What is a wind turbine?

Wind turbines generate electricity by harnessing the kinetic energy of the wind. The rotating blades of the turbine convert wind energy into mechanical energy, which is then used to generate electrical power by means of a generator. The average lifespan of a wind turbine is typically around 20-25 years.

Regular maintenance and upgrades can extend their operational life they are usually serviced twice a year, just like a car or a van. With routine checks to inspect their condition and to make sure there working to maximum efficiency.

What is a wind turbine made of?

The towers are mostly tubular and made of steel or concrete, generally painted light grey or white. The blades are made of fibreglass, reinforced polyester or wood-epoxy. They are light grey because it is inconspicuous under most lighting conditions. The finish is matt, to reduce reflected light. As turbines are most often seen against the sky, the idea behind painting them white/light grey is to make them as visually unobtrusive as possible.

It was also decided that turbines were to be painted in a bright colour to enable them to be detected easily by pilots. However, several makes of turbine have now started to paint the bottom half of the tower section green in further attempts to make them blend in with the countryside.

What happens to wind turbines in extreme weather conditions?

Wind turbines are designed to withstand a range of weather conditions, including high winds, lightning storms and extreme temperatures.

They are equipped with safety features and control systems to shut down or adjust their operations during bad weather.

How do wind turbines handle variable wind speeds?

Wind Turbines are equipped with pitch control and/or yaw mechanisms to optimize energy capture by adjusting the angle of the blades and the turbine's orientation, ensuring efficiency across a range of wind speeds.

Wind Turbine or Wind Mill?

Turbines for Power, Mills for Flour!
Wind mills work very similar to Wind Turbines they both have blades and harness the energy from the wind to allow the rotor to turn. This then provides energy for a part to rotate.

In a wind mill there is a churner to grind down wheat etc. Both can be turned to face the direction of the wind. Wind Mills are turned manually and Wind Turbines turn automatically to find the wind direction for maximum output of power. Sensors and electronics are used to do this.

Do you actually go all the way up top in them or is it just at the bottom you carry out work?

Yes! There is a vertical ladder all the way up to the top. Depending on the Wind Turbine type and model there will be a number of platforms as you ascend. Some even have lifts to take you from the bottom all the way to the top.

You can’t have a fear of heights and have to be physically fit to climb a variety of different tower heights. The average ones range from 30 up to 100 metres. Some of the new Wind Turbines being built are nearly 200 metres in height! The very top of the turbine is called the Nacelle this is where the Technicians spend most of their time carrying out routine maintenance work or fault finding.

Are wind turbines noisy?

The noise of wind turbines has been reduced significantly. Improved design has drastically reduced the noise of mechanical components so that the most audible sound is that of the wind interacting with the rotor blades.

This is similar to a light swishing sound, and much quieter than other types of modern-day equipment. Even in generally quiet rural areas, the sound of the blowing wind is often louder than the turbines.

How long does a wind turbine work for?

A wind turbine can continue producing energy for up to 20-25 years and can run for as long as 120, 000 hours throughout their life time.

During this time some parts may require replacing and at the end of their lives they can be decommissioned and replaced with new models within a few days.

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