Tag Archive | benefits of wind turbines

How Do Wind Turbines Work?

One of the fastest-growing sources of energy in the world, wind turbines generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gases into the environment (unlike fossil fuels). These modern-day windmills convert mechanical energy from the wind into electrical power.

Most wind turbines have three main parts: the tower (the long stem that connects to the ground); the blades, which connect to a central hub (the rotor); and the nacelle (a box behind the blades that contains the generator).

While there are several different designs for wind turbines — one of which, the “vertical-axis design,” resembles a giant eggbeater — most of these machines have a “horizontal-axis design,” in which the axis of the blades is horizontal to the ground.

Like a giant pinwheel, the rotor of a wind turbine will spin when triggered by a strong-enough wind. The rotor is attached to a drive shaft, which leads into the nacelle behind the blades and activates a generator. The generator creates electricity, which goes to a transformer that converts it to the right voltage for the electricity grid.

The wind turbines used by utility companies to provide power to a grid are usually placed in groups or rows, called “wind farms,” to take full advantage of windy areas.

 

Author Bio

 Elizabeth Palermo
Elizabeth Palermo
Science who writes about science and technology. She graduated with a B.A. from the George Washington University. Elizabeth has traveled throughout the Americas, studying political systems and indigenous cultures and teaching English to students of all ages.

 

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