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Thursday, 25 February 2016

How Wind Turbines turn Action of Rotation to Energy

The wind turbine converts the kinetic energy from the wind into electrical energy of suitable form which can be used as a source of electrical power. To maximize the output from the wind turbines the main key used here is the concept of Aerodynamics. Wind turbines are mainly seen in the wind farms, are usually three-bladed and with the help of computer-controlled motors they are pointed out into the wind. The wind turns the blade approximately at the rate of 10 to 22 revolutions per minute. As the blade rotates, electricity is generated with the help of spinning shaft connected to the generator. Improvements in computational fluid dynamics analysis and the resulting optimization of rotor speeds and pitch control help in increasing the power generation and efficiency of the turbine. With the help of winds electricity can be generated both offshore as well as onshore.

Image credit: emaze.com
Two kinds of generators are used in a wind turbine; first is along with a vertical axis and the other is with a horizontal axis. The amount of wind energy present at any location is measured by Wind Power Density (WPD). For achieving proper efficiency through the wind turbines, sufficient wind speed is required else for lower wind speeds smaller wind turbines are used. The friction and drag of rotor blade should be kept least so that it does not result in further inefficiencies. Also, due to wear and tear efficiency can gradually decrease over time.

With the help of aerodynamic modeling, we can exploit the wind energy at a particular location to generate electricity. Currently, experiments are conducted so as to develop more efficient longer and lighter blades of carbon and fiber instead of glass and steel. Since glass and steel are more prone to develop cracks and require higher maintenance compared to fiber and carbon; hence it would be very beneficial to introduce blades of fiber which would reduce the maintenance cost and thereby increase the efficiency. Aerodynamic experts are also working with smaller turbines so as to improve their efficiency. In any developing Country, the concept of wind turbines is very useful as it helps in generation of electricity at a reduced cost in an eco-friendly way.

In India, Pune- based Sulzon Energy Ltd is the leading player in wind turbines and has more than 14GW of global installed portfolio across six continents. It has brought in new improved technology and features which will help expand its capacity. Wind turbines are used because it is considered as a clean source of energy without causing any pollution, also being a free, sustainable and renewable source of energy it has gained wide use and importance. Harnessing wind energy is becoming increasingly cost-effective. In India, it is the role of the government at the state level to invest in this field and make the grid and land infrastructure available for proper generation of electricity.



Article by Anisha Dutta
She is a content evangelist who believes that the Science of today is the Technology of tomorrow. 
She can be reached at https://twitter.com/Anisha_Dutta29

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