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International Symposium on Electrical and Electronics Engineering ISEEE-2017, Galati, Romania

Green energy - wind turbines

Triguc Rodion

ABSTRACT Wind power is the use of air flow through II. HISTORY
wind turbines to mechanically power generators for
electric power. Wind power, as an alternative to burning
Wind power has been used as long as humans have
fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed,
put sails into the wind. For more than two millennia wind-
clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during
powered machines have ground grain and pumped water.
operation, consumes no water, and uses little land.The
Wind power was widely available and not confined to the
net effects on the environment are far less problematic
banks of fast-flowing streams, or later, requiring sources
than those of nonrenewable power sources.
of fuel. Wind-powered pumps drained the polders of the
Index TermsGreen energy, energy, wind turbines.
Netherlands, and in arid regions such as the American
I. INTRODUCTION mid-west or the Australian outback, wind pumps provided
water for live stock and steam engines.
Wind farms consist of many individual wind turbines The first windmill used for the production of electric
which are connected to the electric power power was built in Scotland in July 1887 by Prof James
transmission network. Onshore wind is an inexpensive Blyth of Anderson's College, Glasgow (the precursor
source of electric power, competitive with or in many of Strathclyde University). Blyth's 10 metres (33 ft) high,
places cheaper than coal or gas plants. Offshore wind is cloth-sailed wind turbine was installed in the garden of
steadier and stronger than on land, and offshore his holiday cottage at Marykirk in Kincardineshire and
farms have less visual impact, but construction and was used to charge accumulators developed by the
maintenance costs are considerably higher. Small onshore Frenchman Camille Alphonse Faure, to power the lighting
wind farms can feed some energy into the grid or provide in the cottage, thus making it the first house in the world
electric power to isolated off-grid locations. to have its electric power supplied by wind power. Blyth
offered the surplus electric power to the people of
Wind power gives variable power which is very Marykirk for lighting the main street, however, they
consistent from year to year but which has significant turned down the offer as they thought electric power was
variation over shorter time scales. It is therefore used in "the work of the devil. Although he later built a wind
conjunction with other electric power sources to give a turbine to supply emergency power to the local Lunatic
reliable supply. As the proportion of wind power in a Asylum, Infirmary and Dispensary of Montrose the
region increases, a need to upgrade the grid, and a invention never really caught on as the technology was
lowered ability to supplant conventional production can not considered to be economically viable.
Power management techniques such as having excess Across the Atlantic, in Cleveland, Ohio a larger and
capacity, geographically distributed turbines, dispatchable heavily engineered machine was designed and
backing sources, sufficient hydroelectric power, exporting constructed in the winter of 18871888 by Charles F.
and importing power to neighboring areas, using vehicle- Brush, this was built by his engineering company at his
to-grid strategies or reducing demand when wind home and operated from 1886 until 1900.The Brush wind
production is low, can in many cases overcome these turbine had a rotor 17 metres (56 ft) in diameter and was
problems.In addition, weather forecasting permits the mounted on an 18 metres (59 ft) tower. Although large by
electric power network to be readied for the predictable today's standards, the machine was only rated at 12 kW.
variations in production that occur.

Fig. 1. Wind Turbines in world . Fig. 2 Charles Brush's windmill of 1888, used for generating electric
International Symposium on Electrical and Electronics Engineering ISEEE-2017, Galati, Romania


Offshore wind power refers to the construction of wind One of the biggest current challenges to wind power grid
farms in large bodies of water to generate electric power. integration in the United States is the necessity of
These installations can utilize the more frequent and developing new transmission lines to carry power from
powerful winds that are available in these locations and wind farms, usually in remote lowly populated states in
have less aesthetic impact on the landscape than land the middle of the country due to availability of wind, to
based projects. However, the construction and the high load locations, usually on the coasts where
maintenance costs are considerably higher. population density is higher.

