Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Seth Foster
Last updated: September 2, 2019
“Wind is the fuel forwind power station” Introduction Energy, in science isdefined as how much potential it has to change the form of a physical system.In physics, it is property of matter. It can be transferred from one form toanother but cannot be destroyed. Energy in economics, isdescribed as fuel or electricity generation. Types of EnergySound EnergyRenewable EnergyNuclear EnergyGravitational PotentialEnergyKinetic EnergyInternal Energy All the above types ofenergy can be measured and amount of energy can be given a number.
SI units for energy areJ. In this paper we willtalk about only renewable energy which comes from renewable sources.Renewable resources arenothing but resources which can be repeatedly used and replaced naturally like wind,sunlight, rain , tides, waves, fresh water, oxygen and biomass.
These types ofresource harvesting do not produce pollution nor contribute to global warming. Plastics, diesel,Gasoline, coal, natural gas and other fossil fuels are considered asnon-renewable resources because they take millions of years to be made andcannot be renewed in human lifetime. Renewable energysources, which derive energy from hydro or wind, from sunlight indirectly ordirectly are expected to supply the energy for at least next 1 billion years,scientists say.Renewable resourcesexist all over the globe, but are concentrated in limited number of countries.
Usage of renewable resources to provide energy would benefit in energy securityand economic benefits. Renewable energy would reduce environmental pollution,improve the public health. Renewable Energy can beused for: Power Generation:Wind Turbine can be usedto convert the kinetic energy of moving air(wind) into electricity and otherforms of energy. Capacity of wind power generation depends on the rotor bladeswhich can easily generate electricity to a small home to a big industry.Conversion of sunlightinto electricity with the help of photovoltaics(PV) or concentrated solar poweror a combination is known as solar power. PV’s were initially used for smalland medium-sized applications, like calculators (single solar cell) to homes (off-gridrooftop PV system).
Hydroelectricity isenergy or power produced from water. Dams and reservoirs can be used to producehydroelectricity depending upon the energy demands. Hydropower is generated in150 countries worldwide. Wind energyWind Energy is nothingbut the kinetic energy of flow of air in motion. Differences in air pressure inatmosphere causes moving air which is also known as wind. As sunlight heats thesoil, the surface heats the molecules of air lying above it. As cool air is denserthan warm air, warm air rises like a hot air balloon.
Even the cool air flowsinto the warm air surface to get heated. The convection cycle is completed whenthe warm air in turn cools and reaches to the ground surface. This convectioncycle is repeated if solar energy is present in the atmosphere. The medium ofair that passes through the earth’s surface due to the circulation of abovephenomena are called winds. Wind is inexhaustible and renewable, as discussed.
The origin of the windis basically known as the direction of the wind. For example, southerly windsblow from south to north and likewise easterly winds blow from east to west. Wind Power: Conversionof wind resources into useful form of energy, like wind energy to electricalpower is known as Wind power. Wind power is an excellent replacement of fossilfuels to generate electricity, which is renewable and can be used widely acrossthe globe which is clean and has no negative effects such as emission ofgreenhouse gasses. It requires less amount of land surface area to generatepower.
As it is renewable, it creates no problems for the environment unlikeother power generation resources. Wind power is directly proportional to thecube of wind speed. History of Wind Turbine Since ancient times windhas been used as a source for many purposes like for propelling boats, pumpingwater etc. Invention of wind mill is not exactly recorded but, it was firstoriginated in Persia in 500-900 A.D. that wind mill was used for grindinggrains and pumping water. It was made by a light weight wood consisting ofvertical sails attached to vertical shaft. Panemone, was the design which wasleast efficient wind mills ever made in history.
Windmills have been used inchina by more than 2000 years ago and it was the place where vertical axiswindmills were invented recorded as 1219 A.D by the scientists. Persian vertical axiswindmill in sistan A.D 1300 The same design waswidespread across the European continent during 1270 A.D.
and horizontal axiswere used instead of vertical axis. The horizontal axis wind mills had centralpost, where four blades have been mounted. The Dutch and English used the windmill technology to create a tower mill where blades are permanently fixed to astationary tower. This immensely improved technology was used to pump water, grindthe grains and also used to process spices, dyes and tobacco. a. Dutch style concept ofwind mill with rotor driving repeatedly for the piston to raise.b. Rotor with a concept ofwater mill.
c. According to Schmidt,drive sketch by HeronCross section view ofDutch WindMill with living rooms.The same designtechnology was spread to United States and first windmill was manufactured byDaniell Halladay in 1854 in connecticut. It has the same functionality as inEurope to pump water which helped in expansion of roads and railroads.
Eventually, more than 100,000 windmills were sold by the industries and andmanufacturing companies and over six million were sold during 1850 to 1970 onlyin United States. Over time, high winds destroyed the wind mills in certainlocations and that led to the invention of rotor blades from steel and ironmaterials, eventually, calling it a Wind Turbine generating power. This was the first windturbine which generated electricity was invented in Cleveland, Ohio by CharlesW.
