Wind Turbine Generator

With a wind turbine generator you can produce your own electricity. The advantage of a wind turbine is that you don’t have to rely on sunlight like with solar power. The wind turbines also turn at night or when it is cloudy. The modern wind turbine generators are optimized so that they produce the maximum amount of electricity. You can put the wind turbines in your garden, on your boat, on the roofs of houses, and so on … With us you will find the most modern wind turbine generators that are equipped with modern technology to generate a maximum of electricity.

In order to be able to operate a wind turbine, you of course need a charge controller that converts the energy produced into usable electricity, for example to charge batteries or operate various end devices. >>Here you can find the right charge controller for your new wind turbine<<

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Private individuals can generate their own electricity not only with complete photovoltaic systems or combined heat and power plants, but also with a wind turbine. Homeowners can make themselves a little more independent with renewable energies. The energy generated can therefore be used in your own household. This reduces the electricity bill. You can find out everything about small wind turbines in our guide. Answers to questions such as is the wind turbine popular privately or how do you build a wind turbine for the garden yourself are answered in our guide. Find out whether a small wind turbine is right for you.

What is a private wind turbine?

In other words, wind turbines for private use are wind turbines for home. The small private wind turbines are installed on their own property in order to supply consumers with electricity for their own consumption. There is no generally applicable definition of when to speak of small wind turbines or large wind turbines when it comes to systems. Most of the time, the performance of the wind turbines is used as a distinguishing criterion. If the output is less than 100 kilowatts, it is therefore a small wind turbine. In practice, private wind turbines in Germany only have a nominal output of more than 30 kilowatts in a few cases and are rarely higher than 30 meters. The wind turbines for the home and the garden are available with a horizontal or vertical axis. The horizontal axis is the same design with 3 rotor blades known from wind turbines. Wind turbines for the home are often built with a vertical rotor axis due to their attractive appearance. There are two options for installing wind turbines: installing the wind turbine on a mast or on the roof.

Roof installation

Installing a wind turbine on the roof for your home sounds obvious, after all, photovoltaic systems are also installed there. The supposed advantages also sound plausible to the layperson. The house does not block the wind and adds to the height of the wind turbine. Thus, a small mast is sufficient for the wind turbine structure. In addition, the electricity gets into the building by the shortest route and ensures efficient performance. However, appearances are deceptive. Since the aim of the wind turbine is to generate energy as efficiently as possible, the disadvantages of installing the turbine on the roof outweigh the disadvantages. The fact that the small wind turbine is installed directly on the home creates annoying noises for the residents due to the vibration of the wind turbines. For systems with an output of one kilowatt or more, you should seek advice from an expert, as the statics of the roof must be able to withstand the forces of the wind. The main disadvantage that affects the effective performance of the wind turbine is the structure of the building. When the wind hits the wall of the house, the wind swirls. These cause the rotor of the wind turbines at home to stumble. This means that there is no constant wind speed that is required for the efficient generation of electricity. The better alternative is to mount a wind turbine for the garden on a stand-alone mast.

Mast installation

It makes most sense to build the wind turbines for the garden on a free-standing mast. The mast of the system rarely exceeds a height of 20 meters. Since the wind turbine is free-standing and not attached directly to the building, there is significantly less noise for the residents. The problem of the statics of the roof, which has to withstand the strength of the wind, is also eliminated, because the mast on the wind turbine structure is designed precisely for this. Thanks to the free-standing wind power plant for private use, the plant does not stumble and can efficiently generate green electricity. Since this is the goal of small wind turbines, it is advisable to mount the wind turbine for the home on a free-standing mast instead of on the roof.

Why are wind turbines popular for private customers?

