turbine is a rotary device which uses wind energy to convert mechanical energy
to electrical energy by the means of blades.
A wind generator is a device that
generates electrical power from wind energy.
generators have traditionally been wind turbines, i.e. a propeller attached to
an electric generator attached to appropriate electronics to attach it to the
electrical grid or to charge batteries.
of wind turbine
turbines are generally categorized into two classes based on the orientation of
Vertical Axis wind turbine (VAWT)
Horizontal Axis wind turbine (HAWT)
Axis wind turbine (VAWT)
vertical axis wind turbine has its main rotor shaft arranged vertically. The
generator and gearbox can be placed near the ground, so the tower doesn’t need
to support it.
of using such an arrangement is that the turbine does not need to be pointed
into the wind to be effective. This is an advantage on sites where the wind
direction is highly variable. Some designs of VAWT produce pulsating torque.
A VAWT wind turbine
difficult to mount vertical-axis turbines on towers, meaning they are often
installed nearer to the base on which they rest, such as the ground or a
building rooftop. The wind speed is slower at a lower altitude, so less wind
energy is available for a given size turbine. Air flow near the ground and
other objects can create turbulent flow, which can introduce issues of
vibration, including noise and bearing wear which may increase the maintenance
required to decrease the service life.
when a turbine is mounted on a rooftop, the building generally redirects wind
over the roof and these can double the wind speed at the turbine. If the height
of the rooftop mounted turbine tower is approximately 50% of the building
height, this is near the optimum for maximum wind energy and minimum wind
1) A VAWT
3) While VAWTs’
2.2.2 Horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT)
wind turbines (HAWT) 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 servomotor. Most have a gearbox, which turns the slow rotation of the
blades into a quicker rotation that is more suitable to drive an electrical
blades are made to be stiff so to prevent the blades from being pushed into the
tower by high winds. Additionally, the blades are placed at a considerable
distance in front of the tower and are sometimes tilted forward into the wind
by a small amount.
machines have been built, despite the problem of turbulence (mast wake), because
they don’t need an additional mechanism for keeping them in line with the wind,
and because in high winds the blades can be allowed to bend which reduces their
swept area and thus their wind resistance. Since cyclical (that is repetitive)
turbulence may lead to fatigue failures, most HAWTs are of upwind design.
axis wind turbine blades never move downwind, so they can get no help from drag
forces. Instead they use lift.
HAWT wind turbine
1) The tall towers and blades up to 45 meters
2) The tall
3) High efficiency, since the blades always
4) The face of a horizontal axis blade is
6) Downwind variants suffer from fatigue and
7) HAWTs require an additional yaw control
When a blade rotates, each point on it travels at a
different speed. Thus, the further it is away from the root, the higher the
velocity. This means that the contribution to lift and drag of every point on
the blade differs, with each aspect getting larger when moving closer to the
rotor tip. To change this distribution, blades are twisted and, sometimes, also
The twist is such that the angle of attack increases
when travelling towards the root, producing more lift. Tapering the blade also
contributes to achieving a more evenly spaced lift distribution. With blade
tapering, the blade’s surface gets larger when travelling towards its root.
Blade twists and taper leads to large angles of attack
and large blade surfaces at the root. However, close to the root, the blade is
traveling over the hull, so the generated downwash does not contribute to
helicopter thrust. For this reason, rotor blades are often cut out near the
root. Another reason for rotor blade cut out is to reduce the effects of
potential reverse flow (on the retreating rotor blade) when flying at high
designing a wind turbine, the number of blades plays a key role when it comes
to efficiency of designing a wind power system. Normally the number of blades
varies from using one blade or two or three blades.
of using one blade
using one blade, the rotor must move more rapidly to capture the same amount of
wind to generate the same power if the number of blades where increased. In
turn this reduces the gearbox ratio and adds weight of counterbalance which
negates some benefits of lighter design.
2.3: A single blade HAWT turbine
blades are easier to install because the entire rotor can be assembled on
ground. Some of the disadvantages of
using one blade design is the higher speed means more noise, visual and
wildlife impacts. It captures 10% less energy than two blade design and does
not provide any cost savings.
of using two blades
two blade design has the same advantages and disadvantages of the one blade
design. One of the necessary requirements when using two blade turbines is the
need of teetering the hub or shock absorbers because of the gyroscopic
imbalances. It also captures 5% less energy than that of the three blade
2.4: Two blade Turbine and Three Blade
of using three blades
angle between each blade creates a perfect balance causing balance of
gyroscopic forces along the blades. As a result it creates a slower rotation.
Some of the advantages of using three blade turbines that it increases gearbox
and transmission costs. It is more aesthetic and produces less noise. Lastly it
causes lesser bird strikes.
Factors of wind turbine
3.1 Betz’ theory
In order to
calculate the power of the wind, Betz theory can be used. Assuming that the
rotor is ideal, that is to say, it has no hub and has an infinite number of
blades which in turn offers no resistance where the drag to the passage of air
through it is negligible. Thus it is a pure energy converter. Moreover, the
conditions over which the whole swept area by the rotor is supposed to be
uniform and the air through and beyond the rotor is assumed to be axial.
the maximum power of the wind = ½ρAV3
ρ is the air density,
A is the swept area,
V is the wind speed.
This expression constitutes
3.2 Betz’ limit
All wind power cannot be captured
by rotor or air would be completely still behind rotor and will not allow more
wind to pass through.
The theoretical limit of rotor efficiency is 59%. Although most modern
wind turbines have an efficiency of the 35 – 45%.
3.3 Drag and Lift
wind is blowing through some object, it exerts two types of force, lift and
Drag is the
force of wind pushing straight downwind. It is parallel to the direction of
motion. In order to increase turbine efficiency the drag force must be small.
is perpendicular to the direction of motion. This force must be large so that
Drag and Lift forces on a turbine blade
relative sizes of the drag and lift forces depends on the shape of the object.
Good airfoils can have lift 30 times greater than drag.
of a rotor are curved in such a way that they deflect the wind. The lift force
created causes the rotor to rotate. In order to generate the maximum amount of
lift, blades must be set at an appropriate angle to the wind; this angle is called
the percentage of the circumference of the rotor which is filled by the blades.
(%) = (31.8 x number of the blades x blade width)/rotor diameter.
the solidity of a rotor the slower it needs to turn to intercept the wind.
There are some factors that need to be known:
- Low solidity: high speed,
- High solidity: high torque,
3.6 Tip speed ratio
This is the
ratio of the speed of the blade tips to the speed of the wind.
ratio = (0.052 x rotor diameter x rotational speed in rpm)/wind speed
rotor is rotating faster than the wind speed, it will have a tip speed ratio of
greater than one.
Rotor diameter and Swept Area of blades
3.7 Performance coefficient
performance coefficient of a rotor is the fraction of wind energy passing
through the rotor disc which is converted into shaft power. This is actually a
measure of the efficiency of the rotor and it varies with the tip speed ratio.
Typical performance coefficient verses tip speed ratio curves for rotors of
varying solidity are shown in figure below.
Figure 3.3 Performance coefficient verses Tip speed ratio curves for rotors of varying
the turning force produced by the rotor. It depends on the solidity and tip
speed ratio of the rotor. High solidity rotors with low tip speed ratios
produce much more torque than low solidity, high speed rotors. The figure
mentioned illustrates this.
Figure 3.4: Torque verses tip speed ratio curves for rotors of varying
Normally a wind
tower consists of the turbine and the nacelle which contains the mechanical
gear, the electrical generator, the yaw mechanism, and the stall control.
