What Is a Wind Turbine and How Does It Work

Wind is the movement of air caused by the uneven heating of the Earth by the sun and the Earth’s orbit, often ranging from light breezes and chilly drafts to hurricanes and tornadoes. More than that, it is a naturally occurring motion, or kinetic energy, that has yet to be fully grasped by humans. However, there is one unchanging fact: wind is an energy force that we can take advantage of. To better understand the immense power of wind, we will outline how it can be used and how we benefit from it.

For nearly a thousand years, we have been using wind to turn our windmills. More recently, it has been utilized in windjammers. In fact, wind kinetic energy can be used to rotate all types of equipment. Moreover, it can create electricity in a similar way to gas turbines. As such, we often refer to wind energy as wind power, which is defined as the process of creating electrical energy from wind kinetic energy using wind turbines.

Wind Turbines Based on Wind Energy

Wind can be divided into two major categories depending on where its energy is derived, those of which are land wind and offshore wind.

Land Wind

Land wind in particular can be subdivided into two additional categories: “small wind,” also called “distributed wind,” and “utility-scale” wind.

Small wind energy refers to the use of wind energy on a small scale. For instance, this usually consists of small wind turbines with capacities of up to 100 KW, providing the necessary electricity for homes, farms, and companies. Generally, these wind turbines are not linked to the power grid, and the generated power is used directly by the end user.

Utility-scale wind energy is used in large-scale power production applications. The wind turbines in this category range in size from 100 KW to several megawatts. Despite being compact in size, utility-scale wind turbines feed the electricity they produce into the power grid, where it is distributed and utilized by end consumers.

Offshore Wind

Offshore wind, as the name suggests, involves the installation of massive wind turbines in offshore places to harness wind energy. Due to the fact that offshore wind turbines are larger than land-based turbines, they frequently generate more electricity than land-based variations.

Two Popular Types of Wind Turbines

Apart from these categories, different types of wind turbines exist for converting wind energy to electrical energy. For example, Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs) and Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) are two of the most popularly used types.

Why Are Wind Turbines Used?

As the need for energy increases every day, coupled with all the present environmental challenges, it is no longer convenient to primarily rely on conventional hydrocarbon power sources. That being said, the demand for green and renewable energy sources is seeing exponential growth, and many governments assist residents who decide to switch to renewable energy sources. Presently, wind serves as one of the most important sources of green and renewable energy because of its natural accessibility.


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