What Is Wind Farm?- Definition, Types, and Benefits

What is Wind Farm?

A wind farm or wind park also called a wind power station or wind power plant is a group of wind turbines in the same location used to produce electricity. Wind farms vary in size from a small number of turbines to several hundred wind turbines covering an extensive area. Wind farms can be either onshore or offshore.

Wind farms are areas in which many large wind turbines have been grouped together. You “harvest” the power of the wind. These big turbines look a bit like super tall windmills.

In a large wind farm, hundreds of wind turbines can be distributed over hundreds of kilometers. The land between the turbines can be used for other purposes, such as regular farming. Some wind farms are also located near bodies of water. There they use winds that blow over lakes or oceans.

Did you know that wind energy is actually another form of solar energy? The shape and rotation of the earth affect the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun to create winds.

Wind farms are set up in areas that are known to be particularly windy on a regular basis. The winch turns the blades of the turbines. Then the turbines convert the wind’s energy into mechanical power. Generators then convert the mechanical power into electricity. This electricity is then used to power households.

You can think of a wind turbine as the opposite of a fan. A fan uses electricity to generate wind. Wind turbines do the opposite: they use the wind to generate electricity! When the wind turns the blades of a wind turbine, the blades cause a shaft to turn. The rotating shaft is connected to a generator that generates electricity.

If I tell you this, you can generate wind energy at your home. Surprising buts it’s true check out the article: How to Build a Home wind turbine?

Types of Wind Farm

There are Two types of wind farm

  • Offshore Wind farms
  • OnShore Wind Farms

Offshore wind farms

Offshore wind energy or offshore wind energy is the use of wind farms that are built in bodies of water, usually in the ocean, to generate wind energy to electricity generation. Compared to land, higher wind speeds are available offshore, so the electricity generation of offshore wind energy per installed capacity is higher.

Offshore wind energy is the clean and renewable energy that is obtained by harnessing the power of the wind on the high seas, where it reaches a higher and more constant speed than on land due to the lack of barriers.

In order to be able to make optimal use of this resource, megastructures have installed that sit on the seabed and are equipped with the latest technical innovations. Discover what these real sea giants look like and how they work.

How Offshore Wind Turbine Work Step by Step:

How Offshore Wind Turbine Work Step by Step
  • The force of the wind turns the blades.
  • The blades are attached to the nacelle through the hub.
  • The low-speed shaft spins at the same speed as the blades (7 – 12 turns per minute).
  • The gearbox increases this speed more than 100 times and transfers it to the high-speed shaft.
  • The high-speed shaft (+1,500 revolutions per minute) transmits this speed to the generator.*
  • The generator transforms the kinetic energy it receives into electricity.
  • The electricity produced by the generator is fed down through the inside of the tower.
  • The converter converts the direct current into alternating current.
  • The transformer raises the voltage (33 kV – 66 kV) in order to transport it across the wind farm.
  • The electricity is transmitted via underwater cables to the substation.
  • At the substation, the electricity is converted to high voltage current (+150 kV).
  • Electricity is transported through the distribution network until homes.

Types of offshore wind turbines

fixed foundation offshore wind turbines are typically considered technically viable in areas with a water depth of less than 50 meters and an average wind speed of more than 7 meters per second (23 ft/s).

1. Fixed foundation offshore wind turbines

With the exception of a few pilot projects, almost all offshore wind farms currently in operation use turbines with a fixed foundation. Fixed foundation offshore wind turbines have fixed underwater foundations and are installed in relatively shallow waters of up to 50 to 60 meters.

Types of underwater structures include monopile, tripod, and jacketed, with various foundations at the sea floor including monopile or multiple piles, gravity base, and caissons. Offshore turbines require different types of bases for stability, according to the depth of water.

2. Floating offshore wind turbines

For locations with depths of more than 60–80 m, fixed foundations are uneconomical or technically not feasible, and floating wind turbines anchored to the ocean floor are needed.

3. Vertical-axis offshore wind turbines

Although the vast majority of currently installed onshore and all large offshore wind turbines are horizontal axes, vertical axis wind turbines have been proposed for use in offshore installations. Thanks to the offshore installation and its lower center of gravity.

These turbines can in principle be built larger than horizontal-axis turbines, with proposed designs of up to 20 MW of capacity per turbine. This could improve the economies of scale of offshore wind farms. However, there are currently no large-scale demonstrations of this technology.

What Are The Advantages Of Offshore Wind Energy?

