Understanding Wind Energy
“No single solution can meet our society’s future energy needs. The answer lies instead in a family of diverse energy technologies that share a common thread: they do not deplete our natural resources or destroy our environment.”
~ Union of Concerned Scientists
Humans have harnessed the wind’s energy for centuries. Windmills were used to power manufacturing in the Middle East during the 7th century. In the Middle Ages, windmills reached to Europe, where they became widespread until the steam-powered engine, introduced during the Industrial Revolution, came to dominate in the 19th century.
While windmills directly powered the machines that did work (such as pumping water or grinding grain), today’s wind turbines generate electricity that is used to meet a wide variety of energy needs.
How Modern Turbines Work
Wind turbines feature two or three blades attached to a nacelle – a protective casing that houses a shaft, gearbox, and generator. The nacelle is mounted to a tower secured to a concrete footing. Much like airplane wings, the shape of the blades creates lift when air passes over them, causing them to spin. The spinning blades turn the shaft that is connected to the generator, where the spinning energy is converted to electricity.
Wind turbines can be used as stand-alone power generators, connected to a power grid, or combined with a photovoltaic (solar cell) system. Groups of wind turbines, known as wind farms, are used to generate energy on a large scale.
Choose change – choose Wind today!