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  Wind Mill

Wind is harnesses and cenverted into electricity using machines called wind turbines. The amount of electricity that a turbine produces depends on its size and speed of the wind. All wind turbines have the same basic parts: blade, a tower, and a gearbox. These parts together to convert the winds kinetic energy into mechanical energy that generates electricity.

  • The moving air spins the turbine blades.
  • The blades are connected to a low speed shaft. When the blades spin, the shaft turns.
  • The low speed shaft is connected to a gearbox. Indise a large slow moving gear turns a small gear quickly.
  • The small gear turns another shaft at high speed.
  • The high speed shaft is connected to a generator. As the shaft turns the generator, it produces electricity.
  • The electric current is sent through cables down the turbine tower to a trnasformer that changes the voltage of the current before it is sent out on transmission lines.

Wind turbines are most efficient when they are built where winds blow consistently at least 13 miles per hour. Faster winds generate more electricity. high above ground, winds are stronger and steadier, so wind turbines should be placed on top of towers that are at least 30 meters tall.

There are many different types of wind turbines with different blades shapes. Different types of turbines operate most efficiently at different wind speeds. While one turbine might operate efficiently in winds as low as five miles per hour, another may need winds upto 45 miles per hour.

Power plants are usually not owned by a public utility like other kinds of power plants are. Private companies own most wind farms and sell the electricity to electric utility companies.

The best site for wind farms are on hill tops, the open plains through mountain passes, and near the coasts of ocean or large lakes. Turbines are usually built in rows facing into the revailing wind. Placing turbines too far wastes space. If turbines are too close together, they block each others wind. There are many factors to consider when siting a wind farm.

Risk Management

Mechanical Damage

This includes both damage to the actual machinery and other types of damage suddenly occurring to the wind turbine which comes within our definition of "sudden physical accidental damage". The most frequently occurring type of mechanical damage is damage to gears. Damage may also happen to bearings due to breakdown backlash and tooth breakage. These types of damage usually occur due to defects in material, fatigue, the use of wrong lub-oil or wrong lub-oil temperature, vibrations and overloading. Mechanical damage may also happen to the rotor blades. Edgewise vibrations which arise in case of a deadly combination of a specific temperature and a certain wind speed causing the rotor blades and even the whole wind turbine to start shaking to the point where, in the worst case, results in a total loss.

Damage by Lightning

This is the second most frequently occurring type of damage. However, the extent of damage differs widely from case to case. Damage by lightning can be anything from a case of minor damage to the electric control panels to a case of total damage to rotor blades, gearbox, generator and control system. Damage by lightning may be followed by consequential damage to machine parts and generator due to, among other things, impact caused by the electric charge of the lightning. Failure to install protection against lightning will cause the electric charge to travel through rotor blades, gearbox, generator and to the control panel where it may cause considerable damage.

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