Electricity Generation Using a Wind Turbine Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:25:56
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5 pages
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Category: Electricity

Type of paper: Essay

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Wind turbines are machines built for generation of electricity. The electric power is generated by harnessing the wind speed to drive the shaft that connects to the gears assembled to amplify the amount of energy produced. Aside from wind power, other forces, like gravity and thermal energy, also affect the rotation of the blades, which in turn affect the electricity generation process. This research is aimed at creating a simple wind turbine that is capable of generating electricity. The process will be explained using the principles found in physics such as the law of gravity, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, and momentum.

Materials and Method The wind turbine setup was created using these devices: hub, three fan blades, metal box, two sets of gears, copper wire, a permanent magnet and volt meter, two rods of different sizes and couple heat sinks. These devices were then assembled to a working wind turbine. First, the blades were attached at an angle of 20 degrees. Then the gears were connected to the metal hub. The gears were then connected to a permanent magnet that was used to generate the electricity. The magnet was coiled with 80 turns of copper wire (about ? inch) for generation of power.

It was then spooled to a steel block which helped increase the voltage just like a transformer. Greased bushing was also set up between the two gears and the hub. The perforated cylindrical block was placed on both rods to serve as a heat sink. The second rod was bent at the tip to change cyclic motion to vertical motion to the magnet. Finally, the wind turbine was mounted on a 10 feet tall support above ground level and was observed. Discussion The wind turbine was observed to see how it can generate electricity or if it can. As the wind blew on the blades, they turned along with the shaft.

The shaft was connected to the gears that were also connected to the permanent magnet. When the magnet moved, the volt meter needle deflected which meant it detected electric power from the wind turbine. The wind turbine was successfully set up and generated electricity. The process of converting wind energy into electric energy can be explained using some of the principles in physics: law of gravity, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, and momentum. While the whole setup depends on wind movements, other types of forces also affect the generation of electricity such as gravity and friction.

Newtons first law of motion states that an object at rest will remain at rest while an object in motion will remain in motion. This is also called the Law of Inertia or the resistance of an object to change its state of motion. Mass, being the property of matter, is used to measure the amount of inertia. This mass also causes gravitational field; the bigger the mass, the stronger the field. Consequently, in the presence of another object of different mass, their gravitation forces affect one another, that is, they attract one another. Earth is an example and the assembled turbine fan is the other object.

Since the fan has smaller mass than the earth, it tends to fall to the earth or that the earth pulls it down. The force of attraction between earth and gravity is computed as mass multiplied by acceleration due to gravity (Wfan = mg); the result of which is also the weight of the fan. This concept can be used to explain why the turbine fan turns when the wind blows on it. Aside from the streamlined design of the blades allowing smooth air flow, the pull force of gravity also helps the fan turn on its place or as long as it is mounted to the support. Next is electricity and magnetism.

When the fan turned, the gears connected to the magnet also turned. We know from Hans Christian Orsted that electricity goes together with magnetism putting sense to the term electromagnetism. Electric wires do have magnetic properties and magnets also have electrical properties. This is can be shown in the wind turbine setup. The general principle in producing electricity using magnets and coils of wires is called electromagnetic induction. Faraday developed the law of electromagnetic induction stating that the induced electromotive force in a closed loop is directly proportional to the time rate of change of magnetic flux through the loop.

We already know that magnetic flux is the measure of quantity of magnetism considering the strength and extent of the magnetic field. Thus, the magnetic field of the permanent magnet and the rotating motion generates electricity. This explains how kinetic energy from the wind is converted to electric energy. However, not all of the kinetic energy from the wind movement is converted to electric energy. In other terms, the kinetic energy is not conserved. This is basically due to friction. Friction is not a conservative force.

By saying conservative, we mean it can be converted to other forms without losing portions of the original amount. An example is the gravitational force. Any object that falls from a certain height above the ground with initial potential energy (PE) converts all of it to kinetic energy (KE) as it reaches down the level. Same with when the object goes up. The original amount of KE is totally converted to PE. Friction does not behave this way. For example, the initial energy of a pusher pushing a box one meter away cannot regain the energy consumed even if the box is returned to its initial position.

This is due to friction. What happened to the lost energy? They all go as heat energy, that is, wasted energy. In the wind turbine, change in the temperature is observable, especially in the gears and the rods. This is because they are all in contact while utilizing the wind power to move. Because of friction, the gears and the rods will heat up in the long run. It can damage the setup, starting from the parts with intense friction. In order to counter this, a heat sink has to be installed. Conclusion

The wind turbine was successfully assembled and electricity was produced. The electric energy was converted from kinetic energy derived from the wind movement. When the blades turn, the rods connected to the mechanism turned and by magnetic induction, electricity was produced. Wind power is then a good source of kinetic energy needed for generating electricity. I suggest we put up wind turbines to harness the kinetic energy of the wind. It can help minimize the cost of power generation and we can also avoid the adverse environmental effects of using petroleum products.

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