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January 20

A Wind Turbine is just a Backwards Working House Fan

A wind farm is made up of multiple large wind turbines on a surface of land or water. What is a wind turbine you ask? Well, think of it as a really, really big air fan, except it works the opposite of a fan; a fan uses energy to make wind, and a wind turbine uses wind to produce energy.

The purpose of a wind farm is to generate clean energy from the very same wind you feel outside every day without emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.

The way it works is the aerodynamics of the propellers make it so that when the wind hits them in such a way, it lifts and rotates the rotor which spins the low-speed shaft. The rotational speed of the rotor itself would not be enough to generate a reasonable amount of wind energy, so engineers have designed a gearbox which connects the low-speed shaft to the high-speed shaft. This increases the rotational speed up to 30 times the original speed, thus generating much more power through the generator in the turbine.

wind turbine against blue sky

The Facts? They'll Knock the Wind out of You...

Now, we get into everything wind-related. Wind is not constant, and it doesn't always blow at the same speed or blow in the same direction. These are all things to think about when trying to understand the functioning and efficiency of a wind turbine. A turbine functions when the speed of the wind is between 12 and 90 kilometers per hour(8 mph - 55 mph). The reason it doesn't function at speeds over 90 kph is that of the risk of damage. But, how do we know the speed of the wind? There is an anemometer placed at the summit of the turbine that measures the wind speed. Next, wind direction! The direction of the wind is determined by the wind vane located at the very top of the turbine with the anemometer. The wind vane then communicates with the yaw drive which rotates the windmill to face the wind directly.

All of the energy generated from the wind turbines in the wind farm is collected at the substation of the farm and then shipped out into the grid to power our homes and buildings.

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