Sunday, April 10, 2011

Introduction to Wind Power & Energy from the Wind

Wind has been in use since the early days of civilization but its use is what differs from today’s world. In those days wind was used primarily to drive ocean-going ships that connected continents and opened up international trade. One of the famous winds is the Monsoon that held up local and international trade.

In western countries however, wind was a major component and energy source in pumping water. The idea of using wind to generate electricity had not been given a thought then.The use of wind to generate electricity was realized in the 19th century when the 12 kW DC windmill generator constructed by Brush in the USA and the research undertaken by LaCour in Denmark.

However, for much of the twentieth century there was little interest in using wind energy other than for battery charging for remote dwellings and these low-power systems were quickly replaced once access to the electricity grid became available.

The onset of oil is considered to have hit hard on the development of Wind Energy since it was cheap and plenty. However in the 1990s when the price of oil suddenly rose, due to uncertainty of quantity, the need for a reliable source of energy that was environmentally-friendly started again. This time government funded projects led the way.
As the development of Wind energy has gone beyond borders, many concepts and designs have been proposed and tested on a massive scale. Countries and government funded projects have shown some fascinating designs. The Golding of 1955) and Shepherd and Divone in Spera of 1994, record the 100 kW 30 m diameter Balaclava wind turbine in the then USSR in 1931 and the Andrea Enfield 100 kW 24 m diameter pneumatic design constructed in the UK in the early 1950s. In this turbine hollow blades, open at the tip, were used to draw air up through the tower where another turbine drove the generator. Horizontal and Vertical Axis Wind Turbines have emerged as the two major conceptual designs used commercial. Germany is currently leading with the invention followed by Sweden.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kenya's Evans Wandogo receives Gorbachev Award

Mikhail Gorbachev celebrated his 80th birthday at a star-studded charity gala in London, where he honoured Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the internet as a "man who changed the world".

The former Soviet leader personally chose Sir Tim, CNN founder Ted Turner, and Kenyan engineer Evans Wadongo, as the winners of the inaugural Gorbachev Awards.

The Mikhail Gorbachev - The Man Who Changed The World gala at the Royal Albert Hall was hosted by Kevin Spacey and Sharon Stone.

It featured performances from Dame Shirley Bassey, Katherine Jenkins, Bryan Ferry, Paul Anka, Melanie C, Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former governor of California, Lech Walesa, the former Polish president, and actresses Goldie Hawn and Milla Jovovich were among stars who made a red-carpet entrance to the event.

Also due to attend were Israeli president Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister Sir John Major and England football manager Fabio Capello.

Proceeds from the evening were to be donated to the Raisa Gorbachev Children's Institute for Transplantology and Haematology in St Petersburg, and to Macmillan Cancer Support.