Wind energy is a significant and sustainable investment for the future since it converts the energy of a renewable resource like the wind into electricity. Wind farms with numerous wind turbines must be built, either on land or offshore, in order to use the wind. In recent years, these enormous creatures have assimilated into the scenery, but do we understand how they function?
What process produces wind? The earth's surface is not evenly affected by solar radiation; where it is warmer, air prefers to rise because it weighs less, forming low pressure areas; where it is colder, air tends to descend because it weighs more, forming high pressure areas The air moves as a result of the pressure differential, creating wind, a powerful element that can be exploited to produce energy.
What is wind energy?
Wind energy is power generated by the wind's force. How? with the aid of a wind turbine, which converts the kinetic energy of air currents into electrical energy. The rotor, which converts kinetic energy into mechanical energy, and the generator, which converts this mechanical energy into electrical energy, are the two basic mechanisms used to extract the energy. We're talking about an energy source that is secure, mature, efficient, and sustainable that is essential to the decarbonization of the economy and the energy transition.
PRINCIPLE OF WIND POWER. CHARACTERISTICS
As we just discussed, a wind turbine is required to harness the kinetic energy of the wind and transform it into electrical energy. The best way to use these enormous structures—which are typically between 80 and 120 meters high—depends on how strong the wind is. As a result, wind farms that pool several wind turbines and enable the production of huge amounts of this energy must be built in areas with a predominance of windy circumstances.
A vane on the nacelle is used to position the wind turbines so that they face the direction of the wind. The three major components of the wind turbine will then begin to rotate due to the force of the air currents:
The purpose of the rotor, which consists of three blades and a bushing connecting them, is to collect wind energy and transform it into mechanical rotational energy.
The multiplier's job is to raise the rotational speed from 30 revolutions per minute (rpm) to 1500 rpm. It is connected to the engine by a shaft.
The generator is the component that transforms rotational mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Underground cables connect each of the wind turbines that make up a wind farm, and these cables then transport the electricity to a transformer substation. Through the distribution networks of the various electricity companies, it is then delivered to residences, businesses, or educational institutions, among other destinations.
Wind power installations around the world
TYPES OF WIND ENERGY
Currently, depending on where the wind turbines are installed, there are two types of wind energy:
Onshore wind energy
Onshore wind energy uses wind farms on land to capture the wind and turn it into power. To achieve this, we erect wind turbines that can convert wind kinetic energy into usable power and transfer it to the distribution network.
Offshore wind energy
Offshore wind energy is created by utilizing the wind's force as it blows across the open ocean, where there are no obstructions, and it may travel farther and faster than on land. Mega-structures are put in place that are sat on the seabed and outfitted with the newest technological advancements to make the most of this resource.
MAIN ADVANTAGES OF WIND ENERGY
Numerous advantages come with wind energy, both for the businesses who invest in it and for society through reducing the effects of climate change:
It is an energy with low greenhouse gas (GEI) emissions, which are the main causes of global warming, as it does not require any combustion processes.
As long as there are enough air currents, Wind is an inexhaustible resource, and its use is also limitless.
Its maintenance costs and cost per kW produced are both relatively low. The advantage is significantly greater where the wind blows more forcefully.
Wind farms are constructed following a thorough planning and analytical procedure. Additionally, depopulated locations are sought for to prevent adverse effects on residents.
It provides green employment
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that more than 1.2 million people are currently employed by the wind industry, and that figure will continue to rise.
HOW A WIND FARM IS BUILT
The process of constructing a wind farm is quite complicated since numerous variables need to be examined in order to determine where and when it should be built. The geographical, temporal, and vertical change of wind throughout time are the most crucial factors that need to be examined. Wind vanes and anemometers are used to measure these variables, and the wind farm's projected output is assessed to ensure its potential efficiency. Modern supercomputing methods optimize the wind farm complex's architecture to maximize energy production.