The Answer May Be Blowing In The Wind
Tthe windmills of the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of Ramsgate in Kent, England Thursday Sept. 23, 2010 as it is officially opened becoming the world's largest site of its type. Officials of energy company Vattenfall say the wind farm has 100 turbines and will produce enough energy a year to power the equivalent of more than 200,000 homes. The UK's onshore and offshore wind turbines now produce enough energy to power all the homes in Scotland. (AP Photo/Gareth Fuller/PA ) **UNITED KINGDOM OUT
It does not matter which direction the wind is coming from – modern industrial turbines are now programmed to turn into the wind as the wind shifts. These turbines have variable pitches. When the wind is low, it will pitch itself out to catch more wind. When the wind is high it will turn to catch less. In years past, there were problems with “runaway” turbines. The break would fail and the turbines would spin out of control. No one could get near them to repair the problem until the wind died down. They usually destroyed themselves maintaining the high speed, and fell apart, flying through the air. Now when the wind is too high, the turbine will shut itself down and restart when the wind has calmed down and it is, once again, safe to operate.
These large wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This power can be used for specific tasks such as pumping water or a generator can convert the power into electricity to be used by homes, businesses, and schools. The wind speed is very important and the stronger the wind, the more power. The energy in wind is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. There are now many thousands of wind turbines operating on wind farms. A wind farm is a group or collection of wind turbines in the same location, grouped together into a single wind power plant and used to produce electric power. This electricity is fed into a utility grid and distributed to customers. It’s distribution is much like conventional power plants. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines and can cover hundreds of square miles.
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Posted by FanningCommunications
on Mar 1st, 2012 and filed under Feature Story
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