How Do Wind Turbines Work?

  • By: David
  • Date: September 13, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Wind turbines are machines that generate electricity through wind. Each blade acts as a wing, drawing air towards it and creating lift. This lift is stronger that the wind’s force on each blade, which causes a rotor to turn. The generator converts wind energy into electricity by spinning a shaft.

Vertical-axis wind turbines are omnidirectional

Unlike horizontal-axis turbines, vertical-axis wind turbines are Omni-directional, which means they do not require wind direction to function properly. In contrast, Savonius and Darrenius turbines rely on the drag to convert wind energy. This means they can only convert about 15% of the wind energy available.

How Do Wind Turbines Work?

Vertical-axis wind turbines are often referred to as “cross-wind axis machines” because their rotors are perpendicular to the direction of the wind. These turbines do not require constant yawing to adjust to wind direction, and are lightweight and do not require a massive tower structure. They are also quieter than horizontal-axis turbines that require a continuous yaw.

Despite their omnidirectional nature, vertical-axis wind turbines have received relatively little research, making them prime candidates for patent protection. Since the technology is relatively new, there is room for further innovation. Several research papers have been published in the field, including one by J. O. Dabiri, who published an article on counter-rotating vertical-axis wind turbines.

They produce electricity using a transformer

Wind turbines need to generate electricity, so transformers are required. A transformer is a device that increases the electrical current from the low voltage (MV) level to the high voltage(HV) level. They can be placed inside or outside the turbine’s base. Some countries call these transformers “padmount transformers” (outside-base transformers). They should be protected from the elements and wildlife and may require enclosures, depending on the electricity legislation and permits authorities. Premade systems often come with transformers and switchgear already installed, which makes erection and installation easier. Most turbines now include transformers as part of their power supply.

The nacelle of a wind turbine contains a generator and is connected to a high-voltage transformer. The transformer connects the turbine to a distribution network. The output of the transformer is then sent to homes, factories, schools, and other places that require power.

They’re cheaper than nuclear

According to a recent study, wind turbines are less expensive than nuclear. A financial analyst firm, Lazard, found that, in December 2016, unsubsidized wind projects cost between $32 and $62 per megawatt-hour, compared to between 57 and $148 for coal. The firm recently updated the chart to reflect the projected costs of renewable energy in 2021.

The study also noted that nuclear plants are more efficient in markets with high levels of renewable energy. This is due to investors paying less for electricity because these sources are more expensive. Even though there is not much renewable energy, nuclear power can still reap the benefits of high prices. Even though wind turbines may not be as efficient as nuclear power they are still cheaper than nuclear.

In recent years, wind energy technology has advanced significantly. This is reflected in larger turbines, lower costs, and larger capacity. These turbines are more practical in areas with low average wind speeds because they are larger and have more capacity.

How Do Wind Turbines Work?

They’re more efficient than coal

To determine if wind turbines have a higher efficiency than coal, one must look at the energy required by each source. A coal-fired power plant typically has two boilers, one for its large stack and another for its smaller one. When both stacks are running, the coal plant generates a maximum of 6.2GWh of electricity per hour, while wind turbines produce just over a third.

Their size is a drawback. They can occupy a lot space and can be an eyesore. In addition, they may be too noisy, causing complaints from nearby neighbors. Hence, they are not a practical option for urban areas. They are, however suitable for rural areas that have a high electricity demand. One turbine can generate the same amount of electricity as 48,704 solar panels. Wind turbines can also be built on existing farms, which reduces the impact on farmers.

While wind turbines emit 11 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour, solar energy and natural gas are about nine grams per kilowatt-hour. Wind power is the most environmentally-friendly option compared to these two energy sources. They also produce less carbon dioxide than coal. Bernstein Research recently found that wind power has an environmental footprint of 99% less than coal and 75% less than solar energy.

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