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Basic principle of wind energy conversion Basic components of wind energy conversion system- wind energy collectors-Energy storage-Application of wind energy
A big layer of air called the atmosphere surrounds the Earth. The air within this layer moves from place to place when it warms up or cools down. This moving air is known as wind. Air in motion forming wind arises from pressure gradient. Differential heating of earth is the motive force behind wind. When solar radiation enters the earths atmosphere, different regions of the atmosphere are heated to different degrees because of earths curvature. This heating is higher at the equator and lowest at the poles. As equatorial areas are heated most, the air above them warms and rises as it becomes lighter than the surrounding air, causing an area of low pressure. In cooler areas, the air sinks because it is heavier and results in an area of high pressure. Winds will blow as air is squashed out by the sinking cold air and drawn in under the rising warm air. Any difference in temperature like this will always cause a difference in air pressure and therefore winds will blow. A good expression to remember is that: "winds blow from high to low" (ie: from high pressure to low pressure). In the upper atmosphere near the equator the air thus tend to flow back toward the poles and away from the equator. The net result is a global convective motion with surface winds from north to south in the northern hemisphere.

Coriolis Effect
However, winds do not simply blow in straight lines from north to south. Instead, they are bent by the spinning of the Earth:

to the right north of the equator, and to the left in the south.

This is called the Coriolis Effect and it bends every wind on Earth, resulting in a distinct pattern of winds around the world.

Local winds
Differential heating is the motive force behind land breezes and sea breezes (or, in thecase of larger lakes, lake breezes), also known as on or offshore winds. Land is a rapid absorber/radiator of heat, whereas water absorbs heat more slowly but also releases it over a greater period of time. The result is that, in locations where sea and land meet, heat absorbed over the day will be radiated more quickly by the land at night, cooling the air. Over the sea, heat is still being released into the air at night, which rises. This convective motion draws the cool land air in to replace the rising air, resulting in a land breeze in the late night and early morning. During the day, the roles are reversed. Warm air over the land rises, pulling cool air in from the sea to replace it, giving a sea breeze during the afternoon and evening.

Mountain breezes and valley breezes are due to a combination of differential heating and geometry. When the sun rises, it is the tops of the mountain peaks which receive first light, and as the day progresses, the mountain slopes take on a greater heat load than the valleys. This results in a temperature inequity between the two, and as warm air rises off the slopes, cool air moves up out of the valleys to replace it. This upslope wind is called a valley breeze. The opposite effect takes place in the afternoon, as the valley radiates heat. The peaks, long since cooled, transport air into the valley in a process that is partly gravitational and partly convective and is called a mountain breeze.

Boundary layer friction

There is further complication of boundary layer frictional effects between the moving air and the earths rough surface. Mountians, trees, buildings and similar

3 obstructions impair stream line air flow. Turbulence results, and the wind velocity in a horizontal direction markedly increases with altitude near the surface.

Basic principle of wind energy conversion

Nature of wind
The circulation of air in the atmosphere is caused by the non-uniform heating of the earths surface by the sun. The nature of the terrain, the degree of cloud cover and the angle of the Sun in the sky are all factors which influence this process. Average wind speeds are greater in hilly and coastal areas than they are well inland. The winds also tend to blow more consistently and with greater strength over the surface of water where there is a less surface drag. Wind speeds increase with height. They have traditionally been measured at a standard height of ten meters where they are found to be 20-25% greater than close to the surface. At a height of 60m they may be 30-60% higher because of the reduction in the drag effect of the earths surface.

Wind energy-Wind Power

Wind energy is the kinetic energy of the air in motion. Total wind energy flowing through an imaginary area A during the time t is: E = A . v . t . . v2, where v is the wind velocity and is the air density. The formula presented is structured in two parts: (A . v . t) is the volume of air passing through A, which is considered perpendicular to the wind velocity; ( . v2) is the kinetic energy of the moving air per unit volume. Total wind power is: P = E / t = A . . v3

Wind power is thus proportional to the third power of the wind velocity.

Theoretical power captured by a wind turbine

Total wind power could be captured only if the wind velocity is reduced to zero. In a realistic wind turbine this is impossible, as the captured air must also leave the turbine. A relation between the input and output wind velocity must be considered. The maximal achievable extraction of wind power by a wind turbine is 59% of the total theoretical wind power.

Power coefifficient
The fraction of the free-flow wind power that can be extracted by a rotor is called the power-coefficient. Power coefficient=Power of wind rotor/Power available in the wind The maximum theoretical power coefficient is equal to 16/27 or 0.593.

Practical wind turbine power

Further insufficiencies, such as rotor blade friction and drag, gearbox losses, generator and converter losses, reduce the power delivered by a wind turbine. The basic relation that the turbine power is (approximately) proportional to the third power of velocity remains.

