Challenges against the Green Energy: wind turbines

 

wind turbine animation

Wind turbines are propping up along certain shore lines – off-shore as well – in proportion to our Green ambitions. They do make some contribution to the national grid of the country in question.

Of course, there is sizeable opposition to the project on aesthetic grounds; they just spoil the landscape. In addition, they make lots of noise, unless they are off-shore. If the blades are very long, accidents may happen too.

Even if you overcome the human opposition, nature has its own limitation in place to keep our ambitions in check.

A wind turbine turns the energy of wind, known as kinetic energy, into electric energy with the aid of a generator fixed at the top of the monument.

We, however, can only get less than 59% of the energy carried by wind, known as Betz’ Limit.

Albert Betz, the German physicist, observed in 1919 that there is a upper limit to the change of energy from kinetic to electric, which became known as Betz’ Limit.

That means the waste of energy of a wind turbine is above 40% - very significant.

The energy is lost mainly as noise and heat.

The fact shows the challenges faced by renewable energy sources despite our ever-growing ambitions to see them as a true substitute to the fossil fuels.

In addition, there are other factors to consider too, from economic point of view:

  • cost of installation
  • cost of maintenance - every few years
  • replacing invertors and batteries

It’s easier said than done; fossil fuels are here to stay for decades to come.

Please read more on this here; play with a wind turbine interactively:

Wind Turbines at Work

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