Introduction

Growing concern for the environmental degradation has led to the world's interest in renewable energy resources. Wind is commercially and operationally the most viable renewable energy resource and accordingly, emerging as one of the largest source in terms of the renewable energy sector.

Wind is the natural movement of air across the land or sea. Wind is caused by uneven heating and cooling of the earth's surface and by the earth's rotation. Land and water areas absorb and release different amount of heat received from the sun. As warm air rises, cooler air rushes in to take its place, causing local winds. The rotation of the earth changes the direction of the flow of air.

Basic technology

Wind electric generator converts kinetic energy available in wind to electrical energy by using rotor, gearbox and generator.

The Basic Process

The wind turns the blades of a windmill-like machine. The rotating blades turn the shaft to which they are attached. The turning shaft typically can either power a pump or turn a generator, which produces electricity.

Most wind machines have blades attached to a horizontal shaft. This shaft transmits power through a series of gears, which provide power to a water pump or electric generator. These are called horizontal axis wind turbines.

There are also vertical axis machines, such as the Darrieus wind machine, which has two, three, or four long curved blades on a vertical shaft and resembles a giant eggbeater in shape.

The amount of energy produced by a wind machine depends upon the wind speed and the size of the blades in the machine. In general, when the wind speed doubles, the power produced increases eight times. Larger blades capture more wind. As the diameter of the circle formed by the blades doubles, the power increases four times.

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