How Does Wind Energy Work?

Cambium Aboriginal wind energy experts

We know wind can help provide energy but how does wind energy work? Wind power generating systems can come in many forms and sizes, however, they all operate in the same fashion; large blades move with the wind, directing this energy to a central turbine which produces electricity. Similar to solar PV and thermal technologies, wind systems do not release any emissions during operation and are a sustainable technology. Wind generators are available in both small and large scale projects, and they can be developed by residents, businesses, or our community as a whole.

Due to their size, space requirement, and ability to generate audible noise, they are sometimes seen as more intrusive than solar panels and can have significant opposition in public opinion during development. There are also some environmental concerns with wind turbines in relation to bird and bat mortality, although these concerns can often be readily mitigated.

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) are also available. The blades on VAWTs are positioned differently than traditional horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs) in that they wrap around the vertical shaft and the generator is located at the base of the turbine. This allows the turbine to be placed closer to the ground and makes them more acceptable and effective for use in residential locations. VAWTs are typically shorter in height than HAWT’s and harness less wind energy but are ideal for applications where turbine height is an issue. They do not effectively collect faster moving air at higher altitudes. Overall, VAWTs and HAWTs are comparable, but the two designs have strengths and weaknesses depending on the location of installation and scope of project.

Wind turbines have moving parts which need maintenance, resulting in a relatively high operation and maintenance cost over the life of the project in comparison to solar PV projects. In addition, wind turbines do not always generate electricity when energy demand is highest.

Contact us to speak with one of our qualified staff members to discuss your circumstances and learn how we can eliminate uncertainties and provide you with practical solutions that are tailored to your First Nation’s specific needs.

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705.657.1126 (Telephone)

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Cambium Indigenous Professional Services
1109 Mississauga Street, Curve Lake First Nation, Ontario K0L 1R0