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How wind energy is converted to electrical energy

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How wind energy is converted to electrical energy

Introduction

Wind energy is one of the types of solar energy. Winds are formed when there is irregular warming of the atmosphere by the sun, unevenness of the earth surface and rotary motion of the earth (Chiras D. 2010. pp 23). Vegetation, water bodies and the earth’s terrain modify the movement of wind in the atmosphere. The flow of wind can be harvested with the help of wind turbines to assist in the generation of electricity. Conversion of wind energy into electrical energy has gained popularity in the recent past due to the increased demand of electric energy in the society. However, wind energy contributes a small percentage of the electrical energy used worldwide. This report will thus describe the process by which wind energy is converted into electrical energy.


The process of converting wind energy to electrical energy

The process of converting wind energy into electrical energy involves turning of turbines which then turn electricity generators (Chiras D. 2010.pp 34). Generators used in generating electricity from wind energy have copper coil spins that are held between several magnets. This creates an electrical which is then turned into electric current. The direct current is then passed through various rectifiers change the direct current into alternating current. Alternating current is the most commonly used type of electric current. In this connection, the alternating currents generated from wind energy are supplied to users or electricity plants for distribution across wide areas. During the conversion of wind energy into electrical energy, wind turbines are the machines that are used in turning kinetic energy into electrical energy. The machines used in this process help in grinding or pumping water. In addition, a generator is also used in converting wind energy into electricity that is used different areas.

The above picture shows that wind is used to rotate blades that turn the electric generator hence converting wind energy into electric power. Moving air rotates the blades which are connected to a shaft that is at a low speed. The low speed shaft is also joined to a gear which helps in turning another shaft at a high speed. This high speed shaft is joined to a generator. In addition, the high speed of the shaft produces electricity which is sent through cables to a grid from where it is distributed to the users (Dan C. 2009. pp56).


Machines

Generation of electric power from wind energy requires the use of two main machines. These machines are the wind turbines and generators. Wind generators have blades whose rotation help to convert wind into electric power. In addition, the wind generators have shafts which rotate to turn alternators to generate electricity. A Wind turbine is a machine that is used in the conversion of wind energy into electric energy. Wind turbines change the kind energy contained in wind into mechanical energy that is used in rotating electric generators. Rotating wind energy is immediately changed into electric energy by the generator. Wind turbines and generators are connected through gears which help turn the generators at an increased speed than the speed of the turbine. In addition, power electronic controls are fitted to convert electricity energy into the right frequency and voltage and this is finally fed into the power grid for distribution (Gipe P. 2004.pp 78).

Wind turbines change moving air and rotate an electric generator hence forming electricity. The wind turbine rotates blades which are connected to a generator to make electricity. A wind turbine is composed of various parts. One of these components is a blade that is used to convert wind energy into rotational power. The blades used in wind turbines make use of engineered airfoils that are connected to the alternator and these blades therefore trap the energy released from the alternating wind. The drive train on the other hand is used turning kinetic energy into electric energy because it has a generator. In addition, a wind turbine has a tower that provides support to the drive train (Manassas V. 2010.pp 45). Cables, controls, support equipment and interconnection equipment form the other components of a wind turbine. Several wind turbines can be grouped together in a single wind electric generation plant in order to generate large quantity of electricity. There are various sizes of wind turbines and thus the electricity generated depends on the size of wind turbine used (Gipe P. 2004. pp89). In order to increase the efficiency of a wind turbine, three blades are appropriate for the wind turbine. In this connection, power generators should ensure that they make use of good quality wind turbines in order to increase efficiency in generating electricity from wind turbines.


Objects

There are various objects that are used in the generation of electricity from wind energy. These objects include the blades which are fitted into the wind turbine in order to convert wind energy into kinetic energy. The wind turbines also have other objects such as controls, support equipment and cables which help in the generation of electricity from wind. In addition, a generator is also fixed to the wind turbine in order to generate electricity.

The concept or theory of converting wind energy into electrical energy

Wind energy is currently a reliable and proven expertise that is used in the generation of electricity. Wind energy has been used to turn turbines to generate electricity. Turbines are rotary engines that make energy from wind and convert it into useful energy such as electricity. Wind turbines will have blades that are moved by wind into rotational energy. The theory of operation is applied in the conversion of wind energy into electrical energy. This theory shows that a moving fluid contains potential energy as well as kinetic energy. This fluid can be compressed in order to tap the energy produced in such fluids. According to Gipe, P, 2004, pp 35, various principles are used to get energy from wind turbines. Wind turbines change the speed and direction of the flow of wind. The force of makes he energy from the turbines to flow at reduced kinetic energy. However, the pressure of wind in the blades of the turbines does not change and this shows that reduction in pressure takes place in static blades. Wind pressure changes before reaching the turbines and this accelerates the wind in the turbines leading to the generation of electricity. A pressure casement is required in wind turbines to hold the moving wind as it works on the generator in order to generate electricity (Hau E. 2005.pp 56). In this connection, the theory of operation is used in the conversion of wind energy into kinetic energy.


References:

Chiras D. 2010. Wind Power Basics. Canada. New Society Publishers

Dan C. 2009. Power from the wind: Achieving energy independence. Canada. New Society

Publishers

Gipe P. 2004. Wind power: Revised Edition: Renewable energy for home, farm and business. Chelsea. Chelsea Green Publishing Company

Hau E. 2005. Wind Turbines: Fundamentals, technology, application, economics. New York. Springer publishers

Manassas V. 2010. Exploring wind energy: students guide. New York. Penguin publishers

 

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