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                                       WIND ENERGY PROJECTS

Wind energy offers many advantages, which explains why it's the fastest-growing energy source in the world. Research efforts are aimed at addressing the challenges to greater use of wind energy.

Advantages

Wind energy is fueled by the wind, so it's a clean fuel source. Wind energy doesn't pollute the air like power plants that rely on combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas. Wind turbines don't produce atmospheric emissions that cause acid rain or greenhouse gasses.

Wind energy is a domestic source of energy, produced in the United States. The nation's wind supply is abundant.

Wind energy relies on the renewable power of the wind, which can't be used up. Wind is actually a form of solar energy; winds are caused by the heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the rotation of the earth, and the earth's surface irregularities.

Wind energy is one of the lowest-priced renewable energy technologies available today, costing between 4 and 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, depending upon the wind resource and project financing of the particular project.

Wind turbines can be built on farms or ranches, thus benefiting the economy in rural areas, where most of the best wind sites are found. Farmers and ranchers can continue to work the land because the wind turbines use only a fraction of the land. Wind power plant owners make rent payments to the farmer or rancher for the use of the land.

Disadvantages

Wind power must compete with conventional generation sources on a cost basis. Depending on how energetic a wind site is, the wind farm may or may not be cost competitive. Even though the cost of wind power has decreased dramatically in the past 10 years, the technology requires a higher initial investment than fossil-fueled generators.

The major challenge to using wind as a source of power is that the wind is intermittent and it does not always blow when electricity is needed. Wind energy cannot be stored (unless batteries are used); and not all winds can be harnessed to meet the timing of electricity demands.

Good wind sites are often located in remote locations, far from cities where the electricity is needed.

Wind resource development may compete with other uses for the land and those alternative uses may be more highly valued than electricity generation.

Although wind power plants have relatively little impact on the environment compared to other conventional power plants, there is some concern over the noise produced by the rotor blades, aesthetic (visual) impacts, and sometimes birds have been killed by flying into the rotors. Most of these problems have been resolved or greatly reduced through technological development or by properly siting wind plants.

How Wind Turbines Work

Wind is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth's surface, and rotation of the earth. Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth's terrain, bodies of water, and vegetation. Humans use this wind flow, or motion energy, for many purposes: sailing, flying a kite, and even generating electricity.

The terms wind energy or wind power describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity.

So how do wind turbines make electricity? Simply stated, a wind turbine works the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity. Take a look inside a wind turbine to see the various parts. View the wind turbine animation to see how a wind turbine works.

This aerial view of a wind power plant shows how a group of wind turbines can make electricity for the utility grid. The electricity is sent through transmission and distribution lines to homes, businesses, schools, and so on.

Learn more about wind energy technology:

Types of Wind Turbines

Modern wind turbines fall into two basic groups: the horizontal-axis variety, as shown in the photo, and the vertical-axis design, like the eggbeater-style Darrieus model, named after its French inventor.

Horizontal-axis wind turbines typically either have two or three blades. These three-bladed wind turbines are operated "upwind," with the blades facing into the wind. The other common wind turbine type is the two-bladed, downwind turbine. Horizontal axis turbines are the most common type used today. DOE research focuses on development of horizontal axis turbines.

Sizes of Wind Turbines

Utility-scale turbines range in size from 50 kilowatts to as large as several megawatts. Larger turbines are grouped together into wind farms, which provide bulk power to the electrical grid.

Single small turbines, below 50 kilowatts, are used for homes, telecommunications dishes, or water pumping. Small turbines are sometimes used in connection with diesel generators, batteries, and photovoltaic systems. These systems are called hybrid wind systems and are typically used in remote, off-grid locations, where a connection to the utility grid is not available.

Inside the Wind Turbine

Anemometer:

Measures the wind speed and transmits wind speed data to the controller.

Blades:

Most turbines have either two or three blades. Wind blowing over the blades causes the blades to "lift" and rotate.

Brake:

A disc brake, which can be applied mechanically, electrically, or hydraulically to stop the rotor in emergencies.

Controller:

The controller starts up the machine at wind speeds of about 8 to 16 miles per hour (mph) and shuts off the machine at about 65 mph. Turbines cannot operate at wind speeds above about 65 mph because their generators could overheat.

Gear box:

Gears connect the low-speed shaft to the high-speed shaft and increase the rotational speeds from about 30 to 60 rotations per minute (rpm) to about 1200 to 1500 rpm, the rotational speed required by most generators to produce electricity. The gear box is a costly (and heavy) part of the wind turbine and engineers are exploring "direct-drive" generators that operate at lower rotational speeds and don't need gear boxes.

