How Wind Turbine Works | Definition & Facts

Introduction

This article deeply describes to a wind turbine and its working principle. So, a turbine is a mechanical machine that converts the working fluid’s kinetic energy into mechanical energy (rotational energy). According to the working fluid, turbines divide into four major types.

1) Steam turbine

2) Wind turbine

3) Gas Turbine

4) Water Turbine.

In the previous articles, we discussed steam turbines and gas turbines. This article only explains wind energy and the components of the wind turbine. So, the Wind turbine is the most famous type of turbine that uses for generating electricity.

So, the air motion is called wind. This movement is mostly in a horizontal direction. Because the vertical components are small as compare to the horizontal components. A wind turbine is a mechanical machine that converts wind energy into mechanical power. So, wind energy is a significant source of energy through that we produce the cheapest electricity by using its power.  A wind turbine generator is a mechanical machine that transforms the mechanical energy of the turbine into electricity. Professor James Blyth invented the first wind turbine in the 1887s. 

Wind turbines, also known as wind power converters. So, these manufacture on a variety of horizontal and vertical axis. The smaller turbines use for purposes like to charge batteries that supply caravans and boats with extra energy. Also, these small wind power converters supply traffic warning signs. A larger wind energy convertor uses to add energy to the home, while unused energy sells through the grid to utility companies.

The electricity that we produce through wind turbine generators is the cheapest form of electricity than other types of electricity that we produce through gas, geothermal, coal, steam, photovoltaic, and hydro processes. The wind turbine has the minimum emission of greenhouse gases. 

Wind Turbine Working Principle

The working principle of the wind turbine is very simple.

wind turbine working
                        Fig: Wind Turbine Working Principle

First of all, the wind hits the blades of the turbine rotor with high velocity. Then the blades start moving in rotary motion. The rotor of the turbine is linked to a very high-velocity gearbox. In this way, the gearbox converts the rotary motion of the rotor from low to high speed. The gearbox shaft is connected to the generator rotor. So that the wind turbine generator works faster. An exciter is required to provide the obligatory excitation for the generator electromagnetic coil system. So that wind power generator can produce electricity according to requirements.

The voltage produced at the generator output is proportional to the magnetic flux and the speed of the generator. The speed is controlled with the help of uncontrolled wind energy. Therefore, to maintain the uniformity of the generator output, it is necessary to control the excitation according to natural wind availability. The excitation current controls through a controller of the turbine that records the speed of the wind. Next, the voltage of the generator output terminal is fed to the rectifier. So, the rectifier is rectified to direct current at the output end of the generator.

Next, the rectified direct current output is fed to the line converter unit to convert it into a stable alternating current output. And finally, via a step-up transformer, this AC output is fed into the transmission network or the transmission network. Additional units use to provide wind power to the wind turbine’s internal auxiliary devices such as battery and electric motors called internal power Units.

Types of Wind Turbine

There are two main types of wind turbine that are given below.

wind turbines

 

VAWT (Vertical Axis Wind Turbine)

Main article: Vertical Axis Wind Turbine 

The blades of the VAWT are perpendicular to the airflow line and perpendicular to the ground. And drag is the leading force in the working of this wind turbine.  And also, the Yaw mechanism does not require in these wind turbine working.

vertical axis wind turbine

HAWT (Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine)

Main article: Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine

Horizontal axis wind turbines have an axis in the horizontal direction to the wind flow direction. And also, the Yaw mechanism does not require in the working of these wind turbines. In these types of turbine, the lift is the main force. 95% of the present wind turbines are HAWT.

Wind turbine Components

The parts of the windmill are given below.

components of wind turbine

1) Brake

This is included in the basic components of the wind turbine. Disc brakes can be operated hydraulically, electrically, or mechanically. So, the turbine rotor can be stopped quickly by brake in emergency form.

2) Anemometer

This is the third part of the turbine. It measures the speed of the wind. Then sends this data of wind speed to the controller.

3) Controller

This is also included in the most compulsory components of the wind turbine. This part of the turbine turns the machine on at a wind velocity from 8mph to 16mph. The turbine cannot run at wind speeds greater than 65 miles per hour because the wind turbine generator may overheat.

4) Blades or Axis

Mostly wind turbines have 2 or 3 axes. Without blades, the turbine can’t produce electricity. The wind that blows on the blade “lifts” and turns the blade.

5) Nacelle

This is a fifth compulsory part of the turbine. The nacelle attaches to the turbine rotor. The nacelle is on top of the tower and contains brakes, controllers, generators, low-speed shafts, high-speed shafts, and gears. The cover protects the nacelle parts.

6) High-speed shaft

It is an essential part of the turbine. A high-speed shaft turns the coil of the generator so that electricity can be generated.

7) Tower

The tower includes in the most crucial components of the wind turbine. The tower makes a steel lattice or tubular steel. The higher towers of turbines generate high energy. Because with height, the wind velocity increases, and the turbine axis rotates faster.

8) Low-speed shaft

It is the most compulsory part of the turbine. The rotor of the turbine drives it at about 30 to 60 rotations per minute.

9) Rotor

The blade and hub are collectively referred to as the rotor. As shown in the above fig. The primary function of the turbine rotors is to increase the speed of the air. So that the turbine shaft can increase the speed of the connected generator coil.

Advantages & Disadvantages and applications of wind energy:

There are multiple advantages and disadvantages of wind energy, but some of them are given below in detail.

Advantages of Wind Energy

Different advantages of wind energy are given below.

