FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - WIND POWER
How does a wind turbine make electricity?
The simplest way to think about this is to imagine that a wind turbine works in exactly the opposite way to a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, turbines use the wind to make electricity. Almost all wind turbines producing electricity consist of rotor blades which rotate around a horizontal hub. The hub is connected to a generator, which are located inside the nacelle. The nacelle is the large part at the top of the tower where all the electrical components are located. The wind turns the blades round, this spins the shaft, which connects to a generator and this is where the electricity is made. A generator is a machine that produces electrical energy from mechanical energy, as opposed to an electric motor which does the opposite!
How much of the time do wind turbines produce electricity?
A modern wind turbine produces electricity 70-85% of the time, but it generates different outputs dependent on wind speed. Over the course of a year, it will generate about 30% of the theoretical maximum output. This is known as its load factor. The load factor of conventional power stations is on average 50%. Example calculation for an 80KW: One year has (24 * 365 hours) = 8760 hours. When full power (= 80kW) can be generated all the time, the theoretical yearly output will be 700.800 kWh. In practice this will be around 30% of this amount = 210.240 kWh. Example calculation for a 250KW: One year has (24 * 365 hours) = 8760 hours. When full power (= 250kW) can be generated all the time, the theoretical yearly output will be 2.190.000 kWh. In practice this will be around 30% of this amount = 657.000 kWh..
What influences the output of the wind turbine?
The average wind speed. More wind means higher electricity production. It means both how fast it blows and how often it happens. More important is the average speed than the speed at any given moment. The bigger the rotor diameter, the higher the output. The tower height. Wind speeds increase at higher altitudes. So, the higher the tower, the more wind the turbine catches Turbine type; downwind or upwind. Most wind turbines face into the wind, these are called “upwind turbines” Turbines that face the other direction are called “down wind turbines”. A downwind turbine produces less energy and wears out faster compared with an upwind turbine. The reason is that the airflow around the tower introduces turbulence.
How safe is wind energy?
Wind energy is one of the safest energy technologies. No member of the public has ever been injured by wind energy or wind turbines anywhere in the world, despite the fact that there are now over 100.000 operational wind turbines.
Local law and subsidies
Many countries and local authorities support and stimulate renewable energy. Please contact us to check what kind of subsidies or other support you can get from them when switching to wind energy
What advantages do I get if I place the wind turbine?
Most imporatnt reason: 1. Wind turbines pay back for them selves in 3 to 7 years. After this period wind turbines generate electricity for many more years without significant costs. Contact us to make a calculation for you. 2. On top of this there are various other advantages depending on the situation you are in: 3. A wind turbine may stabilize an instable grid 4. You decrease your diesel need and cost 5. You decrease the diesel generator noise 6. You decrease your electricity cost. 7. You produce green energy for a better environment 8. You educate your community by setting an example of a better environment.
Do I need permission for placing a wind turbine?
Yes. Please contact us for details.
How much wind is needed to produce electricity?
Wind turbines will start to produce at 3 m/s, however, with an average wind speed of 5 m/s it gets economically interesting to produce your own electricity with a wind turbine. Stronger wind produces more electricity.
How do I read the characteristics?
Nominal Power is measured in kilowatt (kW) or megaWatt (mW). Nominal power tells the maximum amount power that the turbine can produce. Production is measured in kiloWatt hours (kWh) or megaWatt hours (mWh). Production tells you how much electrical energy will generate during a period of time. Often the time period is one year.
If I supply the over production to the grid, will I get paid for?
This depends on your local regulations. In many countries you get paid for the kWh that you supply to the grid, please consult us to review the tariff options in your country.
What is the life expectancy of a wind turbine?
Most medium to large wind turbines have a life expectancy of 20 years.
My farm / factory uses a lot of electricity. Can I use wind energy?
Yes! As a matter of fact, if there is space to install a wind turbine and there is sufficient wind, then any farm or factory can use a wind turbine. For example: A poultry farmer has a house and a large poultry shed and it consumes 120.000 kWh per year. There is sufficient wind available and the local regulations allow you to use a wind turbine. In this case an 80 kW generator can easily produce 150.000 kWh per year. Enough for your own electricity needs. At times when there is not enough wind, you will automatically draw electricity from the power grid. In this case you only pay the power company for the electricity you take from them and the rest you get from your wind turbine. If you produce more electricity (150.000 to 120.000 kWh = 30.000 kWh) then you can sell the over production to the power company and they will pay you a certain amount per kWh delivered.