How Windmills Work

A windmill is a machine that harnesses wind energy and uses it to create mechanical energy. The earliest were used to power mills for grinding harvested grains. Its later models were built to power water distribution systems and generate electricity.

The wind turns the blades of the windmill. The movement of the blades then powers the mechanics of a machine. The blades of electricity-generating windmills are connected to a drive shaft. This in turn runs an electric generator. The electricity is then sent through wires and can be distributed or stored for future use. These mills are also called wind turbines.

The mills are often situated higher than its surrounding structures so they can get free access to wind. If wind goes against solid structure, it can lose its power and momentum.

Mills can also be placed on top of mountains or on valleys. The mixture of hot and cold air creates moving air or wind. This process happens a lot near rising land masses. They are also placed near large bodies of water because they also generate moving air due to the difference in temperature generated by the sea and the sun.

The amount of electricity that can be made by a windmill depends upon the size of the structure. The bigger the windmill, the stronger it can drive the shaft and the greater the electricity it can generate. Small windmills or wind turbines can generate up to 100 kilowatts of energy or more, enough to power a single household. Windmill farms, which consist of hundreds of wind turbines like those found in Europe, can generate several megawatts of electricity that can power a whole community.

Further development of windmills is encouraged because it uses a renewable source of energy. However, problems may occur because the gusts can slack off. Inconsistent wind can cause a fluctuation in the generation of electricity. The location of the windmill is crucial because it makes sure that the mill can get access to the best wind resources possible.