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Windmill Research

By: Alyssa Regner

Did you know that wind energy produces enough electricity in one day to power more than 9.7 million homes? It is
also estimated that wind power in the United States will get rid of about 62 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Knowing that windmills can produce a lot of energy and electricity for people and their homes, why dont we have more of
these in the United States? It may be because certain places dont have enough flat surface or wind that is strong enough to
keep them moving continuously. Lots of information needs to be known before a windmill is even built and put together.
There are five very broad parts of a wind turbine. Those are the tower, nacelle, transformer, rotor and the
foundation. Inside of each of those parts of the turbine are different individual parts that help that part of the turbine work
Six parts make up the tower. Those are the cables, ladder, controller, lamps, flange and platform. Each of these
parts in the tower have their own job as being part of the tower. Cables are where the electricity is conducted through and
the current must be fed into the electrical grid when the generator makes electricity. The ladder is there so that you can
climb up and down throughout the tower. The ladder is positioned so that you can rest your back on the wall if you get tired
on your way up or down. The controller is a computer which checks that everything works how it is supposed to. If a part
breaks down, the controller will call a computer at the wind turbine owners house to report the problem. The lamps are (of
course) so that you can see inside of the tower since there are not any windows. Lastly, the platform is a stable flat area
where you can rest on at different levels of the tower.
There are twelve parts that make up the nacelle. They are the rotor, gearbox, generator, yaw motor, anemometer,
mechanical brake, main shaft, yaw bearing, radiator, controller, wind vane and small shaft. Each of these parts also have
their own function, except in the nacelle section of the wind turbine. The Rotor is connected to the main shaft. It consists of
three blades which catch the wind. The wind will turn the rotor if there is enough wind. The rotor turns with approximately
22 RPM, the generator has to turn 1,500 RPM. The gearbox is what converts the 22 revolutions to the 1,500 revolutions. The
Generator makes electricity when it turns. The current is sent down through the tower in large electricity cables. The yaw
motor turns the nacelle so that the rotor faces the wind. The motor has a cam wheel which fits into the large yaw bearing
cam wheel. The controller tells the yaw motor when to turn the nacelle. The anemometer measures the wind speed. It sends
information about the wind speed to the controller all the time. The Mechanical Brake is used when the wind turbine has to
be repaired or it has to be serviced. It ensures that the rotor will not start running. The main shaft- the rotor turns the large
shaft. The shaft is connected to the gearbox. The rotor uses a large force to turn the shaft. Therefore, the shaft has to be
very thick. The saw bearing is the large cam wheel is mounted onto the tower. The cam wheel of the yaw motor engages the
large cam wheel and turns the nacelle with the rotor in the wind. The radiator cools the water that is needed for the
generator. Since the generator is running, it gets hot. In some wind turbines, the generator is cooled by water. The radiator
is what cools that water. Lastly, the controller is a computer that controls the lots of parts of the wind turbine. The controller
yaws the nacelle against the wind and allows the wind turbine rotor to start when the anemometer tells it that there is
enough wind. The wind vane turns from the wind. The wind vane tells the controller where the wind comes from. The
controller then tells the yaw motor to turn the rotor up against the wind. The small shaft leads the power from the gearbox
to the generator. The small shaft runs very quickly at about 1,500 RPM.