The height of a
tower in the past has been in the 20 to 50 meter range. For medium and large
size turbines, the tower is slightly taller than the rotor diameter. Small
turbines are generally mounted on the tower a few rotor diameters high. Both
steel and concrete towers are available and are being used. The construction
can be tubular or lattice.
The main issue
in the tower design is the structural dynamics. The tower vibrations and the
resulting fatigue cycles under wind speed fluctuation are avoided during
designing the wind turbine. This requires careful avoidance of all resonance
frequencies of the tower, the rotor and the nacelle from the wind fluctuation
greater the height of the tower, the stronger the towers must be to endure the
forces of the wind. This is because of the tendency of a tall structure to bend
and as the height from the ground increases so does the wind speed.
the greater the size and weight of the rotor or the gear system the stronger
the tower must be.
determine the size of a wind turbine so that it provides sufficient electricity
and runs efficiently in the local wind condition, one or a combination of the
following methods should be used:
- Wind measurement at proposed wind turbine site.
- Install a wind turbine and adjust it to suit the
wind regime if necessary.
- Infer the wind speeds from nearby site data.
The wind regime parameters needed
following parameters should be measured:
annual wind speed.
monthly wind speed for each month.
diurnal wind speed pattern for each month.
and annual distribution of lull periods.
gust wind speed.
In practice it may not be possible to obtain numerical data for all of these.
In particular estimates of (4) and (5) may have to be made based on discussions
with local inhabitants.
efficiency, economy, safety and length of service of any piece of equipment
will be proportional to the standard of maintenance. Wind turbines require only
a little or no maintenance; however little the maintenance is, it is still
3.12 Rotor Blade
efficiency of fast turning wind rotors are determined greatly by the
aerodynamic properties of the airfoils used. The most important parameter for
the airfoil is characterized by the lift
to drag ratio. (L/D)
speed rotors need many blades but their airfoil characteristics are not so
important. High speed rotors manage alright with fewer blades, but their
airfoil characteristics become a decisive factor for power generation.
metal blades may start up in very low wind speeds, but there is no power at such
low wind speeds. Hollow airfoils start up in low wind speeds, but they also
stall faster, make noise, lose power and will not spin correctly in solid
winds, so potential for obtaining power from the middle and top end of the
power band is limited.
target is to get a decent power output in light winds, then metal hollow foils
would do the job. They are cheap and are likely to work well at speeds up to 15
mph. Not much power is obtained, but at least we are getting some power at
like Bangladesh, where steady wind flow areas are unlikely to have wind speeds
higher than 15 mph, the hollow foil seems like the most feasible option.
from a global perspective, considering strong wind flows as well as moderate
winds, then it’s actually far more efficient to use a better airfoil. A good
power band is obtained without the noise, and when winds are light, power
comparable to hollow airfoils is still obtained anyway.
blades are a full foil shape, as recommended by NASA and used in professional
Wind Generators. A full foil has a curved top and a rather flat ‘belly’. This
shape will not stall as soon as the hollow foils and provides much more power
throughout a wider power band.
Power Extracted from the Wind
4.1 Kinetic Energy
Kinetic energy (Ek) of a stream of air with
mass (m) and velocity (V) is given by
The kinetic energy of the air stream available for a
turbine with a wind rotor of cross-sectional area is expressed as
where v is the volume of air available to the rotor
and ρa is the density of air.
4.2 Mechanical Power
The air interacting with the rotor per unit time has a
cross-sectional area equal to the cross-sectional area of the rotor (AT)
and the thickness equal to the wind velocity (V). Therefore, the
mechanical power (energy per unit time) coming in the upstream wind is given by
It can be seen that air density, area of the wind
rotor, and the wind velocity are factors that influence the power generated
from a wind turbine. Wind velocity is the most dominant factor because of
its cubic relationship with power.
The density of air can be affected by temperature,
atmospheric pressure, air components, and elevation. Dry air can be
assumed as an ideal gas. The ideal gas law is expressed as
where p is the pressure, VG is the gas
volume, n is the number of kilo-moles of gas, T is the temperature, and R is
the universal gas constant. Density of air is the ratio of the mass of 1
kilo mole of air to its density. This is shown by
Combining the two equations 4 and 5 gives
If the elevation and temperature are known, given by
the variables Z and T respectively, then the air density can be calculated by
Equation 7 shows that as size elevation and
temperature increase, the density of air will decrease. Due to the low
density of air, large sized turbines are often required to produce a
substantial amount of power.
4.3 Specific Power
The actual power extracted by the rotor blades can be
calculated by taking the difference between the upstream and downstream wind
powers. The power in the upstream wind, also referred to as the power
density, is given by
Specific Power of the
The rotor blades are not able to extract all of the
upstream wind power. Therefore, some power is left in the downstream air
that moves past the turbine at a reduced speed. The upstream velocity is
the velocity of the wind at the entrance of the rotor blades, and the
downstream velocity is the velocity of the wind at the exit of the rotor
blades. The equation to determine the mechanical power extracted by the
rotor is expressed as
4.4 Wind power
The terms inside the brackets of equation represent
the mass flow rate of air through the turbine’s rotating blades. The
variables VU and VD represent the upstream and downstream
velocities, respectively. This equation can be rearranged in the
, then the power extracted by the blades can
be expressed as a fraction of the upstream wind power
Cp is called the power coefficient of the
rotor or rotor efficiency, and represents the fraction of the upstream wind
power that is extracted by the rotor blades and fed to the generator. The
power remaining is dissipated in the downstream wind. The theoretical
maximum rotor efficiency occurs at 0.59 when the ratio is equal to one
third. Under this condition,
The Cp value is often expressed as a
function of rotor tip-speed ratio (TSR), which is defined as the linear speed
of the rotor’s outermost tip to the upstream wind speed. If the value of
0.5 is assumed as the practical maximum rotor efficiency for modern high-speed
two-blade turbines, the maximum power output the turbine is
gear is a rotating machine part having cut teeth, or cogs, which mesh with
another toothed part in order to transmit torque. Two or more gears working in
tandem are called a transmission and can produce a mechanical advantage through
a gear ratio and thus may be considered a simple machine.
and advantage of using gear system
A gear is a component
within a transmission device that transmits rotational force to another gear or
device. A gear is different from a pulley in that a gear is a round wheel which
has linkages, “teeth,” that mesh with other gear teeth, allowing
force to be fully transferred without slippage.
Depending on their
construction and arrangement, geared devices can transmit forces at different
speeds, torques, or in a different direction, from the power source. The most
common situation is for a gear to mesh with another gear, but a gear can mesh
with any device having compatible teeth, such as other rotational gears, or
linear moving racks.
A gear’s most
important feature is that gears of unequal sizes (diameters) can be combined to
produce a mechanical advantage, so that the rotational speed and torque of the
second gear are different from that of the first.
5.1: Gear Transmission ratios
The interlocking of
the teeth in a pair of meshing gears means that their circumferences
necessarily move at the same rate of linear motion. Since rotational speed is
proportional to a wheel’s circumferential speed divided by its radius, we see
that the larger the radius of a gear, the slower will be its rotational speed,
when meshed with a gear of given size and speed. The same conclusion can also be
reached by a different analytical process: counting teeth. Since the teeth of
two meshing gears are locked in a one to one correspondence, when all of the
teeth of the smaller gear have passed the point where the gears meet, when the
smaller gear has made one revolution – not all of the teeth of the larger gear
will have passed that point. The larger gear will have made less than one
essence a gear with half the diameter of the gear it is meshed to will rotate
with twice the speed.