Brush. This was invented in 1888 which had 144 rotor blades and turbinediameter of 17 meters, generating 12 kW(kilowatts) power. This amount of powerwas more than enough to supply electricity for 350 light bulbs which heexperimented in real, in his own large estate.
The concept he used was a postmill. It was 18 mts high with post diameter of 36 cm. Mr. Brush’s wind machinewhich generated electricity was the best developed aerodynamic and structuralconcept of technology. Wind Mills were soon replaced by wind turbines and wereincorporated by farmers and others to generate electricity varying from 5kW to25 kW of power depending upon the usage. In 1931, Russia madedevelopments on large scale wind turbine which was used to generate electricitywith power of 100kW.
It ran for two years generating more than 200,000kWh inpower. Russian wind turbinewith 100 kW power and 30 mts diameter. Installation andMaintenance Small Wind ElectricSystemsSmall wind electricsystems can easily generate power to one house if installed on a tower wherethere is enough wind to rotate the blades. This is enough to lighten the nation’senergy needs. Advantage of installing the small wind electric systems is thatwe can decrease the electricity bill by 50%-90 which is the most effective wayof using the renewable energy systems.
Producing of wind energysystems is more practical if the area has wind resources in good amount. Thearea need to have at least one acre of land. Government even has restriction ofheight in some areas where some structures are not allowed. By installing awind turbine in the backyard neighbors might be having a noise concern too. Wind turbine size variesdepending upon the appliances you use in home. To charge the batteries ofvehicles like sail boats etc, a micro turbine is used which generates 20 wattsto 500 watts. For the application of pumping water 1 kW to 10 kW producing windturbine is needed. For the residential applications, 400 watts to 100 kW isused depending upon the energy budget established.
On an average, a residentialhome uses 830 kWh per month and 10,000 kWh per year. To satisfy this condition,we need to install a wind turbine rated of range 5-15kW with an average windspeed of 14 mph (mile-per-hour) . Horizontal axis windturbine with two or three blades with material made of fiberglass are usedthese days. As power is directly proportional to the diameter of the blades,the generation of electric power completely depends on the diameter of theblades. Another importantcomponent is wind tower on which the turbine is places. If we need to generatemore power, the turbine need to be placed high on top. To yield high returns inpower generation, a small investment are need to rise the tower height.
Two typesof towers residential home owners use are self-standing tower and guyed tower.The least expensive type of towers which are widely used are guyed towers withcomponents consisting of tubing and guyed wires. Compared to self-standingtower, guyed towers are easier to install.
Installation cost forsmall turbine can be ranging from $3000 – $15000 depending on the zoning, sizeand application. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) says installationof wind turbine is cheaper which costs $32000 for 10kW compared to installationof solar panels which cost way more than $80000. The installation cost for an 80-foottower with batteries and inverters for a residential cost typically costs$15000- $30000 for 5kW – 10kW. Wind Farm – Onshore WindTurbinesInstallation of windturbines in wind farm is a big project which requires a lot of officials towork on concept, planning, installation and maintaining. Sources say that windfarm located where the wind resources are high can effectively double its windpower generation capacity. Constraints like location prohibition, the risk ofwildlife, permits from government are evaluated in the project.
AWEA suggests the bestlocation to plan a wind farm is which has a wind resource of 13 mile-per-hour.excessive winds can make the equipment strain and project go out of budgetrequirements. Wind maps can easily help us identify the direction of winds andlocation where the wind speeds are relatively high. Anemometer- a tool which isused to measure wind energy at specified locations can also be used. Engineercan use specialized tools like GHWindFarmer and windNavigator to assess theaerodynamic conditions, topography and weather conditions at specificlocations. Before installing thewind turbines, analyzing the risks and financing would be the better option.Area where there is a wildlife with many birds, bats, waterfowl and raptors isprohibited and The US Fish and WildLife organization clearly restricts the areafrom building any projects which endanger the species. Site developer goesthrough the government agencies to build the project where they can reduce thedeath of wildlife.
Again like in small windpower system, depending upon the electricity demands, the number of windturbines are to be planned. wind turbines can cost $1.3 million per megawattcapacity. The utility development for wind power facilities is cheaper thanprivate investors because it reduces cost by 30%. To develop a wind farmgovernment stimulus program provides production tax credits of about 2.3 % perkWh. Compared to the past,wind turbines now are more sleeker and bigger which can provide more energy orpower when placed in precise wind resource location.
The more electricitygeneration needed, larger the wind turbine. A 1.5 megawatts turbine can provideelectricity for 500 homes which is widely used in present. Leading wind turbinemanufacturers are General Electric, Nordex, Siemens, Enercon, Goldwind, Gamesa,Ming Yang, United Power and Vestas. Todevelop a wind farm, irrespective of wind turbine component, we also needtransformers, electrical power collection systems, substations andcommunication systems. SCADA (Supervisory control and data acquisition) systemis used for monitoring the performance of wind turbine.
Initially roads are tobe built to transport large wind turbine equipment and installation can takefew months. Alarge hole is to be created with concrete filled for stabilizationrequirements, and it is more different and difficult in rocky surface andoffshore wind turbine installation. The turbine is erected as soon as thefoundation is done. Electrical wiring and systems are to be placed andoperational tests are done to ensure that all the equipment is workingproperly. It takes few weeks in additional to eliminate all the kinks and errors. Tuscola County Wind farm, MI.
