We all feel the wind when we step outside. We long for it on hot days and want it to go away when we have great hair days. But the science behind how wind is made is important to understand before delving into the science of wind turbines.
The breezes we feel every day occur because of three natural phenomena happening in unison...
It’s caused by the perfect combination of the sun’s heat on the earth, the earth’s rotation, and the earth’s irregular terrain. As the planet spins and heats and cools, areas of high heat and pressure rush to the areas of low heat and pressure. This causes the air to move and the wind to happen.
So, what is a wind turbine?
Wind turbines take this moving air and turn it into electricity (it's one of our favorite sources of renewable energy). Most wind turbines you see towering over the landscape in wind farms have six main parts that work together to generate electricity.
The blades. Wind turbine blades are usually well over 100 feet long and, together, make up the propeller.
The hub. This is at the bullseye of the wind turbine blades.
The rotor. This is the collective combination of the blades and the hub.
The nacelle. This is also in the center of the propellers and houses the gearbox, generator, and wiring to help turn the wind energy into electricity.
The foundation. This keeps the entire skyscraping turbine in place by anchoring it to the ground.
The tower. This is what connects the hub and blades to the wind turbine’s foundation.
How does a wind turbine work?
The short answer is simple. Wind turbines work when the wind speed turns a propeller blade around a rotor that’s connected to a generator, creating electricity.
The not-so-simple explanation gets into the aerodynamics of it all.
When the wind blows the blades, the air pressure on one side of the curved blade increases as the other side decreases. This imbalance of airflow causes the blade to spin and kinetic energy to be created. The spinning of the blades also causes the rotor inside to rotate, which converts this kinetic energy into electricity that’s sent to the electric grid, making it greener, more diverse.
And at Rhythm, we love offering renewable electricity plans that use this science to power the grid with clean energy. From our Texas Breeze Plans to our Chapman Ranch Plans—which support wind power generated in Corpus Christi, Texas—switching to the wind power and cleaning up your energy is a breeze.