How Wind Turbines Work

A wind turbine is a device that harvests wind energy to be converted into electricity for a power grid. Because this is a natural, clean and ‘renewable’ energy source that doesn’t rely on burning fossil fuels, it is a great way for areas to go green and to reduce costs and emissions.

If you’ve ever gone on long journeys through the country side, then chances are that you will likely have seen wind turbines at work. They essentially look like huge windmills that are more narrow and much taller and that tend to be out in open fields in large numbers. But how can these wind-mill type structures help us go green? And how can they turn the very wind around us into usable electric energy? Here we will look at the answers to those questions and how wind turbines work their magic.

Basically wind contains kinetic energy because it is created by lots of fast moving air particles. These particles exist because after the sun heats the earth, this causes the air touching the ground to heat up and so rise (hot air is lighter than warm air because it has higher pressure). This then pushes all the air upwards, but leaves a partial vacuum underneath – causing the cooler air to then swap positions and rush underneath to fill those pockets. In fact then, wind energy is a form of indirect solar energy – the sun being responsible for most of our strategies to go green.

These particles then rush around charged with energy, and when they strike the rotor blades of a wind turbine it causes those blades to rotate. This then means that the kinetic energy has now been passed to the wind turbines. As the rotors turn they then turn a gear box and that means that the power is stepped up a notch so that the gears are turning faster and more powerfully than the large rotor blades which will be very large but moving very slowly. This process is the same as the gears on a bike.

From here, the gears then power a generator which converts kinetic energy into electrical energy and which allows us to use it to go green. This works essentially by spinning a conductor (normally a coiled wire) between two magnets which generates an electric current (usually direct current or DC) via a process known as ‘electromagnetic induction’.

This current is then converted to ‘AC’ or ‘Alternating Current’ making it compatible with most home appliances, and then stored at a power station to be sold to homes as necessary.

5 Responses to “How Wind Turbines Work”

  1. Olix says:

    So this is how wind turbines work. I didn’t know that. After reading it, it doesn’t seem that complicated.

    I hope that all the countries in the world that have the possibility to use wind turbines will go green. The way how wind turbines work is what will help us avoid global warming (if real). Totally green.

  2. Vlad says:

    I am sure everyone thought how wind turbines work. Most probably, they thought they were very complicated. Well, it is not that way. As described in the article, you don’t have to be a genius to understand the principle. You just have to know a little bit of physics.

  3. James says:

    A few years back I toured a wind turbine setting. It was just amazing to learn about. I think that they are great at saving energy. And of course at making this a better place to live in.

  4. Mabel says:

    I guess everybody knows how wind turbines work. The wind turbines have those propellers which spin and produce energy. This is the most important part at a wind turbine. The rest it’s more interesting but not that important. We don’t have to know all the technical information about the wind turbines. This is enough.

  5. GroovyGirl says:

    Wind turbines really intrigue me. I am interested in learning more about them. I think if we use them it would be great. Any way to save the planet in my opinion is a good thing.

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