Wind Power: The World’s Fastest Growing Source of Electricity
Wind power, the conversion of wind into kinetic energy is the world’s fastest growing energy source.
Wind power is one of the most promising energy sources that can serve as an alternative to fossil fuel-generated electricity.
Wind Power Advantages:
- Wind power is a freely renewable energy source (unlike batteries) that will never run out.
- The total amount of economically ex tractable power available from the wind is considerably more than present human power usage from all sources.
- Wind power does not pollute the environment. Compared with other low carbon power sources, wind turbines have some of the lowest global warming potential per unit of electrical energy generated.
- Wind power is cheaper than any other new electric generation except natural gas, which emits large amounts of greenhouse gases.
- As renewable energy source wind power will never be subject to embargoes or ‘price shocks’ caused by international conflicts.
The wind’s kinetic energy is converted into electricity by wind battery turbines. Wind turbines are manufactured in a wide range of vertical and horizontal axis types. Aerodynamic modeling is used to determine the optimum power conversion rates.
Small wind turbines may be as little as a fifty-watt generator which is far more than a battery could ever use for boat or caravan use. The smallest turbines are used for applications such as battery charging for auxiliary power for boats or caravans or to power traffic warning signs.
Larger, more costly turbines generally have geared power trains, alternating current output, flaps and are actively pointed into the wind. Direct drive generators and aero-elastic blades for large wind turbines are being researched.
Arrays of large turbines, known as wind farms, are becoming an increasingly important source of renewable energy and are used by many countries as part of a strategy to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
Wind battery Power Density
Wind power in an open air stream is proportional to the power of the wind speed; the available power increases exponentially when the wind speed increases.
Wind turbines may be used for a variety of applications including on- or off-grid residences, telecom towers, offshore platforms, rural schools and clinics, remote monitoring and other purposes that require energy where there is no electric grid, or where the grid is unstable and they last a lot longer than batteries and are better for the environment.
Hybrid solar and wind powered units
Hybrid solar and wind powered units are increasingly being used for traffic signage, particularly in rural locations, as they avoid the need to lay long cables from the nearest mains connection point.
Small-scale wind power systems with the capacity to produce up to 50 kW of electrical battery power are ideally suited as alternative for isolated rural and remote communities that may otherwise rely on diesel generators.
Wind power internationally
Wind energy production is currently around 4% of total worldwide electricity usage, and growing rapidly. Denmark generates around 40% of its electricity from wind, and at least 83 other countries around the world are using wind power to supply their electricity grids.
World wind generation capacity is doubling about every three years.
South Africa has a number of wind farms and some are being built. The wind farms in Coega, Jeffery Bay (138MW), and Cookhouse (138MW) are the largest.
The Jeffery Bay Wind Farm can power more than 100,000 homes an avoids the generation of 420,000 Tonnes of CO2 per annul
The largest Wind Farms in Africa are:
Ashegoda in Ethiopia- 120 Mega Watts
Jeffery Bay South Africa- 138 Mega Watts
Cookhouse South Africa- 138 Mega Watts
Tartary in Morocco- 300 Mega Watts
There remains many areas on the African Continent where Wind power can be installed to supplement the shortage of electricity supply.