How does Wind Power Works

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In this article, we will describe one of the modern power plants that has been widely used in many countries, namely wind power plants.

What’s a wind power ? And how does wind power work, what are the advantages and disadvantages of it? This time is the subject of the conversation. We also describe the production of wind power plants in the United States

How does Wind Power Works
How does Wind Power Works : windmills

You’re more likely to come across creaky windmills when you take a trip to remote farms. Although they may look old and low-tech, they are the ancestors of revolutionary modern-day wind turbines that generate energy for homes, corporations, and even industries.

The wind was primarily used in ancient days for grinding grains and pumping water for domestic use. These days, massive wind turbines are made into power generators, which are converted into electricity. Modern wind turbines can differ in terms of technology, but the operating concept is similar; they both collect wind energy in order to generate electricity.

What is wind power?

how does wind power works
how does wind power works

Wind energy or wind power is the use of wind to supply mechanical energy by wind turbines to power the generators. Wind power is a common and sustainable renewable energy source

Wind uses the kinetic energy generated by air in motion to generate electricity. The energy is converted by wind turbines or wind turbines into electrical energy. At first the wind strikes the blades of a turbine, causing the turbine to spin and to transform.

This transforms kinetic energy into rotational energy by moving a shaft connected to a generator and, through electromagnetism, generating electrical energy.

The quantity of wind energy that can be harvested depends on the size of the turbine and the length of its blades. The output is proportional to the rotor’s dimensions and to the wind speed cube. In principle, as wind speed doubles, the capacity for wind power increases by a factor of eight.

Is wind power renewable or nonrenewable

Wind is a source of renewable energy. Using wind to generate electricity, overall, has less environmental consequences than certain other sources of energy. Wind turbines do not emit pollutants that can (with few exceptions) pollute air or water and do not need cooling water. The amount of electricity produced from fossil fuels can also be reduced by wind turbines, resulting in lower overall air pollution and emissions of carbon dioxide.

An individual wind turbine has a physical footprint that is relatively small. Wind turbine groups, also referred to as wind farms, are situated in lakes or the ocean on open land, on mountain ridges, or offshore.

How does wind power work

Wind turbines operate on a simple principle: instead of using electricity to make wind—like a fan—wind turbines use wind to make electricity. Wind turns around a rotor that spins a generator to generate electricity, and turns the propeller blades of a turbine.

Wind is a solar energy form caused by three combined events:

  • The sun heats the atmosphere irregularly
  • Earth’s surface irregularities
  • The earth’s rotation.

Wind flow patterns and speeds vary widely across the United States and are altered by water levels, trees, and differences in air pressure.

Humans use this wind energy or motion for many purposes: sailing, flying kites, and even generating electricity.

Most of the wind turbines have four basic parts:

  • The blades are attached to the hub, which spins as the blades rotate. The blades and the hub make up the rotor.
  • The nacelle contains the gearbox, generator and electrical components.
  • The tower holds the rotor blades and generating equipment high above the ground.
  • The foundation holds the turbine on the ground.

The words “wind energy” and “wind power” both describe the wind’s operation of mechanical power or electricity generation. This power can be used for certain activities (for example grinding grain or pumping water) or this mechanical power can be converted into electricity by a generator.

Using the aerodynamic force of the rotor blades, which act like an airplane wing or helicopter rotor blade, a wind turbine converts wind energy into electricity.

The air pressure on one side of the blade decreases as wind passes through the blade. Both lift and drag are created by the difference in air pressure on both sides of the blade.

The lift force is greater than the drag and this induces the spinning of the rotor. The rotor connects directly to the generator (if it is a direct drive turbine) or through a shaft and a set of gears (a gearbox) that speed up the rotation and make it possible for a generator that is physically smaller.

This conversion of the aerodynamic force into a generator’s rotation

video source : https://www.awea.org/

Advantages and disadvantages wind power

Wind energy provides the greatest benefits with respect to the climate and prices. However, if you intend to invest in wind energy, it holds some drawbacks worth putting into perspective. There are a few here:

#1. The wind is inconsistent

In terms of consistency, wind energy has a lot in common with solar energy. While wind energy is considered a renewable resource, wind speeds fluctuate every day. This can be a huge disappointment for developers of wind turbines who can only spend every penny and every ounce of energy in the project to end up with fluctuating wind patterns.

This is why developers must first do their research to find the best position before actual installation for setting up turbines. The best position must have adequate wind supply. This explains why wind turbines are almost always built on high elevations such as hills and mountains or offshore where there are few hazards that could theoretically slow down the wind speed. Because the higher you go, the stronger the winds, the higher elevations are favored.

#2. Wind turbines involve high upfront capital investment

Much has been achieved to bring down the cost of turbine installation; however, the overall costs remain on the higher side.

