To analyze the importance of wind energy in the global energy sector, it is necessary to take into account all the links in the chain that are needed to make the jewel in the crown, the famous wind turbine that makes up the wind farms, a technological beast of the current evolution.
Next we will explain how these wind farms work. Besides the great importance of the energy generated for them in our lives, and as an alternative of a more than near future.
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Wind farm operation
The exploitation of a 1 MW turbine installed in a wind farm can reach avoid 2000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), if the electricity produced has been emitted by thermoelectric plants.
By taking into account all the links in the chain, the energy and materials that are needed both for manufacturing As for the dismantling of wind turbines, it can be noted that the balance of energy consumed is interesting.
The life cycle of wind turbines is also studied. A 2,5 MW wind turbine, with a useful life of about 20 years under normal operating conditions, it can produce up to 3.000 MW per year, which is enough for the consumption of around 1.000 to 3.000 households (depending on consumption) per year. The useful life of a wind turbine is estimated between 20 and 25 years.
You can distinguish a "small" wind turbine (from a few tens of watts up to 10 KW) that is used for the pumping water or to provide electricity to isolated sites, of the most powerful wind turbines (from 50 KW to 5 MW) connected to the electrical networks, which are the ones that are increasingly being developed. The latter are generally grouped together in what is called eolico Park.
Almost all wind turbines that produce electricity consist of a rotor with blades or blades that rotate around a horizontal axis. This is attached to a mechanical transmission assembly or multiplier and, finally, to a Electric generator, both located in the platform suspended at the top of the tower.
It is important to note that the blade length It will be decisive to generate more or less energy or speed, since the larger the greater swept area will reach and will evidently produce a increased energy.
Importance of wind energy
- Opponents of wind farms in industrialized countries often argue about the visual contamination, its noise and that its production is insufficient to cover energy needs. The wind power It should be considered as a new energy source, a clean energy, evolving and complementary to other types of production.
- As for the inconvenience that it can cause, they will always be a lot lower than those caused by other kinds of energies like, for example, like coal or nuclear energy.
- Let's not forget that being an energy that is generated by the air, and its movement, it is kinetic energy therefore it does not pollute, and it is then one of the cleanest energies What can we find.
The challenge of the future is get a cheap, non-polluting, renewable and accessible source of energy for all countries of the world (difficult with the lobbies out there), which allows transport, industries and households to reduce the dependence we have on oil today, and it seems that wind energy is one of the best alternatives in this regard.
The largest wind farm in Spain is in El Andévalo (Huelva)
Spain, being as it is a pioneer and pointer country in the use of wind energy, although in recent years the installation of new parks has stalled. Although, we can still boast of having the largest wind farm in continental Europe.
It is the El Andévalo complex, which with its 292 MW power is only surpassed by the Whitelee park, in Scotland, which totals 322. The curious thing is that both are owned by the same company, and it is Spanish, Iberdrola Renovables, and both with turbines from the Basque company Gamesa.
When the Andévalo was owned a few years ago, the company consolidated its position of energy leader wind power both in Andalusia, with 851 MW, and throughout Spain, with 5.700 MW.
Where is the Andévalo?
It is located between the Huelva municipalities of El Almendro, Alosno, San Silvestre and Puebla de Guzmán, in the south of this Andalusian province. The complex, which began to run in 2010It is made up of eight wind farms: Majal Alto (50 MW), Los Lirios (48 MW), El Saucito (30 MW), El Centenar (40 MW), La Tallisca (40 MW), La Retuerta (38 MW), Las Cabezas (18 MW) and Valdefuentes (28 MW).
In total, the aforementioned 292 MW, which allow the annual electricity production of this immense plant to supply 140.000 homes and it is calculated that it avoids emission to atmosphere of no less than 510.000 tons of CO2.
It was in February 2010 when Iberdrola Renovales took ownership of the entire complex. The Los Lirios wind farm was the last one it acquired, within a wind farm sale and purchase agreement in Andalusia signed with Gamesa. The operation, which is part of the agreement signed by both companies in 2005 for the sale of wind farms in Andalusia. His final cost exceeded 320 million euros.