Wind energy is the most mature and well-developed renewable energy. It generates electricity from the wind, using the kinetic energy produced by the effect of the moving air. It is a clean and inexhaustible source of energy which reduces the emission of greenhouse gases and helps the environment.
Wind energy has been used since ancient times to move sail boats or to operate the machinery in mills by moving their blades. Since the early twentieth century, it has been used to produce energy through wind turbines. The wind power pushes a propeller and, through a mechanical system, turns the rotor of a generator that produces electricity.
Wind turbines are often grouped into ‘wind farms’ in order to make better use of energy, reducing its environmental impact. The machines have a lifespan of around twenty years.
Wind turbines are complex and uneven buildings which can reach nearly 200 metres in height including blades and have a weight of 20 tonnes. They are mounted on a tower more than 30 metres tall to capture more energy.
There are different types of wind turbines depending on the type of generator, its power, and its axis of rotation.
Wind Turbine Components
The main parts of a wind turbine are the rotor, gearbox, generator, tower and control system. The movement speed of the propellers is very slow. Through gearbox that slow blade speed becomes fast speed to feed the generator.
Most modern wind turbines have three blades, a horizontal axis and electrical yaw mechanisms. The yaw mechanism of a wind turbine is used to turn the rotor towards the wind for maximum performance or away from it to protect against dangerous winds.
- The nacelle protects key parts of the wind turbine.
- The rotor blades transmit power of the wind to the hub.
- The hub that is the part that connects the rotor blades to the low speed shaft.
- The low speed axis connects the rotor hub to the gearbox. Its rotation speed is very slow.
- The gearbox allows the high speed axis to rotate much faster than the slow speed axis.
- The high speed shaft rotates at high speed and operates the electric generator.
- The electrical generator is one of the most important parts of a wind turbine. It converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
- The electronic controller is a computer that monitors wind conditions and controls the yaw mechanism.
- The cooling unit is a mechanism used to cool the electrical generator.
- The tower is the part of the wind turbine which holds the nacelle and the rotor
- The yaw mechanism is activated by the electronic controller and changes the orientation of the turbine depending on wind conditions.