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Advent of Ultracapacitors Signals Change in Wind Turbine Capabilities


  • 03 2011 24

    The wind turbine market, however, has been constrained by the challenge of creating consistent, reliable stores of energy from an unpredictable natural resource. The industry has hungered for an energy storage system that responds quickly, regardless of current meteorological conditions, to the needs of wind turbines.

    In addition to the problems associated with battery-powered energy storage, which I outline below, often energy storage systems for wind turbines are sized to meet the highest possible power demands, even if those rates only occur briefly and sporadically.  This changeability also creates waste.

    Drawbacks of Battery-powered Energy Storage

    There are other problems raised by battery usage in these types of applications, including the following:

    1. Batteries struggle under moments of high peak power and perform poorly in low temperatures.
    2. In extreme conditions, the operating life of a battery is extremely limited, creating a situation in which engineers and maintenance crews must frequently swap out components under potentially dangerous conditions.
    3. Batteries do a poor job of delivering the frequent, short power boosts wind turbines need to make rapid rotor blade adjustments and create electricity.

    Ultracapacitors, on the other hand, offer a highly reliable option that reduces overall system size. As the market continues to grow, ultracapacitors will become an increasingly important ingredient in wind-generated power production.

    As more wind turbine applications employ efficient ultracapacitors, the wind power market is poised to reach its potential.

    Five Facts Wind Turbine Manufacturers Should Know About Ultracaps

    Ultracapacitors, like all capacitors, have a high power density.  What differentiates ultracapacitors from their traditional counterparts, electrolytic capacitors, is their high energy density, allowing them to store a vast amount of energy in a small package.  In general, the use of an ultracapacitor in combination with a battery is an excellent way to increase the overall power density of the power source and decrease the strain on the battery. 

    The most important facts about ultracapacitors are these:

    Sursa: renewableenergyworld.com