One of the sectors that we work in here at Pinpoint Electronics is Offshore Renewable Energy. Wind energy is one of the fastest increasing in popularity across the world over the past decade. And, in line with this, we provide some of the most technologically advanced safety equipment to clients across the world. For many of us, wind energy is a term we are loosely familiar with. This guide will help to embellish that, giving you more information about what an Offshore Wind Farm is and how it benefits our environment.
What is an Offshore Wind Farm
Starting from the beginning, let’s look into what we’re actually talking about today. An Offshore Wind Farm is a group of wind turbines that are used to generate electricity. To be ‘offshore’, they are found in the middle of the ocean where the wind is the fastest.
The wind turbines themselves vary in size depending on the amount of electricity they’re looking to gain, the available land space and funds from the development company. Turbines are also regularly redeveloped in design. The goal is to increase the amount of electricity they can produce at any given point which will reduce the number of them needed. Additionally, fast speed wind calls for stronger and more durable turbines. Minimising damage and repair costs helps to make the electricity produced here even more efficient.
Why are they found at sea?
Wind farms can also be found on land, in areas such as mountain passesHere, the wind has low pressure and is flatter, which helps to optimise on electricity production but minimise damage. However, the most lucrative farms are indeed found in the middle of the ocean. The main reason for this is the speed of the wind.
The wind found at sea is generally faster. This is because water produces much less friction than land, meaning it doesn’t slow the wind down as much. In addition, it is steadier at sea meaning there is likely to be a more consistent production of energy throughout the year.
How do wind turbines work?
The way that turbines turn wind into energy comes down to basic physics. The turbines are placed high in the air – at the optimal height for fast wind speeds. As the wind hits, it turns the propellers which cause an internal rotor to move. This spins a generator which turns the kinetic energy into electricity.
A well-working turbine will produce usable amounts of energy, approximately 90% of the time. They are an efficient solution to our renewable energy needs, which explains their continued rise in popularity.
Pros and Cons of offshore wind farms
- Considerably more effective than on-land farms due to wind speeds.
- Produce high volumes of electricity to fuel the surrounding areas.
- Provide renewable energy.
- Provide a domestic energy source.
- Do not consume excessive amounts of water.
- Create jobs in the local area.
- Do not negatively impact the environment by emitting greenhouse gases.
- The wind is a clean fuel source.
- Labour-intensive construction – It is difficult to build a secure base for these heavy turbines.
- Adverse weather conditions, such as high winds, heavy storms or hurricanes, can cause damage.
- The power cables required are very expensive to manufacture as they need to be entirely waterproof.
- The impact on sea life and marine animals is not fully known.
- They can be an eyesore.
Where are our UK-based wind farms in 2020?
While the adverse weather conditions found here in the UK aren’t always favourable to those that live here, they do make us one of the windiest countries in Europe. And, therefore, we have one of the richest resources when it comes to generating wind power effectively. In fact, according to a report from 2017, ‘15% of the UK’s entire electricity was generated from wind power, enough to power 12.7 million homes across the country.’
Scotland is one of the leading producers of wind-generated energy in the UK. The Whitelee Wind Farm and others found there have helped to generate power for up to 3 million homes within a 6 month period. And, one of the world’s most powerful turbines can be found in Aberdeen. According to Wikipedia, we have 33 wind farms across the UK with a combined capacity of 8113 megawatts as of Feb 2020.
Pinpoint Electronics & Offshore Renewables
Since we began, Pinpoint Electronics has put the safety and productivity of those who work at sea at the forefront of importance. And, this includes our work with Offshore Wind Farms. To support the workers that keep these turbines and farms in full working order, we have collated the highest quality safety equipment in one place.
For wind farms in the planning stage, we offer a fully tailored and bespoke service that best fits the businesses needs and budget. From large scale establishments seeking to supply villages or cities with renewable energy to those simply looking to power small farms or buildings, we have the tools to help you succeed in this challenging industry.
You can view the range of products we have available in our online store. Alternatively, our dedicated team is on hand to answer any questions and partner you up with the right information today. Get in touch with us here.