How Do Wind Turbines Work?

By: C.Z & C.T

How Is Wind Power Harvested?

Wind power all begins with the sun. When the sun heats up a specific area of land, the air around that land absorbs some of that heat. At a certain temperature, that hotter air begins to rise very quickly because a given volume of hot air is lighter than an equal volume of cooler air. Faster-moving (hotter) air particles exert more pressure than slower-moving particles, so it takes fewer of them to maintain the normal air pressure at a given elevation. When that lighter hot air suddenly rises, cooler air flows quickly in to fill the gap the hot air leaves. That air rushing in to fill the gap is wind.

How Wind Power Is Converted To Electricity

Wind power is converted into electricity by magnets moving past coils of wire known as the stator. As the magnets pass the stator, AC electricity is produced. It is then converted into DC electricity which can be used to charge batteries which store the electrical energy or can also be fed into a grid interactive inverter for feeding power into the electricity grid.

Advantages Of Using Wind Turbines To Generate Electricity.

1. The wind is free and with modern technology it can be captured efficiently.

2. Once the wind turbine is built the energy it produces does not cause

green house gases or other pollutants.
3. Although wind turbines can be very tall each takes up only a small plot of land.

This means that the land below can still be used. This is especially the case in

agricultural areas as farming can still continue.
4. Many people find wind farms an interesting feature of the landscape.
5. Remote areas that are not connected to the electricity power grid can use wind turbines to

produce their own supply.

Disadvantages Of Using Wind Turbines To Generate Electricity

1. The strength of the wind is not constant and it varies from zero to storm force. This means that wind turbines do not produce the same amount of electricity all the time. There will be times when they produce no electricity at all.
2. Many people feel that the countryside should be left untouched, without these large structures being built. The landscape should left in its natural form for everyone to enjoy.
3. Wind turbines are noisy. Each one can generate the same level of noise as a family car travelling at 70 mph.
4. Many people see large wind turbines as unsightly structures and not pleasant or interesting to look at. They disfigure the countryside and are generally ugly.
5. When wind turbines are being manufactured some pollution is produced. Therefore wind power does produce some pollution.

How Electricity Can Be Generated From Wind Turbines

As the wind turbine causes the shaft of the generator to turn, a coiled wire attached to the shaft turns between two charged magnets. The rotation creates a difference in voltage on the two ends of the wire. In turn, the increase in electricity flows through the wire and to a main power line. The number of electricity generated by the wind turbine depends on how much energy comes from the wind itself.