The Concept of Wind Energy
The wind is a clean, free, and readily available renewable energy source used to generate electricity by wind turbines that convert the kinetic energy to electricity by rotating propeller-like blades around a rotor. The rotor turns the internal drive shaft connected to a gearbox which increases the speed of rotation by a factor of 100 that spins a generator that produces electricity.
The majority of wind turbines consist of three blades mounted to a tower made from tubular steel. At 100 feet or more above the ground, the tower allows the turbine to take advantage of faster wind speeds found at higher altitudes.
A typical modern turbine will start to generate electricity when wind speeds reach 6 to 9 miles per hour. Turbines will shut down if the wind is blowing too hard (roughly 55 miles an hour) to prevent equipment damage.
A series of gears increase the rotation of the rotor from about 18 revolutions a minute to roughly 1,800 revolutions. This is a speed that allows the turbine’s generator to produce AC electricity. Turbines’ electricity travels from the wind farm to the power grid and once there electric utilities or power operators will send the electricity to where people need it.
Wind power generation plays an increasingly important role in the way we power our world in a clean, sustainable manner.