How do Wind Turbines Work?

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Sam Allcock

The large wind turbines that you may see when you look out into to the countryside aren’t just there to cause an eyesore – they’re responsible for making approximately 44.2% of the UK’s total power capacity installations.

Wind energy is renewable and good for the environment, meaning that the resource in which electricity is generated will never run out – unlike when we’re burning fossil fuels.

Most modern wind turbines have three blades and turn anti-clockwise. Typically, they’re computer controlled in order to keep the turbine facing the way in which the wind is being directed.

We share how wind turbines actually work and why they are a great source of energy for your home:


How do wind turbines generate electricity?

Almost all of the wind turbines used to generate electricity in Britain are formed with blades that turn on a horizontal shaft, connected to a mechanical gearbox and then to an electrical generator.

When wind is blown into the blades, they turn anti-clockwise and generate kinetic (movement) energy. This rotates the shaft inside the top of the turbine, which then goes into a gearbox whilst increases the rotation speed.

The generator converts this rotational energy into electrical energy, and the transformer outside of the turbine converts the electricity from around 700V to 33,000V – the typical voltage for distribution.

This electricity is then fed into the National Grid and used to power millions of properties all over the country.


Where can I find wind farms?

Utility companies that use wind power to generate their power often use a group of turbines also known as a wind farm. This allows them to harness as much of the wind as possible and take advantage of high-speed winds in a short area.

Wind farms can be found in all areas from the UK but are most commonly found in the sea or countryside.

The Whitelee Wind Farm is the largest windfarm in the UK, just 20 minutes outside Glasgow.


Renewable energy and your home

Many residential properties have realised the benefits of using renewable energy sources on the environment, but not many realise how it can impact your home energy bills.

Green tariffs – the plan in which a utility provider can put you on to utilise power generate solely through renewable energy sources – are available from many home energy suppliers and can help your home to become sustainable and ethical.

Although these tariffs do use power sources from wind turbines, they also factor in energy generated from other renewable methods including; biomass, tidal energy and solar power.

To find out more about how to source energy from the Earth’s natural resources, get in touch with the team today. We can help you to make the Big Green Switch to clean energy – giving your environment a helping hand in the mean time!


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