Wind comes about from the varied temperatures created by solar radiation on the surface of the earth. These different temperatures cause humidity and pressure levels to vary as well, and the difference in the pressure levels causes the air to move. Approximately 2% of the solar energy which reaches the earth is converted into wind energy.
The characteristics of the wind differs (in respect of time and region), based on local geographic differences and the non-homogenous temperatures of the surface of the earth. Wind is stated as two separate parameters – speed and direction. The speed of the wind rises with height, and its theoretical strength changes proportionately to its cubic speed. The initial investment costs of wind energy applications are high, and their capacity factors are low. Together with this, they have the disadvantage of inconsistent energy production. Their advantages, on the other hand, can be listed as follows:
- In plentiful and free supply within the atmosphere;
- It is a renewable and clean source of energy, and is environmentally friendly;
- There are no risks of running out or prices increasing over time;
- Its cost has reached the level where it is able to compete with the power plants of today;
- Maintenance and repair costs are low;
- Its raw materials are completely domestic, and it does not create a dependence on imports;
- The installation and operation of its technology is relatively simple;
- It can be taken into operation within a short time.
Wind turbines are only able to start generating electricity energy at a specific wind speed. A wind turbine will generate energy in between the cut-in and cut-out speeds. The cut-in speeds of modern wind turbines are between 2-4 m/s, their nominal speeds are between 10-15 m/s, and their cut out speeds are between 25-35 m/s. Each wind turbine reaches the maximum power value which can be obtained from the system at a specific wind speed. This maximum power is known as nominal power and the wind speed at this level is known as the nominal speed. Wind turbines automatically stop after a certain wind speed has been exceeded, in order to ensure that the system is not damaged. This maximum speed is known as the system cut-out speed.
The body possesses sound insulation in order to prevent noise pollution. The towers are built in the form of cages or pipes. As the towers can be very high, the constructions outside the cage towers can consist of two or three parts.
It has been accepted that wind plants with a capacity of 5 MW can be established in Turkey at heights of 50 meters above ground level, and in areas with a wind speed exceeding 7.5 m/s. In the light of this acceptance, a Potential Wind Energy Map (PWEM) has been prepared, where the source wind details obtained using a mid-scale weather forecast model and micro-scale wind flow model are given. The wind energy potential of Turkey has been estimated as 48,000 MW. The total area which is equivalent to this potential is just 1.30% of the total surface area of Turkey.
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