5.2 Spur Gears
(Photo courtesy Emerson Power Transmission Corp)
5.2: Spur gears
Spur gears are
the most common type of gears. They have straight teeth, and are mounted on
parallel shafts. Sometimes, many spur gears are used at once to create very
large gear reductions.
known as straight-cut gears, they consist of a disk with teeth projecting
outward. The edge of each tooth is straight and aligned parallel to the axis of
gears are used in numerous devices such as electric screwdriver, oscillating
sprinkler, windup alarm clock, etc.
project made use of a bicycle chain to connect the two gears, instead of
meshing them together. The speed ratio remains the same with the chain, and the
same increase in speed is obtained for the smaller gear.
5.3: A bicycle chain connecting two
the increase in the speed for the smaller gear is referred to as a step, our
gearbox actually contained two such steps; the speed getting doubled with each
step, resulting in a final shaft rotation four times that of the turbine.
Spur gear backlash
It is the amount of tooth space
between mating gears at the pitch circle diameter. Backlash may be measured or
specified in the transverse, normal, or axial planes, and in the direction of
the pit circles or on the line-of-action.
Figure 5.4: Spur gear backlash
The purpose of backlash is to allow
smooth operation and reduce friction by preventing mating gears from grinding
by contact on both sides of their gear teeth at the same time.
Minimal or no backlash may cause operation noise,
overloading, and overheating of the gears, and even cause seizing and
ultimately failure. Large amount of backlash is not desirable, particularly if
the gear train must be reverse. Small amount of backlash (clearance) will
require tighter tolerances for run-out, pitch, profile, and the location of the
operational bearing resulting in an increased cost of gears and assemblies.
Our Project’s Intended Gear System
5.5: The Concept for the intended Gear System
design in figure 5.5 was the originally intended design. However due to
complications, this particular gear system could not be implemented.
design makes use of a gear and turbine blade hybrid. It’s a basic two step gear
transmission system, but the gear/blade hybrid serves the dual purposes of both
acting as a gear and as a separate turbine, helping to overcome much of the
inertia and friction in the gear system.
5.6: The Concept for the Intended Gear System (A frontal view)
Our Project’s Actual Gear System
Figure 5.7: Our Actual Gear System
blade/gear hybrid could not be implemented due to certain complications. The
wind generator that was actually assembled used a simple two step gear
transformation. The diameters of the smaller gears were half those of the
larger ones, resulting in an increase in speed for the generator rotation by a
factor of 4.
Electrical Power Generation
A generator is an electrical
machine that can convert mechanical energy (or power) into electrical energy
(or power). The energy conversion is based on the principle of the production
of an induced electromotive force (emf).
generation of electricity is the ultimate goal of our wind system and virtually
all power generation systems. The generating unit is usually mounted on the end
of the nacelle. Various generating units were considered for the design of our
wind turbine, and the suitability of the different units is discussed below.
- Advantages: cheap, easy to
- Disadvantages: high rpm
required, gears or pulleys needed, low power output, slip rings need
- Suitability for Wind Power: Poor
The problem with using
car alternators is that they are used to rotate at too high a speed to be used
in wind power applications without modifications. Small fast generators working
at 600 rpm are still not fast enough for a car or truck alternator. So using a
vehicle alternator would require additional use of pulleys and gear systems,
which means a lot of power is lost due to friction.
- Advantages: Low cost per
watt of output, very efficient, huge power output possible, extremely
- Disadvantages: A
time-consuming, somewhat complicated project, machining needed.
- Suitability for Wind Power: Good
6.1 Homemade Volvo Brake Disc PM alternators, 800 watts
magnets have proven to be the most powerful and cost-effective solution for
building a wind generator. They can perform efficiently at both low rpm and
high rpm. However the complexity in putting together a Permanent Magnet
Alternator was too much of an obstacle.
Induction Motor Conversion Alternators
- Advantages: cheap, easy to
find, fairly easy to convert, good low-rpm performance.
- Disadvantages: power output
limited by internal resistance, inefficient at higher speeds, machining
- Suitability for Wind Power: Ok
6.2: Armature converted with permanent magnets
An induction motor can
be converted into a low PM alternator at low cost. These tend to produce
significant power at low speeds, but become quickly at higher power levels.
- Advantages: Simple and
pre-assembled, some are good at low rpm.
- Disadvantages: High
maintenance, most are not good at low rpm, large sizes very hard to find,
small ones have limited power output.
- Suitability for Wind Power: Poor to Ok
Figure 6.3 DC
DC generators would be
very convenient as one of the goals of our project is to charge DC batteries in
a battery bank, and DC output would require no further rectification.
However, they need to
rotate at a very high speed to be practical for wind systems. Large DC
generators are not really a feasible operation for a small scale wind system,
not to mention they are very hard to obtain. Moreover the commutators and
brushes require a lot of maintenance.
Choice for the generating unit – Stepper Motor
A stepper motor has
four coils of wire located 90 degrees away from each other, at positions 12, 3,
6, and 9 o’clock. In the middle is the rotor which spins and has permanent
magnets fitted around its circumference. As the rotor spins each magnet in turn
approaches, passes and moves away from each of the four coils in turn. A magnet passing a coil of wire causes
electricity to flow through that coil and so each of the four coils will have
different amounts of electricity flowing through it either one way or the other
– alternating current.
A stepper motor
consists of four coils of wire which are wound separately forming a four- phase
motor. This is a major advantage with the stepper motor as it allows a greater
production of electricity. If one of the coils has no current flowing through
it, it shows that the next coil has reached its maximum. With this operation
for 4 phase it will produce more current and voltage. When the four-phases are
brought together and rectified (more on rectification later) into direct
current (DC), the total electricity generated therefore has a near constant
voltage and current.
Construction of a Stepper Motor
for choosing stepper motor
The Stepper Motor was
the most viable option for our wind generator. It is perfect for a small scale
project. They are one of the most available units, and can be found from old
printers, photocopiers, etc. They can generate AC power at low rpm compared to
DC generators of similar size. Due to this quality, a wind turbine can be
easily attached to a shaft directly rather than onto a shaft that undergoes a
very complicated gear mechanism.
Small stepper motors
are useful for powering LEDs and after rectification they can charge small batteries
very quickly. These batteries can be coupled together to form a larger battery.
This reduces the cost considerably.
The biggest advantages
are that a small torque and rpm is sufficient to generate a current. As
compared to other generating units, this requires the least rpm and the least
torque for generation of electricity.
Basics of an Inverter
inverter is an electrical device that converts direct current (DC) to
alternating current (AC). The inverter can meet any voltage and frequency
requirements with the right switching and control circuits.
are mostly used to supply AC power from DC sources such as batteries, solar
panels, wind generators or other renewable energy sources.
inverter has the opposite function of a rectifier, which converts AC to DC
7.1: A typical power inverter
for using inverter
generators depend on steady wind flow to provide power. We can eliminate the
dependence on a constant wind flow by using a wind generator inverter.
small wind turbine under 5 kilowatts uses a battery bank to store the extra
energy that is created with a wind turbine.
A series of batteries are charged which can later supply DC power. But most household appliances require AC
power to operate.
wind generator inverter converts the DC power from the battery bank into AC
power to be distributed to the house or residence it is connected to.
Design of an Inverter
an electromechanical switch.
