A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same located that is used to produce electric power. A large wind farm may consist of over a thousand wind turbines, and cover an area of more than a hundred of square miles.
Economic wind Farms generators
Economic wind generators require a wind speed of 10 miles per hour (16 kilometres per hour) or more to operate. The ideal locations for these farms are in areas with constant wind flow throughout the year, with a minimum chance of sudden bursts of wind.
In order to find the right areas to plant wind farms, scientists screen sites on the basis of a wind atlas. This wind atlas is data accumulated of the past thirty years (or longer) and used to determine if the area is suitable for a wind farm. A wind atlas contains all the data on the wind speed and direction in the area. The data includes maps, time sequences and frequency distribution of the wind.
What are the qualifications?
When choosing a wind farm, the data required includes 10-minute averaged wind at heights of between 30-100 metres over a 10-20 year period. This data will allow scientists the ability to determine if the site is suitable for a wind farm.
So what are the benefits of wind energy?
- Wind energy is environmentally friendly and clean, as no fossil fuels are required to generate the electricity.
- Wind turbines take up less space than the average power station. Windmills only have to occupy a few square meters at the base. This allows farmers the ability to plant crops in the space between windmills.
- The newer technologies available are making the extraction of wind energy far more efficient. Therefore, we are able to produce this energy at a far lower cost.
- Wind energy is a fantastic resource to generate electricity in remote locations, such as in communities in mountainous and countryside regions.
- Wind power combined with solar power is a great way to produce electricity in developing countries.
How much does a wind turbine for the home cost?
As technologies improve, the price of wind power has started to drastically decrease. To give you an indication, installing a 2 megawatt wind turbine will cost in the region of 3-4 million dollars. This works at a rough cost of $500 year. Compare that figure to the average home in America currently using fossil fuels to power their homes spending on average $1400 a year.
While wind power is still a relatively new form of electricity, this type of power is far cheaper than using fossil fuels. As this renewable energy becomes more readily available, this price will only decrease and become a fantastic cost saving for households.