We all have heard about wind turbines, and many of us might also have seen them. So, how does a wind turbine make energy, and how does such a massive machine generate electricity from the wind, which doesn't feel to be so forceful or effective. Well, today we are going to find out answers to all these questions. But first, we need to talk about how a wind farm works and the principle behind the wind turbine generator?
From massive wind farms that generate kilowatts of electricity each day to a single vertical axis wind turbine at the farmhouse, all work on the same principle of current alternative production. Turbines attached to the blades are placed high above the ground, and most of them have three blades attached to them. When the wind blows, these blades move, and a pocket of low-pressure air forms one side of the blade. This low pressure pulls the blade towards it, making the rotor turn. This phenomenon is known as a lift in wind power turbines. The force that the lift puts on the blade is much stronger than the force put by the wind against the other side of the blade, known as drag. The perfect combination of drag and lift causes the rotor to propel at a much faster speed.
Inside Wind Power Turbines
Now let's talk about what's inside the wind power turbines. Inside a wind turbine, we have a series of gears that increase the rotor's rotation from above 18 revolutions a minute to roughly 1800 revolutions per minute. These 1800 revolutions cause the turbine to generate alternating current electricity. All the turbine components are stored in one location, which is called a nacelle, and it includes all the gears, rotors, and generators. You might be surprised to know that, but some turbines have such a massive nacelle that even a helicopter can land on them.
Different Types of Wind Turbines
Two different forms make the wind power plants of wind turbines, and we will explain each of them in this section.
If you look at the horizontal-axis turbines, you will see they are more like an airplane propeller and have three blades in them. The largest air turbine stands tall at the height of a 20 story building, and the blades are 100 feet long. Nearly all the wind power turbines which you see today are horizontal-axis turbines.
These turbines have blades that are attached at the top and the bottom of the vertical rotor. The most common type of vertical wind turbine is the Darrieus wind turbine, named after the engineer who invented it. If you look at this turbine from a distance, it will look like a massive two-bladed egg beater. Some of the vertical-axis turbines are 100 feet tall, and others could be 50 feet depending on the location in which they are installed. In the modern age, there are only a few places where you can find a vertical-axis turbine making electricity as electricity production is low. They do not perform as well and efficiently as horizontal-axis turbines.
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Use of Wind Energy
The first and the foremost use of wind energy is to generate clean electricity with big and small wind turbines.
The second is transportation; for many years, people were using sails to travel the world; before there were diesel engines to make the ships move, humans took the assistance of wind energy to traverse the sea. On the other hand, modern shipping companies are researching ways to use wind energy for their transportation as it is a free and clean form of energy.
Wind energy is also used for wind sports, such as windsurfing, land sailing, kitesurfing, etc.
Now you know how wind generators produce electricity and the different types of wind power turbines. Wind power is not something new, and as a civilization, we have been harnessing it for our users for quite a few centuries now. In the next ten years, wind energy will be more efficient, and more wind farms will be set up to take advantage of a renewable resource.