How do Windmills Work?Posted by monsterguide
How do Windmills Work?
Windmills are not only beautiful structures, but also very practical structures. Windmills have been used throughout history for many purposes such as grinding wheat and grains. They are now used for generating electricity.
Windmills harness the power of the wind. In order to understand how windmills work, let’s first explore how wind is formed and how it can be used for energy. Wind is air that is simply in motion; it is a renewable and a free type of energy. Wind is usually formed by the sun heating air on the surface of the earth unevenly. Since air over land heats faster than air over water, wind is usually found near the coasts and near lakes. As air over land heats up, it rises and leaves an empty space, which is filled by cooler air. The movement of this air results in wind.
Windmills are structures used to harness the energy of wind. As stated above, throughout history it was used for many different purposes, such as grinding wheat, but today, the vast majority of windmills are used to create electricity. Many people are familiar with the windmills located in Europe, specifically in Holland.
Windmills use blades to gather wind that flows over it. Just like an airplane uses wings for lift, windmills use their blades for lift as well – in this case to turn the windmill. Windmills are pretty simple structures; their blades are connected to a drive shaft that is connected to an electric generator. As the blades turn, this turns the drive shaft and creates electricity. Electricity is sent through wires and collected.
There are several different types of windmills, categorized by the direction in which their blades rotate. Two different types of windmills, most commonly called turbines when producing energy, are the horizontal axis turbines and the vertical axis turbines. Horizontal turbines are by far the most popular type of turbine and are the traditional type of windmill with blades that are similar to an airplane’s propeller. These are the windmills we often see pictures of – the Holland variety. On the other hand, vertical axis windmills have blades that resemble an egg beater. They are far less popular than horizontal windmills only making up a very small overall percentage.
Wind Turbines and Production of Electricity
Wind turbines come in many sizes, there are turbines with blades only a few feet in diameter and much larger wind turbines that span hundreds of feet across. Wind turbines can be used to create electricity for one home or for thousands of homes when working together collectively with hundreds of other wind turbines on a wind farm. Small wind turbines usually create about 100 kilowatts of energy or more, while large wind turbine farms can create several megawatts of electricity which can be consumed by an entire community.
Wind energy is a renewable form of energy. It is free to harness and doesn’t create pollution or contribute to global warming; however it does have a very big drawback. The drawback is that wind is never constant and another form of energy is needed to create electricity when there is no wind. Over the years, as research and technology have improved, windmills have dropped in price and have increased in effectiveness harnessing wind energy and changing it into electricity. In the years to come, expect to see more wind turbines being used around the world to create electricity for homes, businesses and industries.
* Wind is a very versatile power source, and it is a very important source of electricity for the future. Here’s a short article on how electricity is made. If you want some alternative energy sources for your home or for your community, check out how to make a windmill, and get to know about water power by knowing how does a well pump work.
Images Of How Windmills Work