Why Brazil Should Develop Offshore Wind Energy Infrastructure in its South
“Why should Brazil develop off-shore wind energy in its southern states?”
The nation of Brazil is a behemoth. Taking up half of the land and population of South America, it needs a vast amount of energy. And to make it sustainable, it should seek to maximize all of the resources available to it. One promising technology is off-shore wind. Since the Southern states by Porto Alegre have some of the highest offshore wind speeds, it would only make sense for Brazil to Develop Offshore Wind Energy Infrastructure there.
Image credit http://latinamericanscience.org
A New Design for Hurricane Resistant Wind Turbines
“How can we make turbines dedicated to withstanding hurricanes?”
Although offshore wind turbines can generate much greater amounts of energy than normal during hurricanes, the storm conditions can be disastrous to their structural integrity. This has prompted researchers from the University of Virginia, University of Illinois, University of Colorado, Colorado School of Mines, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Sandia National Laboratories to come up with a new design. Taking design inspiration from palm trees, the so-called Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotor Wind Turbine used downward facing blades that can move flexibly with the advent of strong winds. These blades are also made out of lighter material and the turbines have a simpler construction, allowing for easier assembly. Testing on these units will begin in the U.S State of Colorado this Summer, hopefully with exciting results.
“How can we use coastal winds to enhance wind power?”
One of the primary criticisms launched against sustainable energy advocates is the systems for extrapolating such energy forms are too limited in geography, time of day, and energy density. However, thanks to the strong willpower of renewable energy engineers, we could have a new technology that could fundamentally upset this paradigm. In the past, wind turbines were only built on solid terrain. Even though this was the simpler way of doing things, it had a major drawback due to the fact that wind is not omnipresent. However, thanks to the flat and low friction nature of water, winds currents are much stronger and consistent over the ocean. And since higher wind current means higher wind power, wouldn’t it be logical to have wind turbines placed in the ocean? This is the exact behind offshore wind power. Offshore wind turbines only have 2 percent of the energy payback time as regular onshore turbines, are less noticeable to the common public, and can be located near a high number of population centers. However, like with everything in engineering, there are always drawbacks with offshore windpower, such as the fact that it takes much more materials to construct such turbines, and the technology is only nascent, requiring further development. But even with this, the future of offshore windpower looks bright, and many countries have already begun investing in to it, such as the gargantuan 630MW London array in the United Kingdom, the 600 MW Viking wind farm in Scotland, and the 400 MW Anholt windfarm in Denmark.