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What is a Turbine?

turbine

Let’s take a look into the journey to the heart of Energy – The Turbine!

The oxford dictionary describes a turbine as “A machine for producing continuous power in which a wheel or rotor, typically fitted with vanes, is made to revolve by a fast-moving flow of water, steam, gas, air, or other fluid.”

In other words, a turbine is a rotary device that harnesses the kinetic energy of moving fluids –water, steam, combustion gas, or air- to push a series of blades mounted on a rotor shaft. The force of moving fluid rotates the blades. The mechanical (kinetic) energy which is harnessed through this process can be converted into electrical energy when combined with a generator.

turbine 2

What are the types of turbines?

The 4 types of turbines are:

1) Water turbine

water turbine

A water turbine is a rotary machine that converts kinetic energy and potential energy of water into mechanical work.

Reaction Turbine

Impulse Turbine

2) Steam turbine

turbine steam

A steam turbine is a device that extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam and uses it to do mechanical work on a rotating output shaft.

  1. According to the working principle, steam turbines are mainly divided into two categories:
  • Impulse Turbine
  • Reaction Steam Turbine
  1. According to the direction of steam flow, it may be classified into two categories:
  • Axial Flow Steam Turbine
  • Radial Flow Steam Turbine
  1. According to the exhaust condition of steam, it is further divided into two categories:
  • Backpressure or Non-Condensing
  • Condensing type Steam Turbine
  1. According to the pressure of steam, it may be divided following categories:
  • High-pressure or pass-out or Extraction steam turbine
  • Medium-pressure or backpressure steam turbine
  • Low-pressure turbine
  1. According to the number of stages, it may be divided following categories
  • Single-stage steam turbine
  • Multi-stage steam turbine
  1. According to the blade and wheels arrangement, it may be divided following categories:

3) Gas turbine

turbine

gas turbine, also called a combustion turbine, is a type of continuous and internal combustion engine.

4) Wind turbines

wind turbine

wind turbine is a device that converts the wind’s kinetic energy into electrical energy.

  1. Upwind turbine
  2. Downwind turbine
  1. Savonius Turbine
  2. Darrieus Turbine
  3. Giromill Turbine
  4. Cyclo-turbine

How tall and large is a Wind Turbine?turbine tall

A wind turbine can vary in height from 2 meters for domestic use (as portable charging devices) to 250 meters (commercial electricity generation)! A wind turbine is usually tall and large because wind speed typically increases with altitude and in open areas (offshore, hilltops) without wind barriers as trees or buildings. Let’s take a look at their size:

  • Typical on-shore Wind Turbine:

The average height of a modern on-shore is 280 feet or 80 meters

  • Typical offshore Wind Turbine:

The average height of a modern offshore Wind Turbine is 314 feet or 88meters.

  • Typical industrial Wind Turbine:

Industrial wind turbines are a lot larger than our typical onshore wind turbines. The average height of a modern industrial wind turbine is 328 feet or 100 meters.

  • There are some humongous exceptions noted below:

turbine huge

  • Max Bögl Wind AG: The height of this wind turbine is 807 feet (246.5 meters). This is the tallest onshore wind turbine ever built and this wind turbine has set a world record!
  • Vestas 236-15MW: It has a rotor diameter of 774 feet (236 meters) and it is the largest offshore wind turbine.
  • GE’s 14MW Haliade-X: It has a rotor diameter of 722 feet (220 meters) and a height of 813.6 feet (248 meters). It is the world’s most powerful wind turbine
  • Siemens Gamesa 14-222 D: It is a 14 MW capacity wind turbine with a rotor diameter of 728.3 feet (222 meters) and it is the second-largest offshore wind turbine in the world.

How much does a wind turbine cost?

turbine cost

The cost of a wind turbine is directly proportional to its size i.e. as the size of a wind turbine increases, the cost increases. The cost of a wind turbine depends on the size, the model, the manufacturer, the location of the project, the design, grid, foundation type, cabling costs, insurance, legal, land rent, and consultation fees to name a  few aspects.

  • Cost of Domestic Wind turbines:

  • Wind turbines less than 100 Kilowatt of capacity cost around $3000 to $8000 per kilowatt of capacity.
  • A 10-kilowatt wind turbine (roughly can power a large house) might have an installation cost of $50,000 to $80,000.
  • Cost of commercial Wind turbines:

  • Usually, the cost for an average-sized commercial wind turbine is $1.3 million per Megawatt (MW) of electricity-producing capacity.
  • Most commercial wind turbines have a capacity of 2 – 3 MW (installation costs: $2.6 million – $4 million). But many offshore turbines can be as large as 15 MW.

