The era of using wind power in the form of a windmill to grind grains and pump water is over. Who would believe that heavy wind signifies more than the downpour of heavy rain and fresh air?
Wind power is now very valuable for generating electricity. Yes, we are talking about wind. How would you see using wind power to stop the incessant electricity problems?
If after knowing this, and you still go ahead to complain about insufficient electricity, then I don’t know what I will call that. Let me take you to a whole new ride of realization of what wind power can do.
WHAT IS WIND POWER?
Wind possesses kinetic energy. Now, wind power is a process of energy conversion, in which turbines are used to convert the kinetic energy of wind into mechanical or electrical energy. How this works is that, once wind hits the turbine blade, it causes the turbines connected to them to rotate.
This will turn the rotational energy to kinetic energy, thereby turning the shaft of the generator connected to them. Then the kinetic energy is now converted to electrical energy through electromagnetism.
A great amount of power can be generated by the winds, but this is solely dependent on the size of the turbine and the measure of its blade. By implication, the output depends on the dimensions of the rotor and the size of the wind cube.
Therefore once the winds speed increases, wind power potentials increases too. The rate at which wind powers are used has increased over the decade.
The wind power that has been installed both on shore and off shore has increased tremendously by almost a factor of 75 in the past two decades, moving from 7.5 gigawatts in 1997 to 564 gigawatts by 2018.
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER WIND POWER
Wind power is a major source of renewable energy.
Wind power cannot be exhausted, because there is no such thing as scarcity of wind.
Am sure you care much about your health, and in that regard wind power is not in any way harmful because it does not contain fossil fuel.
Wind power reduces the dependence on fossil fuels.
Wind power has also been very useful to the economy as it provides a series of jobs for different personnel in different sectors.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN WIND POWER SECTOR
You might be wondering if there are chances of a job in this sector. Of course, the wind power industry is one energy industry that employs many laborers.
Here, you will find, engineers, plant managers, and quality assurance personnel are needed in the manufacturing, installation and operations departments.
Workers will also be needed for blade productions, tower productions, or gear box productions.
We also believe that there will be space for computer scientists, mathematicians and atmospheric scientists. So if you fit into any of the categories mentioned above, you can seek for the nearest wind power industry closest to you as you might be lucky to get a job.
Could there be disadvantages to using wind power?
In as much as wind power cannot be exhausted, you must note that it fluctuates a great deal.
It produces a great deal of noise pollution.
Visual pollution is also associated with wind power.
Wind powers also is not all that affordable.
Amidst all these, wind power is highly encouraged because it goes a great deal in satisfying our electrical needs. Obviously the advantages outweighs the disadvantages, so let’s talk about how you can get it installed.
HOW TO INSTALL WIND POWER
There are several processes involved in the installation of wind power but don’t panic I will give you a step by step process to make your installation a success
- The very first thing to do is foundation preparation and installation. The size of the turbine will determine whether you will use large or small machinery.
- After carefully laying out your foundation, it is advised that you wait for at least a period of 2 weeks for it to properly set. But then, if it is a home-based installation, it is proper to strengthen the roof of your building so that it won’t be affected.
- Once you are done with the installation, you go ahead and dig a trench. This trench is needed for electrical cables which run from the turbine to the control unit and inverter.
- The next is to go on and erect your turbine. The size of the tower and the turbine determine the machinery to use for it. Big sizes require big machinery like a crane, while small size turbines require small machinery.
- You can now go on and carry out the electrical wiring. This needs the service of an electrical engineer. You can always contact me anytime for proper guidance.
- The wind turbines DC output will be connected to the control box and inverter, while your AC output will be connected directly to the property’s electrical supply and the electrical grid. Now for safety purposes, isolators can also be installed.
- You can now go on and connect to the electricity grid. Ensure you get the necessary approval from the concerned bodies.
WIND POWER STATIONS ACROSS THE GLOBE
So many countries originally used wind mills for different reasons. Some used it to grind grains, others used it to propel boats. This was very much rampant in the Nile river as early as 500BC.
As at 200BC, China started using it to power water pumps. This continued until like 11th century when countries in the middle east started using wind mills and wind pumps to produce food.
The oil shortages that happened in countries like the US around 1970 was an eye-opener. People started using wind powers for other different means for generating electricity, and windmills was a very wonderful means. That opened the vast possibilities of using windmill to generate electricity in the US and the world at large. This was how we came to have so many different wind farms scattered around the globe.
There are many wind power farms, but I will give you some of the largest.
- Jiuguan wind power base, China- This is believed to be the world’s biggest farm. It’s installed capacity is up to 20GW
- Jaisalmer wind park India- This Jaisalmer wind park is the highest in India. It was developed by Suzim energy.
- Alta wind energy center, US- They have an operative capacity of 1,548MW.
- Mupandal windfarm India– This is the biggest onshore wind farm in India. They have 1500MW capacity.
- Shepherd flat wind farm, US– This is the fifth biggest wind farm in the world. It is located near Arlington in Eastern Oregon US. It has 845MW capacity.
- Roscoe wind farm US- It is located 45 miles southwest of Abilene, in Texas US. Roscoe wind farm is owned and operated by Germany based company E, ON climate and renewables.
- Horse hollow wind energy center, Texas US– It is located in Taylor and Nolan County Texas US. It is operated by NextEra energy resources. It has a facility of 735.5MW
- Capricorn Ridge wind farm, Texas US– This is an onshore wind farm owned and operated by NextEra energy resources. It is located in sterling and comes countries. It has a capacity of 662.5MW
- Walney extension offshore wind Farm, UK- This is located in the Irish sea and has a total capacity of 695MW. The project is 50% owned and operated by Orsted, with the remaining half of the ownership shared equally between, Danish pension funds, PKA(25%) and PFA(25%)
- London array offshore wind farm UK- this is located in the outer Thames Estuary more than 20km off the coasts of Kent’s and Essex. This is the largest offshore farm in the world, with its installed capacity as 630MW. It is generally ranked as the world’s sixth-largest windfarm.
For more detailed information about the various wind farms, check here
GLOBAL WIND POWER CAPACITY
The largest wind power market in the world is China, with a capacity of over 237 gigawatts of wind power installed.
China’s wind potential is remarkable due to a large landmass as well as a long coastline. At first, China set ambitious goals for adding offshore wind capacity, however, offshore development has progressed slower than expected as many domestic turbine manufacturers lack experience. To reach its offshore goals, China had to use foreign products.
Below is a graphical representation of the global usage of wind power over the years. The chart will show you that so many people are currently opting for wind power to make life less stressful for themselves unlike some decades ago.
China is by far the largest installer of wind power capacity in the world, more than doubling the second-ranked United States. As of 2019, China had cumulatively installed over 237 gigawatts of wind energy, in comparison to 105.4 gigawatts of wind energy installed in the United States.
Worldwide, the cumulative capacity of installed wind energy reached 650.7 gigawatts in 2018, a generous increase over the last decades. The potential of wind energy around the world is immense, and wind power can often be accessed from remote places, as seen in the rise of offshore winds energy.
Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one that marvels at how the wind power system operates. If you have access to any wind farm around you, I will advise you to go and see the wonders. Wind power has helped and is still helping to save the electrical need of the world.
If you own a large company, I am sure you won’t hesitate to have a windmill installed in your company.
For small homeowners, there are actually small wind electrical systems that work for residential homes. You can seek the advice of professionals like NAIHCOTECH to get the installation process and details. Again if you are leaving in a country with an unstable electrical supply like Nigeria, you should be getting one installed right away.