Generator:

Usually an off-the-shelf induction generator that produces 60-cycle AC electricity.

High-speed shaft:

Drives the generator.

Low-speed shaft:

The rotor turns the low-speed shaft at about 30 to 60 rotations per minute.

Nacelle:

The rotor attaches to the nacelle, which sits atop the tower and includes the gear box, low- and high-speed shafts, generator, controller, and brake. A cover protects the components inside the nacelle. Some nacelles are large enough for a technician to stand inside while working.

Pitch:

Blades are turned, or pitched, out of the wind to keep the rotor from turning in winds that are too high or too low to produce electricity.

Rotor:

The blades and the hub together are called the rotor.

Tower:

Towers are made from tubular steel (shown here) or steel lattice. Because wind speed increases with height, taller towers enable turbines to capture more energy and generate more electricity.

Wind direction:

This is an "upwind" turbine, so-called because it operates facing into the wind. Other turbines are designed to run "downwind", facing away from the wind.

Wind vane:

Measures wind direction and communicates with the yaw drive to orient the turbine properly with respect to the wind.

Yaw drive:

Upwind turbines face into the wind; the yaw drive is used to keep the rotor facing into the wind as the wind direction changes. Downwind turbines don't require a yaw drive, the wind blows the rotor downwind.

Yaw motor:

Powers the yaw drive.

Wind Energy Enabling Research

Taking turbine designs to the "limit" of cost and performance will require advances in several research disciplines. While some of the near-term cost of energy reductions may be possible based on current levels of technology (e.g., tall towers) others will require investment in fundamental research in order to be successful.

Enabling research activities to support low wind speed technology and distributed wind technology program goals fall within four major topic areas:

  1. Advanced Rotor Development

  2.  Site-Specific Design

  3.  Generator, Drive Train and Power Electronics Efficiency Improvements

  4.  Systems and Controls
     

Advanced Rotor Development

The wind turbine rotor is the only component unique to wind turbines in the system. The rotor's blades control all the energy capture and almost all the loads, and are therefore a primary target of research efforts. The challenge for researchers is to create the knowledge and engineering tools to enable blade designers to squeeze the most performance out of the lowest possible cost, using new materials, improved manufacturing processes, and enhanced design tools. This work will assist the industry in meeting the low wind speed technology and distributed wind technology goals, by stretching rotors longer to produce electricity at wind sites that previously were not cost effective.

Advanced rotor development work can be segmented into three areas:

  1. Blade development
  2. Aerodynamic code development and validation
  3. Aeroacoustics research and testing

Blade Development

A significant step toward the wind turbine cost goals will be achieved with blades that are stiffer, stronger and span a greater area, while lighter and adaptive, to reduce system loads. Beyond that, design details need to be evaluated so that the entire industry is led in the direction of efficient material usage. Finally, substantial testing, both in the laboratory and in the field, is required to validate the tools, loads, and designs, and to make sure they can be linked to the site characteristics.

Aerodynamic Code Development and Validation

The current generation of aerodynamic performance codes don't accurately predict performance in turbulent winds. To gain a better understanding of wind turbine aerodynamics, researchers at the NWTC and Sandia are combining two-dimensional field and wind tunnel test data to predict aerodynamic loads on turbines under varied inflow conditions. To improve the predictive power of these analyses, researchers are adapting a more accurate approach used for helicopter and aircraft design. Their evaluation will be based on analyses of three-dimensional computations of fluid dynamics.

Aeroacoustic Research and Testing

Turbine noise can be caused by rotor speed, blade shape, tower shadow, and other factors. The program is sponsoring both wind tunnel and field tests to develop a noise prediction code that turbine manufacturers can use to ensure that new rotor designs and full systems aren't too noisy. This is especially true for high-growth U.S. markets for small wind turbines that will demand quieter rotors, especially when turbines are sited in residential neighborhoods. Small turbines operate at high rotational speeds and tend to spin even if they are furled (pointed out of the wind). Aeroacoustics research activities will be conducted to explore how to reduce noise produced by distributed wind turbines in a variety of wind regimes and to develop a noise standard with industry participants that can be used for the growing domestic distributed wind turbine market. This research will support the program's public-private partnerships, both directly in working with industry and indirectly in providing necessary underlying research.

In the longer term, program researchers will work to develop physics-based aeroacoustics codes for both design and problem solving applications. These will enable more slender blades and higher tip speeds, enhancing both cost and performance of future designs.

