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Wind power. The facts and myths

    The increase in use of alternative energy sources is connected not only with positive emotions, but also generates round this theme many various myths and legends.

    We will try to understand that from this all the truth, and that only fiction. The first, and, probably, the most basic fear of people is a noise which is made by wind turbines. Noise is defined as any sharp, loud and simply undesirable sound. But even, if on norms made noise within admissible, is the people, which more sensitive to noise, than the majority.

    This results from the fact that various noise operates on us differently. For example, the majority of people with pleasure listens to noise of waves on sea coast, but us angers radio from a neighbour's window. And it even thus that the actual noise level from a surf can be much more, than from radio. Except questions of musical preferences of the neighbour, it is obvious to eat still any distinction between these noise.

    Sea waves let out casual "white" noise, at that time radio of the neighbour has some regular maintenance which your brain cannot ignore, distinguish and analyze. And if also the neighbour is not pleasant to you, noise will irritate you even more. Approximately the same situation and with wind turbines.     This kind of noise name an undesirable sound. Modern turbines are projected so that as much as possible to reduce noise from mechanical components of the wind turbine. Thus all heard noise is a noise of the wind co-operating with the rotating edge of the turbine.

    On distance of 300 metres from a wind farm of noise as much, how many from a refrigerator on kitchen. Modern wind turbines more silent, than the majority of the modern equipment on electric power manufacture. And even in those areas where population density low and noise from human activity practically does not exist, all the same noise from whiffs of the wind more than from rotation of the wind turbine.

    It is possible to name an exception the turbines constructed earlier 80th of years. And also what are located on hilly district. The noise made from wind installations on hilly district, can be strengthened at the expense of sharp or big differences of heights on mountains. And the landscape type plays a case in point a paramount role. The second problem which can influence health of the person, is a flickering shade. Wind turbines, as well as other high structures, reject a shade on houses standing close by. If you live near to such turbine for you can be irritating flickering a shade which appears at rotor rotation (a turbine edge). The rotor as though breaks off an equal sunlight, creating effect of blinking.

    And even if in the USA shadow flashes have not been recognised by a problem in Europe over this undesirable effect experts already work. In Great Britain only in one case blinking has been recognised by problem for inhabitants of nearby houses. This problem is quite solved.

    On the distance equal to the sum of 7-10 diameters of a rotor (it is an order of 300-800 metres), the person is not submitted to influence of shadow flashes. Hence, it is necessary to recede from houses on this distance and the problem will be settled. The second decision is a construction of turbines behind houses concerning Sun movement.

    The person is frightened always by uncertainty. The same situation has developed and with an infrasound which is let out ostensibly by wind turbines and it negatively influences health of the person. The infrasound surrounds us constantly. It and consequences of automobile movement, planes, trains. And even in houses we have sources of such sounds is our home appliances. The infrasound also arises during a thunder-storm, earthquakes, hurricanes. Scientists all over the world reject vigorously messages that from wind installations there is a harmful effect of an infrasound. And constant tests and experiences for wind farms only confirm their words.

    There is a problem with deterioration of acceptance of radio- and television signals in nearby houses. Such problem is actual in the event that the turbine costs on a way of passage of this signal. But even in this case it is corrected by installation of additional repeaters bypassing wind farms. Some consider that wind installations are ugly and spoil a landscape only one presence. But there are more people as whom I consider that such installations are majestic and fine. Over design of wind-driven generators and over them "beautiful and correct" placing on district the qualified experts work. And to appearance of such designs it is given not less attention, than to mechanics. But, as they say, tastes differ.

    So opinion that such installations spoil district, too has equally the right to a life. But it is not necessary to carry it to facts in evidence, it is more from the category of myths. A myth is also that installations of wind-driven generators negatively influence tourist business. More likely on the contrary, in Scotland of the interrogated potential tourists of 80 % have revealed desire to visit a wind farm as additional excursion round.

    It is possible to carry hearing to the category of myths that for manufacture, installation and wind-driven generator service it is spent more energy, than it develops. Actually, at normal work the wind-driven generator returns all energy spent for the set forth above problems for 2-5 months at wind-driven generator service life at least 20 years. Negative influence it is not revealed at real estate sale near to windmills. More likely on the contrary, in connection with a constant rise in price of the electric power possibility of use of alternative sources becomes more and more attractive.

    Also fiction is possibility of that the rotating edge will fall down from the turbine and will fail downwards. Reliability and safety of construction of wind-driven generators has reached that fearlessly establish them even near to child care centres, without speaking already about installation in densely populated areas. Destruction of wind-driven generators for such reasons was possible in the beginning of their use. Standards of construction of wind-driven generators guarantee presently high level of safety and reliability even at various natural cataclysms. It is possible to carry that ostensibly turbines kill set of birds to the category of myths.

    On the statistican who was collected by the Danish scientists, on 10 000 death of birds less than one occurs because of the wind turbine. Basically the premature death of the feathery occurs because of high-voltage wires, windows of buildings, high-speed movement on roads and even because of activity of usual house cats which of these ten thousand catch about one thousand.

    Its high cost is last argument of opponents of the wind electric power. Now average cost of one watt somewhere 5-7,5 cents (according to the Australian companies). Yes, for Ukraine it can is meanwhile expensive, especially considering cost of the installation. But with those rates of increase of cost of an electricity which are observed now in our country, in a year-other this kind of business can appear much more profitable, than at present.

The Renewable Energy Handbook: A Guide to Rural Energy Independence, Off-Grid and Sustainable Living by William H. Kemp (Paperback - April 1, 2006)

Buy new: $19.77

Energy: Its Use and the Environment (with Info Trac ®) by Roger A. Hinrichs and Merlin H. Kleinbach (Paperback - Sep 30, 2005)

Buy new: $114.03

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