Wind Power Generation Magnets

Wind Power Generation Magnets

Wind energy has become one of the most feasible clean energy sources on earth. For many years, most of our electricity came from coal, oil and other fossil fuels. However, creating energy from these resources causes serious damages to our environment and pollute the air, land and water. This recognition has made many people to turn to green energy as a solution. 


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The Importance of Green Energy

Wind energy has become one of the most feasible clean energy sources on earth. For many years, most of our electricity came from coal, oil and other fossil fuels. However, creating energy from these resources causes serious damages to our environment and pollute the air, land and water. This recognition has made many people to turn to green energy as a solution. Therefore, renewable energy is very important for many reasons, including:

-Positive environmental impact
-Jobs and other economic benefits
-Improved public health
-A vast and inexhaustible energy supply
-A more reliable and resilient energy system

Wind Turbine Generators

In 1831, Michael Faraday created the first electromagnetic generator. He discovered that an electric current can be created in a conductor when it is moved through a magnetic field. Nearly 200 years later, magnets and magnetic fields continue to play an integral role in modern electric power generation. Engineers continue to build upon Faraday’s inventions, with new designs to solve 21st century problems.

How Wind Turbines works

Regarded as a highly complex piece of machinery, wind turbines are becoming increasing popular in the renewable energy sector. In addition, each part of the turbine plays an important role in how it functions and captures wind energy. In the simplest form, how wind turbines work is that:

-Strong winds turn the blades
-The blades of the fan are connected to a main channel in the centre
-The generator connected to that shaft converts that motion into electricity

Permanent magnets in wind turbines

Permanent magnets play a critical role in some of the world’s largest wind turbines. Rare earth magnets, such as powerful neodymium-iron-boron magnets, have been used in some wind-turbine designs to lower costs, improve reliability, and reduce the need for expensive and ongoing maintenance. Additionally, the development of new, innovative technologies over recent years have inspired engineers to utilise permanent magnet generator (PMG) systems in wind turbines. Therefore, this has eliminated the need for gearboxes, proving permanent magnets systems to be more cost-efficient, reliable and low-maintenance. Instead of needing electricity to emit a magnetic field, large neodymium magnets are used to produce their own. Moreover, this has eliminated the need for parts used in previous generators, while decreasing the wind speed required to produce energy.

A permanent magnet synchronous generator is an alternate type of wind-turbine generator. Unlike induction generators, these generators use the magnetic field of strong rare-earth magnets instead of electromagnets. They do not require slip rings or an external power source to create a magnetic field.  They can be operated at lower speeds, which allows them to be powered by the turbine shaft directly and, therefore, do not require a gearbox. This reduces the weight of the wind-turbine nacelle and means towers can be produced at a lower cost. The elimination of the gearbox results in improved reliability, lowered maintenance costs, and improved efficiency. The ability of magnets to allow designers to remove mechanical gearboxes from wind turbines is illustrative of how magnets can be used innovatively in solving both operational and economic problems in modern wind turbines.

Why Permanent Rare Earth Magnets?

The wind turbine industry prefers rare earth magnets for three main reasons:
-Permanent magnet generators do not need an external power source to initiate a magnetic field
-The self-excitation also means a bank of batteries or capacitors for other functions can be smaller
-The design reduces electrical losses

Additionally, due to the high-energy density permanent magnet generators offer, some weight associated with copper windings are eliminated along with problems of corrupting insulation and shorting.

Sustainability and Growth of Wind Energy

Wind energy is among the fastest growing sources of energy in the utility sector today.
The enormous benefits of utilizing magnets in wind turbines to produce a cleaner, safer, more efficient and economically viable source of wind energy has enormous positive implications for our planet, population and the way we live and work.

Wind is a clean and renewable fuel source that can be used in the production of electric power. Wind turbines can be used in conjunction with other renewable energy sources to help states and countries meet renewable portfolio standards and emissions targets to slow the rate of climate change. Wind turbines do not emit carbon dioxide or other harmful greenhouse gases, which makes wind-powered energy better for the environment than fossil fuel-based sources.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, wind energy provides additional benefits over traditional power generation sources. Nuclear, coal, and natural gas power plants use a surprisingly large amount of water in the production of electric power. In these types of power plants, water is used to create steam, control emissions, or for cooling purposes. Much of this water is ultimately released into the atmosphere in the form of condensation. Conversely, wind turbines do not require water to produce electricity. Wind farms’ value therefore increases exponentially in arid regions where the availability of water is limited.

Perhaps an obvious but significant benefit of wind power is the fuel source is essentially free and sourced locally. In contrast, fuel costs of fossil fuels can be one of the largest operating costs for a power plant and may need to be sourced from foreign suppliers that can create a dependence on interruptible supply chains and can be affected by geopolitical conflicts. This means wind energy can help countries become more energy independent and reduce the risk of price fluctuations in fossil fuels.

Unlike finite fuel sources such as coal or natural gas, wind is a sustainable energy source that does not require fossil fuels to generate power. Wind is produced by temperature and pressure differences in the atmosphere and is a result of the sun’s heating the Earth’s surface. As a fuel source, wind provides an infinite supply of energy and, as long as the sun continues to shine, wind will continue to blow.


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