Due to the increasing importance and demand for green electricity and energy, the popularity of small wind turbines is also increasing. The trend is moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energies. A wind turbine for the garden offers a good opportunity for you to become part of the energy transition. As with all purchases, there are also advantages and disadvantages with the wind turbine. With your own production of electricity, using wind energy, you become more independent of energy suppliers. For many, a crucial point for investing in a small wind turbine is climate and environmental protection. If your primary goal is to reduce your electricity costs, the wind turbine for private use is not unreservedly recommended. Not all operators of a wind turbine for home are able to effectively save electricity costs. In order for the investment to pay off financially, the price of wind power should be below 30 cents per kilowatt. This means that wind power would be cheaper than household electricity. This value is only achieved by wind turbines in places with strong winds. Photovoltaic systems are an economically more profitable alternative to wind turbines.

Wind turbine performance for the home

How much electricity you can generate with a small wind turbine depends on both the nominal output of the turbine and the wind power. A wind turbine with a low output of 1.5 kilowatts at low wind speeds of 3 meters per second generates an output of 480 kilowatt hours. With a wind power of 5 m / s, however, they already generate 2,250 kilowatt hours of electricity. With a stronger output of the wind turbine of 10 kilowatts, depending on the wind speed, between 3,000 and 17,000 kilowatt hours of green electricity are produced. The wind power plant can thus be used for private purposes, for example, as a supplement to a solar plant or, depending on the location and nominal output, as an alternative. You can find out about the costs of a solar system in our guide to photovoltaic costs.

Can you build a private wind turbine yourself?

Building a wind turbine yourself is possible in theory, but not recommended in practice. Rather, let experts advise you on small wind turbines and leave the construction of the wind turbines to the experts as well. In contrast to self-designed systems, the small wind turbines are storm-tested and there is no risk of them breaking when there is high wind power. If you want a long-term solution for green electricity, there is no way around a professional system.

Is it worth buying a wind turbine for private property?

Whether a wind turbine is worthwhile depends on several factors. The electricity yield depends on the wind power and the performance of the wind turbine. So if you live in a region with little wind, you should think about a photovoltaic system as an alternative to green electricity. In regions with strong winds, however, the wind turbine can also pay off financially and generate a profit. If you already have a photovoltaic system, it can also make sense to buy a wind turbine as a supplement for sunny days.

Full wind power ahead: how does a wind turbine work?

Renewable energies are trendy. As reported by the Federal Environment Agency, their share of gross electricity consumption in America was 37.8% in 2018, and the trend is rising. Wind energy is one of the most efficient and fastest growing power sources worldwide. In 2018, 111.6 billion kilowatt hours (billion kWh) were produced. In comparison: in 2014 it was 57.3 billion kWh. In America, too, people appreciate strong gusts – the USA is one of the leading countries when it comes to wind and solar energy.

But how is it actually possible to effectively capture and store the natural power of wind? In this article we will show you how wind turbines work, what they do and how and where wind energy is generated in the USA.

Wind energy in the USA – on land and sea

Wind turbines make the largest contribution to electricity generation from renewable energies. The wind energy association states a net share of 20.4% in total German electricity production. In 2018, a new high was reached with 111.6 terawatt hours. The use of wind energy increased by 5.6 percent compared to the previous year.

For the optimal energy generation with wind, it depends on the wind speed. Therefore, less populated locations, close to the coast or mountain locations are particularly suitable for wind turbines. Most of the wind turbines in the USA are accordingly located in regions close to the coast. So far, 2,305 wind turbines have been installed in the sea. This location is known as offshore. This compares with 49,213 onshore wind energy systems.

Wind turbines: their structure

Since the 1980s, a certain type of construction of modern wind turbines has established itself around the world. The structure of a wind turbine is therefore usually the same.

  • The foundation
    Large amounts of steel and concrete ensure that the system is anchored deep and firmly in the ground.
  • The tower
    It can be constructed of steel, concrete or both and ensures the necessary height, which is usually between 40 and 160 meters.
  • The machine house
    This part, also called the gondola, is the heart of the wind turbine. It aligns itself with the rotors according to the wind. This is where all the components that actually generate electricity are housed, above all the wind generator.
  • The generator
    A wind generator is directly connected to the power grid. Gearless systems do not use a gearbox to convert the speed, but the generator is larger and heavier.
  • The rotor
    The adjustable rotor blades are stable high-tech products that are connected to a rotor. The leaves themselves can reach a length of about 107m with a diameter of about 220m. The rotor itself measures up to 126m in diameter and is made of glass fiber reinforced plastic.

