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Topic – Using Wind to Produce Electricity

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Read about using wind to produce electricity, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Using Wind to Produce Electricity

People have used wind power for centuries. Early windmills turned grinding stones that crushed grain into flour. Today we use windmills to create electricity.

How Wind Turbines Work

You can think of a wind turbine as the opposite of a fan. A fan uses electricity to make its blades turn, and the turning blades produce moving air. A wind turbine uses moving air (wind) to turn its blades. The movement of the blades produces electricity.

1. Wind turns the windmill’s blades.

2. The blades turn the main shaft (rod) attached to them.

3. Gears in the gear box speed up the spinning motion. The second shaft then spins even faster. The faster the magnets spin, the more electricity is produced.

4. The turbine shaft and magnets spin very quickly inside the generator.

5. As the magnets spin, charge builds up in coils of copper wire. This creates electricity.

6. The electricity travels along wires to where it is needed.

Wind Farms

A wind farm is a place that has a lot of wind turbines. The area must be flat and open, with a lot of wind. A wind farm can be built over water, such as a lake or ocean.

Advantages of Wind Turbines

  create electricity

  do not create pollution

  many possible locations

Disadvantages of Wind Turbines

  noisy

  can be seen from quite far away

  turning blades can kill or injure birds and bats


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