To truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. ~ Barack Obama
Indeed, with conventional sources of energy facing a future of depletion and also burdening the environment with unsavory consequences, the moment is ripe to seriously consider switching to alternative sources of energy, that are renewable and wreak lesser environmental havoc than their conventional counterparts. Proof of this line of thought can be seen nowadays in the form of construction of hydroelectric power stations, solar energy harvesting, and wind farming.
Speaking about the latter, wind farming as an alternative means of producing power, mostly for non-domestic purposes, has been, in part, adopted by a lot of countries all over the world including Germany, Canada, Spain, China, Denmark, Netherlands, India, the United States, Japan, Sweden, Portugal, Norway and the United Kingdom.
What is a Marine Wind Generator?
Now, before we talk about these wind generators, let's understand the basics of wind power generation first. A wind generator is typically in the form of a wind turbine that transfers wind energy that makes their blades move to a power collection system of medium voltage. This medium voltage is then converted to high voltage by transformers located at a substation.
This is the conventional design of a typical wind generator, in which the propellers on each turbine is attached to an electric generator. The rotational motion caused by wind is converted into a kind of thrust, which is transmitted for conversion into high voltage electric energy, as mentioned previously.
Now, coming to the topic of marine wind turbines or generators, these power generators work on the same principles as mentioned previously with regards to traditional wind turbines. However, the only point of difference is that these wind generators are located offshore, i.e. either installed along the coastal areas or on-board boats, ships and fishing vessels.
Marine Wind Generators for Boats and Other Vessels
If you live near a coastal area, where commercial vessels are either docked or frequent the waters, you must have seen those fans on board those vessels and wondered what they could be. Obviously, they're not for giving the sailors access to more fresh air, with the open surroundings and the generous sea breeze giving no cause for complaint! Well, these fans are nothing but portable wind turbines that generate wind power that is used to charge batteries and power appliances on-board the vessel!
You see, a lot of commercial vessels, especially those involved in fishing activities, spend a number of days or even weeks at a stretch out in the seas, and in such a case, a regular power supply is nothing short of a blessing! With the powerful sea breeze abounding all around, what could be a better source of energy for powering the vessel and various applications and appliances on-board?
However, a few things need to be kept in mind when contemplating upon installing a wind generator on-board a vessel. Firstly, the amount of power generated depends primarily upon three factors - size of the generator, number of blades on it, and the cube of the wind velocity. The larger the generator and more the number of blades on it, the more the amount of energy it will generate. Also, greater the velocity of the wind, higher the thrust and resulting energy that will be generated. For the latter purpose, it is necessary to keep moving the boat on the water so that the propellers experience more aerial thrust.
A new type of wind generator, the Windbelt, is under development, which is in the form of an aeolian harp that captures wind power through the movement of the strings caused by strong gusts. With the increasing cost of conventional power, wind power is steadily gaining popularity, and can be used for domestic purposes as well. Blueprint for designing wind power generation systems that can run entire towns are well on their way, and we can expect such a phenomenon in a decade from now, if the plan is pursued with austere sincerity.