Wind Generated Electricity

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Wind Generated Electricity exists by harnessing windpower energy. This was one of man's earliest achievements. Small windmills pumped water in ancient Syria and sailing ships used windpower to first circumnavigate the globe. The modern use of winturbines originated in the 17th Century where the Renaissance Dutch used wind power to recover hundreds of thousands of acres of land by draining the Rhine River delta.

The classic Dutch Wind Generated Electricity design predominated for 300 years, pumping water, grinding grain and sawing wood until the multibladed American Farm Windmill was developed in the middle of the 19th century. These machines covered the continent, pumping water on every farm and in every town until rual electrifacation (and rust) brought about their demise in the middle of the 20th century.

wind generated electricity

Advances in the fields of aerodynamics and composite materials have made modern electric power generating turbines a reality. These machines range in size from a meter to a hundred meters in rotor diamater and from a hundred watts to a thousand kilowatts in power output. Turbines suitable for residential or village scale wind power range from 500 watts to 50 kilowatts. These machines fall into

  • Utility interconnected Wind Generated Electricity wind turbines generate electric power which is syncronous with the grid and are used to reduce utility bills by displacing the utility power used in the household and by selling the excess power back to the electric company. These machines are economically attractive where there is a good wind resource and where the local power costs are in excess of 15 cents per kilowatt hour.
  • Wind turbines for remote homes (off the grid) generate DC current for battery charging.
  • Wind turbines for remote water pumping generate 3 phase AC current suitable for driving an electrical
  • submersable pump directly.

The costs of wind energy

The cost of wind energy is determined by:

  • the initial cost of the wind turbine installation
  • the interest rate on the money invested
  • the amount of energy produced

Any Wind Generated Electricityturbine that is installed in a very windy area generates less expensive power than the same unit installed in a less windy area. So itís important to assess the wind at the potential site. Modern wind turbine generators cost between $1500 and $2000 per kilowatt for wind farms that use multiple-unit arrays of large machines. Smaller individual units cost up to $3000 per kilowatt. In good wind areas, the costs of generating power range between five and ten cents per kilowatt hour. That cost is somewhat higher than the costs associated with an electrical facility, but wind energy costs are decreasing every year, whereas most conventional generation costs continue to increase.

In remote areas, generating power with diesel generators can range from $0.25 to $1.00 per kilowatt hour. So in good areas, power that is generated in this way is clearly cost effective. When compared to the money that is charged by electrical companies, wind energy costs are nearly competitive. And that is without accounting for the environmental and health benefits of using a non-polluting source of energy.

Using wind energy around the world

The use of Wind Generated Electricity turbine generators is growing around the world. In terms of installation and operation worldwide, the wind power industry now turns over more than 9 billion USD. At the end of 2004, 47,000 megawatts of wind-generated electricity produced some 92 TWh of electricity. That is sufficient energy for the power needs of Portugal and Greece combined.

2005 was a record year for new installed capacity in Canada. As of April 2006 Canadaís installed breeze turbine energy capacity was 944 MW, enough to power more than 280,000 homes.


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