Date and Location
Next to Solar Power, Windpower* is one of the most popular and researched renewable energy sources. The core principle of windpower generation is as follows: the airflow through the blades of the wind turbines causes their rotation. This rotation is in turns used to power generations for electricity. Obviously, windpower is one of the cleanest energy sources you can imagine. Moreover, windpower is plentiful and widely distributed. However, like in any other research area, certain difficulties exist when designing a windpower plant.
Such a plant consists of many single wind turbines connected to the electric power transmission network. There exist onshore and offshore windpower plants. The former are of course located on land, are relatively cheap in construction, and can theoretically compete with other non-green energy sources. The main disadvantage of onshore power plants is their visual impact. People have been known to object to their installation due to the obtrusiveness of the wind turbines in the landscape. On the other hand, offshore power plants are much less visually annoying. Moreover, offshore winds are steadier and stronger, which leads to a larger effectiveness of the power plants. The main drawback of an offshore windpower plant is the cost of its construction and maintenance. Despite the fact that such plants are much more efficient, the required costs make this advantage very questionable.
For more information on how wind turbines work check the video below.
*Wind Power – that’s actually two words, but we will spell it as one, due to the name of the conference we are describing.
Another challenge of using windpower is related to storing the generated energy. There are currently several ways of doing that:
- The most obvious way of storing the generated energy – batteries. Electrical batteries are also used to store energy generated by solar panels (if you are interested in visiting a Solar Energy conference you might want to have a look at this post).
- Compressed air storage. Wind turbines can use the generated power to compress air. That air can further be employed by a compressed air motor to generate electricity.
Most of the methods of windpower energy storage are yet to be developed. Due to the lack of such methods the most frequent complaint against using the wind energy is its inability to produce energy on demand.
The problems and research achievements in the above-mentioned fields are in the focus of Awea windpower conference. The leading researchers and innovators in the field gather to share their achievements and discuss their difficulties. The conference, therefore, presents a unique networking opportunity for both established and young professionals in the field.
Moreover, the event hosts America’s premier collegiate wind energy competition. This event, though competitive in nature, has shown to help students from different colleges to connect and work together. For example, in 2018 the competitors had to design, build and test a wind turbine, as well as conduct a market research and develop a business plan for a wind farm.
For more information about the programe and the presented opportunities please check the conference web-site.