Do wind turbines harm birds?
Over the past fifteen years, a number of reports have appeared in the popular press about wind turbines killing birds. Some writers have gone so far as to dub wind generators "raptor-matics" and "cuisinarts of the sky". Unfortunately, some of these articles have been used as "evidence" to stop the construction of a wind generator in someone's back yard.
Birds live a tenuous existence. There are a number of things that can cause their individual deaths or collective demise. For example, bird collisions with objects in nature are a rather common occurrence, and young birds are quite clumsy when it comes to landing on a perch after flight. As a result, about 30% of total first-year bird deaths are attributed to natural collisions.
Are modern wind turbines noisy?
The answer is no. Any mechanical device has the potential for mechanical noise — the sound that is emitted when two parts rub together. The good news is that this type of sound has virtually disappeared from today’s well engineered modern turbine. In fact, turbines are so quiet that it’s possible to carry on a normal conversation at the base. At 300 meters from the base, the sound they make has been electronically measured and compared to a whispering voice.
Wind turbines operate under windy conditions, the harder the wind blows the faster the turbines spin. However, much of the sound from the blades is masked by the sound of the wind itself and of the accompanying sound of rustling leaves in nearby trees and shrubs.
Is wind energy expensive?
Source: www. windustry.org
Wind energy is the cheapest form of new electricity generation available today. Wind power is more expensive than power from old, established power plants, but is cost competitive with any new power plant.
Technology innovations and market building incentives have helped to dramatically lower costs over the last 20 years. When the first commercial-scale wind turbines were installed in the 1980s, wind generated electricity cost up to 30 cents per kilowatt-hour. Today, wind power plants can generate electricity for less than 5 cents per kilowatt-hour, a price that is competitive with new coal- or gas-fired power plants.
What is the life of a turbine?
Proven Turbines have a design life of 25 years.
At which speeds will a turbine generate electricity?
Proven Turbines start producing electricity at wind speeds of 2.5m/s (~10 km/h). The design of the Proven Flexible Blade System enables the turbine to spill the destructive power of high winds. In high winds the blades cone out of the wind thus the rotor will run up to a certain speed and no faster giving you close to rated output even in storm conditions. At full output (1.8MW) the Huron Wind blades turn ~ 16 times per minute. (15.8 rpm)
Are there any health concerns associated with living near an operating wind turbine?
There continues to be a great deal of discussion regarding the impact an operating wind farm may have on its neighbour’s health. With the current setbacks (550 metres) there is no medical evidence linking wind turbines with adverse health. Research into this issue continues and the wind industry is actively involved.
Facts and Figures
Each part of the wind turbine is important in generating electricity.