Ever heard the saying “run like the wind” and wondered how exactly the wind ran? Well, the wind does run — not with legs (of course) but with mills and turbines to create a renewable source of energy that is significantly safer to the environment compared to fossil fuels. Do you want to know more interesting facts about wind energy? Here are 15 facts about wind energy to keep your curiosity satisfied:
- Electricity can be sourced from the wind
Turbines are used to harness energy from the wind and they do this by converting the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy. The generators connected to the turbines then convert this mechanical energy into electrical energy. Cool, right?
- The higher the turbine, the greater the energy
While wind turbines are great on the ground, there’s more wind higher up. A stronger air current equals more energy and this is why turbines keep getting built taller and taller. A recent innovation in the wind energy industry is the floating turbine. You guessed right! Helium. The turbine with a hollow cylinder inflated with Helium would be suspended high up in the sky to harness the wind.
- A small wind turbine can power your home
Wind farms are great, yes. But you wouldn’t need them to power your residential houses neither would you need a lone massive turbine. The average home uses about 900 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month so all you need is a small wind turbine ranging 5-15 kilowatts depending on the average air current in your area. Install this on your rooftop and you’re good to go!
- Wind energy has been in use for over 2,000 years
In ancient times, the wind was harnessed to grind grains and pump water. And as you might already know, sailors used it to power the sails of their boats too.
- Wind farms can be built onshore and offshore
Building wind farms on-shore requires a lot of land (acres and acres of them), which is why rural areas are mostly used for siting. Whether the industrialization of these areas is a pro or a con, is a discussion for another day. While onshore farms are more cost-effective, offshore farms harness steadier and stronger wind and require little to no land.
- The forces of wind energy and solar energy can be combined
Sometimes, the tower of a wind turbine is covered with solar panels to create a hybrid of renewable energy. Using this hybrid of wind energy and solar energy is more sustainable than using wind energy only. This is so because the solar energy generated makes up for the internal consumption of electricity in the wind turbine.
- The wind cube
The wind cube is a system consisting of panels interconnected to form a mosaic that looks like a honeycomb. These panels consist of blades that can fold and unfold depending on the air current. Wind cubes are installed on the facade of houses and can work at very low airspeeds.
- Wind energy is clean and free from pollution
Unlike fossil fuels that emit gases that poison the planet, wind energy is free from such pollutants and creates a clean, healthy environment. What’s more? It is renewable!
- The largest wind turbine is as tall as a 20-story building
Currently, Hawaii in the United States of America houses the largest wind turbine in the world. This turbine measures about 217 ft. in height, with blades that span 100m wide.
- There are thousands of components in a wind turbine
A wind turbine is not just made up of a tall cylindrical tower and blades. It is quite a complicated machine and is composed of about eight thousand (8,000) components.
- Wind turbines come in two main types
Horizontal axis turbines and vertical axis turbines are the two main types of wind turbines. Horizontal wind turbines composed of a tall tower with the turbine and blades on top, are more popular than their vertical counterparts which have a shaft with the blades vertically attached and the turbine at the base.
- Wind energy saves water
Wind energy generation requires little use of water. This saved about 68 billion gallons of water in 2014, according to the Wind Energy Foundation.
- Wind turbines move at incredible speed
The blades of wind turbines can move so fast up to 200 miles per hour in areas with high air currents.
- The wind energy industry is taking over.
Across the globe, there are over two thousand wind energy generation facilities distributed across. Several countries are making more and more investments in wind energy generation every day. (Needless to say, this is one of our favorite facts about wind energy).
- China is the top-dog in wind energy generation
In 2016, China was found to be the biggest producer of wind energy globally with the United States coming in close after.
We hope you liked our article “15 Interesting Facts About Wind Energy”. Do you know any facts about wind energy that you would like us to add this post? Please leave your name and comment below and let us know if we have missed anything.