Are Wind Turbines Really Safe?

March 16, 2012 by Ruth Price  
Filed under Environment

In case you haven’t read about wind energy created via turbines, here is a brief description. A traditional wind turbine is a large tower that has blades hooked up to a rotor. Whenever the wind blows the wind turbine the blades make the rotor whirl and the movement of the rotor makes the generator within the turbine crank out power. The generator is really nothing more than a large motor-like device composed of magnets and copper cables; the blades catch the wind, turn the rotor and generated electricity, pretty simple actually.

Wind turbines, as the name suggests, necessitates wind to work. The normal height for wind turbines is actually 30 meters, which enables them to utilize the more powerful winds occurring at that height. The objective of getting more of the wind is to create more electricity with the turbines. Of course it goes without saying that without enough wind, no power will be generated. Historical weather info is carefully analyzed to select sites that will provide fairly continual winds for the wind turbines. Many wind farms, therefore, are situated along coastlines where it is typically very windy.

Unlike various other alternative energy methods, wind power systems will consistently work 24 hours per day, providing that there is wind. In areas that experience many hours of darkness during some seasons, turbines may be a better green solution as compared to solar panels.

When properly designed and deployed, wind turbines can generate significant power that can be used for domestic or commercial/utility-type applications. Never-the-less, there is a high initial investment, which will require several years to recover; therefore developing wind turbine projects requires a long-term perspective. Another long run benefit wind projects offer is that you are harvesting energy from a continuously renewing source. Thus energy is produced by the turbines most of the time.

There are several issues associated with wind power projects that need to be understood at the outset. The first issue pertains to the fact that the wind can also switch its direction. The designers were very clever and constructed the turbines so that the rotor turns toward the wind, enabling them to catch the wind from any direction. Most modern turbines can create a lot of power that can be used for domestic or industrial applications. Provisions must be made for those days without wind, however. As a result of the high start-up investment costs usually taking many years to recover, wind turbine projects require investors are in it for the long haul.

While wind farms have great potential for humans, they can be dangerous to birds and bats. The reason stated for bats flying into wind turbines is that the movement in the air disrupts their capability to detect obstacles with their internal sonar systems. While these occurrences are rarely reported they do happen.

Thinking about the benefits and drawbacks of wind turbines, they currently have a lot going in their favor. Wind turbines offer great promise for generating renewable and safe energy, even with couple of possible downsides.

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