Wind Turbines at Harford Community College?
Wind is a renewable solar energy resource generated mainly by the
uneven heating of the atmosphere. Wind energy has been used for
centuries to power sail boats, pump water, and grind grain. It is being
used today to generate electricity through wind turbines.
Large wind turbines, grouped in farms, can be used for utility
applications to provide electricity for a region, directly into a grid.
Small wind turbines can provide onsite electricity for smaller
applications. As a renewable resource, wind is classified according to
wind power classes, based on typical wind speeds. The power class scale
goes from class 1 (the lowest) to class 7 (the highest). Class 4 and
above are considered good resources for generating wind power with
large, utility scale turbines; small wind turbines can be used at any
wind speed. The amount of power a wind turbine delivers is a function
primarily of wind speed and rotor area. Wind speed is affected by
geographic location, terrain, and height above the terrain.
Maryland in general has good wind resources in portions of the state.
Here at Harford Community College, anemometers 75 feet above the ground
are in place, measuring and logging wind speed. Within the year enough
data will be collected to indicate whether, and which type, of wind
turbines will be effective in providing electricity to the campus.
Wind energy is clean and renewable; used in conjunction with solar
power through solar hot water heaters and photovoltaic cells, it could
be an environmentally friendly way of meeting some of Harford Community
College's energy needs.