Wind grid needs to careful installation, as it integrates the energy produced through wind turbines to the existing energy transmission and distribution network. Wind farms located offshore and onshore are connected to the national utility grid of a country through a dedicated electrical system. The wind turbines or wind farms can be connected to low voltage, medium voltage as well as high voltage electricity supply systems. So, efficiency and safety are the two important considerations that are taken into account while laying down the wind turbine grid.
Wind Grids at Residential Level
Just like wind grid for commercial level wind energy transmission, there is need to install a similar arrangement for the residential wind turbines. A wind turbine grid at residential level is required for two purposes:
- To supply appropriate level of voltage to the house.
- And, to sell the surplus electricity to the national grid.
The wind grid arrangement for residential wind turbines need to fulfill two important requirements:
- First of all, there is need to convert the alternate current (AC) to direct current (DC), which is again converted to the appropriate level of alternate current.
- Second, it is important to control the frequency of the generated power, which keeps on varying due to varying wind speed and rotational speed of the turbine.
So, there is need for a number of components that are installed in the setup to ensure that desired efficiency and safety is achieved with the wind machines. In the next section, you can learn about these components:
Wind Grid Components
A number of components need to be integrated in the wind grid arrangement for proper functioning of the wind transmission system. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Dump-load Controller – A dump-load controller is an important component which is required to ensure safety for the batteries that store the power produced by the wind turbine. Whenever, the voltage level exceeds, the surplus power is sent to this component, so that batteries are not damaged. The component is also sometimes known as the grid on controller and it performs an important task of converting the alternating current produced by the wind turbine generator to direct current.
- Wind Grid Inverter – A wind grid inverter is the most important of the components of a wind grid. The direct current output from the grid on controller is fed to the inverter, which converts it again to the alternate current form.
The output from an inverter is divided into two parts. One part is used to entertain the needs of the house for which this whole setup has been installed. The remaining part of the output is fed to the national utility grid, which is further supplied to other users. It is a critical requirement that the output from a residential wind turbine setup matches with that of the national utility grid in the terms of frequency and phase. The wind grid inverter performs the function and ensures that the correct alternate current output is fed to the utility.
Here are some of the important characteristics that we must consider while purchasing a grid tie inverter:
- Auto-optimizing technique to boost the power generation capacity of the system.
- Intelligent technology to improve the efficiency of the system.
- User-friendly LCD interface and display, so that the user can easily set the operating parameters.
- Wide range DC voltage input.
- Automatic grid synchronization and tracking of the same.
- Technology for detection and control of disturbance.
- Appropriate material (preferably, stainless steel) used for manufacturing the outer body.
- Non-polluting and safe for integration with the wind grid.
- Certified by the concerning authorities.
Wind Power Measuring Equipment
Finally, you need to install a measuring equipment in the wind grid in order to keep an estimate of the amount of wind-generated power consumed by you, as well as that sold to the national utility grid. For example, a bi-directional meter is what you require to keep exact reading of the electricity you buy from and sell to the national utility grid.
In order to install these components with your residential level wind grid arrangement, you might need to obtain permission from the concerned authorities in your city or state. Also, you need to look for a reputed vendor selling the components like dump-load controller, grid tie generator and bi-directional meter. Compare the specifications of the products sold by different vendors to ensure that you get the right components for the efficiency and safety of your wind grid.