Renewable Energy | Wind Turbines For Renewable Energy
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Renewable Energy | Wind Turbines For Renewable Energy

Wind turbines are rotating machines made for the sole purpose of turning kinetic energy generated by wind into a renewable source of mechanical energy; which in turn can be used for other purposes, such as converting into electricity. Direct use of that mechanical energy makes the machine a wind mill, while conversion to electricity renders it a machine called by any of the following names: wind generators, wind turbines, wind power units (WPU), or wind energy converters (WEC).

The basic technology have been in use for many centuries now, but the main focus for this seemingly-ancient technology nowadays is its sought function as an alternative method of generating power in form of WPU’s. While its purpose is clean cut, there is still much to be done before it can be used as a viable alternative to oil, coal, and nuclear power. This has a lot to do with current concerns about the environment and the impending depletion of fossil fuels, making wind turbines one of the main focuses of the green movement as a source of renewable energy.

Modern wind turbines have two types: horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWT) and vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT). The former is the one most well-known with windmills as a classic example. Advantages of HAWT’s are that of structural stability, variable blade pitch, and its versatility in terms of being able to catch winds by being built in elevation and its ability to be feathered in case of storms. It disadvantages include difficulties in installation, operation, maintenance, and transportation. VAWT’s fare better in terms of the HAWT’s disadvantages, since they don’t need to be built very high up. However, they can’t match up in terms of efficiency and stability.

Wind turbines are a definite part of the world’s ongoing quest for energy alternatives with good reason. Obvious advantages are that of renewable energy and apparent lack of environmental risk. Since it has been used throughout human history, it is a tested theory. It is accessible technology that works by the basic principles that most people who have actually paid attention to their science class in grade school can understand.

However, there are also disadvantages that are worth noting. First is that of cost, since numerous wind turbines are required to generate a significant amount of usable energy proportionate to the size of the community. Also, they aren’t exactly gentle as there have been numerous cases of “wind turbine syndrome” resulting from the constant loud noise that can affect nearby residents. Symptoms can include sleeping problems, headaches, exhaustion, irritability, dizziness, and so on. Also, location is a big problem since a windy place is a necessity – with winds strong enough to turn the blades of each and every turbine.

While wind turbines are definitely a good idea to implement, much has yet to be understood and discovered before it can actually be a viable source of energy in today’s world. The best solution right now to alleviate energy woes is to combine this with different alternative solutions to maximize effect and replace traditional fossil fuel-driven methods of generating power. While a total solution is yet to be found, it is definitely within reach.

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