A windmill is a structure that converts wind power into rotational energy through blades. This is one of the easiest types of renewable energy. Before I proceed let me give a brief description of renewable energy. Renewable energy is simply the energy obtained from natural processes.
These natural resources are constantly replenished, just like energy from solar, wind, rain, tides waves, and geothermal heat.
Renewable energy can be described as clean energy which is one of the less expensive energies and this brought about its continual use.
WHAT IS A WINDMILL?
A windmill is a structure that converts wind power into rotational energy through blades. It can also be called wind turbines. It helps in different purposes like generating electricity, grinding grains, and pumping water.
The first invention of the windmill was now due to invalid evidence between the Chinese and the Persians. But this two-country started the use of windmill at the same time and for the same purpose (that is grinding grains and pumping water).
The knowledge of windmill led to the development of the first vertical axis system, used by the Chinese and Persians.
HOW WINDMILL WORK
In the construction of the windmill, it is in four blades, mounted onto a central post. The four-blade is then connected to a Cog and ring gears, which converts the motion of the wind in the horizontal struts to energy. The cog and ring gear was initially constructed with wood, which was invented by Vitruvius, an engineer of the Augustan age.
The vertical shaft is connected to a stone used for grinding, which is then attached to the end of the horizontal struts.
The first windmill use in Europe is called the post Mill.
This post mill is a horizontal axis system of a windmill. The post mill was is described by monsters’ Mill, as a balanced building, with the pivot kept in an upright position lying on the Central vertical post.
The pivot bears a crosstree and angled quarter bars, having stones at each end ( with a total of four stones).
The post mill has a wallower and large brake wheel. The brake wheel transfers power to a smaller gear with the help of the wallower which shares the vertical shaft with the great spur wheel.
After the post mill, the tower Mill was invented. The tower Mill composes multiple floors for storing grains, grinding grains, removing the chaff, and also living place for the workers.
The tower mill advances post mill. It has a cap also known as the roof as one of the important features that differentiate it from the post mill.
The cap is a movable structure that moves as a pattern of the wind changes. After the tower mill comes the smoke male which is similar to the tower mill. The only difference is the larger size of the smock Mill and the octagonal or hexagonal shape of the smock mill.
Further Description of How Windmill Works
In our modern days, a windmill usually three-bladed. But it didn’t obstruct its initial purpose as created in the olden days, just an advancement in technology. A windmill can be two-bladed, but the purpose is to remain to swing around a rotor connected to the main shaft. This shaft spins the generator to generate electricity.
The windmill has a controller, which the main purpose is to control the blade and maintain it’s wind speed (if the wind becomes too high or too low to produce electricity) in other words prevents some technical damages.
The brake system used, can mechanically, electrically, or hydraulically stop the rotor in case of any emergencies.
The movement or motion of the blades is kinetic energy and the instrument used in the measurement of wind speed, transmits data to the controller is called the Anemometer.
Using a simple analogy, a windmill generates electricity when the wind blows. The turbine blade spins clockwise, capturing energy. This triggers the main shaft of the wind turbine, connected to the gearbox within the nacelle, to spin. The gearbox sends the wind energy to the inverter, converting it to electricity which is what we consume at home.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WINDMILL AND SOLAR ENERGY
Windmill comes from wind energy. When these changes occur in the atmosphere, the air moves around the earth’s surface resulting in wind energy through the use of spin turbines.
In other words wind energy is another form of solar energy. Solar energy uses the effect of the sun to produce energy similar to wind energy but here, photovoltaic (PV) solar panels replace the spin turbine. As the sun hits the panel, the semiconductors collect the energy and release the electron for easy flow. This process is what we refer to as a photovoltaic effect.
Then the electric field contained in the panel collects these electrons and makes them flow in one direction. By so doing electrical direct current (DC) is produced.
The direct current is passed through an inverter, which simply converts the DC to Alternating current (AC).
It is this AC that is being used in our various homes and residential areas.
On the other hand wind energy works similarly to solar energy. But wind energy works with windmill or wind turbines which are set at top a tower or poll of 50 to 120 feet.
This process describes how the windmill work. Just like solar energy, the electricity generated by the windmill is a direct current (DC), which is passed through an inverter to convert it to an alternating current (AC).
WINDMILL AS A RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES
The two major categories of energy resources are renewable and nonrenewable. Nonrenewable energy resources are limited in supply due to the long time it takes to replenish whereas renewable energy resources are replenished naturally over a short period. They are inexhaustible and limitless.
This renewable energy is of 5 major resources namely solar, wind, water, biomass, and geothermal heat. This is where windmill falls. The fact that wind blows naturally on the surface of the Earth and it’s inexhaustible makes it a renewable energy resource. And it works everywhere because wind virtually blows all over the earth’s surface.
