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wind turbine – machine that converts wind power to wind – air flowing across earth’s surface, created in
electrical power (in contrast to windmill) differences in Patm, flows from higher P to lower P.
- electricity generators, connected to electrical Differences in pressure are result of unequal heating of
networks the surface by solar energy.
*total numbers, most frequently found turbines are Wind patterns – result of pressure gradient force and
small (<10kW) rotation of the Earth
*total generating capacity, majority are large (1.5- Most dramatic variation in the amount of solar energy
5MW) reaching the earth is the difference between the
ANTIQUITY amount arriving at the equator and at the poles –
- use of windmill primarily due to angle at which the sun’s rays strike the
- earliest known instance of using wind-driven wheel earth.
to power a machine is that of Greek engr. Heron of Heat is transported from warmer to cooler areas.
Alexandria density α temperature ; warm air is less dense
- another ex of wind-driven wheel: prayer wheel large scale: difference in density leads to the formation
EARLY MIDDLE AGES of high and low Patm
- first practical windmill: Panemone windmill small scale: leads to creation of local wind patterns
(horizontal, used to pump water, gristmilling and sea breeze – daytime, land warms faster than ocean
sugarcane industries) land breeze – nighttime, land cools faster than ocean
19TH CENTURY local winds – form when land heats up faster in one
- first windmill for electricity production: build in place than another
Scotland July 1887 Prof James Blyth valley wind – mountain slope warms faster than valley
- 1891 Danish scientist Poul la Cour built wind below
turbine (to produce hydrogen through electrolysis mountain wind/katabatic wind – mountain slope cools
and to light school of Askov) faster than valley below
20TH CENTURY tunnel effect – katabatic wind blows through narrow
- 1958 Johannes Juul student of Poul la Cour valleys between mountains
developed Danish Concept – allowed AC to be fed Special names of katabatic winds:
to the grid for the first time Chinook – easterly wind in the rocky mountains
PRESENT Santa Ana – easterly wind in southern California
- Bangui Wind Farm, Ilocos Norte Same process occurs on a worldwide scale.
- Wind Energy Power System (WEPS), Puerto Galera, Hadley circulation – cold air sinks towards earth’s
Mindoro Oriental surface at poles, becomes warmer as it travels toward
- Pililia, Rizal the equator, and rises
Coriolis effect – causes fluids to curve as they travel
across or above earth’s surface
The first known historical reference to a windmill is major cells/wind belts
from Hero of Alexandria, in his work Pneumatics easterly trade winds – equator to 30deg latitude N or S
(describes a device which provides air to an organ by hemisphere; most significant (El Nino effect)
means of a windmill). westerly winds – 30deg to 60deg
Windmills made their first recorded appearance in polar easterlies – 60deg to pole
northern Europe in the 12th Century trade winds – air streams moving toward the equator;
19th century – tried using windmill rotor, most notable warm, steady breezes that blow most of the time; curve
early example: Charles Brush in Cleveland, Ohio, 1888. west
In the following years, small generators become doldrums – area of calm; no steady surface winds
widespread. Marcellus Jacobs pioneered these small prevailing westerlies - curve east
turbines. polar easterlies – form when air over the poles cools;
Jacobs’ turbine – direct forerunner of the small turbines sinks and spreads over the surface, curves west
as the Bergey and Southwest windpower machines jet streams – highest winds; forms where other wind
wind – air in motion, produced by uneven heating of systems meet; flow far above earth where nothing
the earth’s surface by sun’s energy block their paths; rivers of air, curve east; carry weather
Methods of Heat Transfer: systems
1. Radiation – through waves
2. Conduction – when two objects touch ATMOSPHERIC BOUNDARY LAYER
3. Convection – through liquids and gases a.k.a. Planetary Boundary Layer – lowest part of the
albedo – fraction of light striking a surface that gets atmosphere, characteristics are directly influenced by
reflected contact with earth’s surface
Francis Beaufort – created a scale to rate the power of vertical wind profile:
the wind based on the observations of common things 1. instantaneous variation in wind speed as a function
around him rather than instruments, 12 y/o of height
Beaufort Scale 0-12 – calm-hurricane, can be used to 2. seasonal variation in ave wind speed as a function
estimate wind speed of height
velocity of horizontal wind – dependent on height Types of wind accdg to forces acting on it
(direct) 1. Geostrophic wind – travels in a straight path,
Relationship between horizontal wind and elevation horizontal movement; pressure gradient and
describes vertical profile of wind speed (vertical wind coriolis forces; travels parallel with isobars; take
shear) note of the location
importance: 2. Gradient wind – curved path, unbalanced forces,
1. determine productivity of wind turbine on a tower occurs above atmospheric boundary layer,
at certain height eliminating frictional force
2. influences lifetime of turbine rotor blade 3. Surface wind – follows non-curve flow, found near
density of air standard ambient temp and pressure: earth’s surface, friction is included, friction slows
1.225 kg/m3 wind and interacts with other forces to change wind
Lapse rate (I) – rate of change of temp wrt height direction, combines with coriolis force, wind crosses
*temp decreases as elevation increases isobars (10-45deg)
Istandard = -0.0066 degC/m
density altitude – altitude at which the density of the WIND RESOURCE AND SITE ASSESSMENT
International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) is the same as wind is free, clean, and renewable
the density of the air being evaluated Aspects to be considered: technical, economical,
Standard Atmosphere – mathematical model of the environmental, socio-political
atmosphere which is standardized so that predictable Technical
calculations can be made wind speed – any choice of wind turbine design must
To use equations to determine air density, know actual be based on ave wind velocity at the selected wind
air pressure, water vapor pressure, and temperature turbine construction site
actual air pressure – absolute pressure, total air wind speed variation – simplest method is finding
pressure, station pressure average wind speed over a year
water vapor pressure – calculate first saturation vapor Average wind speed is very misleading.