Site-Specific Design

For wind use to continue to grow, future wind energy installations will need to be in areas with more challenging winds. Wind farms will need to move into areas with less wind, using taller towers and longer blades to harvest the more rarified energy. Wind turbines designed to be strong enough to survive high wind areas will drive up the cost unnecessarily for less windy sites and could limit the area into which wind energy is able to provide cost effective energy. The benefits of designing significant installations (100 MW or more) for specific site conditions are substantial. The nature of the atmospheric loading at increasing heights must be assessed and documented. The types of blades, including aerodynamic geometry, controls, and structural details need to be tuned to the energy capture requirements and durability suitable for low energy and lightly loaded sites. Every structural strength requirement throughout the system is sized based on the expected maximum event and turbulence at the site.

Site specific design will also be crucial for the development of offshore wind farms.

This area of work is therefore two-fold. One is to create systematic methods of specifying specific site energy and load conditions. The other area will be to conduct the field measurements that validate the procedure, and to work in public-private partnerships that fill in the site-specific information at interesting regions of the country, both onshore and offshore.

Inflow Characterization

To harvest electricity economically from low wind speed sites, turbines must reach higher up, where the winds are stronger. Wind speeds increase with altitude, but so do turbulent wind patterns. Turbulent winds can cause wind turbine damage that would reduce the life of the turbine.

Researchers need a much better understanding of the wind resource and the nature of inflow and its impact on turbine performance and reliability. A clear understanding of the nocturnal jets encountered at sites in the Great Plains is critical. (The nocturnal jet is a poorly understood phenomenon that occurs at night as cooling allows high-level, high-velocity winds to dip close to the earth's surface, creating violently turbulent wind regimes. Low wind speed turbines will be exposed to nocturnal jets in some areas.) New components and architectures, which reduce structural loads while increasing performance and energy output, must be explored. Design and performance codes must continue to improve if innovation is to be sustained.

Design Load Specification

The inherent uncertainties of site conditions, turbulent winds, extreme events, and component strength must also be accounted for in a manner that does not require overly conservative design margins. International design standards have traditionally been based on the worst-case situation over broadly defined site classes. As turbines become routinely designed for specific sites, where these standard load cases can be reduced and tuned to site-specific conditions, the ability to estimate and account for individual design uncertainties will become necessary. Site-specific design margins will be needed to avoid a catastrophic loss of a wind plant. Sophisticated financial institutions increasingly will require site-specific design for due-diligence before investing in large installations. Methods of estimating and designing to site-specific environments with uncertainty-based design margins will be established and integrated into standard design practices.

Generator, Drive Train and Power Electronics Efficiency Improvements

Drive train components include generators, gearboxes, shafts, and bearings. These components convert the slow-rotating mechanical energy from the rotor into electrical energy. Low wind speed turbines and small, distributed turbines will need drive trains specially designed to operate in these challenging operating environments.

Systems and Controls

Low wind speed and distributed wind turbines will be dynamically active and must be carefully designed to lessen unwanted structural dynamic loads and responses. New innovative hub control strategies are being developed to reduce unwanted aerodynamic loads at the rotor hub. Optimization of conventional control strategies such as blade pitching as well as developing new methods including twist-coupled blades and embedded micro-tabs are being evaluated. The control strategies have to be designed to meet two seemingly conflicting goals to increase energy capture, yet reduce turbine structural loading. Studies indicate that low wind speed technology goals can be met if wind energy technology moves toward large slender turbines placed on tall towers. Designing these large structures to be long lasting and fatigue-resistant at minimal cost is a difficult task. While the rotor itself can be made more cost effective through innovative approaches to control, it is the entire wind turbine system that is the expected beneficiary as loads are reduced everywhere on the structure.

Operations and maintenance costs have continued to drop as manufacturers and operators gain experience in manufacturing, installing, and maintaining wind turbine plants. After the low hanging fruit of improper component selection, inadequate maintenance practices, and poor installation have been harvested, it will still be necessary to drive down field maintenance costs. This is especially true as turbine size increases and the installations move offshore. Not only do the site conditions change offshore —with low level jets at high elevations and corrosive wave environments — but the cost of each maintenance interaction becomes prohibitive. Methods for health monitoring and preventive maintenance will be created to mitigate the effects of increasingly more difficult operations.

To address research needs specific to passively and actively controlled distributed wind turbines, improvements in current design model capabilities are needed. These models are implemented in computer codes used by industry to improve turbine designs as they go through the engineering design process. Many small turbines use a passive overspeed control such as furling. In furling, the force of the wind turns the rotor sideways, just as farm water-pumping windmills have done for 100 years. So far, no computer codes have been able to reliably predict the performance or assist in the design of furling mechanisms. This means such designs need to be performed empirically, raising development costs.