How much maintenance does a wind turbine require?

turbine maintenance

  • Generally, preventive maintenance of a wind turbine is done twice a year i.e. every 6 months. For older turbines (more than 10 years) it is done after every 3 – 4 months.
  • The maintenance includes inspection of the entire system, replacement of fluid and lubrication, and servicing of mechanical parts.
  • If there is an operational failure, a change of a part may be required.

What are the operational and maintenance (O&M) costs of a wind turbine?

o &m turbine

  • Once installed, maintenance of a wind turbine is an ongoing expense.
  • The O&M costs consist of the following:
  1. Insurance
  2. Land rent
  3. Service, Repair and Spare parts
  4. Administrative tasks
  5. Power (It does take some electricity to run)
  6. Some miscellaneous expenses
  • The O&M costs are 1 – 2 cents per kilowatt-hour produced
  • Generally, to operate and maintain an average-sized commercial wind turbine is $42,000 – $48,000 per year. But this number is gradually dropping with technological advancement in wind turbines.

Are wind turbines cost-effective?

turbine cost effective

  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) found that – “Wind energy will continue to be one of the lowest-cost electricity generation technologies available, with the long-term wind electricity price available through a power purchase agreement coming in at about half the expected cost of just running a natural gas power plant.”
  • Once a wind turbine is installed it can run on its own with adequate maintenance.
  • Wind turbine requires no fuel (just free wind, of course!) they have low running costs. Utility companies just have to purchase, install and maintain the wind turbines.
  • The initial investment in wind turbines is comparatively huge but an average wind turbine has the capacity to pay for its own expenses within a year of installation!
  • Government subsidies and incentives for the construction of wind turbines have been playing a major role in cost-cutting for wind turbine
  • After the initial pay-off period, it can generate huge profits for its owner.

Are Wind Turbines efficient and durable?

turbine cost effective

  • A good quality, modern wind turbine functions efficiently for up to 25 years with adequate maintenance.
  • A wind turbine can function at a wind speed of 10-12 knots; it need not always be a strong wind, a gentle breeze is sufficient for it to rotate the blades.
  • A leading website on wind energy states that –

“A wind turbine is typically 30-45% efficient – rising to 50% efficient at times of peak wind. If that sounds low to you, remember that if turbines were 100% efficient, the wind would completely drop after going through the turbine.”

  • One can conclude that wind turbines are the cheapest, efficient and durable renewable energy source available to us.

Are wind turbines eco-friendly?turbine eco-friendly

 

  • Wind energy is inexhaustible. It reduces the use of fossil fuels which emit greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
  • Wind turbines reduce CO2 emissions and help reduce air pollution.
  • Wind Turbines have a very low carbon footprint of just 7 to 25 grams CO2 per kilowatt-hour electricity produced compared to natural gas which is 450 grams per KW-h and a whopping 1000 grams per KW-h for coal!
  • Wind turbines are the most eco-friendly inexhaustible energy source available to man.

Do wind turbines cause cancer?

turbine cancer

  “Wind turbines do not cause cancer!”

“The American Cancer Society is unaware of any credible evidence linking the noise from windmills to cancer”- NYT, April 3, 2019.

A leading website on cancer well-being www.cancerhealth.com studies suggests :

Wind turbine noise does not cause cancer. There isn’t a scintilla of evidence in the scientific literature that the noise from wind turbines is linked to cancer. And while wind turbine noise has been the subject of other health controversies, even here the research is most reassuring. Evidence about its effects on sleep and mood is conflicting—some studies find effects, others none. But recent studies have found no evidence that wind turbine noise affects the risk of heart attacks or strokebirth defectshigh blood pressure, or diabetes. The only firm finding: Some people find it annoying to live near a wind farm. But, then, of course, many wind farms are now being built very far from where people live, such as in the ocean or sparsely populated areas of the country.

On the other hand, indirect evidence suggests that wind farms may reduce the national burden of cancer—particularly lung cancer—if they replace coal-fired electrical generating plants. Air pollution from the fine particulate matter that coal plants spew is linked to a higher risk of early death from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. Coal as a source of electricity is declining, however, while wind power is expanding rapidly. That may lead to many more people breathing easier in the years to come—and less lung cancer.

How many wind turbines are there in The United States?

