Collecting Energy from Wind Turbines

June 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

By AZoM.com Staff Writers

Topics Covered

Introduction
How is Wind Energy Collected?
Conclusion
References

Introduction

Wind turbines, like windmills, have blades, which are turned by wind creating energy that is transmitted down the shaft of the turbine into a generator. Wind energy is gaining in popularity as non-renewable sources of energy are rapidly depleting and as a result, its prices are constantly increasing. The biggest incentive for adopting this technology is that wind is a completely renewable source of energy.

Sourced from: Think Stock

Wind turbines are capable of producing roughly 50 to 300 kW of electricity each. In simpler terms, a 300 kW wind turbine can power 3,000 100W light bulbs. Unlike solar energy, wind energy can be generated at night and in the winter. A single average-sized wind turbine can power a home. For a wind turbine to generate energy, the speed of wind has to be above 12-14 mph, thus plenty of wind farms are cropping up in windy regions around the world. As wind may not always be present, it is essential to store excess energy generated by the turbines during times of heavy winds.

The following section deals with methods of collecting wind energy from turbines.

How is Wind Energy Collected?

In the past, energy from wind turbines was immediately transmitted to power lines that supplied it to consumers. With advancements in technology, three key power storage methods have been implemented; battery, compressed air, and hydrogen.

Wind energy collected via batteries
Electricity generated from wind turbines can be used to charge batteries, which can then be used when there is no wind, making these batteries an ideal back-up solution.

Wind energy collected using compressed air storage
Compressed air storage is also referred to as compressed air energy storage. Here the energy generated from the wind turbines is converted into compressed air, which is stored in large above-ground tanks or large underground caverns. The compressed air is used to generate electricity when the wind speed is less or there is no wind.

Wind energy collected in hydrogen fuel cells
In this method, the excess wind power is stored in hydrogen fuel cells. First, the energy from the turbines is used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. Then the hydrogen is stored in hydrogen fuel cells for later use.

Conclusion

Reports state that nearly 633 advanced energy storage projects are currently under development or in operation around the world. Wind power plants are using wind storage technology as it is far more beneficial and cost-effective than conventional wind energy process.

Energy produced using wind turbines is clean and does not pollute the air. Several governments have begun providing funding for research and practice of wind energy storage technology, which has increased the interest of more companies to venture into this field. This makes wind power a feasible choice to fossil fuel and nuclear energy in the coming years.

References

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