How do Windmills Work?

Posted by monsterguide
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (98 votes, average: 4.08 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...


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



  1. john said,

    on December 13th, 2011 at 5:59 pm


  2. john said,

    on December 13th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Yeah i guess this was alright… noot i can get better ifo from my kinder garden teacher ahaha


    on June 15th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    The website is quite informative.

  4. zacharys said,

    on June 6th, 2011 at 6:29 am


  5. Keko-chan said,

    on October 28th, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Thanks, this helped with my project! XD

  6. Terinaa said,

    on October 27th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    It was alright information.

    :) :)

    Could improve though !


    R Y N R

  7. rijin.p.k said,

    on September 27th, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you very much for the note ,it really helped me to do my project and understand the working of windmill thank you

  8. Sir Tuttenberger said,

    on July 13th, 2010 at 10:59 am

    This helped my students a lot. Thank you very mush for providing this information on windmills, it really helped us with our Exploring Energy topic in Science Class. Go Saydel Eagles!!!

  9. Sarah said,

    on June 14th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    This information was really helpful for my technology research homework thanks!!!

  10. Cooper said,

    on June 5th, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Thanks so much, really helped me on my research paper!

  11. TD said,

    on May 8th, 2010 at 5:19 am

    In biref very good description giving a large concept on windmill woking.

  12. Vincent said,

    on January 31st, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    thanks it will help me recite how wind mills work thanks again :D

  13. Ard said,

    on January 20th, 2010 at 12:07 am

    This is very useful for our report :P

  14. Staphanie D. said,

    on January 5th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    It was great for my science fair project

  15. Joseph said,

    on December 9th, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for the thing on windmills
    it was ok

  16. nisarg said,

    on November 27th, 2009 at 8:09 am

    This is really helpful to get knowledge of windmills and helps me in lot of things

  17. Hector said,

    on November 20th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks it helped me with my history report

  18. Diana Quezada said,

    on November 11th, 2009 at 10:20 am

    thanks for the information. it really helped me figure out information for my science project.

  19. Alexander said,

    on October 25th, 2009 at 8:15 am

    how do you site this thing

  20. Austin said,

    on September 10th, 2009 at 4:00 am

    It defininally helped me at the ast minute of my science project.

  21. Elizibeth saggratha said,

    on August 31st, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    hey thanx lots 4 this site lol bye

  22. Elizibeth Martinez said,

    on August 31st, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    hey thanx i had a project 4 electricity and this helped me lots i wonder what grade ill get lol well thanx again and ta ta 4 now.

  23. gokul said,

    on August 24th, 2009 at 6:17 am

    thank u sooooo much ….
    it really helped me in assignment…….

  24. ankit said,

    on July 26th, 2009 at 10:22 am

    hey pls can u just help me out ???
    i hav a project on power generation by wind mill and in that i hav to make a working model…
    so can u just tell me the procedure in which i can generate some watts of power using wind energy?

  25. voerman said,

    on July 17th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    thanks soo much!
    this really helped me with my research assignment!

  26. rupal said,

    on July 17th, 2009 at 2:18 am

    this information is very helpful for my daughters school project

  27. Julia said,

    on June 16th, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    This helped with a science project a lot! Thanks a bunch!!

  28. sakura said,

    on May 29th, 2009 at 6:58 am

    thanx help with my science project.

  29. london said,

    on May 14th, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    yeah…thanks…I guess…

  30. omar said,

    on May 11th, 2009 at 8:42 am

    this is really help full it helped me alot for my english project.

  31. Alice said,

    on May 5th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    thanx soooooooo much it really helped me on my science paper! :P

  32. Jessika said,

    on April 27th, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    The information was useful, I guess. Atleast I got what I needed for my paper. I think the part where the website explains how wind is created was unnecessary.

  33. Joeyy said,

    on April 26th, 2009 at 12:36 am

    Thank you so much!
    This helped a lot on my English assignment xP

  34. tyler said,

    on April 23rd, 2009 at 10:50 am

    this website really helped me thanx

  35. Tina said,

    on April 10th, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    i’m so glad u did this i really thought windmills were just big airplane propellers w/ poles holding them up.
    p.s. i also used it to help me with my science project

  36. Matt said,

    on March 23rd, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks alot!! :) helped alot with this science project!

  37. Alex said,

    on March 18th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Haha sweet. Thanks a bunch for putting this up. Helped me a whole lot on my science project. =)

  38. Tamaki said,

    on March 17th, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    This website kinda helped me…

    not exactly but…


  39. mohamad said,

    on March 13th, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    this website didnt help much on how windmills generate energy:( :( . but it really helpes with lots of projects

  40. Kate said,

    on March 7th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    haha this website helped me with my science project as well :)

  41. Morgan said,

    on March 3rd, 2009 at 8:42 am

    this website was so helpful!
    it really helped on my science project!
    thank you so much :)

  42. Josie said,

    on February 16th, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I really got a lot out of this website!!! Thank you so so much!!