Thus three factors determine the output from a wind energy converter: 1. the wind speed 2. the cross-section of wind swept by rotor 3. the overall conversion efficiency of the transmission system and generator or pump.


Lift and Drag: conversion






The extraction of power, and hence energy from the wind depends on creating certain forces and applying them to rotate a mechanism. There are two primary mechanisms for producing forces from wind: lift and drag.

Unlike the old-fashioned Dutch windmill design, which relied mostly on the wind's force to push the blades into motion, modern turbines use more sophisticated aerodynamic principles to capture the wind's energy most effectively. The two primary aerodynamic forces at work in wind-turbine rotors are lift, which acts perpendicular to the direction of wind flow; and drag, which acts parallel to the direction of wind flow. Turbine blades are shaped a lot like airplane wings -- they use an airfoil design. In an airfoil, one surface of the blade is somewhat rounded, while the other is relatively flat. Lift is a pretty complex phenomenon. But in one simplified explanation of lift, when wind travels over the rounded, downwind face of the blade, it has to move faster to reach the end of the blade in time to meet the wind travelling over the flat, upwind face of the blade (facing the direction from which the wind is blowing). Since faster moving air tends to rise in the atmosphere, the downwind, curved surface ends up with a low-pressure pocket

6 just above it. The low-pressure area sucks the blade in the downwind direction, an effect known as "lift."

Like in the design of an airplane wing, a high lift-to-drag ratio is essential in designing an efficient turbine blade. Turbine blades are twisted so they can always present an angle that takes advantage of the ideal lift-to-drag force ratio.

Aerodynamics is not the only design consideration at play in creating an effective wind turbine. Size matters -- the longer the turbine blades (and therefore the greater the diameter of the rotor), the more energy a turbine can capture from the wind and the greater the electricity-generating capacity. Generally speaking, doubling the rotor diameter produces a four-fold increase in energy output. In some cases, however, in a lower-wind-speed area, a smallerdiameter rotor can end up producing more energy than a larger rotor because with a smaller setup, it takes less wind power to spin the smaller generator, so the turbine can be running at full capacity almost all the time.

Tower height is a major factor in production capacity, as well. The higher the turbine, the more energy it can capture because wind speeds increase with elevation increase -- ground friction and ground-level objects interrupt the flow of the wind. Scientists estimate a 12 percent increase in wind speed with each doubling of elevation.


The main components of a WECS are shown in fig.

Aeroturbines(wind turbine/rotor) convert energy in moving air to rotary mechanical energy. In general they require pitch control and yaw control for proper operation. A mechanical interface consisting of a step up gear and a suitable coupling transmits the rotary mechanical energy to an electrical generator. The output of this generator is connected to the load or power grid.

YAW control:

For localities with the prevailing wind in one direction, the design of a turbine can be greatly simplified. The rotor can be in a fixed orientation with the swept area perpendicular to the predominant wind direction. Such a machine is said to be yaw fixed. Most wind turbines are yaw active, that is to say, as the wind direction changes a motor rotates the turbine slowly about the vertical or yaw axis so as to face the blades into the wind. The area of the wind stream swept by the wind rotor is then a maximum.

Pitch control:
The rate of rotation of large wind turbine generators is conveniently controlled by varying the pitch of the rotor blades. The turbine blades are actively pitched by the machine to reduce the energy they capture. This is done by pitching the blades to feather by reducing its angle of attack with the wind, or by pitching it to stall by increasing its angle of attack.

8 An aero-generator is shown in figure. The sub-components of the aero-generator are Wind turbine or rotor Wind mill head Transmission, control and generator Supporting structure (Tower)

Rotor Rotors are mainly of two types: (i) Horizontal axis rotor (ii) Vertical axis rotor One advantage of vertical-axis machines is that they operate in all wind directions and thus need no yaw adjustment. Windmill Head Supports the rotor, housing the rotor bearings. It also houses control mechanisms for pitch control and yaw control. Transmission The rate of rotation of large wind turbine rotators are controlled by varying the pitch of the rotor blades. But it is low, about 40 to 50 revolutions per minute(rpm). Because optimum generator output requires much greater rates of rotation, such as 1800 rpm, it is necessary to increase greatly the low rotor rate of turning. Among the transmission options are mechanical systems involving fixed ratio gears, belts and chains, singly or in combination or hydraulic systems involving fluid pumps and motors. Generators Either constant or variable speed generators can be used, but variable speed units are expensive and/or unproved. Among the constant speed generator candidates for use are synchronous induction and permanent magnet types.

