System with mini wind turbines. Image: Dja65 Shutterstock

Wind power is an abundant source of renewable energy that is clean and available everywhere. There are currently thousands of large-scale turbines in operation around the world, with an installed capacity of 13,500 MW and growing day by day.

Applications of mini wind power systems.

A mini wind power system can be used for three different applications: isolated systems, hybrid systems and systems connected to the grid. The systems conform to a basic configuration, require a power control unit, and in some cases, depending on the application, storage units.

The small isolated systems typically use some form of energy storage. This storage can be done with batteries or with water pumping systems in tall tanks, for later use.

Some isolated systems they do not require storage, as in the case of irrigation systems where all pumped water is distributed directly.

The hybrid systems are those who have more than one source of energy, such as wind turbines, diesel generators, photovoltaic modules, among others.

The use of different forms of electricity production increases the complexity of the system and requires optimizing the use of each source. In such cases, it is necessary to carry out control of all sources so that there is maximum efficiency and optimization of energy flows in the supply of energy to the user.

In general, hybrid systems are used in medium sized systems intended for a group of users. When working with AC loads, the hybrid system also needs an inverter. Due to the great complexity that systems can have given the number of options available, how to optimize the system becomes a particular study for each case.

The Grid-connected systems do not require energy storage systems because all the energy generated is sent directly to the electrical network. These systems represent a complementary source of the large electrical system to which they are interconnected.

Grid-connected wind systems have advantages over distributed generation systems, such as: reduction of losses, reduction of costs related to the expansion of the electricity grid and generation at peak times when the wind regime coincides with the peak load curve.

Mini components of the wind power system.

Wind turbine.

Image: Worldpics Shutterstock

A device capable of converting wind energy into electrical energy. This is possible thanks to the movement that the wind exerts on the propeller blades that the device incorporates. We have two types, of vertical axis and of horizontal axis. The most common and efficient are those with a horizontal axis. A minimum height without obstacle of 10 meters.

Its power varies from 4 kW at 10 kW, depending on the type of dwelling.

Charge regulator.

It controls the energy input of the battery protecting it from overloads or low voltages that can damage it. A charge controller may have manual control switches and may have gauges or indicator lights to indicate the status of the batteries during the charging process. The more advanced models have the ability to function as a generator to generate electricity when the battery is at risk of total discharge.

Batteries

The most normal thing was that the electricity was being used the moment it was produced. Batteries make it easier for us to store the energy that will be available, usually at night.

There are two types of batteries:

Monobloc batteries.

They are similar to car batteries. They are cheaper, but their lifespan is much shorter. This is why people often choose to install a stationary battery, even though it is more expensive.

Stationary batteries.

They are most suitable for these systems because they are more durable and offer greater versatility. They can be connected in series, thus obtaining different voltages.

Investor.

This device converts the 12, 24, 48 V direct current from the battery into 230 V alternating current at 50 hertz, such as that supplied by the public network.