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Introduction to Wind Energy

This free online course takes you through the fundamentals of wind energy, its benefits and challenges.

Publisher: NPTEL
This free online course will introduce you to using the wind as energy. This will include basic concepts and the main functions. You will study the process by which wind is converted into electricity through an electrical generator. Then, you will learn about windmills and the parts they are composed of. Finally, you will learn about emerging designs to reduce the impact on birds and the many benefits and challenges that come from wind energy.
Introduction to Wind Energy
  • Duration

    3-4 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






View course modules


This free online course introduces you to the concept of capturing wind energy and using it as an alternative source of renewable energy. You will learn how people harness the kinetic energy of air masses. This course will explain the pattern of use of wind energy in the world and the different types of wind turbines that are available. Then you will learn about the relationship between power and wind speed of a horizontal axis wind turbine. The theoretical and practical limits of the energy that can be captured from the wind are explained. Throughout the course, you will study the environmental aspects related to this form of energy, a renewable and clean resource that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the pressure on fossil fuels based energy sources. The environmental impact of this type of energy is also generally less problematic than that of other energy sources. We will also discuss the basic elements needed for the use of the wind such as the diurnal, nocturnal and seasonal variations of the winds, the variation of the wind speed with the height above the ground. You will learn about the first practical use mills built in Sistan, Afghanistan, in the 7th century, which were vertical-axis mills with rectangular blades, used to grind wheat or extract water made with 6 to 8 mill blades covered with cloth. In some parts of the world, this system is still used.

Next, you will learn about the efficiency of the windmill, as defined and measured using the Betz limit. The Betz limit is a law of physics that prevents all the power available in the wind from being extracted as it passes through the rotor of a wind turbine, the implications of this in the power generation process are weighed. You will study various energy control techniques, such as increased energy storage capacity, a wide geographic distribution of wind turbines and the ready availability of backup energy sources. You will see how wind power is calculated from wind turbines. The structure of a windmill, the various parts and materials used to make those parts, and their requirements are briefly discussed. You will learn about the importance of wind energy production forecasts that allow people to anticipate against foreseeable variations in wind energy production that may take place in the short term.

Advantages listed include the ability to provide electricity in isolated regions that do not have access to the electricity grid through small wind installations. This course will review the impact that wind energy has had in terms of world installed capacity, generating around 5% of world electricity consumption. You will study the advantages of harnessing wind energy in terms of costs since the installation of wind energy requires a considerable initial investment but does not present future fuel costs. You will study windmill design principles such as lift, drag, and tree. You will learn what the multi-blade requirement is based on and how to use it in combination with RPM or torque. You will learn about the lambda principle and the impact that has on wind energy. This course will teach you the tip:speed ration which will help you understand the consequences that speed has on a wind turbine. You will also study the main uses that wind energy has at present, which include the generation of electricity, through wind turbines connected to large electrical power distribution networks and which have the advantage of being an increasingly cheap and competitive source of energy in many regions around the world. This course is aimed at professionals in the energy sector who want to learn more about this form of clean and renewable energy for the improvement of their energy production processes and performance of wind farms. It is also aimed at students and the general public who want to expand their knowledge of renewable energy sources and want to be at the forefront in this area. Why wait? Start this course, today!

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