Basic Principle of Wind Energy Conversion


The utilization of wind to generate mechanical power or electricity is referred to as wind power or wind energy. There are two primary physical principles by which wind energy can be extracted from the wind.

Due to increased knowledge, favorable legislation, and decreasing prices, wind power has expanded quickly since the year 2000. This includes both onshore and offshore turbines. In the article, you’ll able to understand in detail the principle of wind energy conversion starting with the very basics for example what is wind energy definition and examples to have a better understanding of it.

What is Wind Energy? Is Wind Energy Renewable?

The utilization of wind to generate mechanical power or electricity is referred to as wind power or wind energy. Wind turbines are devices that harness the kinetic energy of the wind and transform it into mechanical energy. A generator can take this mechanical energy and turn it into electricity for general consumption or for a specific purpose, like grinding grain or pumping water.

Because it is generated by ever-replenishing natural processes, the wind is considered a renewable energy source. It’s one of the earliest forms of energy used by mankind, and now it’s the most well-known and effective renewable energy option available. So, it’s a yes to the question is wind energy is renewable. After this, let’s learn about the principle of wind energy conversion.

What is the Basic Principle of Wind Energy Conversion?

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Basically, there are two primary physical principles by which wind energy can be extracted from the wind. This can be done either through drag or lift force or through a combination of the two. The difference between lift and drag is illustrated by the difference between using a Bermuda rig, the familiar triangular sail which deflects with wind and allows a sailing boat to travel across the wind or slightly into the wind, and a spinnaker sail, which fills like a parachute and pulls a sailing boat with the wind.

The drag forces provide the most obvious means of thrust, these forces are felt by an object or a person exposed to the wind. On the contrary, the lift forces are the most efficient means of thrust but being more subtle than drag forces the former forces are not so well understood. These are the basic features characterizing drag and lift force.

  • Drag force is in the air flow’s direction whereas lift force is perpendicular to the direction of airflow.
  • Whenever lift force is generated, it causes a certain amount of drag to be developed.
  • Generally, lift devices are more efficient than drag devices. This should have helped you understand the principle of wind energy conversion.

What is Accurate Wind Energy Definition and Examples?

After understanding principle of wind energy conversion, let’s learn about wind energy definition and examples. The wind energy definition simply states that wind energy is sustainable since it is clean, renewable, and abundant. Wind turbines turn the energy of the wind into electricity every day all around the world. Clean, renewable energy from the wind is becoming increasingly essential as a source of global power.

Power from the wind can be converted into usable electricity thanks to the invention of wind turbines. When the wind is blowing, the blades spin in a clockwise direction, generating power for the turbine. This causes the wind turbine’s primary shaft, coupled to a gearbox within the nacelle, to rotate. The wind power is transferred from the gearbox to the generator. A transformer then steps in to convert the voltage of the electricity so that it is compatible with the rest of the grid.

Examples of Wind Energy are-

Typically, wind farms are used to generate wind energy. Onshore wind farms are often utilized for other purposes, such as grazing animals. Some are offshore, which implies they’re over water.

  • The first wind farm ever built was in New Hampshire. It can be found atop Crotched Mountain in this state. U.S. Wind power, the developers, installed 200 wind turbines with a combined producing capacity of 600 kW.
  • Alta Wind Energy Center, often known as the Mojave Wind Farm, is the world’s second-largest onshore wind energy facility. It has 600 turbines with considerable additional expansion planned. It can produce 1,550 MW at present, and that number might rise to 3,050 MW with future expansion. Wisely positioned in California’s Tehachapi Pass, between San Joaquin and the Mojave Desert, the location is very windy.
  • Currently, Walney is the world’s largest offshore wind farm. It is situated in the Irish Sea off the coast of Cumbria, England. It holds an enormous capacity of generating about 659 MW of power. It powers up to 600,000 homes.
  • China is now in the midst of constructing the Gansu Wind Farm. Construction of the enormous onshore wind farm has begun in the desert not far from the Jiuquan province. By 2020, we hope to have completed this project. The facility’s intended output is 20 gigawatts.

Also Read: 5 Major Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydroelectric Energy

What are the Types of Wind Energy?

The wind is theoretically a form of solar energy because it is created by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the imperfections of the planet’s surface, and the rotation of the earth. The kinetic energy of the airflows around the planet is harnessed by wind turbines, which are then converted into electricity. In a nutshell, wind turbines use the rotation of the blades to generate electricity by turning a generator. The blades of a wind turbine are turned by the wind, which in turn spins a shaft attached to a generator.

Depending on the location of the wind turbines, there are currently two distinct types of wind energy.

1. Onshore wind energy: By capturing the wind in land-based wind farms, onshore wind energy is responsible for generating electricity. As a means to this purpose, we set up wind turbines that can convert the kinetic energy of the wind into usable power that is then fed into the grid.

2. Offshore wind energy: This type of wind energy is obtained by using the force of the wind that is produced on the high seas. Here the wind energy reaches a more constant and higher speed than on land. This happens because the high seas have the absence of barriers. Megastructures are installed in order to make the most out of this resource. These structures are seated on the seabed and are also equipped with the latest technological innovations.

