Jessica Yu | Uni: JY3076
Wind energy offers many advantages, which explains why it is one of the fastest growing energy sources in the world. However, there are still many challenges of wind power that the market needs to solve for. Wind power must still compete with conventional generation sources on a cost basis, even though cost of wind has decreased significantly, it might not be able to compete economically with the lowest cost sources of electricity. Wind turbine also takes up a lot of land, and resource development might not be the most profitable use of land. Furthermore, turbines causes noise and aesthetic pollution, not a lot of people want to live next to it. Lastly, there is also the concern of intruding wildlife with birds being killed by flying into spinning turbine blades.
Sustainable Technology: Tulip Turbines
Since Europe is working on becoming climate neutral by 2050 (producing net zero emissions), the development of vertical turbines could be a solution to the many problems including noises and aesthetics.
- A company in the Netherlands is producing ‘wind tulips’ to make energy production less of an eyesore. The idea is structuring the flow better using the science of fluid dynamics. They are quieter and smaller and work easily with changing wind direction. The shape is not only for pleasing the eyes, it also comes with aerodynamics that make the small wind turbines produce more energy per square meter than solar panels in windy areas.
- These Tulip wind turbines are around 3 meters, or 9 feet, high. They come with a US-made generator rated at 1000 watts with the capacity to go up to 3000 for limited times and a charge controller. Manufactured in the Netherlands. Available in 4-10 months.
- Most wind turbines need to be placed far apart, because the problem with lift turbines when they are placed close together is their turbulence would interfere with each other. But when the turbines are correctly spaced to benefit from that adjacent zone of higher velocity wind, the total power output jumps upwards.
- US Department of Energy
- Large company manufacturers that need their own sustainable energy sources
- Residential areas that need off-grid energy sources
- Shopping Malls, Schools, Skyscrapers
1.) Understanding the location wind source. Utilizing local weather data from airports and meteorigcial stations.
2.) Identifying reliable power purchaser or market. To date, wind energy is the most cost competitive renewable energy option on the market. Before investing thousands of dollars into wind resource assessments, permitting, and pre-construction activities, a developer will secure tentative commitments from one or more buyers for the wind plants output over 10 to 30 years of its operational lifetime.
3.) Evaluate the maintenance and performance. An environmental impact assessment need to be performed before construction, in order to ensure that communities and their environments will not be harmed by the project.