Wind Power - Alternative Energy

Though wind energy is now more affordable, more available, and pollution-free, it does have some drawbacks. Wind power suffers from the same lack of energy density as direct solar radiation. The fact that it is a "very diffuse source" means that "large numbers of wind generators (and thus large land areas) are required to produce useful amounts of heat or electricity." But wind turbines cannot be erected everywhere simply because many places are not windy enough for suitable power generation. When an appropriate place is found, building and maintaining a wind farm can be costly. It "is a highly capital-intensive technology." If the interest rates charged for manufacturing equipment and constructing a plant are high, then a consumer will have to pay more for that energy. "One study found that if wind plants were financed on the same terms as gas plants, their cost would drop by nearly 40%." Fortunately, the more facilities built, the cheaper wind energy is.

Electricity Generation from Wind Power. Technology …

Basic information on wind energy and wind power technology, resources, and issues of concern.
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Wind Farms - Alternative Energy

While wind turbines produce cheap, renewable energy, they also have some setbacks. The largest setback for wind turbines is that they require constant air flow. When the wind is weak or nonexistent, the wind turbines cannot produce power effectively. Also, due to the large land expanses needed for wind farms, there is a large environmental impact associated with them. Wind farms situated on land can greatly affect animal habitats. Turbines have become infamous for killing large numbers of birds that get sucked into the turbines blades as they fly by. Recent technological advancements have been developed to curb the bird deaths, but it still happens. Finally large wind farms have an affect on people living near them. Wind farms produce large amounts noise, which can irritate people who live near them. Some have reported migraines and insomnia do to the noise and vibrations from wind farms. Many people also consider the turbines an eyesore and believe them to reduce the value of the land. Even with all these setbacks, wind power is one of the most effective forms of renewable energy. It produces no greenhouse gasses, and wind turbines are relatively cheap to produce. These two factors will keep wind power an important part of the world’s energy sources for years to come.

basics - Wind Energy EIS Public Information Center

Wind energy is a free, renewable resource, so no matter how much is used today, there will still be the same supply in the future. Wind energy is also a source of clean, non-polluting, electricity. Unlike conventional power plants, wind plants emit no air pollutants or greenhouse gases. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in 1990, California's wind power plants offset the emission of more than 2.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, and 15 million pounds of other pollutants that would have otherwise been produced. It would take a forest of 90 million to 175 million trees to provide the same air quality.

Wind energy offers a viable, economical alternative to conventional power plants in many areas of the country.
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Diagrams, designs, and data are available for free.

Wind turbines are available in a variety of sizes, and therefore power ratings. The largest machine has blades that span more than the length of a football field, stands 20 building stories high, and produces enough electricity to power 1,400 homes. A small home-sized wind machine has rotors between 8 and 25 feet in diameter and stands upwards of 30 feet and can supply the power needs of an all-electric home or small business. Utility-scale turbines range in size from 50 to 750 kilowatts. Single small turbines, below 50 kilowatts, are used for homes, telecommunications dishes, or water pumping.

Plus, they can use energy from your PV array

But there is increasing energy being put in finding many other alternative sources of power and making them viable, such as geothermal and wave energy and biomass!

Energy use in Sweden is largely ..

Wind energy is very abundant in many parts of the United States. Wind resources are characterized by wind-power density classes, ranging from class 1 (the lowest) to class 7 (the highest). Good wind resources (e.g., class 3 and above, which have an average annual wind speed of at least 13 miles per hour) are found in many locations (see ). Wind speed is a critical feature of wind resources, because the energy in wind is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. In other words, a stronger wind means a lot more power.