Friday, July 22, 2016

What is a wind turbine and how it works


Article, posted on US DOE web portal, describes technical principles and types of wind turbines, variety of their applications and future of wind turbine technology.
Since the turn of the century, total U.S. wind power capacity has increased more than 24-fold. Currently, there’s enough wind power capacity in the U.S. to generate enough electricity to power more than 15 million homes.
To ensure future growth of the U.S. wind industry, the Energy Department’s Wind Program works with industry partners to improve the reliability and efficiency of wind turbine technology, while also reducing costs. The program’s research efforts have helped to increase the average capacity factor (a measure of power plant productivity) from 22 percent for wind turbines installed before 1998 to more than 32 percent for turbines installed between 2006 and 2012. Wind energy costs have been reduced from more than 55 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 1980 to under 6 cents/kWh today in areas with good wind resources.