As you may or may not know, air is a fluid, which means that like other fluids (for example: water) air can be made to do work. One of the most rewarding treats we can receive for the wind's work is energy. If you're thinking of buying one of the homes that come with their own wind power systems, or of setting one up on your own property, you should fist learn more about how they work and what you can expect from them.

Air that is moving has kinetic energy, so really all wind turbines do is convert the energy that is already in the air into another form of energy - electricity. The wind blows and any obstacle in its path, such as the blades of wind turbines mounted on the roofs of condos, are pushed along its direction of travel. By mounting the turbine blades to a central axis, the wind makes the turbine spin. The turbine's rotational energy is then transferred, through a series of gears, to a magnet, which is turned inside a coil of wire to generate alternating current electricity.

Generating electricity through wind turbines has many advantages. It doesn't produce harmful greenhouse, it's renewable, and it's cheaper to operate once the initial outlay to install the system in your home is made. If you invest in a home system, you save money off your power bill and can be proud of yourself for helping the environment.

The important thing to remember about wind turbine power, however, is that it's variable. The wind doesn't blow all the time, therefore you will not have power all the time. The power produced by the wind must be used immediately, as wind turbine systems cannot store electricity for later use. Therefore you cannot rely solely on wind power unless you've got enough connected turbines in different wind zones that the probability is low there will ever be a gap.

Wind turbines differ from windmills in their output, as windmills use the wind's energy to power a mechanical process like grinding wheat or pumping water. Your experienced real estate agent may not be able to make this distinction so when you're looking at houses make sure you verify for yourself whether it's a windmill or a wind turbine that the property comes with. If it's a windmill, it is possible to convert it to electricity generation, but there will be additional cost. Wind turbines themselves come in many shapes, but by far the most popular is the horizontal axis type that looks like an airplane propeller on a stick.

Copyright (c) 2008 -