Wind Power Feb14

Wind Power

Wind Power Wind is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and rotation of the earth. Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth’s terrain, bodies of water, and vegetative cover. Wind energy is the kinetic energy of air in motion. This wind energy can be harvested. Wind power is the conversion of this wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as electrical power by using wind turbines, mechanical power by using wind mills, pumping or drainage of water by wind pumps and as sails to propel ships. Wind energy is a renewable or non-conventional source of energy. This is clean and non polluting energy source. It is available in large amounts in many parts of the world. It does not generate any greenhouse gasses during the production of electricity. The total amount of economically extractable power available from the wind is very high.  Axel Kleidon of the Max Planck Institute in Germany carried out a ‘top down’ calculation on how much wind energy there is, starting with the incoming solar radiation that drives the winds by creating temperature differences in the atmosphere. He concluded that somewhere between 18 TW and 68 TW (Terawatt which is one trillion watts) could be extracted. Cristina Archer and Mark Z. Jacobson presented a ‘bottom-up’ estimate based on actual measurements of wind speeds. As per this estimate there is 1700 TW of wind power available at an altitude of 100 meters over land and sea. Out of this available power, between 72 and 170 TW could be extracted in a practical and cost competitive manner. They later estimated it to be 80 TW. However research at Harvard university estimates 1 Watt/Sq m on an average and...