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Wind power

What Are Wind Turbines?

Onshore wind turbines

Mankind is trying today to cut carbon emissions in every way possible to reduce the effects of climate change on the planet, and wind energy seems to be a main component of the transition towards clean sources of power.

To turn the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity we are using today very large wind turbines that are installed in open areas both onshore and offshore to harness this renewable resource day and night.

How Are Wind Turbines Produced and Installed?

The installation of a wind turbine starts with the foundation that consists of a steel framework covered with concrete.

The steel framework has the role to produce a reinforced concrete that can bear the weight of the tower, and also the strong winds in the area.


The foundation uses 131 feet long (40 meters) stakes that are driven through it and are fixed to the ground.

When the concrete is added to the foundation, the entire base will weigh over 1,000 tons.

The base section of the tower with a diameter of almost 20 feet (6 meters) is strong enough to bear the weight of the rest of the structure.

Fixing the last section of the tower (the fifth section) is the most challenging one, because the tower already reached a height of about 394 feet (120 meters).

Installing the Nacelle

The nacelle is the power house sitting on the top of the tower and this is the place where the kinetic power of the wind will be converted into clean electricity.

To attach the nacelle to the tower, a very tall crane is used and a couple of workers that are in good shape and not afraid of heights.

The very long blades of the turbine are made from plastic reinforced with layers of fiberglass sewn together by hand.

These lightweight materials (fiberglass and plastic) make the turbine blades very efficient.

Three blades are put together and lifted into place.

The blades of the turbine are connected to the rotor inside the nacelle, which is connected to an electric generator.

Modern pressure vessel steel 1.4913, X19CrMoNbVN11-1 is used to produce the disc and the rotor of the turbine.

The spinning turbine will turn the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy that will spin the shaft of generator to produce electricity.

The energy produced by the wind turbine will pass through a transformer to increase its voltage from 1,000 to 20,000 volts, and from there will be sent to a local substation and onto the main grid.

How is Wind Energy Paired with Other Sources of Power?

Being an intermittent source of power (the wind does not blow all the time), is difficult for a wind turbine to generate energy on the same scale as a power station burning fossil fuels.

This is the reason why the clean electricity produced by solar panels and wind turbines is often paired with low-carbon energy produced from fossil fuels (natural gas power plants).

Final thought

Pairing a renewable energy source (wind or solar) with a low-carbon energy source (natural gas) will ensure a constant supply of electricity for the grid.

Combining them will also ensure that the energy consumed in homes has a reduced impact on the environment.

Article written by:

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars. Danny Ovy

1 Comment

  1. Heather

    I got this website from my buddy who shared your article with our class group.
    Now we got here back and I see that you have many useful posts about fossil fuels and wind power.

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