What are Some Uses of Wind Energy?

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Wind energy is a very popular form of renewable energy and it’s used in many sectors. These are some uses of wind energy-

  • Wind Power Generation: Creating electricity is a common application of wind power. A wind turbine is used to convert the wind’s kinetic energy into usable electricity. The wind turns the blades of the turbine, which spins a generator, which in turn generates power.
  • Transportation: Wind power can also be put to use in the transportation sector. Wind power has been used for sailing by civilizations for thousands of years. Sailing may have existed in its modern form as early as 5000 BC, according to the available evidence. In modern times, we have witnessed both little and huge ships that can sail using only the power of the wind.
  • Producing Food: The harvesting of crops has long made use of wind energy. Windmills were commonly employed to grind grain into flour before the advent of modern industrial milling machinery.
  • Pumping water: In addition to the previously mentioned applications, a wind pump can also be used to pump water using only wind energy. Although they resemble classic windmills, modern wind pumps are used to move water rather than grain.
  • Sports or wind sports: Wind sports are a fun way to put wind power to work. Some sports that harness the power of the wind are: Windsurfing is a type of sailing in which a mast and sail are mounted to a surfboard, which the sailor stands on to steer. Sailing is a more conventional application of wind power, and it is employed in competitive sports where individuals or teams race against one another.

Also See: 10 Ocean Energy Advantages and Disadvantages

What are the Advantages of Wind Energy?

The advantages of wind energy are as follows:

  • Wind energy is a green source of power: The process begins with a wind turbine that is turned by the wind. The structure’s kinetic energy from the wind spins a generator to produce power. All but the lightest winds can be converted into electricity by today’s wind turbines. Wind power doesn’t contribute to global warming because it doesn’t release any greenhouse gases throughout the electricity generation process.
  • Wind is a sustainable source of electricity: Wind power also has the added benefit of being a sustainable source of energy. It is generated by the wind, a renewable resource that is never depleted. It comes from a non-depletable source and has zero carbon emissions. Wind power is analogous to solar power in some respects.
  • Wind energy has cheap running costs: Unlike some other energy sources, the cost of fuel for generating electricity from wind is zero. Maintenance is the only significant ongoing expense once the wind turbine has been installed. The wind is a clean, renewable, and cost-effective solution as the globe decarbonizes electricity generation in the future.

What are the Disadvantages of Wind Energy?

The disadvantages of wind energy are as follows:

  • Wind turbines pose a threat to various forms of animals: When it comes to wildlife, wind turbines may be devastating. Bats and birds are smacked by them, and their sonar systems can’t find their way around turbines. While migratory birds and species with low reproductive rates are particularly vulnerable, scientists are exploring novel solutions to mitigate the threat to these animals.
  • Wind turbines can produce a roaring sound: Mechanical noise from the generators inside the turbines is added to the aerodynamic noise from the blades cutting through the air. Although the noise may have an effect on the wildlife, it usually won’t be noticeable until you’re right there.
  • Location is a limiting factor for wind power: Wind energy is not a universal solution. The investment only makes sense in locations with strong and consistent wind. Wind doesn’t always blow, even in the best possible locations, such as at the shore, on top of a hill, or in a wide-open field. Intermittency describes how energy production drops off or ceases altogether when wind speeds drop or die down.

Also Read: Advantages and Disadvantages of Tidal Energy

Is there Any Limitation of Wind Energy Conversion?

If you are wondering is there any limitation of wind energy conversion, then yes, there are certain limitations of wind energy as well. Some of the limitations are as follows-

  • Wind can only travel at a certain speed, reducing the amount of kinetic energy that can be extracted from it.
  • Wind velocity varies throughout time. Since the rate of change is inconsistent, it can’t be used to reliably generate energy. It’s out of anyone’s hands.
  • It takes a long time to get a substantial amount of energy from wind production.
  • If you want to harness wind power, you’ll need to create a lot of room to set up wind farms. When a vast area is consumed, it changes the surrounding area. As a result, the cost to manufacture goes up.
  • Low wind speeds prevent you from generating enough power.
  • Wind power is susceptible to seasonal and climatic shifts. Unfortunately, wind power is not always available.

So, What’s the Takeaway?

In the future, wind power will generate more than 35% of the world’s electricity, making it the primary power source. Nearly a quarter of the annual worldwide CO2 emission reductions needed by 2050 might be achieved by implementing this strategy. According to a recent study by the Global Wind Energy Council, the renewable energy sector as a whole has the potential to add up to 3,3 million jobs over the course of the next five years.

This blog attempt to throw light upon what is wind energy, wind energy definition and examples, is wind energy renewable, types of wind energy, uses of wind energy, advantages of wind energy, disadvantages of wind energy, examples of wind energy, the principle of wind energy conversion, limitation of wind energy conversion, and the like. Understanding different aspects of different energy sources are necessary, it lets you be up-to-date with the changing trends in the energy sector in the world.

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