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What is an Electric Windmill?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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An electric windmill is a windmill that is used to produce an electrical current through the use of a wind turbine. The relatively new technology offers some promise, especially in windy areas, or at least in areas with a steady wind. It can take a wind speed of less than 10 mph (16 kph) to generate enough rotation to produce a steady stream of electricity.

The electric windmill comes in two different types. A smaller electric windmill is used to generate power for a single building, usually a private residence. The larger electric windmill can be used on a commercial scale to produce vast amounts of electricity.

An electric windmill works by using the energy available in wind. The wind runs over the blades, which forces them to rotate. A shaft connected to the blades turns gears inside the windmill, which in turn spins a magnetic rotor. This causes electromagnetic induction to take place, which produces an electrical current that can either be stored or placed on an electrical grid for transmission to another destination.

When multiple electric windmills are used, they are normally in a geographically isolated area and put very close together. These are known as wind farms. While they may not generate as much power as traditional electrical generation stations, the energy they do produce is considered some of the most environmentally friendly.

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The United States and Germany lead the world in electric windmill generation. The United States takes second in the category, but is quickly expanding its use of wind power. The largest wind farm in the United States is known as the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Texas and produces more than 750 megawatts. This produces far more energy than many single coal-fired power plants in the United States. However, it takes a tremendous amount of land area to do so.

The home electric windmill is another source of electricity that produces far less energy, but can substantially cut down on a home's energy bill. In some cases, if an electric windmill produces more energy than a home requires, that energy is put back on the electrical grid and bought by the servicing utility company. However, in most cases it will be difficult to achieve a net profit over a month's time. Any energy put onto the grid is usually not paid in cash, but rather sold as a credit on the customer's bill.

While there are many benefits to using electric windmills, there are a number of criticisms over the inventions as well. Some complain about the aesthetics of the large turbines. Others say they produce too much noise. Some say they create hazards for birds, which often cannot see the turbines or do not know to avoid them, especially when flying at night. Still, it is a form of energy production that produces no pollution and does not contribute to the production of greenhouse gasses.

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Discuss this Article

anon151639
Post 7

Anybody would like to give me information on how a windmill makes electricity as i have to give a presentation on it.

anon150564
Post 6

Nice post. Lots of ideas to have, thank you for sharing.

youbiKan
Post 5

I think that investing into solar electric options is a better way to go then using an electric windmill. Wind electric power is very useful but a much greater deal of power actually comes from the sun. When we consider the physics behind such a concept then one can think that they should probably invest in an energy infrastructure that supports this notion.

Wind farms have been shown to be profitable but solar plants are often more so. This doesn't mean that we need to completely discontinue our research and efforts into harvesting wind energy but it does mean that we must keep reality in mind when determining the future of our energy dependence and the policies that come with it.

IceCarver
Post 4

One very interesting thing about wind energy is that it can be captured even on a small scale and still have a decent amount of power output capability.

As someone who lives off of the power grid, I believe that it is important to understand exactly where you power comes from and to be conscious of the power consumption you have as a person on this Earth. Because I strive to be energy independent I have looked at many different types of alternative energy sources that can actually be utilized by people that have their own property and homesteads.

The construction of a basic windmill is very simple. You can actually make your own wind powered energy source

from some very basic tools and components. Using a car alternator as the generating motor, the use of a windmill can be as simple as hooking up this alternator onto a tower with a propeller from an old airplane or a special constructed wind prop that can power the alternator.

There are a few different electronic parts that can be added to such a system that will make it more efficient but for the most part your work into building a windmill can be kept to a minimum.

summertime
Post 3

Unlike what Burlap thinks in his analysis of what will be a viable option to creating energy independence, I don't think that we will ever have the ability to overcome the need for more advanced energy technologies such as coal, petroleum and nuclear power.

Until we can find an actual alternative source, we can't rely on the fact that this very basic energy producer such as wind will ever compensate for the massive needs of energy that we now have in our industrialized world. I hope I don't sound like to much of a pessimist but the reality exists that wind power alone cannot makeup for the major use of coal power that we have in the United States and in most places in the world.

Burlap
Post 2

I think that the creation of the electric windmill and the implementation of their use into many parts of our electrical grid will result in saving of our energy crisis. While wind power alone may not solve this global issue by itself, the combination of this green industrial strength and other types of renewable energy resources will be what saves the day.

I think that it will actually require a major transition in the way that the public sees the use of renewable energies in order to illicit a strong response to this major problem. When people open their thoughts and concepts of what can produce power to the amazing nature of wind power, then and only then will we be able to make a significant advancement forward.

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