The use of wind power provides people the opportunity to partially or wholly generate the electricity, fuel or water used in their homes. Distancing ourselves from fossil fuels is particularly important, in part to bring global warming to its assumed halt and to reduce the emission of harmful substances and also because of the threats of the approaching peak oil.
The use of wind power is one of the fastest
growing forms of exploiting renewable energy
sources with the highest capacity
increase in recent years. Wind power
generation currently increases by 20% annually.
Using wind power, the VertiGo SRG Wind Generator product line is a committed and consistent embodimentof the sustainable and viable development model.
The kinetic energy of wind has been used for thousands of years - with
the help of sails, for example - but its use in architecture to
operate various ventilation systems looks back on a similarly
long history. The first wind-driven machine was a wind wheel by
Hero of Alexandria in the 1st century.
The wind mills, known since the Middle Ages, used wind power. These appeared on the territory of today’s Iran in the 9th century, although some theories suggest that they had already been in use as early as the 7th century. From then on, these structures came into increasingly general use in the Middle East and Central Asia. They were employed in India and China as well, when around 1180 they began to appear in a number of places in Northwestern Europe mainly to mill grain but also to drain land making it suitable for cultivation or construction.
This technology was brought to the American
continent by European settlers.
At the end of the 19th century, people started using wind power for pumping water. In the 1920s, similar technologies were used in rural areas of the United States, but these became outdated with the growth of the electricity grid, and wind power only began to play a more significant role at the end of the 20th century. At the beginning of the 21st century, thanks to technological advance, the cost of investing in wind power decreased rapidly and at present it is one of the fastest growing sources of energy with an annual capacity growth around 20%.
Interesting fact: In 2012, a toy inspired Massoud Hassani of Afghanistan to develop a wind-driven device to activate land mines.
At the time of the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867, there were more than 1,000 wind mills in operation in Hungary on the territory of today’s Csongrád County.
The cost of producing wind power has been decreasing significantly in recent years, but still it
is not cheaper than the price of electricity generated using other means
(HUF 25 per kWh, compared to the average HUF 14.16 per kWh). In 2005, the production of wind
power cost one fifth of its price at the end of the 1990s and this
trend is expected to continue through the mass production of large
Wind power generation is growing rapidly. By 2012, it is estimated to
outgrow the previous level two and a half times.
Interesting fact: At the beginning of 2015, the 400th giant wind turbine was put into operation in Burgenland, Austria. In Germany, there were 2,800 wind turbines in 2014.
In any case, wind power today already plays an important role in electricity generation in certain places of the world. Wind turbines alone account for 14%, 40% and 20% of the electricity generated in Iowa, USA, the German province of Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark respectively.
1-3% of the Sun’s energy reaching the Earth is transformed into wind power. This is 50-100 times
more than what the entire flora of the Earth converts through photosynthesis.
A large part of this wind power is found at high altitudes where continuous wind speeds
can exceed 160 kilometres per hour. Through the friction the wind power is dissipated in
the Earth's atmosphere and on its surface.
Wind is generated because the Earth’s rotation causes the Sun’s heat to reach our planet unevenly. The poles receive less energy than the equatorial regions, and the land heats up and cools down faster than the seas. The temperature differences in the layers ranging from the ground up to the stratosphere keep a global air flow system in motion.
The movement of winds is complicated by a number of other factors, such as the changing of the seasons or the alternation of day and night, the so-called Coriolis effect, the unevenness of the reflectance of land and water, humidity and wind friction.
A wind turbine is a mechanism that utilises and converts the wind power into rotational motion using a blade structure. Wind power is renewable energy captured by a wind engine (wind turbine). Wind turbines do not require significant maintenance; they are relatively cheap to build, extremely reliable, and exert no harmful impact on the environment. Three-phase electricity is generated, which can be transmitted with very low losses over long distances using a transformer. The predecessor of this machine is the windmill which used mechanical energy e.g. to mill grain.
The amount of electricity gained from wind power varies by season; the transitional seasons and the winter are windier than the summer. Hungary belongs to the moderately windy category, with weak winds being most typical; the utilisation of the wind power is therefore less efficient using conventional technology.
The rotation of the turbine blades falls in the range of n=15-60 revolutions per minute. In an open field, the average wind speed to start the turbines is 0.5 m/s. The wind speed increases in proportion to height (Herrmann formula), approximately by the correlation below:
• v1 wind speed at a height h1 near the ground, • v2 wind speed at a height h2.
The 1/5 exponent is a mean value, in fact, it has daily and yearly fluctuations in a particular place.
The wind turbines are basically of three types:
1. The horizontal axis wind turbine is the most common type. The turbine blades and the generator are located at the top of a tower.
2. The axle of the vertical axis wind turbine sits vertically, requiring no steering blade.
3. A great diversity of specially designed wind turbines exists.
The serial production of wind turbines started in Denmark
in 1979. The first factories, the Kuriant, Vestas, Nordtank and Bonus
laid the foundations for modern wind power industry. These early
turbines were far less powerful (20-30 kW) than today’s models.
Nearly one-third of Denmark's power requirement is covered from wind farms,
which is the highest rate in the world.
Already a leader both in wind turbine manufacturing and use,
the country aims to increase the above rate to 50%.
Nowadays, many countries produce wind turbines and there
are thousands of turbines in operation worldwide.
The current total output is 318 GW,
up 35 GW from previous year.
In 2013, China, the United States of America, Germany, Spain and India had the largest wind power capacities (see table).
Characteristic of the rate of growth is that 35% of the new electricity generation capacity installed in the USA since 2005 accounts for wind power, exceeding the capacity of coal and natural gas-based new power plants. The amount of electricity generated this way quadrupled between 2000 and 2006. 81% of the wind turbines are found in the United States and Europe, but the first five countries’ share of new installations was 71% in 2004 and 62% in 2006. Since then, China invested heavily in wind power too, and today this Asian country has the largest nominal capacity. Between February 2006 and February 2007, wind power generation in the USA increased by 31.8%.
1 MW of electricity generated in wind power plants is sufficient for supplying 250 average US households. According to the American Wind Energy Association, the USA covered 1% of its total power requirement (approx. 4.5 million households) from wind power in 2008. This value was 0.1% in 1999. A study of the US Department of Energy showed that three states or offshore wind farms could generate sufficient wind power for the whole country. Outrivalling California, the state of Texas has grown into the largest producer of wind power. In 2007, the 4.5 GW output was intended to be raised by 2 GW. With its generation of 6,270 MW in 2006, India was fourth among the countries with the highest wind power capacity. India produces 3% of the world's total energy generation. In November 2006, The World Wind Energy Conference was held in Delhi, which gave new impetus to the development of the Indian wind power industry. The wind farm next to Muppandal provides energy to a very poor village. Suzlon Energy of India is the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer.
Interesting fact: Hungary’s capacity generated by wind power is 330 MW