Wind energy

With a decrease in the amount of minerals, a person turned to other kinds of energy sources. Atomic stations, despite their high efficiency, continue to be frightened by pollution of nature. Chernobyl and Fukushima are still on their lips. It is no wonder, that the mankind has paid attention to natural sources of energy – the sun, a wind, heat. Today wind energy is developing with leaps and bounds.

More and more people are faced with such sources and uses them in everyday life. Although the wind energy itself is a new technology, however, a lot of myths have already accumulated around it. For the most part, they belong to old technologies, and they are spread by numerous opponents of progress. We will describe below the main misconceptions related to this direction of energy.

Wind energy

Wind turbines are very noisy.

According to this myth, a person can not stay long beside the noisy wind motors. However, they work quite quietly. At a distance of 250-300 meters from the wind power plant, the noise from its operation does not exceed the loudness of the work of an ordinary home refrigerator. In working turbines the sound is similar to a light whistle, it is much quieter relative to other modern installations. Even in sparsely populated and rural areas where extraneous noises can not hide the work of wind turbines, the sound of the wind itself is stronger. True, it is worth remembering about the exception. So, noisy are the old units, which are more than 20 years old. Yes, and modern turbines located on the hills “quiet” can not be named. As a result, in hilly terrain, where dwellings are located on slopes or depressions in the direction of wind from turbines, sound can spread further and be more tangible. However, to solve this effect, it is only necessary to take into account the location of nearby houses when designing a new power plant, having deviated from them by the appropriate distance. The same machines that are manufactured today, originally designed so that the mechanical components are the least noise. Designers try to keep only the smallest noise from the wind contacting the blades of the rotors.

The nearest houses to the station will be located in the zone of “shimmer shadows”.

The concept of “shimmer shadows” means the process that occurs when the blades of the turbine blades rotate between the sun and the observer. This creates a moving shadow. However, a shimmering shadow for houses located near a power station is never a problem. And even where this is possible in principle, problems are usually easily solved at the design stage of the power plant. Sometimes a shimmering shadow can irritate those who read nearby or watch TV. But this effect can be easily calculated by determining how many hours in the year this will occur. This will help to easily identify the problem. The state, however, offers a number of solutions to mitigate the effects of the effect. The simplest thing is planning to station the station and remove it from the houses, another way can be planting trees.

Turbines generate interference for television signals and other types of communication.

Turbines can interfere in rare cases, and even then they can be avoided. Large wind installations located on the ground may cause interference to television or radio only if they are within line of sight. In modern wind power engineering, various methods are used to solve such a problem. It is possible to improve the receiving antenna or to install a repeater that will transmit the signal bypassing the zone of the location of the windmills.

The appearance of turbines is quite ugly.

Beauty is a rather subjective concept. For many, the appearance of turbines is majestic. Wind station plan developers have tools for computer modeling that can visually show its virtual view from different angles. As a result, careful design of the station allows us to solve the problems of an ugly appearance.

From wind farms there is not much benefit for local residents, their property is only reduced in price.

There is no evidence that the property price is going down, if there is a commercial wind power station nearby. In 2003, national studies were conducted in America, which specifically studied prices for real estate located near the wind farm. It turned out that the presence of such an object not only does not affect the cost of houses, but in some cases even increases it.

Wind farms are harmful to tourism.

No such documented evidence was found. Sometimes wind turbines even attract visitors to this area. Then local authorities cooperate with station personnel to install information boards and special indexes. Tourists already at the entrance or nearby roads can understand exactly where this unusual station is located. Studies have shown that for most tourists the presence of wind turbines in the area is not an excuse for canceling the trip. So, in Palm Springs, California, thousands of turbines are installed. They not only did not scare away tourists, but even attracted them. Here in the guides offer special bus tours for visiting wind farms.

Wind turbines are dangerous, because ice can break from the blades, which is dangerous for people’s lives.

Sometimes ice falls can occur, but it does not carry any danger. The removal of wind stations from the places of permanent residence of people, which is usually to reduce the sound effects, is enough to ensure and safety because of the fall of the ice. And the big intention of ice on the blades is simply impossible. After all, it leads to a decrease in the speed of rotation of the blades. The turbine as a result will be turned off by its control system.

