The potential of wind energy

Wind energy is one of the technologies cheaper to obtain renewable energy. You can compete with new coal-fired plants and is cheaper than new nuclear power plants folladas. The cost of wind power varies in function of numerous factors. On average, a wind farm in a good location can cost between 4 and 5 euro cents per unit, while nuclear power costs between 5 and 9 cents, although in this cost are not internalized the costs of scrapping the plant, decontamination and transport, and storage of nuclear waste. This internalization of the costs that the generation of electricity through wind power is the cheapest.

Really, how does a wind turbine or a plant of wind turbines work? In reality, a wind turbine is a aeroturbina (turbine that uses air for their operation) used to operate an electric generator. Its function is to convert the wind’s kinetic energy into electrical energy, as we explained Emilien Simonot, from the technical department of the Asociación Empresarial Eólica (AEE).

Types of wind turbines

There are different types of wind turbines but the most used, and also the most efficient, are the so-called “tri-bladed horizontal-axis”. According to Simonet, “the gondolas are placed on a tower because the wind speed increases with height. In addition, we try to locate them away from obstructions (trees, buildings, etc) that create turbulence in the air and in places where the wind blows with a similar intensity all the time, so that your performance is optimal”.

Wind turbines produce electricity by exploiting the natural energy of the wind to drive a generator. The wind is a clean source of energy, sustainable that can never be exhausted, and the transformation of its kinetic energy into electrical energy produces no emissions. The wind turbines are the natural evolution of wind mills and wind today are high tech devices. The majority of turbines generates electricity from the wind, a speed of between 3 and 4 meters per second, it generates a maximum power of 15 meters per second and is switched off to prevent damage when there are storms with winds that blow at average speeds of over 25 meters per second during a time interval of 10 minutes.

An efficient way of working

The wind turbines start to work when the wind reaches a speed of 3 to 4 meters per second, and reaches the maximum electricity production with a wind of about 13 to 14 meters per second. If the wind is very strong, for example of 25 meters per second as the average speed during 10 minutes, wind turbines are stopped for safety reasons.

“A turbine works the opposite that a fan”to Generate energy from the wind is simple. The wind passes over the blades of the wind turbine and causes a rotating force. The blades rolled to a shaft inside the nacelle, which goes into a gearbox. The gearbox increases the rotational speed of the shaft from the rotor and drives the generator which uses magnetic fields to convert the rotational energy into electrical energy.