 

turbine capacity usaturbine us    

Fig 1:  Power from wind-generated annually power generating capacity since 2000 (GWh)

Fig 2: Installed wind power generating since 1999 (MW)   

  • As of January 2021, the US. Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) contains more than 67,000 turbines. These turbines have all been constructed since 1980 in approximately1,500 wind power projects spanning at least 44 states (plus Puerto Rico and Guam).
  • As of January 2021, the total installed wind power nameplate generating capacity in the United States was 122,478 megawatts (MW)
  • From January through December 2020, 337.5 terawatt-hours were generated by wind power or 8.42% of all generated electrical energy in the United States.
  • In 2019, wind power surpassed hydroelectric power as the largest renewable energy source generated in the U.S.
  • The number of turbines installed in the U.S. each year varies based on several factors, but on average 3,000 turbines have been built in the U.S. each year since 2005.
  • The is in second place in the world with 96.4GW of installed capacity

Source :

  1. S. Wind Turbine Database
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_the_United_States

wind turbine win

 Get your air spinning through wind turbines and contribute towards a greener, sustainable energy generation!

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10 Comments

  1. Excellent summary. As a company, we work with many of the types of turbines you mention when integrating controls. I believe this site is an excellent source of material that I hope, with you continuing permission, to access for my material.

    Well done. Thank you!

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  5. Thanks – very comprehensive. It helps. Any leads to output?

    1. this concept is very clear to me after reading it.
      thanks for helping me

  6. Dont know much about all this trayin to understand it but cant i want to make a turbine from a near by stream to heat my poly tunnels but i need to when i make the turbine how to turn it in to power pls help

  7. Dear Sir,
    I have done my Bachelors in Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics. i would like to continue my studies which related to TURBINE. Kindly suggest.

  8. Technology Submission -State of the Art – Novel InFlow Tech – Featured Project Development; 1-Gearturbine, 2-Imploturbocompressor

    1-GEARTURBINE PROJECT

    Rotary-Turbo-InFlow Tech

    Atypical InFlow Thermodynamic
Technology Proposal Submission
Novel Fueled Motor Engine Type

    *State of the art Innovative concept Top system Higher efficient percent.*Power by bar, for Air-Planes, Sea-Boats, Land-Transport & Dynamic Power-Plant Generation.
-Have similar system of the Aeolipile Heron Steam device from Alexandria 10-70 AD. -New Form-Function Motor-Engine Device. Next Step, Epic Design Change, Broken-Seal Revelation. -Desirable Power-Plant Innovation.

    YouTube; * Atypical New • GEARTURBINE / Retrodynamic = DextroRPM VS LevoInFlow + Ying Yang Thrust Way Type – Non Waste Looses

    -This innovative concept consists of hull and core where are held all 8 Steps of the work-flow which make the concept functional. The core has several gears and turbines which are responsible for these 8 steps (5 of them are dedicated to the turbo stages). The first step is fuel compression, followed by 2 cold turbo levels. The fourth step is where the fuel starts burning – combustion stage, which creates thrust for the next, 5th step – thrust step, which provides power to the planetary gears and turbines and moves the system. This step is followed by two hot turbo steps and the circle is enclosed by the final 8th step – bigger turbine. All this motion in a retrodynamic circumstance effect, wich is plus higher RPM speed by self motion. The Reaction at front of the action.

    *8-X/Y Thermodynamic CYCLE – Way Steps:
1)1-Compression / bigger
2)2-Turbo 1 cold
3)2-Turbo 2 cold
4)2-Combustion – circular motion flames / opposites
5)2-Thrust – single turbo & planetary gears / ying yang
6)2-Turbo 2 hot
7)2-Turbo 1 hot
8)1-Turbine / bigger

    -With Retrodynamic Dextrogiro vs Levogiro Phenomenon Effect. / Rotor-RPM VS InFlow / front to front; “Collision-Interaction Type” – inflow vs blades-gear-move. Technical unique dynamic innovative motion mode. [Retrodynamic Reaction = When the inflow have more velocity the rotor have more RPM Acceleration, with high (XY Position) Momentum] Which the internal flow (and rotor) duplicate its speed, when activated being in a rotor (and inflow) with [inverse] opposite Turns. The Reaction at front of the action. A very strong Novel torque power concept.

    -Non waste parasitic looses for; friction, cooling, lubrication & combustion.

    -Shape-Mass + Rotary-Motion = Inertia-Dynamic / Form-Function Wide [Flat] Cylindrical shape + positive dynamic rotary mass = continue Inertia positive tendency motion. Kinetic Rotating Mass. Tendency of matter to continue to move. Like a Free-Wheel.

    -Combustion 2Two continue circular [Rockets] flames. [ying yang] opposite one to the other. – With 2TWO very long distance INFLOW [inside propulsion] CONDUITS. -4 TURBOS Rotary Total Thrust-Power Regeneration Power System. -Mechanical direct 2two [Small] Planetary Gears at polar position. -Like the Ying Yang Symbol/Concept.

