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What are wind farms?

Environment | 5-12 yrs | Interactive, Learning Pod

Wind farms are pieces of land where many large wind turbines are used to generate electricity using the power of wind. Wind farms are a new and cleaner alternative to producing energy than other sources currently being utilised.

How wind energy works

When air is heated, it rises and cold air moves in to take its place. This is the basic phenomenon behind the lightest of breezes and the strongest winds. It is a natural phenomenon that occurs wherever there is a sun to heat air.

Wind can be harnessed and converted into mechanical or electric energy, and the best part about it is that it is free.

Wind energy advantages and disadvantages

Wind farms can essentially be anywhere where there is wind, but they are more efficient at sea where there are less changes in the topography to obstruct the flow of wind. They are also more efficient at higher altitudes where there are lesser particles to slow the wind down.

This sounds like such a great idea! So why isn’t all of Earth’s energy produced this way? There are many factors that have to be in place to have a windfarm-

The technology itself is very costly and takes a lot of effort to install.

Not all of the Earth is heated evenly and some places receive more wind than others. Wind turbines require winds of around 16 km/h at a constant rate in order to be economical.

Turbines need to be tall because windspeeds are stronger at a higher altitude since there are less particles in the air to slow it down.

The change in windspeed cannot be too sudden or ‘turbulent’ because that would knock the large turbines down.

Land is costly and windfarms require a lot of it since turbines have to be a certain distance apart so that they do not interfere with each other.

Conventional sources of energy

Around 80% of the energy that runs the planet is produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal or petroleum based products. This is not at all environmentally friendly because it produces large amounts of Carbon dioxide as a by-product. Not to mention the damage done to the earth itself in the process of extracting it. Windfarms on the other hand consumes no fuel and emits no air pollution as a by-product.

Plus you can use the land between turbines for farming. Communities around the world are developing new and cleaner ways of powering their lives. Windfarms are just the first step in a world free of fossil fuels.

Find out exactly how large a wind turbine it. It’s actually rather large.