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Letter of transmittal

February 27, 2019


Yazan Shakfa
Yaz.shakfa2@gmail.com

Dear Yazan Shakfa,

This report investigates The Sustainability of Wind Turbines, and methods of


further advancements in the field. This report would be published on February 27th, 2019.
The report was assigned on February 14th, 2019.
This report is split into two major areas of concern renewable energy production,
and the conservation of energy. It discusses current employed technologies, and future
projects and ideas, and the results that would be reached if those implementations are to
be made. Wind turbine design and efficiency will be areas of interest in renewable energy
sector. Energy consumption, storage, and reusability will be further analyzed and
discussed.
Thank you in advance for reviewing this report. I look forward to receive your
feedback, and would be more than happy to address any inquiries.

Sincerely,
Abdallah Alshantaf

Enclosed: technical report


The Sustainability of Wind Turbines

Abdallah Alshantaf
(214999007)
Contents
1. Introduction and Background............................................................................................................ 4
2. Description of Wind Turbines ........................................................................................................... 5
2.1Turbine Components........................................................................................................................ 6
2.1 Horizontal axis wind turbines: ............................................................................................... 6
2.2 Vertical axis wind turbines: ................................................................................................... 7
3.Discussion: ................................................................................................................................................. 8
Environmental impact ........................................................................................................................ 8
Parameters that affect Turbine design: ........................................................................................... 8
4.Conclusion:............................................................................................................................................... 10
5. References: ............................................................................................................................................. 11

Figure 1:emissions from a power plant credit (iStockphoto) ............................................................... 4


Figure 2:VAWT-left HAWT-right............................................................................................................... 5
Figure 3: HAWT types [2] .......................................................................................................................... 7
Figure 4: types of VAWT design[2] .......................................................................................................... 8
Figure 6:Bahrain World Trade Center [sh-architecture] Figure 5: turbine design in urban areas
source [New Wind] 10
1. Introduction and Background

The most commonly used source for electricity production today is coal; 41% of all
electricity is produced from coal, according to the World Coal Association. Due to its high
level of pollution (water and air pollution during mining and air pollution during burning)
and often miserable circumstances for miners, we can conclude that this is not a
sustainable source for electricity. [1]
As cities are expanding and population of people is increasing exponentially,
energy is being consumed at a faster rate than ever. With this increase in energy demand,
researchers are looking for ways to produce energy that is renewable (found in
abundance in nature) , efficient (produces energy with least amount of losses), pollution-
free, etc. Examples of renewable energy sources are wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, hydro.
Renewable energy would help solve many problems that face big and old cities, and open
new doors for uprising cities.
Engineers are hoping that the increase development in renewable energy system
would allow mankind to shift their reliance of energy sources towards more eco-friendly
ones. As climate change is affecting our planet and many ecosystems worldwide, people
are learning more about alternative methods of energy production and are becoming
more aware of the impact that the burning of fossil fuels is having on our planet.
Humans have been using wind power to perform certain tasks that were labor
demanding to make tasks simpler. For examples they were using windmills to grind corn
into flour. They used water wheels to elevate water from a low elevation to a higher
elevation. Renewable energy sources have been available at Earth as long as man has
known, but extraction methods were not efficient, or the technology was simply not there
yet.

Figure 1:emissions from a power plant credit (iStockphoto)


2. Description of Wind Turbines

Wind turbines are devices that harness energy from wind blowing over them. There
are two main types for turbines, horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWT), and vertical axis
wind turbines (VAWT). Either type have its advantages and disadvantages which relates
to the size of energy required and the mounting location of the turbines. Both types consist
of blades, a mountable tower, gearbox, brakes, generator, and transformers. When the
blades of a wind turbine turn, they rotate the axis which feeds into a generator. This
creates a DC current which can then be passed through an inverter that changes it
to AC, suitable for powering your home.

