Wind Power

Wind power is derived from the conversion of wind energy to become a useful form of energy to propel ships, make electricity or pump water. Wind is a renewable source of energy that is widely available and produces no harmful emission during operation.

5,322 Questions
Meteorology and Weather
Environmental Issues
Wind Power

Does the wind stop blowing?

In one area. Yes.

Around the world. No.

Wind is going to occur somewhere as long as we have a spinning planet and an atmosphere.

Wind Power

What are the advantages of wind power?

Advantages of wind power:

  • Wind power is very low cost (after the initial production and installation)
  • Wind power is clean (no pollution or carbon dioxide after the initial setup, apart from the comparatively minor emissions produced to manufacture, transport, erect and maintain them)
  • Wind is a renewable and sustainable resource. We can use as much as we can today and there will still be more tomorrow.
  • Wind power will become cheaper than fossil fuel in the next few years (when the price of carbon is added to coal and oil), and in many places already is.
  • Wind turbines are self sufficient, just place them and watch 'em spin! (low maintenance, few moving parts, easy to repair)
  • Many people view wind turbines as aesthetically beautiful additions to the landscape.
  • Wind prices won't inflate like today's gas prices.
  • The land beneath can still be used for farming or any other purpose it was used for prior to a wind turbine being erected.
  • (For the US) At the moment we get our fuel (fossil fuels, mainly oil) from other countries. What would happen if one day they decided to cut off our power? Wind energy reduces US dependence on unstable, oil-producing countries.

The benefits of wind power are that it is clean, produces no emissions, and is a renewable energy source. The greatest benefit of wind power is that the energy (i.e. the "fuel") component of the delivered power is FREE.

Wind energy is provided ultimately by the sun and the rotation of the earth. The sun's radiation creates pressure differences in the atmosphere, and the rotation of the earth creates Coriolis forces. Together, these produce winds. Because wind energy comes from the sun and the earth's rotation, it is "FREE" in another aspect: it is completely non-polluting.

Wind power, delivered to where people need it, is not free of all cost however. This is because we must build expensive windmills to turn the wind energy into electricity, and transmission lines to get the power where we need it. Also, the environment in the immediate vicinity of windmills will suffer in various ways, and with the suffering is associated an additional cost. Arguably, however, the environmental costs are usually much greater for other modes of power production, such as coal fired thermal power stations. Wind power does not require the burning of fossil fuels (beyond initial manufacturing and installation) to create electricity.

Wind Power

How do wind generators turn kinetic energy into an electrical current?

Same as any other generator. The key part is a machine with magnets, and certain interactions between magnetism and electricity - basically, if a wire moves through a magnetic field, a voltage will be generated. You can read more details about this in any high-school physics book.

Renewable Energy
Wind Power

How much space does one wind turbine take up?

One wind turbine consumes about 20 square meters of land at its base. There are sometimes gravel roads that lead to them from the nearest road, usually 2-3 meters wide and 10-50 meters long, to allow maintenance trucks to get to them. Calling it 120 square meters per wind turbine of actual land taken out of use isn't far off.

That's about a tenth of a hectare or a quarter of an acre. The rest of the land is still useful for whatever it was being used for before, whether that was farming, hiking, growing weeds, snowmobiling, grouse hunting or just sitting there unused.

As a wind turbine will generally bring in a lease value of $5000 - $8000 per year to the owner of the land, and as that is higher than most crops will yield per acre per year, it's an excellent additional revenue stream, especially for the multi-revenue stream, small-business owners we call farmers.

As wind turbines are spaced 6-10 blade diameters apart, a gigawatt of power generation would be spread over about about 518 square kilometres, or about 200 square miles. It would take up about 0.01% of that land. If it were all compressed together, it would be about the size of a nuclear plant.

There's a US land use requirements reference at the link referenced.

Botany or Plant Biology
Animal Life
Wind Power

Does wind effect plant and animal life?


Wind can greatly affect wildlife, especially turkey, deer, squirrels and rabbits living or being in the woods. the animals will "hold up" as us hunters call it because the animals can not hear incoming prey because of the wind.


