WIND ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES

WIND ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES

A new challenge: predictable capacities

Wind energy has reached a significant level in European power networks, and several power companies in Germany predict that in future, the proportion might reach 30%. There is a down side to wind energy, though. Generators inevitably involve periods during which there is no wind, and that means that people see this as an “untrustworthy” source of energy. This means thinking about reserve capacities to use when there is no wind and the turbines are not operational.

Wind energy is a basic roadmap

All renewable energy comes from the Sun, but of all of the rays of the Sun, less than 2% turn into wind. Still, even this small amount is much larger than the energy which all of the world's plants turn into biomass.

Generators and transmission systems

A generator in a wind turbine transforms the mechanical energy that is produced by the rotors into electric current that can be linked to a network. Transmission systems transport the energy to generators, and they usually have gears which make it possible to speed up the process and reduce the role of torsion.

Costs and economics

Modern commercial wind turbines can produce electricity at a range of a few kilowatts to 2,500 kilowatts. The price of turbines can differ even if their nominal capacity is the same. The price is affected by the diameter of the rotor, the area that is split by the wings, and the height of the tower.

Connections to power grids

One of the economic factors that limits the use of wind energy in Europe is that electric grids tend to be weak in those places that are most advantageous for wind turbines. The main problem is that distribution systems have been set up to divide up capacity among consumers, not to collect energy and enter it into the grid.