Pressure Transducers Harness the Wind’s Energy

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According to the old pictures, a windmill seems to be just a propeller attached to a high tower. Simple enough, right?

Actually, windmills have evolved and are more complex, as can be seen in the diagram of the wind turbine. These massive, crane-like structures, with their quiet and choreographed movement, have become a growing source of alternative energy. Wind turbines help us rely less on fossil fuels, and pressure transducers make their operation a breeze.

How wind turbines work

Wind turbines convert the kinetic power of wind into mechanical energy. When the arms, or rotors, of a wind turbine rotate, they transmit energy to an alternator or electrical motor, thus converting mechanical energy into electrical energy for storage and consumption.

For maximum wind turbine efficiency, the towers must be built in areas of constant, steady winds, and the turbine must remain aligned with the wind. A wind vane and yaw controller, often hydraulically powered and monitored by a pressure transducer, control proper alignment.

As wind speeds increase, the rotor’s blades must be rotated, increasing what’s known as the angle of attack, or pitch. This adjustment slows the blade and keeps the turbine’s movement under control. Without such an adjustment, the rotor might fail or break altogether.

WIKA's pressure transducers keep up with the wind

Pressure transducers indicate pressures within the hydraulic cylinders that control yaw and pitch. Wind turbines require pressure transducers that can provide continuous, reliable operation – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – in often harsh environments. Pressure transducers, like the WIKA S-10 and A-10 electronic pressure transmitters, have been designed to be reliable for use in alternative energy generation.

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