Bottom: Automatic equivalent auto-switching
device implemented with two transistors and
split winding auto-transformer in place of the
7.2 Basic Inverter Circuit
we have a basic circuit of an inverter. DC power is supplied through the centre
tap of the primary winding of the transformer. A switch is used to switch
between the two different paths that current can flow, thereby generating
alternate voltage in the secondary winding.
earlier versions of the inverter, an electromechanical switch was used. The
electromechanical switch includes two stationary contacts and a spring
supported movable contact. The spring holds the movable contact against one of
the stationary contacts and an electromagnet pulls the movable contact to the
opposite stationary contact. The current in the electromagnet is interrupted by
the action of the switch so that the switch continually switches rapidly back
transistors and other semiconductor devices were used for the switching action.
The use of transistors as the switching device will be covered in the following
section, where we discuss the modern inverter in detail.
inverters use a basic circuit scheme like that shown in the following figure.
7.3: A modern inverter using two MOSFETs for switching
DC from the battery is converted into AC very simply, by using a pair of power
MOSFETs (Q1 and Q2) acting as very efficient electronic switches. The positive
13.8V DC from the battery is connected to the centre-tap of the transformer
primary, while each MOSFET is connected between one end of the primary and earth
(battery negative). So by switching on Q1, the battery current can be made to
flow through the ‘top’ half of the primary and to earth via Q1. Conversely by
switching on Q2 instead, the current is made to flow the opposite way through
the ‘lower’ half of the primary and to earth.
by switching the two MOSFETs on alternately, the current is made to flow first
in one half of the primary and then in the other, producing an alternating
magnetic flux in the transformer’s core. As a result, a corresponding AC
voltage is induced in the transformer’s secondary winding, and as the secondary
has about 24 times the number of turns in the primary, the induced AC voltage
is much higher: around 650V peak to peak.
inverter does not produce a pure sine wave like the AC mains power supply,
because the switching MOSFETs are simply turned on and off. The output voltage
is actually alternating rectangular pulses.
the width of the pulses and the spacing between them is chosen such that the
ratio between the RMS value and its peak-to-peak value is quite similar to that
of a sine wave. The resulting waveform is called a ‘modified sine wave’ and as
the RMS voltage is close to 230V many AC appliances are able to operate from
such a waveform without problems.
this time of waveform is not close enough to a sine wave for some appliances,
because the rectangular pulses contain not just the fundamental mains frequency
but quite a lot of its harmonics as well. These harmonics can destroy the
operation of some appliances.
7.4: MOSFET gate drives and the output voltage
Features of an Inverter
obviously cannot provide output regulation like the mains power supply, which
is very well regulated. The electricity supplier has enormous generating plants
with automatic regulation systems to keep the mains voltage and frequency close
to constant, despite load variations of many megawatts.
can however provide a reasonably good regulation for loads up to their rated
this type of inverter, it isn’t feasible to control the peak-to-peak output,
because this is largely fixed by the battery voltage and the transformers
in most cases the regulation is achieved in a different way: by varying the
width of the rectangular pulses, to control the ‘form factor’ and hence the RMS
value of the output voltage.
is called pulse width modulation (PWM), and is usually done by having a
feedback system which senses the inverter’s output voltage (or load current).
When this feedback senses that the load on the inverter’s output has increased,
the inverter’s control circuitry acts to increase the width of the pulses which
turn on the MOSFETs.
the MOSFETs turn on for longer each half-cycle, automatically correcting the
RMS value of the output to compensate for any drop in peak-to-peak output.
However, this approach does have its limitations, because it only increases the
pulse-width up to a certain point. This
may not allow the inverter to deliver enough power in ‘surge’ conditions.
most appliances turn on, they draw a ‘starting’ current which is many times
greater than the current drawn when the appliance is running. This type of
surge can overload the inverter, prompting its protection circuitry to shut
down to prevent damage to transformer and MOSFETs.
inverters employ a ‘soft-start’ circuitry to allow the inverter to cope with
load current surge. The output voltage and power drops, but at least the
inverter continues operating and allows the appliance to turn on.
are some devices with an extremely high starting current, where an inverter
simply cannot be used. Examples include freezers, air conditioners, etc. This type of appliance should be powered with
an engine driven alternator rather than an inverter.
Spikes/ Surge Capacity
with fairly inductive load impedance can develop high voltage spikes due to
‘back EMF’. These voltage spikes can be transferred back to the primary of the
transformer where they could very well damage the MOSFETs and their driving
circuitry. The risk of damage is small during one of the power pulses, because
one of the primaries is earthed. It is greatest when neither of the MOSFETs
conduct leading to excessive voltage across the MOSFETs.
a preventive measure, many inverters have a pair of Zener diodes across the
MOSFETs. The Zener diodes conduct whenever the voltage across the MOSFETs
increases excessively, thus protecting them.
inverters are provided with an ‘automatic turn on/off’ feature. They stop
working when an AC load is removed but turn on again when it is connected. This
‘auto turn-on/off’ feature is also known as ‘load demand’, ‘sleep mode’ and
turning on the AC appliance, switches the inverter into ‘on’ mode and it starts
supplying AC power. This is very beneficial as it allows us to conserve battery
energy, while allowing the appliance to operate in exactly the same way as it
is connected to mains supply.
most cases this auto turn-on system uses a sensing circuit connected into the
Inverter’s output loop, and designed to detect when the appliance switch is
closed to complete the high voltage circuit. This allows a small DC sensing current
to flow, and this current is used to turn on the inverter’s MOSFET drive
no DC flows in the output loop, the drive circuitry is disabled and no pulses
are fed to the gates of the MOSFETs. As a result, they don’t conduct, and the
inverter doesn’t operate. Only a very small standby current is drawn from the
Sine wave InvertersAppliances
such light dimmers, variable speed drills and laser printers will not run
satisfactorily with such a ‘modified sine wave’. So some manufacturers build a few models that
deliver a pure sine wave output. This
results in more complex circuitry for the inverters, because it is not easy
producing a pure sine wave output while converting DC to AC efficiently.
Consequently, pure sine wave inverters are usually more expensive for the same
most common type of pure sine wave inverter operates by first converting the
low voltage DC into high voltage DC, using a high frequency DC-DC converter. It
then uses a high frequency PWM system to convert the high voltage DC into
chopped AC, which is passed through an L-C low pass filter to produce the final
clean 50Hz sine wave output. This is like a high-voltage version of the
single-bit digital to analog conversion process used in many CD players.
Figure 7.5: An off-grid wind system
grid systems are standalone wind generating systems that are only connected to
supply a particular residence of choice. They are not connected to the main utility
line, hence the name ‘off-grid’ wind system.
small off-grid wind system consists of a wind turbine, a controller, a battery
bank that stores the power, an inverter and a tower. Standalone wind energy systems might be used
at remote locations such as a cabin, cottage, for agricultural use or a
inverter for an off-grid system is called a standalone
inverter, which is basically the inverter model that has been discussed so
7.6: Grid-tie wind system
systems are connected to the grid.
Depending on the amount of power being used by the household,
electricity is either fed to or accepted from the utility.
wind flow is not sufficient, the grid-tie system can draw electricity from the
grid – exactly the way mains power is normally drawn. When it is producing
power in excess of the household requirement, it can be fed into the main power
grid. The inverter used is called a synchronous
inverter, which can be used for net metering depending on the location and
mains power supplier.
local power grids in the United States apply a form of credit system, where
power fed into the main grid by a self generating unit, can be stored as credit
which pays for a portion of future usage of mains power.
inverter monitors the alternating current waveform from the Mains supply, and
generates AC output that is phase matched with the mains.
the right inverter
The inverter is one of the most important and most complex
components in an independent energy system. To choose an inverter, one should
know some basic functions, capabilities, and limitations.