Wind will not drastically affect plants because the seeds will grow almost anywhere and they get their food/nutrients from the ground.

Electrical Wiring
Wind Power

How is wind energy converted into electrical energy?

When wind turns turbines, the turbines wheels turn belts, which in turn turns a generator. Inside the generator, a coil of copper spins between a couple of magnets. This creates an electrical field, which is made into DC current. The DC current passes through multiple rectifiers that convert the DC current into AC. AC is the type of current a typical household outlet uses. Then, the AC current runs to either your home or a power plant for distribution across several neighborhoods.

Wind Power
Fossil Fuels

Do wind turbines use fossil fuel?

No, unless fossil fuel energy is used in their construction. In that case, wind turbines generate the amount energy required to make them within 6-12 months. That's the fastest of any type of energy - It takes a fossil fuel turbine about 2 years to generate the same amount of energy involved with it's construction.

Wind systems also consume fossil fuels when the wind is above the safe operation limit by placing power on the generators to prevent the blades from turning. They also consume power for a few minutes while starting to get the blades to the correct speed and sync with the grid. Despite these consumptions, wind is still a net provider of energy and they generate much more than they consume.

Wind Power

What is another name for a wind tower?

windmill or wind turbine

Wind Power

How safe for the environment is wind energy?


Wind energy is an excellent sustainable energy source, but no energy production is completely without impact on the environment. After all, even the slightest change in our surroundings has some effect, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. However, energy from the wind has very little impact on the environment for the following reasons:


Many kinds of energy production produce harmful substances. For example, burning coal for energy yields sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain. Wind energy helps offset traditional electricity generation's negative effects on the environment. Wind farms do not release any pollutants such as carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change), sulfur dioxide (which causes acid rain) and nitrogen dioxide (which causes smog). By supplying power from a clean, renewable resource, wind energy helps reduce pollution, keeping our environment healthy for future generations.


Wind farms have many advantages for both people and animals. Wind farms are safe for animals on the ground, and since wind farms take up a very small percentage of land on which they are sited, most of the land can remain in use for crops or grazing. There are regions in the world in which wind farms can have an adverse impact on birds. However, many studies have been done in the United States and Europe on birds and wind turbines. Most of these studies have shown that birds tend to change their flight path in order to fly safely past the wind turbines. Nevertheless, at Horizon Wind Energy we always take into account bird migratory routes or flywayswhen siting our wind farms to prevent avian difficulties. We also take into account nesting grounds and other bird-related issues.

To read our Corporate Environmental Policy, click here.

For more information about wind energy and the environment, visit the American Wind Energy Association website.

Environmental Issues
Wind Power

Are wind turbines a good thing?

Yes. Wind Energy once installed creates no Carbon Dioxide. Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant causing global warming, so wind turbines and any renewable energy are a good idea.

Wind Turbines create low cost energy, but it should not be considered free. Their large capital cost means the electricity produced from Wind turbines is much more expensive than other forms of electricity generation like coal and gas.

Also, because of the variability of wind, conventional power plant of equal capacity must be constructed and then operated at less than optimum capacity.

Storage using batteries, flywheels or pumped storage hydroelectricity can address this variability but it only adds to the cost.

Some people think that wind turbines are a bad thing because they make noise. Occasionally, birds fly across the path of the spinning turbine blades and are killed.

Wind Power

What are the uses of wind?

  • Keeping us cool
  • Helping us breathe
  • Drying our clothes
  • Powering yachts and sailing ships
  • Grinding corn for flour
  • Pumping water
  • Producing energy through electricity turbines
  • Wind can be used for generating electricity using windmills. It is a form of solar energy, because the sun heats the air unevenly around the earth.
  • the purpose of wind is for us humans, animals and plants to survive without wind we all will die .
  • blows.
  • Use it to run wind-powered objects, or to create electricity. For instance, windmills.
  • If there was no wind then there would not be any tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. If there was not any wind then there would not be a jet stream and flights would be longer.
  • They move air from one place to another.
  • Wind doesn't necessarily have a use... it blows. and causes disaster.
  • Wind can become energy or what's called electricity, and wind energy doesn't pollute the Earth, and some scientists say it's very safe, cheap and clean.
  • lots of things
  • entertainment, electricity, travel
  • we use big turbines to make the wind into electricity
  • we use sails on boats to use it for travelling
  • we fly kites for entertainment
  • and much more =]
  • You can use wind by cooling objects
  • winds help electricity to run appliances or other uses
  • wind is usually used rural

to make power, cool people and make electricity
Environmental Issues
Wind Power

How much energy can one wind turbine generate in one day?

