There are a number of renewable energy sources available, one of which is wind power. The methods used for harnessing the wind to generate electricity are fairly straightforward, though there are a few things you should know if you’re planning to get a degree in wind energy technology. Here, we’ll go over a few of the basics of wind energy, including the methods for harvesting it, utilizing it, and developing it.
A wind turbine consists of a tall tower topped with turbine blades. These blades are angled such that when the wind blows past them, it causes them to spin. This turns a shaft which is connected to a gearbox that multiplies the number of rotations. This all spins a generator that produces electricity.
Turbines are equipped with sensors that detect wind direction and speed. The data received through the sensors is used to adjust the turbine’s angle to harvest as much wind energy as possible.
Development and Use
Wind energy can be harvested in large or small quantities, with large turbine farms producing enough to help supply towns and small ones taking the edge off of household utilities. Turbines are also deployed on water as an offshore wind energy source.
Developing a wind energy project involves several factors, including:
- The strength of the wind in an area
- Access to transmission lines
- Availability of the land
- Cooperation of local population
- Marketability of electricity, including the costs of developing the system and transferring it to places where it will be used
It takes several years to make all the necessary assessments and obtain required permits for a wind project on a given piece of land. Funding and parts are then obtained and the construction of the wind farm can commence.
Once a wind energy project is completed, the system is maintained for a few decades , during which it feeds the energy produced into the grid for general or personal use, depending on the scale of the project.
Estimates show that wind could potentially provide as much as ten times the amount of electricity the nation uses currently. The process of utilizing wind for energy leaves no carbon footprint, and the resource itself doesn’t run out.
Of course, to provide these benefits, wind energy systems need to be well crafted and maintained. A wind energy degree program can prepare you to assist in the manufacture, assembly, development, or maintenance of a wind project.