7.5.1 Define the need
To choose an inverter, one should first define his/her needs. Inverter
manufacturers print everything one needs to know on their specification sheets.
Here is a list of the factors that one should consider.
Where is the inverter to be used? Inverters are available for use in buildings,
for recreational vehicles, boats, and portable applications. Will it be
connected to the utility grid in some way? Electrical conventions and safety
standards differ for various applications, so it’s important to check.
The DC input voltage must conform to that of the electrical system and battery
bank. 12 volts is no longer the dominant standard for home energy systems, 24
and 48 volts are the common standards now. A higher voltage system carries less
current, which makes system wiring cheaper and easier.
The inverter’s AC output must conform to the conventional power in the region
in order to run locally available appliances. The standard for AC mains service
in the UK is 230 volts at a frequency of 50 Hertz (cycles per second).
How much load can an inverter handle? Its power output is rated in watts (watts
= amps x volts). There are three levels of power rating – a continuous rating,
a limited-time rating, and a surge rating. Continuous means the amount of power
the inverter can handle for an indefinite period of hours. When an inverter is
rated at a certain number of watts, it generally refers to its continuous
The limited-time rating is a higher number of watts that it can handle for a
defined period of time, typically 10 or 20 minutes. The inverter specifications
should define these ratings in relation to ambient temperature (the temperature
of the surrounding atmosphere). When the inverter gets too hot, it will shut
off. This will happen more quickly in a hot atmosphere. The third level of
power rating, surge capacity, is critical to its ability to start motors, and
is discussed below.
Some inverters are designed to be interconnected or expanded in a modular
fashion, in order to increase their capacity. The most common scheme is to
“stack” two inverters. A cable connects the two inverters to
synchronize them so they perform as one unit.
Quality – SINE Wave vs. Modified SINE Wave
Some inverters produce “cleaner” power than others.
Simply stated, “sine wave” is clean; anything else is dirty. A sine
wave has a naturally smooth geometry, like the track of a swinging pendulum. It
is the ideal form of AC power. The utility grid produces sine wave power in its
generators and normally delivers it to the customer relatively free of distortion.
A sine wave inverter can deliver cleaner, more stable power than most grid
How clean is a “sine wave”? The manufacturer may use the
terms “pure” or “true” to imply a low degree of distortion.
The facts are included in the inverter’s specifications. If the total harmonic
distortion (THD) is lower than 6 percent it should satisfy normal home
requirements. Look for less than 3 percent if you have unusually critical or
sensitive electronics, as in a recording studio.
Other specs are important too. RMS voltage regulation keeps your lights steady.
It should be plus or minus 5 percent or less. Peak voltage (Vp) regulation
needs to be plus or minus 10 percent or less.
A “modified sine wave” inverter is less expensive, but it produces a
distorted square waveform that resembles the track of a pendulum being slammed
back and forth by hammers. In truth, it isn’t a sine wave at all. The
misleading term “modified sine wave” was invented by advertising
people. Engineers prefer to call it “modified square wave.”
The “modified sine wave” has detrimental effects on many electrical
loads. It reduces the energy efficiency of motors and transformers by 10 to 20
percent. The wasted energy causes abnormal heat which reduces the reliability
and longevity of motors and transformers and other devices, including some
appliances and computers. The choppy waveform confuses some digital timing
About 5 percent of household appliances simply won’t work on modified sine wave
power at all. A buzz will be heard from the speakers of nearly every audio
device. An annoying buzz will also be emitted by some fluorescent lights,
ceiling fans, and transformers. Some microwave ovens buzz or produce less heat.
TVs and computers often show rolling lines on the screen. Surge protectors may
overheat and should not be used.
Modified sine wave inverters were tolerated in the 1980s, but since then, true
sine wave inverters have become more efficient and more affordable. Some people
compromise by using a modified wave inverter to run their larger power tools or
other occasional heavy loads, and a small sine wave inverter to run their
smaller, more frequent, and more sensitive loads. Modified wave inverters in
renewable energy systems have started fading into history.
It is not possible to convert power without losing some of it. Power is lost in
the form of heat. Efficiency is the ratio of power out to power in, expressed
as a percentage. If the efficiency is 90 percent, 10 percent of the power is
lost in the inverter. The efficiency of an inverter varies with the load.
Typically, it will be highest at about two thirds of the inverter’s capacity.
This is called its “peak efficiency.” The inverter requires some
power just to run itself, so the efficiency of a large inverter will be low
when running very small loads.
In a typical home, there are many hours of the day when the electrical load is
very low. Under these conditions, an inverter’s efficiency may be around 50
percent or less. The full story is told by a graph of efficiency vs. load, as
published by the inverter manufacturer. This is called the “efficiency
curve.” These curves should be read carefully. Some manufacturers cheat by
starting the curve at 100 watts or so, not at zero.
Because the efficiency varies with load, one should not assume that an inverter
with 93 percent peak efficiency is better than one with 85 percent peak
efficiency. If the 85 percent efficient unit is more efficient at low power
levels, it may waste less energy through the course of a typical day.
An inverter’s sensitive components must be well protected against surges from
nearby lightning and static, and from surges that bounce back from motors under
overload conditions. It must also be protected from overloads. Overloads can be
caused by a faulty appliance, a wiring fault, or simply too much load running
at one time.
An inverter must include several sensing circuits to shut itself off if it
cannot properly serve the load. It also needs to shut off if the DC supply
voltage is too low, due to a low battery state-of-charge or other weakness in
the supply circuit. This protects the batteries from over-discharge damage, as
well as protecting the inverter and the loads. These protective measures are
all standard on inverters that are certified for use in buildings.
7.5.8 Inductive loads and Surge Capacity
Some loads absorb the AC wave’s energy with a time delay. These are called
inductive loads. Motors are the most severely inductive loads. They are found
in well pumps, washing machines, refrigerators, power tools, etc. TVs and
microwave ovens are also inductive loads. Like motors, they draw a surge of
power when they start.
If an inverter cannot efficiently feed an inductive load, it may simply shut
down instead of starting the device. If the inverter’s surge capacity is
marginal, its output voltage will dip during the surge. This can cause a
dimming of the lights in the house, and will sometimes crash a computer.
Any weakness in the battery and cabling to the inverter will further limit its
ability to start a motor. A battery bank that is undersized, in poor condition,
or has corroded connections, can be a weak link in the power chain. The
inverter cables and the battery interconnect cables must be big, perhaps the
size of a large thumb! The spike of DC current through these cables is many
hundreds of amps at the instant of motor starting. Coat battery connections
have a protective coating to reduce corrosion.
Idle power is the consumption of the inverter when it is on, but no loads are
running. It is “wasted” power, so if one expects the inverter to be
on for many hours during which there is very little load (as in most
residential situations); he would want this to be as low as possible. Typical
idle power ranges from 15 watts to 50 watts for a home-size inverter. An
inverter’s spec sheet may describe the inverter’s “idle current” in
amps. To get watts, just multiply the amps times the DC voltage of the system.
7.5.10 Low switching frequency vs. High switching
There are two ways to build an inverter. Without diving into theory, there are
differences in weight, cost, surge capacity, idle power, and noise.
A low switching frequency inverter is big and heavy (generally 10 kg per
kilowatt and more expensive. It has the high surge capacity (four to eight
times the continuous capacity) needed to start large motors. The acoustical
buzz that low switching frequency inverters make can be a big problem.
