Research Papers: Alternative Energy Sources

Efficient Wind Energy Conversion: Evolution to Modern Design

[+] Author and Article Information
Ashwani K. Gupta

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 27, 2014; final manuscript received February 20, 2015; published online April 2, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Ryo Amano.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 137(5), 051201 (Sep 01, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: JERT-14-1427; doi: 10.1115/1.4030109 History: Received December 27, 2014; Revised February 20, 2015; Online April 02, 2015

The vast dimensions of the renewable energy field have drawn diverse approaches, resources, and results for a long time. The continual changing behaviors and cycles of renewable energy have encouraged novel developments over the years with most commonly used approaches being three blade designs mounted on a rotor and are commonly used to harvest onshore and offshore wind energy. The renewable energy field is extremely dynamic and perplexing, thus creating a heavy interest in discovering the most economical, efficient, and reliable method to harvest renewable wind energy. Producing energy through the wind is well proven and widely used method with current activities focused on improving efficiency, performance, and reliability. A major challenge of wind energy is that it is available only when and where winds prevail. The electricity produced must be used instantly or stored for use in times when none to limited winds exist. The developments of blades have been based on the aircraft propeller design but extended over a larger area to capture much energy from the wind. This paper provides some basic guidelines on the optimum design staring from the historical design, recent developments, and opportunities. Some challenges on trends are discussed with novel ideas of some future wind energy harvesting designs for enhanced applications at greater efficiency.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Estimated renewable energy share as a fraction of global energy consumption

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Fig. 2

Renewable power capacity in the world as well as top six countries

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Fig. 6

Wind power capacity growth in the U.S. during 2001–2014

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Fig. 5

Installed wind capacity, annual generation share of total generation in Denmark during 1977–2011

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Fig. 4

Top ten countries in wind power capacity and additions

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Fig. 3

Global wind power capacity and its growth during 1996–2012

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Fig. 9

Savonius wind turbine

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Fig. 8

James Blyth’s electricity-generating wind turbine, photographed in 1891

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Fig. 10

The first automatically operated wind turbine, built in Cleveland in 1887 by Charles F. Brush. It was 60 ft (18 m) tall, weighed 4 ton (3.6 metric tonne) and powered a 12 kW generator.

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Fig. 14

Power coefficient with number of blades

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Fig. 15

Wind power at different wind speeds and blade angles

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Fig. 12

Darrieus design with straight blades

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Fig. 13

Power coefficient as a function of tip speed ratio

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Fig. 16

Wind turbine size evolution

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Fig. 19

Wind turbine at exit of power plant stacks

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Fig. 18

Kite inspired wind turbine

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Fig. 17

Wind turbine blade with solar cells



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