Uses of Wind Turbines

Wind is a powerful source of energy which, for centuries, has been harnessed for different uses. More and more scientists and researchers consider that wind can be used effectively as a clean renewable energy source.  But this can only be done when power within the moving air is harnessed properly.

The Wind Energy Industry has grown rapidly since the 1990’s and is considered to be one of the fastest growing sectors in the power generation industry. Some European countries have installed wind turbines that have now been in operation for almost 20 years now, and this entire operation has been quite successful as well. Using wind turbines to create energy has brought down energy production costs, and is a viable option for the replacement of coal-fired power stations.

According to one study, the UK has the largest potential wind energy resource in the entirety of Europe.  Wind is therefore regarded as their most promising future source of renewable energy. Currently, wind turbines in the UK are producing electricity which is delivered to almost 390,000 households, and is reaching around 1 million people. Furthermore, the use of wind energy has reportedly reduced carbon dioxide emissions by almost 1.46 million tones per annum.

How is wind converted into energy? With a wind turbine. The wind turbine is basically a rotating device, like a huge fan, whose blades turn when the wind passes through them.  They convert the wind’s kinetic energy into mechanical energy.

When this mechanical energy is used by any type of machinery (such as a pump) then the machine is known as a windmill. If the same mechanical energy is converted to electricity, then the machine which does the conversion is called a wind generator or a wind turbine. It is also sometimes known as a wind energy converter (WEC) or a wind power unit (WPU).

The first use of the wind in machines was actually for grinding grains, as early as 200 B.C, in Persia. It was later introduced into the prosperous Roman Empire in 250 A.D. The year 1900 saw the maximum number of windmills in use in the country of Denmark. Almost 2500 windmills were installed at that time, to provide the much needed mechanical load to pumps.  They gave a peak power supply of 30MW.

Why Should Wind Turbines be Used?

Wind turbines can effectively help to create mechanical energy, which can then be used for multiple purposes, such as the generation of power and electricity.

Some of the other uses include the following:

  • There is only a one-time installation cost for setting up a wind generator, after which the electricity produced by the wind turbine will be free.
  • It is a source of clean and renewable energy which will not generate any greenhouse gases, nor emit pollution or even produce any dangerous waste material.
  • Each unit of electricity produced by a wind turbine replaces a similar unit of energy from a conventional power station. Wind turbines have highly successful where they have been commissioned in the UK, preventing the emission of almost 1 3/4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
  • Wind is an abundant and reliable source of energy. The UK, possibly being the windiest country in Europe, has abundance of wind energy which is used for making electricity. As do other windy areas such as Denmark and other parts of Scandinavia.
  • Wind power contributes significantly to the overall energy production of any country. Denmark is one country which gets almost 20% of its electricity from wind power.
  • Wind turbines use an extremely robust technology, which is designed for both local operation as well as for remote operation, and requires only periodic maintenance.

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16 Responses to “Uses of Wind Turbines”

  1. Herman June 1, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    your posting its fantastic…i learn a lot from your articles…

  2. bethany@bridal makeup san antonio August 5, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    I had no idea that they used wind for grinding grains in 200 BC, which is especially impressive since it is a technology that is still used today. They must have been way ahead of their time!

  3. Ron @ build wind turbine August 14, 2009 at 2:56 am #

    Great post about one of the less used energy sources. enjoyed this article a lot

  4. joe August 18, 2009 at 6:45 am #

    Great article… Wind turbines are a great way to make energy and save money

  5. Brad @ wind power generators September 12, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    Great read Anna. Growing up on a farm we used the wind to pump water for our cattle to drink, and for our home gardens. What a great resource we have. I currently have a home built wind generator that helps reduce the green house gasses and saves me money. I look forward to reading more here.
    .-= Brad @ wind power generators ´s last blog ..Home Wind Generators =-.

  6. home wind turbines September 14, 2009 at 9:04 pm #

    To get your own free energy, you need to look into acquiring a home wind turbine. A home wind turbine is an excellent resource for creating renewable energy. It is easier than you might think to get them implemented at your home.

  7. solar roof tiles September 21, 2009 at 6:02 am #

    I agree, though wind, solar and other alternative energy sources has their own downsides.
    .-= solar roof tiles´s last blog ..Solar Roof Shingles =-.

  8. Brian@Wind Solar Energy November 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    Aren’t Home wind turbine very expensive?
    .-= Brian@Wind Solar Energy´s last blog ..Wind Power For Homes – Yes, It’s Possible =-.

  9. Lauren@Norelco Electric Shaver November 16, 2009 at 11:23 pm #

    Installing home wind turbine is high cost. But the benefit on energy efficiency is worth to pay.

  10. JohnDonnerie@ReduceElectricityUsage March 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Nice post Anna. People should really consider the great benefits of the Earth. Be it Solar, Water or Wind. Through this method, we can really reduce our electric power consumption and bills. Though it’s expensive, just realize the benefits and worth you may get on this alternative.

  11. Steve April 29, 2010 at 4:56 am #

    Thanks for sharing this. I think wind turbines should be found in every yard. I`m building a house and i`m thinking of using a small wind turbine.
    Thanks
    Steve

  12. Kilarin O'Malley May 10, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Hi Anna, Good article about wind turbines and wind energy. The only thing that could be included is that when the wind isn’t blowing and your turbine is not generating energy you are able to store some of that energy. The stored energy then powers your home. If you ever want to write an article for our news site, please send me an email. All the best, Kilarin

  13. mike@homemade windmill May 22, 2010 at 4:10 am #

    i agree with this article. It’s really great to have windmills as your own source of energy. Although most of the time having one windmill is not enough to support your electricity consumption. It’s best to have a solar panel with a windmill to boost the energy production. we should all create our own alternative energy sources because not only it will save us some bucks, but it will also help in saving our planet. cheers!

  14. armil@electricpower January 14, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    Didn’t know that they already use wind for grinding grains since 200BC. Having a wind turbines at home may be cost you high but the benefit on energy efficiency is worth to pay.

  15. Anaheim Home Wiring March 29, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    This article provided many useful information about the use of wind turbines. This is a good source of generating electricity instead of using fossil fuels. You are not only saving the environment but at the same time you are saving money from electrical bills.

  16. mike miele November 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    …Under Some of the Other uses : All you did was talk more about current facts.
    WHAT ARE some “OUT of the BOX’ uses for wind generators BESIDES just power???

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