May 1, 2017 / By meswpadmin
Wind Energy Today
How Mechanical Electrical Systems Can Make It Practical!
Wind energy can be used today to do work. The kinetic energy of the wind can be changed into other forms of energy, either mechanical energy or electrical energy.
When a boat lifts a sail, it is using wind energy to push it through the water. This is one form of work.
Farmers have been using wind energy for many years to pump water from wells using windmills.
Where Wind Energy is Being Used Today
In Holland, windmills have been used for centuries to pump water from low-lying areas.
Wind is also used to turn large grinding stones to grind wheat or corn, just like a water wheel is turned by water power.
Today, the wind is also used to make electricity.
Blowing wind spins the blades on a wind turbine – just like a large toy pinwheel. This device is called a wind turbine and not a windmill. A windmill grinds or mills grain, or is used to pump water.
The blades of the turbine are attached to a hub that is mounted on a turning shaft. The shaft goes through a gear transmission box where the turning speed is increased. The transmission is attached to a high speed shaft which turns a generator that makes electricity.
If the wind gets too high, the turbine has a brake that will keep the blades from turning too fast and being damaged. You can use a single smaller wind turbine to power a home or a school. A small turbine makes enough energy for a house.
In order for a wind turbine to work efficiently, wind speeds usually must be above 12 to 14 miles per hour. Wind has to be this speed to turn the turbines fast enough to generate electricity. The turbines usually produce about 50 to 300 kilowatts of electricity each. A kilowatt is 1,000 watts (kilo means 1,000). You can light ten 100 watt light bulbs with 1,000 watts. So, a 300 kilowatt (300,000 watts) wind turbine could light up 3,000 light bulbs that use 100 watts!