Offshore-WindTurbinesOffshoreinstallation and build of a wind farm is completely different and requires lotof strategies and human power. For installation, the equipment like tower,nacelle, hub and 3 blades are needed upon that transportation is needed fromthe staging port to the wind plant. Heavy cargo ship is needed to transport theblades from the staging port. Offshore substations are to be planted andhorizontal drilling rig is needed for landfall operations. Accordingto National Renewable Energy laboratory (NREL), the total costs for ports,staging and vessels needed is for $600 million.
High amount of cost is neededfor cable laying vessel followed by heavy lift vessel and jack up vessel. ECNWind Industrial support, developed an ECN O&M tool which is a specializedtool to estimate the annual energy costs of and offshore wind farm. Averagedata of long term like wave and wind statistics, costs of parts, failureratings uses as inputs for average values like cost and time.
Strategiesrequired for installation are vessel accommodation, access of helicopter,trained crew and parts storage plant. Vesselaccommodation has the advantage of time reduction in accessing the repairs andinspections, operating out of land. Helicopter access is needed for fastertravel, and the disadvantage is that nothing can be transported through thehelicopter. Safety and cost risks are high on the helicopter usage. As this isan offshore project, trained crew is needed for the tasks on water which canresult in minimizing the errors and accidents during the operational tasks. Allthe other parts which are not needed during the operation on sea are kept instorage site at harbor where a separate storage part is needed. Wind Energy:advantages and challenges Althoughwind energy is the fastest growing and most widely used power generatingresource it has its own disadvantages advantages and challenges. Scientists andresearchers are putting their own efforts to overcome the challenges and tominimalize the errors caused by wind energy and wind turbines AdvantagesWindpower is one of the lowest and cost-effective power resources among all therenewable energy sources.
It costs between three and seven cents per onekilo-watt-hour, making it one of the best power generating source. As wind cannotbe created by human sources, it has been the same price for 20 years despite offuel generating power prices hiking now and then.Windpower has been creating more than 100,000 jobs since 2016 As per US Bureau oflabor statistics. The wind vision report says the wind power has the capacityto increase the jobs in installation, transportation and maintenance by 600,000till 2050.Thereis zero pollution by wind power as its fuel is wind which is natural unlikefossil fuels emitting nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide which causes severhealth problems.Windturbines can be built in any area, where there is wind resources.
Farmers caneven do plantation in wind farms where wind turbines take only fraction amountof area. ChallengesAtpresent, wind farm might not be as competitive as general power generatingsources regarding cost. It is cheaper than investing on solar panels, but it isstill costly and has high on investment compared to fossil fuel generatorsHeavywind resources sites are located at remote location away from the city where transmissionlines are to be laid for a long distance to transport the power to the city Noisemade by the turbines causes disturbance and aesthetic pollution. And therotation of blades may cause death of birds and other wildlife creatures, Wecan overcome these challenges and reduce the problems by proper conceptualplanning on the area, technological development and by better siting of windfarms. Michiganenergy consumptionMichigan – great lakesranked no.
14 among the states in onshore wind generation potential.Michigan uses 29000MW ofelectricity per yr. 129MW of power from wind, mostly from John Deere RenewableEnergy’s Michigan Wind park. Consists of 46 turbines. Researchers say thatstate could generate 16,564 of power on land and additional 448756MW offshore.Michigan is ranked one fthree states that will contribute more than 20GW to a national energy portfolioof 20% wind energy by 2030.Thefirst large offshore wind farm was built in 2002 at Horns Rev, Denmark (Figure1).
In 2009, 1.2 percent of all wind energy production globally was generatedby offshore wind installations 5. Twelve nations, including 10 countries inEurope, currently have offshore wind farms. The United Kingdom and Denmark – thetwo largest producers – account for more than half of the world’s offshorecapacity.
China increased its offshore capacity in 2009 with a 21 megawatt(MW)1 wind farm near Shanghai, and Japan has a single offshore turbine. Similarproject has been proposed at the Great Lakes, Michigan which would generatepower for the whole town and create a good amount of employment. Michiganfound strong offshore wind resources.
Michigan Renewable Energy Program andMichigan Great Lakes Wind Council tried to avoid underwater archaeologicalsites, sensitive habitats and military operation areas, thus finding 475 sq.miles of bottomland that are the most favorable and most appropriate foroffshore wind energy leasing. Southern Lake Michigan, Northern Lake Michigan,Central Lake Superior, central lake huron and southern lake huron. Abovefigure is the most favorable locations for the offshore wind farms Installation, Operation,and Maintenance Strategies to Reduce the Cost of Offshore Wind Energy B. Maples,G.
Saur, and M. Hand National Renewable Energy Laboratoryhttp://www.thirdplanetwind.com/energy/history.aspxhttps://www.thebalance.com/how-to-build-a-wind-farm-1182553https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/advantages-and-challenges-wind-energy