1) Wind produces job:

A significant advantage of wind energy is that it creates jobs. Wind power generation is a most fast-growing industry. The wind power industry flourished when wind turbines became economically feasible. And this industry is creating maximum jobs every year. Employment opportunities are creating in the areas of wind turbine maintenance, installation, and wind turbine manufacture. And also, this department announces jobs for wind power consulting purposes. According to an international statement, wind power has the capacity to produce jobs of more than 600000 for maintenance, installation, and manufacturing purposes of wind power plants.

2) Wind energy cost is decreasing:

As technology advances, wind energy is getting inexpensive and cheaper. Prices have been falling over the past 40 years and may not have continued to the same extent, but this trend is on the decline for a predictable future. Almost all companies should install, maintain and buy their wind power convertor.

3) Supports to the country economy:

Wind energy is the most profitable source of energy. It supports the country’s economy. It is almost free because there is no use of any fuel. There is just need air that rotates to the blades of the wind turbine. And electricity produces by this process is almost free in cost. And we can sell our extra electricity to other countries. In this way, wind energy supports the country’s economy. It is a significant advantage of wind energy.

4) Renewable:

Wind causes by the unevenness of the earth’s surface and the rotation of the earth when the sun warms the atmosphere. Technology has improved, and current wind turbines could be replaced with more or better units, but the wind is always there. Wind energy is a renewable source of energy. We can produce electricity for a lifetime with this process. The wind is an unlimited source of energy.

5) Cost-effective:

Another advantage of wind energy is that the energy produces through wind is almost without any cost. There is no market for supply and requirement for wind power, and anyone can use it. It is one of the cheapest renewable sources of energy that is accessible today, depending on wind energy funding and specific projects. With free electricity, onshore wind turbines can generate the cheapest electricity in the world.

Since the electricity generated in the wind turbine is selling at a fixed price over a long period, a sharp increase in price does not affect the electricity generated by fossil fuels. Electrical power generation is not cheap.

6) Wind energy is sustainable:

A massive advantage of wind energy is that it is sustainable. Wind energy is a type of solar energy. Wind causes by the unevenness of the earth’s surface and the rotation of the earth when the sun warms the atmosphere. As long as the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, the energy generated can be used to transmit electricity in the grid.

7) Space efficient:

Wind turbines are larger and more efficient while taking up similar space. That is another advantage of wind energy. With just one year of electricity, the electricity generation can supply 600 typical American households with sufficient electricity. These larger turbines need further expansion, but the land between them can be used for other purposes, like food production. Therefore, wind power plants are more efficient than solar power plants.

Disadvantages of Wind Energy

In this section, I am going to explain the different disadvantages of wind energy.

1) Visual Pollution

A most important disadvantage of the wind turbine is the visual pollution they cause. A lot of people like the look of a windmill; some don’t. Others do not and see them as a blot on the land. However, this tends to be summed up in a personal opinion. The more wind turbines built, the more popular it is among the public.

2) Noise pollution

Wind turbine causes noise pollution. And this is a significant disadvantage of the wind energy generator process. The sound of the windmill can be examined from a distance of several hundred meters even though measures are usually taken to keep the wind turbine away from the house.

3) Dangerous for Wildlife

A significant disadvantage of wind energy is that a lot of birds kill by it. Because when birds fly into the rotating blades of the wind turbine, then they kill. In maximum countries, this problem has been solved or significantly decreased by improving technology or the proper placement of wind power generators.

4) Land Cost

Wind energy resource development may not be the most beneficial land use. Suitable land for the installation of wind turbines must compare with alternative land uses and can be more valuable than making electricity.

5) Wind Turbine’s cost

Even though the cost is falling while the price of wind turbines is still too high, first of all, engineers must conduct a field study. This may include installing research turbines to compute wind speed overtime period. If you think this is enough, you need to buy, transport, and install a wind turbine. All of these steps result in high costs when purchasing and installing a wind turbine.

Applications of Wind Energy

1) Wind turbines are the best source of renewable energy resources. These turbines use to produce cheap cost electricity.

2) Wind power uses to facilitate the transport of boats on seas and rivers to move goods and people from one location to another location.

3) These types of turbines use to power the pump and pulls water from the ground through the windmill.

4) This type of energy also operates a flour mill that grinds grains such as corn and wheat into the flour.

5) Wind energy can be seen as the fastest-growing energy source in the world.

6) Today, wind energy is used for generating electrical power.

Conclusion:

In this article, we deeply discussed wind turbine components, working principle and some other aspects. A wind turbine is the most common type of turbine. The popularity of these turbines is increasing day by day because wind energy is the cheapest form of energy worldwide. Actually, it is a process of using wind to produce electrical energy or mechanical energy. And also these turbines have the least requirement of water consumption. One more reason for the popularity of these turbines is that these types of turbines don’t produce environmental pollution. They are very environment friendly. It creates thousands of jobs each year for different country people. So, we should mostly use wind energy. In this way, we can save our money and the other resources that we use for generating electricity.

So, we also have listed the various disadvantage and advantages of wind energy. Although there are a lot of disadvantages of wind energy to consider, wind is still one of the least expensive and cleanest sources of energy. Using wind energy, you can reduce your reliance on traditional power plants that pollute the earth and burn fossil fuels.

For getting more knowledge in the turbine field, you must read the below-given articles.

1) Turbines and types of turbines.

2) Gas turbines.

3) Steam turbines.

4) Impulse turbine and its types.

5) Reaction turbine and its types.

 

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