Usually, the first step to building a turbine is to conduct a comprehensive survey to assess the location’s wind speed. This includes erecting a sample turbine over a given time to gauge the wind speeds.

The wind turbine will be built and shipped to the site and set up on a solid foundation if the location is found to be suitable. The whole process adds up to the cost of a wind turbine being set up.

The expense becomes more pronounced when thinking about offshore wind turbines. This is because the construction of wind turbines offshore rather than onshore is a challenging process.

Some businesses also go to the point of commissioning tailor-made ships capable of transporting and installing wind turbines at sea.

#3. May reduce the population of local birds

For the local bird populations, wind turbines are especially disadvantageous. A lot of bird deaths have been recorded in these areas as a consequence of a turbine blade collision. The population of some bird species can be wiped out by this.

Wind turbines also enable them to dig deep into the world, which could have a detrimental impact on the environments of the underground. In the marketplace, however, there has been an explosion of bladeless wind turbines built to decrease bird deaths. For turbine makers, this may be a game-changer.

#4. Wind turbines create noise

The most hated disadvantage of wind turbines is the noise that they create. From far distances, the sound created by one turbine can be perceived. Combine a lot of generators, and it will make the noise intolerable. Owing to the noise emissions from generators, many homeowners’ lives have been turned upside down.

While the focus is on locating wind turbines away from the local community, this rule is disregarded by most businesses. In most areas, this explains the strong public objections to wind turbine installations. Another factor people don’t find it appealing to mount it in their backyard is the visual pollution.

# 5. Requires a large area for the installation

 

The most fertile land where farming is carried out could be the best place for wind turbines. Installing wind turbines will take away land that for many years has been the bedrock of agricultural activities.

#6. Wind turbines can be a safety hazard

The occurrence of tornadoes, hurricanes, and cyclones has risen considerably in the last couple of decades. These extreme storms can now cause significant damage to the wind turbines and can pose a safety threat to the individuals who work in these wind farms. The damage will cause wind turbines to suffer tremendous damage.

#7. Wind turbines are ideal for a specific area

Wind turbines are ideal for coastal regions that receive wind to produce power throughout the year. Countries that do not have any coastal or hilly areas will therefore be unable to take advantage of wind power.

The location of a wind power system is important, and in order to absorb as much wind as possible, one can decide the best possible location for wind turbines. Wind energy requires high-speed winds to generate power on a constant basis, much like solar energy that relies heavily on the Sun to produce power.

wind power in united states

Wind power in Texas

In 2016, by adding over 1800 MW of generating capacity, Texas surpassed the 20,000 MW mark. Texas became the first state to cross the 10,000 MW mark in 2011.

Texas authorized a $4.93 billion extension of the state’s power grid in July 2008 to carry wind energy from the western areas of the state to its major cities. Transmission companies will recover the costs of installing new power lines, scheduled to be finished in 2013, from residential consumers’ fees estimated at $4 a month. In 2009, a shortage of transmission capacity caused wind turbines to shut down at times and decreased the production of wind power in Texas by 17 percent.

Wind power in Kansas

texas wind power plants
texas wind power plants

Kansas has seen a large number of wind projects completed in 2012, making it one of the largest and fastest-growing wind energy markets.[citation needed] The total capacity is 2,967 MW at the end of 2014.

Kansas has a high potential wind power capacity, second behind Texas. The most recent projections are that Kansas has a wind power capacity potential of 950 GW.

Kansas could produce 3,900 TW·h of electricity each year, which constitutes more than all of the combined coal, natural gas and nuclear electricity produced in the United States in 2011.

Wind power in Iowa

wind power in iowa
wind power in iowa

As of April 2020, more than 42 per cent of the electric power produced in Iowa now comes from wind power. At the end of 2019, Iowa had more than 10,200 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity, with over 1,500 megawatts expected to come online in the immediate future. In 2019, electrical energy generated by wind in Iowa amounted to over 21 million megawatt-hours. The wind power industry has generated over $19 billion in investment since Iowa adopted a renewable energy standard in 1983. Adams County is the second concrete wind turbine tower to be installed in the U.S., and also the highest (377 feet) in the nation at the time it was built. In the spring of 2016, the tower was completed.

Wind Power in California

Palm Springs, California wind turbines.
Palm Springs, California wind turbines.

Since 2002, wind power in California has doubled in capacity. As of the end of 2011, wind power supplied about 5 percent of California’s total electricity needs, with a total of nearly 4,000 megawatts installed, or enough to power more than 400,000 households. From day to day, the amount varies greatly.

In 2011, there were 921,3 megawatts installed. Much of the operation took place in the Kern County area of Tehachapi, with some major projects in the counties of Solano, Contra Costa and Riverside as well. California ranked second nationally in terms of power after 2014, behind Texas with a capacity of 5,917 MW.