Wind Industry

After the oil crisis in 1973, the first step was the development of small wind turbines (defined as <100 kW). Most companies in the United States began by importing wind turbines, finding abandoned units to refurbish for personal use or to sell, and then designing and building systems similar to the wind chargers of the 1930s and 1940s (direct current, 0.1-4 kW, up to 5 m diameter). A number of home builders turned to the Savonius type because of its simplicity and ease of construction.

Two Blade Wind Turbine Mod
FIGURE 10.8 Top left, MOD-5B, Ohau, Hawaii. Top right, WTS, Medicine Bow, Wyoming. Top of MOD-2 is visible on lower right. Bottom, Westinghouse 600, Ohau, Hawaii. MOD-5B is visible on the right.

Electricity consumption had also increased over the small demand of the 1930s. There was a need for larger wind turbines, as 5 m diameter rotors could not meet the demands of farmers and ranchers. In addition, there were many more uses for electricity, which would require larger-size wind turbines.

Since the electric distribution system was almost everywhere in the United States, there was a market for wind turbines that were fully compatible with the utility system: 120, 240, or 480 V, alternating current (AC). Inverters with solid-state electronics were now available to connect direct current (DC) units and alternators to the utility line. Enertech and Carter were early proponents of induction generators, which could be connected directly to the utility grid.

The second step was the influx of federal funding for research through the Energy Research and Development Agency (ERDA) and later the Department of Energy (DOE). Federal support for wind energy began with $300,000 in 1973, and by 1980 had increased to $67 million. The federal program for development of wind turbines was geared to large units to connect to the utility grid (Figure 10.8). These units were to produce power in the range of $0.02-0.04/kWh. The program was managed by NASA-Lewis [43] starting with the MOD-0 (100 kW) and MOD-0A (200 kW) and progressing to megawatt-sized wind turbines. Five of the MOD-2s (Figure 10.9) were built, and the original design of the MOD-5 was reduced from 7,200 kW to 3,200 kW. All of these units had two blades.

During the 1980s, other large wind turbines were developed and installed in the United States and Europe (Table 10.10). The Hamilton Standard WTS-4, Wind Turbine Generator, Bendix-Schachle, and

Wind Turbines Nasa Mod Sweden
FIGURE 10.9 MOD-2 wind turbines at Goodnoe Hills, Washington, near the Columbia River. Turbines were placed in a triangle for research on wake interference. (Photo from NASA-Lewis.)

TABLE 10.10

Large Wind Turbines, 500 kW and Greater, 1975-1990

Rated

Turbine No. Diameter kW Year Country

MOD-1

1

61

2,000

79

United States

MOD-2

5

91

2,500

82

United States

MOD-5B

1

88

3,200

86

United States

WWG-0600

15

43

600

85

United States

Mehrkam

4

2,000

80

United States

WTS-4

2

78

4,000

80

United States

Schachle-Bendix

25

3,000

80

United States

Alcoa

56 X 25

500

United States

VAWT 34m test bed

34 X 42

500

89

United States

HMZ

33

500

89

Belgium

DAF-Indal

24 X 37

500

77

Canada

Eole

64 X 94

4,000

87

Canada

Nibe A

40

630

79

Denmark

Nibe B

40

630

80

Denmark

Tiareborg

60

2,000

88

Denmark

Tvind

54

2,000

78

Denmark

Windane

40

750

87

Denmark

M.A.N.

60

1,200

89

Germany

Monopteros

48

650

89

Germany

Stork-FDO

45

1,000

85

Netherlands

Windmaster

33

500

89

Netherlands

Newinco

34

500

89

Netherlands

Anisel. M.A.N.

60

1,200

89

Spain

Nausdden

75

2,000

82

Sweden

WTS-3

78

3,000

82

Sweden

WTS-75

75

2,000

83

Sweden

Howden

45

750

89

United Kingdom

Howden

55

1,000

89

United Kingdom

WEG LS1

60

3,000

88

United Kingdom

TABLE 10.11

Small Wind Energy Conversion Systems, Prototype Development Program Funded by U.S. Department of Energy

Contractor Type Size, m

1 kW at 8.9 m/s, high reliability, remote, $1,950,000

TABLE 10.11

Small Wind Energy Conversion Systems, Prototype Development Program Funded by U.S. Department of Energy

Contractor Type Size, m

1 kW at 8.9 m/s, high reliability, remote, $1,950,000

Aerospace/Pinson

Giromill

4.6 X 5.5

Enertech

HAWT

4.9

North Wind Power

HAWT

4.9

4 kW at 7.2 m/s, $1,425,000

North Wind Power

HAWT

9.1

Structural Composites

Dropped out at design stage

TUMAC

Darrieus

9.1 X 11.5

8 kW at 8.9 m/s, $2,260,000

Alcoa

Dropped out at design stage

Grumman

HAWT

10

United Technologies

HAWT

9.8

Windworks

HAWT

10

15 kW at 8.9 m/s, $3,230,000

Enertech

HAWT

13.6

United Technologies

HAWT

14

40 kW at 8.9 m/s, $4,450,000

Kaman

HAWT

19.5

McDonnel-Douglas

Giromill

18 X 12.8

Alcoa units were developed primarily through private funds. However, a group of wind enthusiasts convinced federal officials to support a program for small wind energy conversion systems (SWECS). The SWECS prototype program awarded contracts in 1978 and 1979 (Table 10.11). By 1980 there were over fifty companies producing wind energy conversion systems (1-100 kW) in the United States. However, the installed capacity of SWECS was only around 3 MW from 1,700 units [44].

The third step was the passage of the National Energy Act of 1978. The section entitled Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA) provided for connection of renewable power sources to the electric grid without penalty, and for payment to the producer for electricity sold to the utility company. The value of that electricity was determined by the avoided cost, which was implemented by the states.

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable.

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