Wind power & Gedser Turbine
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form, such as electricity, using wind turbines. At the end of 2007, worldwide capacity of wind-powered generators was 94.1 gigawatts. Although wind currently produces about 1% of world-wide electricity use, it accounts for approximately 19% of electricity production in Denmark, 9% in Spain and Portugal, and 6% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland (2007 data). Globally, wind power generation increased more than fivefold between 2000 and 2007.
Most wind power is generated in the form of electricity. Large scale wind farms are connected to electrical grids. Individual turbines can provide electricity to isolated locations. In windmills, wind energy is used directly as mechanical energy for pumping water or grinding grain.
Wind energy is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions when it displaces fossil-fuel-derived electricity. The intermittency of wind seldom creates problems when using wind power to supply a low proportion of total demand, but it presents extra costs when wind is to be used for a large fraction of demand. However these costs even for quite large percentage penetrations are considered to be modest.
The Danish wind turbine industry is the world’s largest. Around 90% of the national output is exported, and Danish companies accounted for 38% of the world turbine market in 2003, when the industry employed some 20,000 people and had a turnover of around 3 billion Euro.
The development of wind power in Denmark has been characterized by a close collaboration between publicly financed research and industry in key areas such as research and development, certification, testing, and the preparation of standards. For example, in the 1980s, a large number of small Danish companies were developing wind turbines to sell to California, and the Danish Risø laboratory provided test facilities and certification procedures. These resulted in reliable products and the rapid expansion of the Danish turbine manufacturing industry.
The Gedser wind turbine was the first large and modern wind turbine in Denmark. From 1957 to 1967 it produced alternating current directly to the grid on the island of Falster, where it was erected near Gedser. In 1978 the Gedser wind turbine was repaired and started again for a test program that resulted in a production of several Danish wind turbines.
The Gedser wind turbine was a major technological breakthrough for the modern wind turbine. The design and concept of the wind turbine with an asynchronous generator, 3 stall-regulated blades and break-tips at the end of each blade is still widely used in modern Danish wind turbines. The Danish engineer, Johannes Juul, was the constructor of the Gedser wind turbine.