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Wind Turbines

Wind Turbine Installation Services Edinburgh

Wind turbines harness the power of the wind and use it to generate electricity. When the wind blows, the blades are forced round, driving a turbine that generates electricity. The stronger the wind, the more electricity produced. Find out today if your property would be suitable for either a pole mounted or building mounted system.

Wind turbines allow you to produce 100% clean, free electricity. For the majority of people living in suburban settings, wind doesn’t make as much sense as solar energy, but if your home is in an exposed windy area, and you can put up a decent sized turbine with a bit of elevation, it can be a really good option.

Different kinds of wind turbine

Wind turbines work by harness kinetic energy from the air and converting it into electricity using a generator. There are several different types of wind turbine, but all work by this general principle.

Battery-less grid tied systems:

Often considered to be the best kind of wind turbine, the battery-less grid tied systems are simple, environmentally friendly, and high performance. These turbines produce as much electricity as possible, also feeding in to the grid – this qualifies them for grants such as the Feed-in Tariff, so they’ve grown in popularity significantly in recent years. They’re great for anybody wishing to reduce reliance on energy companies, but not so good if you’re looking to go off-grid entirely. The problem is that there’s no storage for the energy, so when the wind stops blowing your back to buying energy from the grid.

Grid-tied system with battery backup:

The problem we mentioned above can be remedied by using a grid-tied turbine with battery storage. It’s the same premise, but with a bank of batteries that stores electricity and feeds it back in to the system if there is a grid power cut. The only downside is that the battery can contribute inefficiency.

Off-grid systems:

If you are hoping to limit your dependence on the mains as much as possible, you will need a larger turbine, or multiple smaller turbines – size matters. If you’re just looking to produce enough electricity for some garden lights then you’d be okay with a smaller one.

What are the wind speed requirements?

Check yourself before you wreck yourself! Your very first step should be to use The Carbon Trust website to get an estimated wind speed for your chosen location. Process some basic information and they’ll provide you with an average wind speed and potential energy output. You are looking for an average wind speed in excess of 5m/s.

What about planning permission?

If you live in England or Scotland, then certain wind turbines are permitted without planning permission, but they require adherence to strict conditions. However f you live in Wales or Northern Ireland you will require planning permission no matter what the type of system you are going for. As a method of practice it’s generally just a good idea to contact your local council to ask about planning permission if you’re considering installing a wind turbine. These days you’ll find that most local authorities encourage the installation of more renewable energy systems. If there are any objections it’s better to find out sooner rather than later.

For more on planning permission for wind turbines take a look at this guide over at The Green Age.

How much do they cost?

Cost is entirely dependent on the size of the wind turbine, ranging from £1k – £10k. Some of the smaller and most durable turbines are the SilentWind 420W Wind Turbine (from £1,350.00) and the Superwind 350W Wind Turbine (from £1,449.99). The SilentWind is handmade using laminated UV resistant Carbon Fibre Blades (CFK) and the highest quality components, meanwhile the Superwind is designed by experienced wind power engineers and blue water sailors especially for boats on the water.

What is wind energy?

Wind energy is a source of renewable energy that uses the force of the wind to generate electricity.

Solar radiation differentially heats the atmosphere, which causes the air temperature to be different in some areas. Hot air rises, reducing atmospheric pressure at the Earth’s surface, and cold air falls to replace it. The result is wind.

The air has mass and, when it is in motion, it causes kinetic energy through the effect of air currents, which can be transformed into electricity. It is a clean and inexhaustible source of energy. Therefore, it reduces the emission of greenhouse gases and preserves the environment.

 

How is wind energy produced?

The blades of a wind turbine are attached to the rotor of a generator. As the blades are moved by the kinetic energy of the wind, they rotate the rotor of the generator, which transmits this speed to the multiplier, producing electrical energy.

In other words, the kinetic energy of the wind turns into the mechanical energy of the generator, which then turns into electrical energy.

Wind Turbine Installation Services Edinburgh
Wind Turbine Installation

 

How is wind energy transmitted to the national grid?

Wind farms distribute the electricity produced from their transformation centre, through an electrical line, to a distribution substation. The distribution substations then further transmit the electricity, through the national grid, to the end users (homes, factories, etc.).

 

Is all the energy that comes from wind usable?

No. Wind energy only works with horizontal currents, and only if their speed is greater than 3 m/s and less than 25 m/s. Vertical currents do not have the necessary kinetic energy for their use.

 

How is a wind turbine different from a windmill?

A wind turbine transforms the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy, which then goes on to create electrical energy. Ancient windmills only produced mechanical energy.

 

What is a nacelle?

This term comes from the wagons of hot air balloons and refers to the element that is located at the top of the tower on which the blades rotate. The nacelle is a metallic structure that serves as a support for the set of elements that are located inside it and the fiberglass panels that protect the equipment from adverse weather conditions.

Wind Turbine Installation Services Edinburgh

 

How much electricity does wind power generate in the UK?

The United Kingdom is the world’s 6th largest producer of wind power. In 2018, wind power contributed to 52% of electricity generation from renewable sources, and 18% of all the energy produced in the UK.

 

What differentiates land wind farms from offshore wind farms?

Solar PV InstallationSince wind power is about 30 to 50% higher in the sea than on Land, offshore wind farms are capable of generating more electricity. However, they are also more difficult to construct and maintain due to more extreme weathering conditions.

 

How long does it take to build a wind farm?

It currently takes 6 to 8 years for a wind farm to become fully functional.

 

What are the environmental benefits of wind energy compared to fossil fuels?

Technologies that burn fossil fuels generate greenhouse gases that pollute the air, worsen climate change, and affect health and the environment. Wind energy does not generate any emissions, since its fuel is the force of the wind. In 2018, wind power helped to avoid an emission of 25 million tons of CO2 (the equivalent of CO2 absorbed by almost a million pine trees in a year).

 

What impact do wind farms have on birds and mammals?

It is necessary to have a positive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to build a wind farm. It is not possible to build wind farms in protected areas or with a negative EIS. Environmental impact studies and environmental monitoring plans are becoming more rigorous and demanding every day, thus ensuring that the impact on birds and mammals is reducing.

 

Do wind turbines make noise?

Wind turbines are generally not noisy. The evolution of wind technology has made its mechanical noise almost undetectable. The aerodynamic hum of the blades as they pass the tower is the main sound they produce. In addition, strict guidelines determine the permitted noise level of a wind turbine. It is possible to stand under a turbine and carry on a conversation without having to raise your voice. The noise level of a wind turbine at 400 meters is 37 dBA (between that of a microwave and a refrigerator). At this distance, the hum of the running wind turbine cannot be discerned from the surroundings.

 

Are wind turbines compatible with livestock?

Wind turbines do not disturb livestock. As a result, farmers welcome wind farms since they don’t affect their ability to cultivate livestock.

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