A high switching frequency inverter is much smaller and lighter
(generally about 2.5 kg per kilowatt and also less expensive. It has less surge
capacity, typically about two times the continuous capacity. It produces little
or no audible noise. The idle power is generally higher. If the inverter is
oversized for motor starting, its idle power will be higher yet, and may be
prohibitive. Most homes that have a well pump or other motors greater than 1 HP
will find a low switching frequency inverter to be more economical.
Both types of inverters have their virtues. Some people “divide and
conquer” by splitting their loads and using two inverters. This adds a
measure of redundancy. If one ever fails, the other one can serve as backup.
7.5.11 Automatic ON/OFF
Inverter idling can be a substantial load on a small power system. Most
inverters made for home power systems have automatic load-sensing. The inverter
puts out a brief pulse of power about every second (more or less). When you
switch on an AC load, it senses the current draw and turns itself on.
Manufacturers have various names for this feature, including “load
demand,” “sleep mode,” “power saver,” “auto-start,”
Automatic on/off can make life awkward because a tiny load may not trigger the
inverter to turn on or stay on. For example, a washing machine may pause
between cycles, with only the timer running. The timer draws less than 10
watts. The inverter’s turn-on “threshold” may be 10 or 15 watts. The
inverter shuts off and doesn’t come back on until it sees an additional load
from some other appliance. You may have to leave a light on while running the
Some people can’t adapt to such situations. Therefore, inverters with automatic
on/off also have an always-on setting. With it, low-power night lights, clocks,
fax, answering machines and other tiny loads can be run, without losing
continuity. In that case, a good system designer will add the inverter’s idle
power into the load calculation (24 hours a day). The cost of the power system
will be higher, but it will meet the expectations of modern living.
Inverter in our project
7.7: Schematic of our Inverter
MOSFETs perform the switching function, to allow current to flow first through
one direction, and then through another, to create alternating voltage on the
primary side of the transformer. The switching of the MOSFETs is maintained by
the gate pulses that it receives from the timing circuit, in this case the IC-
is primarily a CMOS Low-Power Monostable/Astable Multivibrator. The key reason
MOSFETS were used is because they are the most efficient current switches.
added feature in our inverter was a RC tuning circuit to adjust the frequency
of the output voltage according to requirement.
7.8: Pin configuration of CD4047BE
7.9: Our Inverter circuit
A resistor is a
two-terminal electronic device. It obeys Ohm’s law at room temperature; the
voltage produced across its terminals is proportional to the electric current
V = IR
Resistors are elements
of electrical networks and electronic circuits and are present in almost all
day to day appliances. Practical resistors can be made of various compounds and
films, as well as resistance wire (wire made of a high resistivity alloy, such
Figure 8.1: Resistors
A capacitor is a two
terminal device mainly used to store charge. It is a passive electronic device
just like a resistor but one of the main differences is that it consists of two
metal plates that are separated by a medium known as a dielectric. A capacitor
begins to charge when there is a potential difference across it; an electric
field is developed across the capacitor.
Capacitors are given
fixed values to indicate how much charge they can store, which is called the
capacitance. Capacitance of a capacitor is measured in farads. This is the
ratio of the electric charge on each conductor to the potential difference
Capacitors are used in
our daily life for example they are used to block dc current, filter networks,
for smoothing the output of power supplies that where block shaped, zigzagged
They are also used as
tuning circuits etc.
A potentiometer is an
electronic device that can be used to vary or adjust the voltage developed
across it. The potentiometer is a three terminal device. It consists of a knob
which can be easily rotated to change the resistance of the potentiometer, and
hence vary the voltage.
A common example is a
volume control for a radio receiver.
A diode is a
two-terminal electronic component that conducts electric current in only one
direction. The term usually refers to a semiconductor diode, the most common
type today. This is a crystalline piece of semiconductor material connected to
two electrical terminals.
Figure 8.3: Diode
The main purpose of a
diode is to allow an electric current to pass in one direction (called the diode’s
forward bias direction) while opposing current in the opposite direction (the
reverse direction) such that the current becomes zero for a negative current or
current in moving in the opposite direction. Thus, the diode can be thought of
as an electronic version of a check valve. This behavior that allows current to
flow in one direction is known as rectification, and is used to convert
alternating current to direct current, and to extract modulation from radio
signals in radio receivers.
power diode is a PN junction device that is used to restrict the flow of
current or it opposes the change in electricity. When the potential across the
anode is greater (positive) compared to the cathode, the diode is said to be in
the forward bias and the diode conducts. When the potential across the cathode
is greater (positive) compared to the anode, the diode is said to be in the
reverse bias and the diode does not conduct. It acts like an open circuit; no
conduction takes place. In this condition, a small amount of current flows
through the diode. This current is known as leakage current and this is in the
range of micro-milli amperes. The leakage current slowly builds and this causes
the reverse voltage to reach the Zener region or the Avalanche voltage. This
voltage can result in the diode from collapsing and acting as a short wire.
Figure 8.4: V-I characteristic curve of a diode
V-I characteristic curve can be broken down into three parts:
this region, the diode is in a conduction state, Vd> 0. The diode current
passing through the diode is very small if the voltage across the diode is less
than 0.7V i.e. threshold voltage. When voltage across the diode is above the
threshold voltage, the diode conducts fully.
the reverse biased region, Vd < 0. When the voltage across the diode is
negative, the current flow is very small and this small current is known as the
the breakdown region, the reverse voltage is such that it causes the leakage
current to increase. The leakage current in turn starts to increase very
rapidly. This causes the diode to work in the breakdown region. The operation
of the diode in the breakdown will not damage the diode, but due to safety
reasons it is advisable that a very high voltage should not be applied.
are metal oxide field effect transistors. The metal oxide helps in the
dissipation of heat and prevents a FET from over- heating. This solves the
problem of overheating but MOSFETs are still very difficult to protect from
short circuited fault conditions.
advantage of using MOSFETs is that they are very fast for switching. MOSFETs
have the problem of electrostatic discharge and hence they have to be handled
with care. For an inverter circuit an enhancement type MOSFET is preferred
compared to a depletion type. The main reason behind this selection is that a
depletion type MOSFET’s gate is still on when the voltage at the gate is zero.
An enhancement type MOSFET is used because it acts more like a switch.
a positive voltage is applied with respect to the source, the MOSFET’s electric
field pulls electrons from the n+ layer to the p+ layer. This opens a channel
closet to the gate, which as a result causes a current to flow from drain to
require very low gate energy to be switched on, and they have a very high
switching speed and low switching loss. However MOSFETs suffer from the
disadvantage of high forward on-state resistance. As a result there is a high
loss during on-state operation.
are three regions in which a MOSFET operates
8.5: Drain Characteristic Curve of MOSFET
this region, the MOSFET does not work. It remains inactive similar to an open
circuit. The electrostatic field does not have the capability to pull the
electrons. Hence there will be no current flow from drain to source.
this region the increase in current is directly proportional to increase in
voltage, so it obeys Ohm’s Law. Here the MOSFET acts like an amplifier.
this region, the drain current tends to saturate as the voltage across the drain
increases. In this case, the MOSFET tends to act like a switch.
A rectifier is an
electrical circuit that is used to convert alternating current (AC) into direct
current (DC). This process is known as rectification. Rectifiers may be made of
solid state diodes, vacuum tube diodes, mercury arc valves, and other
components. Rectifiers have many uses including being used as components of
power supplies and as detectors of radio signals.