  • Offshore wind energy is renewable, unlimited and environmentally friendly.
  • There are more wind resources offshore than on land (up to twice as many as in a medium-sized onshore wind farm).
  • If you are offshore, the visual and acoustic impact is very small, so much larger areas can be used. Thanks to this, offshore wind farms usually have an installed capacity of several hundred megawatts.
  • The ease of maritime transport, with few restrictions on cargo and dimensions compared to land transport, has enabled offshore wind turbines to achieve much larger unit capacities and sizes than onshore wind turbines

Onshore Wind Farms

Onshore wind farms are infrastructures that generate electrical energy, with the wind occurring in terrestrial locations. To do this, we first design and build devices that can convert kinetic energy from the wind into electricity, and then convert it into usable electricity before sending it to the distribution grid.

Wind energy is generated by converting the movement of air currents into electrical energy. In order to use the wind produced on land, huge wind farms are being built that are able to draw maximum electricity from this clean, renewable resource. Let’s explain how it works.

How Does An Onshore Wind Farm Work?

Electrical energy is generated in a wind turbine. This is a structure supported by reinforced concrete foundations for stability and functionality. It has a controller that starts and stops the turbine based on weather conditions and a mechanism that determines the wind direction to allow for correct alignment. The tower, the height of which depends on the characteristics of the land, has a beacon system with specific lights and colors that make it highly visible to air traffic for maximum safety.

The force of the wind turns the blades, which are designed to capture maximum kinetic energy: they can move from as little as 11 kilometers per hour even in very light winds. The blades are connected to the turbine via the hub, which in turn is connected to the low-speed shaft, which rotates at the same speed as the blades (between 7 and 12 revolutions per minute).

A gearbox increases this speed by more than 100 times and transfers it to the high-speed shaft, which moves at more than 1,500 revolutions per minute. This power is transferred to the generator (some technologies use low-speed generators coupled directly to the slow shaft) where the kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy. From here it goes to the converter, which converts it into alternating current.

The electrical energy produced is low voltage and is therefore transported to a transformer that increases the voltage (between 20 and 66 kV) that is to be transported through the farm. It is then transported to the substation, which converts it into high-voltage electricity (more than 132 kV). This electricity, which is now suitable for consumption, is transmitted via the evacuation line (usually overhead) via a system connected to the distribution network, which leads it to the households.

How Does An Onshore Wind Farm Work

Where Can Offshore Wind Farms Be Installed?

Wind farms are usually located in unpopulated rural areas far from towns and cities, to prevent the noise they make from disturbing inhabitants.

There are several factors to take into consideration when deciding where to build a wind farm:

  • Environmental impact.
  • The energy potential of the area.
  • The spacial, time and vertical wind variations over the years.
  • The geological and geotechnical conditions of the site.
  • Environmental, legal and territorial viability, and the accessibility of the location.

There are meteorological tools and models that make it possible to determine the best locations for the installation of wind turbines and to estimate its production capacity throughout its useful life before the wind farm is built.

What Are The Benefits Of Onshore Wind Farms?

  • They are an inexhaustible source of clean, secure, renewable energy.
  • They reduce fossil fuel consumption, which helps to prevent climate change and to process towards the energy transition.
  • There is virtually no waste and they produce neither toxic gas nor radiation.
  • They are mobile installations, which means that the site can be recovered once the farm is dismantled.
  • The maintenance costs of wind turbines are minimal.
  • Wind farms do not interfere with agriculture or livestock farming around the facilities.
  • They create jobs. According to the report Wind energy in Europe: scenarios for 2030 by WindEurope, published in September 2017, the wind power industry will create 569,000 jobs by 2030.

FAQs.

What is a wind farm called?

A wind farm or wind park also called a wind power station or wind power plant is a group of wind turbines in the same location used to produce electricity. Wind farms vary in size from a small number of turbines to several hundred wind turbines covering an extensive area. Wind farms can be either onshore or offshore.

What is offshore wind farm?

Offshore wind energy or offshore wind energy is the use of wind farms that are built-in bodies of water, usually in the ocean, to generate wind energy for electricity generation. Compared to land, higher wind speeds are available offshore, so the electricity generation of offshore wind energy per installed capacity is higher.

How Do Wind Farms Work?

Wind turbines work on a simple principle: instead of using electricity to make wind—like a fan—wind turbines use the wind to make electricity. The wind turns the propeller-like blades of a turbine around a rotor, which spins a generator and creates electricity.

What is the purpose of a wind farm?

Wind farms are areas where many large wind turbines have been grouped together. They “harvest” the power of the wind.

Do wind farms make money?

Wind turbines can make between $3000–$10,000 or more per year depending on the size and kilowatt capacity of the turbine. Farmers on wind farms can maintain their own electricity production and guarantee a lower price for at least 20 years.

