The terms wind energy or wind power describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity to power homes or businesses.
Wind power, as an alternative to burning fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, uses no water, and uses little land. The net effects on the environment are far less problematic than those of nonrenewable power sources.
Watch the movement of branches in a tree and it is easy to see that wind has energy. People have long harnessed this energy to help them sail ships and pump water.
The modern way to harness the wind is through wind Farms, which use giant blades to capture the movement of air and turn it into electricity. Wind energy is clean and renewable, and is becoming an increasingly important contributor to the words energy total
Windmills have been l used for more than 1,500 years. The first ones were in Persia (now Iran), and had horizontal cloth sails. These were improved by Europeans, who mounted the sails vertically to catch more wind.
Wind turbines, turn in the moving air and power an electric generator that supplies an electric current. Simply stated, a wind turbine is the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity.
How wind energy works
When wind blows past a turbine, the blades capture the energy and rotate. This rotation triggers an internal shaft to spin, which is connected to a gearbox increasing the speed of rotation, which is connect to a generator that ultimately produces electricity.
Most commonly, wind turbines consist of a steel tubular tower, up to 325 feet, which supports both a “hub” securing wind turbine blades and the “nacelle” which houses the turbine’s shaft, gearbox, generator and controls. A wind turbine is equipped with wind assessment equipment and will automatically rotate into the face of the wind, and angle or “pitch” its blades to optimize energy capture.
The major types of wind power are:
- Utility-scale wind, wind turbines larger than 100 kilowatts are developed with electricity delivered to the power grid and distributed to the end user by electric utilities or power system operators;
- Distributed or “small” wind, which uses turbines of 100 kilowatts or smaller to directly power a home, farm or small business as it primary use;
- Offshore wind, which are wind turbines erected in bodies of water around the world, but not yet in the United States.
Benefits of wind energy
Wind energy is a clean, renewable form of energy that uses virtually no water and pumps billions of dollars into our economy every year. Since 2008, the U.S. wind industry has generated more than $100 billion in private investment. Furthermore, wind energy is a drought-resistant cash crop in many parts of the country, providing economic investment to rural communities through lease payments to landowners. Wind energy helps avoid a variety of environmental impacts due to its low impact emitting zero greenhouse gas emissions or conventional pollutants and consuming virtually no water.
Wind turbines are used to generate electricity from the kinetic power of the wind. Historical they were more frequently used as a mechanical device to turn machinery. There are two main kinds of wind generators, those with a vertical axis, and those with a horizontal axis. Wind turbines can be used to generate large amounts of electricity in wind farms both onshore and offshore. The articles on this page are about wind turbines.
Wind Energy News
The 126 year old Eiffel Tower is going green! A pair of camouflaged VisionAIR5 wind turbines were installed inside the scaffolding on the second floor, and are expected to generate 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year. That’s enough to power the tower’s entire first floor; including history exhibits, a souvenir shop and restaurants. The sleek, silent and durable turbines are expected to last 20 years. In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of the tower, they will also be installing a rainwater collection system, LED lighting, and solar panels. Scroll down for photos and video.
Solar / Wind Hybrid System
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AGM deep cycle GEL Batter Bank
American Wind Energy Association