How does a windmill make electricity… Wind turbines use blades to collect the wind’s kinetic energy. Wind flows over the blades creating lift (similar to the effect on airplane wings), which causes the blades to turn. The blades are connected to a drive shaft that turns an electric generator, which produces (generates) electricity.

How does a windmill make electricity

Windmills, unlike wind turbines, exploit weak winds at low altitude, and are thus called “extensive” wind turbines: they therefore produce electricity over a wind speed range of between 2 and 15 m / s.

In the heart of the Brière regional natural park, an enthusiast has given a new soul to an old windmill, transformed into a fully autonomous wind generator which produces electricity while retaining its charm of yesteryear.

Michel Mortier, 59 years old, designer of this prototype which he patented, bought six years ago this house planted in the countryside with its flour mill, the “Moulin de la Fée”, which spreads its wings over 17 m. scope.

how does a windmill make electricity

From the outside, only connoisseurs can see the changes made to the “Moulin de la Fée”.

“Compared to the old mill, I removed a third of the surface of the wings to go faster in rotation”, explains the inventor who also raised the hat of the mill by 2.70 m, but respected the traditional materials for the wings: fir and oak.

The wind vane in the shape of a fairy which overhangs the hat, an anemometer as well as sensors inform in real time a computer center of the direction and the speed of the wind for an optimized production.

“My goal at the start was only to make a second home, with the dream of automating the mill by making it produce its own electricity”, explains this former mechanic who wanted to avoid the fatigue of the miller forced to manually operate the 10 tons of the hat to orient the wings according to the wind.

Michel Mortier therefore used his mechanical and hydraulic knowledge and developed his own computer program to make the mill fully autonomous. And he finally found himself at the head of a real mini-power plant, after 12,000 hours of work spent improving his prototype.

“With the current process, I can supply electricity to seven or eight houses without heating, and with the modifications that I am going to make, I could supply 13 to 15 houses”, with a production which will increase from 50,000 KW per year to 70,000 KW, explains the inventor.

The current surplus of electricity is sold to EDF. The output certainly has nothing to compare with modern 2 MW wind turbines, but it is difficult to compare these 100 m high giants with the small mill which blends in perfectly with the landscape.

Michel Mortier is currently looking for partners for his project: to revive 120 of the 1,500 to 2,000 mills that still exist in France, ie one per region and department.

But his adventure risks being cut short for lack of funding. The prototype cost him 200,000 euros, of which only a third were subsidized by EDF, the Agency for the development and control of energy (Ademe), the department of Loire-Atlantique and the region of Pays de la Loire.

“I must be able to sell my patent within three months, or else I would have to sell my mill”, regrets the inventor.
Christian Gauvry (AFP)

Pros and cons of wind energy

Pros of wind energy Cons of wind energy
Renewable & clean source of energy Intermittent
Low operating costs Noise and visual pollution
Efficient use of land space Some adverse environmental impact

On the pros side, wind is a clean, renewable energy source, and is one of the most cost-effective sources for electricity. On the cons side, wind turbines can be noisy and unappealing aesthetically, and can sometimes adversely impact the physical environment around them. Similar to solar power, wind power is also intermittent, meaning that turbines are reliant on weather and therefore aren’t capable of generating electricity 24/7.

Below, we’ll explore these pros and cons in further detail. Read More Visit site

Pros and cons of wind energy

how does a windmill make electricity cover

Wind turbines are devices that convert the wind’s kinetic energy into electrical energy.

We can simply describe the wind as moving air, caused by differences in atmospheric pressure between different regions of our planet.
Differences in atmospheric pressure arise as a result of temperature differences.
When the air moves from an high pressure region into a low-pressure region, we feel the moving air as wind.

On the other hand, we can describe wind energy as the process in which wind is used to generate mechanical energy or electricity.

Since the beginnings of civilization man has always took advantage of wind energy: from the simple sail boats, to the grinding grain with the windmills, up to the actual production of electricity thanks to the wind energy converters, also known as WIND TURBINES.

There are different types and different sizes of wind turbines.
In this video we will focus on the most common horizontal axis turbines:
-We’ll find out which are the main components of this particular type of wind turbine
-We will understand how these devices are able to transform wind energy into electric current.
-We’ll see why don’t wind turbines have more than 3 blades, through the observation of their airfoil shape.
-And we will also see what are the main causes of accidents that can occur during the operation of these devices.

The first wind turbines were built towards the end of the nineteenth century with the aim of supplying electricity to small isolated villages

In the following years, the gradual structural and technological improvements of these devices, allowed the creation of real wind farms entirely dedicated to the production of electricity

Nowadays there are about 26 companies in the world specialized in the production of wind turbines

As we already mentioned at the beginning of this video, wind turbines transform mechanical energy into electrical energy. The wind energy caught by the wind turbines is in fact transferred thanks to a mechanical shaft to a generator.

How does a windmill make electricity

The generator transforms the rotation energy into electrical energy, which in turn is transferred to a transformer, usually placed at the base of the wind tower. The transformer acts as a link between wind turbines and distribution grid. It steps up the low output voltage from the generator to higher distribution voltage level. Let’s take a look at the various components of a wind turbine:

This is the TOWER, one of the most important parts. It represents the supporting structure of the wind turbine and has the function of absorbing the vibrations generated by the rotary motion of the blades.

These are the BLADES which are aerodynamically optimized to capture the maximum power from the wind and transfer it to the rotor hub. Each blade is usually 20 m or more in length, depending on the power level.

The ROTOR is the rotating part of the wind turbine. The rotor hub holds the wind turbine blades while connected to the gearbox via the low-speed shaft. Here we can find the pitch control system. Thanks to the pitch control, blades are turned in their longitudinal axis to change the angle of attack according to the wind directions. This mechanism also blocks the rotation of the rotor when the wind is too strong, or too weak.

The NACELLE is instead the enclosure of the wind turbine that houses all of the generating components, including: the gear box, the braking system and the generator, but also the pitch control system and the yaw system, which is responsible for the orientation of the wind turbine rotor towards the wind.

An anemometer places at the rear of the nacelle, in fact, constantly detects the wind direction. Whenever there’s a change in wind direction, the anenometer sends a signal to the yaw system, that provides to rotate the entire nacelle and consequently the rotor and the blades , to meet the wind at the best angle.

But now let’s see in detail what happens when the wind turbine goes into action:
The blades starts to turn when the wind reaches the so called “cut-in wind speed”, that is the point at which the turbine starts generating electricity from turning.

The rotor is connected to the drive shaft, which rotates inside the necelle.
The rotational energy of the drive shaft is transformed into electrical energy by the generator.
A generator is in fact a device that uses electromagnetic induction to produce electrical voltage…

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