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Wind Energy


You can not get away from the wind in Ireland so why not use it to your own advantage and turn free wind into free electricity?


Over the past decade in Ireland wind farms have started to spring up as the government looks for alternative ways to produce cheaper move environmental friendly energy.


We all know about the Windmills in Holland but they give the wrong impression on the size of a windmill that would be require to run a house or small business.


But just how is that electricity produced?


Blowing wind spins the blades on a wind turbine - just like a toy pinwheel. This device is called a wind turbine not a windmill. The blades on the turbine are attached to a hub that is mounted on a turning shaft. The shaft goes through a gear transmission that is attached to a high speed shaft which turns the generator that makes electricity.


If the wind gets too high the turbine has a brake that will keep the blades from turning too fast and being damaged.

When considering the different options it is important to remember that wind turbines work efficiently when the wind speed is above 12 to 14 mile per hour . Wind has to be at this speed to turn the turbines fast enough to generated electricity.


A single wind turbine can produce about 50 to 300 kilowatts of electricity. A kilowatt is 1,000 watts ( kilo means 1,000 ).


You can light ten 100 watt light bulb’s with 1,000 watts. So a 3,000 kilowatt wind turbine could light up to 3,000 light bulb’s that use 100 watts each. This should quite easily be enough to run a house or small office.


Sustainable Energy Ireland: “ Wind is a clean source of energy. Unlike fossil fuel combustion, wind power can be harnessed without the release of chemical emissions. In fact, every unit of electricity produced from wind rather than traditional fossil fuel generation prevents significant emissions of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides - gases that cause global warming, acid rain and air pollution.”


For further information visit http://www.seai.ie/Renewables/Wind_Energy/

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