The wind turbine is the basis of wind energy , they are large structures that move due to the movement of the wind ( kinetic energy ) and convert it into electrical energy .
At an industrial level (not homemade), the blades can rotate between 13 and 22 revolutions per minute, considering that they can be 100m tall (the tower) and the blades about 40-50m tall (each one).
It has a rotor that changes its speed according to the speed of the wind, seeking efficiency . Its importance lies in the use of renewable and clean energy for human and industrial consumption.
Parts of a wind turbine
- Gondola: It is a structure that contains important elements of the wind turbine, among them are: The multiplier and the generator.
- Blades: They are a kind of blades like those of windmills , which capture the wind and transmit its power to where the hub is. Currently, these blades can reach up to 60 meters in length and have a design similar to that of the wings of an airplane.
- Bushing: It is a cylindrical component on which the slow shaft of the wind turbines is supported and rotates.
- Slow Shaft: It is the shaft that joins the hub with the multiplier , it can rotate even between 19 and 30 rpm. It allows the kinetic energy to pass so that it is later increased in the multiplier.
- Multiplier: It is a box that acts by modifying the speed received from the hub. You can spin the fast spindle up to 50 times faster than the slow spindle.
- Fast Shaft : Attached to the multiplier, it allows to drive the electric generator or alternator . It can rotate up to 1500 rpm
- Electric generator: It acts as an alternator modulating the input energy and transforming it into electrical energy. Commonly it is an induction generator, whose power can range from 500 to 1500 KW.
- Electronic controller: It is a computerized device that continuously monitors the status of the wind turbine.
- Cooling unit: All the mechanism that works in a wind turbine generates heat , which is why a cooling unit is needed, an electric fan , to keep the generator cool. It also contains a cooling fluid that refreshes the oil used by the multiplier.
- Tower: It is the structure that supports the gondola and the rotor. As the tower gets taller, the wind speed increases. Modern wind turbines can have towers 40 or 60 meters high.
- Orientation mechanism: It is a kind of sensor that is activated through an electronic controller and captures the direction of the wind through a vane.
What does the aerogenerator do?
The basis of wind turbines is the wind. This mobilizes the blades or blades, which in turn rotate a rotor. In this way, the kinetic energy is converted into mechanical energy and then transformed into electrical energy by means of an alternator.
- The wind passes through the blades causing them to rotate.
- The rotating motion of the blades causes a slow speed shaft inside the nacelles to start turning.
- The shaft is coupled to the multiplier, which is a kind of gearbox that increases the speed offered by the blades.
- A fast shaft causes the speed to reach the generator or alternator, which converts the energy coming from the rotor through magnetic fields.
- In this way, rotational energy is converted into electricity .
Production capacity of a wind turbine
For a wind turbine to produce electricity, the wind needs to have a speed of 3 to 4 meters per second . With this speed a power of 15 meters can be produced every second. To prevent damage, the wind turbines are switched off when the wind exceeds 25 meters per second.
A wind turbine produces around 690 volts of energy , this must be adapted to the voltage that is circulating through the electrical distribution network. The value is between 20 to 132 Kilovolts. Although it should be taken into account that everything depends on the power of the wind turbine, the size and the amount of wind that blows.
For example, a strategically located wind turbine with a capacity of 1.8 MW can produce more than 4.7 million electrical units per year, which satisfies more than 1,500 households.
Measurements of a wind turbine
Large wind turbines have rotors over 90 meters in diameter . For their part, the smaller structures have rotors of approximately 30 meters in diameter . The towers reach a height of between 25 to 100 meters.
As the wind is a diffuse energy, wind farms made up of several wind turbines are required to produce enough energy. Some 20 units can occupy up to a kilometer of surface, but only 1% of the territory is used, so that the remaining space can be used for other pre-existing uses, such as agriculture, livestock or natural habitat.