Winds of Change: Exploring the Promise and Challenges of Windmill Projects in Modern Energy Production

Renewable Wind Energy

Renewable power production is increasing rapidly globally as innovation cuts down its costs. This has enabled delivery of the promises of a clean energy future (Boyle, 2004). Moreover, countries like the United Kingdom and United States of America are breaking records and integrating its renewable energy generation into the national electricity grid with little or no compromise to its reliability (Liserre et al., 2010). This is an indication that, renewables are rapidly displacing fossil fuels which are associated with the increased global pollution and the current climate change. Moreover, renewable energy is associated with lower carbon emissions. However, not all energy market as renewable are beneficial to the environment; for instance, large hydroelectric dams as well as biomass creates challenging trade-offs while considering its impact to the climate change and the environment (Liserre et al., 2010). Basically, renewable energy is a clean energy which originate from natural sources and which are constantly replenished. Example of these sources includes wind, sunlight, etc. Tough renewable energy is thought to be new technology, harnessing the power of nature has been utilised for lighting drying, transportations among other uses. For instance, boat powered by wind sailed the huge waters many decades ago. Moreover, windmills has long ago been used to grind grain (Teleke et al.., 2010). However, for many years ago, humans have been increasingly turning to cheaper and dirtier sources of energy like coal. Today, there is increasing innovations well as less-expensive methods of capturing and retaining wind and solar energy. Some of the ways of capturing renewable energies include solar panel and windmill. This report discuss wind mill project its advantage and disadvantage in the energy production sector.

Wind Turbine

This refers to a machine which generate rotary mechanical energy from the conversion of kinetic energy. This rotational energy is then turned into electricity (Wagner et al., 2012). In most turbines, its blades turns between thirteen and twenty revolutions per minute, based on the technology used to build the turbine. The turbines have blades which have certain curved shape, which resemble aerofoil wing of an aeroplane. Once wind blows past the wings, the wind moves the blades upward with a force known as lift. Moreover, once the wind blow past the blade of the turbine, it spins. While moving air is losing kinetic energy, the turbine on the other hand are gaining some kinetic energy (Howell et al., 2010). The energy amount which is made by the turbine is proportional to the section which the rotor blades sweeps. Hence can be said the larger the rotor blades, the larger the amount of energy generated. Moreover, if the wind is too fast, the more the energy generated.

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However, it is vital to understand that, wind has variation with time hence the produced electricity varies too. Therefore, linking large and several turbines together is perceived as the most effective solution to the varying energy supply.

Building a Wind Power Turbine

Key parts

Blades- acts as wind barriers. Once wind is blocked, it forces the blade to move, transmitting energy to the rotors.

Shaft –once rotor spin, the shaft also spins.

Generator: produces energy in terms of voltage.

Building the turbine

Planning the Wind Turbines

1. Assessing the average wind speed and the location of the turbine. Studies suggest that, for most effective electricity generation and efficiency, wind should reach a speed of between 7 to 10 miles per hour. (Wu & Porté-Agel, 2011). To find the annual average however, it can perform better at any area with average wind speed

2. Learning building code which are related to wind turbines. These codes changes from one place to another therefore enquiring is very important to make sure that the turbine do not violate these code. These codes stipulates the best area to locate turbine and location of turbine in an area.

3. Evaluating spacing each wind turbine. Though they do not require spacing, avoiding potential conflict is very critical.

4. Choosing between DIY and pre-made wind turbine blades. The type of blades used often affect the design of the turbine. The blades of the turbines should be pitched and sized effectiveness. Individual blades can be made from PVC pipes or wood. Blades in one turbine are usually three in number (Kusiak & Li, 2011).

5. Choosing a generator. The turbines are connected to generator for electricity production. Direct current (DC) generator are the most common generators, meaning it has to be connected to a power inverter to convert the power to alternating current. Moreover, AC generators are also available though may have some challenges. Moreover, the generator is lined to a deep-cycle battery bank. This provides power security during low-wind periods.

The Spindle assembling

1. Assembling the spindle. Several wind turbine kits have spindle which is welded. This therefore depend on whether the materials are assembled or purchased.

2. Sliding the hub into place in the spindle. To restrict friction build up and deterioration of the spindle/hub, a bearing should be placed between the two parts.

