Here at James Waste we are passionate about saving our planet and one of the ways we can do this is by investing in solar wind energy. Solar wind energy is a renewable energy source that is saving our environment. Scientists, engineers and environmental professionals are hopeful that wind power will account for a third of the world’s energy supply by 2050.
Wind power creates electricity using the air flows that occur naturally in the earth’s atmosphere. Wind turbine blades capture kinetic energy from the wind and turn it into mechanical energy, spinning a generator that creates energy. So, how is wind energy also considered a type of solar energy? Read on to find out more.
Wind Energy is Really a Form of Solar Energy
This might seem a strange concept to you. Sure, solar energy exists and you know people who have solar panels on their roofs, but how does wind energy fit under the same category? Well, it’s all quite scientific so pay attention. Basically, the uneven heating of the ground combined with the rotation of the earth causes different atmospheric pressures to form in the air. And, as we all know, warm air rises while cold air sinks and this results in gusts of wind. The wind turbines are placed specifically amid the wind flows where they can pick up the gusts of wind, rotate their turbines and produce energy. Which is why, turbines are often placed near bodies of open water and areas of land where the wind is known to pick up.
Wind turbines are often grouped together into, what is known as, a wind farm so they can generate and distribute electricity in bulk.
How do Wind Turbines Work?
So, it’s all well and good knowing the basics. But, how do wind turbines work? Well, when the wind blows it causes the blades of the wind turbine to spin (just as a windmill would). The movement of the turning blades turns a rotor at the heart of the wind turbine which boosts the speed of the spin. A generator then cleverly turns this speed and energy into electricity. Just like traditional power stations, wind turbines are connected to the National Grid which is how the electricity gets dispersed to everyone.
Fun Fact: Wind turbines are built tall because, the higher up you are, the faster the wind speed will be and the more energy produced as a result.
How Wind Energy Gets to you
As mentioned above, wind turbines are connected to the National Grid. Once the wind energy has reached the main power grid, electric utilities and power operators will deliver the electricity where it is needed. The electricity travels along so-called distribution lines which transport it across long distances. The smaller distribution lines deliver electricity directly to your town and home.
The Benefits of Solar Wind Energy
There are so many benefits of wind energy that many people do not realise. Here at James Waste, we are keen to promote this incredible source of renewable energy. So, read on to discover more about the benefits of solar wind energy.
A Renewable Non-Polluting Resource
Wind energy is free and renewable, so no matter how much is used today, it will be continually supplied and won’t run out. Wind energy is also a clean source of energy and does not pollute our environment with air pollutants of greenhouse gases like a lot of non-renewable energy sources do.
It may sound odd, but you wouldn’t build your wind turbines in an area prone to sudden gusts of wind. Obstacles like buildings often cause wind turbulence because they break up the steady flow of wind. Consequently, this can cause damage to the turbine’s blades, reducing their lifespan and making their upkeep expensive. As mentioned before, the best place for wind turbines to be installed is somewhere with a regular and steady flow of wind. In the sea or on a hill is perfect but it is recommended that cities or busy populated areas are avoided.
Wind Farms are Built to Last
Wind turbines are built to last and can last for up to 25 years, even withstanding some pretty rough conditions. It is particularly important that wind farms situated far out to sea need to be built strong enough to stand sea winds, salt corrosion and open-water storms. To do this, engineers build the steel base directly into the sea bed or onto solid stilts, depending on the ocean depth. But rest assured, these things are built to last and it would take something massive for them to be knocked over.
Wind Farms Help Marine Life Flourish
Are you worried about the impact wind farms have on local wildlife? Well, don’t be because scientists have already proven that offshore wind farms can benefit animals and marine life. The solid banks below wind farms form artificial reefs where fish can find shelter and a safe place to breed. Colonies of seals have also been known to flock to the wind turbines and find shelter and a place to feed on crabs and cod just beneath the waves.
Not only do wind farms offer support for marine life but they also offer long term advantages for wildlife too. As with all renewable energy sources, wind power reduces CO2 emissions, clearing the air. Increasing CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere traps greenhouses gases, resulting in global warming and melting ice caps. By keeping CO2 emissions low, we are protecting the world’s animals and ensuring their safety.
So, wind power is incredible but is it really taking off? Well, yes. Due to their success, Energy companies are investing more in renewable energy sources and helping our planet thrive. In fact, not only is the UK’s energy portfolio looking greener every year, but as a country we have more offshore wind farms than the rest of Europe combined.
Here at James Waste we will be watching the increasing success of solar wind energy with excitement, knowing that our country is setting the example in the strive for renewable energy sources. Did you find this article interesting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and what you think about solar wind energy.