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Wind Turbine

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

A wind turbine is a rotating machine which converts the kinetic energy of wind into mechanical energy. If the mechanical energy is used directly by machinery, such as a pump or grinding stones, the machine is usually called a windmill. If the mechanical energy is instead converted to electricity, the machine is called a wind generator, wind turbine, wind power unit (WPU), wind energy converter (WEC), or aerogenerator.

Figure: Typical Horizontal Axis (left) and Vertical Axis (right) Wind Turbines.

A wind energy conversion device that produces electricity; it typically has one, two, or three blades. Wind turbines can be classified into the vertical axis type and the horizontal axis type. Most modern wind turbines use a horizontal axis configuration with two or three blades, operating either downwind or upwind.

A wind turbine can be designed for a constant speed or variable speed operation. Variable speed wind turbines can produce 8% to 15% more energy output as compared to their constant speed counterparts; however, they necessitate power electronic converters to provide a fixed frequency and fixed voltage power to their loads. Most turbine manufacturers have opted for reduction gears between the low speed turbine rotor and the high speed three-phase generators. Direct drive configuration, where a generator is coupled to the rotor of a wind turbine directly, offers high reliability, low maintenance, and possibly low cost for certain turbines.

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  1. November 25, 2009 at 2:48 PM

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