What are 3 disadvantages of wind energy?

Some of the main disadvantages of wind energy include unpredictability, it is a threat to wildlife, it creates low-level noise, they aren’t aesthetically pleasing, and there are limited locations suitable for wind turbines.

Who owns the wind farms?

The turbines take up slivers of land on the five ranches whose fields they dot. The wind farm is owned by Avangrid Renewables, based in Portland, Oregon. It is part of Iberdrola Group, a Spanish energy company.

What are the 5 main parts of a wind turbine?

A wind turbine consists of five major and many auxiliary parts. The major parts are the tower, rotor, nacelle, generator, and foundation or base.

Who invented wind farms?

Fausto Veranzio was a polymath and bishop from Šibenik, then part of the Republic of Venice.

How many turbines does a wind turbine have?

Wind farms can have as few as five wind turbines or as many as 150. One of the largest wind farms in the U.S. is in Altamont Pass, California.

What are 3 advantages of wind power?

Advantages of Wind Power

  • Wind power is cost-effective.
  • Wind creates jobs.
  • Wind enables U.S. industry growth and U.S. competitiveness.
  • It’s a clean fuel source.
  • Wind is a domestic source of energy.
  • It’s sustainable.
  • Wind turbines can be built on existing farms or ranches.

What is the lifespan of a wind turbine?

A good quality, a modern wind turbine will generally last for 20 years, although this can be extended to 25 years or longer depending on environmental factors and the correct maintenance procedures being followed. However, the maintenance costs will increase as the structure ages.

How long does it take to build a wind farm?

Construction time is usually very short a 10 MW wind farm can easily be built in two months. A larger 50 MW wind farm can be built in six months.

Are home wind turbines worth it?

Small wind turbines are a reliable option, whether in the suburbs, living off the grid, or just trying to save costs. They offer sustainable energy that significantly minimizes your carbon footprint.

Are wind farms noisy?

Virtually everything with moving parts will make some sound, and wind turbines are no exception. However, well-designed wind turbines are generally quiet in operation, and compared to the noise of road traffic, trains, aircraft, and construction activities, to name but a few, the noise from wind turbines is very low.

Are wind farms efficient?

Wind turbines are 20% to 40% efficient at converting wind into energy.

Why are wind farms bad?

As with all energy supply options, wind energy can have adverse environmental impacts, including the potential to reduce, fragment, or degrade habitats for wildlife, fish, and plants. Furthermore, spinning turbine blades can pose a threat to flying wildlife like birds and bats.

Are birds killed by wind turbines?

Taking this change into account, it can be projected that approximately 681,000 birds are currently killed by wind turbines in the U.S. each year.

How much do you get paid to have a wind turbine on your land UK?

According to agents in Scotland and Wales, competition for suitable land is escalating rents. Landowners can expect to be paid 5-6% of the annual turnover of wind farms, or around £40,000 a year for each large 3MW turbine.

Where is the biggest wind turbine farm?

Jiuquan Wind Power Base is the world’s biggest wind farm, with a planned installed capacity of 20GW. Also known as Gansu Wind Farm, it will feature 7,000 wind turbines installed across the Jiuquan, Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Xinjiang, Jiangsu, and Shandong provinces of Gansu, China.

What devices are used in a wind turbine?

These turbines have the main rotor shaft and electrical generator at the top of a tower and must be pointed into the wind. Small turbines are pointed by a simple wind vane, while large turbines generally use a wind sensor coupled with a yaw system.

What does a wind farm consist of?

Wind farm A wind farm (often also called a wind park) is a cluster of wind turbines that acts and is connected to the power system as a single electricity-producing power station. Generally, it is expected that a wind farm consists of more than three wind turbines.

What’s the difference between a wind turbine and windmill?

Windmills are wind-powered device that converts the energy of wind by means of vanes into mechanical energy. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of wind to generate large amounts of electricity to power homes.

What size are wind turbines?

Size varies, but today’s typical wind farm towers stand around 70 meters tall, with blades about 50 meters long. Their power output depends on size and height, but it generally ranges between one and five megawatts—on the upper end, that’s enough to power about 1,100 homes.

How much power does a wind turbine produce per day?

The ACUA facility requires approximately 2.5 megawatts of power each day. When wind speeds Page 3 are above 12 miles per hour, all of the electricity required to run the plant can be generated by two of the five wind turbines.

How much space does a wind turbine need?

In the United States, the direct land use for wind turbines comes in at three-quarters of an acre per megawatt of rated capacity. That is, a 2-megawatt wind turbine would require 1.5 acres of land.