Power electronics are solid state technologies employed for the conversion of electric power. Power electronics for wind turbines are used for the production, distribution, conversion, and efficient usage of electricity. Wind turbine is one of the emerging renewable energy technologies. There is a rise in demand for the usage of power electronics for wind turbines in the wind power stations and distribution networks. Wind turbines are generally installed both in the onshore and offshore locations where there is availability of good wind conditions. Power electronics are gradually becoming advanced and they bring in significant performance improvement in the wind turbines.
The power electronics for wind turbines market can be segmented based on their types and applications. Power electronics act as an intermediate between the wind turbines and the grid. Generators used in power electronics for wind turbines are of two types: doubly-fed induction generators and synchronous generators. Doubly-fed induction generators consist of a wound rotor, induction generator, and AC/DC/AC converter. They help in reducing the cost of the converter and the power rating. Apart from wind turbines, power electronics are also used in isolated networks and generator starters. While applying power electronic converters for wind turbines, manufactures generally opt for a solution-based double-level voltage source converter, combined with a doubly fed induction generator.
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A key factor driving the usage of power electronics for wind turbines is that power electronics can act as an alternate source of renewable energy derived from wind. Technological inventions are coming up in order to reduce production cost of wind turbines. In order to support or promote usage of power electronics for wind turbines, government subsidies and environmental litigations have been imposed in order to curb the level of pollution. In recent years, there has been an increasing need for renewable energy globally due to the rise in environmental concerns and changing climatic conditions.
Wind power is a relatively well-explored technology, and can compete with other energy sources such as coal and oil & gas on several parameters. However, the high cost of production of electric power is poised to be a restraint for the power electronics for wind turbines market. Generation of energy is more dependent on the fossilized resources such as coal and oil & gas than on the renewable energy resources as wind and solar energy. A large area for wind energy generation is required for the wind turbines to rotate. In terms of consistency, wind energy has lot in common with solar energy, as the continuous flow of wind speed is required for generation of electricity.
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In terms of geography, countries in Asia Pacific such as India, China, Singapore, and Japan are the developing markets of power electronics for wind turbines due to rapid industrialization and urbanization in these countries. Government subsidies are also provided in order to curb pollution. As an alternative energy source to oil & gas, demand for power electronics for wind turbines is increasing significantly in North America. Countries in Europe such as the U.K., Germany, and France have high demand for the power electronics for wind turbines due to their environment-friendly energy norms imposed by these governments.