How does a wind turbine work?

Wind turbines capture the energy of the wind and convert it. The alignment and shape of the rotor blades are therefore aerodynamically adapted to the strength and direction of the wind. Modern wind turbines work with the principle of lift, similar to airplanes or helicopters. The updraft creates a torque and a rotational movement. The resulting energy is transferred to a generator, which converts it into electricity, similar to a bicycle dynamo. When the wind strength changes, the rotor blades can move – this prevents too fast rotation. The nacelle and rotor are flexible. They turn to the wind like a sunflower to the sun. So the wind turbine always works, no matter where the wind is blowing from. The higher the wind turbine and the greater the wind speed, the higher the electricity yield.

This is how wind energy is stored

Here are some very different methods being tested:

  • Pumped storage power plants store the generated electrical energy in the form of potential energy (positional energy) in a reservoir. At a later point in time, the energy is made usable again with the help of turbines.
  • With the “Power-to-X” concept, any excess electricity from renewable energy sources is converted into other energy sources. Possible strategies that are currently being developed and tested are e.g. Power-to-Heat, Power-to-Gas, Power-to-Liquid or Power-to-Chemicals.
  • One particularly promising method appears to be underground salt-based batteries.
  • To store energy from wind power at home, of course, one or more car batteries are needed first. Large amounts of electricity can be stored there.

In addition, there are some innovative approaches that use compressed air, heat, hydraulics and falling concrete weights. The next few years will show which method will prevail as particularly economical.

The wind turbine – power generation with astonishing performance

A wind turbine is ideal for generating electricity: a wind turbine with an assumed electrical output of three megawatts generates enough electricity annually to supply 2,000 households a year. How much power a wind turbine can generate depends on several factors. Location and size are most important. Before a system can be built, wind reports provide reliable figures. The topography, vegetation, tall structures and other wind turbines in the area also play a role. The wind is more constant and even the greater the distance from the ground. In simplified terms, the yield can be optimized using these formulas:

  • With every meter of height of the wind turbine, the electricity yield increases by 1%.
  • If the wing length is doubled, the yield increases four times.
  • A doubling of the wind speed results in an eightfold result.

This is how wind power pays off

Wind power plants are remarkably efficient: the energy required for the production and construction of a plant is generated by the plant itself within 3-6 months. The energetic amortization is therefore low. The overall service life also plays a role. It depends very much on the type and type of construction. Wind turbines without a gearbox, for example, require less maintenance and are considered to be more robust. However, wear and tear and material fatigue are also dependent on location and conditions. There is no uniform forecast here. Manufacturers generally assume a service life of 20 years.

Of course, wind energy generators are also worthwhile for private individuals. If you have some space, just set up a wind turbine in your garden and connect it to a few batteries. Then charge your electric lawn mower or other battery-operated tool there, for example.

What does MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker) mean

The solar radiation that hits the solar modules changes very strongly depending on the latitude, the orientation of the solar field, as well as the time of year and year. Each cell can be attacked by shade during the day. This shading can be predictable, such as B. in a building located near the solar field, or unpredictable, such. B. when shadows are formed by clouds. In addition, the amount of energy generated by each individual solar cell depends on the radiation and its temperature. That is why the best special operating point of the solar generator at which the greatest power is fed into the grid must be determined at all times. With MPPT (Max Power Point Tracking) the solar power of your solar modules is optimally used.

MPPT controller diagram
MPPT Controller Diagram

This diagram shows the point of maximum output of the solar generator for a certain solar irradiation value and the operating point control. The point of contact changes depending on the solar irradiation conditions and the change in temperature. The task of the MPPT is to optimally define the point for maximum efficiency. This operating point is constantly monitored by the internal microcontroller and, if necessary, controlled in such a way that the solar module provides the best possible performance.

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