With The Wind: Woven Wind Turbines

Members : K. Cruz, Gascon, Mendoza, Orosa, J. Que, Quitangon, Sale

The world’s population is constantly consuming non-renewable energy that is destroying the Earth. Non-renewable energy which is the main source of power of the people’s daily use of technology, is slowly getting consumed to its last few sources. Renewable energy was introduced to remedy the current problem; renewable energy makes use of natural renewable sources like, the sun, water and wind and these sources will not run out and will remain constant on earth. A good example of a Renewable energy is the “Wind Turbines” where wind mills harness the power of the wind and transform it into energy for homes. “Wind Turbines” have been innovated to suit the needs for sustainable development of developing countries.

The Technology

“Wind turbines are used to generate electricity from the kinetic power of the wind” (“Wind Turbines”). At first, they were used for more practical purposes as a mechanical device to operate certain machineries but in the past decade, it has evolved to be utilized for energy production. In its current iterations, there are two main kinds of modern wind turbines. These are the Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) and the Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT), both of which, although fundamentally the same, operate differently. This technology is used to produce large amounts of electricity in wind farms both onshore and offshore, but the same concept has been applied for small-scale enterprises such as households as a renewable energy solution. Such enterprise is the Women Wind Weavers of Guatemala who create small wind turbines woven from traditional and high-strength fabric.

        The potential of wind power has also given a unique opportunity to the impoverished weavers of Guatemala. Using new technologies developed by ATC and the University of Michigan’s BLUElab, the various artisans within Guatemala have been given the chance to improve their quality of life and occupation by developing new wind-based energy generators using common textile weaving techniques. This is to be done by combining the technologies developed and provided by BLUElab with the weaving techniques of the artisans to produce textile-woven wind turbine blades that are to be efficient as the more conventional turbines being employed today. The generators to be produced are intended to provide clean energy for the impoverished families near to those who produce them, and the weaving process is to also provide a stable occupational monetary source for those involved for the weavers to earn their living in a more efficient manner as well. So far, the technologies are still in the development phase, as the structural and functioning frameworks for the most efficient turbine and generator designs have yet to be developed as the demands for the generators are to be easily maintainable and cheap to produce for the poor families. However, through public funding, education and perseverance, this project hopes to fulfill its ambitious goals to become a driving force by providing clean energy and occupations for those in need.

How It Works

In its large-scale iterations the two kinds of wind turbines have different characteristics that distinguish them apart as illustrated below:

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The most well known form is the horizontal wind turbines which is the basic framework used for the woven wind turbines. This turbine uses high-strength natural fibers to create fabrics that can be sustained for long term efficiency. The basic structure of how exactly it can be applied for home is shown in the illustration below. First, the wind turbine will be attached to the roof for maximum coverage. It will be connected to a charger or controller to power it, a battery bank to store excess energy, and an inverter to transport energy to the house electrical.

Thoughts and Insights

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Modern societies have become highly reliant on energy especially in businesses, industries and residences. With the uncontrollably increase in population, particularly in the cities this lead to an increase in consumption as well. It creates a significant pressure on infrastructure, housing, facilities, social services and utilities and as a result, many are experiencing shortages of electricity, natural gas, gasoline, kerosene and biomass.

In places where wind is very much available, a wind turbine might be the most economical and environmental-friendly way to generate power. The only wind power source in the Philippines is located on the foreshore of Bangui Bay in Ilocos Norte. So far, the Bangui wind farm helps alleviating power crisis by supplying 40% of the electrical energy in the region. In addition, Ilocos residents enjoy discounted power rates since the project will sell its electricity at a rate of 7% lower than the rate of National Power Corporation(NPC), and wind power is also not subject to the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT).

The use of wind turbines can be a great way to provide a source of clean and renewable energy for your home or business. There are a number of small wind energy devices that you can use to generate power and these can be very cost effective in providing a significant level of electricity. If you’re concerned about the environment and would like to make a difference then the use of a home wind turbine is a good place to start. Plus one must not worry for it is bird-friendly.

There are a lot of advantages using Wind energy. It does not produce any carbon dioxide; it is a clean fuel with no harmful by-products. It also makes a country more self-sufficient, less reliant on energy imports and less vulnerable to security threats. Renewable energy sources add diversity to energy supplies, providing a more dependable energy resource.

To find the solution, one must recognize the problem first. The first is unpredictable supply: the country’s economy has been faced with high and often unstable prices for energy, particularly for oil and gas, combined with supply disruptions caused by political instability.. The second reason is the rising demand: rapid industrialization and impressive economic growth are increasing the use of oil. This leads to increase living standards in which energy shortages could be met by increasing supplies. But there are two other important considerations: environmental sustainability and social development. The current pattern of economic growth has caused serious environmental damage such as polluting the air, creating large quantities of waste, degrading biological systems and accelerating climate change. Almost everything comes from the effect of energy sector. At the same time, it is also necessary to consider the impact on social development. The lack of access to energy services intensifies many social concerns, including poverty, ill‑health, unemployment and inequity.

It is not a secret that almost every individual still depends on inefficient and highly polluting solid fuels for their everyday household energy needs, in particular coal and biomass such as wood, animal dung, and crop wastes. The growth in energy use has serious environmental implications. Apart from depleting energy resources it can cause environmental damage, such as greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions, air pollution, acid rain, loss of biodiversity and discharges of waste. That’s why we suggest that the government and renewable gas companies should focus on developing wind power in our country, for the potential is already there all it needs is a little assistance and aid to become beneficial. “Any kind of ecological friendly produced electricity is an essential contribution to the protection of our environment and nature for forthcoming generations and it will stabilize or lower electricity prices (Mueller).”

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Sources

N/A. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/technology/wind-power/wind-turbines/

Layton, J. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/wind-power2.htm

Energy and sustainable development. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.unescap.org/esd/Energy-Security-and-Water-Resources/energy/theme/documents/Ch1-Energy&SustainableDevelopment.pdf

Manibo, M. (2014, January 13). Hydro, wind power booms in philippines in 2014. Retrieved from http://www.eco-business.com/news/hydro-wind-power-booms-philippines-2014/ Lewis, P. (n.d.). Capabilities and future directions for wind energy. Retrieved from http://www.ie.imse.iastate.edu/WEML/Wind_Energy_ISU.pdf

Empower guatemalan women with woven windmills. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/guatemalan-womens-empowerment-women-wind-weavers/

Women wind weavers of guatemala. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://apptechdesign.org/women-wind-weavers-of-guatemala/

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