Wind Turbine Efficiency

Most of us are already aware that wind energy is definetly one of the most reliable and cleanest forms of renewable energy to use to generate power. Of course, there is also Solar energy, but that we will not look at on this site since our main concern is wind energy.

However, are you aware that wind generators are very difficult to actually get up and running. There is five major things that we should address when it comes to dealing with wind turbine efficiency. These are the actual wind power, the altitude, any obstructions, the aerodynamics of your wind turbine blades as well as the temperature of the air.

Let us look at wind power first. There is a special formula that involves P = Wind Power, V = Wind Speed & F = Wind Force. So when put together P = kVF and in this case k is a constant. Basically what this means is you want a faster wind speed and a stronger wind force in order to generate more wind power from your wind generator. Areas have different rates of wind, so it is vital that the relationship between the speed of the wind and the amount of power being produced is understood.

The second factor is altitude. For this the best places to set your wind turbine will be on higher altitudes. They tend to have faster wind speeds due to varying factors in the atmosphere. Elevated areas will also have less obstructions in the path of the wind in terms of hills, trees or even buildings. It has been calculated that you can get a 12% increase in wind speed if you double the distance from the ground to your turbines.

turbine efficiency obstructionsThe third factor is obstuctions. When you are surrounded by trees, hills, buildings or mountains your wind speed is much slower. This is because there is some friction generated that actually restricts your free air flow. If you are building a wind farm it maybe wise to evaluate the speed at one site for a whole year just to make sure that it is a good site to sit your turbines.

The fourth factor is blade areodynamics. Essentially your blades should be well designed and shaped so that they allow for maximum efficiency. Each airfoil will have its lift determined by the angle it has with your wind direction, also known as the angle of attack. The larger the angle of attack the more turbulence generated by the blades. You will also lose lift and the drag will increase too.

Lastly but not least, is the fifth factor which is air temperature. The power generated by your wind generator increases by up to 16% if the temperature drops from +20 degrees to – 20 degrees at any wind speed rate. This is because colder air tends to be more dense and ultimately increases the power being produced by the turbine.

There you have it a five factors that will affect the efficiency of your wind turbines. All of these five should be considered whenever a new generator is being installed into an area. This will ensure that you will get the maximum amount of wind power from your new installation.

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