Controls The purpose of the controller is to sense wind speed, wind direction, shaft speeds and torques at one or more points, output power and generator temperature as necessary and issue control signals for matching the electrical output to the wind energy input and protect the system from extreme conditions brought upon by strong winds , electrical faults etc. The modern large wind turbine generator requires a versatile and reliable control system to perform following operations Yaw control Pitch control Start up and cut-in of the equipment Generator output monitoring Shutdown and cut out owing to malfunction or very high winds Auxiliary and/or emergency power Maintenance mode Cut-in wind speed Cut-in wind speed is the wind speed at which a turbine starts to produce electricity.(The wind speed at which the rotor can be loaded) Cut-out wind speed The cut-out wind speed is the wind speed at which the turbine shuts down. At a high enough wind speed the turbine shuts down to protect the rotor blades, the generator and other components form failure. No power is generated above the cut-out speed. Feathering Turning blade towards parallel to wind direction (900 pitch) Towers Four types of towers are The reinforced concrete tower The pole tower The built-up shell-tube tower The truss tower Among these, the truss tower is favoured because it is proved and widely adaptable, cost is low, parts are readily available, it is readily transported, and it is potentially stiff.

10 The turbine may be located either upwind or downwind of the tower. In the upwind locations(i.e the wind encounters the turbine before reaching the tower), the wake of the passing rotor blades causes repeated changes in the forces on the tower. As a result, the tower will tend to vibrate and may eventually be damaged. On the other hand, if the turbine is downwind from the tower as shown in figure, the tower vibrations are less but the blades are now subjected to severe alternating forces as they pass through the tower wake. Tip speed ratio (lambda) or TSR for wind turbines The tip speed ratio (lambda) or TSR for wind turbines is the ratio between the rotational speed of the tip of a blade and the actual velocity of the wind. If the velocity of the tip is exactly the same as the wind speed the tip speed ratio is 1. The tip speed ratio is related to efficiency, with the optimum varying with blade design.[1] Higher tip speeds result in higher noise levels and require stronger blades due to largecentrifugal forces.

It has been shown empirically that the optimum tip speed ratio for maximum power output occurs at where n is the number of blades.

Wind energy collectors Wind aero-generators or wind turbine generators of WECS are generally classified as Horizontal axis type Vertical axis type depending on their axis of rotation, relative to the wind stream.


Some authors refer to them also as wind axis rotors and cross wind axis rotors respectively. In the former types, the rotors are oriented normal to the direction of wind, while in the latter types, the effective surface of the rotor moves in the same direction as the wind. Horizontal axis wind machines are further sub-classified as single bladed, multibladed and by-cycle multiblade type. Sail, wind, multbladed are example of horizontal axis wind machines. The vertical axis wind machine is further sub-divided into two major types: (i) Savonius or S type rotor mill(low velocity wind) (ii) Darrieus type rotor mill(high velocity wind) based on the working speed of the machine and the velocity ranges required by the machine for operation. Vertical axis machines are of simple design as compared to the horizontal axis type.

Horizontal axis wind machines

Horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT) have the main rotor shaft and electrical generator at the top of a tower, and must be pointed into the wind. Small turbines are

12 pointed by a simple wind vane, while large turbines generally use a wind sensor coupled with a servo motor.

Most have a gearbox, which turns the slow rotation of the blades into a quicker rotation that is more suitable to drive an electrical generator. Since a tower produces turbulence behind it, the turbine is usually positioned upwind of its supporting tower. Turbine blades are made stiff to prevent the blades from being pushed into the tower by high winds. Additionally, the blades are placed a considerable distance in front of the tower and are sometimes tilted forward into the wind a small amount. Downwind HAWTs have been built, despite the problem of turbulence. A Downwind HAWT is a turbine with the blades mounted behind the tower. In high winds the blades of a downwind HAWT (which are flexible) bend without worry of tower interference. This reduces their swept area and subsequently their wind resistance.

13 However wind turbulence from the towers lead to fatigue failures in downwind HAWTs. As reliability is so important, most HAWTs are upwind turbines.

Vertical axis wind turbine

Vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) are a type of wind turbine where the main rotor shaft is set vertically and the main components are located at the base of the turbine. Among the advantages of this arrangement are that generators and gearboxes can be placed close to the ground, which makes these components easier to service and repair, and that VAWTs do not need to be pointed into the wind.

The Savonius Rotor The simplest of the modern types of wind energy conversion systems is the Savonius rotor which works like a cup anemometer. This type was invented by S. J. Savonius in the year 1920. This machine has become popular since it requires relatively low velocity winds for operation. The Savonius is a drag-type VAWT which operates in the same way as a cup anemometer (pictured below). Savonius wind turbines typically only have an efficiency of around 15% - i.e. just 15% of the wind energy hitting the rotor is turned into rotational mechanical energy. This is much less than can be achieved with a Darrieus wind turbine which uses lift rather than drag.