Siemens and Vestas are the leading turbine suppliers for The current transmission lines in remote locations were
offshore wind power. DONG Energy, Vattenfall and E.ON not designed for the transport of large amounts of
are the leading offshore operators. As of October 2010, energy. As transmission lines become longer the losses
3.16 GW of offshore wind power capacity was associated with power transmission increase, as modes of
operational, mainly in Northern Europe. losses at lower lengths are exacerbated and new modes of
losses are no longer negligible as the length is increased,
According to BTM Consult, more than 16 GW of making it harder to transport large loads over large
additional capacity will be installed before the end of distances.
2014 and the UK and Germany will become the two
leading markets. Offshore wind power capacity is However, resistance from state and local governments
expected to reach a total of 75 GW worldwide by 2020, makes it difficult to construct new transmission lines.
with significant contributions from China and the US. Multi state power transmission projects are discouraged
by states with cheap electric power rates for fear that
In 2012, 1,662 turbines at 55 offshore wind farms in 10 exporting their cheap power will lead to increased rates.
European countries produced 18 TWh, enough to power
almost five million households.As of August 2013 the A 2005 energy law gave the Energy Department authority
London Array in the United Kingdom is the largest to approve transmission projects states refused to act on,
offshore wind farm in the world at 630 MW. This is but after an attempt to use this authority, the Senate
followed by Gwynt y Mr (576 MW), also in the UK. declared the department was being overly aggressive in
doing so. Another problem is that wind companies find
out after the fact that the transmission capacity of a new
farm is below the generation capacity, largely because
federal utility rules to encourage renewable energy
installation allow feeder lines to meet only minimum

These are important issues that need to be solved, as when

the transmission capacity does not meet the generation
capacity, wind farms are forced to produce below their
full potential or stop running all together, in a process
known as curtailment. While this leads to potential
renewable generation left untapped, it prevents possible
grid overload or risk to reliable service.

V. Energy storage
Fig. 3 Maritim Wind
Typically,conventional hydroelectricity complements
IV. COLLECTION AND TRANSMISSION NETWORK wind power very well. When the wind is blowing
strongly, nearby hydroelectric stations can temporarily
In a wind farm, individual turbines are interconnected hold back their water. When the wind drops they can,
with a medium voltage (usually 34.5 kV) power provided they have the generation capacity, rapidly
collection system and communications network. At a increase production to compensate. This gives a very even
substation, this medium-voltage electric current is overall power supply and virtually no loss of energy and
increased in voltage with a transformer for connection to uses no more water.
the high voltage electric power transmission system.
A transmission line is required to bring the generated Alternatively, where a suitable head of water is not
power to (often remote) markets. For an off-shore station available, pumped-storage hydroelectricity or other forms
this may require a submarine cable. Construction of a new of grid energy storage such as compressed air energy
high-voltage line may be too costly for the wind resource storage and thermal energy storage can store energy
alone, but wind sites may take advantage of lines installed developed by high-wind periods and release it when
for conventionally fueled generation. needed. The type of storage needed depends on the wind
O penetration level low penetration requires daily storage,
International Symposium on Electrical and Electronics Engineering ISEEE-2017, Galati, Romania

