What are Wind Farm Turbines?

Darlene Goodman

Wind farm turbines are typically used to convert wind energy into electricity. This electricity is often used to power homes and businesses. The turbines usually consist of several rotary blades that spin in the wind and transfer this energy to an electric generator. Harnessing this power is often considered to be an environmentally healthy way to produce electricity.

Terrestrial wind farm.
Terrestrial wind farm.

A wind farm is typically a large scale energy producing business that converts wind power into electrical energy. Wind farm turbines, ranging in number from several dozen to several hundred per farm, are typically mounted in a position that allows them to catch the wind and convert it into electricity. These farms then send the newly generated energy to a power grid, where it can be used in homes and businesses.

Wind farm on the ocean.
Wind farm on the ocean.

Wind farms are typically built in places where the turbines can catch steady, high velocity breezes. Firstly, they may be placed on the ridges of hills or mountains to catch updrafts. Secondly, many wind farm turbines are erected on ocean coastlines, where the temperature differences between land and sea create a nearly constant wind. Lastly, many wind farms are located on the ocean, because wind speeds are typically greater over open water.

When wind hits the blades of a wind farm turbine, they spin in a circle. This spinning action turns a gear inside the turbine. During this process, kinetic energy is converted into mechanical energy.

In most wind farm turbines, the turning of the gear spins a shaft that runs a generator. This collects the mechanical energy produced and converts it into electrical energy. The electricity is then typically sent along wires to the power grid which then distributes it for use by towns and cities.

Wind farm turbines generally have two basic designs, horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWTs) and vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs). The names of these designs indicate how the rotary blades are mounted to the turbine. Most wind farms use HAWTs.

HAWTs are usually made to include three or more oversized fan blades. These turbines often look like large, circular fans mounted on long poles. They typically also contain computer sensors that keep the fan turned to face the wind at all times.

VAWTs are a different style of turbine, which works by use of a vertical axis. The blades on a VAWT typically spin around a center mounting pole. They often curve down toward the ground, making the turbine look like an old-fashioned eggbeater. VAWTs usually do not have to be mounted to face the wind in order to be effective.

Wind farm turbines are quite large and can sometimes impact local bird populations that are accustomed to flying at that level.
Wind farm turbines are quite large and can sometimes impact local bird populations that are accustomed to flying at that level.

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