With energy issues becoming a daily subject in the news, wind energy is gaining notoriety. Here is an overview of wind farms and their potential.
An Overview of Wind Farms
A wind farm is simply a collection of wind turbines in a location used to produce electricity. Wind farms can be found in the United States, but are far more prevalent in Europe. China is also beginning to invest large amounts of resources in wind farms as its energy needs grow.
The fundamentals of electricity production through wind farms are pretty simple. Highly efficient wind turbines are placed in locations where they will receive the maximum amount of wind energy. These turbines can be traditional horizontal windmills or vertical eggbeater windmills.
Regardless, the wind turns the blades as it passes, which turns a generator within the turbine. The turning motion converts the wind energy into electricity when the generator cranks, which is then sent into a utility company power grid or stored in batteries. This process is similar to hydropower with wind being used instead of water.
The stereotypical wind farm is an exercise in topography. The goal is to find...