Introduction to Wind Power

Introduction to Wind Power
Kenneth M. Klemow, Ph.D.
Wilkes University
What is wind power?
Conversion of wind energy to useful form
◦ Mechanical energy
◦ Transportation
◦ Electricity
Why does wind blow?
Uneven heating of earth’s atmosphere
 Large-scale cells
 Air pressure differences
Where is wind available?
Modern wind power uses turbines
in arrays called windfarms
Wind turbines are evolving
Wind turbine nacelle
Connecting to grid
Global windpower capacity
Global wind as of 2009
Wind installations 2011
Wind installation U.S.
Wind Power in PA
Currently have
24 windfarms
◦ Total capacity –
1335 MW
◦ Enough to power
390,000 homes
Future capacity
◦ 4000 MW
◦ Can power 1.17
million homes
Wind costs have declined
Benefits of wind power
No emissions of carbon into atmosphere
 No radioactive waste
 Sustainable
 Energy is free – only cost is construction
of windfarm and some maintenance
Concerns about wind energy
Intermittent source of power
Habitat fragmentation
Bird and bat mortality
Aesthetic concerns
Ice throw
Wind turbine syndrome
Wind turbine designs are evolving
So is wind power the answer to our
energy needs?