Wind Turbines – Technology of Wind Power

The wind turbine was a type of breakthrough technology that officially changed the world forever. While, in the beginning the turbines started out as windmills, they eventually evolved into the wind turbines, which still, to this day, provide a source of energy to many people. They are designed to create an enormous amount of energy, for a large population of people. With this in mind, some may ask, “how does the current turbine function?” The turbine is made with propellers, a rotor, and a main shaft. Wind causes the propellers of a turbine to turn. The energy produced from the turbine of the propellers then transfers to the rotor, which is connected to the main shaft, which generates the energy. Overall, the turbines have proven to be effective for decades, but this does not exclude the fact that they have problems.

Research about these turbines have produced information that they do indeed possess some problems. First, since wind turbines produce a lot of noise, they are placed on large areas of land, in hope that the noise would pose little disturbance to people. While new changes have been made over the years to reduce the amount of noise, this problem is still occuring. Another problem is that these turbines are large, and take up a lot of space, which could instead be used for other agricultural uses. Current wind turbines cost society a lot of money, some costing more than one hundred billion dollars. Along with these problems, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy explains that with the remote location of the wind turbines, only a small portion of people are actually benefiting from its existence. With more people living in cities, the turbines would thrive more there, since a larger population of people could use the energy. This department also explains the impact that the turbines have on the environment itself. With their large size and remote area, the wind turbines pose many risks to the wildlife present. Birds, for example, could end up flying into the turbines because of their strong wind power. Lastly, they pose some concern to people who want the rural areas to be completely dedicated to agricultural purposes. The look of having this massive, noisy gadget in these places tend to not be appealing to those living in these areas. They are said to be “unaesthetic” or unpleasing to the eye. These problems ultimately should be resulted in a new invention that fixes them.

With this being said, the current wind turbines have problems that can be fixed with the introduction of a new and improved wind turbine. The creation of the new turbine would try and take the current problems and ultimately create a way where the turbine would no include these complications.

History

Wind turbines are a source of energy that have been used for thousands of years. Starting in 2000 B.C. wind energy was used to power people’s boats. Fastforwarding thousands of years, the first actual wind turbine that was created in the United States materialized around 1888 by Charles F. Brush. Made out of cedar wood, it was evolutionalized from the already previous windmill, that was used as an irrigation system for farmers all over the world. Then, in 1935 the REA officially began their production of the wind turbine, for which they eventually placed in farm areas, so that the rural inhabitants could have access to the same energy as the people living in urban regions, who were getting their energy from other technological sources. The main company to produce wind turbines was “Jacob’s Wind”, which became the primary source of production in the 20th century. Eventually, over the course of many years, newer components were added to the original turbine, such as steel and concrete towers, to secure the existing tower in place. Now, today in the 21st century, the wind turbines have developed into the larger, more powerful turbines, that humans see today: a clean, environmentally safe invention.

Future Technology

Wind turbines, while practical for electrical regeneration, have their downside because of their dependability on the wind. This has a variable cost because when the user is without wind, they have to look to another source for electricity. The proposal of this “mini” wind turbine would stem off the base idea of generating the same amount of electricity as the current turbines with less wind and power. Each homeowner would be able to have their own turbines, causing them to not depend on current electrical practices of a power plant.

Why wind turbines? Electricity is used by millions of people every second of the day. Everyone’s lives depend on electricity, whether it’s driving to the supermarket or using a computer. It has become a necessity. The power behind the wind turbines is that it has the ability to convert wind energy to electrical energy. Whether you are driving through the hills of Pennsylvania or driving in the hills of Hawaii, a wind turbine can always been seen. While yes, these enormous turbines can create a lot of energy, a new model could be recreated to make the same amount of energy as the current turbines. Lastly, wind can cause power outages, causing trees and branches to break and interfere with people’s electricity. These turbines would not encounter this problem, since they will be generated by the wind and kept in small, remote areas on a single property.

Technology continually becomes more advanced each year. So, in the next 20 years, wind turbines could be proven to be effective in many ways. The turbine might revolutionize into a completely new design, since more technological ideas and processes will be discovered that could transform the turbine. Wind turbines might not even be needed for energy in 20 years; something more beneficial, cheaper and efficient could be created by this time. But if no new technology was created, this new mini wind turbine would be apart of everyone’s home so that the energy that they need will come directly from the turbine. The goal would be that each house would have one. It would also come at a cheaper cost in 20 years, as a result of the wanting of this new turbine to decrease. After millions have been sold, the product would become cheaper. Also this turbine could completely take over the current turbines, which then would cause the land to be devoted back to agricultural uses.

Breakthroughs

The advantage of this new turbine system would be that with its small, expandable size, people would be able to own one (with modifiable systems) and this would solely create the amount of electricity that they would need. Also, the turbine would produce little to no sound, so it would not disturb any neighbors. This turbine system would allow people to be self-sufficient on windy and even non-windy days. It would come at a low cost and would be affordable to everyone. The turbine would need to be able to be made in a very small size. It would also include a turbo charger and other components that would need to be completely shrunk into a “mini” version of the current turbine. The turbine would come at a low price so that every person would have the ability to have their own turbine, to produce needed energy that can be used everyday of the week.

