Article

How Wind Energy Works

"Obviously there has to be a backup system because sometimes the wind just doesn`t blow or it`s very calm. There`s always a need for that baseline electricity," says Kim Christianson with the North Dakota Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

Drought shouldn`t affect one of our largest potential crops in the state. You`ve likely seen the beginning of the harvest. It`s done with wind turbines. Ever wonder how they capture the wind and turn it into energy?

Every time you turn on a light switch, that energy is coming from a generator operating somewhere on an electric grid. And though the energy is all the same in the end, some of it might come from the same wind you experience almost everyday. With 33 turbines, the field in Wilton is one of the largest wind energy producers in the state.

"The Wilton Wind Center north of [Bismarck] has a generating capacity of 49.5 megawatts, and to put that in perspective, that`s enough to power the needs of 15,000 average residential homes," says Daryl Hill with Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

The wind in the air turns into energy to power those homes whenever the blades rotate. They`ll start moving when the wind blows at just eight miles an hour, and make one revolution about every three seconds.

"The turbines then turn the gearbox, which speeds up that revolution to 1200-1600 RPM. That runs a generator that in turn produces the power," says Ron Rebenitsch with Basin Electric.

The power is fed into a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Drought shouldn`t affect one of our largest potential crops in the state. You`ve likely seen the beginning of the harvest. It`s done with wind turbines. Ever wonder how they capture the wind and turn it into energy?

Every time you turn on a light switch, that energy is coming from a generator operating somewhere on an electric grid. And though the energy is all the same in the end, some of it might come from the same wind you experience almost everyday. With 33 turbines, the field in Wilton is one of the largest wind energy producers in the state.

"The Wilton Wind Center north of [Bismarck] has a generating capacity of 49.5 megawatts, and to put that in perspective, that`s enough to power the needs of 15,000 average residential homes," says Daryl Hill with Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

The wind in the air turns into energy to power those homes whenever the blades rotate. They`ll start moving when the wind blows at just eight miles an hour, and make one revolution about every three seconds.

"The turbines then turn the gearbox, which speeds up that revolution to 1200-1600 RPM. That runs a generator that in turn produces the power," says Ron Rebenitsch with Basin Electric.

The power is fed into a grid and distributed through an electric company. Basin Electric contracted to buy and distribute all the energy produced from the Wilton field.

"We combine it with other electricity produced by other resources. Electricity is electricity no matter how it`s generated," Hill says.

Just a short time ago, very little electricity in the state came from wind. As the popularity of wind energy grows, so do the sizes of the fields, from small pioneer projects with one or two turbines, to large scale operations capable of producing nearly 50 megawatts of electricity.

"Obviously there has to be a backup system because sometimes the wind just doesn`t blow or it`s very calm. There`s always a need for that baseline electricity," says Kim Christianson with the North Dakota Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

North Dakota leads the nation with its available wind resource, meaning the wind energy industry is facing a bright future.
 


 


Source: http://www.kfyrtv.com/News_...

SEP 6 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/4385-how-wind-energy-works
back to top