How Wind Power Works

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Have you ever wondered how wind power works?

There has been a lot of talk about more efficient energy and power alternatives. Many of the current methods of power being used have been found to be unclean and not environmentally friendly.

One safer and cleaner option you may have heard about is wind power. This may make you wonder how wind power works in the first place.

First of all, what is wind power? Wind power is a method of producing electricity and power through converting wind energy. It is environmentally friendly. It does not produce hazardous waste nor does it decrease our natural resources.

Is Wind Power Renewable?

Wind power is renewable and clean. The way of how wind power works is by the use of wind mills, wind turbines, wind pumps, and sails.

It works mostly by using turbine blades to capture energy contained in wind.

Once the blades capture the energy, they begin to move. Once moving, the energy is transferred to a shaft, then to a hub, and eventually to a generator which turns it into electricity (power).

Many of the methods we use to produce power are bad for the environment, which is why wind power is an important alternative. For instance, we generate power from power plants.


Fossil Fools?

These plants use fossil fuels, nuclear power, coal, gas, and oil. By using these substances, they hurt the environment by the way they pollute and impact the ozone layer.

Power plants have contributed to global warming and climate change because the sulfur dioxide emitted by them cause acid rain and the carbon released is what causes climate change.

Luckily, this is not how wind power works - in fact, capturing power from the wind requires no fossil fuels or toxic substances, it merely requires a windy area.

how wind power works
A wind turbine or wind generator might look a bit like this one!

Do We Still Need to Burn Coal?

Also, the burning of coal is a very dominant method of producing power. The emissions that coal produces cause urban smog. And these emissions also cause health problems to people such as respiratory conditions.

They emit mercury which is a heavy metal that is toxic to humans. By making mercury airborne, it is putting the health of human beings at risk.

The increasing use of electric consumption is an issue that affects the entire planet. The more people use, the more power must be produced.

This means more emissions will also be produced; therefore it is a legitimate concern for everyone.

The way of how wind power works through turbines to generators is a clean way of obtaining power and electricity. It is beneficial to the planet, environment, and all of us that inhabit the planet. This is the reason why it is so important.

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Wind turbine generator
A wind turbine generator for home use

Can Installing a Home Wind Turbine Help?


Installing a wind turbine at home is indeed a good idea. However, an energy plan designed by a professional will guide you to install your wind turbine safely and efficiently. The energy plan will consider:

  • Your wind resources
  • Viability of the project
  • System configurations
  • Property and location

Wind Resources

The terrain in which you live will be significant when installing a wind turbine.

The best locations are on top of, on the windy side of hills or tall structures.

It’s best to have your wind turbine stand over 30 feet above anything within a 300-feet radius.

Before installing, measure and find out annual wind speeds, prevailing directions of wind, as well as essential geological info including existing and future obstacles.

Viability Of the Project

Wind power generation systems aren’t always economically viable. 

It’s wise to evaluate the overall cost of installations, the anticipated output, your savings, and the return on your wind energy investment.

System Configurations

Be sure to use wind turbines that certify national safety and performance standards.

Decide whether you want to install a grid-connected or off-grid system.

The wiring should be configured so as to minimize resistance and installation costs.

Property and Location

You'll need the correct information about local rules and regulations governing the installation of wind energy systems in your area.

Get all the relevant permits.

Your neighbors might also have concerns about the aesthetics and resultant noise levels produced by your wind power system.

FAQs


What is the cost of wind turbine installation?

The cost depends on many things, chief among them the size, site, and output of your wind turbine.

Generally, a small turbine may cost as low as $2,000. Large setups, however, cost more. A 5kW pole-mounted system may require anywhere between $30K and $50K.

## You can get much cheaper wind turbine kits now though! ##

Is wind power cost-effective?

In a sense, wind is a free source of energy. The only costs you incur are for installation and periodic maintenance. 

After the turbines have been set up, you won’t have to pay for the wind-generated electricity. So, in the long run, wind energy is indeed very cost-effective. 

Essentially a well situated 5kW turbine could theoretically save you $460 annually on your electricity bills.

Can a wind turbine produce electricity without wind?

If there’s no wind or the wind speeds are low, the turbine blades stop spinning, and no electricity will be produced. 

Most homes overcome this challenge by combining their wind power setups with a storage system.  

Conclusion

This short post was actually first written in 2010 and no doubt a lot has changed since then. I'm sure the basic ideas still ring true though! The main thing is that wind power still works, as evidenced by so many countries adapting it!

wind power resources
how to make a wind generator

I’m Martin Hurley - the friendliest and most helpful person in the wind generator field! (That’s me on an ‘early’ electric bike, way back in 2010). I write posts and reviews about wind power, green energy, wind turbine kits, wind energy tools, tech and more. Depending where you live, one day I’m sure there’ll be wind generators built into our homes, our vehicles and on every street corner - and they’ll be fantastically efficient!