It may seem like relatively new technology, but we have been harnessing the wind for centuries. The wind has carried ships around the world, even when the world was thought to be flat. It has pumped water and powered devices before we had indoor plumbing. The use of wind power continues today with wind turbines, which are gathered together to make wind farms.
These power generators reach far into the sky and can be intimidating when viewed from a distance. The creep factor comes into play when they are positioned together to create a “wind farm.” Just try not to think about them coming to life and taking over the planet. The largest wind farm resides in China and the biggest farm in the United States is located in California.
As we have since we first learned to use the wind, wind farms create power. Basically, wind farms capture the wind and convert it into energy and then electricity. Wind power is renewable energy and is about as “green” as “green” can get.
There are three basic types of wind power. First, there is utility-scale wind power. This system is designed to deliver electrical power to a power grid which then delivers that power to electric utilities or power systems. Distributed wind power is much like the above, just on a smaller scale. They deliver power to homes and farms. Finally, there is offshore wind power. The wind turbines used in this form are placed in bodies of water, thus harnessing the wind which follows over our vast oceans.
The way wind energy works is actually pretty simple. When wind blows, the blades of the turbine capture it and begin to rotate. This rotation creates energy. This energy is transferred to a generator which turns the energy into power.
We learned early on that the wind can be used to sail our ships, which was long before the discovery of electricity. Today we are dependent on electricity, as well as other power sources. Some of these power sources are toxic to our environment. But by going back to the use of wind as a power source, we can lessen our dependency on these other types of power.
Wind power has a very low impact on our environment. It emits no greenhouse gas emissions or pollutants. Wind energy is also drought-resistant and is great economic investment in rural communities.
Mankind has harnessed the power of the wind for centuries and today we have found a new way to use it to our advantage. When it comes to investing in our ecological future, wind energy will keep us powered as long as the earth keeps spinning.