Electric Power vs Wind Power

For a few decades now, the fact that the main sources of electrical energy depend on fossil fuels has been questioned, taking into account the CO2 emission that is generated. Concern for the well-being of the environment motivates these questions, while stimulating the search for renewable energy sources.

So they have opted for new sources of energy that are clean; that is, that its use is not counterproductive in environmental terms.

As we saw in How is electrical energy produced?, there are many ways to take advantage of the resources that the world offers us to generate usable electrical energy, which is so necessary today. They can be divided into two: those that use renewable primary energy, and those that use non-renewable primary energy.

Next, We will explore in depth the use of wind energy for the generation of electrical energy and we will compare it, in terms of its advantages and disadvantages, with respect to other forms of generating electricity. As it is an alternative source of electricity independent of the main electrical network, it can be compared, for example, with an electric generator, which fulfills the same function.

Table of Contents

Why is electricity important?

Wind power

What is?

For centuries, the force of the wind has been used for different tasks. Perhaps the most famous use is that of windmills to grind grain, the first examples of which date back to the 6th century. Wind energy refers to the energy obtained from the force of the wind. It is a fairly serious and robust commitment to a renewable energy source, which is also sustainable, profitable and efficient.

To be truly efficient, not just one wind turbine, but dozens of them must be installed in what are known as wind farms. This ensures a considerable generation of GW. Likewise, the location of the wind farm must be strategic: in a place that does not affect the population and, at the same time, guarantees the maximum possible presence of winds.

How does it work?

On earth, the sun does not heat its surface uniformly. So the air in some places is warmer than in others. Thus, hot air rises and cold air falls, generating differences in atmospheric pressure. These pressures cause the movement of the air, giving rise to the wind. Thus, In some areas there is a greater presence of winds than in others.

These areas, after innumerable studies in which the behavior of the wind is even projected in the coming years, are ideal for installing wind farms with dozens of wind turbines. Even since the wind at sea is usually strong and constant, there are offshore wind farms.

The operation of these is really simple, as well as their maintenance. Wind turbines are that kind of "mills" that move with the wind. It has three blades or blades that are designed to capture the greatest amount of kinetic energy from the force of the wind. To fulfill this purpose, they are able to orient themselves automatically.

Thus, the wind can move the blades (and the rotor to which they are attached) at a speed of just 30 rpm. It is a really low speed, but the wind turbine has a multiplier, which is a transmission system that, by means of gears, makes the slow movement of the low-speed shaft captured by the rotor translate into a fast movement on the high-speed shaft (up to about 1,500 rpm) that provides mechanical energy to the three-phase alternator.

Here, the mechanical energy transmitted by the high-speed shaft is captured and transformed into electrical energy. How? The phenomenon of electrical induction explains it: this rotary movement moves magnetic fields on a conductive material, stimulating the flow of its electrons, which results in the generation of electricity.


Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages

  1. It is a clean energy source: it does not emit toxic waste into the environment. Commitment to the decarbonization of the economy.
  2. It is rapidly becoming popular, so that the current offer, in terms of technological development, is more efficient than that of a few decades ago.
  3. Generates electricity without higher costs; its maintenance is equally economical.
  4. Its source of sustenance is practically inexhaustible: the wind will never end.
  5. Although the ideal is for it to be installed in a wind farm, nothing prevents taking individual initiative and installing one of your own to meet private energy needs.

Disadvantages

  1. Wind turbines, despite not emitting toxic waste, are not entirely friendly to the environment: it is responsible for the death of many flying animals that hit the blades.
  2. They are subject to weather conditions: no wind, no electricity.
  3. They occupy vast extensions of land (although it can also be used for agriculture).
  4. It is necessary to have a robust wind farm to support the normally required consumption.

Other ways to generate electrical energy

With the exception of solar panels, which take advantage of the photovoltaic effect, almost all ways of generating electricity are based on the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction. However, the only way it does this without burning fossil fuels, or emitting toxic waste, or seriously affecting the environment is wind power.

However, at present, the generation of electricity through thermoelectric or hydroelectric plants is still very much in force. Also through nuclear plants, in more developed countries. And this trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

A 60KW stationary electric generator, for example, is a very current competition with respect to a small wind turbine. They work under the same principle: convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Their powers vary a lot from model to model, since not all of them have the same technical characteristics, but in ideal conditions they are between 20 and 130 KW. But let's see what are the advantages and disadvantages of an electric generator with respect to a wind turbine.

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages

  1. They are available regardless of weather conditions.
  2. They generate a considerable and constant amount of electrical energy.
  3. Its acquisition is much cheaper.
  4. It has a long service life.

Disadvantages

  1. They generate noise and air pollution with the resulting waste.
  2. They require more regular maintenance.
  3. To function, they must be supplied with fuel.

In this way, we see that the advantages and disadvantages of the ways of generating electrical energy are very relative, since they depend on the use that will finally be given to it. It will always be a good idea to seek advice from specialized personnel to learn in greater detail the technical specifications of the energy source that you may consider purchasing. However, we invite you to know our models in electric generators.

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