Wind Turbine Products and Prices
Furthermore, there are other factors affecting microwind power generation. A turbine mounted on top of a building is subjected to vibration while it is spinning. To avoid this, ensure that the turbine and its pole are fixed properly on the building. Also, anti-vibration device and specifications of the turbine can be investigated (BWEA, 2006). Aside from vibration, the strength of the pole must be a concern throughout the service life of the wind turbine for its safety. Consideration also must be given for easy access for maintenance regardless of its height, especially when mounted atop of a building.
It can also be known if the turbine is still functioning well through the noise it produces. One sign of too much noise is the lack of lubricant on the screws and bearings of the wind turbine’s components. Another factor that can be considered is the rotor diameter in determining the electrical output. An increase in rotor diameter is an increase also in both the swept area and the amount of electricity that the turbine can produce (BWEA, 2006). The rotor diameter is parabolically proportional to the power output generated by the wind turbine (see Figure 4-6).
The graph shows a rated output against the rotor diameter in small wind system in UK. With all of these factors considered, a better wind source and an efficient wind turbine, additional revenue can be produced if the connected turbine to the grid generated more electricity and then some extra generated electricity can be sold to those who needed electrical power in the neighborhood. 4. 2 Wind Turbine Products and Prices Small-scale wind turbine industry in UK has the potential of meeting the national demand for electricity. Aside from its environmental-friendly benefits, losses due transmission and distribution are virtually avoided.
According to study conducted by Green Alliance, micro-generation, which includes wind power utilization, is a cost-effective and low-carbon alternative to nuclear power industry. This small-scale technology really offers great sense in terms of domestic utilization of wind energy in UK. Each wind turbine product, prior to distribution in the market, should conform to the demands and expectations of consumers, planners and distributors such as minimized noise level, efficient operation, aesthetics, and conformity to all safety and environmental requirements.
Most of the products today can offer independent solution to eliminate costly connection to the national grid. Thus, it will become more cost-effective due to direct usage of utilized wind energy. In UK domestic market, some of the domestic-sized wind turbines with predetermined power ratings that can produce power at around 12. 5 m/s (30mph) are shown in Figure 4-7 and compared. These products are considered leading in the UK domestic market in terms mainly of power rating and cost: Ampair 600W, FuturEnergy 600W/1KW, Proven 600W, Swift 1. 5KW, Stealthgen 400W, and Windsave 1KW.
The prices (including VAT) of the following wind-turbine products roughly range from about ? 700 to ? 7800. In Figure 4-7, Swift 1. 5KW wind turbine model generated the highest power (1,500W) at wind speed of around 12 m/s. With its higher capacity, it (Swift 1. 5KW) can still accommodate a higher wind speed in a given area. It is not surprising that UK has been focusing more on energy use and conservation over the past few years due to its pledge of zero carbon emissions and increasing dependency on imported energy products, such as fuel and gas, to reliably meet the national power demands.
Obliged to realize the objectives of Kyoto Protocol, UK has to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases emissions by around 13% by 2008 to 2012. Because these gases cause of rigorous climate change over the country, the need for stabilization must be done. Initially, to accomplish this, the replacement of gas over coal in electricity generation was done. But, it was not that successful. This produced an electricity gap and became a challenge. Now, UK is targeting 60 percent cut in emitting carbon-based gases by 2050, together with a transitional target by 2020 of about 26-32 percent (Erwin and Hardy, 2007).
After being the primary exporter of oil and gas from the past decades due to large coal reserves and offshore oil and gas extraction in North Sea, the situation reversed itself by making UK a major energy importer of coal and gas starting 2004. Becoming now a net importer of energy, UK is still concentrating on discovering ways to produce and utilize wisely its major energy sources. As of 2005, the percentage, as a whole, of the energy utilized from major sources was reported: renewable (2 percent), nuclear (8 percent), coal (17 percent), oil (33 percent), and natural gas (40 percent).
The utilization of coal is expected to decline due to expensive mining and obligation to follow the ordeals of Kyoto Protocol. On the other hand, the natural gas is still declining in terms of its availability but the country is till enhancing it by practical investments, and pipeline and storage improvement on domestic production of North Sea gas. But, it is now predicted that 75 percent of its production will fall by 2021 (Performance and Innovation Unit, 2002). Likewise, nuclear generation is expected to be phased-out within 10 to 15 years due to environmental and security concerns.
The country’s future and potential for renewable energy production is higher due to the perfect location of the country: surrounded by large bodies of water along with stronger wind. Such that, the industries of wind, wave and tidal energy utilization have greater potential in contributing electrical power to meet the nation’s power demand. Scotland, the windiest place in the country, is targeting about 18 percent of electricity from renewable sources, especially from wind energy (Boyack, 2000).