With more and more people becoming environmentally conscious, there are plenty of new ways humans can get energy from a variety of natural resources. Solar has long been a popular alternative, and now wind power is also on the rise in the United States. Large wind turbines can be seen in many areas of the country. Also known as wind farms, these huge turbines are designed to help harvest and then disperse the power found naturally from wind.
How It Works
When the wind blows, the wind turbine begins to spin in a circular motion, similarly to a windmill. Inside the turbine is a large shaft that begins to rotate around. This shaft is attached to a heavy duty gearbox that is also attached to a generator. As the shaft spins, it communicates with the gearbox and generator, creating electricity. A typical wind turbine is about 325 feet tall, has three large blades, and is angled to face the direction of the wind. It is also placed so that the degree of the blades can capture as much wind power as possible. Some wind farms are on land while others can be found in the water. It really depends on the location of the wind farm and how it will best be able to capture the power of the wind.
How Energy Gets to Consumers
All of the wind turbines on a wind farm are directly connected to the local power grid. Small power lines called transmission lines are connected, and they send electrical current to the larger power lines as the power from the wind is interpreted through the transmission lines. This allows local power companies to distribute wind power to larger areas of customers since the lines can be routed for a long distance. The weather and environment in which wind farms are located can affect how energy is consumed. For example, in more temperate areas, the wind in the summer may not be as strong as it is in the winter. In colder climates, electrical heating may need to be combined with wind energy depending on the wind output. Each year can yield different results in terms of wind energy consumption since it largely depends on the weather and wind patterns of that particular year. Harvesting the kinetic, natural energy from the wind with wind turbines is an excellent way humans can harvest nature's power and convert it into something we all use every day.