       Projects on wind energy

            Wind Energy Project coding related to Expert systems, Fuzzy Logic, Neural Networks, Genetic algorithms, applications in alarm processing, fault diagnosis in Wind power systems, Reactive power , voltage control, Stability control for Hybrid Power Systems and Intelligent control techniques for Wind Diesel Hybrid energy systems are available at ESS.

    Suggested Projects on Wind Energy are listed Below

1. PROBABILISTIC LOAD FLOW IN DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS CONTAINING DISPERSED WIND POWER GENERATION
2. GENERATING FIXED VOLTAGE AND FREQUENCY FROM A GENERATOR DRIVEN WITH A VARIABLE SPEED, OPTIMIZES THE POWER-EXTRACTION
3. Analysis of Distributed Resources Operating in Unbalanced Distribution Circuits
4. A DUAL STATOR WINDING INDUCTION GENERATOR WITH A FOUR SWITCH INVERTER-BATTERY SCHEME FOR CONTROL
5. The Role of O+ Ions in Channeling Solar Wind Energy to the Ionosphere
6. Electromechanical Torsional Analysis for a Generator Test Bed
7. Direct solution method for induction wind turbines in models initialising doubly fed power system dynamic
8. INVESTIGATION INTO THE POSSIBILITY OF PARTIAL DISCHARGE DAMAGE IN A SYNCHRONOUS GENERATOR SUPPLYING A THYRISTOR BRIDGE LOAD
9. Dynamic Interaction of an Integrated Doubly-Fed Induction Generator and a Fuel Cell Connected to Grid
10. Electric Energy Generator
11. Dynamic Thermal Ratings Monitors and Calculation Methods
12. Intelligent Controller for a Stand-Alone Hybrid Generation System
13. Control and Performance Evaluation of a Flywheel Energy-Storage System Associated to a Variable-Speed Wind Generator
14. A Study on applications of Energy Storage for the Wind Power Operation in Power Systems
15. Active Shunt Filter for Harmonic Mitigation in Wind Turbines Generators
16. Dynamic Voltage Collapse Index Wind Generator Application
17. DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM WITH DISTRIBUTED GENERATION LOAD FLOW
18. Practical Application of Wind Power Models in System Analysis
19. A Simplified Electric Circuit Model for the Analysis of Hybrid Wind-Fuel Cell Systems
20. Applying Time Series to Power Flow Analysis in Networks With High Wind Penetration
21. Poynting Vector Analysis of Synchronous Generators Using Field Simulations
22. Stray-Load Losses in Polyphase Induction Machines
23. Modeling distributed generations in three-phase distribution load flow
24. Using an OPF like Approach to Define the Operational Strategy of a Wind Park under a System Operator Control
25. Voltage and Power Flow Control of Grid Connected Wind Generation System using DSTATCOM
26. The Application of Droop-Control in Distributed Energy Resources to Extend the Voltage Collapse Margin
27. A Novel Multi-Port DC-DC Converter for Hybrid Renewable Energy Distributed Generation Systems Connected to Power Grid
28. Permanent load shifting and UPS functionality at a Telecommunications site using the a case study
29. AGC FOR DISTRIBUTED GENERATION
30. Design and Construction of a Three Phase of Self-Exited Induction Generator
31. Voltage and Frequency Control with Neutral Current Compensation in an Isolated Wind Energy Conversion System
32. Direct Voltage Control for Standalone Wind Energy Conversion Systems with Induction Generator and Energy Storage
33. PI CONTROLLER BASED FREQUENCY REGULATOR FOR DISTRIBUTED GENERATION
34. A Multi-Directional Power Converter for a Hybrid Renewable Energy Distributed Generation System with Battery Storage
35. From Power Line to Pipeline – Creating an Efficient and Sustainable Market Structure
36. The Dynamic Characteristics Numerical Simulation Of The Wind Turbine Generators Tower Based On The Turbulence Model
37. Voltage Stability Analysis of Grids Connected Wind Generators
38. Effective Voltage and Frequency Control Strategy for a Stand-Alone System with Induction Generator/Fuel Cell/Ultracapacitor
39. Probabilistic Constrained Load Flow Considering Integration of Wind Power Generation and Electric Vehicles
40. Stand-alone DC power plant supplied by an alternative energy integrated modular system
41. Torque-Ripple in AC Switched Reluctance Generators
42. VRB Modeling for Storage in Stand-Alone Wind Energy Systems
43. Calculating Steady-State Operating Conditions for Doubly-Fed Induction Generator Wind Turbines
44. MODELING AND SIMULATION OF DISTRIBUTED GENERATION (DG) FOR DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS LOAD FLOWANALYSIS
45. An Off-grid Model Setup for Wind Electric Conversion System
