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Windmill

Definition

The Windmill concept is the conversion of wind energy into electricity.

Blowing, the wind presses the blades of the windmill which creates a slow movement of rotation. This rotation is then multiplied to drive a generator at high speed thus, creating electricity.

Windmill: horizontal axis turbines

The electricity later needs some transformation before being injected in the grid.
The largest windmill having a production capacity of 15MW, most of the time, projects are the installation of windmills in farm counting between 10 to 400 units. 

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For centuries, mankind has used the wind as a source of energy but never before the trend for windmill has been this high with projects popping up all over the planet. 

Out of few pilots projects testing vertical windmills, the windmill market is largely dominated by horizontal axis windmills
In horizontal windmill, the nacelle containing turbine and blade axis turns around its pillar to always face the wind and maximize the electricity production.

Vertical Windmill

Speaking about windmills, different farm designs are also being implemented with each its specifications. The three main designs in today projects are:

  • Onshore Windmill
    Build on the ground, onshore windmill have usually a production capacity of 5MW and a diameter of 100 meters. Onshore windmill are smaller than the one offshore because of a less powerful wind and because of the inconvenience it can generate to the local communities.
  • Offshore Fixed Windmill
    Built directly on the sea bed in depth ranging from 15 to 60 meters, offshore windmills have an higher production capacity, above 10MW. Offshore windmills are installed in large zones around substations to transfer the electricity to the shore by subsea cables. Offshore windmills can reach more than 200 meters in diameters each.
  • Offshore Floating Windmill
    Floating windmill is less mature but in quick development to be installed in zones where the sea is deeper. Floating platforms or ballasts are anchored to the sea bed to limit the movement, while 1-2 or more turbines are installed on the top of the infrastructure.
Offshore Floating Windmill

The construction of Windmill farms is currently experiencing a boom worldwide, especially offshore where permits are more easily granted. Yet it raises one major problematic as it produces an intermittent energy depending on the wind.

This is the reason why more and more projects of windmill are linked to the development of green hydrogen production or energy storage facilities.

Despite this challenge, more and more projects of windmill farms are announced every day, expanding in size and in efficiency depending on the evolution of turbines.

Of course, you can count on Project Smart Explorer to guide you on these projects: www.projectsmartexplorer.com

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2 Comments to “Windmill”

  1. Dear L&G, not all windmills use rotation multipliers such as gears. I think is worth to mention.
    Regards Andreas

    • Thank you Andreas for your input,

      We described the most common design for windmill but you’re right, not all windmills rely on the operation we have mentioned in the article.
      Many technical designs are developed and tested right now, we will follow-up on the subject and try to list all the mature solutions available on the market.
      Thank you again for your precisions

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