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Wind power. What it is, how it works, advantages and disadvantages

What is eolic energy?

Wind energy has become a key source of electricity generation for changing the energy model, cleaner and more sustainable. Improving technology allows some wind farms to produce electrical power as cheaply as coal or nuclear power plants. Without a doubt, we are facing a source of energy with its advantages and disadvantages, but the former win by a landslide.

Wind energy is one of the most widely used renewable energies in the world. In the next post, we want to tell you what it is, how it works and the advantages of wind energy, which are many, and the disadvantages, which are very few.

What is eolic energy?

The wind power It is the energy obtained from the wind. It is a type of kinetic energy produced by the effect of air currents. We can convert this energy into electricity through an electric generator. It is a renewable, clean energy that does not pollute and that helps to replace the energy produced through fossil fuels.

The largest producer of wind energy in the world is the United States, followed by Germany, China, India and Spain. In Latin America the largest producer is Brazil. In Spain, wind power supplied electricity to the equivalent of 12 million homes, this is 18% of the country’s needs (Source AEE). This means that a large part of the green energy offered by the country’s electricity companies, including the one you bring to your home SP Solar, comes from wind farms and has this renewable origin.

If you want to know more about the rest of renewable energies, we recommend that you visit our article about it.

How does wind energy work?

Wind energy is obtained by converting the movement of the blades of a wind turbine into electrical energy. A wind turbine It is an electric generator driven by a wind-powered turbine, its predecessors are windmills.

A wind turbine is made up of the tower; an orientation system located at the end of the tower, at its upper end; a cabinet for connection to the electrical network attached to the base of the tower; a gondola that is the framework that houses the mechanical components of the mill and that serves as the base for the blades; a shaft and rotor drive ahead of the blades; and inside the nacelle, a brake, a multiplier, the generator and the electrical regulation system.

Wind turbine - factorenergy

Wind turbine

The blades are connected to the rotor, in turn connected to the shaft (positioned at the pole), which sends the rotational energy to the electric generator. This generator uses magnets to produce electrical voltage and therefore electrical energy.

Wind farms evacuate the electricity produced from their transformation center through an electric line to a distribution substation, to which the energy produced is supplied, which it passes to the end user.

What are the advantages of wind energy?

It is an inexhaustible source of energy

It is a renewable energy source. The wind is an abundant and inexhaustible source, which means that you can always count on the original source that produces the energy, which means that it does not have an expiration date. In addition, it is available in many places around the world.

Takes up little space

To produce and store the same amount of electrical energy, a wind field needs less land than a photovoltaic energy field.

It is also reversible, which means that the area occupied by the park can be easily restored to renew the pre-existing territory.

It does not pollute

Wind energy is one of the cleanest energy sources after solar energy. This is so because during its generation process it does not imply a combustion process. Thus, it does not produce toxic gases or any solid waste. To get an idea: a wind turbine reaches an energy capacity similar to that of 1,000 Kg of oil.

Furthermore, the turbines themselves have a very long life cycle before being removed for disposal.

Low cost

The costs of wind power turbines and turbine maintenance are relatively low. The cost per kW produced is quite low in very windy areas. In some cases, the cost of production is the same as that of coal, and even nuclear power.

It is compatible with other activities

The agricultural and livestock activity coexists harmoniously with the activity of a wind farm. This means that it does not have a negative impact on the local economy, it allows the facilities not to interrupt the development of their traditional activity at the same time that it generates a new source of wealth.

What are the drawbacks of wind energy?

The wind is not guaranteed

The wind is relatively unpredictable so production forecasts are not always met, especially in small temporary units. To minimize risks, investments in this type of facility are always long-term, so the calculation of their return is safer. This inconvenience is better understood with one piece of information: wind turbines only work correctly with gusts of wind between 10 and 40 km / h. At lower speeds, energy is not profitable and at higher speeds it poses a physical risk to the structure.

Non-storable energy

It is energy that cannot be stored, but must be consumed immediately when it is produced. This means that it cannot offer a complete alternative to the use of other types of energy.

Impact on the landscape

Large wind farms have a strong landscape impact and are visible from long distances. The average height of the towers / turbines ranges from 50 to 80 meters, with rotating blades rising another 40 meters. The aesthetic impact on the landscape sometimes causes discomfort in the local population.

They affect birds

Wind farms can have a negative impact on bird life, especially among nocturnal raptors. The impact on the birds is due to the fact that the rotating blades can move at a speed of up to 70 km / h. The birds are not able to visually recognize the blades at this speed, colliding with them fatally.

On SP Solar we have the vocation to lead the process of decarbonization of the economy. We are protagonists in the implementation of a new energy model based on clean energy and efficiency. Both are the key factors in the fight against climate change.

For this reason, we have signed an agreement with the Enhol Group for the commissioning of two wind farms with a total installed power of 90MW and that will produce 320GWh per year, with which SP Solar could supply 80,000 families, offering them 100% source energy renewable. SP Solar has focused on leading the clean energy market by generating new alternatives in renewable energies, promoting electricity self-consumption and energy efficiency for its customers.

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