The human harnessing of wind power dates back centuries. Although, it was originally used for crushing grains and pumping water, today it is used to generate electricity and power our cities. Below, we will take a closer look into this type of energy, including its advantages and disadvantages and what you should consider if you’re thinking of switching to wind power.
You’ve probably seen the tall white turbines along the countryside while driving to the cottage or the lake. These turbines take the kinetic energy of the blowing wind and turn it into mechanical energy, rotating turbine’s blades. This motion, in turn, allows the generator to create electrical currents that we can use to power our homes, offices, and other facilities.
However, did you know that these aren’t the only kinds of turbines around? Turbines can be all shapes and sizes; it all depends on the location and use. More commonly, turbines operate on a horizontal axis. However, they can also work on a vertical axis (pictured right).As for sizing, it all depends on what the turbines are expected to power. Residential or micro-generation turbines are much smaller (ours only weighs 37kg), whereas industrial ones are much larger (the blades can be as long as 137ft alone). Large turbines can also be set up on-land or off-shore depending on the wind available in the area.
The most apparent pro of wind energy is that wind is free, unlimited, and a renewable resource. That means that wind power is a clean energy, which is remarkably better than the fossil fuels that currently power most of Canada. As wind power is a clean energy, it creates no waste and does not contaminate our atmosphere or water systems. Economically, wind energy not only creates local jobs, but after the turbines are built, they are very low-cost to run and maintain. Wind turbines are generally designed and constructed in Canada to power Canada, making them entirely local. Micro-generation turbines also give individuals the added freedom of being off-grid while experiencing huge savings on their electricity bills.
The main cons to wind power include the upfront cost, the subpar aesthetics, the danger to wildlife, and the noise. All these points are valid, but let’s deconstruct them. The upfront cost of a residential wind turbine is similar to that of setting up solar panels for a single home. Have you ever heard the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? Something that solves so many energy generation problems deserves some slack. The danger to flying wildlife is actually much lower with wind power than with any other energy generation method. Not to mention that residential turbines don’t pose this challenge given their height and size. The noise of larger turbines is a little louder than your refrigerator but not as loud as your AC unit. Here is a terrific article on this topic, which even more of those noise comparisons.
Thinking of Switching to Wind Power?
Wind power is the perfect alternative to fossil fuels if you live in a rural or remote location. Not only will it save you money, but you’ll be helping our planet out and living more sustainably. Micro-generation wind turbines can be easily set up, attached to batteries, and power your Canadian home all year long - as we all know, the wind here never stops. If you think that making the switch to wind power, you should consider purchasing a turbine from Borrum Energy Solutions. Our team is located in Ontario, all of our designs and parts are Canadian-made, and everything is created with Canadians in mind. Hit three birds with one stone: support local, live sustainably, and save money.