The Low Carbon Partnership

How wind turbines work

Wind turbines are designed to harness the energy in the lift forces of the wind and convert it to electricity.

Typically, a turbine consists of three aerodynamic rotor blades that turn in the wind and drive a generator to produce electricity. In grid-connected systems this is changed to AC/alternating current via an inverter and is fed into a building's mains network to supply power to electrical 'loads', e.g. lights, appliances.

Small-scale wind turbines can be mounted on free standing and wire tethered/guyed masts, or on the roofs of buildings. A wind turbine system will usually incorporate a monitor to show how much electricity is produced in kilowatts (kW).

In grid-connected systems, an export meter will enable excess energy to be sold to the mains electricity provider.

In off-grid systems the electricity is stored in batteries.

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