What is a wind turbine and how does it work
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We have shown them to you of all types. Flat, like “the Morcillo wind turbine”; unrecognizable, without the classic blades; in the form of a hummingbird or a kite or, directly, hot air platforms to capture the energy of the sky. However, turbines, in addition to being spectacular, pursue an end and are designed down to the millimeter to fulfill it. Therefore, we stop at the most basic of wind power, so that in addition to being up to date with the most revolutionary models, you have a mastery of what a wind turbine is, how it works and what it can do. contribute to the transition to a more sustainable energy model.

What is a wind turbine?

The wind turbine would be, to wind energy, what a solar panel: the technology that allows the use of a clean and inexhaustible source of energy, in this case the wind. Less widespread than solar for domestic use, wind energy contributed 4% of the electricity produced worldwide in 2016, with a capacity of up to 466 GW. In addition, the weight will increase, since the growth margin of this energy source between 2017 and 2022 is estimated at 321 GW, according to the International Energy Agency.

Wind turbines, the key to harnessing the energy of the wind.

To make this a reality, wind turbines are the cornerstone, whether they are located on the surface of the ground or in the marine environment. But what is the role of wind turbines? Well, it’s none other than that of convert kinetic energy into electrical energy. Basically, what these systems do is, thanks to the wind and the movement of the blades, that the rotation produces energy. The generator and transformer that these equipments usually integrate do the rest so that the usable electricity comes from this operation.

Wind turbines, the key to harnessing the energy of the wind.
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Types of wind turbines.

While it is very likely that, when mentioned, that image of a vertical turbine that reminds you of windmills from before comes straight to your mind, there is nowhere near a single type of technology to harness the energy of the wind. This sample of some of the most amazing turbines in the world makes it clear.

However, two basic types of wind turbines dominate the market: those with a vertical axis and those with a horizontal axis. The latter is one of the most common and differs from the former, mainly because it requires proper orientation to the wind to function optimally. With extremely variable powers, the models of this alternative are distinguished by their cost, which is generally high, but also by their efficiency.

However, vertical axis wind turbines are gaining in importance. As mentioned, in this case the orientation is not a determining factor for the operation of the system, nor the height. More suitable for smaller installations than the previous type, they are also distinguished by the fact that their rotation system is located not parallel to the ground, but perpendicular to it.

Components of a wind turbine.

Components of a wind turbine
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Although this is a world that, like everything that refers to technologies for using clean energy, is constantly changing, wind turbines are usually made up of different basic parts. Among them, one of the fundamentals is the rotor, whose rotation is precisely what allows the energy of the wind to be used later to generate electricity.

Next to this centerpiece is the generator, whose role is none other than the conversion of the captured energy into electricity, in addition to the tower, the control systems or the cable car, in which a large part of the coins is inserted and protected. that make up these high-tech equipment.

The debate on what type of wind turbine works best it is open, at a time when large offshore wind installations seem to be taking a stand. A group of experts is working on this line and plans to build turbines 200 meters high and 50 meters wide, intended to be installed above the sea. There, they believe that the future of wind energy is truly competitive in terms of costs.

All of this seems to be light years away from individuals looking for clean alternatives to their supply beyond solar power. And while it is true that wind power today is not the best option for the home with domestic installations, there are always options. These even come from Do it yourself (DIY), with many alternatives to build a homemade wind turbine with which to fully enter the universe of this clean and inexhaustible source of energy.