Wind energy is just like the concept of solar energy, where the latter uses the energy provided by the sun, and the former converts the wind into usable energy. Wind energy is also alternative energy to the fossil fuel that we are now consuming at an alarming pace. The concept of wind energy is not new as it has been around since 2000 BC, where Egyptians would use sails to move their boat through the force of the wind. Large windmills of around 30 feet and 16 foot long blades were used since the 10th century BC.
There are some scientific facts about the wind patterns that need to be understood before we can understand its use. Solar heat is absorbed in different levels by different environments. Oceans, forests, deserts, valleys all have different heat as well as wind pressures. The air above the land heats up more quickly as compared to air above the water, and as this warm air rises, the cool air from lakes and rivers comes in to fill the vacuum left by the hot air. This process is the opposite at night. Factors such as change of seasons, day/night, humidity and cyclones, etc. determine the pattern of the wind.
With the combination of the sun’s energy and the wind on the Earth’s surface, there is wind energy that can be used as a renewable energy source. For places that have a high amount of wind pressure instead of sunlight, then wind energy comes in as the perfect alternative.
This is the reason why wind turbines are created at places where there is a very high wind pressure and with a speed of almost 160km/hour. These turbines do not take up much space as compared to massive power stations or nuclear plants. It occupies a few square meters for the base, and the land around the turbines are mostly used for agricultural purposes.
Installing a wind turbine is, however, not an easy task as the position of the place is to be chosen very carefully, keeping in mind wind pressure and speed. The setback to the wind energy system is the unreliability of the constantly changing wind patterns. Sometimes either it’s too low and it cannot be therefore totally dependent upon. Another problem is the turbine construction cost and the noise pollution caused.
These are minor problems that could be easily be tackled with the advancement in technology. The combined use of solar and wind energy, if targeted on a global scale, could be the next energy source that could eventually save the world.