Here, we’ll go over the operation of wind turbines and why they’re critical to the future of energy.
Wind turbines can convert wind energy into the electricity that runs our homes and workplaces. They can be standalone, powering just one or a very few residences or businesses, or they can be grouped together to form a wind farm.
Every aspect of wind turbines will be covered in this article. Please keep reading.
How Do Wind Turbines Work?
The two or three blades on a turbine frequently serve as the equivalent of an airplane wing or a helicopter rotor. Air pressure drops on one side of the blade when wind passes over these blades.
The difference in air pressure between the blades’ sides produces both lift and drag. The rotor spins as a result of the lift’s greater force than the drag. The generator that generates AC electricity can be connected to the rotor via a shaft, gearbox, or direct drive turbine. Aerodynamic force is thus transformed into electricity by the turbine system.
Where Does the Wind Turbine-Generated Electricity Go?
Depending on the size of the turbine, the electricity produced can either be connected to the national grid to increase its voltage or used to power a few homes and businesses. Largely, installed in the middle of the ocean, offshore wind turbines are capable of producing and capturing a lot more energy than turbines that are on land.
In order to supplement energy sources from batteries, diesel generators, and photovoltaics in remote areas, small wind turbines are frequently used for hybrid energy systems.
For increased dependability and efficiency, hybrid energy systems are becoming more and more common in both off-grid and grid-connected settings.
Applications of Wind Turbines
Modern wind turbines can be categorized by where they are installed and how they are connected to the grid:
From 100 kilowatts to several megawatts, land-based wind turbines come in different sizes. Larger wind turbines are more economically viable and are grouped into wind plants that supply the electrical grid with a large amount of power.
Massive and taller than the Statue of Liberty, offshore wind turbines are common. Due to the fact that the heavy components can be shipped instead of transported by land, they do not face the same transportation difficulties as wind installations that are located on land.
These wind turbines can harness strong ocean breezes and produce enormous amounts of energy.
When wind turbines of any size are installed on the “customer” side of the electric meter or are installed at or near the place where the energy they produce will be used, they’re called “distributed wind.
Small wind turbines are frequently used in distributed applications. Typically used for residential, agricultural, small commercial, and industrial applications are single small wind turbines with a power output under 100 kW.
Microgrids that are run by diesel generators, batteries, and photovoltaics are one type of distributed energy resource that can be used in hybrid energy systems along with small turbines.
These systems, also known as hybrid wind systems, are increasingly used in grid-connected applications for resilience and are typically used in remote, off-grid locations (where a connection to the utility grid is not available).
Common Wind Turbine Generator Problems
- Excessive vibration: One of the most typical reasons for generator failure is this. A turbine’s head and body vibrating excessively during operation may completely fail.
- Ineffective yaw systems: Frequent changes in wind direction and speed are the roots of this issue because they can reduce the yaw system’s efficiency. As the wind speed and direction change, it becomes more difficult to rotate the turbine. Sometimes the yaw system causes the rotation to spin too quickly, which reduces the wind turbine’s stability.
Other generator problems involve:
- Irregular voltage
- Cooling system failures
- Wind loading
- Bearing failures
- Harsh weather conditions
- Thermal cycling
The frequency of maintenance may vary depending on the wind turbine’s type and location. This can sometimes mean going above and beyond what the turbine manufacturer recommends in terms of maintenance.
Why Are Wind Turbines Usually White Or Pale Grey?
In order to be as unobtrusive as possible, wind turbines typically come in either white or a very light shade of grey. In some situations, it has been debated whether they should be painted a different color, particularly green, to better blend in with their surroundings.
Where Are Wind Farms Located?
To maximize the amount of energy they can produce, wind farms are typically built in the windiest regions; for this reason, you’re more likely to find them on hillsides or by the coast. Onshore wind farms are those that are located on dry land, while offshore wind farms are those that are located in the ocean.
How Strong Does the Wind Need to Be for a Wind Turbine to Work?
From extremely low to very high wind speeds, wind turbines can function. Even though they don’t always operate at full capacity, they generate about 80% of the time. They shut down in extremely strong winds to minimize damage.