In reality though we can go much deeper than that without getting too complicated; it's all about the physics of capturing the wind. To cover the topic well we need to talk about two elements. First we need to cover how wind energy is captured. From there we need to talk about how that kinetic energy is turned into usable electricity.
How a Wind Turbine Works - Capturing the Wind
To start out we need to cover one simple idea. A wind turbine captures the forward force of the wind and then uses that force to turn the blades. What's really happening here is that we're taking the forward momentum of the wind, and turning it into a sideways push to turn the blades. The blade design of your wind turbine is actually what's responsible from this transfer of energy. By using a tilted or a curved blade (usually both tilted and curved), the wind is deflected in such a way that the wind pushes it sideways and in turn turns the blade.
Of course we also need to talk about the tailpiece of your turbine. Without one the sideways force exerted by the curve of your blades would turn the entire turbine assemble rather than just the blades. While the wind pushes sideways on your blades to turn then, it's also flowing directly allow the tailpiece which keeps the assembly facing the wind and allows your blades to turn freely.
How Wind Turbines Works - Turning Wind Energy into Electricity
Once we understand the basics of how the wind exerts force to turn the blades, we also need to talk about how the electricity is produced. Behind the blade assembly is a rotor, which is attached to a shaft, which in turn is attached to your wind generator. In most residential applications the wind generator is something as simple as a DC motor.
If you understand the basics of electricity, then you would know that by rotating magnets around a conductor you produce electricity. Essentially this is what a DC motor is. It consists of magnets which are able to rotate around a conductive center. As your turbine blades rotate in the wind the shaft rotates your magnets in your DC motor which produces usable electricity. In a nutshell this is wind turbines work, and although we've only taken a basic look at the physics behind it all, you now have a better understanding of how to capture the wind to power you home.
Article Source: How a Wind Turbine Works
DIY Solar Panels and Windmills Building Guides
Earth 4 Energy - Make your own solar panels or wind turbine. More info here
Home Made Power Plant - There are some other guides for DIY wind and solar generators, but all of those that I've read don't get into the same details. More info here
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