Wind energy is a natural, renewable, clean and an infinite power that is sourcing from the Sun. A very small amount of energy (1-2%) that is received by the Earth from the Sun is converted into wind energy. Air currents form due to a difference in temperature and pressure that occurs as a result of the Sun not warming up the ground surface and atmosphere homogeneously. When an air mass gets warmer than its current state, it rises upward into the atmosphere and its space is occupied by a cold air mass at the same volume. Changing of position of these air masses is called the wind. In other words, wind is the air flowing from an high pressure center to the low due to a difference in pressure between two adjacent pressure zones. While winds flow from high pressure centers to the low, they take form based on the Earth’s rotation around its axis, surface friction, local heat dissipation, various atmospheric events facing them, and the topography of the terrain. The properties of a wind vary temporally and regionally, depending on the local geography and the inhomogeneous warming of the Earth. The wind is defined by two parameters, namely speed and direction. The wind speed increases with altitude and its theoretical power changes in proportion to the cube of its speed. Along with disadvantages of wind power applications such as high initial investment costs, low capacity factors, and variable energy generation, their advantages are as follows:
- Wind is free and abundant in the atmosphere.
- It is a renewable, clean and an eco-friendly source of energy.
- Its source is reliable, and does not carry the risks of running out and price increase.
- Its cost has reached a level to compete with today’s power plants.
- Its maintenance and operating costs are low.
- It creates job opportunities.
- Its raw material is local and it does not lead to foreign-source dependency.
- Establishment and operation of its technology are relatively simple.
- Its commissioning can take place in a short time.
Where does a wind form?
- Places where the pressure gradient is high.
- Valleys where the rain is parallel to constantly-blowing winds.
- High, flat hills and plateaus.
- High-pressure gradient plains and low-pitched valleys with continuous wind.
- Hills and summits that are under the impact of strong geostrophic wind zones.
- Coastal strips that have geostrophic wind and thermal gradient zones.