How Does Wind Power Work

How Does Wind Power Work

Wind power is environmentally inert, clean and inexhaustible energy, as it is being generated is actually another form of solar energy. The sun generates winds through the uneven heating which makes the planet's atmosphere. Are moderated by the rotation of the Earth and the irregularities of its surface.

The terrain of the planet, its mass of water and vegetation affect the way the wind blows. With the invention of wind turbines, we can now make use of the wind energy and use it to our advantage, instead of having to purchase electricity from the energy company, whose energy comes from nonrenewable resources mainly.

How does a wind turbine work?

The easiest way to understand how a wind turbine work is to think of a fan working backwards - instead of need electricity to spin the fan that generate the wind is the wind that rotate the fan blades, thereby generating electricity.

Reducing it to its simplest expression, a wind turbine works as follows:

  • The wind turns the fans;
  • The fans are turning a shaft;
  • The shaft connects to a generator;
  • The generator produces electricity (energy).

Explaining a bit more in detail, the fans of the turbines are connected to a central point that is mounted atop a rotating shaft which works in a gearbox which increases the speed of rotation, which in turn is connected to a high-speed shaft which is to crank the generator. If the wind speed becomes too strong, a brake is deployed to slow the velocity of the blades and to prevent something faulty system.

There are two basic types of wind turbine or wind generator

Wind turbines with horizontal axis: the variety that is most commonly used today, and the research focus of the Department of Energy United States with regard to wind energy come in two varieties:

  1. Two blades of wind turbines with horizontal axis to rotate with the wind;
  2. Three-bladed wind turbines with horizontal axis to rotate into the wind.

Wind turbines with vertical axis: the size of a wind turbine influences their ability to create energy, as the smaller windmills that produce under 50 kilowatts being the type most often used to power water pumps, telecommunication plates, and some homes.

Wind Hybrid System

In an innovative advancement known as wind hybrid system, these small wind turbines are used in combination with solar systems, deep cycle rechargeable batteries and diesel generators to provide storable energy, energy-on-demand in remote areas, where there are no national energy grid connection.

In most cases in homes, a wind turbine is used as an additional source of energy, and energy in combination with the network. There is something called the cutting speed (70-10 mph), below which the wind turbine stops producing power and the same shall be provided by the Electricity Company.

Besides the cutting speed, the wind turbine supply and retreats made by the Company is proportionally reduced (depending on the structure of energy at any given moment). If the output produced by the wind turbine exceeds the capacity of the structure (and/or storage devices such as batteries), the excess energy is then sold to the Electricity Company for public consumption.

Benefits and costs of wind energy

The use of wind energy can reduce energy costs of a residence on average between 50 and 90%, although these numbers are influenced by a number of factors and, as such, may be quite oscillatory. In a typical residence that uses under 10,000 kilowatt hours per year of electricity, a 5-15 kilowatt wind turbine should be more than enough.

The installation of this type of power system can be between $6,000 and 22,000 USD, depending on a number of factors such as size, intended application, and any service contracts made with the manufacturer. Being that certain situations (such as in cities) make personal use of wind energy a viable option, it is a rule of thumb consider your own wind power system and only if you pay at least 10 cents per kilowatt hour if the average wind speed in your area exceeds 10 miles per hour.

The wind turbines have greater capacity for more than 50 kilowatts, running today in several classes of megawatts. These windmills, known as utilitarian extension turbines may be grouped together and connected to central lines for transmitting and mass distribution to the local network of the Company which, in turn, will sell to homes, and trade goes on. These are called wind power plants or 'wind farms'.

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