Wind energy is one of the renewable energy sources and natural phenomenon that occurs when hot air and cold air are displaced. Wind power occurs due to physical differences of the earth and also the atmosphere is heated differently by the sun. Wind energy is a different form of solar energy. In short, wind power occurs due to the pressure difference in the atmosphere.
Electricity generation by wind energy has achieved the conversion of the kinetic energy of the wind to electricity.
What is Wind Turbine for Wind Energy Electricity Generation? What are the Types?
The wind power is provided by the wind turbines installed in the zones at the optimum wind level. Optimum wind level is where the wind blows at a height of 10 and 50 meters and blow at least 4m/h.
Wind turbines have two types of wind turbines. These are horizontal-axis wind turbines and vertical axis wind turbines. However horizontal-axis wind turbines are mostly preferred in all over the world.
What Are the Parts that Make Up the Wind Turbine?
There are 4 main parts that make up the wind turbines. These parts are the propeller, generator, tower and electronic parts. All the parts that make up the wind turbine are as follows;
1. Rotor: The rotating part where the wind propellers (wings) and the gearbox are located.
2. Propeller (Rotor Wings): The part which is attached to the rotor shaft and convert the kinetic energy of the wind to mechanical energy. Propellers are made from very light but very durable materials such as polyester or fiberglass.
3. Gearbox: It is the gearbox that increases the speed of rotation of the rotor with wind energy. This gearbox allows the wind generator to reach the required speed by increasing the rotating speed of the wind.
4. Anemometer: It is the device that measures the speed of the wind. Wind speed will be transmitted to the electronic part of the wind energy system with anemometer by measuring the wind speed and possible problems are prevented.
5. Wind Valve: It is the mechanism that determines the wind direction and changes the direction of the wind turbine and deviation motor according to the change in the wind.
6. Generator: It is the part that converts the mechanical energy into electricity. There are three types of generators in wind turbines as synchronous, induction and direct current shunt.
7. Brake: It is the part that stops the rotor by slowing it down in an emergency. Brakes are usually used mechanically, electrically or hydraulically in wind turbines.
8. Manager: It is the part that turns the wind turbines to the wind direction.
9. Transformer: It is the part that increases the voltage of the electric energy to the appropriate voltage level to supply the system.
10. Tower: It is the part that carries the wind turbine. Towers that carry the wind turbines are generally produced cylindrically. This is because providing a more reliable environment for the technical personnel to reach the wind turbines. There are also cage-type wind towers however they are not much preferred due to security reasons.
11. Network Connection Systems: It is the entire systems that transmit the generated electricity by the wind energy to the existing network.
What Are the Types of Wind Turbines?
Wind turbines are classified according to the rotation axis, generator type, control systems and installed power. Some of the main wind turbines are as follows;
Micro Wind Turbines:
Micro wind turbines are used to charge batteries with fixed magnet generators. The power of micro wind turbines is 3kW at maximum. Such wind turbines are used in houses with no electricity and small ships.
Small Wind Turbines:
Small type wind turbines also generate electricity with fixed magnet generators. Such type of wind turbines can generate 30kW electricity at most.
Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines:
It is the wind turbines which their rotors operate in the horizontal axis. Rotors of horizontal axis wind turbines should be in the direction of the wind in order to provide maximum energy. The rotor must rotate on the tower in order to ensure it. Rotation in the direction of the wind has two types.
These are forward-windward and backward-windward. If the propellers receive the wind from the front side then guide wing is attached to the rear part of the rotor. However, if the propellers receive the wind from the rear, the wings should be conical. Thus the wind energy system continuously turns towards the wind direction and maximum efficiency is achieved from the wind.
Horizontal axis wind turbines are preferred in large-scale wind power plants. Because this turbine type is the type which provides the maximum yield in order to generate electricity by wind energy.
In general, these have three wings and rotor, gear, wind generator and brake systems connected to the horizontal shaft on the tower.
Vertical Axis Wind Turbines:
The direction of rotation of vertical axis wind turbines is positioned upright in the wind direction. And the propellers are not horizontal but vertical. These turbines have some advantages;
- They are not affected by the wind direction, thus they do not need routing parts.
- Maintenance is easier and less costly since the electronic and electro-mechanical parts are ground.
Tilt Axis Wind Turbines:
They are wind turbines which the rotation axes are positioned at a certain angle with the wind. There is a certain angle between the propellers and rotation axis. Their usage areas are very limited.
What Are the Usage Areas of Wind Energy?
Wind energy is used in many areas for different purposes.
- Rotate the shafts of the mills with wind energy,
- Sailing of sailing ships,
- Water pumping systems,
- Generating electricity for lighting systems,
- Generating electricity for the ships in the seas,
- Generating high capacity electricity with wind power plants,
- Grinding grains in mills,
- In recent years, wind energy has also been used to produce clean and drinkable water. Obtaining water from the wind is one of the futuristic ideas.
Generating electricity by wind energy, which is a kind of natural energy sources, is often preferred in recent years. Wind energy is more efficient when compared to solar energy. However, it is much more expensive and has more maintenance costs.