Like the propeller blades of an airplane, wind turbine blades use the moving air to power an electric generator that supplies an electric current.
The UK is ranked as the world’s eighth largest producer of wind power – not so surprising when you consider that we hold the title for being Europe’s windiest country!
The benefits of wind turbines
They cut your electricity bills: wind is free, so once you've paid for the initial installation your electricity costs will be reduced.
You get paid for what you generate: through Feed-in-Tariffs, you get paid for the electricity you generate even if you use it. What you don't use, you can export to the local grid - and you’ll get paid for that too!
Wind turbines cut your carbon footprint: wind electricity is green, renewable energy and doesn't release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants.
You can store electricity for a calm day: if your home isn't connected to the national grid you can store excess electricity in batteries and use it when there is no wind.
What to Expect from a Wind Farm
Ranging from 25 to 80 metres high withfans spanning up to 65 metres in diameter, wind turbines are one of the safest forms of energy technology. They are also one of the most popular with 8 out of 10 people in surveys in favour of wind farms.
Wind turbines have been developed so that mechanical noise is virtually undetectable. There are very strict guidelines in place to ensure there is no noise pollution in residential areas.
It turns out that in order to meet our energy needs wind farms need a mix of onshore and offshore winds. As things are at present onshore wind arms are definitely more economical.
Wind turbines keep on giving too as they are one of the cheapest forms or renewable energy, at just 3 pence per unit. The average wind farm will also pay for the energy used in its construction within six to eight months which is more favourable compared to coal or nuclear power, which take around six months.
For more information about wind farms you can visit the British Wind Association.
More information about Wind Turbines:
Horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT) have the main rotor shaft and electrical generator at the top of a tower, and must be pointed into the wind.
Vertical-axis wind turbines (or VAWTs) have the main rotor shaft arranged vertically. Key advantages of this arrangement are that the turbine does not need to be pointed into the wind to be effective.
Savonius wind turbines; The turbine consists of a number of aerofoils, usually - but not always - vertically mounted on a rotating shaft or framework, either ground stationed or tethered in airborne systems. This in essence is the same as the black disc you see spinning on the top of vans however this is used to draw air in for ventilation.