Do you know how wind power will be transformed into energy?

#engineering #renewable energy #wind power

The concept of wind power is already well known to all but, do we actually understand how wind is transformed into energy?

Sil Wind Farm (Galicia, Spain).Sil Wind Farm (Galicia, Spain).

Let us start with a simple question: where does wind come from? The answer is "from the sun". In fact, solar radiation does not fall evenly on Earth's surface: some areas are hotter than others and in hotter areas, air — which weighs less — tends to rise, generating low pressure areas. In turn, in colder areas, air flows down, — since it is heavier — creating high-pressure areas. It is this difference in pressures that makes air move and generate wind.

Any mass or body in motion has kinetic energy. In the case of the generation of wind power, this kinetic energy is stopped when it passes through wind turbines, ceding part of it to the wind turbine. The energy is extracted with the rotor, which transforms the kinetic energy into mechanical energy, and with the generator, which transforms this mechanical energy into electrical energy. Important: only 40 to 45% of the wind passing through a wind turbine can be used to generate energy.

Wind Power: clean, efficient and safe.#RRSSWind Power: clean, efficient and safe.

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Wind Power: clean, efficient and safe [PDF]

Process of building wind farms

The process followed to build a wind farm is very complex. There are many characteristics that must be analysed to know where and when it should be built. The most important characteristics that must be analysed are the spatial, time and vertical variation of wind throughout time. These parameters are studied with wind vanes and anemometers and the future production of the wind farm is estimated to guarantee its potential efficiency. The cutting edge supercomputing techniques can be used to optimise the design of the wind farm complex to maximise the generation of energy.

Innovation is also allowing us to make much progress in offshore wind power. An example is the Romeo project, a European initiative led by Iberdrola to reduce the operating and maintenance costs of wind farms.

Without a doubt, onshore or offshore wind power is a sustainable and valuable solution for the future.


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