3. The lower spoke flange is attached to the hub.

4. Connecting the spokes.

5. The four studs are attached to the upper flange of the turbine. The studs are threaded and everyone should be six centimetre and 0. 635 cm) in thickness (Kusiak & Li, 2011).

Magnets mounting in the Wind Turbine

1. The lower magnet rotor is placed onto the studs. However, care should be taken while handling magnets since they can result in serious injury if handled carelessly.

2. Making the magnet rotor, where necessary. For personal made magnet rotor, magnets are needed to be distributed equally around the rotor edge. Drawing a magnet placement template is critical to avid misplacement.

3. Placing a spacers on the studs. Care should be taken also since spacers with unequal in length may create the upper magnet disk slanted position which could negatively impact the turbine efficiency (Kusiak & Li, 2011).

4. Placing the turbine stator above the lower magnet rotor. This is a series of wires which are coiled which are significant part of the generator.

5. Making wider stator for individual made stators. The stator is required to be wider and this can be constructed from homemade material such as nails and scrap wood. While making personal stator it is important to check the start and the end of the stator coils.

6. Placing the upper magnet rotor. This should be done with caution as it’s among the most unsafe part of the turbine construction.

Finalising the assembly

These steps includes

1. Removing the assembly from the spindle.

2. Welding the spindle flange to the turbine

3. Installing a bracket for the spindle as well as stator

4. Placing a tapered roller bearing on the spindle

5. Attaching the main assembly of the turbine.

6. Fastening the stator as well as completing the turbine using a grease cap.

Installing Turbine Electrical Components

These steps includes

1. Connecting a charge controller to the circuit.

2. Connecting a wire which is insulated to the controller of charge

3. Threading a wire which is insulated via the shaft’s tower and base

4. Connecting to a battery.

Working Mechanism of The Wind Turbine

1. Wind which has kinetic energy moves towards rotor blades of the turbine.

2. The rotor spins around, capturing the kinetic energy of the winds therefore turning the central drive shaft which supports the rotors. Though there is a fast movement at the rotor blades’ outer edge while the centre axle usually moves slowly.

3. In some rotor blades swivels on the hub and meets the wind at the most convenient angle Which produces maximum energy.

4. The gearbox turns the drive shaft low-speed rotation -16 rpm into high-speed which is mostly 1600 rpm for big turbine which is sufficient to drive the efficiently the generator.

5. Simultaneously, the generators receives kinetic energy from drive shaft which is usually spinning and then convert it into electrical power. With an average generator of 2MW turbine, there is production of two million watts of power at also most seven hundred volts.

6. Anemometers as well as wind vanes placed at the nacelle provide measurement on direction of wind as well as the speed.

7. The generated current from the generator flows via a wire to a of tower of the turbine

8. A step-up transformer the upgrades the generated electricity up to 50 times higher voltage for efficient transmission of power to the power grid or power storage. Power to the flowing to the grid is upgraded further into greater higher voltage of about 130,000 volts and above by a substation.

9. The electricity from the circuit is suppler to hoes and other appliances and they may enjoy green energy.

Benefits Of Wind Turbine

It produces energy which is cost-effective. Studies suggest that, land wind turbines are cost effective and are the most lowest-priced sources of energy available currently. The cost of the power is approximately between 2-6 cents per kilowatt-hour, based on the source of wind as well as the particular financing and project (Yingcheng & Nengling, 2011). Since this electricity is sold at a fixed price for many years, and it is fuel is free, hence mitigating the uncertainty of fuel prices.

Wind energy generation has enabled the growth of industry in many states and well increase competitiveness. Additionally, it has an annual economic effects to each country economy. The United States for instance has huge domestic resources as well as highly-skilled workforce, and may compete in clean energy economy (Yingcheng & Nengling, 2011).

Wind turbines produces the cleanest source of energy. The source of energy has no pollution to the air like other sources of power such as power plants which relies on fossil fuel combustion like coal which emit sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. These product caused economic damages and human health problems. Basically, the turbines do not emit atmospheric emissions which result in acidic rain.

