Harnessing the Wind

We can harness the wind's energy using windmills and wind turbines. The wind flows over windmill blades that are mounted on a rotor, which causes them to lift or turn like an airplane propeller. The blades are connected to a driveshaft that turns a generator to make electricity. This process converts the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical power. For utility-scale wind energy, large numbers of wind turbines are built close together to form a wind farm.

Types of Wind Machines

There are two types of modern wind machines:

Horizontal-Axis Wind Machine

The Horizontal-Axis Wind Machine stands as tall as a 20-story-building. It has three blades that span 200 feet across and are taller and wider so that they can capture more wind. These are the most common types of wind machines.

Vertical-Axis Wind Machine

The second type is the Vertical-Axis Wind Machine. It stands about 100 feet tall and is only 50 feet wide. It has only two blades and looks similar to a giant spinning egg beater.