The Wind Turbine: Everything Old Is New Again

21/366 - Wind energy, old and new.

There has been some big promises made by governments when it comes to the concept of the wind farm. The wind turbine has been touted as a way to promote clean energy, but in fact these devices have an historical flair that goes back to the days when they were used as a mechanical device to turn machinery.

Of course, today’s market for this green technology has seen some interesting turns that weren’t heard of years ago. There have even been recent software programs released that allow interested parties to develop their own wind farms in the cyberworld and test the hypothetical possibilities before they launch in reality. The software clearly shows how far the industry has come in just a short while and it boasts the ability to test a number of different wind turbine factors such as Load Flow and Harmonic Analysis.

The need for this software parallels the growing industry where the wind farm is concerned and as a result of the detailed analysis that can be gained here, different locations can be picked for the right set ups.

The industry is always moving forward with more innovations and one of the latest ones that has been reported concerns the blades that are used and how they can better adjust themselves in varying wind conditions. Syracuse University has researchers looking at many new innovations that will help these blades work more efficiently. First, the general data from the wind flowing over the blades is recorded using what is called an intelligent controller. By reducing both noise and vibration on the blades, this research is helping industry to move forward towards more and more cost-efficient green technology.

There are also tests underway where scientists are experimenting with different angles of the blades to increase the efficiency. A full wind turbine comprises of fifteen different parts and the capacity is growing alongside the technology. For example, outputs will reach 447GW in the next five years and within the next two years Asia will lead the world in wind energy.

Finally, all this about the industry might make you think that wind energy is on the cutting edge and has only been around for a few years, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are records of the predecessors of wind energy being mentioned as far back as 1838.

In fact, one academic from Cambridge notes that the history of the wind turbine goes back even farther and that there were records of 10,000 of these units being used as far back as the 1800s.

There are other early records of wind energy being used even further back in China and it’s thought that an early predecessor of those traveled to Europe by the end of the 12th century. There’s a saying, “Everything old is new again”, and that cannot be more applicable than with today’s wind turbine.

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