With windmill as a renewable energy source, clean energy is a guarantee. And you can stabilize the electrical grid, control energy flow, and generate revenue through wind energy storage and net metering.
ADVANTAGES OF WINDMILL
As a renewable energy resource, so many advantages accompany windmill and they include:
WINDMILL GIVES CLEAN ENERGY
Windmill produces a clean fuel unlike other resources like fossil fuel, coal, etc which undergoes combustion, greenhouse producing nitrogen oxide, sulfuric oxide, and other dangerous and toxic waste.
These wastes pollute the environment leaving it so unfriendly to lives and cause depletion of the ozone layer. Windmill produces its fuel by the blow of wind, which is clean and free energy, very safe to lives.
WINDMILL IS COST EFFECTIVE
The cost of a windmill is effective; Windmill is one of the lowest price energy, this is because the wind is produced naturally and does not require processes. The wind constantly replenishes on daily bases, and these make the price of electricity fixed for a long period.
Unlike fossil fuel with the high cost and price fluctuation due to change weather conditions or transportation rates.
CREATES JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Windmill now generates job opportunities, It is a technical structure that produces energy, and requires to be taken care of. By so doing it creates job opportunities for the technicians like in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and supporting services.
For the fact that when they are commercially available, Over 5 million population feed with the help of windmill.
IT IS AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE
Windmill or wind turbines can built-in remote and isolated areas. This is of great advantage to the developing countries. It helps those residing around the mountain/countryside and other people living “off the grid” providing them with electricity and lots more.
WINDMILL PROVIDE DOMESTIC ENERGY
Windmill produces a domestic source of energy. This is because the wind is always in abundance and inexhaustible. This helps the country by reducing health issues related to pollution of the environment like asthma attacks and other lung-related health issues.
WINDMILL IS SUSTAINABLE
It is sustainable with regards to the fact that it’s a natural process of producing free and clean energy. This energy is available for both domestic and industrial use.
SMALL LAND SCALE
Windmill has a small land footprint: the windmill is less inconveniencing to the surrounding land, as the base is small and Minimal.
Mostly windmill is located on the fields, hilltops, or out at sea. At this process farmers in the area farm and graze their livestock normally without inconvenience.
IT PROVIDE BOTH INDUSTRIAL AND DOMESTIC ENERGY
A windmill is specifically big or small. Small ones can be built for domestic use and they are less powerful. When the big powerful once I normally built or constructed for industries. At home is a small residential area where the windmill is mostly installed alongside with a solar panel.
IT HAS LOW MAINTENANCE COST
The cost of maintenance is relatively low that is it can last for months without maintenance checkup. The maintenance normally ranges from lubrication of the moving parts to proper cleaning of the turbine gearbox. Typically lubrication is the major maintenance to a windmill.
WINDMILL PROVIDE CONSTANT POWER
With the use of windmill, constant power is a guarantee; At some point in a country, there is a scarcity of fossil fuels, coal, oil, and natural gas for a country that depends greatly on it.
With the help of Windmill energy is secure, if the country controls or reduces its dependence on external supplies of nonrenewable resources. This is a good reason to join the campaign for a clean and free energy future.
DISADVANTAGE OF WINDMILL
We believe that anything that has an advantage must surely I have a disadvantage. So now is to look into the disadvantages of Windmill and they include;
- A windmill is expensive: The construction of Windmill is expensive because the cost of installation and purchase is high at the initial time. The engineer that surveys the area before installation as well, transportation to the place of use, installation, and other processes to achieve its completeness. All these made windmill very expensive, although the cost is reducing the fact remains that it is expensive.
- The wind fluctuates: Although wind energy replenishes and inexhaustible, it is still not constant as the speed changes from time to time. This poses a problem to the windmill causing it to perform inefficiently.
- A windmill is noisy: in as much as windmill does not pollute the air with toxic waste, it pollutes the environment with noise. This noise has become a great challenge to peoples residing around it because the sound travels as far as 100m away. This is the reason for the installation of windmills on mountains and off the grid.
For as long as the earth remains round and spinning, wind can never be exhausted. Windmill has come a very long way ever since it’s first use. The modern advances on windmill make it an environmentally friendly substituent for fuels in the production of electricity.
Wind power has become one of the best ways to solve the world’s increasing energy demand because the wind is clean, non-toxic, inexhaustible, and free.
The world has been through many environmental hazards through harnessing energy from fossil fuels and nuclear reactions. We are on a lead for a clean and free energy future. Join our campaign for a clean and free energy future through education and investment in renewable energy resources. Sign up to our newsletter to receive updates on renewable energy resources.NAIHCOTECH