and high penetration requires both short and long term gained performance is by increasing rotor diameters, and
storage as long as a month or more. Stored energy thus blade length.
increases the economic value of wind energy since it can
Retrofitting current turbines with larger blades mitigates
be shifted to displace higher cost generation during peak
the need and risks associated with a system-level
demand periods. The potential revenue from
redesign. By incorporating carbon fiber into parts of
this arbitrage can offset the cost and losses of storage. For
existing blade systems, manufacturers may increase the
example, in the UK, the 1.7 GW Dinorwig pumped-
length of the blades without increasing their overall
storage plant evens out electrical demand peaks, and
weight. For instance, the spar cap, a structural element of
allows base-load suppliers to run their plants more
a turbine blade, commonly experiences high tensile
efficiently. Although pumped-storage power systems are
loading, making it an ideal candidate to utilize the
only about 75% efficient, and have high installation costs,
enhanced tensile properties of carbon fiber in comparison
their low running costs and ability to reduce the required
to glass fiber.
electrical base-load can save both fuel and total electrical
generation costs. Higher stiffness and lower density translates to thinner,
lighter blades offering equivalent performance. In a 10-
In particular geographic regions, peak wind speeds may
MW turbinewhich will become more common in
not coincide with peak demand for electrical power. In the
offshore systems by 2021blade lengths may reach over
U.S. states of California and Texas, for example, hot days
100 m and weigh up to 50 metric tonnes when fabricated
in summer may have low wind speed and high electrical
out of glass fiber.
demand due to the use of air conditioning. Some utilities
subsidize the purchase of geothermal heat pumps by their A switch to carbon fiber in the structural spar of the blade
customers, to reduce electric power demand during the yields weight savings of 20 to 30 percent, or
summer months by making air conditioning up to 70% approximately 15 metric tonnes.The compressive
more efficient. widespread adoption of this technology properties of carbon fiber do not differ significantly from
would better match electric power demand to wind those of glass fiber. It is therefore not economical to
availability in areas with hot summers and low summer replace glass fiber components under compression with
winds. A possible future option may be to interconnect carbon fiber components.
widely dispersed geographic areas with an HVDC "super
While the material cost is significantly higher for all-glass
grid". In the U.S. it is estimated that to upgrade the
fiber blades than for hybrid glass/carbon fiber blades,
transmission system to take in planned or potential
there is a potential for tremendous savings in
renewables would cost at least USD 60 bn, while the
manufacturing costs when labor price is considered.
society value of added windpower would be more than
Utilizing carbon fiber enables for simpler designs that use
that cost.
less raw material.
Germany has an installed capacity of wind and solar that
The chief manufacturing process in blade fabrication is
can exceed daily demand, and has been exporting peak
the layering of plies. By reducing the number of layers of
power to neighboring countries, with exports which
plies, as is enabled by thinner blade design, the cost of
amounted to some 14.7 billion kWh in 2012.] A more
labor may be decreased, and in some cases, equate to the
practical solution is the installation of thirty days storage
cost of labor for glass fiber blades.
capacity able to supply 80% of demand, which will
become necessary when most of Europe's energy is Materials for wind turbine parts other than the rotor
obtained from wind power and solar power. Just as the blades (including the rotor hub, gearbox, frame, and
EU requires member countries to maintain 90 tower) are largely composed of steel.
days strategic reserves of oil it can be expected that
countries will provide electric power storage, instead of Modern turbines uses a couple of tonnes of copper for
expecting to use their neighbors for net metering. generators, cables and such.Smaller wind turbines have
begun incorporating more aluminum based alloys into
VI. Materials and Durability these components in an effort to make the turbines more
lightweight and efficient, and may continue to be used
increasingly if fatigue and strength properties can be
Materials that are typically used for the rotor blades in improved.
wind turbines are composites, as they tend to have a high
stiffness, high strength, high fatigue resistance, and low Prestressed concrete has been increasingly used for the
weight. Typical resins used for these composites include material of the tower, but still requires much reinforcing
polyester and epoxy, while glass and carbon fibers have steel to meet the strength requirement of the turbine.
been used for the reinforcing material. Construction may Additionally, step-up gear boxes are being increasingly
use manual layup techniques or composite resin injection replaced with variable speed generators, increasing the
molding. As the price of glass fibers is only about one demand for magnetic materials in wind turbines.
tenth the price of carbon fiber, glass fiber is still In particular this would require an increased supply of
dominant. the rare earth metal neodymium. Reliance on rare earth
As competition in the wind market increases, companies minerals for components has risked expense and price
are seeking ways to draw greater efficiency from their volatility as China has been main producer of rare earth
designs. One of the predominant ways wind turbines have minerals (96% in 2009) and had been reducing its export
quotas of these materials.In recent years, however, other
International Symposium on Electrical and Electronics Engineering ISEEE-2017, Galati, Romania