An average onshore wind turbine with a capacity of 2.5-3 MW can produce more than 6 million kWh in a year.

Wind Power

How do you install a residential wind generator?

Many residential wind generators are relatively simple to install, but in many cases it is best to hire an electrician. The process can take up to four days and it is best to very carefully follow the instructions that come with the product.

Renewable Energy
Wind Power

Is geothermal energy cheaper than wind energy?

In short: no.

Geothermal energy harnessing is still in its infancy compared to wind energy, and therefore, more expensive. Overall geothermal energy has been done on a very small scale, but technological breakthroughs need to occur before it can be successfully worldwide.

Then again, with the U.S. energy industry being deregulated, wind energy can be more expensive than other energy types. For instance, when I lived in western Arkansas, I used OG&E as my energy provider, and they offered wind power for just 4.5 cents per kilowatt hour, which was half of a conventional plan. In Texas, providers generally charge 2 cents MORE per kilowatt hour for using purely wind power than conventional.

Renewable Energy
Wind Power

Where is the world's smallest wind turbine?

the smallest turbine is in thatipur

Meteorology and Weather
Wind Power

What does a wind vane look like?

A chicken/rooster with N-E-S-W on it.

Simplest wind direction indicator could be just a piece of string hanging from a nail.

But... simplest wind *vane* would be a horizontal rod balanced at and freely rotating around a vertical axis. One end of the rod has a thin, stiff vertical vane wider than the rod. It looks like a side ways stick with a stiff up and down flap at one end, that sick is on top of an up and down stick which is close to the middle of the side ways stick. Wind pushes against the vane and turns the stick so the vane is in opposite direction from where wind is coming from.

A wind vane can have other useful and decorative additions. The simplest is to paint the end or the vane so it can be seen easier. Many vanes look like an arrow with the vane with a shallow V shaped notch at its free end and an arrow head at the other end of rod, the head has to be smaller than the vane or the wind will push on it instead. The head and vane can be different colors. Below the arrow a horizontal non moving 4 armed cross with letters indicating the appropriate direction may be secured to the vertical support. Many vanes have a decorative feature on top of the horizontal rotating rod. The decoration is usually a thin vertical silhouette and has to be placed so as not to interfere with action of the vane. A rooster is a traditional and well known image but others are used, horse breeders may use a horse, dog breeders a dog, fishermen a fish etc. or some fanciful image with no real meaning can be used.

The arrow shaped rod with a rooster on top and above the directional cross piece is the traditional stereotypical American wind vane.

Some vanes have a propeller on one end as the wind catcher or a small one on end opposite the wind catcher.

The smaller or arrow end of a vane points in the direction the wind is coming from and winds are named for that direction. A North wind comes from the North. An ill wind blows no one any good, can come from any direction and can rarely be identified by a wind vane in time to prepare for it anyway.

I coulda saved a lot of time by telling you to go to Google Images. But I wouldn't have had as much fun trying to describe a windvane.

Meteorology and Weather
Wind Power

What wind speed is required to Flip A Keeled Sailboat?

Generally speaking wind is not the only ingredient in a full capsize, a boat may be heeled over perhaps to a point where the mast may almost touch the water, at this point the force of right moment in the weight of the keel takes over to keep it from capsizing, also as the mast goes farther over the wind begins to spill off the top of the mast, reducing the forces on the mast and tendancy for a complete capsize. Large waves, especially breaking waves will have more of an effect on flipping a keeled sailboat that perhaps becoming beam or sideways to the waves .

Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning
Wind Power

Is using ceiling fans and the air conditioner at the same time cost efficient or a waste of energy?

