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How Wind Power Works

How Wind Power Works

Air is a fluid just like any other except that its particles are in gas form instead of liquid form and when air does move quickly in the form of wind those particles also are moving quickly, motion does mean kinetic energy that can be captured just like the energy in the moving water can be captured by the turbine in a hydroelectric dam.

In a wind-electric turbine, the turbine blades are designed to do capture the kinetic energy in wind and the rest is almost identical to a hydroelectric setup; when the turbine blades do capture wind energy and  do start moving they do spin a shaft that does lead from the hub of the rotor to a generator, and the generator does turn that rotational energy into electricity as at its essence generating electricity from the wind is all about transferring energy from one medium to another medium.

Wind power all does start with the sun as when the sun does heat up a certain area of land the air around that land mass does absorb some of that heat, and at a certain temperature that hotter air does begin to rise very quickly because a given volume of hot air is much lighter than an equal volume of cooler air, and faster-moving air particles do exert more pressure than slower-moving particles, so it does take fewer of them to maintain the normal air pressure at a given elevation.

When that lighter hot air does suddenly rise, cooler air does flow quickly in to fill the gap the hot air does leave behind, that air rushing in to fill the gap is called wind and the wind turbines do work on a simple principle; wind turbines do use wind to make electricity, Wind do turn the propeller of a turbine around a rotor  which does spin a generator which does create electricity.

In another word a wind turbine does turn wind energy into electricity using the aerodynamic force from the rotor blades, which do work like an airplane wing or helicopter rotor blade and when wind does flow across the blade the air pressure on one side of the blade does decrease, the difference in air pressure across the two sides of the blade does create both lift and drag.

The force of the lift is stronger than the drag and this does cause the rotor to spin, the rotor does connect to the generator either directly or through a shaft and a series of gears that do speed up the rotation and do allow for a physically smaller generator, this translation of aerodynamic force to rotation of a generator does create electricity.

Modern wind turbines fall into two basic groups; horizontal-axis wind turbines are what many people do picture when thinking of wind turbines and most commonly they do have three blades and do operate “upwind” with the turbine pivoting at the top of the tower so that the blades do face into the wind, vertical-axis wind turbines do come in several varieties, including the eggbeater-style and these turbines are omnidirectional in another word it does mean they don’t need to be adjusted to point into the wind to operate.

Utility-scale wind turbines do range in size from 100 kilowatts to as large as several megawatts and larger wind turbines are more cost effective and are grouped together into wind plants which do provide bulk power to the electrical grid.

Offshore wind turbines do tend to be massive and taller than the Statue of Liberty and they do not have the same transportation challenges of land-based wind installations as the large components can be transported on ships instead of on roads and these turbines are able to do capture powerful ocean winds and do generate vast amounts of energy.

Single small turbines are typically used for residential, agricultural, and small commercial and industrial applications and small turbines can be used in hybrid energy systems with other distributed energy resources such as; microgrids powered by diesel generators, batteries, and photovoltaics and these systems are called hybrid wind systems and are typically used in remote, off-grid locations and are becoming more common in grid-connected applications for resiliency.

When wind turbines of any size are installed on the “customer” side of the electric meter or are installed at or near the place where the energy they do produce will be used they’re named “distributed wind”.

Managing Editor
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