Wind turbines and health problems

May 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

Windmills may be an environmentally friendly alternative energy source but they also cause debilitating health problems, say people who live near them. Wind turbines are popping up in rural communities around the world, including Canada, in the hope that they will reduce reliance on coal and other sources for power. Currently, there are about 1500 turbines across Canada and there are plans to build another 1000 to 1500 in the next year. But some residents who live near wind farms complain the turbines cause a number of adverse health effects, such as crippling headaches, nose bleeds and a constant ringing in the ears. Helen and Bill Fraser initially supported the nearby wind farm in Melancthon, Ont. One turbine sat close to the Fraser’s kitchen window. “We thought, more green energy, this is great,” Helen told CTV News.However, Helen says she developed headaches, body aches and she had trouble sleeping. The dog began wetting the floor at night.

Do Wind Turbines Make Noise?

April 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

Are Wind Turbines Noisy? Here is some footage of Wind Turbines at Fenner Wind Farm and the sounds we are surround by everyday. You be the judge.

Maglev Wind Turbine

April 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar Demo CGI for proposed 2GW Magnetic Leviatated wind Turbine. *Efficient Frictionless Power Generation with less maintenance, compared to HAWT. No oil change or replacement of the bearings, gears. Since, MAGLEV does NOT require such. ** Current bearing technology has forced wind turbine designers into horizontal spindle three bladed wind turbines. In this design the huge blades are connected to a spindle in the center. The bearings that support the spindle and control the pitch of the blades (which can be hundreds of feet long) see huge pitch-moment loading, some of which is manifest as torque energy that is focused through the center spindle. The target speed for the spindle is 18 or 20 rpm and the bearings holding the spindle are mounted in a huge casting which also contains a large gearbox stepping the speed up to 1800 to 2000 RPMs which allows for the proper surface speed relationship between the coils and magnets. It is necessary to invert or condition the current, which is expensive. This gearbox is full of many large bearings, gears and castings; for a 2 MW turbine the gearbox can easily weigh 30 tons. This gearbox needs to be mounted on the top of a pole more than 150 feet in the air and be able to support the turbine blades under full-force wind conditions. ***MAGLEV Power Generation, the pitch moment ratio is closer to 1-to-1 then the 100-to-1 as with a horizontal spindle design.

Individual Wind Turbines

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

Wherever they may be located, wind farms are now being seen as the modern equivalent to the old coal power plant. Scores of wind turbines all working in unison can now be seen both on and offshore throughout the world, but a wind turbine does not need a friend to be useful.

Wind farms are incredibly productive, as anything that combines a singular might will be. However, there is still a place for the individual wind turbine being used to power a specific area. One wind turbine alone can generate a lot of electricity. For example, a singular wind turbine in Reading, England generates enough power to satisfy the electricity demands of 1,000 homes nearby.

Individual wind turbines also have an advantage over wind farms in that they do not require a lot of space. Numerous wind turbines combined to create a wind farm will require acres of land on which to erect the turbines and their electricity generators; just one wind turbine obviously only needs a fraction of this space. For this reason, individual wind turbines are being considered a viable solution for urban areas, where there is not enough floor space to erect anything more than a singular turbine.

While it is unlikely the future includes the idea of every street having its own wind turbine generating close-by electricity, the idea of individual wind turbines is growing. We could well see a day when town planning includes the usual wind turbine to generate electricity, and from an environmental point of view alone, this is wonderful progress.

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.

Wind Turbines and ‘Shadow Flicker’

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

If you do not live near a wind turbine, it is unlikely you will have ever heard the term ‘shadow flicker’ in everyday usage. The problem however is being discussed fervently by those who reside near onshore wind farms, and the matter is having to be settled by the courts in some cases.

Like all large structures, wind turbines cast a shadow. If one lives near enough to an active wind farm, this shadow may fall on your home at various points of the day. To many homeowners, this in itself is annoying, particularly if they live in rural areas and did not expect to have to deal with shadows falling on their property.

However, this is not the sole concern of those living near an active wind turbine. Unlike almost every other type of structure, wind turbines have three rotating blades. In the case of shadows cast on to a house, these blades themselves cast a shadow. However, the blades are in motion, so the shadow is a constantly moving menace that is extremely disturbing to witness. The constant passing of this shadow can occur for hours per day, and if residents are at home during that time, there is no escape.

Many energy companies refuse to exist shadow flicker is a problem, which has lead to many residents forming action groups. The solution is actually very simple, as shadow flicker will not occur if a turbine is placed 3,000 feet away from the nearest home. However, some energy companies have placed certain turbines as close to residences as 1,100 feet. Many anticipate changes in the law will prevent this from happening again, based on the evidence presented by annoyed existing residents who have to live with shadow flicker.

The Effect of Wind Turbines on Humans

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

Wind turbines and farms are becoming an evermore familiar sight on the landscape, and while generally accepted as a useful resource for electricity generation, they have not been without their critics.

One of the major criticisms of wind farms is that they are damaging to the humans who live near them. This effect is both psychological and physical, though there is more evidence for the former. The issue of physical health problems caused by living near a wind farm are a matter of much debate in the medical community.

The psychological problems are more basic. Many of those living near a wind farm find it difficult to sleep due to the noise of the turbines. While the noise is not excessive (it equates roughly to the noise of medium-level traffic, which most of us ignore without thinking) it can be annoying for those in rural areas. As wind farms are more likely to be erected in rural areas – where the general noise level is much lower than cities – there have been complaints over the noise generated. The problem, however, is not considered to be substantial.

The physical health concerns are far more rare, and generally centre around the low-threshold noise produced by wind turbines. Continued exposure to very low noise can upset the inner ear and cause problems such as headaches, but there is no reputable study that has proven wind farms are the cause of this.

When wind turbines are erected, they do pose a minor danger to those living near by. If a brake on a turbine fails, the turbine can have blades spin loose and scatter. For this reason, turbines are constantly monitored and if one appears to be in trouble, all efforts will be made to close it down before a problem occurs.

The Benefits of Wind Energy

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy

Wind turbines – white structures with three or more blades which are used to generate electricity from the wind – are one of the most efficient methods of generating renewable energy. This is simple fact, and the continued development and licencing of turbines is further testament to this.

The reason for this general opinion is that, when one views the statistics, wind turbines are powerfully useful. For example, with older energy generation techniques such as using fossil fuels, to generate electricity one must use some of the earth’s natural resources. In the case of fossil fuels, these one day will run out.

Wind turbines have no effect on the earth’s composition and do not need to dig into anything to be able to generate. They take nothing from the earth as an organism, and this makes them a mighty weapon in the battle against climate change.

Wind turbines do not produce any emissions, be it carbon dioxide – the cause of climate change – or other such chemicals which may be harmful. Though the construction of a wind farm or turbine requires electricity and source material, it is estimated it takes a mere nine months for a single wind turbine to ‘pay back’ what is has taken out. What is more, after that initial nine months pay back time, wind turbines do not require anything but the wind to operate.

The biggest benefit of wind turbines, however, is that they take a natural source and make it useful. The wind blows everywhere in the world, and all wind turbines do is take the previously unused kinetic energy of natural weather phenomenon and create usable electricity.

Put simply, the benefits of wind turbines and wind power are overwhelmingly convincing.

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