Wind energy is the latest non-solar energy source, which is widely used. In many parts of the United States, the wind’s patterns and speeds vary because of the differences in terrain, vegetation, presence and size of water bodies (Aissaoui and Tahour 31). Wind power has many purposes in daily living, including electricity, kite flying, and sailing. The future tends to clean energy, and wind energy is an inevitable option, as Colorado has been the first government to adopt it (Finley). Many other states are investing in this technology for its numerous benefits. For example, although China’s primary electricity source is coal, the country is considering wind power for small-scale use (Aissaoui and Tahour 33). Therefore, due to the rising popularity of wind turbines, there is a need to explore how they work, their benefits, and limitations.
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Wind turbines, through their rotor blades, convert wind energy into electricity. This is achieved through aerodynamic force and velocity sensors, which enhance the performance of this technology (Learn Engineering 2015). When the wind blows across the turbines, it decreases the air pressure on one side of the edge while increasing the other, creating a “lift and drag” effect (Woodford). This impact causes the blades to spin faster with a rise in the strength of the wind. This continuous aerodynamic translation and faster rotation of the turbines, connected to a generator, create electrical energy.
Although wind energy technology has been identified for the future, it has many benefits. One of them is cost-effectiveness since it is one of the lowest-priced sources of energy. It also produces clean energy because it does not contaminate the environment as power plants do, burning fossil fuels (Ng and Ran 112). Another advantage is that it does not hinder farmland operations, which significantly benefits the rural economy since work can be continued in ranches and farms because of the small fraction of the land which wind turbines require.
One of the limitations is that wind is not strong enough to produce a substantial amount of electrical energy. This technology is not effective in running many operations which require electricity (Ng and Ran 117). Moreover, wind turbines pose a danger to some animals, for example, bats and flying birds. If these creatures run into the rotor blades, they may be injured or killed. Lastly, they are noisy, which is why they are mostly located in rural areas (Ng and Ran 118). Turbines produce disturbing sounds, prompting the development of designs aimed at reducing this effect.
Aissaoui, Abdel G., and Ahmed Tahour. Wind Turbines: Design, Control and Applications. BoD – Books on Demand, 2016.
Finley, Bruce. Colorado Wind Power Rising; 1,880 Turbines and Xcel, Vestas Plan More. The Denver Post, 2016. Web.
Learn Engineering. (2015). How do Wind Turbines work? [Video]. YouTube. Web.
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Ng, Chong, and Li Ran. Offshore Wind Farms: Technologies, Design and Operation. Woodhead Publishing, 2016.
Woodford, Chris. How Do Wind Turbines Work? Explain That Stuff, 2020, Web.