Energy from the wind
In this power-hungry age, locally-generated, free electricity is the dream ticket for many people. About one to two per cent of the energy coming from the sun is converted into wind energy. That is about 50 to 100 times more than the energy converted into biomass by all plants on earth, so there is a massive, relatively unexploited, natural energy resource in wind.
What is a wind turbine?
A wind turbine converts the power of the wind into rotational force via rotor blades. This in turn is transformed into electrical energy via a generator. The amount of energy that is converted depends on air density, the rotor area, and most importantly the wind speed. A wind turbine has a number of components:
- The rotor, or blades, which convert the wind's energy into rotational shaft energy
- The nacelle or enclosure, often containing a drive train, a gearbox and a generator
- The tower, to support the rotor and generator
- Electronic equipment such as controls, electrical cables, ground support equipment, and interconnection equipment