Wind energy has become a key source of electricity generation for changing the energy model, cleaner and more sustainable. Improving technology allows some wind farms to produce electrical power as cheaply as coal or nuclear power plants. Without a doubt, we are facing a source of energy with advantages and, for this, it is growing more every day.
Wind energy is one of the most widely used renewable energies in the world. On this post, we want to tell you what it is, how it works and the advantages of wind energy.
What is wind energy?
Wind energy is the energy obtained from the wind. It is a type of kinetic energy produced by the effect of air currents. We can convert this energy into electricity through an electric generator. It is a renewable, clean energy that does not pollute and that helps to replace the energy produced through fossil fuels.
The largest producer of wind energy in the world is the United States, followed by Germany, China, India and Spain. In Latin America the largest producer is Brazil. In Spain, wind power supplied electricity to the equivalent of 12 million homes, this is 18% of the country’s needs (Source AEE). This means that much of the green energy offered by the country’s electricity companies comes from wind farms to your home and has this renewable origin. To know which areas are better to install wind farms, there’s companies like Vortex FdC.
How does wind energy work?
Wind energy is obtained by converting the movement of the blades of a wind turbine into electrical energy. A wind turbine is an electric generator driven by a turbine powered by the wind; its predecessors are windmills.
A wind turbine is made up of the tower; an orientation system located at the end of the tower, at its upper end; a cabinet for connection to the electrical network attached to the base of the tower; a gondola that is the framework that houses the mechanical components of the mill and that serves as the base for the blades; a shaft and rotor drive ahead of the blades; and inside the nacelle, a brake, a multiplier, the generator and the electrical regulation system.
The blades are connected to the rotor, in turn connected to the shaft (positioned at the pole), which sends the rotational energy to the electric generator. This generator uses magnets to produce electrical voltage and therefore electrical energy.
Wind farms evacuate the electricity produced from their transformation center through an electric line to a distribution substation, to which the energy produced is supplied, which it passes to the end user.
What are the advantages of wind energy?
1. It is an inexhaustible source of energy
It is a renewable energy source. Wind is an abundant and inexhaustible source, which means that you can always count on the original source that produces the energy, which means that it does not have an expiration date. In addition, it’s available in many places around the world.
2. Takes up little space
To produce and store the same amount of electrical energy, a wind field needs less land than a photovoltaic energy field.
It is also reversible, which means that the area occupied by the park can be easily restored to renew the pre-existing territory.
3. It does not pollute
Wind energy is one of the cleanest energy sources after solar energy. This is so because during its generation process it does not imply a combustion process. Thus, it does not produce toxic gases or any solid waste. To get an idea: a wind turbine reaches an energy capacity similar to that of 1,000 kg of oil.
Furthermore, the turbines themselves have a very long-life cycle before being removed for disposal.
4. Low cost
The costs of wind power turbines and turbine maintenance are relatively low. The cost per kW produced is quite low in very windy areas. In some cases, the cost of production is the same as that of coal, and even nuclear power.
5. It is compatible with other activities
The agricultural and livestock activity coexists harmoniously with the activity of a wind farm. This means that it does not have a negative impact on the local economy, it allows the facilities not to interrupt the development of their traditional activity at the same time that it generates a new source of wealth.