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Wind turbines less efficient than claimed

03 November 2012, 15:03


The use of coal and nuclear energy to drive power stations has attracted more and more dissension in the power generating industry.  The obvious solution which usually arises from discussion in the field is ”Use wind power ”The use of wind power may have its advantages but, too, its disadvantages. The obvious disadvantage is lack of wind and a second important disadvantage is the poor efficiency to be had from Wind turbines and on wind farms. People seldom equate efficiency with the kinetic energy of the wind.

A study was carried out to determine the wind energy generated by dozens of wind farms, the majority which are in Scotland .between November 2009 and 2010.  Overall they actually ran at 22% of capacity.It is commonly expected that the wind farm runs at 33% capacity over a period of a year.

BETZ  LAW      According to BETZ LAW, No turbine can capture more than 59,3%Of the kinetic energy of the wind.  The factor 16/27 (0,593)  Is known as Betz’s coefficient. Practical utility scale wind turbines achieve at peak 75% To 80% of the Betz limit.  The Betz limit places an upper boundary on the annual limit that can be extracted at a site.    

World’s most efficient wind turbine in its class:GE’S1,6 - 100 wind turbine, 1,5MW. 31 turbines will be used in Turkey to power 14*000 Turkish households.    

The turbine power is approximately proportional to the third power of the wind velocity.  Many engineers feel that the overall design of turbines is still far from optimal.    

Total wind power could be captured only if the wind velocity is reduced to zero.  In a realistic turbine this is impossible as the captured air must leave the turbine.  A relation between input and output wind velocity must be considered.  The maximal achievable extraction of wind power by a wind turbine is 59,3 % of the total theoretical wind power.    

In many cases, but it is not the norm, that fuel powered stations are cheaper than wind powered station. This is applicable to islands and coastal stations. This may have to do with corrosion caused by humidity and salt in the atmosphere.     

Wind power costs may be constant over the entire life time of the unit while that of say coal may increase by more than double over its lifetime.Additional costs are due to increasing fuel costs and labour costs. Coal fired powers stations must bear the costs of CO2  emissions, combating it . and costs in accordance with international standards
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