What is Wind Power ? - Working Principle, Advantages & Disadvantages

     Wind power is extracted from air flow using wind turbines or sails to produce mechanical or electrical power. Windmills are used to produce mechanical power, wind pumps for pumping the water, and sails to propel ships. Wind power ia a alternative to fossil fuels. It is plentiful, renewable,  clean, produces no greenhouse gases during operation, and uses little land. The effects on the environment due to wind power are less than those of nonrenewable power sources.

     Wind farms consist of many individual wind turbines which are connected to the electric power transmission lines. Onshore wind is a inexpensive source of electricity, compared to coal gas or fossil fuel plants. Offshore wind is steadier and stronger on land, and offshore farms have less impact, but construction and maintenance costs are considerably higher. Small onshore wind farms can feed some energy and can provide some electricity to isolated off-grid locations.

Power generation

Working Principle of Wind Power :

     The brakes are released when power is required. The blades rotate due to the wind. The main shaft connected to the gear box which multiplies the speed to 20 or 30 times. This relatively high speed shaft runs the generator to produce electricity. The generator may be a AC or DC depending upon  the application or the wind mill. Usually a battery on the ground is used to store the power. If ac generator is used a converter is provided to change from AC to DC. Such a wind driven generators power is usually limited to few hundred watt to 100 kW.  If the site is suitable for more number of wind mills then it is known as wind farm. The power produced from wind farm will be connected to the grid.

Advantages of Wind Power :

1. Free from pollution.

2. Wind is available at free of cost and is inexhaustible.

3. Takes less time for construction.

4. High desirable and economical for rural areas.

5. In India 80% of annual wind energy is confined to monsoon months.

6. The other sources of water, oil, coal etc. can be conserved.

7. Less operating / running cost.

Disadvantages of Wind Power : 

1. Design problem as wind has no consistency.

2. Wind is a treacherous, unpredictable and hazardous source.

3. It needs special design, which increases cost.

4. Large scale generation is not possible.

5. High capital cost.

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