Types of Wind Turbines – Wind Power Area of Usage
Wind energy is a natural phenomenon caused by the translocation of hot air and cold air. Wind energy occurs because of the physical differences on earth and the different heating of the atmosphere of the sun. In a way, wind energy is a different form of solar energy. Briefly, wind energy consists of pressure differences in the atmosphere. Energy production using wind energy occurs by converting the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy.
What is Wind Turbines for energy production?
There are two types of wind turbines. These are wind turbines with the horizontal axis and wind turbines with the vertical axis. However, the wind turbine with the horizontal axis is the most popular one in the world.
What are the components of the wind turbine?
There are four main components forming wind turbines. These parts are propellers, generators, towers, and electronics. All parts that make up the wind turbine are as follows;
1 Rotor: It is the rotating part with the wind vanes (wings) and the gearbox.
2 Blades (Rotor Wings): It is the part of the rotor shaft that turns the kinetic energy of wind into mechanical energy. Propellers consist of very light but very durable materials such as polyester or fibreglass.
3 Gear Box: Gearbox, which increases the rotation speed of the rotor with wind energy. This gearbox increases the rotational speed of the wind further and increases the speed required for the generator.
4 Anemometer: It is the device that measures the speed of the wind. By measuring the wind speed with the anemometer, wind speed is transmitted to the electronic part of the wind energy system and avoids a possible setback.
5 Wind Vane: It is the mechanism that determines the wind direction and changes the course of the wind turbine with the deviation engine according to the change of wind.
6 Generator: It is the part that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. Three types of generators are used in wind turbines: synchronous, induction and direct current shunt.
7 Brake: This is the part that stops the rotor by slowing down in an emergency. Brakes are also used as mechanical, electrical or hydraulically in wind turbines.
8 Controller: It is the part that turns the wind turbines in the direction of the wind.
9 Transformer: It is the part that increases the voltage of the electricity produced in the generator to the appropriate voltage level to give to the network.
10 Tower: It is the part that bears the wind turbine. Towers shouldering wind turbines are generally cylindrical. The aim is to provide a more stable environment for technical personnel to reach wind turbines. There are also cage-type wind towers, but they are less popular because of security.
11 Mains Connection Systems: All of the systems that transfer the electricity generated in wind power plants to the existing grid.
What are Wind Turbines Types?
Wind turbines categories shape according to the rotation axis, generator type, control systems, and installed power. Major wind turbine types are as follows;
Micro Wind Turbines:
Micro wind turbines area of usage is to charge batteries with permanent magnet generators. Micro wind turbines have a maximum 3kW capacity. We generally use this type of wind turbines in houses and small ships without electricity.
Small Wind Turbines:
A small type of wind turbines generates electricity with permanent magnet generators. This type of wind turbines generates up to 30kW of power using wind energy.
Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines:
Turbines operating on the horizontal axis are called horizontal axis wind turbines. The rotors must be in the direction of the wind flow to provide maximum energy to this wind turbines. If we want to achieve this, we must rotate the rotor on the tower. There are two types of rotation of the wind direction. These are forward-wind and back-wind.
If the propellers take the wind from the front, Wind Vane is attached to the rear of the rotor. However, if the propellers get the wind from the back, the wings are cone-shaped. In this way, the wind energy system continuously turns towards the wind direction and receives maximum efficiency from the wind.
Horizontal axis wind turbines are popular in large scale wind farms because this type of turbine is the most efficient way to produce energy. These turbines are generally three-winged structure. The rotor, gears, generator and brake systems connect to the horizontal shaft on the tower.
Vertical Axis Wind Turbines:
The direction of rotation of the vertical axis wind turbines is positioned perpendicular to the path of the wind. And the propellers are not horizontal but vertical. These are wind turbines advantages;
- It is not affected by the wind; therefore, it does not need the guiding parts.
- Since their electronic and electro-mechanical parts are on the ground, their maintenance is manageable and less expensive.
Wind Turbines with Angled Axes:
Rotational axes are wind turbines positioned at a certain angle with the wind. There is a certain angle between the propeller and the axis of rotation. Areas of use are very restricted.
What is the Wind Energy’s Area of Usage?
Wind energy’s area of usage is vast, and people use this renewable energy method in very different ways.
- To rotate the wind energy and the windmill shaft,
- To float sailing ships,
- For water pumping systems,
- In generating electricity for lighting systems,
- Generating electricity for boats in the sea,
- In the production of high capacity electricity with wind farms,
- The mills are also used to grind grain.
- Recently, wind energy is used to obtain clean and potable water. Producing water from the wind is one of the ideas of the future.
In recent years, it is preferred to produce electricity with wind energy. Compared to solar energy, wind energy is more efficient. But it is much more expensive and difficult to maintain.