Both domestic and industrial Wind Turbines are Available. Unlike the general knowledge, turbines are not limited to huge wind farms. There are small turbines which can be placed in many places. These small turbines are suitable in factories, large private residents and homes (Esteban et al., 2011). Moreover, wind turbines which are portable are now available and can produce power which is enough to power small devices. Besides, some domestic wind turbines can assist in providing part of a residential supply of electricity. Such small turbine installation are integrated with other renewable energy sources. For instance, they can be installed alongside solar panel. Moreover, small and homemade wind turbines are safe home energy sources. Studies suggest that, globally, wind is inexhaustible and abundant. For instance, for the last decade, the United States cumulative wind power capacity has increased per year, hence being the largest renewable generation in homes.

Wind turbines produces Renewable & Sustainable. Winds result from atmosphere heating by the sun. This means that, as long as there is sunshine, there is wind which produces energy and which can be, harnessed and either stored or integrated into circuit. Fortunately, unlike fossil fuels, this energy will never be exhausted.

The turbines have a small footprint. Regardless of the fact that they tower high above the ground, the effect created in land is very minimal. Additionally, turbines are mostly located in on hilltops as well as out at sea. These areas poses minimal challenges and inconveniences to the surrounding land. This indicate that, farming can continue as usual. Animal can graze and as well. Fishermen can still trawl the sea. This is unlike other sources of energy such hydroelectric power which involve collection of water which changes activities in the surrounding.

Wind turbine have Huge Potential. Wind energy mostly everywhere in the world hence making it more accessible. Additionally, the turbine do not need significant wind speeds for it to be efficient (Borg et al., 2012). This indicate that, the turbine placement is very crucial. However, scholars suggest that, most areas are suitable for wind turbines and huge wind farms. The vital aspect in this case is that, wind energy is less limited compared to other sources of renewable energy sources. For instance, geothermal power plants are only located where there is geothermal activity which is close to the earth surface. Furthermore, hydroelectric dams only requires a suitable river as well as good catchment area for electricity to be produced.

Turbines are associated with a low risk of accidents. With the global increase in accidents especially in power production plants, wind energy is perceived to be more safe form of energy especially for people. For instance, compared to nuclear energy, which usually have very serious consequences when they occur, wind energy generation can be said to be safe.

Turbines have Increased Energy Security globally. Through wind power, there has power challenges across the world have been solved. For instance, countries like the United Kingdom and United States of America are breaking records and integrating its renewable energy generation into the national electricity grid with little or no compromise to its reliability. Through the use of wind energy to create electricity, the dependence on fossil fuels is reduced. Politics, war as well as overall demand for fossil fuels dictate their price. This has been known to create economic challenges and supply shortages. Via use of wind power, states can reduce its dependency on external supplies of natural resources. This is a source of direct energy security.

Disadvantages of Wind turbine

Its energy Fluctuates. Just like solar energy, wind energy fluctuate. Though the energy is sustainable and there is no possibility of eliminating it, the speed of wind does changes. This results to serious challenges in terms of the efficiency of a wind turbine (Wagner et al., 2012). This challenge has therefore forced utility companies to do more investment in researching the most appropriate locations for wind power. Studies also suggest that, for the turbine to be effective and efficient, there is need for adequate wind energy supply. This means that, find wind turbines are located on hilltops or out at sea where there are fewer land obstacles which interfere with the wind force.

Wind Turbines Are Expensive. Regardless of the fact that wind turbine reduce the cost of energy, first installation and maintenance are very expensive. Most of the expense result from the fact that, an engineer should carry out site survey (Wagner et al., 2012). This might also involve erecting of research turbine which are meant to assess wind speeds for some period of time. If the condition is deemed adequate, the actual turbine are purchased, transported and as well installed. These process results to the high cost of buying and installing the turbines. However, compared to the sea, land wind farm is more expensive regardless of the fact that installing structures in the sea is more complex compared to land.

Wind Turbines are a threat to Wildlife. These turbines are placed high above the ground and poses threat to flying animals such as bats and birds. However, studies suggest that, the threat is less compared to other manmade structures (Kusiak & Li, 2011). Moreover, the study suggest that, radio towers and cell phone masts pose more threat to birds compared to wind turbines. However, it has been discovered that the wind turbines contribute to death of bats and birds.

