Wind Turbine | Working and Types of Wind Turbine

How Does Wind Turbine Work?

There is a light weight turbine of large diameter attached to the top of a supporting tower of sufficient height. When wind strikes on the turbine blades, the turbine rotates due to their typical design and alignment. The shaft of the turbine is coupled with an electrical generator. The output of the generator is collected through electric power cable.

Working of Wind Turbine

wind turbin When the wind strikes the rotor blades, blades start to rotating. Rotor is directly connected to high speed gearbox. Gearbox converts the rotor rotation into high speed which rotates the electrical generator. An exciter is needed to give the required excitation to the coil so that it can generate required voltage. The exciter current is controlled by a turbine controller which senses the wind speed based on that it calculate the power what we can achieve at that particular wind speed.
Then output voltage of electrical generator is given to a rectifier and rectifier output is given to line converter unit to stabilize the output AC that is feed to the grid by a high voltage transformer. An extra units is used to give the power to internal auxiliaries of wind turbine (like motor, battery etc.), this is called Internal Supply unit. ISU can take the power from grid as well as from wind. Chopper is used to dissipate extra energy from the RU for safety purpose.
Internal Block diagram of wind turbine

Types of Wind Turbine

There are generally two kinds of wind turbines. Horizontal axis and vertical axis. Horizontal axis is divided as upwind and downwind whereas vertical axis is divided as a drag based and lift based as shown in below.
  • Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine or HAWT - Up wind
  • Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine or HAWT - Down wind
  • Vertical Axis Wind Turbine or VAWT - Drag based
  • Vertical Axis Wind Turbine or VAWT - Lift based

horizontal axis wind turbin In Horizontal Axis Up Wind turbine, the shaft of turbine and alternator both are aligned horizontally and the turbine blades are placed at the front of the turbine that means air strikes the turbine blades before the tower. In the case of Vertical Axis Down Wind turbine the shafts of the rotor and generator are also placed horizontally but turbine blades are placed after the turbine that means the wind strikes the tower before the blades. Vertical Axis Wind Turbine If we observe VAWT drag based turbine, the generator shaft is located vertically with the blades positioning up and the turbines are normally mounted on the ground or on a tiny tower. This type is also called the Savonius turbine, after its inventor, S.I. Savonius. In the case of VAWT lift based turbine, the generator shaft is placed vertically with the blade's position is up.
Now days Horizontal axis wind turbines are most popular because of high efficiency. Since the blades always move perpendicularly to the wind, and receive power through the whole rotation.

History of Wind Turbine

Using wind energy is not a new concept. It was being using from long past but for different purposes other than producing electricity. It was long before invention of electricity, the Chinese and Persian people used windmill for pumping water, breaking up grain and sawing lumber etc. It was long before invention of electricity.

There are mainly two types of wind turbine, namely vertical axis and horizontal axis turbine. The first wind turbine was designed as vertical axis where a number of sails attached around the vertical axes produce ration of rotor along the vertical axis of the system. The figure below shows a very old design of vertical axis wind turbine. vertical axis wind turbine After that horizontal axis wind mill was designed in the British Isles, Northern Europe. Horizontal axis wind mills were most popularly utilized in Holland in 14th century. These windmills carried out lots of tasks for example timber milling, pumping water for farming etc. Netherlands is another European country which utilized windmill popularly at that time. Horizontal Axis Windmill In the late 19th century in the American mid-west farmers came to put your faith in a leaner design characteristic a trestle tower topped by wooden or steel paddle-type blades. Between 1850 and 1970, more than six million mostly small means 1 horsepower or less mechanical output wind turbines were installed in the U.S. only and the most important use was water-pumping and the major purpose were store water for home water needs. In 1891 Danish meteorologist, Poul La Cour designed an electrical output wind turbine replicating the aerodynamic design principles that were used in European tower mills. In Denmark, 1900 the biggest machines were on 24 meter (79 ft) tower with four-bladed 23 meter (75 ft) diameter rotors and generating 30 MW. In the 1920s, wind generated electrical systems began to follow the design of airplane propellers and monoplane wings. In 1950’s the world’s first alternating current wind turbines comes in the picture and credit goes to Johannes Juul, he is the best student of Paul La Cour (great scientist and known as his work on wind power). After that John Brown & Company in 1951, developed a first convenience grid-connected wind turbine which operated in the UK (United Kingdom). An over view about wind turbines. The figure given below contains some components of wind turbines.

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