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Wind farms

Wind energy is the kinetic energy of wind that is used to generate electricity though wind turbines.

Wind farms: The installation of several wind turbines at a given location for generating huge amounts of electricity. The rise in energy prices and constant search for alternative energy resulted in the establishment of thousands of wind farms globally. According to a report by International Energy Agency, wind power is projected to generate 18% of the power globally by 2050.

Land Based Wind Farms:

It refers to energy produced by wind turbines installed on land. It is a well established and advanced RE technology that has been established globally on a large scale. Currently, a basic turbine consists of 3 blades revolving on a horizontal axis. A standard commercial wind turbine has a capability between 1.5 MW and 3 MW. Since 2000, the combined installed capability has increased on an average by 24% every year. Repowering - removing outdated wind turbines and replacing them with latest productive equipment is gaining ground. According to a study, repowering has increased wind power while decreasing its footprint.

Offshore Wind Farms:

At present, wind energy generates around 2.6% of the power being produced globally. Increasingly, more and more countries are looking at clean and green energy. For instance, South Korea has invested US$ 8.3 billion to establish a state-of-the-art off-shore wind farm. The project would include the installation of 500 wind turbines. It is expected to generate 2,500 megawatts of energy every year in the initial stage.

Future Technology - Flying Wind Farms:

A bevy of airborne turbines rotating at high altitudes and transmitting electricity through nano-tube cable tethers. As per internal reports presented by NASA, this could become a reality in future. Scientifically, wind power is greater and easier to predict at high altitudes - the power generated is around 8 to 27 times more than at ground level. Again, comparatively low pollution is an advantage, while it would not take up valuable land for installation.

Innovative Wind Farm Design:

Scientists are keen on overcoming the challenge of space with regards to installation of normal turbines. In big cities across the globe, space is a premium. In this regard, they are studying the movement of a school of fish (hydrodynamic interference) to develop commercially viable vertical turbine design. Interfaces between vertical axis turbines are like that of a school of fish travelling together. Placing them in a systematic manner would enhance their efficiency.

Radar Technology to Safeguard Birds from Wind Farm:

Radar technology is being used to safeguard birds. It can detect birds approaching a wind farm nearly 4 miles away while determining their altitude, numbers and visibility. It then studies the weather to conclude if the birds are in danger of flying into the wind farm. If so, the turbines would automatically stop functioning and start again once the birds have crossed safely.

- Jess Potts
Published on:
June 9, 2015
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