Air, not a problem but a gift? – The wind turbine

The previous blogs were all about the fight against air. How can we make our object aerodynamically as efficient as possible. How can we deal with air as a certain resistance?
But air isn’t always a negative medium as it can be used in advance.
Climate change and the fight against it has become a major topic in modern society. The effects of global warming are clearly visible and people are aware that things need to change concerning energy consumption. Already several years ago we saw the start up of ‘green’ energy. The research for new concepts like the electric car, biofuel, but also green electricity were born.

An example of green electricity is the wind turbine. A wind turbine transfers the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical power. A concept which is already quite old, but the first electricity-generating turbine was made in 1887 by James Blyth and was a battery charging machine.
The first utility grid-connected wind turbine however showed up in 1951.

Nowadays wind turbines are a common view in the modern landscape. Off shore and on shore there are already several windfarms. The largest wind farm, called the Gansu Wind Farm in China, has even a capacity of 6000 MW which is even more then the total capacity of nuclear energy in Belgium.

It’s clear that wind turbines can replace nuclear energy, but the biggest downside is the fact that you need to have an enormous area to reach a capacity which is meaningful. The design of the rotor plays an important role in this story about the efficiency of the wind turbine. According to the law of the physicist Albert Betz only 58.3% of the wind energy could be transformed into electrical power.
But due to the design of the rotor modern turbines can even reach an efficiency of 70-80%.

Do you think it is realistic that wind turbines would replace nuclear energy? Do you also know phenomena which can be negative for us but on the other side useful, like wind energy?
For me I think it is not realistic that wind turbines alone would control the electrical grid in Belgium.
Nuclear energy is still far more efficient if you look to the waste/profit ratio. Don’t understand me wrong, I am not totally pro nuclear energy, but I think there needs to be another technology to replace the nuclear energy because wind turbines are too unpredictable concerning constant grid capacity.



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