Wind energy

Sometimes the blades break off from the turbines, and the wind stations are destroyed.

Today, wind turbines are very safe. This allows them to be placed even near children’s institutions, in rural, urban and densely populated areas. In the past, blades were actually broken, but now the turbine is already technically advanced. All wind motors are certified in accordance with international standards. Thus, the criteria developed by Germanischer Lloyd and Det Norske Veritas, include standards for varying degrees of resistance to hurricanes. Today thousands of wind turbines have been installed across Europe and America. All of them meet the highest security standards, which guarantee their reliable operation.

Wind turbines are dangerous for nature, because of them many birds and bats die.

The influence of growing wind energy and its distribution on birds is greatly exaggerated. It is much less than other ordinary human activities. Even any possible development of wind energy will not have any impact on birds. After all, the number of deaths from installations of this type is only a small part of the total volume of the “human factor”. Birds perish from high-rise buildings, domestic cats, aircraft, construction, environmental accidents. In this case, the problem of death of birds due to wind stations is under special attention. So, on one of the oldest objects of this type in Altamont Pass, California, the death of birds of prey is a long-standing problem since the 1980s. Employees of this station constantly work together with official bodies and experts on nature protection in order to minimize the dangerous impact on birds. Since 2003, research has begun on the impact of wind installations on bats. After all, the death of these mammals in West Virginia in the same year attracted the attention of scientists and the public. In response, the National Laboratory for Renewable Energy, together with the community for the protection of bats, is still conducting studies on the relationship of station operation to the death of these animals.Such studies are designed to reduce mortality, the results of work are constantly published. Although the impact of wind energy on the population of birds and mice is small, industrialists are serious about issues of potential interaction with living things. In addition to general field studies, additional studies on the impact on birds are conducted before the construction of facilities. It has become a generally accepted practice to investigate the possible impact on nature even at the design stage of the station.

Wind power plants are divided into parts of the habitat zone of wild animals.

Typically, such stations are built around power lines. Here the habitats of animals have already been fragmented and altered, the reason is developed cattle breeding and farming. For the station itself it takes a bit of ground to accommodate the turbine itself, the road to it and the power lines. The earth around such objects can be used further in the familiar mode. Often areas with suitable wind characteristics are found on undeveloped lands. Then fragmentation of areas can really become a source of concern. After all, the meadows and forests are still intact. Industry in every way supports the study of these places in order to better understand the possible impact on them. It is necessary to compare the possible impact with that which can occur in the absence of renewable energy sources. After all, this is fraught with global warming, the emission of pollutants.

Wind turbines are unreliable and expensive, they can not be the only source of energy.

The network devices are such that it is not required for each megawatt produced by the wind station to generate the same amount of energy from other sources. No station can be 100% reliable, this has made the network such that it has more sources than is required at the same time. Such a complex system was designed specifically to better respond to possible discontinuities of one of the sources or the inclusion of industrial consumers with high consumption. In the electrical network, thus, there are quite a lot of variables that are taken into account by the operator. The inconstancy of wind power plants is just one of the factors of the entire network. Are there any highly reliable sources of electricity? So, even nuclear reactors and coal-fired CHP plants are cut off with a warning shortly before that to carry out maintenance or emergency repairs. But nobody wants to duplicate nuclear or thermal stations with the same powerful facilities. The realities are such that the wind power industry is reliable from nature. After all, stations are erected in windy areas, models of seasonal air movements where, can be predicted. Unlike standard stations, the windshields do not have to be completely disconnected in case of breakdown or maintenance. If the turbine is faulty, it can be repaired without disconnecting the remaining installations from the mains.

Wind turbines work only a small part of the time.

It turns out that such plants produce electricity for most of the day, 65-80%. Naturally, the power output varies from time to time. But 100% of its capacity can not always be given by any power plant. All of them are sometimes closed for repairs and maintenance or produce less power due to the lack of demand for electricity at the moment. Wind power plants are built in those places where the wind blows most of the year. But the fluctuations of its wind lead to the fact that only 10% of the time will be produced for the production of maximum power. As a result, the average annual production of electricity will be about 30% of the nominal capacity. For stations on non-renewable sources this parameter varies from 0.4 to 0.8. In total for Russia in 2005 the total capacity utilization factor of all stations was 0.5.

