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# Solar Power: What Would Create More Power From Wind Or Water Energy? Multiple Small Generators Or One Large One? (7/10/2012)

What would create more power from wind or water energy? Multiple small generators or one large one?
Also, what determines the output of an electrical generator? Would size or speed of revolutions change the output?

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Robbie S July 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Just think of which system will enable the most outside forces to impede on the overall output.

In a theoretical world w/o wind drag, friction, etc, the two solutions should behave equally. However, with many generators, there is the rotational friction (as the motional part spins around and around), air resistance as the moving parts move, etc. These forces take away some of the overall output, so minimizing these forces will maximize output. Having one big generator is more efficient because a smaller percentage of it’s energy is lost to the world.

Do you know what kinetic energy is? it is the equation used to describe the amount of energy a moving object has. it is:
kinetic energy = 1/2mv^2
where m = mass and v = velocity.

It is difficult to do anything useful w/ generators w/o calculus but just know that the kinetic energy of the moving water (or wind) get’s directly converted into electrical energy when it cycles through the generator.

By looking at that equation you can see that if the water (wind) moves faster, the kinetic energy increases, which means the generator output increases.

It takes more energy to move bigger sized revolutions, so by increasing the size of a revolution it would only slow down.

If you sped up or slowed down the revolutions (which would happen with greater velocity of water or wind), the kinetic energy would increase so the output would increase.