Unless you are using an electronic air filter that requires a continuous stream of air, you're better off setting your unit's fan on "auto" and using ceiling fans in occupied rooms.


Be-Cool Expert

Ceiling fans are definitely not a waste of energy.

Ceiling fans use very little electricity. Use them to circulate air in the house, to make the house feel cooler. By doing this, the thermostat setting for your air conditioner can be raised to 85°F, and still maintain the same comfort as the lower setting.

[From The Home Energy Saver a webpage from the Berkeley Lab website.]

If you only use ceiling fans in the rooms that you are in, then it will save a bundle. Just remember to turn the fans off when you leave a room. You can also buy motion sensors that will turn lights or fans on automatically.

Wind Power

How does wind power generate electricity?

Wind energy (Kinetic) is transformed into electrical energy (Potential) with the use of a turbine-generator. The wind turns the blades of a wind turbine. These blades then turn a generator, something which uses magnets (specifically magnetic flux) to create electrical energy. As electrical energy is a form of Potential energy, the energy has been converted from Kinetic energy (the turning of the blades) into Potential energy (also known as "voltage") by the generator.

More details

A generator is a coil of wire surrounded by magnets. When the coil spins or the magnets spin, electricity is created. You need something to cause it to spin. In your car the gas engine does. At a hydro-electric dam, falling water that drives the turbines' blades. At a coal-fired power plant, expanding steam drives the turbines which in turn drive the generators. And in a wind generator, the wind turning the propeller blades drive the generator.

A wind generator makes electricity just like any generator: the fan blades drive a turbine which turns the generator. The amount of power (wattage) produced depends on several things including the speed of the wind, the size of the propeller blades and the size of the generator.

It is the same process, just a different power source.

A wind turbine - as any turbine, is an energy converter. It converts wind energy into mechanical energy and then electrical energy. Some so-called direct-drive turbines use magnets to keep it running even when there's no wind. Now direct-drive turbines are used. The number of blades do not matter (too many blades = too much turbulence), The span of the blades make more power. That's the smarter way to make more power. In 1985 blades had a span of 30 ft. Now they get to over 200 ft.

Meteorology and Weather
Wind Power

Who invented the wind vane?

In America, the first recorded weather vane maker, Shem Drowne of Boston, began hammering out silhouettes in the early 1700s. Soon, weather vanes were popping up all over the Colonies.
shem drwne invented the first wind vane (recorded in the us)
Wind vanes have been known for milennia, who first though of the idea is not known.

From Wikipedia:

The Tower of the Winds on the ancient Roman agora in Athens once bore on its roof a wind vane in the form of a bronze Triton holding a rod in his outstretched hand, rotating as the wind changed direction. Below, the frieze was adorned with the eight wind deities. The eight metre high structure also featured sundials, and a water clock inside dates from around 50 BC. The wind vane evolved from a Triton to a weathercock as the Roman Empire converted to Christianity. Many churches have a weathercock on the tower or spire. The cock refers to the fall of St Peter and to intimate the necessity for watchfulness and humility.

Mechanical Engineering
Wind Power

What is difference between kaplan turbine and propeller turbine?

The difference between the two turbines is that in the pitch of the blades can be changed in the Kaplan in order to improve the results of the process, unlike the Propeller turbine, which is not capable of that.

Wind Power

Can windmills grind flour?

Some windmills were made to grind flour others were made for other purposes.

Wind Power
Alchemy Classic

Where are wind turbines located?

Most wind turbines are located in Australia as of 2010. There are many other places which use wind tubines but Texas is the main source.

Wind turbines can be located anywhere there is enough room to place them and no danger to populace.

The preferred locations are sufficiently windy and have largely constant winds, e.g. exposed high areas, like hills or small mountains or coastal areas, some wind turbines are even placed off the coast.

The limiting factors in the placement of wind turbines are the price and ease of transport to that area, the infastructure of the area and assembling the turbines.

Wind Power

What would happen if there were no wind turbines?

We wouldn't have any wind energy!

Wind Power

What does incomplete burning of wood make?



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