As renewable energy paces its way forward in our lives, the demand for wind energy has increased substantially. Over five percent of global electricity is generated through the wind with a capacity of 742GW.
Wind power and electricity production depends on certain factors, including direction, speed, and blade radius. Therefore, the amount of power a wind turbine can generate is proportional to reliable winds and power capacity.
How to calculate the power supply in watts? How much power does a wind turbine produce on average? Let’s read below to find out:
The rotary devices used to convert fluid into energy or labor are Wind Turbines. In old times, windmills were the prime source of wind usage for pumping water or grinding grains. According to IEA (US Energy Information Administration), wind turbines are of two types: horizontal-axis wind turbines and vertical-axis wind turbines.
The operation of both wind turbines is the same. The most commonly used are three-rotor horizontal-axis turbines because of their high power output and efficiency.
Types of Turbines
Specific wind turbines can be differentiated based on their blade sizes and other features they offer. Here are a few of the best ones out there:
Portable turbines are always the best options to be placed in the cities where there are chances of hindrances from people and animals. Such turbines are made in a design that allows the blades to be more efficient and environment-friendly. They can produce power three times more than a HAWT of the same size.
The vertical axis wind turbines vary significantly in type. They can pick winds from all sides. As it is a more versatile feature, this slows down their efficiency compared to HAWT. With the growing technology, vertical axis wind turbines are constantly being redesigned, making it easier for them to handle faster winds.
Some converters and harnessers come with bladeless technology, which doesn’t necessarily make them a turbine. These include EWICON and SWET. The mentioned turbines can convert electrostatic and solar energy, respectively.
How do Wind Turbines function?
Wind turbines convert kinetic energy into rotational energy, later used to produce electricity. In a horizontal-axis turbine, the blades are huge that catch wind and rotate. This further turns the gearbox of the generator into the nacelle to create electricity.
The blades are attached to the shaft, spinning at 30 to 60 rotations per minute. This varies from model to model. The connection of the shaft is with the gearbox that can add to the rotations for up till 100 folds. This enables the wind turbine to generate electricity.
It is safe to assume that if the size of rotor blades is big, the rotational torque will be high, resulting in the production of power. Some turbines are programmed to convert AC to DC and vice versa.
It matches the phase and frequency of the connected electric grid. The wind turbines always have a cut-out and cut-in wind speed. Many wind turbines can produce power at only five miles an hour, while the bigger ones require a rate of seven miles an hour.
However, most turbines will not work well after speeds exceeding 56 miles an hour, so the rotor blades are not destroyed. Many turbines come with built-in sensors that detect the orientation changes and control required for directing the wind into them for high power production.
Measuring Power Produced
The manufacturers of the wind turbines measure the turbine’s magnitude to allow them the rating you can also find beside the model name. This is known as the ‘power rating’ and can be denoted in mega- or kilo-watts.
The rate of residential turbines is usually near 10 kW; at the same time, turbines with up to 14 MW rating are well-suited for commercial usage. These power ratings show the wind turbine output at the mid-level wind speed. It is not optimal because of the constant variation in wind speed during the day and throughout the year.
The production of energy is not proportional to the speed. If the speed of wind declines, the power production minimizes much more. Companies usually measure the power production capacity, a percentage difference between actual and potential outputs.
Subsequently, the power capacity of turbines can vary from 10 to 50 percent. If the wind turbine is programmed for 1 MW, then there is a chance for it only to produce 10 to 50kW power.
An annual difference in this power capacity can be nearly 4500 MWh which can power around 450 power-dependent houses. Even though the wind variations vary daily, this percentage accurately estimates a turbine’s power production.
How much power is produced by wind turbines?
The power of wind turbines is significantly high depending on the size, wind, and model conditions. Here is the breakdown of energy power outputs by different sizes of horizontal-axis wind turbines.
These small wind turbines can be installed on the roofs of houses. Moreover, the power capacity of these turbines is deficient because of their small sizes with a power production range of 1 to 10 kW.
As per the size, placement, and height of turbines, the power generation of a 2 kW wind turbine will be up to 2900 kWh, increasing three times more with a 5 kW turbine. Many homes can benefit from these turbines as the other sizes, i.e., 10 kW turbines, are larger, produce energy that goes to waste, and are hard to place on the roof.
Commercial usage indicates that the turbine size has to be larger. An average turbine of 2 to 3 MW can generate power reaching up to 6000 MWh per annum. However, a turbine of 3 MW offshore has a power capacity much higher than that.
Turbines that can be folded and range from as low as 10 W to 2000 W easily are portable. However, the power output of these turbines is low and only suits RV and campers. The primary use for these turbines is in small appliances, phone charging, and small appliances.
The power output of wind turbines shows the magnificence of new tech and advancements. It also provides us with the belief that one day the world can shift to environment-friendly alternatives completely.
As technology and research are proceeding, energy production can be enough to supply worldwide. The potential of these turbines solely depends on wind and its potential. With the increment of wind farms on- and offshore, greatness is expected.
Wind power production and maintenance don’t cost the same as the other costly alternatives. The less cost is the added feature and the provision of more power. The disadvantages come with the perks, and we will not avoid mentioning them. The space that wind consumes is far greater, which makes a good piece of land go to waste. So, multiple land acres will be sacrificed to generate some hundred megawatts of power.
The total capacity of the turbines cannot be consumed because of the uncertainty of the wind blowing. It can slow down for hours and be destructively fast in others. Moreover, apart from the wind speed, the efficiency, location, size, and height of the wind turbine also disrupt the power output.
Conclusively, wind power is an excellent alternative energy source to fossil fuels; it is still a safe bet to go for them.