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What factors affect the output of wind turbines?, posted in Industry, Wind Power, Wind Turbines.


Alternative Energy
Alternative Energy

What factors affect the output of wind turbines?

News » Energy | Biofuels | Environment | Hydrogen | Solar | Transportation | Wind
July 24th, 2009 - View Comments

Wind Turbine Output Wind energy is undoubtedly one of the cleanest forms of producing power from a renewable source. There is no pollution, there is no burning of fossil fuels, and unless something very drastic happens, you don’t run out of wind. But it’s not like you can erect a wind turbine anywhere and it will start generating power for you. There are lots of factors that can make an impact on the amount of energy you can generate out of wind.

Wind

It being a wind turbine, its output first most depends on the wind. Both the speed and force of the wind can be deciding factors. The more wind speed and force you have got, the greater is the amount of power your wind turbine generates. Different regions have different wind speeds. You can gather the available wind dynamics data and using a model like Webull Distribution you can calculate how effective the wind of a particular region is going to be.

Height

Places of higher altitudes have more wind due to various atmospheric factors. Besides, at higher places there is less obstruction from the surrounding hills, trees and building. In fact the height is so important that alternative energy scientists and engineers are trying to use kites (due to the heights they can easily reach) to tap the wind power.

Rotor

The amount of energy produced by your wind turbine is proportional to the size of the rotor used, when all other factors have been taken into consideration. A bigger rotor certainly generates more power. Although it may cost more, in the long run, whenever you are getting a wind turbine erected, go for a big a rotor as possible.

What do you think?

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  • Thomas Robert

    How and when do we take advantage of the homes that we already live in–the existing height along with a very economical turbine that will not take 6-10-yrs to return on investment? That’s what I am waiting for–something that does not require a separate tower and 5-10 thousand investment…..

  • Francisco A Roque

    Those big ass windmills are beyond ordinary costs, for the people able to afford it, and with a desire to help mother earth, the rest of us need to build our own at a most economic way, check all the information available and go for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alternative.energy.news Christopher

    Moving parts make the wind turbine a very ineffective option, it will always require maintenence, solar panels are the way to go.

  • Renewable Ray

    Building a small scale wind turbine [or 2 or 3] is so simple. No excuses, a couple of small homemade turbines in combination with a small solar system and battery bank is a lot more power then most people think. Stop thinking large scale.

    Also, if you are creative the parts to build a home wind turbine can come free. If the only thing you can think of is going to Home Depot, forget it.

  • Sidney Amis

    The rotors/drivetrains of modern day turbines are being reduced in size, yet put out the same amount of output as some of the larger ones. New maximum output Rotor designs and drive trains are yet to be seen commercially, but will be up and running soon. A company by the name of CDI has designed the “Next Generation of Ultimate Wind Turbine”. These turbines have only 2 blades and are modeled directly from the Apache Military Helicopter, with active lift control. They go down wind, oppose to upwind and will be utilizing a revolutionary converter/inverter technology.

    Soon smaller more cost effective versions of these monster turbines will make their way into residential/off grid use… Remember when satellite dishes and satellite tv first came out in the 80’s… remember how expensive and how big they were.

    We have only touched upon this renewable energy revolution… sit back and wait for things to happen before you make a major investment.

  • http://www.hhotek.com trevor hunter

    Wind energy is a extremely good idea IF you are in an area that can sustain it however most places do not have the wind to do so. We are based in NC and we do not have the source. So as a whole dollar vs power output solar is better in my opinion

  • Ron Karn

    The three factors mentioned above, wind speed, height, and rotor size are the most obvious, and probably most significant, but there are other factors that are important as well.

    The shape and amount of pitch of the rotor blades can have a fairly large impact on the efficiency of your rotor capturing the force of the wind. Another factor, although not quite as significant, is the efficiency of the bearings used with the shaft of your turbine. Drag from the wind on the rotor blades, and the drag on the bearings are both energy thieves. Another factor often over looked by home do-it-yourself installers, is the size and type of wire that is used to deliver the power generated to the source where it is consumed. Audio files have been fanatical about wire size and type for a long time because there is different resistance in different types of wires. Generally, the larger the wire the less resistance you will have. Gold is an excellent conductor but unfortunately it is cost prohibitive for wiring.

  • dennis

    Whatever happen to the vertical, 3 blade, units that someone was testing on buildings in the cities? They were of no noise as with blades. These units were the spiral blade design. Heard anything about this.

  • John Spencer

    As for the spiral blade wind turbines (actually helix now), there are a few installed but they are not very good at low levels and roof tops. Height is a big factor in getting sustainable winds.

    As for efficiency, we will never get away from the physics of this, that being velocity and sweep area are the biggest factors in wind turbine output. That is why the bigger the better. There are now turbines up to 7 megawatts, standing 400 feet tall. These will be installed mostly out in the ocean.

    The efficiency of turbines themselves can in fact be improved by lighter weight blades and smaller generators. A lot of energy is lost with the mechanical efficiency of the drive train. I have read where they are trying out pneumatic bearings, which are not metal at all, but the shaft rides on compressed air jets. So, some improvements, but nothing that exciting.

    There is no doubt a lot of wind in many areas, we are only scratching the surface on the potential.

  • Thomas Finger

    So what is the best design for the small home who can afford no more than a 3k investment? I am handy but can not pull off any welding or rooftop assembly — so what is out there for my Madison WI location?

  • Aadil

    No doubt wind power energy is a good alternative over other forms of energy like thermal and hydroelectric ones because they use fuels which release lot harmful gases but it also has some negative effects like noise and land requirement. But it is the need of hour to make use of these and lower there negative effects in order to help in maintain the environment.

  • Jezreel Magbanua

    I agree with Christopher, mechanical movement means maintenance. Photovoltaic is still better, disregarding investment cost.

    Kites are a good idea. I hope this technology becomes widespread asap, although birds and satellites are in real danger.

    I think small-scale wind technology will be the most feasible for this particular energy source, coupled with a mini photovoltaic, as Renewable Ray has mentioned.I actually considered a Savonius type of wind turbine in my college thesis, using only scraps.

    But I still love solar thermal power plants. I hope I can get to work in one.

  • Sarah

    I’m trying to build my own wind turbine and i was wondering if anyone knew what the optimal shape for the blades would be? i know that the length will matter but is the shape also important?

  • bilal awan

    I am about to make a windmill. I have query about the thickness of profile. How we can calculate the thickness of any profile. Is there any formula?

  • Sidney Amis

    Attn Sarah… Re building your own personal wind turbine. Before you find the proper design, you must determine the wind speeds for the geographical area in which the turbine will be utilized. This info can be easily achieved online.

    Different designs/configurations apply to different wind regimes.

  • http://www.bes.co.uk plumbing

    As for efficiency, we will never get away from the physics of this, that being velocity and sweep area are the biggest factors in wind turbine output. That is why the bigger the better. There are now turbines up to 7 megawatts, standing 400 feet tall. These will be installed mostly out in the ocean.

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