Many of us notice wind power as we pass by wind turbines spinning eagerly on hill tops or on farms. In the past, wind turbines could regularly be spotted in open rural areas, where there was enough space to incorporate wind power into individual’s livelihood. It is slowly becoming evident that wind power has broken out of its area restrictions and now, wind power products are being utilised in residential areas and contributing as a clean, renewable energy source.
How does wind power work?
When air moves quickly, causing wind, this movement is known as kinetic energy. Wind power mechanisms capture this kinetic energy and convert it into other forms of energy, in this case electricity, which can be used in the home. When looking at the functioning of a common wind power mechanism – wind turbines – the way in which it works is fairly simple. The force of the wind or kinetic energy moves the blades of the turbine which in turn spins a shaft. The shaft is connected to the main source, the generator and this mechanism converts wind power energy into electricity.
What are the benefits of wind power?
Wind power is a great alternative to regular electricity as it is free to use and is clean and obviously renewable. Installing a wind turbine on your property will significantly reduce your electricity costs as well as place you partially off the grid. Wind power prices will continue to drop as new technology advances and more individuals will have access to alternative energy power. Wind power is a positive alternative to fossil fuel which could become even more exhausted in the future.
Who else utilises wind power?
Wind power usage is increasing annually as more and more individuals set up wind turbines on their property or even for their neighbourhoods. The World Wind Energy Report for 2009 revealed that there was a 31.7% increase in wind power usage last year, a significant increase since 2001. South Africa is following in the footsteps of other continents such as Asia, North America and Europe, all who continue to grow rapidly in this respect.
But before you get too excited and run out to buy a wind turbine, know that wind power is a great additional tool to utilising renewable energy, and ideally should be used in conjunction with solar energy products in residential areas. Wind power is extremely area dependant, so if you have a wide open space that you know receives a fair amount of wind, then installing a wind power mechanism such as wind turbine kits will benefit you in numerous ways.