Wind energy is the kinetic energy generated by virtue of the movement of large air masses caused by differential heating of the atmosphere by the sun. It is one of the clean, renewable energy sources that hold out the promise of meeting a significant portion of energy demand in the direct, grid connected modes as well as remote applications like water pumping, desalination, telecommunication, etc. The wind resource is more intermittent and is strongly influenced by terrain or geographical factors.
- The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) is located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- As per Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), India has total capacity of 23439.26 MW in wind energy. The major wind energy installations are situated in Tarhil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan.
- India now ranks 5th in the world after China, USA, Germany and Spain in grid connected wind power installations.
Wind Energy Conversion System (WECS)
- A wind energy conversion system (WECS) is a machine which generates mechanical energy powered by wind energy, that can be directly converted into electrical energy.
- The major components of a typical wind energy conversion system include a wind turbine, a generator, interconnected apparatus, and control systems.
- The wind turns large turbine blades, which spins a generator shaft and produces electricity. This electricity then charge batteries which can be connected to a building’s mains power, or to the power grid.
- In particular, medium and large scale Wind Energy Conversion System (WECS) are designed to operate in parallel with a public or local AC grid.
Advantages of Wind Energy
- Wind energy is a non-polluting and environment friendly source of energy available free of cost.
- Power generation is cheaper as there is no shortage of input and recurring expenses are almost nil.
- It can be made available easily in many off shore, on shore and remote areas. Thus it is helpful in supplying electricity to remote and rural areas.
Limitations of Wind Energy
- It has low energy density.
- It is generally favourable in geographic locations which are away from cities.
- It is variable, unsteady, irregular and intermittent type of energy resource.
- At present, it does not seem to be economic for large scale generation.