pressure (Teten’s formula); use dew point than relative Wind speed assessment is more complicated than
humidity taking the average.
relative humidity – ratio (%) of actual VP to saturation statistical analysis – can be used to determine the wind
VP at a given temperature energy potential of a site and to estimate the energy
stability – important characteristic of atmosphere; output from a wind turbine installed there.
resists vertical motion and suppresses turbulence Wind is notoriously fickle.
turbulence – wind caused by dissipation of wind’s KE probability distribution – describes the likelihood that
into thermal energy via creation and destruction of certain values of a random variable will occur,
progressively smaller eddies (gusts) characterized by probability df or cumulative df
classification of stability: stable, neutrally stable, Rayleigh Distribution – the distribution function used
unstable wind direction variation – map (Wind Rose – most
stability greatly depends on wind common way of displaying wind data, and can be
Factors affecting wind measured in speed or frequency distribution)
1. Pressure gradient force – wind flows from high to wind rose (speed distribution) – radial length:
low pressure, which means that greater pressure percentage of time; colored segments: wind speed
difference, higher wind velocity wr (frequency d) – radial length: wind speed; colored
isobars – contour lines connecting locations at the segments: hours
same pressure; spacing represents pressure wind shear – phenomenon wherein wind speed
gradient; standard difference of isobars 4mbar; increases with height; influences both assessment of
more closely spaced means steeper pressure wind resources and design of turbines
gradient (pressure changes quickly over a short land topology and geology – wind farms need large
distance). Steeper pressure gradient = higher lands; at least 2600-6000m2/MW
pressure gradient force = strong winds roughness length – roughness of ground terrain, may
2. Coriolis force – caused by measurements wrt a be classified into flat and non-flat terrain
rotating reference frame; deflects movement of all flat terrain – has small irregularities on the flow over
free moving objects; may only cause apparent the land being considered
deflection: affects wind direction not speed; always non flat – large scale elevations or depressions
at right angle wrt wind motion and distance grid structure and distance – feeding intermittent
covered; deflection is greater at higher latitude power into grids can affect power quality; grid distance
3. Friction force – opposite wind motion; layers at the is one of the 10 most important steps for wind farm
lowest elevations are affected by the surface and building
this layer provides frictional drag on the layer of turbine size – height is one of the important factors that
wind above it. affect annual energy generation; turbine size is related
4. Centripetal force – center-seeking force, affects with energy output
wind that travels in a curved path, not an
independent force
5. Gravity – directly downward, no effect on
horizontal wind
Economical 3. bird mortality – no. of observed deaths/unit search
advantage: no fuel cost, high capital cost area
capital cost – involves more than just the cost for the 4. bird risk – measure of the likelihood that a bird
turbines themselves using the area in question will be killed
operation and maintenance cost – most significant = mortality/utilization rate
sources of cost; important to project these costs if the 5. rotor swept area metrics
owner seeks to refinance or sell the project; O cost: rotor swept hr = (RS in m2)(hrs of operation)
insurance on the wind turbine, taxes, and land rental RSH risk = (1/RSH)(bird risk)
cost; M cost: routine checks, periodic maintenance, visual impact on wind turbines – aesthetic issues
blade cleaning visibility – one of wind power’s perceived adverse
Environmental environmental factors, and a major concern of the
sub-factors: visual impact, electromagnetic public
interference, wild life and endangered species, noise visual/aesthetic resources – natural and cultural
impact features of an environmental setting that are of visual
negative impacts: interest to the public
 avian/bat interaction with wind turbines parameters:
 visual impact of wind turbines 1. viewshed alteration
 wind turbine noise 2. viewshed consistency
 electromagnetic interference of wind turbine 3. viewshed degradation
avian/bat interaction w/ wind turbines 4. conflict with public preference
concerns: (a) effects on bird populations from death 5. guideline compatibility
caused either directly/indirectly by wind turbines (b) wind turbine noise
violations of RA 9147 – Wildlife Resources Conservation noise – unwanted sound
and Protection Act Effects of noise:
