Wind Turbines - How wind turbines works
our interactive animation to learn how a wind turbine works and
how it can be used.
Note: Best viewed in Internet Explorer; Requires the Flash Player.
Wind turbines are used around the world for many applications. Wind
turbine use ranges from homeowners with single turbines to large wind
farms with hundreds of turbines providing electricity to the power grid.
Small Wind Turbines
Small wind turbines generate electricity for homeowners, power villages,
pump water, and perform mechanical tasks.
Utility Electricity Generation
Homeowners can generate their own electricity or charge batteries using
the wind, and in some cases, sell excess electricity to the utility, a
practice called net metering. Before buying a system, homeowners should
check into local zoning regulations. A number of turbine manufacturers
serve the home energy market. Some homeowners choose to build their own
Wind turbines are used in hybrid systems with other technologies like
photovoltaic panels, batteries, and diesel generators.
In remote villages without access to electricity, wind turbines can
charge batteries or power small electric grids, improving the quality of
Wind turbines are still used today to pump water.
|Battery Charging |
|Farms and Ranches |
The increasing utility use of wind energy is due to dropping costs and
Several new wind energy projects use the distributed generation concept:
building generation plants where the generation is needed and feeding
the electricity into distribution rather than transmission lines.
Green power is electricity generated by clean, renewable energy sources.
Some consumers now have the option to buy green power instead of
electricity from conventional power plants.
Utilities are gaining experience operating wind energy plants and
integrating them into their electric grid.
Wind Energy Projects
Wind energy projects range from one or two turbines to hundreds of
turbines connected to the utility grid, called wind farms.
Certified wind turbines meet accepted safety and design standards. Many
wind turbine manufacturers are getting their turbines certified to give
customers added confidence in their product.
Wind energy technology is cost-effective at remote, cold weather sites.
European countries with limited land are taking the lead on building wind
turbines in shallow offshore water to generate electricity.
State Programs and Incentives
Some states offer tax incentives and other support for wind energy.