Wind Elecrical Power Generators -HOME arrow Design Library
Friday, 14 November 2008
Introduction to Wind Power
Wind energy
Wind into Watts
The wind generator
Turbine siting
Grid management

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Wind turbine design and wind farm design for wind power generation, wind speed maps and wind forecast for wind electricity generation.

TUTORIAL On Wind Forecasting
Essential Tips to ensure the success of your location ....
Anatomy and characteristics of the wind generator


A typical small wind generator has rotor that is directly coupled to the generator which produces electricity either at 120/240 volt alternating current for direct domestic use or at 12/24 volt direct current for battery charging. Larger machines generate 3 phase electricity. There is often a tail vane which keeps the rotor orientated into the wind. Some wind-machines have a tail vane which is designed for automatic furling (turning the machine out of the wind) at high wind speeds to prevent damage. Larger machines have pitch controlled blades (the angle at which the blades meet the wind is controlled) which achieve the same function. The tower is of low solidity to prevent wind interference and are often guyed to give support to the tower.

Figure 2: The Practical Action small wind turbine.

Grid connected or battery charging

Depending on the circumstances, the distribution of electricity from a wind machine can be carried out in one of various ways. Commonly, larger machines are connected to a grid distribution network. This can be the main national network, in which case electricity can be sold to the electricity utility (providing an agreement can be made between the producer and the grid) when an excess is produced and purchased when the wind is low.

Using the national grid helps provide flexibility to the system and does away with the need for a back-up system when windspeeds are low. Micro-grids distribute electricity to smaller areas, typically a village or town. When wind is used for supplying electricity to such a grid, a diesel generator set is often used as a backup for the periods when windspeeds are low. Alternatively, electricity storage can be used but this is an expensive option. Hybrid systems use a combination of two or more energy sources to provide electricity in all weather conditions. The capital cost for such a system is high but subsequent running costs will be low compared with a pure diesel system.

In areas where households are widely dispersed or where grid costs are prohibitively expensive, battery charging is an option. For people in rural areas a few tens of watts of power are sufficient for providing lighting and a source of power for a radio or television. Batteries can be returned to the charging station occasionally for recharging. This reduces the inconvenience of an intermittent supply due to fluctuating windspeeds. 12 and 24 volt direct current wind generators are commercially available which are suitable for battery charging applications. Smaller turbines (50 -150 watt) are available for individual household connection.

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