How Does Wind Energy Work?

The switch is on. More and more energy consumers are turning away from fossil fuels that harm the environment. People are making the switch to clean alternatives, like wind energy. This is good news for our planet, which has been suffering from the harmful effects of fossil fuels for far too long. Wind energy is not just better for the environment, but also better for us as it generates industry opportunities and creates jobs all across the U.S. It’s a win-win situation for our way of life.

Using the power of wind to create energy isn’t something new. Humans have benefited from this sustainable source of energy for thousands of years. Humans used the force of wind to set sail and traverse across the globe. Farmers used the wind to power windmills. Today, we’re using wind turbines to deliver electricity to homes and businesses across the U.S. The force of wind continues to be a constant source of clean and renewable energy.

Wind Energy: What is it and How Does it Work?

We found a way to generate power from wind years ago. From its humble beginning of mechanically powering windmills to its evolution of powering wind turbine generators to convert wind power into electricity — wind energy is a simple and effective way to provide energy. Using generators to provide electricity to buildings and homes is forging a new era that benefits energy consumers and our planet.

But how does it work? Of course, there needs to be a significant force of wind. You’ll also need a turbine. The turbines most of us are familiar with are the ones with two or three large propeller-like blades. You’ve probably seen them while driving, usually through rural areas with lots of open space. You may have also seen these turbines while flying over the ocean or lakes, where they are used to great effect. The horizontal-axis, propeller-like turbines are the most common. However, there are also vertical-axis turbines that look like an egg beater, though they’re less reliable than horizontal-axis turbines.

Here’s the lowdown. The turbines convert the energy of the wind to create electricity. When there’s strong enough wind, the rotor blades will capture the force of the wind and transfer this power to the rotor hub. The rotor connects to the main shaft, and it’s spinning the generator. All this creates electricity. It really is that simple.

One question that always comes up is how much electricity can a wind turbine generate? There’s no set answer because it depends on the size of the wind turbine and how much wind speed is going through the rotor. So, a very windy area with high wind speeds is going to be a favorable spot for well-positioned wind turbines.

Electricity from wind

Why Care About Wind Energy?

Anyone that cares about a healthy environment, and wants the next generation to inherit a healthy planet should care about wind energy. Wind power is carbon-free, so it doesn’t produce any carbon emissions. Also, the wind is a renewable energy source — we won’t ever run out of it. With climate change a reality, there’s no better time than now to start weaning ourselves from our dependency on fossil fuels. Today, wind power only represents a small fraction of power generation. It’s still struggling to grab hold of the fossil-fuel giants. However, the future is looking up. Wind turbine use is steadily increasing by more than 25 percent a year, and it’s creating great-paying jobs. In fact, the second fastest growing occupation in the United States is a wind turbine technician. According to the American Wind Energy Association, the wind industry in the US supported over 105,000 jobs, and Texas is leading the nation with up to 25,000 people employed in wind industry jobs.

How Will Wind Energy Improve the Future of the Industry and Planet?

We know that the use of fossil fuels is driving climate change. Power plants that rely on coal, oil or natural gas to create electricity are polluting the air with toxins and emitting harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. If we keep up with fossil fuels as our primary source of energy, what’s going to happen to our planet? Wind produces no toxins. Also, while some might complain that a wind farm takes up too much land, and tends to look like an eye-sore, one wind turbine alone won’t take up much space and some people like the design. Wind farms can have a positive financial effect on landowners too. Landowners can harvest wind energy and produce cattle, corn, wheat and other commodities. Also, big-time corporations like AT&T and Walmart are buying wind energy, so the shift to clean energy is well on its way. Today, the electricity generated by wind can power up to 24 million homes. Investments in wind projects are on the rise, leading to a greener future for generations to come.

If you’re ready to give wind energy a shot, Vault Electricity can help. You can compare green energy electricity providers and select one that is perfectly suited to your needs. 

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