Wind Power – How it Works

How Does Wind Generate Electricity

As a way to reduce emissions, clean up the earth, and preserve natural resources, there is a constant search for new sources of power that are cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient. However, there is a source that has been in use for hundreds of years yet tends to be overlooked. That source is, of course, wind power.

Wind is a source of power that is virtually unlimited and incredibly cheap. However, in order to tap into that power, you have to be able to harness it first. So how exactly can wind power be harnessed in order to offset some of the more inefficient and limited resources?

Following is some information that may help you to understand how the wind is harnessed so that you can better understand what a good resource it really is for powering the world.

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People have worked for hundreds of years using the wind power. The windmill was used as a mill, hence the name, to grind grain in many European countries. Today, though, the windmill or other wind capturing devices can be used for even more types of work and also to provide power to the people.

Using Wind Power for Generating Electricity

On a hot day in the summer, you may have plugged in an electric fan to provide wind in your home and cool you down. Imagine, though, if you could do the reverse: instead of converting electricity into wind, you convert wind into electricity. Well, you actually can do it. Here is how the wind is turned into electricity by the windmill.

First, the blades of the windmill are turned by the wind. This is not unlike how a weathervane turns in a breeze. As the blades turn, they turn a shaft that is attached to them. As that shaft turns, it then turns a series of gears that eventually turn a generator. The generator can be big or small so that a windmill can be used in powering a house or in powering a town or city depending on the size and number of windmills being used.

Tour the inside of a modern wind turbine

Different Types of Wind Power Turbine

Windmills or wind turbines as they technically called, can be made in several different ways. Which one a person or company chooses depends on personal preference and needs.

First, there is the downwind turbine. This type has just a pair of blades. The blades turn away from the wind and the actual turbine is in front of the blades.

Secondly, there is the opposite of the downwind turbine which is termed the upwind turbine. With this type, the wind needs to come at the blades for them to turn properly. Usually, an upwind turbine has three blades as opposed to the two with the downwind.

Finally, you may see a vertical turbine from time to time. This type works well no matter which direction the wind is blowing. It is shaped somewhat like an eggbeater so that it catches wind from all directions.

As you can see, there are a number of ways that countries, cities, and individuals are able to capture wind power.

While the wind has been used to perform tasks for people for centuries, it is only relatively recently that it has been used as a source for electric power. There are, though, several ways that the wind may be converted to power using the upwind turbine, the downwind turbine, or even the vertical turbine. Regardless of which way it is used, though, wind power may just be the answer to the natural resource and pollution problem.

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