Figure 2:VAWT-left HAWT-right


2.1Turbine Components

Figure 3:turbine components

- Blades: Part of the turbine that rotates caused by wind, the faster the winds, the faster
these blades would rotate.
- Gearbox: A system component that transmits high speed rotation to great power by
changing speeds. Just like how cars shift gears, and speeds.
- Generator: Changes the rotation energy to electrical energy.
- Computer system: regulates the power output, voltage, current.
- Tower: Holds all the components at an optimum height.
2.1 Horizontal axis wind turbines:
Horizontal axis wind turbines are the most common type used. All of the components
(blades, shaft, generator) are on top of a tall tower, and the blades face into the wind. The
shaft is horizontal to the ground. The wind hits the blades of the turbine that are connected
to a shaft causing rotation. The shaft has a gear on the end which turns a generator. The
generator produces electricity and sends the electricity into the power grid. The wind
turbine also has some key elements that adds to efficiency. Inside the Nacelle (or head)
is an anemometer, wind vane, and controller that read the speed and direction of the
wind. As the wind changes direction, a motor (yaw motor) turns the nacelle so the blades
are always facing the wind. The power source also comes with a safety feature. In case
of extreme winds the turbine has a break that can slow the shaft speed. This is to inhibit
any damage to the turbine in extreme conditions.
Figure 4: HAWT types [2]
Advantages
• Blades are to the side of the turbines center of gravity, helping stability
• Ability to wing warp, which gives the turbine blades the best angle of attack
• Ability to pitch the rotor blades in a storm to minimize damage
• Tall tower allows access to stronger wind in sites with wind shear
• Tall tower allows placement on uneven land or in offshore locations
• Can be sited in forest above tree-line
• Most are self-starting
Disadvantages
• Difficulty operating in near ground winds
• Difficult to transport (20% of equipment costs)
• Difficult to install (require tall cranes and skilled operators)
• Effect radar in proximity
• Local opposition to aesthetics
• Difficult maintenance
2.2 Vertical axis wind turbines:
In vertical axis turbines the shaft the blades are connected to is vertical to the ground All
of the main components are close to the ground. Also, the wind turbine itself is near the
ground, unlike horizontal where everything is on a tower. There are two types of vertical
axis wind turbines; lift based and drag based. Lift based designs are generally much more
efficient than drag, or ‘paddle’ designs. [2]
Figure 5: types of VAWT design[2]
Wind turbines that have a vertical axis are starting to become more popular as
a way for generating localised electricity particularly for new constructions.
Because the axis is vertical, with the blades arranged around it, the array doesn’t
need to be positioned directly into the wind as with horizontal axis turbines. The
benefit of vertical axis turbines is that they can be placed much closer to the ground
and are ideal for roof top arrays. They are also lighter and more easily introduced
into a domestic, town or inner-city environment. [3]
Vertical axis wind turbines are categorized into two sections depending on
their blade designs: drag dependant or lift dependant. In general, drag dependant
are less efficient than lift dependant because they result in less torque applied to
shaft.
Advantages
• Easy to maintain
• Lower construction and transportation costs
• Not directional
• Most effective at mesas, hilltops, ridgelines and passes
Disadvantages
• Blades constantly spinning back into the wind causing drag
• Less efficient
• Operate in lower, more turbulent wind
• Low starting torque and may require energy to start turning

3.Discussion:
Environmental impact
Wind provided more than half of renewables growth, while solar contributed more than a
third despite accounting for just 21% of the total. [4]
Parameters that affect Turbine design:
Energy from the wind to electrical energy that is used to power the grid or store energy.
The turbines operate on abundant resource, wind, that is intermittently occurring in
nature, which is the reason behind different types of blades, and turbine structure.
Researchers design most largescale turbines after gathering information about the
geographical mounting location. Turbine designs depend on the type of turbine (vertical,
horizontal), sweeping area, tip speed ratio (TSR) , Reynold’s no., drag and lift coefficients.
When it comes to wind turbines, height means everything. The ideal place for a
free-standing turbine is on top of a hill with a smooth top that is free from turbulence
and obstructions such as buildings. The benefit of free-standing turbines is that
they produce a greater power output and are therefore more likely to realise a profit
with options such as the Feed in Tariff.

Cut-in speed: The minimum wind speed at which useful power can be generated.
Rated speed: The wind speed that delivers the rated power, usually the maximum power.
Cut-out speed: The maximum wind speed at which the wind turbine is designed to
produce power. At wind speeds greater than the cut-out speed, the turbine blades are
stopped by some type of braking mechanism to avoid damage and for safety issues. The
short section of dashed blue line indicates the power that would be produced if cut-out
were not implemented. [6]
4.Conclusion:
Nowadays, technology allows us to get energy from even the least expected sources.
i.e. potatoes to power lights or other devices. Technology has come a long way in terms
of looking for energy extraction and storage methods. Turbines are now becoming
cheaper in terms of production and accessibility, and more people are installing them in
their households and new and uprising buildings. They will be used even if it would be on
a small scale to power low power consuming electronics in open areas like bus stops or
subway stations. They will be used to charge phones or power routers that supply internet.

Figure 6:Bahrain World Trade Center [sh-architecture] Figure 7: turbine design in urban areas source [New Wind]
5. References:
[1] M. Helder, “Renewable energy is not enough: it needs to be sustainable,” World
Economic Forum. [Online]. Available:
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/09/renewable-energy-is-not-enough-it-needs-to-
be-sustainable/. [Accessed: 28-Feb-2019].
[2] Murat, Aydin” Wind turbines”, [accessed: 27-Feb-2019}
[3] “Types of Wind Turbines,” Improving the Efficiency of Solar Panels | The Renewable
Energy Hub. [Online]. Available: https://www.renewableenergyhub.co.uk/wind-
turbines/types-of-wind-turbines.html. [Accessed: 28-Feb-2019].
[4] “Thermal Systems,” Types Of Wind Turbines And Associated Advantages - Thermal
Systems. [Online]. Available: http://me1065.wikidot.com/types-of-wind-turbines-and-
associated-advantages. [Accessed: 28-Feb-2019].
[5] “Types of Wind Turbines,” Improving the Efficiency of Solar Panels | The Renewable
Energy Hub. [Online]. Available: https://www.renewableenergyhub.co.uk/wind-
turbines/types-of-wind-turbines.html. [Accessed: 28-Feb-2019].