How Does a Wind Turbine Work?

The concept of wind power is rather simple.

A wind turbine consists of two or three giant blades that look like propellers attached to a rotor. The rotor is attached to a main shaft, which is then connected to a generator. When the wind blows, the large blades begin to spin. The rotational movement transfers to the shaft, which also spins. This transfers to the generator, which creates electricity.

Technically, wind is a source of solar power since the wind is created by the irregular heating of the atmosphere combined with the non-uniform surface of the earth. Wind turbines can be built on land or also at sea, capturing the wind coming across a body of water.

Types of Turbines

There are typically two main types of wind turbines: those that are on a horizontal-axis and those that are on a vertical-axis.

●        Horizontal-axis turbines are most commonly seen in larger wind power applications and have their blades parallel to the earth's surface. This type of wind turbine is able to produce the most amount of electricity with a given amount of wind, which is why they are commonly used in large-scale power applications.

●        Vertical-axis turbines, whose blades are perpendicular to the earth's surface, also have a place in wind power. Usually smaller and lighter, these wind turbines are mostly used in smaller, or even residential, settings. Their smaller size can make vertical-axis turbines perfect for areas with very unpredictable wind conditions.

Advantages of Wind Power

The biggest and most obvious advantage is that wind power is a pure source of green energy. Compared to other energy sources, wind turbines produce the lowest carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, once the wind turbine is built, it is able to produce limitless energy. The turbines are long lasting, and with the exception of replacing normal wear and tear items, they often last for at least 25 years.

Unlike other traditional sources for energy, such as a fossil fuel, wind turbines only use the wind so they are not subject to ever changing oil prices. And, when considering the cost to run the turbines measured in the per kilowatt hour of power produced, wind power comes in at about half the cost of a nuclear power plant and nearly two thirds the cost of a coal plant.

Always Moving Forward

At Gausman & Moore, our team of engineers is passionate about every-changing renewable energy sources and are always eager to learn about the newest innovations and developments with sustainable energy. Our mission is to put the environment first in every building we create. To learn more about our past projects, check out our online portfolio.

If you want more information about Gausman & Moore’s sustainable designs, contact our team today.