WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WIND ENERGY?

02/04/2014 - 15:20
Renewable Energy Development Institute - REDI
ЩО ТРЕБА ЗНАТИ ПРО ВIТРОЕНЕРГЕТИКУ?

Humankind has used wind force for centuries to meet their needs. Our distant ancestors used sails to move in the seas and first windmills appeared in II – I BC in ancient Egypt. The Persians, who lived in VII AD in the territory of present Iran, constructed more contemporary windmills of the wing design.

In the years 1887-1888 a citizen of The USA Charles F. Brush built a wind turbine generator of 12 kilowatt in his yard. This generator assured working of 350 hot lamps. In this way the wind turbine provided his house and laboratory with electricity by 1990 year. The wind energy plays a key role among renewable sources of energy. According to the evaluation of the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (the USA), the surface on which the annual average wind velocity at height of anemometer (8- 10 meters) exceeds 5,1 m/s is 25% of the surface area of the Earth.

Taking into consideration technical, ecological and other indicators, in 2020 the wind turbines with a total capacity of approximately 450 million kW with average production of electricity over 9000 billion kWh could be built, and it would provide 3,5% of the energy produced in the world. Most countries possessing a great wind potential and developed industry, including wind energy, develop and use national wind energy development programmes. The support is realized in different ways and will be valid until the wind energy becomes a self-dependent, commercial way of electricity production.

In March last year the disaster of the nuclear power plant “Fukushima-1” led to demonstrations in the cities streets, which hundreds people took part in. The demontrators wanted all nuclear reactors stop working in Germany, though in this terrain neither destructive earthquakes nor tsunami is predicted to appear.

The German authorities were forced to abolish the right to extend the time limits operation of a nuclear power by 2035. A new plan of the Ministry of Environment predicts absolute discontinuance of six nuclear power plants in 2021 and next three ones in 2022. After occurrences in Japan only 4 of 17 nuclear stations still work.

With regards to these occurrences the wind energy in Germany took a firm place and has developed fast. In Europe 1 kW of the wind energy costs 9 cents, and it is only twice more expensive than the energy produced by electric plant (for comparison: the costs of solar energy are 40 cents). Taking into account a number of devices producing the wind energy (20 000) Germany is ahead of all countries in the world. The world biggest wind turbine generators with 6 MW power levels (Enercom Company, 2005) and of 5 MW (The Repower System, 2004) are in Germany.

Nobody is surprised by gigantic devices (a height of the highest one is 138 meters) with huge “propeller”. The steel blades are so big that they can not be transported in one piece. A wind motor connected with an electric current generator, wheels with the velocity of 20-25 rotations per one minute. General power of the devices which produce wind energy exceeds 25MW. A German Company producing the wind devices (it produces about 10 within a week) is fourth in the world.

The wind motor even small costs about one million euro. It may be purchased by individuals but the owner of the wind device is obligated to sell whole produced energy to the general mains electricity. Nevertheless, building the devices that produce the wind energy is beneficial. Their owners get various grants and tax concession.

Today the wind motor is not only an effective and ecological source of energy. Recent achievements in science and engineering of the wind energy astound human imagination and they both delight and amaze. In 1981 a magnetic wind engine Mag Lev was invented. E. Mazur was then a researcher of renewable sources of energy. Comparing to other engines, the advantage of this one is that it diminishes exploitation costs and lengthens generator’s working time. Apart from this it is able to generate 1 GW power level (it is enough to provide 750 000 houses with energy) and provide clear energy which cost is less than 1 cent for 1kWh. Its construction relies on the turbine’s blade hanging on an airbag. This causes that the energy is directed to a linear generator with minimal losses. Today virtual magnetic wind engine Mag Lev is situated in China.

Ukraine possesses a great natural potential to realize the wind energy projects which appeals interested investors. According to the research the valuation of the potential wind energy on the territory of Ukraine is located at 330 billion kW which exceeds the established power of the Ukrainian electric plant about 6 thousands times. Needless to say, these are only hypothetical estimates and they do not anticipate absolute exploitation of the potential but they give a real image of development perspectives in this area. The world experience proves that the most effective use of the wind energy is in maritime, offshore and mountainous areas. From this point of view, Ukraine has positive opinions about favourable geographical conditions and it has many zones prospective for the wind energy. These data were based on computer calculations carried out according to wind velocity measurements o within 20 years at 216 meteorological stations of „Goskomhydrometa” system in Ukraine. The terrains of greatest potential are terrains adjoining to The Red Sea, The Sea of Azov, the Carpathian region, East and West Crimea. Aside from this there are regions with increased wind potential, for example in Donbas region and in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Projects of construction and running wind energy for all those territories would provide about 30% coverage of Ukraine’s needs for electricity.

Currently when faster applications of renewable energy has become not only a plan for the future, but also a matter of survival, this process will become one of the most important and its results will not have to be waited long. William Arthur Ward said: “the pessimists complains about the wind, the optimist expects to changes, the realist adjusts sails”

People are forever trying to find new sources of renewable energy, so it isn’t surprising that they are especially interested in water and its versatility. Accordingly, much effort has been directed into obtaining energy from tidal and wave power, which are defined as circular movements of water molecules caused by wind that moves water surface through friction.