Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Breakthrough in Wind Turbine Technology a Leap Forward for Clean Energy

Nuclear power is not only problematic—it’s ridiculously expensive. Clean coal is anything but. Don’t get me started on oil.

As alternative energy technology improves, and “dirty” energy continues to prove that it’s a dinosaur (no pun intended), it’s becoming clearer to all but the most stubborn, hard-headed extreme right-wing Republicans that the solution to our energy needs—not to mention the environment and the economy—lies in green technology.

From ScienceDaily:

A way to make wind power smoother and more efficient that exploits the inertia of a wind turbine rotor could help solve the problem of wind speed variation, according to research published in the International Journal of Power Electronics.

Wind power is being touted as a clean and inexhaustible energy source across the globe, but the wind is intermittent and so the power output of wind farms can be variable. Proposed measures to smooth these power fluctuations usually involve the installation of units of batteries or capacitors to store electricity on good days and release their energy on still days or at times when wind speeds are too high for system stability. Technology to smooth the power supply and prevent blackouts due to the tripping of safety switches when electricity frequency deviates wildly is also essential.

Despites its deficiencies, a report from the US Department of Energy suggests that installed wind energy capacity could reach 300 gigawatts by 2030 to meet a fifth of the US electricity demand.

Now, Asghar Abedini, Goran Mandic and Adel Nasiri at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Power Electronics and Motor Drives Laboratory, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, have devised a solution to the electricity grid susceptibility to changes in wind speed.

The researchers have devised a novel control method that can mitigate power fluctuations using the inertia of the wind turbine’s rotor as an energy storage component. Simply put, they have created a braking control algorithm that adjusts the rotor speed so that when incoming wind power is greater than the average power, the rotor is allowed to speed up so that it can store the excess energy as kinetic energy rather than generating electricity. This energy is then released when the wind power falls below average.

This approach, the team explains, precludes the need for external energy storage facilities such as capacitors and the additional infrastructure and engineering they entail. Their method also captures wind energy more effectively and so improves the overall efficiency of wind farming potentially reducing the number of turbines required at any given site.

Visit ScienceDaily.com.


New French edition of The Resilient Farm and Homestead available

Great news for French-speaking fans of Ben Falk’s The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach. The French language translation is now available from Imagine Un Colibri, from French booksellers, and on Amazon.fr. Falk’s book is a technical manual that details the strategies he and his team have developed for […] Read More

Prepare! Keep a Grab-n-Go Survival Kit Handy

Are you prepared in the event of a sudden emergency? Blizzard, earthquake, insurrection after the inauguration? We know a lot of people are wondering what’s coming next in the US, as well as the world, given terrorism, politics, and global warming, among other threats. In this excerpt from When Technology Fails, a popular book on […] Read More

A Bloggin’ We Shall Go: Your Favorite Blog Posts from 2016

Ah, 2016 – where did the time fly? It seems like only earlier this year we were excited about designing swales and getting to know more about no-till farming, and we ended up focusing on the heart, ketogenic diets and seeking a bio-abundant future. While the top 7 blog posts of the year don’t exactly […] Read More

Yes, America We Can Make It … Really

Uncertainty got you down? The political world may seem like it’s crumbling around us, but this we know: We can make it, America. Literally, we can make things. Houses. Gardens. Food. Below we’ve selected some of our classic how-to and DIY books (and some new favorites) to help you sustain your self, family, and community. […] Read More

Chelsea Green on Instagram: Our Most Popular Photos of 2016

What a year for Chelsea Green on Instagram! We began the year with 500 followers and are now fast approaching 4,000 photo-loving brewers, gardeners, cheesemakers, permaculturists, foodies, seed-savers, homesteaders, foragers, and more. Our most popular posts of 2016 say a lot about what makes you happy: mushrooms, innovative garden designs and techniques, tiny cabins, and […] Read More
+1
Tweet
Share
Share
Pin