How do wind turbines work?

 

Have you ever seen a wind turbine and wondered what they are and actually how they work?

Wind turbines are awesome because they’re a source of renewable energy.  They take energy from the wind and turn it into electricity which we can then use in our homes.  Each turbine can be up to 220 metres high, which is bigger than big ben and the London eye!

So what do they consist of?  

At the very top there are three rotors, which catch the wind and turn. Each rotor can be up to 130m in length, which is about the length of 8 lorries! The rotors are attached to a large box called the nacelle, which contains all the technical equipment and cables needed for forming the electrical energy. The nacelle sits on top of a tall tower, which for offshore tubrines sits on a huge steel structure that is attached to the seabed. This steel structure is what keeps the turbine sturdy and stops it from falling over.

So how does the wind turbine actually work?

  1. When the wind blows, the energy in the wind is transformed into mechanical energy as the rotors turn.
  2. The mechanical energy from the rotors turning is transformed into electrical energy within the generator.
  3. The electrical energy is transported from the generator to our homes through cables and electrical substations (something we’ll cover in another post).

How do people reach the top?

Maintaining the wind turbine is important to keep it working. Equipment may need fixing and the rotors may even need cleaning. But how do people even get to the top? The first turbines developed had ladders inside the tower, which means people had to climb all the way to the top… exhausting! Nowadays, as the technology has progressed, each turbine has a lift inside making the journey to the top a whole lot easier!

If you fancy learning more then check out my blog on renewable energy.