What is wind energy? Wind energy is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of theatmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of theearths surface, and rotation of the earth. Wind flow patterns are modified by the earths terrain, bodies of water, and vegetation. This wind flow is harvested by modern wind turbines, can be used to generate electricity.
How is wind energy processed?Wind turbines convert the kineticenergy in the wind intomechanical energy. Thismechanical energy can be usedfor specific tasks or a generatorcan convert this mechanicalenergy into electricity to powerhomes, businesses, schools etc.First wind spins the windmill blades. As the bladesspin, mechanical energy is processed through thelow-speed shaft and then into the gearbox. Thehigh-speed shaft then collects the energy andsends it to the generator where it is stored for awhile and then sent down the tower to thetransformer. The transformer changes themechanical energy into electrical energy and sendsthem out to power lines.
What is wave energy? Wave energy is the energy produced by moving waves or tides. Waves are caused by moving windsover the surface of the ocean. There are many parts of the world where wind blow consistently enoughand with enough force to keep maintaining on going waves. Waves are also caused by tectonic activityunder the earth`s crust. Areas with rich wave power include western coasts of Scotland, northern Canada, southern Africa, Australia, and the northwestern coasts of the United States.
How is wave energy processed?The kinetic energy of waves arecaptured in a way similar to capturingwind energy. They also use turbinesexcept these turbines are located underwater.Wave is also processed in a similar wayas well. First the push of the waves Towerspins the rotor blades. The mechanicalenergy passes through the nacelle Nacelle(low-speed shaft, gearbox, high-speedshaft, generator). Then it travels upthe tower to get to the transformer.Then finally, the transformer sends thenewly generated electricity to theelectrical power plant it is connectedto. The power plant then sends it to us Rotor bladesthrough power lines.
The advantages of wind energy Advantages of wind energy• Wind power is free (after the initial production and installation)• Wind power is clean (no pollution or carbon dioxide after the initial setup, apart from the emissions produced to manufacture, transport, erect and maintain them)• Wind is a renewable and sustainable resource. We can use as much as we can today and there will still be more tomorrow.• Wind power will become cheaper than fossil fuel in the next few years (when the price of carbon is added to coal and oil).• Wind turbines are self sufficient, just place them and watch them spin! (low maintenance, few moving parts, easy to repair)• Wind prices wont inflate like todays gas prices.• The land beneath can still be used for farming.• Also one wind turbine takes up a smaller spot of land than a factory• Wind turbines are a great resource to generate energy in remote locations, such as mountain communities and remote countryside. Wind turbines can be a range of different sizes in order to support varying population levels
Disadvantages of wind energy• The main disadvantage regarding wind power is down to the winds unreliability factor. In many areas, the winds strength is too low to support a wind turbine or wind farm, and this is where the use of solar power or geothermal power could be great alternatives• Wind turbine construction can be very expensive and costly to surrounding wildlife during the build process• Protests usually confront any proposed wind farm development. People feel the countryside should be left in tact for everyone to enjoy its beauty• The noise pollution from commercial wind turbines is sometimes similar to a small jet engine
Advantages of wave energy• Tidal energy is renewable• The energy produced is clean and non polluting• There is no carbon dioxide or any other by-products released. It produces no greenhouse gases or other waste• It is a renewable energy that will help reduce our reliance on the burning of fossil fuels• There are two tides every day and they can be relied on. The energy is there for the taking.• So the electricity supply is constant and efficient.• Once youve built it, the energy is free because it comes from the oceans power• It needs no fuel• It produces electricity reliably• Not expensive to maintain• Tides are definitely predictable• Offshore turbines and vertical-axis turbines are not ruinously expensive to build and do not have a large environmental impact• A plant is expected to be in production for 75 to 100 years• Uses an abundant, inexpensive fuel source (water) to generate power• May protect coastline against damage from high storm tides
Disadvantages of wave energy• Effects on marine life during construction phases• Expensive to construct• The dams and barrages sometimes interfere with shipping• Barrages affect fish migration and other wildlife- many fish like salmon swim up to the barrages and are killed by the spinning turbines. Fish ladders may be used to allow passage for the fish, but these are never 100% effective. Barrages may also destroy the habitat of the wildlife living near it• Affects the lives of the people who rely on fishing for a means of living• There are few suitable sites for tidal barrages
How it would power a houseEven though wind and wave energy have somedisadvantages, they could still power a house inefficient ways. Wind energy, when converted toelectrical energy, can power just about anything in ahouse from your toaster to your T.V. Wind and waveenergy are converted into electrical energy and sentto homes through a power plant. The energy thatyour home receives is the same that you wouldreceive from a nuclear or coal power plant, it is justprocessed in a more cheaper and eco-friendly way.
Glossary solar energy: light and heat from the sun kinetic energy: energy of an object is the energy which it possesses due to its motion mechanical energy: whenever a force acts upon an object and causes it to be displaced electrical energy: the presence and flow of an electric charge power lines: poles that connect power plants to homes gearbox: machine consists of a power source and a power transmission system generator: machine that converts mechanical energy into other energy forms tectonic activity: movement of the tectonic plates under the earth`s crust
Glossary (continued)Power plant: industrial facility for the generation of electric powerNacelle: hold the gearbox, high and low speed shaft, the generator and transformergeothermal power: the power of heat energy from under groundFossil fuels: fuels formed by natural processes