It consist of two-half-cylinders facing opposite directions in such a way to have almost an S-shaped cross section. These two semi-circular drums are mounted on a vertical axis perpendicular to the wind direction with a gap at the axis between the two drums. Irrespective of the wind direction the rotor rotates such as to make the convex sides of the buckets head into the wind. From the rotor shaft we can tap power for use like water-pumping, battery charging etc. Savonius type rotors are mainly drag devices.

14 Characteristics of Savonius Rotor 1. Self starting 2. Low speed 3. Low efficiency Advantages of Savonius Rotor 1. The machine performs even at low-wind velocity ranges. 2. Low cut in speed 3. cost of vertical axis wind turbines are significantly lower than that of standard wind turbines. 4. It has simple structure, hence easy to manufacture. 5. Yaw and pitch controls are not needed 6. Ground level mounting, for the generator and gearing permits easy access and maintenance, and reduces tower costs.

The Darrieus type machines

This machine was invented in 1952 by G. J. M. Darrieus. It has two or three thin, curved blades with airfoil crossection and constant chord length. Unlike the Savonius wind turbine, the Darrieus is a lift-type VAWT. Both ends of blades are attached to a vertical shaft. Thus the force in the blade due to rotation is pure tension. This provides a stiffness to help withstand the wind forces it experiences. Rather than collecting the wind in cups dragging the turbine around, a Darrieus uses lift forces generated by the wind hitting aerofoils to create rotation. Thus Darrieus type rotors are lift devices, characterized by curved blades with air foil cross sections.

Characteristics of Darrieus Rotor

1. 2. 3. 4. Not self starting High speed High efficiency potentially low capital cost

Vertical axis H-rotor wind turbine


Energy storage
The operation of a wind turbine is not practical at very high or very low speeds. Consequently, if other sources such as electrical utility power are not available, some form of energy storage is required. When the power generated exceeds the demand, the excess energy would be stored for use at other times. Battery storage For WEC machines of low and intermediate electric power, battery storage is convenient. Generators can be used to charge batteries. The chemical reaction taking place in the cell or battery when it is charged is reversed when the cell is discharged. Thus in the charged cell, electrical energy is stored as chemical energy, which can be recovered as electrical energy when the cell is discharged. Heat Storage If the wind energy is to be used for heating green houses or drying crops, it can be stored as hot water. Resistance heaters are used for heating water. Alternatively the mechanical motion produced by the wind turbine can be converted directly into heat by frictional effects, such as churning water. Water power storage High power aero generators (several wind turbines- wind farm) are integrated with a hydroelectric power plant.

16 If the total power, wind and hydroelectric being generated should exceed the demand, hydroelectric plant can be partly shutdown. Alternatively, the excess power could be used to pump water from an auxiliary reservoir at the bottom of the dam back into the main reservoir. In this way, the overall capacity of the hydroelectric system would be increased. Air power storage 1. A wind turbine could be created which would directly pump air into a suitable pressurized storage tank. Then later when the wind is not blowing the energy stored in the air could be utilized to drive an air turbine. 2. Wind energy with a dc output power can be fed directly into an electrolyzer tank which produces hydrogen and oxygen from ordinary water. The hydrogen and oxygen gases produced can be stored either in gas or liquid forms and when needed be quickly and easily converted again directly into electrical energy via the known fuel cell. 3. Hydrogen can also be used as fuel to drive automobiles and other useful engines.

Applications of Wind energy

Wind-turbine generators have been built in a wide range of power outputs from a kilowatt or so to a few thousand kilowatts. Machines of low power can generate sufficient electricity for space heating and cooling of homes and for operating domestic appliances. Applications of somewhat more powerful turbines, upto about 50kW, are for operating irrigation pumps, navigational signals(e.g, light houses and buoys), and remote communication, relay, and weather stations, and for offshore oil drilling platforms.

17 Aerogenerators in the intermediate power range, roughly 100 to 250 kW, can supply electricity to isolated populations(e.g. on islands) to farm cooperatives, and to small industries. Finally the largest WEC generators, with rated powers of a few thousand kilowatts are usually planned for interconnection with an electric utility system.

Advantages and disadvantages of WECS Advantages 1. It is renewable source of energy 2. Like all forms of solar energy, wind power systems are nonpolluting, so it has no adverse influence on the environment. 3. Wind energy systems avoid fuel provision and transport. Disadvantages 1. Wind energy is available in dilute and fluctuating in nature. 2. Wind energy needs storage capacity for its irregularity. 3. Wind energy systems are noisy in operation; a large unit can be heard many kilometers away. 4. Wind power systems have a relatively high overall weight, because they involve the construction of a high tower and include gear box, generator etc 5. Large areas are needed.