Wind Energy Guide

Wind Power Generation - UNCOVERED

Strictly speaking, wind power is also a form of solar power. As the surface of the earth gets heated up with the sun’s rays, different areas behave differently. For example, the land mass warms up faster than the sea and the stratum of air on top of it goes up, becoming rarified. Cool condensed air from the sea rushes in to fill the void, creating wind. In other words, wind blows on account of the varying degree of worming up of the earth’s surface and wind power is the kinetic energy generated on account of this.

Wind Power Generation


Wind power generation, as we can see, depends on this kinetic energy and the wind turbine is the equipment that converts this kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical energy. When this mechanical energy is applied to a pump, it lifts water; applied to a grinder, it grinds the wheat to form flour. When coupled to an electricity generator, the mechanical energy is converted to electricity.


Not unlike the value of prime real estate property that greatly relies on its location, wind power generation depends a lot on its “site”. Unless the right ‘site’ is utilized, wind power energy is likely to go haywire. An appropriate site is one where strong wind is available all through the year; no hills or tall trees create any obstruction to free flow of wind and wind direction remains more or less same all along. These prerequisites are necessary for a wind power generation system to remain effective all the year round. Also significant is the speed of the wind blowing through the “site” which should be around 13 mph.


Wind generators act on the power of the wind. Their extra long blades or rotors catch the wind as it hits them ad they start spinning. This spinning movement, similar to a hydroelectric system, is transformed into electrical energy produced by a generator coupled to it. However, the quantum of power transferred to a wind turbine remains directly proportional to the area that is swept by the rotor, the cube of the wind speed and the density of the prevailing wind.


Wind turbines that are involved in wind power generation are usually of two distinctive types – (a) turbines that rotate around a horizontal axis and (b) that do so in a vertical axis, although the earlier types are more commonly used. The HAWT or Horizontal axis Wind Power Turbines are mounted on top the tower along with its main rotor and the electrical generator. They are pointed into the wind and may have a wind sensor coupled with a servo motor for change of direction. They are also equipped with a gearbox for changing the slow rotation of the rotor or the blades into a faster rotation suitable for the electrical generator. Contemporary wind turbines come with self-adjusted gears, eliminating the need for the heavy gearbox. The HAWT turbines are usually pointed upwind to catch the turbulence which is produced behind the tower while the turbine blades are purposely placed further away from the tower as also somewhat tilted to avoid accidental contact with the tower.


Apart from the HAWT turbines described above, downwind turbines are also in use since these turbines do not require nay additional mechanism to keep them in line with the wind. Also, their blades are more resilient than the upwind types, thus allowing them to adapt to the occasional high winds encountered by them.


It is indeed very heartening to hear that a recent movement in the United States in favor of more utilization of wind power generation there is gaining ground where all nations are likely to endorse; particularly in the light of shortage of fossil fuel and increasing Greenhouse effect. In fact, wind power generation seems to be best solution to power shortages that affect most countries that either do not believe in nuclear power generation or are scared of likely spillage that had created havoc in Chernobyl in not too distant past. Besides, wind power generation creates renewable energy, does not pollute the environ and costs nothing, save and except the original installation price.

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