Wind Turbines Are Noisy. Wind turbine produce noise pollution. Some turbines can be heard from hundred metres away based on the wind direction. Moreover, with several wind turbines and the right wind direction and the noise produced can be very audible. This is suggested to be one of the challenge of wind energy. Studies suggest that, the noise pollution from the turbines has made the lives of many homeowners unbearable. However, caution is taken to install these turbines away from residential areas (Kusiak & Li, 2011).

The turbines causes eye discomfort. Some individual who do not live near wind farm suggest that, these turbines are beautiful and majestic to look at. However, other people find them less attractive, and even detrimental to the environmental beauty. Some people have even gone ahead to sign petition to eradicate turbines from areas near the community (Tong, 2010).

Turbines have been revealed to contribute to Poor Television Reception. Regardless of the effiorts applied to install turbines in places with little population, there are also chances that some people reside around these turbines. With the current increase in technology, there are chances that all these people have televisions. Turbines being huge and in spinning, motion, local television as well as radio signals are negatively affected.

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Conclusion

Renewable power production is increasing rapidly globally as innovation cuts down its costs. This has enabled delivery of the promises of a clean energy future (Boyle, 2004). Moreover, countries like the United Kingdom and United States of America are breaking records and integrating its renewable energy generation into the national electricity grid with little or no compromise to its reliability. There are various advantages and disadvantages of wind turbine. For instance, the turbine creates unstable energy, is environmental friendly, has reduced the use of fossil fuel, have small footprint hence are land economical, and can be used for both residential and industrial use. Moreover, it is associated with many disadvantages such as; its energy generation fluctuate, they are expensive to buy, install and maintain, they are threat to wildlife, create noise pollution and as well, create visual discomfort. Regardless of the many disadvantages which have been listed the wind turbines remains among the cleanest as well as most environmentally friendly energy source available globally. Moreover, wind turbines as well as their blades are key to the global fight against global warming. By generating more environmental friendly power, wind turbines have greatly reduced the global reliance on conventional power plants which has great risk of pollution.

References

Boyle, G., 2004. Renewable energy. Renewable Energy, by Edited by Godfrey Boyle, pp. 456. Oxford University Press, May 2004. ISBN-10: 0199261784. ISBN-13: 9780199261789, p.456.

Borg, M., Collu, M. and Brennan, F.P., 2012, September. Offshore floating vertical axis wind turbines: advantages, disadvantages, and dynamics modelling state of the art. In The International Conference on Marine & Offshore Renewable Energy (MORE 2012) (pp. 26-27). RINA HQ London.

Esteban, M.D., Diez, J.J., López, J.S. and Negro, V., 2011. Why offshore wind energy?. Renewable Energy, 36(2), pp.444-450.

Howell, R., Qin, N., Edwards, J. and Durrani, N., 2010. Wind tunnel and numerical study of a small vertical axis wind turbine. Renewable energy, 35(2), pp.412-422.

Kusiak, A. and Li, W., 2011. The prediction and diagnosis of wind turbine faults. Renewable Energy, 36(1), pp.16-23.

Liserre, M., Sauter, T. and Hung, J.Y., 2010. Future energy systems: Integrating renewable energy sources into the smart power grid through industrial electronics. IEEE industrial electronics magazine, 4(1), pp.18-37.

Schubel, P.J. and Crossley, R.J., 2012. Wind turbine blade design. Energies, 5(9), pp.3425-3449.

Teleke, S., Baran, M.E., Bhattacharya, S. and Huang, A.Q., 2010. Rule-based control of battery energy storage for dispatching intermittent renewable sources. IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy, 1(3), pp.117-124.

Tong, W., 2010. Wind power generation and wind turbine design. WIT press.

Wagner, S., Bareiss, R. and Guidati, G., 2012. Wind turbine noise. Springer Science & Business Media.

Wu, Y.T. and Porté-Agel, F., 2011. Large-eddy simulation of wind-turbine wakes: evaluation of turbine parametrisations. Boundary-layer meteorology, 138(3), pp.345-366.

Yingcheng, X. and Nengling, T., 2011. Review of contribution to frequency control through variable speed wind turbine. Renewable Energy, 36(6), pp.1671-1677.


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