Question

What is wind energy? How is wind energy used to produce electricity? How much electric power is generated in India using wind energy?

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Answer

The large mass of moving air is called wind. Due to motion, it has kinetic energy. The kinetic energy of wind is called wind energy.

Wind energy is used in a wind generator to produce electricity by making use of a wind mill (or wind turbine) to drive a wind generator.

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The figure above shows the arrangement of a wind generator in which a small electric generator (or dynamo) is placed at the top of a pillar. The armature of the dynamo is connected to the shaft attached with the blades of a wind mill. When the blowing wind strikes the blades of the wind mill, the kinetic energy of wind changes into rotational kinetic energy of the blades.

The rotation of blades of the turbine rotates the armature of the dynamo in the magnetic field between the pole pieces N and S of a strong magnet, thus an alternating e.m.f is produced between the terminals T1 and T2 and hence electric power is generated.

The electric power generated by a single wind mill generator is small. So to generate a sufficient amount of electric power, a large number of such wind generators are arranged over a big area called a wind farm, and then the electric power generated by each generator is combined together for supply to the consumers.

At present in India, we are generating more than 10,000 MW electric power by this technique in coastal areas of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

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