Wind turbines work by converting kinetic energy--the energy of motion--produced by the wind into mechanical power and electricity. The electricity produced can be used for large applications such as powering grain and water pumps, or smaller jobs such as providing power for residential homes.
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A wind turbine works like a fan in reverse. Wind causes the blades of a turbine to spin a shaft connected to a generator and electricity is produced.
Wind Turbines and Home Electricity
According to the American Wind Energy Association, a residential wind turbine normally will save homeowners 50 to 90 per cent on electricity bills.
Wind turbines of 100 kilowatts and higher--up to several megawatts--are used for utility purposes, and small, single turbines less than 100 kilowatts are for residential use.
The two types of wind turbines are horizontal-axis and vertical-axis. Horizontal-axis wind turbines have two or three blades that work by facing upwind and vertical-axis turbines have an eggbeater shape.
The American Wind Energy Association states that one residential wind turbine can offset 1.2 tons of air pollution and 200 tons of greenhouse gases over lifetime use.
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