In a half-wave rectifier,
only half the portion is allowed to pass whether it be a positive or a
negative. In this case, only the positive portions are allowed to pass.
Since only half the
input is obtained for the output, this is called half-wave rectification. The
result of obtaining only half the portion for one complete cycle makes it
inefficient for power transfer. Half-wave rectification can be achieved with a
single diode in a single phase supply, or with three diodes in a three-phase
Figure 8.6: Half-wave
A full-wave rectifier
converts the whole of the input waveform to one of constant polarity (positive
or negative) at its output. Full-wave rectification converts both polarities of
the input waveform to DC (direct current), and is more efficient. However, in a
circuit with a non-center tapped transformer, four diodes are required instead
of the one needed for half-wave rectification. Four diodes arranged this way
are called a diode bridge or bridge rectifier:
Figure 8.7: Full Wave
A transformer is a
circuit that transfers energy from one circuit (primary) to another circuit
(secondary) through inductively coupled electrical conductors.
A changing current in
the primary circuit creates a changing magnetic field. This changing magnetic
flux produces a changing magnetic flux in the secondary circuit, which induces
an alternate voltage in the secondary coil.
Here are some basic
characteristics of a transformer:
- The transformer transfers electric power from one
circuit to another.
- It does this without a change in frequency.
- It does this by electromagnetic induction.
- Here the two electric circuits are in
mutual inductive influence of each other.
Transformers can have
two types of functions:
1. Step up
2. Step down.
Step up transformers
boost the voltage to a higher value than in the primary. Step down transformers
lower the voltage.
The ratio of the
secondary to primary Voltage (Vs/Vp) is given by turn ratio of the coils on each
Figure 8.8: A
Transformer Core showing the primary and secondary windings
Feasibility & Cost Benefit Analysis
feasibility of generating electricity from wind energy depends on a couple of
crucial factors. These factors will be explained shortly. It is very important
to mention that with time, different methods have been considered for the
implementation of wind powered turbine. However, before they can be
implemented, many criteria have to be full-filled of the criteria will now be
Site Selection plays a very crucial part in the
implementation of wind generators. Wind generators need to be installed in
places where the availability of wind needs to be constant and the direction of
wind flow must be constant or should have a low variance. Places where wind
flow is available, but the direction of the wind changes continuously creates a
problem. Such places have multiple sensors, in-order to make sure that the wind
turbines face the correct position in order to have a complete and efficient
rotation. This may seem very useful but these implementations tend to take a
large area, which is very expensive, requires a lot of maintenance and the
sensors need to have a high order of precision.
the ground surface the more it interferes with the wind. Rough ground creates
turbulence in the layers of wind above it. Here roughness means obstacles like
woodlands, buildings etc.
valleys and ridges
hills, crests and ridges generally experience higher but more variable wind
speeds than flat ground. The wind is accelerated over the hills. However, on
the downwind side of the hill there may be turbulence. The amount that the wind
accelerates over a hill or ridge depends strongly on the height and shape of
the hill. It is important to mention that higher ground usually experiences
stronger winds than lower ground.
areas (around large lakes as well as near the sea) are likely to have stronger
winds than inland areas. The increase in wind due to a costal location is not
easily quantifiable. Sea breezes usually
have a diurnal pattern due to the temperature difference between the sea and
land. They generally blow from the land to the sea during day and from the sea
to the land at night.
the wind turbine site
turbine should be sited to receive the maximum amount of wind in terms of both
wind flow duration and wind speed. In practice, this means choosing a site
- Is far from obstructions (tall trees, high
- Is high up.
- Receives the prevailing wind.
- Avoids turbulent air streams.
is important to know that wind patterns do not remain the same throughout the
year. These changes have a very small effect in some places and a considerable
affect in other places. Countries that have continuous amount of wind flow that
is sufficient for generation of electricity tend to be less affected by this
small change e.g. Norway, Denmark
etc. However in countries where the wind
flow is less, and there is a lot of fluctuation, for example Bangladesh, the
feasibility of implementing large scale wind turbine generators in such places
plays the most important role after the site selection. After a feasibility
analysis is conducted, most governments or private organizations weigh the
financial costs for such an investment. Most third world countries tend to
avoid the prospect of installing a wind turbine generator because of the large
funds necessary. Countries without financial restraints are a lot bolder with
such investments. For developing countries it is still not practical enough to
construct large scale wind farms, without investment from multinational companies.
total = Tk. 9685
9.6 Current wind systems in Bangladesh
The prospect of generating electricity from wind flow
has improved over the years. Bangladesh’s first-ever generation of electricity
from wind at a 900-kilowatt plant has ushered in new hopes for generation of
power with minimum cost in the country. Chief Engineer of PDB and Director of
some wind projects, Khizir Khan was quoted as saying that it takes only 1.18
taka (about 2 US cents) to generate each kilowatt power from wind while average
kilowatt generation cost in other power plants is 3 taka (5 US cents).
Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) implemented
the project under a pilot program. The main specialty of this unique wind
energy system is to generate electricity at 440V and the longevity of this sort
of plant is almost 20 to 30 years.
“Wind energy is technically feasible, financially
viable and environment-friendly,” Khan said. “We will put forward
recommendations to the government about economic viability of the plant and
request the authorities concerned to set up more wind- power plants.”
There are currently many projects underway. Some of
the more prominent ones will be discussed below.
Energy Program by Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB):
(Bangladesh Power Development Board) is implementing a pilot project of
0.90 MW capacity of the Grid Connected Wind Energy (GCWE) in the Muhuri Dam
areas. The installation, commissioning and erection work of 4 units of the 225
kW GCWE turbines is at this moment progressing very fast. After the successful
implementation of the pilot project of 0.90 MW, with 1 MW unit capacity wind
turbines, this site is suitable for at least 100 MW wind electricity. It was
established at a cost of 90 million taka (1.5 million US dollars) including
19.3 million taka (320,000 US dollars) for feasibility study. It is now ready
to generate electricity from wind and supply to the Muhuri Irrigation Project
and the national grid, according to The Bangladesh Observer.
energy installation under renewable Energy Program (REP) under BPDB:
- Energy Resource :
- Type of installation :
Water pumping wind mill Irrigation
- No of installation : 1
- Capacity of
installation : 1 x 1.0 Kw, 3 x 1.5 Kw, 1 x 10 Kw
- Location of
Installation : Patenga (Coastal Area), Chittagong)
- Functional Status :
- Energy Resource :
- Type of installation :
installation by BPDB = 2 MW
of Wind Energy Technology under Local Government Engineering Department
energy utilization in Bangladesh is in the early stage of application. Several
locations have already been assessed to evaluate the wind energy potential of
the coastal region of the country. Variation of wind resource has been observed
among the different locations in the region. In addition, seasonal variation of
wind resource prevails in the country, with a strong potential during the
months of April to September, and a very weak potential during rest of the
year. However, scope of utilization of wind energy resources can become
effective in certain cases of exclusive applications including wind water
pumping and power generation through Wind-Diesel-hybrid systems. So far
LGED has installed largest Wind-Solar Hybrid System which is 10Kwp in Saint
Martins Island at Bay of Bengal. One small unit also installed at tourist
resort Kuakata sea beach.
Hybrid System in Kuakata Sea Beach:
the coastal belt of Bangladesh, the average wind speed is high and is
sufficient to generate electricity. Conventional energy resources are being
depleted and biomass faces a growing risk of depletion in many parts of the
world. Besides, use of fossil fuels creates serious environmental problem.