    -The Mechanical Gear Power Thrust Point Wide out the Rotor circumference were have much more lever [HIGH Torque] POWER THRUST. -No blade erosion by sand & very low heat target signature profile. -3 points of power thrust; 1-flow way, 2-gear, 3-turbine. *Patent; Dic. 1991 IMPI Mexico #197187 All Rights Reserved. Carlos Barrera.

    —————————————

    ·2-IMPLOTURBOCOMPRESSOR; One Moving Part System Excellence Design – The InFlow Interaction comes from Macro-Flow and goes to Micro-Flow by Implossion – Only One Compression Step; Inflow, Compression and outflow at one simple circular dynamic motion Concept.

    *·“Excellence in Design” because is only one moving part. Only one unique compression step. Inflow and out flow at the same one system, This invention by its nature a logic and simple conception in the dynamics flow mechanics area. The invention is a wing made of one piece in a rotating motion, contained in a pair cavity system connected by implocavity, and interacting dynamically with a flow, that passes internally “Imploded” through its simple mechanism. This flow can be gas (air) or liquid (water). And have two different applications, in two different form-function; this one can be received (using the dynamic flow passage, as a receiver). Or it can be generated (with a power plant, generating a propulsion).

    An example cut be, as a Bike needs a chain to work from motor to wheel. And for the Imploturbocompressor application, cut be as; in a circumstance at the engine, as an A-activate flow, and with a a tube flow conduit going to the wheel as a B-receiving-flow the work use.

    To see a Imploturbocompressor animation, is posible on a simple way, just to check the Hurricane Satellite view, and is the same implo inflow way nature.

    And when the flow that is received and that is intended to be used at best, must no necessarily by a exhausting or rejection gas, but must be a dynamic passing gas or liquid flow with the only intention to count it or to measure it. This could be possible at the passing and interacting period when it passes inside its simple mechanism. This can be in any point of the work flow trajectory.

    In case the flow that is received is a water falling by gravity, and a dynamo is placed on the rotary bar, the Imploturbocompressor can profit an be obtained by generating? electricity such as obtained by the pelton well, like I say before. The “Imploturbocompressor”, is a good option to pump water, or a gas flow, and all kinds of pipes lines dynamic moves.

    Or only receive the air-liquid flow, in order to measure its passage with a counter placed on the bar, because when this flow passes through the simple mechanism of a rotating wing made of only one piece it interacts within the implocavities system. And this flow can be air wind, with the difference of can have an horizontal work position, and that particle technical circumstances make an easy way for urban building work new use application, and have wind flow from all the sides 180 grades view. The aforementioned information about this invention refers to technical applications, such as a dynamic flow receiver. (whether being gas or liquid).

    With the appropriate power plant and the appropriate dimensioning and number of RPM this invention is also feasible to generate an atmospheric air propulsion and the auto-propulsion of an aircraft. Being an effective and very simple system that implodes and compresses the atmospheric air permits the creation of a new concept of propulsion for aircrafts, due to its simple mechanism and innovative nature. At the place of the aircraft were the system appears and the manner how the propulsion direction can be oriented with a vectorial flow (no lobster tail) with I call “yo-yo system” (middle cut (at the shell) to move, one side loose), guided and balanced is feasible to create a new concept of TOVL-vertical take-off landing, Because the exhaust propulsion can going out radial in all the 360 vectorial positions, going out direct all the time in all the vectors direction. With his rotor cover for an better furtive fly, like going down of a bridge for example.

    Likewise, with the due form and dimensioning, and considering the liquid density and the due revolutions for this element there could be generated a propulsion (water) in order to move an aquatic ship, whether on surface or under water. Also can be a good option to pump liquid combustion for a rocket propulsion.

    Making a metaphoric comparison with the intention to expose it more clearly for a better comprehension of this innovative technical detail, it would be similar to the trajectory and motion of a dynamic flow compared with a rope (extended) that passes through the system would have now a knot (without obstructing the flow), so the complete way of the flow at the imploturbocompresor system have three direct ways and between make two different turns; direct way (entrance) – turn – direct way (implocavity) – turn – direct way (exit), all this in a 1 simple circular move system concept.

    Its prudent to mention that the curves and the inclinations of the blades of a rotating wing made of this invention, is conferred by its shape and function a structural rigidity allowing it to conduct and alter appropriately the dynamic flow passing through its system. L8334 <(^_^<).

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ContentsWhat are the types of turbines?1) Water turbineReaction TurbineImpulse Turbine2) Steam turbine3) Gas turbine4) Wind ...