While we may all have seen wind farms on grassy fields, the most likely place for wind farms to really come into their full efficacy is out to sea. Off shore wind farms are becoming more common, and many experts predict they are the future of wind power.
The reason for this is simple: offshore, the wind is more powerful as it is not obstructed by surface objects. Particularly in deep water, the resistance on the surface of the water is minimal, and the wind can be extremely powerful. This was, of course, once utilised by sailing ships before the days of the engine, and this wind power is now finding a new purpose.
Offshore wind farms are built, as the name would suggest, in the sea. Turbines that look exactly the same as their onshore counterparts are erected into the sea bed, and protrude above the water line, with their blades in the open air catching the powerful winds. The energy generated is then transported back to shore using under sea pipes. It is a simple case of: more wind, more power generated.
These wind farms are more expensive to construct than typical onshore wind farms, as they involve placing the base of the turbine in the sea bed. This initial cost and workload is, however, rewarded by increased efficiency. The job is also made easier by offshore wind farms being built on areas of ocean that have naturally raised sections of the sea bed.
Offshore wind farms also solve the associated humanist issues with turbines – such as noise levels, shadow flight and aesthetic issues – and increase electricity production. Once more, man turns to the sea for its answers.