How Does a Wind Turbine Work?

Overview

How Does a Wind Turbine WorkIn the search for minimizing the use of fossil fuels, households as well as commercial enterprises are appreciating the use of renewable energy for sustainable energy use. Wind energy is one of the best options in renewable energy. When harnessing wind energy, there is a need of conversion of kinetic energy to electrical power, and this is done using a device known as a wind turbine. Wind power is one of the simplest forms of harnessing electricity- all you need is a windy area and plugging the turbine into electric power.

It is not overly difficult to understand how a wind turbine works. In this regard, it is recommended that you gain some knowledge about how a wind turbine works.

The Basics

How Does a Wind Turbine WorkA turbine is a machine, which through spinning traps the energy that is passing by and transforms it into a more useful form of energy- electricity. In general, it is the grind which later turns to electricity.

There are two main designs of wind turbines: the horizontal-axis and the vertical-axis. On one hand, the vertical axis turbine produces less noise and is placed lower on the ground.

It is most suitable for residential places. Another great advantage with this option is that they are versatile and can be used in cases of unstable winds. On the other hand, the horizontal axis wind turbines is most suitable in a large wind project. However, it is heavy and does not produce optimal energy in case the wind is unstable.

There are three main parts of a wind turbine: the tower that is used in connecting and anchoring it on the ground, the blades, and the nacelle. The nacelle is used to accommodate the generator. In quite a number of cases, a utility company places wind turbines in a row or groups in order to exploit as much energy as possible from the wind, such rows or groups are known in other words as wind farms.

In order to understand how a wind turbine works, note that it is the direct opposite of how a fan works: a fan uses electricity in order to make fresh wind, whereas a wind turbine uses wind in order to produce electricity.

The wind energy turns the propeller-like blades (two or three) around its rotor. The rotor is then connected to the shaft. The shaft then spins the generator and produces electricity.

The Blades

How Does a Wind Turbine WorkThe blades have a curved shape, just like an airfoil wing of an aeroplane. When wind passes through them, the blades rapidly spin. Consequently, energy is transferred from the wind to the turbine.

However, one should note that wind undergoes a great variation. These largely depend on vegetation, water bodies, as well as terrain. Similarly, the output of the blades and the turbine vary a great deal.

In case there is an emergency, or there is need to prevent wear and tear, there is an automatic breaking system.

Conclusion

With more innovation, the energy industry will witness more wind power opportunities and equipment. For example, there will be offshore wind turbines in the lakes as well as the oceans. There will also be more efficient wind turbines that are going to offer an even better service.