Wind turbines are ineffective.

Quite the opposite, the advantage of wind turbines is their efficiency.The most simple way to determine the overall efficiency of the technology is overall efficiency. The amount of energy consumed for production is estimated. It turned out that the recovery time for wind power plants is almost inferior to the performance of conventional facilities, sometimes even exceeding them. Not so long ago, the University of Wisconsin conducted a study and found that the average energy recovery of the Midwestern wind farms is 17-39 times (depending on the current wind speed) more energy consumed. But for nuclear power plants this parameter equals 16, for coal plants – 11. And in a broader sense it should be said about the efficiency of wind turbines. After all, they produce electricity from natural sources, which are inexhaustible. There are no social or environmental impacts. Fuel does not need to be extracted, transported, there is no pollution of the environment. There is no waste problem, which must also be taken somewhere and stored somewhere. Wind farms do not exacerbate the greenhouse effect, which is typical of the CHP.

Wind energy is expensive.

Today, wind power supplies electricity at the same cost as new stations operating on conventional fuels. Capital costs for wind installations are indeed higher than for traditional energy sources, for example, using gas. But at the same time there are no fuel costs, and other normalized costs (cost of work, maintenance) of this direction of energy are ultimately competitive with respect to other sources. Analysts concluded that wind power reduces the total market value of electricity. After all, over the last 30 years in Europe, the power of turbines of this type has increased almost 300 times, during this time the cost of production has decreased by 80%. Every new 5% of the market, given to wind energy, allows to reduce the cost of electricity by 1%. Over the past 5 years, wind power in the EU has given 33 workplaces daily. This market is constantly growing, only in Russia in 2013 it will amount to 3.1 billion euros, and in 2015 – 7 billion euros.

Wind energy

Wind energy requires subsidies, as opposed to conventional.

Analysts of the International Energy Agency assessed subsidies for energy in Europe. It turned out that in all of the EEC countries, 29 billion euros were allotted, of which only 19% accounted for wind energy. This indicator indicates that this direction was simply equated with the traditional technologies of energy production.

Wind turbines are not suitable for a common network, working only in small autonomous systems.

In order for the entire power system to depend on unstable power output from wind farms, it is necessary that their share be about 20-25% of the total capacity. For example, in Russia, with existing indicators and rates, this ratio can be achieved no earlier than 50 years from now.

доля In the world energy balance, the share of wind power is insignificant.

In 2010, the amount of energy produced by this type of station was 2.5% of the total. Wind energy is highly valued, for example, in Denmark, already 20% of electricity is produced in this way, and in Germany – 8%. Plans for the development of this direction were announced by China, India, Japan, France. The pace of wind energy development suggests that by 2020 the share of this industry will be 10% of the total.

Wind power itself is unstable and not as predictable as other species.

Energy comes unstable, which requires its constant reservation and accumulation. To solve the problems of such instability, there are options. Today, with an accuracy of 95%, forecasts are made for the hourly delivery of energy during the day. This high planning index allows improving the quality of work and reliability of stations. To assess the stability of the operation of a system of stations of this type, a group of scientists from the universities of Delaware and Stony Brook created a virtual system of objects.They were located throughout the eastern coast of the US at a distance from the coast. It turned out that such a system can serve as a reliable source of energy. Although wind installations have high potential, changing weather can still reduce their potential. Scientists propose to unite in a single network groups of wind generators that are separated from one another in order to smooth out wind fluctuations in the areas. However, accurate calculations have not yet been made. In the course of the study, data from 11 automatic weather stations for 5 years were considered. They were located for 2500 kilometers between Florida and Maine. It turned out that during this time, provided that the stations were unified into a single network, the supply of electricity would never completely cease. The power of the entire system would not fluctuate as much as an individual plant. If it could change by 50% per hour, then for the whole network the jump in principle could not exceed 10% per hour. Participants in the study concluded that this “unstable” source of energy is actually quite reliable when properly used.

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