Renewable Energy is truly fascinating and has resulted in some extraordinary claims – both by naysayers and the enthusiasts! Read on for some laughs and then some fun science.
Myth: Wind turbines kills birds!!
So does every bucket of KFC..
Really though, every human activity since we moved out of caves harms other living forms. Studies have found that wind turbines rank way down on the suspect list of bird murderers which is topped by high rise buildings and the cute little house cat. Contact us and we will gladly share the studies.
Myth: The tall fan you’re putting up is going to blow more cabbage smell from the farm at my house next door!!
Firstly, we don’t install fans. Secondly, we’re not authorized to weigh in on cabbage science!
Myth: Wind Turbines are going to suck all the wind out of the area, so our clothes on the line won’t dry!!
Not enough science teachers in the world to answer this one.
Myth: Solar Panels are going to use up all the sunlight, and plants won’t have enough for photosynthesis!!
Same as above.
But rest assured. Someone, somewhere (usually around WNY) is working on all of these problems!!
“There is always an easy solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong”
– H. L Mencken, Journalist.
- Conventional 3 or 2 bladed turbines allow all the wind between the blades to go waste!!
The ideal wind turbine really has only 1 blade. But it can’t be practically implemented because of balance issues with the generator. 2 bladed design works better, but is maintenance intensive due to balance issues. 3 bladed design offers better balance to the system without compromising too much on efficiency.
- Revolutionary turbine designs can harness 100% of the wind’s energy!!
In 1919, German scientist Albert Betz mathematically demonstrated that the maximum kinetic energy that can be harnessed from wind by an ideal turbine is 59.3%. To make it work practically, conventional turbines introduce blades and other components to achieve 70% to 80% of the “Betz limit” resulting in 30% to 45% overall efficiency. Energy that is not there cannot be created.
- Wind Turbines don’t need to be on tall towers!!
A primary requirement for wind turbines to work is that they have access to wind. They will work better if they have access to turbulence free wind. So, taller towers are a necessity for a wind turbine to operate efficiently.
- You can install wind turbines on your roof!!
Sure you can, if you don’t mind the shaky living conditions for want of expensive wind art!! The turbulence from surrounding structures eliminates any useful power generation. Wind turbines require real, engineered towers and foundations to handle the dynamic loads; existing buildings are not designed for these reactions.