Renewable energy is the future of the energy industry, and wind energy is an essential part of that.
But how do wind turbines and components of wind turbines work?
Read on for details about wind turbines.
The Importance of Wind Energy
The wind has been harnessed and utilized as a source of energy since ancient times when Egyptians used it to propel their boats down the Nile River.
Windmills have been used for farming and other energy sources for over a thousand years.
Now, with non-renewable sources of energy dwindling, we’re starting to use wind energy on a large scale. Since 2000, wind energy has grown by 50 fold, from 6 billion kilowatt-hours to nearly 300 kWh.
How Does a Wind Turbine Work?
A wind turbine has many essential parts, most of which aren’t noticeable from outside of the turbine.
The nose and the blades are the most significant and most visible parts of the wind turbine. The nose, along with the rotor, holds the blades which catch the wind and begin to spin when wind speeds are fast enough.
The main turbine shaft is what connects the blades to everything inside the turbine. This shaft spins at the same speed as the blades and is essential for transferring the wind into energy.
The high-speed turbine shaft, as its name implies, spins at a much higher speed than the main turbine shaft. This is accomplished by the gearbox, which connects the two turbine shafts, and increases rotational speeds through a series of gears, much like how a bicycle increases its rotational speed through the gears attached to the back wheel.
The high-speed turbine shaft is what spins the turbine generator, the essential part of the wind turbine. This generator is what transfers the wind energy into electrical energy.
The inner workings of a turbine generator are complex. Here is a link for details on the inner workings of turbine generators.
There are also several parts of the wind turbine that help optimize the wind capturing process.
The anemometer measures wind speed and works alongside the controller to maximize the efficiency of the wind turbine. These devices can activate the brake to slow down the blades during excessive wind speeds. It can also be used to assist with starting up the blades when wind speeds are too low to activate the blades on their own.
Now that you can answer the question of “how does a wind turbine work,” you might be curious about other large industrial machines. From oil rigs to overhead cranes, to railroad parts, our blog is an excellent source of information for any energy industry you might be interested in.