Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Energy from Moving Air

Wind is simply air in motion. It is caused by the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface by the sun. Because the Earth’s surface is made of very different types of land and water, it absorbs the sun’s heat at different rates. These different surfaces also shed the sun’s heat at night at different rates. This uneven heating and cooling creates the daily wind cycle.

The Daily Wind Cycle

During the day, the air above the land heats up more quickly than the air over water. The warm air over the land expands and rises, and the heavier, cooler air rushes in to take its place, creating wind. At night, the winds are reversed because the air cools more rapidly over land than over water.

In the same way, the atmospheric winds that circle the earth are created because the land near the Earth’s equator is heated more by the sun than the land near the North and South Poles.

Wind Energy for Electricity Generation

Today, wind energy is mainly used to generate electricity. Wind is a renewable energy source because the wind will blow as long as the sun shines.

Contact Us to find out how you can harness the wind resource in your area.

Net metering applies to systems from zero to 100kW. That’s a big range and covers everything from small houses (or condos) to light manufacturing. 100kW will produce enough to power most large commercial businesses. If you need even more, though, we can deliver.

Certified Solar Solutions has the project management experience to handle multi-million-dollar projects. From contracts to site superintendents, we are also available to be your Owner’s Representative and ensure that your industrial-scale project exceeds your goals.

Contact Us to discuss your large-scale project.

Where Wind is Harnessed

Wind Power Plants Require Careful Planning

Operating a wind power plant is not as simple as just building a windmill in a windy place. Wind plant owners must carefully plan where to locate their machines. One important thing to consider is how fast and how much the wind blows at proposed locations.

Map of U.S. Wind Resources

As a rule, wind speed increases with altitude and over open areas that have no windbreaks. Good sites for wind plants are the tops of smooth, rounded hills, open plains or shorelines, and mountain gaps that produce wind funneling.

Wind Speed Is Not the Same Across the Country

Wind speed varies throughout the United States. It also varies from season to season. In Tehachapi, California, the wind blows more from April through October than it does in the winter. This is because of the extreme heating of the Mojave Desert during the summer months. The hot air over the desert rises, and the cooler, denser air above the Pacific Ocean rushes through the Tehachapi mountain pass to take its place. In a state like Montana, on the other hand, the wind blows more during the winter.

Fortunately, these seasonal variations are a good match for the electricity demands of the regions. In California, people use more electricity during the summer for air conditioners. In Montana, people use more electricity during the winter for heating.

Major Wind Power Locations

Wind turbines (sometimes called wind machines) generated electricity in 31 different States in 2008. The States with the most wind production are Texas, California, Iowa, Minnesota, and Oklahoma.

International Wind Power

Most of the wind power plants in the world are located in Europe and in the United States where government programs have helped support wind power development. As of 2008, the United States ranks first in the world in wind power capacity, followed by Germany, Spain, and China. Denmark ranks ninth in the world in wind power capacity, but generates about 20% of its electricity from wind.

Offshore Wind Power

Conditions are well suited along much of the coasts of the United States to use wind energy. However, there are people oppose putting turbines just offshore, near the coastlines. However, there are people who think the wind turbines will spoil the view of the ocean. Right now, there is a plan to build an offshore wind plant off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Wind is a renewable energy source that does not pollute, so some people see it as a good alternative to fossil fuels.

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