Wind has been used as a natural renewable energy source for a few thousand years. Early applications included wind-powered ships, grain mills, water pumps, and threshing machines. With the evolution of technology, the last decades of the 20th century in particular, saw the development of machines which efficiently extract power from wind. These wind turbines are machines with rotating blades that convert the kinetic energy of wind into useful power. Qatar, like other nations, is striving to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and as a consequence of its carbon footprint. This is despite the nation rich resources of natural gas which is deemed to be the cleanest of all fossil fuels. The need to develop a complementary renewable energy input into the grid will help diversify the energy mix of the country. The obvious renewable energy source is the sun and huge efforts and resources are being spent on optimising the technology for the hostile environment of Qatar. This paper describes the development of a small-scale wind turbine for microgeneration in the Qatari environment. The generation of electricity from wind is an improving technology with an equally increasing popularity as solar power. It is an inexhaustible resource that has no associated greenhouse gas emissions and does not use any water during the electricity generation process. Both issues are of prime concern to Qatar. The adopted strategy in the development of the microgenerator is described here. The unfavorable wind environment in Qatar is the prevalent design challenge. The wind map of Qatar is not ideal for harnessing the wind but velocities ranging from 3.6m/s to 6.3m/s are regularly registered and would produce sufficient electricity for domestic applications. The approach adopted in deciding between two or three-bladed wind turbines is driven by the trade-off between aerodynamic efficiency, complexity, cost, noise and aesthetics, which are fully explained. Additional design considerations also include wind climate, rotor type, generator type, load and noise minimisation, and control approach. The turbine is designed to complement and supplement existing electricity supply. It is physically small with minimal visual or audible impact. It requires minimum maintenance and is economically competitive.


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