producers have increased production of rare earth Small units often have direct drive generators, direct
minerals and China has removed its reduced export quota current output, aeroelastic blades, lifetime bearings and
on rare earths leading to an increased supply and use a vane to point into the wind.
decreased cost of rare earth minerals, increasing the
IX. References
viability of the implementation of variable speed
generators in wind turbines on a large scale 1. Global Wind Report Annual Market Update 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 14 May 2011.
VII. Wind Turbines on public display
2. Abbess, Jo (28 August 2009). "Wind Energy Variability and
A few localities have exploited the attention-getting Intermittency in the UK". Claverton-
nature of wind turbines by placing them on public display, Archived from the original on 25 August 2011.
either with visitor centers around their bases, or with
3. Armaroli, Nicola; Balzani, Vincenzo (2011). "Towards an
viewing areas farther away. The wind turbines are
electricity-powered world". Energy & Environmental
generally of conventional horizontal-axis, three-bladed Science. 4 (9): 3193
design, and generate power to feed electrical grids, but
they also serve the unconventional roles of technology
4. Chanban, Matt A.V.; Delaqurire, Alain. Turbines Popping
demonstration, public relations, and education. Fig.4.
Up on New York Roofs, Along With Questions of
Efficiency, The New York Times website, 26 May 2014, and
in print on 27 May 2014, p. A19 of the New York edition.

5. Buller, Erin (11 July 2008). "Capturing the wind". Uinta

County Herald. Retrieved 4 December 2008."The animals
don't care at all. We find cows and antelope napping in the
shade of the turbines." Mike Cadieux, site manager,
Wyoming Wind Farm

6. "Global Wind Report 2014 Annual Market

Update" (PDF). report. GWEC. 22 April 2016. p. 9.
Retrieved 23 May 2016. 2015 was an unprecedented year for
the wind industry as annual installations crossed the 60 GW
mark for the first time, and more than 63 GW of new wind
power capacity was brought on line. The last record was set
in 2014 when over 51.7 GW of new capacity was installed
globally. In 2015 total investments in the clean energy sector
reached a record USD 329 bn (EUR 296.6 bn). The new
global total for wind power at the end of 2015 was 432.9 GW

7. Watts, Jonathan & Huang, Cecily. Winds Of Change Blow

Through China As Spending On Renewable Energy
Soars, The Guardian, 19 March 2012, revised on 20 March
2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012.

8. Morthorst, Poul Erik; Redlinger, Robert Y.; Andersen, Per

(2002). Wind energy in the 21st century: economics, policy,
technology and the changing electricity industry.
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire:
Fig. 4 The Nordex N50 wind turbine and visitor centre of Lamma Palgrave/UNEP. ISBN 0-333-79248-3.
Winds in Hong Kong, China
9. Watson, James; Serrano, Juan. "Composite Materials for
VIII. Small wind turbines Wind Blades". Retrieved 6
November 2016.
Small wind turbines may be used for a variety of
applications including on- or off-grid residences, telecom 10. Frost and Sullivan, 2009, cited in Wind Generator
towers, offshore platforms, rural schools and clinics, Technology, by Eclareon S.L., Madrid, May 2012;
remote monitoring and other purposes that require energy; Available at Leonardo Energy Ask an
where there is no electric grid, or where the grid is Expert;
11. Wilburn, David. "Wind Energy in the United States and
Small wind turbines may be as small as a fifty-watt Materials Required for the Land-Based Wind Turbine
Industry From 2010 Through 2030" (PDF). U.S. Department
generator for boat or caravan use. Hybrid solar and wind of the Interior.
powered units are increasingly being used for traffic
signage, particularly in rural locations, as they avoid the 12. Patel, Prachi (22 June 2009). "Floating Wind Turbines to Be
need to lay long cables from the nearest mains connection Tested". IEEE Spectrum. Retrieved 7 March 2011. will test
point. The U.S. Department of Energy's National how the 2.3-megawatt turbine holds up in 220-meter-deep
Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) defines small
wind turbines as those smaller than or equal to 100 13. See Erich Hau: Windkraftanlagen: Grundlagen, Technik,
kilowatts. Einsatz, Wirtschaftlichkeit. Berlin/ Heidelberg 2008, pp. 621.
(German). (For the english Edition see Erich Hau, Wind
Turbines: Fundamentals, Technologies, Application,
Economics, Springer 2005)