What is a wind farm, and how does it work?

earth weather

(© Sean K – stock.adobe.com)

In a time where environmental impact is constantly in the news, it is important that people understand alternative energies and how they can help to save the planet. This includes wind farms which are becoming increasingly more common yet something that many people do not know much about.

What is a Wind Farm?

So, what exactly is a wind farm? This is a large area with a group of wind turbines which look like extremely tall windmills. Wind turbines harvest the power of wind and turn this into energy which is another form of solar energy. In order for them to work, they need to be in windy areas and this is why you regularly see them in the ocean or near large bodies of water.

How They Work

Wind turbines work by the wind turning the turbines which then turn the energy of the wind into mechanical power. Generators are then used to turn this mechanical power into electricity which can be used to power homes, businesses etc. Essentially, a wind turbine is the opposite of a fan which uses electricity to turn the blades. They require the use of an anemometer in order to properly monitor wind speed and direction and to control the turbine.

Benefits

There are many benefits to wind farms and they are an excellent alternative to fossil fuels. This is because wind energy is both free and renewable while not emitting any kind of pollution or greenhouse gases. Additionally, although wind farms can take up a huge amount of space with some having hundreds of turbines, the turbines themselves do not actually take up a huge amount of lateral space which means that these farms are often used for other purposes, such as regular farming.

Drawbacks

The only downside to wind farms is that they rely on the wind which is, of course, out of control so electricity demand is not always met. Additionally, they can be expensive to set up but do allow for long term savings. It is predicted that they will become increasingly more common in the next decade, though, with experts in the US claiming that the percentage of wind power will increase from 3% to 20% by 2030.

Wind farms are a great form of alternative energy in a time where big changes are having to be made to slow down environmental damage. They are a smart way to generate electricity with a range of benefits so they will be key along with a few other forms of alternative energy in the years to come.



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