11 Facts On Wind Energy (Beginner’s Guide!)

What is wind energy?

Wind energy or wind power generation describes how winds are employed to produce electrical power. Wind turbine convert the energy of wind to mechanical power and hence again converted to electrical power from rotation in generator’s rotor-shaft.

Advantages of Wind Power

  • It’s a clean energy source.
  • Wind power is cost-effective, reducing with technology progression.
  • Wind power generates employment.
  • Offshore wind energy suitable to utilize wind flow without disturbing surroundings the landscape view.
  • Wind turbines can be built on existing farmland without major change of state of farming land.
  • Operation costs is less.
Growing size of wind turbines
Image Credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Growing size of wind turbinesCC BY-SA 2.0

Disadvantages of wind energy

  • Wind energy is changeable with wind speed and direction, hence produced electricity also changed accordingly.
  • Wind turbines may impact to the habitats specially on bird’s movement and livings style. Sometimes it the reason of death as they frequently crash with turbine blades.
  • Cost/ per unit might be higher as initial construction cost is higher though operation and maintenance cost is less in comparison.
  • Special precaution is required during a storm.

Types of wind energy:

Utility-scale wind energy plant: 

These types are in range from 100 kW to quite a few MW. Power production is comparatively higher.

Distributed or “small” wind energy plant :  

Single and small. These directly utilized in household applications for power productions

Offshore wind energy plant: 

These are founded in-water on the continental shelf. Offshore wind turbines able to produce high power.

Mounting Technique of Offshore Wind turbines explains in following figure.

Mounting Technique  of Offshore Wind turbines
Image Credit: USA Energy and Flickr.com

How wind turbines work ?

If comparatively high-speed wind flow thru wind turbine, its blades catch the wind’s K.E and rotate because of this, spinning of shaft will be converted to energy.

Basic Blocks of Wind Power

Basic subsystems are as follows:

  • Turbine Blade
  • Gearbox
  • Generator
  • Control Panel System
  • Power Interface
  • Power Grid Connection

Wind Energy Formula

P = {1\over2} \rho A V^3

The density of the air

The denser the air means energy received by the turbine-blades are greater as it is proportionate to air density parameter—the density of air vary with temp. and elevation. Air will be thinner at the high altitude than the sea-level. 

The swept area of the turbine (A)

The greater the swept area (the dimensions of rotor spinning are), better wind-power to be captured. A slight increase in blade length may result in a greater rise in the power accessibility from wind.

Wind speed (V)

The total energy varies with the cubic power of the wind’s speed. Minor changes in wind speed have a huge impact on total power production.

Windmills vs. Wind Turbines

Sometimes people use the phrases “windmill” and “wind turbine” interchangeably; however, there are important differences. man is utilizing windmills from century in various applications such as pumping water, and other rotatable operation. Windmills produce energy; however, they don’t create electricity. Modern wind turbines have evolved machines with over thousands of components that exploit wind energy and change it into electricity.

What is a wind farm?

A number of wind turbines are often constructed close together, and it can be known as a wind farm or a wind power plant project. A wind farm is used to send electricity into the grid.

Wind Farm Development

Though the “Siting a wind farm” is changed as per location to location, but a landowner have to study some vital criteria installation such as

  • Understand wind resource and flow pattern (available wind speed)
  • Evaluate and estimate the distance from existing electric transmission lines and grid.
  • Describe obstacles related to regulation and permitting and benefits considering siting and project feasibility considerations
  • Identification of reliable power market and  sailing price
  • Obtain zoning and permitting expertise
  • Establish access to capital funding and seed fund arrangements.
  • Understand wind energy’s economics
  • Establish dialogue  and deal with turbine manufacturers and project developers. 
  • Secure agreement to meet operation and maintenance requirements and regulations.

Land Requirements

Typically, windturbine spacing is calculated by the turbine rotor blade diar and wind environments.  If winds flow in the same direction, turbines may be set up 3 or 4 rotor diameters apart (from the direction perpendicular to the prevailing winds); in multi-directional wind flow conditions in between spacing will be more, the standard spacing will then become 5 and 7 rotor diameters is suggested.

  • Direct Land Use: Wanted size or capacity of this wind farm defined by installed capacity or the no. of turbine placed.
  • The qualities of the local terrain: This is relying on parameters such as wind-speed convenience, site, altitudes, pole size etc).

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