Short essay on Wind Energy

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Wind energy is an important non-conventional source of energy. There is a simple relation between wind, velocity and power. If a wind with a velocity of 10 km per hour gives one horse power, a 20 kmph wind will produce 8 hp.

Winds with speed from 12 to 20 kmph capable of moving leaves and small twigs are available at many places for several months of the year. These can be tamed and tapped successfully for power generation.

Source of Wind Energy

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The energy possessed by wind is because of its high speed. The source of wind power is inherent in solar energy. Our earth gets only 2,000 millionth part of the total solar energy out of which about 20 per cent is converted into kinetic wind energy.

Areas Suitable for Developing Wind Machines

Areas which are quite windy and average wind intensity of 3 KW/m2/day is prevalent at a number of places in peninsular India as also along coastlines in Gujarat, Western Ghats and parts of Central India.

In our country along the Western Ghats the area in the east of Palghat Gap (Coimbatore District) is most favourable for wind power generation.

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The development of wind machines is especially relevant in arid and semi-arid zones of Rajasthan.

These areas have high velocity winds throughout the year. In some ridges and slopes of hills swift wind blow where wind energy can be profitably harnessed at Palghat and Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh, the average wind speed recorded was 9.5 kmph while in many areas of Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Manipur, it varies from 3 to 6 kmph. In these areas, low speed windmill can operate.

Advantages

1. Wind power is abundantly available, free of cost and is pollution free.

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2. The wind is more reliable high above the ground level in many mountainous regions

3. For regions remote from coal or oil fields and with ample wind available, wind power is a blessing.

4. The endless surge of wind is a potential power source and may well provide an answer to the problem of growing energy demands in the future.

Applications

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1. In India, the exercise to harness wind energy includes wind pump, wind battery charges, wind electricity generators and grid connected wind farms.

2. The Kharif crop, normally between June and October, is largely rainfed. Wind mills could however be used to pump water for rural irrigation in the Rabi season.

3. Wind energy may be converted into mechanical and electrical energy. About 20,000 MW of electricity may be generated in India from wind.

Limitations

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1. Wind is erratic and unreliable. It requires special conditions for its economic exploitation.

2. Winds have a high seasonal bias. They are much stronger during the monsoon than during the rest of the year. The possibilities of predicting wingspread at a particular time of the year are rather poor.

3. It is not available in all the places to do various types of work.

4. Location of wind farms on migratory routes could spell hazard to birds and disaster for some aviation populations.

5. Their appearance on the landscape and their continual whirring and whistling can be irritating.

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