Do wind turbines need wind?

Asked By: Habibou | Last Updated: 13th May, 2020
Category: business and finance power and energy industry
4.2/5 (61 Views . 18 Votes)
Wind turbines work on a simple principle: instead of using electricity to make wind—like a fan—wind turbines use wind to make electricity. Wind turns the propeller-like blades of a turbine around a rotor, which spins a generator, which creates electricity.

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Simply so, do Wind Turbines work when there is no wind?

As has been mentioned, without wind they don't work. On the other hand it only takes a light breeze, enough to start wind vanes and leaves stirring, to also start generating at least some power, and it's extremely rare for there to be no wind at all throughout the UK.

Additionally, do wind turbines require power? Consumption of Electricity by Wind Turbines [AWEO.org] Large wind turbines require a large amount of energy to operate. Other electricity plants generally use their own electricity, and the difference between the amount they generate and the amount delivered to the grid is readily determined.

Hereof, what wind speed do wind turbines need?

Generally, annual average wind speeds greater than four meters per second (m/s) (9 mph) are required for small wind electric turbines (less wind is required for water-pumping operations). Utility-scale wind power plants require minimum average wind speeds of 6 m/s (13 mph).

What are the disadvantages of using wind energy?

The two major disadvantages of wind power include initial cost and technology immaturity. Offshore wind energy produces more energy than onshore wind energy, but costs much more to establish. The primary costs of wind turbines include construction and maintenance.

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What are the cons of wind energy?

Cons of Wind Energy
  • Wind Reliability. Wind doesn't generally blow reliably, and turbines usually function at about 30% capacity or so.
  • Threat to Wildlife.
  • Noise and Visual Pollution.
  • Expensive to Set Up.
  • Safety of People.
  • Suitable to Certain Locations.
  • Effect on Environment.

Can wind energy be stored?

The major challenge to using wind as a source of power is that it is intermittent and does not always blow when electricity is needed. Wind cannot be stored (although wind-generated electricity can be stored, if batteries are used), and not all winds can be harnessed to meet the timing of electricity demands.

Are wind turbines noisy?

Wind turbines emit a relatively weak but characteristic noise. The noise is mainly generated by the movement of the blades through the air. This produces a swishing sound in rate with the rotation of the blades, as well as noise from the turbine machinery.

Why do wind turbines stop when it's windy?

The most common reason that turbines stop spinning is because the wind is not blowing fast enough. Most wind turbines need a sustained wind speed of 9 MPH or higher to operate. Technicians will also stop turbines to perform routine maintenance or repairs.

How long does a wind turbine take to pay for itself?


“The short answer is that a typical wind turbine, of the type shown, will have an energy payback of less than 6 months and a carbon dioxide payback of around 6 months.”

What happens when wind turbines stop?

As the wind speed continues to increase, the power generated by the turbine remains constant until it eventually hits a cut-out speed (varies by turbine) and shuts down to prevent unnecessary strain on the rotor.

Why do wind turbines have 3 blades?

This is because when one blade is in the horizontal position, its resistance to the yaw force is counter-balanced by the two other blades. So, a three-bladed turbine represents the best combination of high rotational speed and minimum stress.

How much does a 15kW wind turbine cost?

Impact on Property Price
System size Indicative system cost Approx. yearly system output*
2.5kW (pole-mounted) $17,000 4,400kWh
5kW (pole-mounted) $32,000 8,900kWh
10kW (pole-mounted) $64,000 21,500kWh
15kW (pole-mounted) $100,000 36,000kWh

Why do wind turbines turn so slowly?

The short answer is that if they move slowly, they produce less power. If there is too little wind and the blades are moving too slowly, the wind turbine no longer produces electricity. The turbine starts to create power at what is known as the cut-in speed.

Where does the electricity from wind turbines go?


Electricity from the wind turbine generator travels to a transmission substation where it is converted into extremely high voltage, between 155,000 and 765,000 volts, for long distance transmission on the transmission grid. This grid comprises a series of power lines that connect the power sources to demand centers.

How much does a single wind turbine blade cost?

For a 1.5-MW turbine, typical blades should measure 110 ft to 124 ft (34m to 38m) in length, weigh 11,500 lb/5,216 kg and cost roughly $100,000 to $125,000 each. Rated at 3.0 MW, a turbine's blades are about 155 ft/47m in length, weigh about 27,000 lb/12,474 kg and are valued at roughly $250,000 to $300,000 each.

Is a home wind turbine worth it?

Small wind turbines can be a cost-effective way to generate renewable electricity for your home. However, many residential properties are not suitable for wind turbines for a few reasons. For one, to generate enough electricity to make the upfront investment worthwhile, wind turbines need to be in a windy location.

Why are wind turbines painted white?

Most turbines are painted pure white or light grey, in a bid to make them as visually unobtrusive as possible. Generator Protection: The white also reflects sunlight, which minimizes expansion and cracking of the gel coat that protects the fiberglass composite rotors.

Why are wind turbines bad?

Electricity from wind energy must be stored (i.e. batteries). Wind turbines are a potential threat to wildlife such as birds and bats. Deforestation to set up a wind farm creates an environmental impact. Noise is a complaint with many wind farms that are close to communities.

Can wind turbines spin too fast?


Average Wind Turbine Speeds
Wind turbine blades should not spin too slow or too fast but should be somewhere in the middle for the best results. If the blades are spinning too rapidly, they will create turbulence between them and will end up blocking the wind from entering through the gaps.

How loud are wind turbines?

The closest that a wind turbine is typically placed to a home is 300 meters or more. At that distance, a turbine will have a sound pressure level of 43 decibels. To put that in context, the average air conditioner can reach 50 decibels of noise, and most refrigerators run at around 40 decibels.