Wind power is something that is becoming more and more common throughout the world. There are many benefits to this type of energy as compared to the traditional ways of producing electricity. It is cleaner, it is just as efficient if not more so, and is cheaper in many cases than the traditional methods that are often used to produce electric power.
There are shortcomings, though. For instance, even though wind is a virtually limitless, it is a product of the environment and thus sometimes not available. Even if it is available, there are times when it is not available to the degree necessary to generate the power that may be needed in certain situations. Because of this, there are times when strictly using wind is not enough to produce the power needed. That is where wind hybrids come in.
By understanding what a wind hybrid is and how it is used, you can better understand wind as a whole alternative source of energy and power.
Where is a Wind Hybrid Energy System Used
Many of the times that you see wind hybrids in use, they are smaller models of turbines. Turbines that are less than 100 kilowatts of power are generally used for single-family homes, water pumping stations, or other small singular tasks as opposed to the large turbines or farms of turbines used for power plants, small towns, and even some state energy supplies.
A wind hybrid uses some other source of power to supplement what the wind would normally do. This helps prevent lapses in power when the wind slows down or goes away altogether. For single-family homes, using a wind hybrid energy system can be the difference between supplementing their power or completely being off the grid, which is important to some users of wind power. They are also valuable for those who cannot get to the power grid even if they want to, which is why you may see hybrids in many remote locations.
As was said before, a wind hybrid turbine will use some other form of energy on conjunctions with the wind to produce the needed amount of energy. The second type of energy can be a couple of things.
Diesel Wind Hybrid System
Perhaps most commonly, a diesel engine can be used with the wind power. When there is not enough wind to produce the needed electricity, a diesel engine kicks in and produces the electricity. When there is enough wind, the engine would kick back off and let the wind do all the work. While diesel is a little cleaner than some forms of fuel, it is still a pollutant and not desirable to some who use wind hybrid power systems.
Solar Wind Hybrid System
Another common hybrid with wind power is solar power. Solar power uses the energy produced by the sun’s rays to produce energy. While this is a more environmentally friendly option than is the diesel option, it sill relies on the weather to work. At night or under cloud cover, the solar power would not be of help. Additionally, solar power can be expensive to have installed and make work
As you can see, wind power is a great source of power and energy, but it is far from perfect. As a product of the weather, it is somewhat unpredictable, especially for those in remote locations. That is where hybrid technology comes into play. If wind is not enough and the power grid is either undesirable or unavailable, then other power sources must be used to supplement the wind. The most common are diesel generators and solar power, but there are others out there and new ones being developed.