Overview of Wind Energy
In the early time, the use of windmills for the application of water pumping. In Scotland first electric power-producing windmill was developed in 1887. As time goes on, various innovations happened & the use of wind turbines get extended for different applications. Today, the use of wind energy is for the production of electricity. We will see all the information about wind energy, its types, applications, working, wind energy companies, and it’s future.
What is wind or wind power?
The wind is the free energy source. Let’s discuss wind & its types.
The planetary wind is caused due to heating of the earth’s surface in the equator compared to heating near the southern or northern poles. It causes hot air to flow from the equator to easterly direction & cold air from westerly flows back to the equator. This motion of the wind is caused by the rotation of the earth & heating.
In the coastal area, the local wind is caused. In the coastal region, the surface of the earth gets hotter as compared to water. The air above the water level, not get heat up because the heat of the air is absorbed by the water.
Due to that, heated air starts flowing from the coastal surface to the water level to exchange the heat & air starts flowing from the water level to the coastal earth surface (vice versa). It causes the wind flow. The same phenomenon is applicable in the hills & in the mountainside.
The phenomenon of the wind flow is complex due to the obstructions of hills, mountains, forests & buildings.
What is Wind energy?
Wind energy is a technology of creating electrical power by using wind flowing in the atmosphere. The speed of the wind depends on the geographical condition of the specific space. So it is important to choose the desired location for harnessing wind energy. The mechanical device is used for harnessing wind power is known as Wind Turbine.
Types of Wind Energy or wind power
Wind energy is divided into three main parts.
|Description||Utility-scale wind||Distributed or small wind||Offshore wind|
|Location||On open ground or area.||On the ground near your application||In water, on the continental shelf.|
|Generating Capacity||From 1 megawatt to 2.5 megawatts.||Less than 1 megawatts||From 2.5 megawatt to 3.5 megawatts.|
|Distribution||Power is distributed to the end-user by using a power operator.||Directly used to power small businesses, homes & other applications.||It is received at the collection station & then distributed.|
What is Wind Turbine?
The wind turbine is the electro–mechanical structural equipment that is used for converting wind power into electrical energy. With the use of the wind turbine, so much amount of electricity is generated nowadays. These turbines are not only placed onshore but also placed offshore. The size & electricity generating capacity of an offshore wind turbine is higher as compared to the onshore wind turbine.
Types of Wind Turbine
The wind turbine is mainly divided into two categories.
Vertical axis wind turbine
In the vertical axis wind turbine, blades are mounted on the rotor to rotate the vertical shaft. These blades have two types.
- Savonius- To form a savonius rotor, an elliptical cylinder hollow cylinder is cut into two parts & fixed on the vertical shaft(rotor) with a maintained gap between the blades.
- Darrieus- To form a Darrieus rotor, more than two aerofoiled convex blades are mounted.
No orientation of the blade requires for the vertical axis wind turbine according to the wind direction. In a vertical wind turbine, electrical power is generated from the wind coming from any direction. It does not require very tall structures to support it.
Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine
Today, the most common type of wind turbine we can see is the horizontal axis wind turbine. These are the tall profile wind turbine & have good efficiency compare to the vertical axis wind turbine.
On the vertical tall profile rotor, blades & nacelle are mounts. The Assembly of the hub, breaks, generator box is called the nacelle. Horizontal axis wind turbine is adjusted & faced with the direction of the wind by using a yaw control mechanism.
Us of servomechanism helps to operate nacelle. Due to that, turbine blades have always been oriented perpendicular to the direction of the wind. With the help of the pitch controlling mechanism, blades are adjusted from 0 to 30 degrees.
The efficiency of the wind energy
Betz’s limit is saying that wind turbines can achieve 59.6% maximum theoretical efficiency. But in actual it is not possible to acquire this efficiency with the wind turbine. The efficiency of the wind turbine is generally from 35 to 40%. It may vary as per the weather condition, location & wind speed.
Advantage of wind energy or wind power
- Wind power is clean & free source of energy.
- It does not pollute the environment.
- The power generated by the wind turbine can be available at a low cost. Once it gets installed on the ground, it requires very little maintenance.
- In the farms of the rural area, wind turbines get installed. So it will help farmers to generate extra income.
- Space required for wind turbines is less.
Disadvantages of wind energy or wind power
- Wind power is fluctuating in magnitude & direction.
- During large wind speeds or the cyclone, there are chances of getting damage.
- It may be dangerous for flying animals.
- It creates noise.
Future of the wind energy or wind power
In the future, wind energy will be the primary source of electricity generation. Due to its high requirement, capital cost will get reduces, and the requirement will increase. The use of a renewable energy source is the need of the future, Because of the high pollution caused by fossil fuels.
From the last few decades, offshore wind farms are growing very fast. It will help to generate more electricity due to its large production capacity. In the coming year. advanced technologies in the wind turbine will help to reduce pollution & increase the use of renewable energy technologies.