Wind Energy Basics

May 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

This video provides an overview of the National Wind Technology Center and its research. Video produced for NREL by Fireside Production. We have been harnessing the wind’s energy for hundreds of years. From old Holland to farms in the United States, windmills have been used for pumping water or grinding grain. Today, the windmill’s modern equivalent—a wind turbine—can use the wind’s energy to generate electricity. How It Works Wind turbines, like windmills, are mounted on a tower to capture the most energy. At 100 feet (30 meters) or more aboveground, they can take advantage of the faster and less turbulent wind. Turbines catch the wind’s energy with their propeller-like blades. Usually, two or three blades are mounted on a shaft to form a rotor. A blade acts much like an airplane wing. When the wind blows, a pocket of low-pressure air forms on the downwind side of the blade. The low-pressure air pocket then pulls the blade toward it, causing the rotor to turn. This is called lift. The force of the lift is actually much stronger than the wind’s force against the front side of the blade, which is called drag. The combination of lift and drag causes the rotor to spin like a propeller, and the turning shaft spins a generator to make electricity.

How Wind Turbines Generate Electricity

May 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

See how wind turbines turn the force of wind into electricity. Learn how wind and hydro are renewable energy resources being integrated to meet Northwest energy needs.

Energy 101: Wind Turbines

April 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

See how wind turbines generate clean electricity from the power of the wind. Highlighted are the various parts and mechanisms of a modern wind turbine.

Where does Wind Power come from? Climbing Inside a Wind Turbine

April 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

www.firstwind.com for more videos from First Wind about wind energy. Find out what the inside of a wind turbine looks like and how it works as Liz from First Wind embarks on the 6 minute climb inside the tower to the top.

How Wind Turbines Work – 3D Animation

April 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

Cel shaded animation of how wind turbines make electricity out of the wind. Created by yonatan frimer using 3ds max and adobe after effects cs3

Maker Workshop – Wind Power Generator on MAKE: television

April 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

Taking a motor from an old exercise treadmill and some PVC pipe, John Park constructs a wind-powered generator. The electrical power may not be enough to get your home off the grid, but the great thing about the project is how it explains in simple terms the technology involved in turning wind into free electricity. Download the PDFs for these projects at www.makezine.tv

What is a Wind Turbine?

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Wind And Solar Energy

Dotted across landscapes throughout the world, one can now see small, stick-thin structures with three spokes poking out from the central column. These structures are alarming, and almost sinister, the first time you see them. The world now recognises them as wind turbines, and their presence in the modern world is becoming more apparent.

Wind turbines are man’s primary way of generating electricity using the power of the wind. The versions of wind turbines we see now are merely an extension of an old idea; using the wind for power is no new concept. What is new is using the wind to generate electricity.

In the past, farmers would use windmills – the forerunner to the wind turbine, which in design they closely resemble – to power machinery to grind corn. These windmills can still be seen around the world, with Holland a well known location for windmills. The white structures we see across fields today are simply the 21st century version.

Wind turbines usually have three spokes, which when caught by the wind cause the mechanism to revolve. The spokes spin around driven by the force of the wind, and this in turn is used to power a machine – just like the windmills of old. However, the machines these turbines now power do not grind crops, but rather generate electricity through a traditional generator.

Wind turbines are one of the most – if not the most – effective ways of generating electricity. The energy produces is clean and, more importantly, renewable. So while these turbines may still cause mild shock when viewed in a place one did not expect them, they are nevertheless the future.