Offshore Wind Energy
Offshore wind energy harnesses the power of nature to create clean renewable electricity.
Wind energy works by harnessing the natural energy in the wind into electricity through a wind turbine.
- The aerodynamic lift generated as the wind moves over the blades causes them to turn.
- The blades turns a shaft inside the nacelle (the box at the top of the turbine tower).
- The shaft goes into a gearbox which increases the rotation speed.
- The generator converts the rotational energy into electrical energy. These are similar to but smaller than those found in normal power stations.
- The power output goes to a transformer, which converts the electricity coming out of the generator at around 700 Volts (V) to the right voltage for distribution system, typically 33,000 V.
- The national grid transmits the power around the country.
Because wind speeds are stronger and more constant at sea the intermittency of offshore wind energy is lower and it can generate more energy than its onshore equivalent. The first 6 MW turbines are now being commercially deployed, this compares to 1 to 1.5 MW turbines which are commonly used onshore.