Adverse Effects of Wind Energy to Birds 1. subjective – annoyance, nuisance, dissatisfaction
1. bird electrocution and collision mortality 2. interference w/ activities – speech, sleep, learning
2. changes to foraging habits 3. physiological effects – anxiety, tinnitus, hearing loss
3. alteration of migration habits sound – generated by numerous mechanisms and
4. reduction of available habitat always associated with rapid smallscale pressure
5. disturbance to breeding, nesting, and foraging fluctuations
Beneficial Effects velocity of sound: 340 m/s
1. protection of land from more dramatic habitat loss low frequency sound – 10-100 Hz
2. provision of perch sites for roosting and hunting infrasound – below 20 Hz, always present in the
3. provision and protection of nest sites on towers and environment
ancillary facilities Characteristics of the human perception of low f and
4. protection or expansion of prey base infrasound:
5. protection of birds from indiscriminate harassment 1. perceived as a mixture of auditory and tactile
Impacts on birds (categories): sensations
1. direct (risk of collision) 2. must be of higher magnitudes to be perceived (dB)
2. indirect (other disturbance such as noise) 3. tonality cannot be perceived below 18 Hz
- disturbance of breeding birds 4. infra may not appear to be coming from a specific
- disturbance of staging and foraging birds location because of its wavelength
- disturbing impact on migrating and flying birds annoyance – primary human response to perceived
Measures for the minimization of wind turbine system infrasound
effects on birds Annoyance mechanisms of infrasound
1. avoid migration corridors 1. feeling of static pressure
2. fewer, larger turbines 2. periodic masking effects in medium and higher f
3. avoid micro habitats 3. rattling of doors and windows
4. alternate tower designs Types of noise
5. remove nests 1. tonal – noise at discrete frequencies, caused by
6. prey base management wind turbine components
7. bury electrical lines 2. broadband – continuous distribution of sound
8. site-specific mitigation studies pressure with f greater than 100 Hz, often caused
9. conservation of alternative habitats by interaction of blades with atmospheric
NREL – National Renewable Energy Laboratory turbulence, swishing/whooshing sound
NWCC – National Wind Coordinating Committee 3. low-frequency – 20-100Hz, downwind turbines,
methods, measurements, and relationships turbine blade encounters localized flow deficiencies
1. bird utilization counts – observer notes the 4. impulsive – short acoustic impulses/thumping
location, behavior, and number of birds sounds that vary in amplitude with time
2. bird utilization rate – no. of birds using the area Causes of noise emitted from operating wind turbines
during a given time or time and area 1. aerodynamic noise – originates from the flow of air
= no. of birds observed/time around the blades
= no of birds observed/time x area 2. mechanical noise – originates from relative motion
of mechanical components and dynamic response
that results; main sources: gearbox, generator, yaw
drives, cooling fans, aux equipment
Since emitted noise is associated with rotation of
mechanical and electrical equipment, it tends to be
tonal although it may have broadband component
Hub, rotor, and tower may acts as loudspeakers,
transmitting mech noise and radiating it.
air-borne – noise is directly propagated from the
component surface or interior into the air
structure-borne – transmitted along other
structural components before it is radiated into air
Noise assessment study
1. An estimation or survey of the existing ambient
background noise levels.
2. Prediction (or measurement) of noise levels from
the turbine(s) at and near the site.
3. Identification of a model for sound propagation
(sound modeling software will include a
propagation model).
4. An assessment of the acceptability of the
turbine(s) noise level via comparison of calculated
sound pressure levels from the wind turbine(s) with
background sound pressure levels at the location of
electromagnetic interference - electromagnetic
disturbance that interrupts, obstructs, or degrades
the effective performance of electronics or
electrical equipment
Wind turbines can potentially disrupt
electromagnetic signals used in
telecommunications, navigation and radar services.
The degree and nature of the interference will
depend on:
 The location of the wind turbine between
receiver and transmitter.
 Characteristics of the rotor blades.
 Characteristics of receiver.
 Signal frequency.
 The radio wave propagation in the local
Interference can be produced by three elements of
a wind turbine: Tower, rotating blades and
Social factors that affect the selection of a site:
public acceptance, distance from residential area
and alternative land use options of candidate wind
farm site
regulatory boundaries
public acceptance