How Does Wind Energy Work?

A Well-illustrated Piece That Explains How Wind Energy Works

Winds are caused due to uneven heating of the atmosphere due to sun's rays. Learn about the working and production of wind energy in this article.
Wind can simply be defined as the movement of air. Wind is formed by the uneven heating of the earth's surface by the sun i.e. less at the poles and more at the equator. This heating is more rapid upon dry land when compared to the seas. The air expands and reaches high altitudes while the cool air comes down and winds are formed.

The wind energy converts kinetic energy by friction into more useful forms like mechanical energy and also electricity. Both these sources of energy are used by the humans for various purposes.
Wind Energy during Ancient Times
During ancient times, windmills were constructed to produce the energy for the purpose of grinding grains. Wind pumps were also constructed to pump water to the fields. Egyptians used this energy to drive ships. Later, windmills were constructed with three propeller blades to generate electricity. This type of electricity was used in rural areas. Due to the high shortage of oil nowadays, wind electricity is highly preferred in most of the countries.
Working of wind energy
Production
The energy is used by wind turbines to generate electricity. A machine with a rotor called propeller blade that are three in numbers is known as wind turbine. These propeller blades are arranged in the horizontal axis. A group of wind turbines are located on the wind farm or wind power plant where flow of wind is high. As the propeller blades spin due to wind, the rotor supplies power to the generator i.e. the mechanical energy of the rotor is converted into electricity. The electricity produced by the turbines is supplied through grid to various stations. The electricity produced by a single turbine is abundant enough for a single house.

The systems are responsible for the construction of wind power plants and to transfer the electricity produced by the wind to the stations. The wind power plant consists of large number of wind turbines, each 30 to 40 m long. According to a rule, as the height increases, circulation of air also increases. For this purpose, turbines are constructed with high altitudes. Germany and Spain are the leading countries in wind power systems.
Horizon Wind Energy
This energy is one of the systems which have been established in many parts of the United States from New York to California. It is one of the largest independent power producers which generate an overall of 15,000 MW per year and the amount is increasing every year. The Maple Ridge wind farm, a project of 321 MW is one of the constructions. Other energy stations are Blue canyon wind farm and Wild Horse wind farm. This developer has a lot of projects to be established throughout United States.
Impact on Environment
Scientists revealed that changes in the global climate are due to the abundant usage of fossil fuels. Due to the combustion of fossil fuels, large amount of green house gases are emitted which pollute the atmosphere and also cause global warming. The replacement of fossil fuels by wind electricity is a major factor to prevent environmental pollution. The energy is renewable i.e. the source (wind) never gets depleted. Hence wind electricity is very cheap and does not emit green house gases, hence it is pollution free. The mega watt of electricity produced by the wind turbines is used to reduce 0.8 to 0.9 tons of green house gases emissions when compared to coal and oil.
Thus wind energy is the sustainable form of energy that can be relied in the future at all times.