46. Architectures for smart end-user services in the power grid
47. CONVERTER PERFORMANCE OF GRID CONNECTED WIND POWER GENERATING SYSTEMS
48. Short-Term Scheduling and Control of Active Distribution Systems With High Penetration of Renewable Resources
49. Control and analysis of a hybrid renewable energy-based power system
50. Validation of Single- and Multiple-Machine Equivalents for Modeling Wind Power Plants
51. Probabilistic Load Flow Including Wind Power Generation
52. Smart Operation of Wind Turbines and Diesel Generators According to Economic Criteria
53. A Hybrid AC/DC Micro-Grid
54. Analysis of Hybrid Photovoltaic and Wind Energies Connected to Unbalanced Distribution Systems
55. A Simple Optimal Power Flow Model with Energy Storage
56. VSC Supported Active Load Control for SEIG Under Load Perturbations
57. Improved Load Flow Model for Induction Generators Differentiating Stator and Rotor Circuits
58. Optimal Operation by Controllable Loads Based on Smart Grid Topology Considering Insolation Forecasted Error
59. Power Flow Analysis of a Grid-Connected High- Voltage Microgrid with Various Distributed Resources
60. Assessing the Steady State Post-disturbance Condition of Power Systems Including Fixed-speed and Doubly-fed Induction Generators
61. Reliability Evaluation of Generation System Incorporating Renewable Generators in a Spot Power Market
62. Impact of Wind Penetration and HVDC Upgrades on Dynamic Performance of Future Grids
63. Stochastic Optimal Power Flow in Systems with Wind Power
64. Study of Voltage Profile of a Distributed Generation System
65. Modeling and Analysis of the Role of Fast-Response Energy Storage in the Smart Grid
66. ANALYSIS OF STEADY-STATE OPERATION OF DFIGBASED WIND TURBINES IN POWER SYSTEMS
67. Adapted Multilayer Feedforward ANN Based Power Management Control of Solar Photovoltaic and wind Integrated Power System
68. Economic Cost Analysis of Hybrid Renewable Energy System using HOMER
69. Coordinated Control of MTDC-based Microgrid with Wind Turbines
70. A Generalized Approach for DG Planning and Viability Analysis Under Market Scenario
71. Risk-Mitigated Optimal Power Flow for Wind Powered Grids
72. Regenerative Testing of a Concentrated-Winding Permanent-Magnet Synchronous Machine for Offshore Wind Generation—Part I Test Concept and Analysis
73. Optimal Scheduling Method in Distribution System Considering Controllable Loads
74. A Congestion Index considering the Characteristics of Generators & Networks
75. Effect of Radial Cooling Ducts on the Electromagnetic Performance of the Permanent Magnet Synchronous Generators With Double Radial Forced Air Cooling for Direct-Driven Wind Turbines
76. Security-Constrained Dispatch with Controllable Loads for Integrating Stochastic Wind Energy
77. Modeling Uncertainties in the Harmonic Distortion Calculation in Power Systems, due to Wind Farms
78. Reliability Evaluation of Electrical Distribution System Considering the Random Energy Output of Wind Power Generators
79. Structural Analysis of Voltage Stability in Power Systems Integrating Wind Power
80. A Probabilistic Operation Method of Power Systems with WFs considering Voltage and Power Flow Constraints
81. Coordinated Control of Interconnected Hydro Governor Synchronous Generator with SEIG
82. Point Estimate Method of Load Flow for Distribution Network with Photovoltaic Generators
83. adaptive relay setting for distribution system considering operation sceneries 0f wind generation
84. Probabilistic Load Margins of Power Systems Embedded with Wind Farms
85. Applying stochastic optimal power flow to power systems with large amounts of wind power and detailed stability limits
86. Modeling and control of a doubly fed induction generator with battery supercapacitor hybrid energy storage for wind power application
87. Compact Rep-Rate GW Pulsed Generator Based on Forming Line With Built-In High-Coupling Transformer
88. Optimization of an Off-grid hybrid PV-Wind-Diesel system with different battery technologies- Sensitivity Analysis
89. A Bayesian-Based Approach for a Short-Term Steady-State Forecast of a Smart Grid
90. Dispatch of Firm Wind Generation with Transmission Constraints
91. High Voltage Ride-through Control Strategy of Grid-side Converter for DFIG-based WECS
92. Management of Battery-Supercapacitor Hybrid Energy Storage and Synchronous Condenser for Isolated Operation of PMSG Based Variable-Speed Wind Turbine Generating Systems

              

   

    

 

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