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Wind Turbines

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An Introduction To Wind Energy
By Peter Lenkefi, Fri Dec 9th

About wind energy?

Put simply, wind energy is energy derived from the wind. Byusing wind turbines we are able to harness the power of the windand convert it into electricity for use in homes, schools,businesses and any other establishments that requireelectricity. Originally it was thought inconceivable that wewould be able to use wind turbines for anything other thanmilling flour but this theory has been proven to be very wrong.Our search for renewable sources of energy has led us toconsider and develop wind power, solar power and even hydropoweras major sources of energy.

How does a wind turbine work?


Wind energy works similarly to a dynamo on your bike? Similarlyto the dynamo a wind turbine is rotated by the wind, exactly thesame principles as a wind turbine but instead of using our legsto power the pedals, a wind turbine uses wind to turn theblades. Put another way, a wind turbine works the opposite wayto a fan. Where a fan would use electricity to turn the blades awin turbine does the opposite and uses the rotating blades tocreate electricity.

There are two types of wind turbine that are regularly used tocreate energy on a large scale, and both work on the same basicprinciples. As the wind travels into and through the blades,they rotate and turn a shaft. In turn this shaft connects to agenerator (like a dynamo) that will create the electricity.

 

Atwo-blade turbine faces away from the wind and a three-bladeturbine faces into the wind. Typically, a large number ofturbines are combined to create wind farms, capable of poweringlarge numbers of buildings, but there are smaller singleturbines available that you can place in your garden and use topower certain aspects of your house.

Wind turbines at home.

Donít kid yourself about this, it is highly unlikely that evenwith modern turbines you could power your entire house with lessthan a dozen small wind turbines and without a grid tie systemyou will still have times of the year when you simply create thepower you need because thereís no wind. It does happen and thebest way around this is not to rely solely on wind turbines topower your house. If you have the land, get a couple of turbinesand combine the power from this with solar roof panels. As ageneral rule if one method isnít providing power the otherprobably will; by having both systems you wonít find yourselfsat in the dark with no heating and no hot water and no way tocook your food. Solar is good for summer days and your turbineswill typically produce more power during the winter months. Thetechnology surrounding wind turbines is improving with everypassing month so, you never know, one day it may become viableto put up two or three small turbines and be able to unplugyourself from the grid.
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