WHAT IS WIND ENERGY?

WIND Offshore_mascontraste

The wind energy sector has become the most mature of all renewable energy sectors, especially the part of the industry dedicated to offshore wind. Becoming one of the pillars of the global energy transition, the need to work with safe and efficient means in the installation, maintenance and repair of wind turbines and related infrastructure will become necessary.

WIND ENERGY: DEFINITION

The air has mass and, when in motion, causes kinetic energy by the effect of air currents that can be transformed into electricity.

This kinetic energy is harnessed by means of wind turbines, whose blades, attached to the rotor, are pushed by the aerodynamic effect, turning the rotor of the generator which, through the power train, produces electrical energy.

Subsequently, what wind farms do is evacuate the electricity produced from their processing center by means of a power line to a distribution substation, which is supplied with the energy produced, which it provides to the end user.

It is therefore a clean and inexhaustible energy source, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and preserves the environment.

WIND TURBINE PHYSIOGNOMY

As we see in the image above, the wind turbine consists of several parts:

  1. Blades: These are aerodynamic profiles like NACA profiles, which capture the wind and transmit its power to where the hub is located.
  2. Shovel holder: Support where the blades are attached so that they fit perfectly
  3. Pitch Actuator:  A system that orients the blades to get the highest possible wind
  4. Hub: It is a cylindrical component on which the low-speed shaft of wind turbines rests and rotates
  5. Hub Cover: Covers the wind turbine's nose to prevent damage to the inside
  6. Main bracket: Acts as a support between the rotor and the main shaft (slow shaft).
  7. Low-Speed/Main Shaft: The one that joins the hub with the multiplier. It allows the kinetic energy to be passed in the multiplier.
  8. Signaling light: Light to signal the wind turbine and prevent air accidents
  9. Multiplier: It is a box that works by modifying the speed received from the hub. You can rotate the axis fast between 50 and 75 times faster than the slow one.
  10. Hydraulic element cooler: The entire mechanism that works in a wind turbine generates heat, which is why it takes a cooling unit, an electric fan, to keep the generator and other elements cool. It also contains a coolant fluid that refreshes the oil used by the multiplier.
  11. High-speed shaft and mechanical brakes: Located at the outlet of the multiplier, it allows to operate the generator or alternator. It can rotate to 1500 rpm. Accompanied by mechanical brakes to prevent accidents and to be able to stop the machine.
  12. Electric Generator: Acts as an alternator modulating the energy that enters the multiplier transforming it into electrical energy. It is commonly an induction generator, whose power can range from 500 kW to 1500 kW.
  13. Electronic controller: It is a computerized device that continuously monitors the status of the wind turbine.
  14. Transformer: It is responsible for transforming the low voltage that comes out of the generator and increases it to medium voltage. It can be in the nacelle or in the tower. Offshore they are usually located in the gondola.
  15. Anemometer: Essential to measure wind speed and obtain data for the proper operation of the wind turbine.
  16. Nacelle structure: May have different shapes depending on the manufacturer. It serves to cover all the elements inside.
  17. Tower: Vertical structure that supports the nacelle.
  18. Orientation mechanism: It is a kind of sensor that is activated through an electronic controller and captures the direction that the wind carries by means of a vane and consequently orients the wind turbine in the direction of higher wind speed.

 

Source:Guillem Candelas González: Diseño de un aerogenerador offshore con soporte jacket