The main question is, “why it doesn’t exist today?” In many cases, people believe that it is easier to get the things they need from one source. For example, many people have city water instead of having their own well. For millions of people it seems easier for them to get what they want and what they need from one source, so that they would not have to take care of it themselves. Also authorities may not have even considered this idea since it can be believed that poorer people might not have the money to purchase one. If that was the case, many in our country wouldn’t have an energy source to power anything in their homes. Next, since the current turbines produce a large amount of energy already, it does not seem necessary to make a new system. Some people may think that a smaller version would mean less energy, which would not be the case. Lastly, it can be easy to believe that if a “mini” version was made, it would still have the same problems as the current turbines: none of the problems would get fixed. While all of the circumstances seem like valid arguments against the invention of a new turbine, with the right tools and materials, this idea could become a reality, and a new sustainable source of energy would officially be made.

Design Process

When brainstorming ideas on how to create different variations of the wind turbine, a couple new proposals came to mind. While all three of these alternative ideas seem similar, their slight differences cause each design plan, in some degree, to be unique in their own way. In all three designs a wind socket would be the main instrument that has the ability to catch the wind. First, when the wind enters the socket, it would be forced down into a microscopic size hole. The air speed before would essentially increase after the air has gone through the small hole, since all of the air is going to one place to escape the air socket. From there, the air would enter the connected turbocharger, where the air would be transformed into energy. With a generator component in the turbocharger, the force of air would cause the generator to begin to create the energy to power a house and all of its elements. The second idea that was considered has similar features as the first one, except for the idea that the wind socket would transform into a type of engine. The now aluminum socket would have a turbine component that would take the air and spin it again. The air in the wind socket would immediately run through a turbocharger, eventually being made into useable energy. This is different from the first idea in the way that the wind will not be forced into a small hole. The last design is a combination of the first and second ideas. The air would travel through a aluminum socket, with a turbine component. From there, the air generated would be forced into a small hole in the turbo generator where the energy would officially be produced. The turbines in each of these designs would be small, with a couple of the wind turbines in a line, so that the wind would increase as it goes through each turbine. When it would get to the last turbine, the wind power would be much greater than at the starting point. The last component would produce the most electricity as a result. Also, a battery component would also be included in each of these designs so that energy would still be available even if there would be no wind on a certain day. The battery would store energy made on days where there was wind, so that people would always have a source of energy.

The third idea, which is a combination of the first and second proposals, should be created because it contains the necessary components to be able to provide energy to people everyday of the week. This idea takes the advantages of both ideas and puts them together. Since the first idea doesn’t include the turbine and the second idea doesn’t include the idea of having the air travel through the small hole, this reinforces the point that, since the third idea incorporates the important parts of the first and second ideas, this is the best overall idea to choose for the design.

Consequences

Many current technology possesses negative consequences, that can be eventually fixed with a new type of technology. If there were no upsides to wind turbines, there would be no point in trying to recreate it. With a conservationist approach, inventions should always be made in a way that will benefit society and the people living in it, but also provide people’s needs without compromising anything in the environment.

Being solely dependent on the wind, the wind turbines produce little to no pollution. This is an extremely important component, considering mostly everything in society today, in some way or another, produces pollution, which are continually becoming harmful to all forms of life on earth. Along with no pollution, the primary cost of the wind turbines are the turbines itself; the wind is completely free. That being said, the wind will never run out and humans will never have to pay to manage it, since its power is all natural wind. Wind turbines also have the ability to supply energy to thousands of homes. With this being said, the turbines are beneficial to a world with a growing population. The wind turbines provide energy to people who may not have the accessibility to other sources of energy, such as power plants.

This new wind turbine would include all of the advantageous components as the already existing wind turbines. Along with the current turbines, these newly invented energy generators would include the many of the same advantages as the already existing turbines and it would even contain advanced systems that would benefit society in many ways. Since this turbine would be small and expandable, people would be able to own one (with modifiable systems) and this would solely create the amount of electricity that they would need. The system would act as a generator: created useful energy for a household to use. But unlike any generators today, it would operate based on the wind that enters through the wind socket. Instead of being powered by gasoline, it is powered by wind. Unlike gasoline, wind is completely free and will never run out. People would not need to depend on other sources for their energy, since they will be the main operator for their own, personal system. The turbine would even produce little to no sound, so it would not disturb any neighbors, unlike the current wind turbines today. In the end, the goal of this turbine system is to allow people to be self-sufficient on windy days. It would come at a low cost and would be affordable to everyone.

Most of the time, the advantages are not the only part of a new invention. With any new design of an innovation, there always seems to have some disadvantages. When a creation is finally introduced into society, the initial cost tends to be high. But this happens when most products are launched. Look at iphones as an example; when the newest model comes out every several months, the beginning price usually is expensive. Over the course of months, and even years, the price continues to drop, as the demand for the product outweighs the supply. These new turbines would have a costly initial selling price. Along with a high price, wind turbines, while practical for electrical regeneration, have their downside because of their dependability on the wind. This has a variable cost because when the user is without wind, they have to look to another source for electricity. The proposal of this “mini” wind turbine would be to generate the same amount of electricity with less wind than the current turbines.

Ultimately, the advantages in the new system completely outweigh the negatives. With a little more time, these disadvantages could be turned into an advantages, so that society would benefit more from its introduction. The introduction of this new product would prove to be life changing; a change that is useful to daily life.  

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