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”.

4 thoughts on “The Basics of Wind Energy

  1. I think offshore wind energy is exciting but unfortunately it has a long way to go in terms of its development and planning. During my internship this summer this summer my team was working a lot of the development of offshore wind and the biggest obstacle they were facing was the challenge of the transmission lines which tends to be the biggest challenge when dealing with wind/solar energy. There are countless researchers and engineers working together to try to solve this issue so that offshore wind may become more regular so the U.S. can increase the amount of renewable energy being used.

  2. It’s awesome to read about the potential of this energy source, especially because it seems to have more positives than negatives. It is really frustrating to me to have people be opposed to wind farms and turbines because they are considered eye sores. There is actually a movement of artists that are working to make wind turbines art statements/sculptures of sort. I’d love to see this kind of creative problem solving more.

  3. Offshore wind turbines is a new idea for me. I had never thought of that, though it seems like a feasible option. but as Marielle discussed I am sure we have a long way to go in perfecting wind energy and turbines. In contrast to hydroelectric power that Angie and I posted about, wind seems to generate a more substantial amount of energy.

  4. I think its really interesting to learn about wind energy as a renewable energy source. They are pretty common in rural areas, there are quite a few around our area and in the mountains of Vermont. I grew up with the idea of wind farms, having been afforded the opportunity of traveling my whole life. But never really understood how they worked. I agree with Angie that the fact that they are opposed based upon the trivial fact that they are considered “eye-sores” is shocking.

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