With increasing density and coverage of power transmission networks, the quality and stability is not getting better, and prices are only getting higher with each passing season. One of the best today’s alternative sources of electricity is an autonomous wind turbine generator for a private home. Let’s consider what is this device, which parts it consists of, how it works, what are the legal requirements for its installation, which varieties exist, as well as what are the rules of its selection, placement and installation.
Wind generator: device, principle of operation, pros and cons
If there are constant winds in the area of residence, the purchase and installation of a wind turbine generator is quite reasonable. However, before you buy it, you need to understand its structure, principle of operation and the main advantages and disadvantages. Let’s consider these aspects in more detail.
The main components
The device of the wind generator is based on the transformation of the kinetic force of the wind load into mechanical energy, with its subsequent conversion into electricity. To embody the consistent action of the transition chain, the device is equipped with the following basic components:
- Blade propeller. The number of blades can vary in a wide range from model to model – from two and three to ten or more.
- Rotor. An element of the turbine that rotates under the action of the blades.
- Gearbox. Transmits and regulates the speed of rotation from the rotor to the generator.
- Generator. Converts mechanical force into electrical power.
- Inverter – converts current from alternating current to direct current.
- Battery pack. Stocks electricity in case of shutdown and economical operation of the wind generator, as well as downtime in the event of no wind.
- Protective casing. Protects equipment from various kinds of external factors.
- Aero-components. Wings and tail for better catching and adapting the propeller to wind flow.
Pay attention! Modern manufacturers produce wind home generators that do not need a strong wind flow. They are able to operate productively at a wind force of only 4 m/sec.
The mechanism of operation of the wind generator is directly related to the peculiarities of its design – on one axis there is a propeller and a shank with a point of counterweight, which falls on the place of attachment to a vertical mast. The action takes place according to the following algorithm:
- The propeller and shank, mounted on the same axis, pick up wind currents and transmit them to the blades.
- Starting to rotate, the blades transfer the torque to the generator turbine.
- The rotation of the rotor generates an induction magnetic field and generates alternating electric current.
- Then, passing through the inverter, the voltage changes from alternating to direct characteristics.
- The current feeds the battery, which in turn distributes the energy to the consumer power in the house.
Useful information! Wind generator can play the role of both the main and additional power source. In the first case, the core from the device feeds some of the appliances to save or replenish the lack of power of the main grid, and is used in case of emergency shutdown of the latter. In the second case, it can be an independent source or be part of an autonomous system that includes hydro turbines, solar panels and other equipment.
Advantages and disadvantages
Autonomous wind power plant for a private home has the following number of advantages:
- The device runs on a virtually inexhaustible and renewable type of energy resource.
- Significant costs are associated only with the purchase, delivery, installation and connection. There is virtually no cost for maintenance. A wind turbine therefore requires a one-time investment, which is quickly recouped in subsequent applications.
- The type of energy produced and the equipment used for this purpose is completely environmentally friendly.
- Generators are adapted to all climatic zones and protected from negative weather factors.
- The equipment does not require adjustments, adjustments and modifications during operation.
The disadvantages of wind generators include:
- Dependence of performance on the presence of wind.
- During operation, the equipment creates electromagnetic interference, which can adversely affect TV, radio, Internet and communications.
- There is a risk of damage to the equipment during extreme weather events.
- Mandatory grounding is required – to protect the appliance and the structure or building on which it is installed from lightning strikes.
- Incorrect installation, violation of the instructions or the operation of a defective copy can lead to noise.
Tip! To determine whether it will be profitable to install a wind farm for current generation, you need to consider a number of factors – the power supply option involving the device, the variety of available models, their characteristics, performance and cost.
In order to choose the right wind generator, it is necessary first of all to consider its technical parameters. Modern models differ according to the following range of features:
- The number of propeller blades. Many propeller elements complicate the design. However, the more blades, the lower the wind speed needed to start the mechanism.
- The type of material of the blades. Models with rigid propellers are stronger and more durable, but also much more expensive than their sailing counterparts.
- The location of the rotating guide. They are divided into vertical and horizontal. The former are stronger and more sensitive, the latter have better performance.
- Possibility of changing the stepping characteristics. They are divided into models with variable and constant pitch. Products with variable pitch parameters allow you to increase speed, and therefore productivity. But they are more complicated, bulky and expensive.
Good to know! The factory models available today are quite expensive. Therefore, often those wishing to install such an autonomous power plant have the question of how to make a wind generator. Homemade analogs are often made from car generators, connected by the scheme with a similar 12 volt battery.
Rules of placement
When installing the device, it is necessary to take into account the following set of requirements:
- Near the generator should not be located structures, bushes, trees and other obstacles in the path of the free passage of wind currents.
- To ensure that the noise and interference from the work does not have a negative impact on the surrounding people, wind turbines for the house is better to be placed at least 30 meters away from the house.
- To avoid the weakening of wind currents, it is better to install the mechanism at 2-3 meters above the surrounding obstacles, even if they are up to 200 meters away.
It should be noted that even with all the rules of installation, there can be no guarantee of a constant result in terms of power generation. Because the figure is directly dependent on the wind load, which is never stable.
Features of the installation
Industrially manufactured or homemade wind turbine should be installed in compliance with the following minimum requirements:
- The place of installation is better to choose an elevated location, away from obstacles, the device should be located at least 10 meters from the ground surface.
- The mast must have a solid base – preferably concrete.
- A small canopy should be placed over the windmill to protect it from precipitation.
- If it is necessary to replace, repair or service, easy access to the equipment will allow the folding design of the mast.
On a side note! When deciding how to make a wind turbine, so that it was characterized by durability and unpretentiousness in service, it is necessary to pay attention to the number of phases generated by the device. So, three-phase models compared to single-phase counterparts do not hum, do not vibrate and are characterized by a better service life.
Briefly about the main points
The wind generator for the house is one of the best alternative energy sources. The principle of its operation is based on the conversion of the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy, and then, with the help of the rotor – into electrical energy. Among its main advantages are:
- Working at the expense of an inexhaustible source of energy – the wind.
- Costs are only associated with the purchase and installation, the equipment is durable and requires little maintenance.
- Adaptability to any climate.
- Environmentally friendly type of energy resource.
The disadvantages include – dependence on the strength of the wind, interference, the possibility of destruction during natural weather manifestations. Installation of a wind generator must comply with the requirements of the law – power, height, restrictions, coordination with neighbors and the absence of biological harm. Models differ in technical parameters – the number of blades, the type of their material, the direction of the axis of rotation and pitch variability. When choosing, it is necessary to consider the diameter of the rotor, which determines the power. Installation of the device must comply with the rules of placement and practical recommendations.