Onshore Wind Farms

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Wind And Solar Energy Info

A wind farm is an area which is host to several wind turbines, sometimes up to 100 individual turbines at a time. Rather than working as individual turbines, all of the energy collected by these wind farms is grouped into one larger generator of electricity; making such developments the power plant of the modern era.

The most common type of wind farm is the onshore wind farm. This essentially means where each wind turbine is anchored into land, usually on a grassy field or high on a hillside. Other forms of wind farms are possible; offshore wind farms are built in the sea, and airborne and near water wind farms are also increasingly common.

The reason for the onshore wind farm’s popularity is that they are easy to construct when compared with other options. Materials can be brought to the site, and while the transportation is expensive. When the component parts have arrived at the wind farm location, from there the erection of each turbine is relatively simple by modern engineering standards. Cranes are most typically used to winch the blades into place.

Onshore wind farms are most typically built in rural areas, though some cities are now building them close to urban areas. For example, a new wind farm in Glasgow, Scotland is only 20 miles from the centre of the city. While there are some aesthetic issues – particularly with local residents – this close proximity to where electricity is needed most means onshore wind farms can be extremely productive.

Offshore Wind Farms

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy Tips

While we may all have seen wind farms on grassy fields, the most likely place for wind farms to really come into their full efficacy is out to sea. Off shore wind farms are becoming more common, and many experts predict they are the future of wind power.

The reason for this is simple: offshore, the wind is more powerful as it is not obstructed by surface objects. Particularly in deep water, the resistance on the surface of the water is minimal, and the wind can be extremely powerful. This was, of course, once utilised by sailing ships before the days of the engine, and this wind power is now finding a new purpose.

Offshore wind farms are built, as the name would suggest, in the sea. Turbines that look exactly the same as their onshore counterparts are erected into the sea bed, and protrude above the water line, with their blades in the open air catching the powerful winds. The energy generated is then transported back to shore using under sea pipes. It is a simple case of: more wind, more power generated.

These wind farms are more expensive to construct than typical onshore wind farms, as they involve placing the base of the turbine in the sea bed. This initial cost and workload is, however, rewarded by increased efficiency. The job is also made easier by offshore wind farms being built on areas of ocean that have naturally raised sections of the sea bed.

Offshore wind farms also solve the associated humanist issues with turbines – such as noise levels, shadow flight and aesthetic issues – and increase electricity production. Once more, man turns to the sea for its answers.