Wind energy is one of the main sources we have to produce a large amount of energy with a minimum impact on the environment. That’s why generating electrical power from natural wind has been a desirable system both for nations and companies all over the world for decades ago.
Public and private investments have led wind power to be the second largest renewable energy source (after hydropower) for power generation, nowadays it produces more than 5 per cent of global electricity with 591 GW of global capacity. Since its role is crucial, different ways to obtain energy through wind power has been developed, depending on geographical and climate conditions:
- On-shore wind farms get wind energy thanks to parks at least 10 km away from the sea, usually in large plains favourable to constant wind currents;
- Near-shore wind includes all plants on the coast, up to 10 km of distance. It is particularly characterized by the attempt to exploit the winds that come from the sea and hit the coast constantly throughout the year;
- Offshore wind instead is made by more stable plants, which provide more energy (as wind speed and constancy away from the coast provide better conditions for conversion of energy) and have a lower visual impact, however, the costs of construction and maintenance are significantly higher.
- There are also smaller plants such as small onshore wind farms, that can supply electricity to isolated places; or small domestic wind turbines that are under development and some already on the market, which can be installed on the roof or sometimes even on the balcony, and that they can also produce excess energy that companies can buy electric.
Turbine with vertical axis propeller, an underrated system
Wind power is not just linked to “classical” pale turbines, sometimes criticized for their huge dimensions and visual impact. An innovative and underrated wind production system is the turbine with vertical axis propeller, easily installable on houses and general buildings, with relatively lower costs compared to the other sustainable energy productions.
The key is the small quantity of moving parts in its structure, which gives a high resistance to strong gusts of wind and the ability to take advantage of any wind direction without having to continuously orient its body (as it is for classical turbines). These advantages allow these wind systems to be introduced into homes for domestic use, in fact, the small size and excellent resistance allow the vertical wind blades to be installed on roofs and terraces, some architectural projects use these particular wind systems to generate electricity and totally replacing traditional supply systems.