Wind energy is a type of renewable energy that utilises wind turbines to convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy. If you’re not familiar with the terminology surrounding wind energy, don’t fret, as we’ve got you covered. One of the most fundamental terms you’ll come across is “wind turbine,” which refers to the device responsible for converting wind energy into electrical energy.
Are you familiar with the basics of wind energy? If you’re interested in renewable energy, you’ve likely heard of wind energy. However, you may still be unsure of the terminology surrounding this form of energy. Fear not, as we’ve got you covered. Here’s an explanation of some of the most common wind energy terms you may encounter.
A wind turbine is a device that converts wind energy into electrical energy. It consists of three main components, including the rotor that converts the wind energy into rotational energy, a nacelle that houses the generator, gearbox, and other components, and a tower that supports the rotor and nacelle.
The rotor is the part of the wind turbine that converts the energy in the wind into rotational energy. It features two or three blades that are designed like airfoils, spinning around a central hub to generate rotational energy connected to the generator.
The generator is a crucial part of the wind turbine that converts the rotational energy from the rotor into electrical energy, utilising electromagnetic induction to produce an electric current.
The pitch control is a system that adjusts the angle of the blades to regulate the speed of the rotor. It reduces the lift generated by the blades during high winds and increases the lift during low wind conditions to manage the rotor’s speed.
Yaw control is a system that adjusts the orientation of the rotor to align it with the wind’s direction. It employs a sensor and a motor to turn the nacelle and rotor assembly to the proper position.
The cut-in speed is the wind speed at which the wind turbine begins generating electricity, typically around 3-4 m/s (7-9 mph).
The cut-out speed is the wind speed at which the wind turbine stops generating electricity to protect itself from damage, typically around 25 m/s (56 mph).
Capacity factor measures the efficiency of the wind turbine by comparing the actual energy produced over a specified period to the maximum energy it could have generated if it had been at full capacity for that time.
A wind farm is a group of wind turbines located in the same area and connected to the same electrical grid, usually built-in areas with high wind speeds like coastal regions or mountain passes.
An offshore wind farm is a wind farm situated in the ocean, harnessing stronger and more consistent winds to generate electricity.