The use of Industrial Fans in Renewable Energy Generation
17 November 2017
Industrial fans are used in a whole host of machines and processes to cool components or facilitate the effective running of equipment. When looking at the components within the design and manufacture of the popular renewable energy source, wind turbines, industrial fans play an integral role.
Industrial Fans for use in Wind Turbines
The versatility and type of fans used within air movement projects is apparent when you look at the applications page on the Axair fans website, from smoke ventilation, air handling units and chemical storage units, Industrial fans are used in a whole host of machines and processes to cool components or facilitate the effective running of equipment. When looking at the components within the design and manufacture of the popular renewable energy source, wind turbines, industrial fans play an integral role.
How Do Wind Turbines Operate?
Wind turbines operate on a simple principle. The energy in the wind turns two or three propeller-like blades around a rotor. The rotor is connected to the main shaft, which spins a generator to create electricity. In short, a wind turbine works in the opposite way to that of a fan. Instead of using electricity to create wind, like a fan would by running off mains electricity, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity. The terms wind energy or wind power describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks such as grinding grain or pumping water, or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity.
Wind is a form of solar energy and is a result of the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth's surface, and the rotation of the earth. Wind flow patterns and speeds vary greatly and are modified by bodies of water, vegetation, and differences in terrain. Humans use this wind flow, or motion energy, for many purposes: sailing, flying a kite, and even generating electricity.
Industrial Fans Used In Wind Power
The nacelle of a wind turbine is a streamlined casing on the outside of the wind turbine that holds all of the generating components. As many of these electrical components give off heat to their surroundings, effective heat dissipation is required. Industrial fans such as the DRA centrifugal fan, AND cased axial fan and the DQ plate axial fans can be used.
The generator within a wind turbine converts kinetic energy into electrical energy. This conversion causes heat losses so to protect the generator from overheating, the heat has to be dissipated. DRA double inlet centrifugal fans with air volumes to 28000m3/h and total pressure increases up to 1100Pa are the ideal product range for this application.
*Switch Gear Cabinet Ventilation
To synchronise the components of a wind turbine perfectly, switchgear cabinets are indispensable. As with other areas of the turbine electronics, sufficient heat dissipation is required to protect the sensitive electronic components. Free running impellers such as the GKHR backward curved centrifugal fans and the ERA single inlet centrifugal fans have been specially developed for use in these applications.
*Tower Recirculation Cooling
The tower recirculation cooling of a wind turbine requires big air volumes. For this reason, various axial fans and free running impellers with IEC standard motors such as the DKNM backward curved fans are used.
*Inverter and Transformer Cooling
The cooling of electronic equipment such as converters and transformers is also an important aspect of wind turbine maintenance.
Whether onshore wind turbines that occupy green land in the UK or offshore wind turbines with salty air and high risk of corrosion, the effective dissipation of heat will protect the electrical components from premature failure and maintain the performance of this continually popular renewable energy source.
For more information on any of the above products visit the Axair Fans website www.axair-fans.co.uk or contact us on 01782 349 430.
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