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Wind Energy Basics

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Basic information on wind energy and wind power technology, resources, and issues of concern.

Wind Energy and Wind Power

Wind is a form ofsolar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and rotation of the earth. Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth’s terrain, bodies of water, and vegetative cover. This wind flow, or motion energy, when “harvested” by modern wind turbines, can be used to generateelectricity.

How Wind Power Is Generated

The terms “wind energy” or “wind power” explain the process through which the wind is utilized to create mechanical power or electrical energy. Wind turbines convert the kinetic power in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power could be made use of for particular activities (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can transform this mechanical power right into power to power homes, companies, institutions, and the like.

Wind Turbines

Wind turbines, like airplane prop blades, turn in the relocating air and power an electrical generator that supplies an electric existing. Just stated, a wind generator is the opposite of a follower. Instead of utilizing electrical energy making wind, like a fan, wind generators use wind to make electrical power. The wind transforms the blades, which rotate a shaft, which attaches to a generator and makes electrical energy.

Wind Turbine Types

Modern wind generators fall into two standard teams; the horizontal-axis selection, like the traditional farm windmills utilized for pumping water, as well as the vertical-axisdesign, like the eggbeater-style Darrieus model, called after its French inventor. The majority of large modern wind generators are horizontal-axis turbines.

Turbine Components

Horizontal turbine components include:

  • bladeorrotor, which converts the energy in the wind to rotational shaft energy;
  • adrive train, usually including a gearbox and a generator;
  • atowerthat supports the rotor and drive train; and
  • other equipment, including controls, electrical cables, ground support equipment, and interconnection equipment.

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