The Basics of Wind Energy

An example of a renewable energy source that I examined was wind energy, which creates electricity by using the wind, and air flows that occur naturally in Earth’s atmosphere. With the creation of wind turbines, we were able to capture kinetic energy that was created by the wind and generate electricity.  There are three distinct types of wind energy: Utility-scale wind are wind turbines that range in size from one hundred kilowatts to megawatts. The electricity is delivered to the power grid and then distributed to the end user by electric utilities or power system operators. Distributed or “small” wind single small wind turbines that are below 100 kilowatts and are used to directly power a home, farm or small business and are not connected to the grid. And the third type is generated by Offshore Wind, these turbines that are erected in large bodies of water, usually on the continental shelf. Offshore wind turbines are larger than land-based turbines and can generate more power.

The turbines typically stand a little over 260 feet high and wind measurements are collected, and they direct the turbine to rotate while facing the strongest wind, at the correct angle of its blades to capture energy. Over the course of a year, turbines can generate enough usable electricity over 90 percent of the time. These turbines begin to generate power when the wind reaches six to nine miles per hour and will shut down if the wind reaches over fifty-five miles per hour to avoid damages. The building and maintaining of these wind turbines can provide new jobs and begin the spread of “wind farms”.

Food Scraps as Fuel

In 1879 Sir Charles Chamberland invented the autoclave which was later used to develop a waste autoclave which was later used to develop today’s organic waste converter.  Here’s how an organic waste generator works: 1) Organic waste (food scraps, mulch, firewood, biosolids, etc.) is superheated then 2) moisture is released from the heating of these materials which acts like steam and the 3) steam is used for power generation.

Organic waste converter technology is a sustainable alternative to traditional methods of waste disposal such as incineration and landfill dumping which have destructive effects on our environment.  Not only do organic waste converters reduce our carbon footprint and avoid polluting emissions, but they also result in a usable end product known as biofuel, soil compost, or building material (if mixture contains wood/garden scraps).  Organic waste converters vary in size; they are used in households to fuel a car or they are used in large corporations such as hospitals, which generate huge amounts of food scraps and biosolids, who then use the steam to generate electricity for the facility.  There is a large push in the U.S. to construct on-site organic waste converters in supermarkets.  Supermarkets throughout Europe have already implemented this technology and results have shown that there are massive decreases in electricity costs, waste disposal costs and carbon dioxide emissions.  Green technology is the ability of modern converters to transfer mechanical energy and friction force on the waste mass into heat energy that is used in the pasteurization and sterilization processes.  In the future we should look forward to seeing more green technology integrated into our daily life.