|Wind Power | Using The Wind to Create Electricity | Turbine Models | Benefits of Wind Turbines|
The windmill has been used for hundreds of years as a
way to harness the Earth's power to do work. Now, we have harnessed the
wind to create electricity, something with much more applications than
Windmills are essentially fans in reverse. Instead of using electricity to make wind, they
use wind to make electricity. The idea behind it is simple and time-tested. Wind turns
the blades of the windmill which in turn, turns a shaft. The shaft turns a gearbox that
turns a generator. The larger the windmill, the more efficient it is and the more energy it
produces. GE's 3.6 Megawatt wind turbine is one of the largest in the world.
There's more than one way to build a wind turbine. An upwind turbine has three blades that operate with the wind coming at the blades. A downwind turbine has two blades that away from the wind, with its turbine ahead of the blades. The third and most exotic form is a vertical turbine. Shaped like an eggbeater, these wind turbines do not fall victim to changing wind directions. All of these models can be scaled to meet energy needs. The turbines are usually high up off the ground. 100 feet above the ground, winds are sustained and strong. This provides steady electricity throughout the day.
Wind turbines are very useful because they work wherever there are
decent levels of wind. This means that remote weather stations, water pumps, or even
farms can be powered by a wind turbine or a series of turbines. Hybrid systems have
been developed as well, that use wind turbines in conjunction with diesel generators,
solar cells, and batteries.