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Wind Energy

B.Tech : VIII Semester 2017

• Wind is air in motion
• About 2% of total solar flux that reaches the earth’s
surface is transformed into wind energy due to uneven
heating of the atmosphere
• Daytime: Air over the land heats up faster than the air
over the oceans. Hot air expands and rises while cool
air from oceans rushes to fill the space
• Nighttime: Air cools more rapidly over the land than
• On a global scale low pressure exists near the Equator
due to greater heating, causing wind to blow from
subtropical belts towards Equator
• Wind is a form of solar energy.
• Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the
sun, the irregularities of the earth's surface, and rotation of the
• Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth's terrain, bodies of
water, and vegetative cover.
• This wind flow, or motion energy, when "harvested" by
modern wind turbines, can be used to generate electricity.
• Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into
mechanical power.
• This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as
grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this
mechanical power into electricity to power homes
Wind Turbines

• If the mechanical energy is used directly by

machinery, such as a pump or grinding stones,
the machine is usually called a windmill.
• If the mechanical energy is then converted to
electricity, the machine is called a wind
• Wind turbines are classified into two general
– horizontal axis and vertical axis.
Turbine Components

• Horizontal turbine components include:

– blade or rotor, which converts the energy in the wind to
rotational shaft energy;
– a drive train, usually including a gearbox and a generator;
– a tower that supports the rotor and drive train; and
– other equipment, including controls, electrical cables, ground
support equipment, and interconnection equipment.
• The rotor blades capture wind energy and transfer its
power to the rotor hub.
• The generator converts the mechanical energy of the
rotating shaft to electrical energy
• The gearbox increases the rotational speed of the shaft for
the generator.
Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

• They are not as common as their horizontal

• The main reason for this is that they do not
take advantage of the higher wind speeds at
higher elevations above the ground as
horizontal axis turbines.
• The axis of blade rotation is perpendicular to
the wind flow
Savonius Wind Turbine

• The Savonius turbine is S-shaped

if viewed from above.
• This drag-type VAWT turns
relatively slow, but yields a high
• It is useful for grinding grain,
pumping water, and many other
tasks, but its slow rotational
speeds make it unsuitable for
generating electricity on a large-
Darrieus Wind Turbine

• It is characterized by
its C-shaped rotor
• It is normally built
with two or three
• The Darrieus turbine is
not self starting. It
needs to start turbing
before the wind will
begin rotating it
Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines
• The axis of blade rotation is parallel to the
wind flow
Up-Wind Turbines
• Some wind turbines are designed to
operate in an upwind mode (with the
blades upwind of the tower).
• Large wind turbines use a motor-driven
mechanism that turns the machine in
response to a wind direction.
• Smaller wind turbines use a tail vane to
keep the blades facing into the wind.
Upwind HAWT with van Downwind HAWT
Upwind HAWT
Down-Wind Turbines
• Operate in a downwind mode so that the wind
passes the tower before striking the blades.
• Without a tail vane, the machine rotor
naturally tracks the wind in a downwind
Wind turbine Speeds
Various Wind speeds related for power
• Cut-in wind speed - This is the minimum wind
speed at which the machine begins to produce
• Design wind speed - speed at which the machine
reaches its maximum efficiency
• Cut-out speed - This is the speed at which the
turbine blades are brought to rest to avoid
damage from high winds. Also called as furling
• Survival wind speed - maximum speed the
structure can survive
The Four Forces Acting on an Airplane
• When an airfoil is
moved through the air,
it is capable of
producing lift.
• The forward part of an
airfoil is rounded and is
called the leading edge.
• The aft part is narrow
and tapered and is
called the trailing edge.
Airfoil: cross-section of a wing
• Aerodynamics is the way air moves around
• Aerodynamic design enables rotor blades to
capture most of the wind's kinetic energy.
• Lift is the force that pushes something
up. Drag is the force that tries to "drag" or
slow down an object.
Cp-λ curve
Tip Speed Ratio
The ratio of the speed of the rotor blade tips to the speed of the
wind is called the tip speed ratio.

If the rotor of the wind turbine spins too slowly, most of the wind will pass
straight through the gap between the blades, therefore giving it no power!

If the rotor spins too fast, the blades will blur and act like a solid wall to the

Also, rotor blades create turbulence as they spin through the air. If the next
blade arrives too quickly, it will hit that turbulent air. So, sometimes it is
actually better to slow down your blades!

Vtip R Where, Vtip=speed of the rotor

  ω=rotor angular speed rad/s
V V R= blade length (rotor radius)
V= free wind speed
Yaw-control system

• Adjusting the nacelle about the vertical axis to

bring the rotor facing the wind is known as yaw
• It continuously orients the rotor in the direction
of wind
• In small wind turbines, a tail van is used for
passive yaw control
• In large turbines, an active yaw control with
power steering and wind direction sensor is used
to maintain the orientation
Pitch-control system
• The pitch of a blade is controlled by rotating it
from its root, where it is connected to hub.
• The control system continuosly adjusts the
pitch to obtain optimal performance
• In modern machines, pitch control is
incorporated by controlling only the outer
20% length of the blade (i.e. tip), keeping the
remaining part of the blade as fixed
Stall-regulated system
• When the turbine blade are fixed at an
optimum angle and the machine is stalled
during high winds either by mechanical or
hydraulic systems
Now, you must be wondering why this is important. For a particular
generator, if the blade set spins too slowly then most of the wind will pass by
the rotor without being captured by the blades. If the blades spin too fast,
then the blades will always be traveling through used/turbulent wind. This is
because the blades will always be traveling through a location that the blade
in front of it just traveled through (and used up all the wind in that location).
It is important that enough time lapses between two blades traveling through
the same location so that new/unused wind can enter this location. Thus, the
next blade that passes through this location will be able to harness
fresh/unused wind. In short, if the blades are too slow they are not capturing
all the wind they could and if they are too fast, then the blades are spinning
through used/turbulent wind. For this reason, TSR’s are employed when
designing wind turbines so that the maximum amount of energy can be
extracted from the wind using a particular generator.
Wind turbine components (Source: NREL)
Important terms
Important terms
Important terms
Airfoil Nomenclature
Comparison of lift and drag device
An anemometer is a device used for measuring the speed of wind, and is also
a common weather station instrument.