FAQs about Wind Power

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3. What is a wind turbine and how does it work?

A wind turbine is an artifact equipped with a tower between 40 and 80 meters high and up to four or more meters in diameter at its base, on top of which the gondola is placed, a kind of cabin somewhat larger than a small truck. In the gondola go most of the equipment involved in the wind process. The three-blade or paddle mill, about 20 meters or more, is attached to its nose. The wind vane and the anemometer are located on the tail, which determine the direction and speed of the wind. This information is processed and stored in a computer that helps to rotate the mill and its blades according to the conditions of the moment. Wind energy only operates with horizontal currents since the vertical ones do not have the dynamic energy necessary for their use.

The mill captures the kinetic energy produced by the air currents and transmit it by means of a rotor to a multiplier, like the gearbox of a car. The multiplier spins the high-speed axis 50 times faster than the low-speed axis. In this way the kinetic energy of the wind is transformed into mechanical energy. Since 2011, wind turbines have been installed using magnetos instead of a multiplier. The next step is to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, which is done by a generator that rotates at 1500 rpm. Once the electricity is obtained, it is driven by the cables attached to the wall of the tower. The direct current is converted into alternating current by means of a transformer to finally pass to power the electrical network.

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