Wind power refers to the process of creating power or electricity, using the air flow that naturally occurs in the Earth’s Atmosphere. While the sun heats the surface of the earth, the uneven nature of this process creates hot air that rises, and cool air that filters in to fill the void. According to the Global Wind Energy Council; The wind industry produced over 52 Gigawatts of power in 2017 alone. To put that in perspective, 1 Gigawatt is equivalent to 1 billion watts of power, which is enough energy to power the entirety of New York City for a full calendar year! Today we will go over some Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to Wind Power.
How Does Wind Power Work?
The idea behind Wind turbines and their operation is rather simple. A turbine consists of two or three plus propeller-like blades that are connected to a rotor. The rotor is then attached to the main shaft. The spinning of the main shaft converts kinetic energy from the spinning drive shaft and turns it into electrical energy. The electrical energy is then transferred via cables to a substation or its final storage location for later or immediate use.
What are the Disadvantages of Wind Power?
A major disadvantage of Wind power is consistency. Wind power can vary, operating as low as 45 percent of it's full efficiency. One of the most important features of an efficient power grid is a predictable supply of power, to properly meet a constantly varying demand. With this in mind, a wind farm must be roughly twice the size of the actual demand to ensure perfect performance. The largest drawback of Wind Power is space requirements. Ocean based turbine farms are a great way around the space requirement issue. However, this type of configuration is quite costly.
What are the Advantages of Wind Power?
Wind turbines produce clean energy, and once constructed, don’t give off any carbon dioxide or sulfur dioxide emissions, of which cause global warming and air pollution. Once built, the energy created is limitless and free, over the average lifespan of 25 years (excluding parts and maintenance). Based on their entire operating lifespan, they have the lowest carbon dioxide emissions of any form of power generation. The creation and design of wind farms also produces countless jobs in manufacturing, design, construction, operation and maintenance.
Which US State Produces the Most Power via Wind Farms?
Texas is typically known for being a leader in domestic oil production. But did you know that Texas is also the largest producer of Wind Power of all the US States? That is correct! By the end of 2017, Texas reported more than 22,000 Megawatts of wind power. The Roscoe Wind Farm located in West Texas for example, spans nearly 100,000 acres and is helping to revive the local economy while generating enough power for 250,000 homes! You can see an image of the Roscoe Wind Farm below.
The US Department of Energy predicts a total of 404 Gigawatts of wind energy capacity across the country, by the year 2050. With that type of growth we are excited to see how largely the field advances on both a residential and commercial level. As always, we are just a phone call away (877-548-3387) and are happy to offer our expertise on all of your Wind and Solar power needs!