How Wind Power Works

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How Wind Power Works
How Wind Power Works (Image: http://www.wallstreetgrand.com/images/WIND%20ENERGY.jpg)

Introduction

In a world that is becoming more conscious of the environment that we live in, it has become more important to protect that environment. The search for "green" energy resources that are both renewable and safe to the environment has become a primary focus. This focus will only continue to grow as the population and technology expends. One of these "green" energy sources is wind power.

What is Wind Power?

Wind power is energy created and stored using the kinetic energy that comes naturally from the wind. Kinetic energy is energy gained through movement. This energy is the force that carries air from one location to another in the form of wind. Wind power is the process of capturing that kinetic energy and converting it to electrical power that can be used in households across the nation.

How It Works

Wind power is captured using a wind electric turbine. On each wind turbine there are several large blades, similar to a large fan. These blades can be as long as 30 feet. As wind passes over these blades, the kinetic energy in the wind causes the blades to turn. The turning blades cause a shaft inside the tubine to turn as well, at the same speed of the blades. This causes the kinetic energy to be turned into rotational energy. This rotational energy is then stored in a generator at the base of the turbine.

Power

Once the rotational energy has been stored in the generator, it is converted to electrical energy. This electrical energy is sent by power lines to an electrical plant for storage. The wind energy is stored until needed to subsidize the energy needs of the surrounding communities.

Current Use

Currently only about one percent of the United States electricity comes from wind generated power. However, if used to its full potential, wind energy could possible produce enough energy to equal more than 20 billion barrels of oil. (American Wind Energy Association 2005)

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