Emission of greenhouse gases through burning fossil fuels is linked with global
warming, sea-level-rise and degradation of environment quality. Limited production
of conventional energy and high transmission and distribution cost would not
permit the expansion of electricity network for the people living in the remote
and coastal areas in the foreseeable future. Wind energy can be considered to
be especially suitable for such inaccessible costal areas which can meet the
electricity demands of those deprived people. Currently, appropriate lack of
wind speed limits large-scale programs for harvesting wind energy on commercial
basis. However small wind turbines hold potential for demonstrating the
technology as well as raising awareness of the people about the prospect and
benefit of using wind energy in Bangladesh.
- The transformer transfers electric power from one
- Location: LGED Guest house cum cyclone shelter,
Kuakata Sea-beach, Kalapara, Patuakhali.
- Capacity: 400 Watt
- Wind Turbine: 400 watt, Air 403 Model (Marine
- Rotor Diameter: 46 Inches(1.17 meters)
- Start up wind speed: 7mph(3.0 m/s)
Energy Program under Grameen Shakti:
Energy Program: Grameen Shakti is experimenting with the possibility of
developing systems to utilize wind energy in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.
GS installed 4 hybrid power stations (combination of wind turbine and diesel
generator) in four cyclone shelters of Grameen Bank.
of Grameen Shakti:
Resource: Wind-Diesel Hybrid System
- Type of installation:
- No of installation: 7
- Capacity of
installation: 4.32 KW
- Cost of Installation:
- Location of
Installation: Coastal Area of Bangladesh
- Functional Status:
- Type of installation:
Energy Program under Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies (BCAS)
energy installation under Renewable Energy Program (REP):
- Type of installation :
Water pumping wind mill Irrigation
- No of installation : 1
- Capacity of
installation : 1×1.0 Kw, 3×1.5 Kw, 1×10 Kw
- Location of
Installation: Patenga (Coastal Area), Chittagong)
- Functional Status :
- Energy Resource :
- Type of installation :
Energy Program under Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC):
energy installation under Renewable Energy Program (REP):
- Energy Resource:
- Type of installation:
- No of installation: 10
- Capacity of
installation: 0.3 KW
- Location of
Installation: Coastal Area of Bangladesh
- Functional Status :
- Energy Resource: Wind
- Type of installation:
Wind Power Density by territory
9.1: Wind Power Density Map of
Average Speed and Wind Power Density by location
Discussions and Conclusion
in this chapter we have discussed briefly what our exact plan was and how much
we can achieve during accomplishing the work and because off some problems what
are the changes we have to make in our plan.
project we have tried to implement a wind turbine such that by using natural
resources like wind energy we could generate electricity. The design we came up
with is different from the standard design and we found that considering the
fact of low wind flow, our design would generate sufficient power. We thought
that since electricity is generated via the rotation of the blade turbine, by
increasing the number of rotations we could generate a lot more power. As a
result we came up a two-step gear system, where the main turbine blade would
rotate by a factor of 4.
electricity generated then would be stored in a battery which would be used to
power devices. Since most electrical and electronic devices operate in AC, the
use of an inverter is crucial so part of our project is also to convert the DC
voltage generated via wind energy to AC power. In the inverter, we have added a
tuning circuit which would help regulate the frequency of the AC voltage that
is being delivered.
10.3 Our Wind
10.1: Our Wind Generator
Wind Generator comprises of
- A stepper motor as the generating unit.
- Turbine blades made of low quality steel.
- A battery bank.
- Two sets of LEDs
(one set to indicate batteries are being charged, and the other turning
on when they are fully charged).
- Two step Gear System (increased generator
rotation speed by a factor of 4).
of our system
of the main drawbacks of our generator was the poor quality of our turbine
blades. Due to financial and time constraints, the originally intended gear
system could not be built. Furthermore,
the gear system that was eventually built turned out to be too heavily loaded.
The excessive inertia due to the loading made it very difficult to get proper
rotation of the turbine.
10.2: The White LEDs turning on to
indicate that battery is fully charged.
generating electricity from wind power tends to be a poor prospect in
Bangladesh due to a lot of constraints, one of which is financial. However, the
biggest problem faced is the lack of wind flow in Bangladesh and the lack of
research that has been done. Even with these problems, it is worth mentioning
that there have been foreign investors who were interested in installing wind
turbine generators, but due to the lack of concrete data most of these projects
was known from the start of the project that the feasibility was very poor and
that was taken into account. It was mentioned that a wind power station would
not generate adequate power to supply to the national power grid. Taking that
fact into account, the goal quickly shifted to stand-alone systems. Stand alone
systems are independent systems used to power a home or a small firm. They are
not connected to the national grid.
This project was specifically designed for stand-alone systems in areas
where adequate wind flow is readily available. The prospect of wind flow in
Dhaka city was found to be futile. This project was for rural areas that experience
power failure and where national grid power is not an option, for example,
hilly areas, small isolated islands, forests. One of the main motivations for
this experiment was that it was cheap and easy to install and did not require
much maintenance. Also the parts for this project were easily available.
The biggest advantage is that the same gear system can be applied for
hydro electric turbines. These can be installed for homes that are very close
to running water with a decent flow. Bangladesh is very well known for its
river network, so it should not be difficult to imagine how this can be
implemented. The perfect project would be a hybrid; this employs a two-in-one
generating system. In this system, both forms of energy conversion take place
and one compensates for the other.
The project can be a lot more refined by improving blade design; the
blades can be aero-dynamically custom-made to maximize the wind flow. Using
gears that are made from fibre glass, they are more durable and do not require
Recently, there is ongoing research on using Jute to make turbine
The first step for our country is to make sure that this can be applied
for rural areas. The second step is to make see how much further this system
can be improved to such an extent that it can be used to supply to a
sub-station and it can be seen as a remedy for power loss or power failure.
main purpose of this project was to implement such a system that would be
viable to the prospects of the country. As Bangladesh has low wind flow, by
changing the standard gear system into a modified system such that even though
if there was low wind flow, the turbine would rotate and due to such a system,
it will continue to rotate to generate sufficient power. Like any system it
should be practical hence we also decided to add an inverter to the entire
system. So the wind turbine would generate DC voltage and the inverter would
convert this DC voltage into AC voltage.
terms of Bangladesh, such a system can be implemented as a stand-alone system
preferably in the rural areas. Although a lot more research needs to be done to
find the maximum wind flow and the perfect site selection to install such a
it would be efficient if such a gear system be used in the hydro-system.
Bangladesh is known for being a delta country where there is abundant flow of
water. It is more practically viable and feasible to be used in rivers. In case
of the materials used for this project, they are too heavy for the system to
operate at maximum efficiency hence a change into lighter and rigid materials
would increase the generated power.
VAWT: Vertical Axis Wind turbine has its main motor shaft arranged
vertically. The generator and gearbox can be placed near the ground, so the
tower does not need to support it.
HAWT: Horizontal Axis Wind turbine has the main motor shaft and electrical
generator at the top of a tower and must be pointed into the wind.
Drag: Drag is a force of wind pushing straight downwind. It is parallel to
the direction of motion.
Lift: Lift force is perpendicular to the direction of motion.
MOSFET: Metallic-oxide semiconductor field effect transistor
is a device used for amplifying or switching electronic signals.
Jaycar Electronics Reference Data Sheet: INVERTER.PDF (1)
Non-Conventional Energy Resources By D.S. Chauhan
Xinhua News Agency – CEIS
- Type of installation: