Q:

What is wind energy used for?

A:

Quick Answer

Wind energy is sometimes used to grind grain or pump water, but as of 2014, it is mostly used to generate electricity to power homes and businesses. Wind energy works by using turbines to take the kinetic energy of the wind and convert it into mechanical power.

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Full Answer

Wind turbines are typically constructed of two or three large blades that look like a propeller. The blades are connected to a rotor that is connected to a main shaft. When the wind blows, the blades turn all the connected items, producing electricity via the generator. Wind energy is delivered to the power grid just like coal, nuclear or solar energy and can be used wherever electricity is used. The use of wind power is finding broad acceptance as a clean and renewable energy source

Because wind is generated due to uneven heating in the earth’s atmosphere, wind energy can be considered a form of solar energy. One benefit of wind compared to solar is that the sun does not need to be shining for wind generation to occur. However, like solar, it is difficult to store wind energy, and wind isn't always available when electricity is most in demand.

Large turbines are typically placed in farms consisting of 10 to hundreds of turbines in windy locations. This grouping method allows for sharing of the power transmission lines and land area. Also, by placing large turbines in one location, it reduces the spread of noise and the visual impact that may concern people who live nearby.

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