The Power of the Wind
With the wind blowing hard in the UK towards the last week of February - when three named storms (Storms Dudley, Eunice and Frank) came in quick succession - this brought some interesting online debate on the usefulness and intermittency of wind power.
It emerged that not everyone engaging in these debates understood the relationships that predict how much power a wind turbine can produce, including the fact that the turbine power produced is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. So, for example - if the wind speed doubles then the power increases by a factor of 8; if the wind speed triples then power is up by a factor of 27, etc.
Power is also proportional to the swept area of the turbine blades - so effectively proportional to the square of the blade radius. This helps to explain why 'bigger is better' in terms of catching the power of the wind, and 'bigger' also means 'taller' - so that more steady elevated wind speeds can be reached at higher altitudes.
We built a simple interactive web calculator to show this effect and estimate power output - and made the video below to share some facts on how wind turbines capture power from the wind, and explain how our calculator works:
Our free wind power estimator tool can be accessed on our Insyn platform (login required).
For anyone wishing to embed this app into their own web pages or need help with developing custom calculators, please get in touch.