Discuss about the Communication for Sciences for Mechanical Energy.
Wind turbine is a propeller with blades that converts wind kinetic energy into mechanical energy when it is blown by wind and rotates. Wind power was driving boats in River Nile as early as 5000BC. Some Asian countries were using wind power for grinding grains and pumping water. Traders took the idea to Europe and USA which saw the wind turbine being used to generate electricity. In 1887 first known wind turbine to generate electricity was built by Prof James Blyth of Anderson’s college Glasgow. He used electricity produced to light up his cottage and offered surplus to his villagers to light up street in Marykirk. They turn down the offer claiming that was witchcraft! This innovation is very significant because it made work easier & produces clean energy. The purpose of this article is to explore major pros and cons of wind energy.
When the wind blows on the blades of the wind turbine it rotates the shaft connected to it thereby converting the kinetic energy of wind (energy in motion) into mechanical energy (rotation). (Jacobson, & Mullaly, 2012) The mechanical energy obtained can be harnessed into electricity production by having the turbine’s rotating shaft pass through electromagnetism field that results to induction of electric energy when the shafts cuts through the magnetic field as it rotates. The same mechanical energy can still be used in pumping water or grinding grains. (Gr & uuml., 2013)
This innovation is advantageous in a number of ways. In earlier days the wind turbines made it possible for the large land to be reclaimed from the sea for Agricultural purposes like the case in Netherlands which wind turbines was used to pump water out of sea to reclaim the land. This was not possible before. With introduction of fuel generated electricity the cost of electricity continually raised with the coast of fuel such that currently wind generated electricity is cheaper on large scale. Wind energy is also green energy not harmful to the environment and is renewable energy that can be used again and again without depleting the resources. The other form of electricity production like nuclear is very harmful to environment as it emits radiations that complicate genetic make up of living things. Fuel generated electricity pollutes environment by emitting smoke to the environment that leads to green-house effect. On remote areas that the national grid can not reach because of heat dissipations that when cost-effect analysis is done it is advantageous not to connect those areas to the national grid as the power lost through dissipation is substantial compared to the power that will be actually consumed in those areas. In this case wind turbines can be used to have those locations access electricity by setting up wind generated electricity stations in the areas. This will save energy that would have been dissipated along the transmission lines in an attempt to connect the areas affected to the main national grid. (Tavner, 2012)
Depending on the design and strength of the wind the cost of production of wind generated electricity may not be competitive compared to other forms like hydro-power. In this case therefore the setting up of this plant should be alive to these factors in order for the coast of production to be cost effective regardless of government subsidies.
Wind is a resource that is not available everywhere on earth and as such wind generated electricity is not an option in those areas. This is a challenge it limits places where this plants can be installed even when monetary resources are available to install such a plant in area that is maybe not in National grid. (Musgrove, 2010)
Most of the places that have strong winds capable of generating wind electricity in a cost effective manner are located far away from cities where the energy is needed most. This necessitate building of transmissions lines from the source to the market i.e. consumers increasing the overhead cost of production as the lines will need initial capital to built them and continuous maintenance cost that adds to the cost of production and cutting on the profit margin of the venture. Depending also on the distance between the source and the location of the main consumers the electrical energy loss in form of heat dissipated on the transmission lines could be significant compared to the quantity of electricity generated at the source. Therefore those setting up this kind of plants usually have to analysis this situation to ensure the venture is viable. (Martin, & Roux, 2010)
In conclusion wind turbines have huge positive impact on the society than the challenges it presents to the society. The factor of renewable energy that can not be depleted, green energy that is clean to the environment as well as the competitive cost of production makes great impact to the society than challenges it offers of implementation. All the governments in the world should consider investing heavily on wind generated electricity in place of hydro and fuel power stations where possible.
Gr & uuml.,. (2013). Concrete Constructions for Wind Turbines. Ernst & Sohn.
Jacobson, R., & Mullaly, G. (2012). How wind turbines work. Mankato, Minn.: Child's World.
Martin, G., & Roux, J. (2010). Wind turbines types, economics and development. Hauppauge NY: Nova Science.
Musgrove, P. (2010). Wind power. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Tavner, P. (2012). Offshore Wind Turbines. Stevenage: IET.