Wind turbines make a major contribution to the production of renewable energy with its benefits of reduced reliance on fossil fuel imports and reduction in emissions. Development efforts following the 1970s oil crisis have now matured, leading to the wide availability of high capacity, efficient and reliable turbines suitable for onshore and offshore application.
This Application Note discusses wind turbine principles, how the available power can be assessed, the generation and control technology in current use and future trends.
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The operating availability of wind turbines is exceptionally high (98%), but its power factor suffers from the variability of the wind
The main project risk is an overly optimistic calculation of the wind climate
The main types of technologies are the squirrel cage induction generator, the doubly fed induction motor, and the direct driver synchronous generator
Wind generation costs have dropped by about 80% in the past 25 years and continue to drop with a few percent each year