow of the wind in the earth’s atmosphere is affected by the difference in the earth’s terrain. Also, vegetation on the earth’s surface affects wind patterns and speed. Wind energy is produced when wind power converts to kinetic energy, which produces mechanical power Goldpower (2017). Large wind turbines are used to tap wind power. Large wind turbines consist of two or three propellers that move in the direction of the wind hence producing kinetic energy. Furthermore, the turbines are connected to a generator that converts the kinetic energy to mechanical energy. The power produced by wind turbines can be used to pump water or grind cereals, such as grain.
According to Goldpower (2017), vertical axis wind turbines and horizontal axis wind turbines are the most popular forms of wind turbines that humans use to tap energy. Goldpower (2017) argues that the conversion of the wind to mechanical energy occurs through drag and lift. The drag type of wind conversion uses a higher torque, but the speed of the rotating turbines is slower compared to the lift type. However, the drag type of wind conversion is used for low scale use such as grinding grain because of the slow rotating speed of the turbines. However, the lift type of conversion is used to produce large-scale energy because of the high rotating speed of the turbines (Goldpower, 2017).
Factors such global warming has prompted governments to advocate for the use of renewable sources of energy, such as wind energy. Wind energy can be transmitted through the electrical grid and be transferred to different geographical locations (Owen, 2017). The transmission and distribution networks transport wind energy at various consumers. Each network system increases the voltage of the electricity produced by wind turbines to maximize its applicability. The electricity that is produced by the wind turbine generators moves to a transmission station where the network system converts the electricity to high voltages of about 155000 and 765000 volts (Owen, 2017). The electrical grid is composed of power lines that transfer electricity to different locations.
Advantages of wind energy
Wind energy does not cause pollution of the environment like other sources of energy, such as oil (Maehlum, 2015). The rising awareness of global warming makes it necessary for people to embrace green sources of energy. Secondly, wind energy is sufficient. According to Maehlum (2015), wind energy is twenty times more than the actual requirement for energy by humans. Thirdly, wind energy is renewable meaning it will always exist. The production of wind energy and its conversion to electricity is also convenient because of the minimum space requirements of the turbines and generators. Furthermore, the price of electricity produced by the wind is lower compared to other forms of energy such as oil (Maehlum, 2015). The operational costs of wind energy production are low hence making wind energy cheaper compared to other forms of energy
Disadvantages of wind energy
The main disadvantage of wind energy is that it is intermittent because of the fluctuating patterns of wind. Secondly, the initial investment of accessing wind energy is expensive. The acquisition and installation of wind turbines and generate is expensive (Maehlum, 2015).
Feasibility of wind energy
According to Wald (2010), wind energy is feasible but will be costly in the initial phases of installation. Wind energy can replace other sources of energy like coal and oil. If coal and oil reserves were to dry, then it is possible to use wind energy for production of electricity. However, the complete conversion of the power grid to suit the use of wind energy will require high amounts of financial resources. David Corbus conducted a feasibility study with other energy experts to evaluate the practicability of using wind energy. In the study, Corbus and other lead experts concluded that it would cost the United States $93 billion dollars to expand the power grid. However, the senior engineer at National Renewable Energy Laboratory argues that the cost of electricity production will be cheaper in the end compared to other forms of energy like oil and natural gas. However, the implementation of a large-scale wind electrical system and power would require political intervention because of the issue of bureaucracy.
The use of wind energy is a better option compared to other forms of energy. From the study, it is evident that wind energy is feasible and can replace other forms of energy, such as natural gas and oil. Also, the cost of wind power is lower compared to other forms of energy like oil. The use of wind energy as the primary source of energy faces some major hurdles like the intermittent wind patterns. However, investing in wind energy on a large scale basis will help overcome the issue of the wind intermittent. It is important that leaders support and fund the use of wind energy because of its feasibility and low price.
Goldpower. (2017). How does a wind turbine generate electricity. Web. Retrieved from http://goldpower.net/news/how-does-a-wind-turbine-generate-electricity/
Maehlum, M. (2015). Wind Energy Pros and Cons. Web. Retrieved from http://energyinformative.org/wind-energy-pros-and-cons/
Office of energy efficiency and renewable energy. (2017). How do wind turbines work? Web. Retrieved from http://goldpower.net/news/how-does-a-wind-turbine-generate-electricity/
Owen, M. (2017). How Does Electricity Move From the Wind Turbine to the Businesses and Communities That Buy It? Web. Retrieved from http://sciencing.com/electricity-move-wind-turbine-businesses-communities-buy-it-21904.html
Wald, M. (2010). Expanding Use of Wind Power Feasible, but May Be Costly Web. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/business/energy-environment/21wind.html?mcubz=0