How is Wind Energy Generated

Wind Energy Turbine

There are numerous renewable and alternative energy platforms in use around the world. There is hydro energy, methane hydrate, solar energy, and of course, wind power. Indeed, wind energy is one of the fastest growing forms of renewable energy in the world.

Generally, wind turbines are used to power generators, which produce electricity that can be used to power homes, businesses, and even entire countries in best-case scenarios.

Wind turbines turn wind energy into electricity using the aerodynamic force from its rotor blades, which work much like an aircraft wing or the rotor blades on a helicopter.

Ultimately, the efficiency of wind power has to do with the ability of the wind turbine to catch the air and convert it.

Energy 101: Wind Power

How does a Wind Power Turbine Work?

Wind turbines are tools that are used to take wind, which is a form of solar energy, and turn it into electricity. This is taking kinetic energy and converting it to mechanical and useable energy.

When a good turbine is placed in the right place, a fair volume of energy can be produced.

Wind Turbine Blades

The first and most important parts of the wind turbine are the blades. The majority of turbines today sit vertically in the air and make use of three blades.

Each blade is made of a composite of fiberglass and plastic.

This composite is important because although the blades are large, they remain lightweight. There are still a few made of wood, but the fiberglass composite turbines work more efficiently.

These blades attach to a double rotor assembly. The rotor spins as the blades turn from the catching of the wind. The rotor then turns a magnetic rotor through an assembly made of a series of pulleys. Smaller wind turbines may not have this part.

The magnetic rotor then spins around a magnetic alternator, which is standard for generating electricity. As the magnetic field created passes over the alternator coils, it creates an electrical charge. This is sent to a controller that takes the charge and produces electricity that is useable in homes and businesses.

Tour A (Wind) Turbine - #RoundIsAShape (U.S. Department of Energy) GoPro

Wind Generator Tail

To ensure proper rotation of the blades, most turbines have a tail. The tail also known as a vane or boom, sticks out the back of the turbine. The flat end of it makes it so that the surface turns toward the wind. This, in turn, causes the blades to face the wind and thus move in the right direction for producing the maximum amount of electricity.

Wind Turbines Have Brakes

Anybody that knows anything about wind turbines may not be aware that they also have a built-in braking systems.

These brakes are there so that the turbine can be stopped should the wind speed get too high.

There is a limit to how much wind a turbine can take, so it is necessary to stop the blades if there is too much in the way of wind. The brakes are usually electric and can stop the blades at anytime in order to protect the structure from damage.