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Wind Energy


Effect of Height

Power in The Wind

wind generators convert differences in air temperature to electrical power need average winds of 11 mph to reach pay-off need average of 28 mph to be competitive with fossil fuels (~ 4 p/kWh) large wind farms need windy area (geographically specific) noisy, but overall minor environmental impact

Power in The Wind (cont)

Power Coefficient

Basic of Wind Energy

Kinetic Energy of wind is: 1/2 x mass x velocity Amount of air moving past a given point (e.g. the turbine) per unit time depends on velocity Power per unit area = KE * velocity: mv2 x v = mv3 Power going as V3 is huge: e.g. 27 times more power is in a wind blowing at 60 mph than one blowing at 20 mph for average atmospheric conditions of density and moisture content Example: Power (Wm2) = .0006 V3 How much energy is there in a 20 mph wind? 20 mph wind = 10 m/s; .0006 * 103 = 6 kW/m2 (this is about the same as the average solar power per square meter at 35 N latitude)

Basic of Wind Energy (cont)

Windmills can not operate at 100% efficiency because the structure itself impedes the flow of the wind Theoretical maximum efficiency is 59% (betz limit) Picaresque Dutch Windmill (4=arms) = 16% Rotary, multiblade = 30% High speed propeller (vertical) = 42% Clearly, wind power is a highly variable source and hence energy storage is crucial. Rotary type windmills have high torque and are useful for pumping water High speed propeller types have low torque and are most efficient at high rotational velocities --> useful for generation of electricity

Example calculation:
Windmill efficiency = 42% average wind speed = 10 m/s (20 mph) Power = 0.0006 x 0.42 x 1000 = 250 Watts per square meter Electricity generated is then .25 KWH per sq. meter If wind blows 24 hours per day then annual electricity generated would be about 2200 KWH per sq. meter But, on average, the wind velocity is only this high about 10% of the time typical annual yield is therefore 200-250 KWH per sq. meter

Wind Turbines Components

Types of Wind Turbine

Vertical Axis : Low velocity, Easy to manufacture Horizontal axis : High power, High efficiency, no need manual starting

Vertical axis : low efficiency, must be manually started Horizontal axis : Difficult to manufacture, high velocity wind-required, high cost

Wind is primarily generated by equator to pole energy gradients combined with the earths rotation Wind speed increases significantly with height The power in the wind varies with the cube of wind speed The Betz theory establishes a limit of 16/27=0.59 to power coefficient The wind turbine blade is an aerofoil the tip speed is greater than the wind speed Lift is created as the blade slices through the wind the tangential component of the lift is what drives the turbine You also need a gearbox, a generator and a tower to put it all on