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Evaluation of parameters affecting wind turbine power generation

Omar Badrana Emad Abdulhadib Rustum Mamlookc

Al-Balqa Applied University, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Mechanical
Engineering Department, P.O.Box 331006, Amman 11134 – Jordan
Al-Balqa Applied University, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Mechatronics
College of Information Systems & Technology ,The Arabic Academy for Banking
and Financial Science, Amman-Jordan

The utilization of wind energy for power generation purposes is becoming
increasingly attractive and gaining a great share in the electrical power production
market worldwide.
In the present study, a mathematical model is developed to study the parameters that
affect the electrical power generated by the wind turbines. The considered
parameters are turbine swept area, air density, wind speed, and power coefficient as
a function of pitch angle and blade tip speed.
The study shows that the operational parameters has a direct effect on the generated
power which will lead the developers and researchers to focus on the highest priority
parameter that should be considered for manufacturing and optimizing the new
generations of wind turbines.
Keywords: Wind turbine; Power generation; Parameters evaluation; Wind energy.

Wind machines were used long time ago, the very first electricity generating windmill
operated in the UK was a battery charging machine installed in 1887 by James Blyth
in Scotland. The first utility grid-connected wind turbine operated in the UK was built
by the John Brown Company in 1954 in the Orkney Islands.
Wind turbines are designed to exploit the wind energy that exists at a location.
Virtually all modern wind turbines convert wind energy to electricity for energy
distribution. The modern wind turbine is a system that comprises three integral
components with distinct disciplines of engineering science. The rotor component
includes the blades for converting wind energy to an intermediate low speed
rotational energy. The generator component includes the electrical generator, the
control electronics, and most likely a gearbox component for converting the low
speed rotational energy to electricity. The structural support component includes the
tower for optimally situating the rotor component to the wind energy source (Fingersh
et al, 2006).
Wind turbines are classified, in the basis of their axis in which the turbine rotates, into
horizontal axis and vertical axis wind turbines. Because of the ability of the horizontal
axis turbines to collect the maximum amount of wind energy for the time of day and
season and to adjust their blades to avoid high wind storms; they are considered
more common than vertical-axis turbines (Danish Wind Industry Association, 2003).
Turbines that used in wind farms for commercial production of electric power these
days are usually three-bladed and pointed into the wind by computer-controlled
motors. This type is produced by the most common wind turbines manufacturers.
The top ten worldwide wind turbines manufacturers are shown in Table 1 (Efiong and
Crispin, 2007).
There are many studies proposed to optimize wind turbine power generation. Koçak
(2008) focused entirely on wind speed persistence during weather forecast, site
selection for wind turbines and synthetic generation of the wind speed data. Herbert
et al (2007) developed models for wind resources assessment, site selection and
aerodynamic including wake effect to improve the wind turbine performance and to
increase its productivity.

Table 1. Top ten wind turbines manufacturers in 2006

Accumulated Supplied Share 2006 Accumulated
MW 2005 MW 2006 % MW 2006
Vestas 20,766 4,239 28% 25,006 34%
Gamesa 7,912 2,346 16% 10,259 14%
GE Wind 7,370 2,326 15% 9,696 13%
Enercon 8,685 2,316 15% 11,001 15%
Suzlon 1,485 1,157 8% 2,641 4%
Siemens 4,502 1,103 7% 5,605 8%
Nordex 2,704 505 3% 3,209 4%
Repower 1,522 480 3% 2,002 3%
Acciona 372 426 3% 798 1%
Goldwind 211 416 3% 627 1%
Others 6,578 689 5% 7,267 10%

Many attempts have been made to improve wind turbines; Irabu and Roy (2007)
proposed a study to improve and adjust the output power of Savonius rotor under
various wind power and suggested the method of preventing the rotor from strong
wind disaster.
Khalfallah and Koliub (2007) focused entirely on the turbine rotor and blades in order
to improve the wind turbine power curves. They studied the effect of changing the
rotational rotor speed on the power performance of Nordtank 300 kW stall-regulated
experimentally. Also they studied the variation in the aerodynamic performance of the
wind turbine rotor by changing the pitch angle experimentally in Hurghada wind farm
in a way to improve the turbines' performance.
The current study is conducted to give the wind turbine designers the detailed
information to optimize the design of their turbines to minimize the generating costs.

Proposed technique

A wind turbine captures energy from moving air and converts it into electricity. The
captured energy is affected by factors such as air density, turbine swept area, air
velocity and power coefficient as in the following equation (Mukund, 1999):

Where, P is the mechanical power in the moving air, Watt.
is air density, kg/m.
A is area swept by the rotor blades, m
V is velocity of the air, m/s
Cp is the power coefficient.

A MATLAB/Simulink model (Fig. 1) is developed to show how these factors affect the
generated power from wind turbine.

Fig. 1. MATLAB/Simulink model

The Simulink model is valid for wide ranges of wind turbines. It is tested on V52 wind
turbine as an example. The V52 wind turbines have been erected in many countries
than any other turbines in VESTAS portfolio, approximately 2,100 turbines, were
installed all over the world due to their highly efficient operation and flexible
configuration. The V52 has the following specifications (Table 2) (VESTAS wind
systems, 2000):

Table 2. The specifications of V52 wind turbine

Rotor diameter 52m
Area swept 2,124 m2
Number of blades 3
Power regulation Pitch/OptiSpeed
Air brake Full blade pitch
Cut-in wind speed 4 m/s
Nominal wind speed 16 m/s
Cut-out wind speed 25 m/s
Nominal output 850 kW

The resulted power will be increased when the turbine's swept area is increased as
shown in Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. The effect of swept area on the generated power

The temperature and the air density impact on the generated power are shown in
Figs 3 and 4:

Fig. 3. The effect of air density-temperature on the generated power

The power variation is shown in Fig. 4 as a function of the power coefficient.

Fig. 4. Generated power as a function of the power coefficient

Results and discussion

Wind turbines should be optimized, by taking swept area into consideration, in terms
of the local area conditions to capture power as maximum as possible. As can be
seen from Fig. 2, the output power of a wind turbine is directly related to the wind
speed as well as to the swept area of its blades. The larger the diameter of its
blades, the more power can be extracted from the wind.
The power produced by the wind turbine increases from zero at the threshold wind
speed (cut in speed) (usually around 5m/s but varies with site) to the maximum at the
rated wind speed. Above the rated wind speed, (15 to 25 m/s) the wind turbine
continues to produce the same rated power but at lower efficiency until shut down is
initiated if the wind speed becomes dangerously high, i.e. above 25 to 30m/s (gale
force). The exact specifications for energy capture by the turbine depend on the
distribution of wind speed over the year at the individual site.
Air density has a significant effect on wind turbine performance (Fig. 3). The power
available in the wind is directly proportional to air density. As air density increases the
available power also increases. Air density is a function of air pressure and
temperature. It increases when air pressure increases or the temperature decreases.
Both temperature and pressure decrease with increasing elevation. Consequently
changes in elevation produce a profound effect on the generated power as a result of
changing in the air density.

The utilization of wind energy for power generation purposes is occupying a great
share in the electricity market worldwide and becoming increasingly attractive. The
good exploitation of wind energy may enhance the renewable power generation
capabilities, maximize its capacity factor, and participate in generating electricity at
good costs.
In conclusion, many factors have to be considered during manufacturing or
installation of wind turbines, i.e., (turbine swept area, air density, wind speed, and
power coefficient as a function of pitch angle and blade tip speed).


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