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The wind turbine, also called a windmill, is a means of harnessing the kinetic energy of the wind and converting it into electrical energy. This is accomplished by turning blades called aerofoils, which drive a shaft, which drive a motor (turbine) and ar e connected to a generator. "It is estimated that the total power capacity of winds surrounding the earth is 1 x 1011 Gigawatts" (Cheremisinoff 6). The total energy of the winds fluctuates from year to year. Windmill expert Richard Hills said that the wind really is a fickle source of power, with wind speeds to low or inconsistent for the windmill to be of practical use. However, that hasn't stopped windmill engineers from trying. Today, there are many kinds of windmills, some of which serve differen t functions. They are a complex alternative energy source.
What to consider when building a windmill In choosing where to build a windmill, there are many important factors to consider. First is the location: 1) Available wind energy is usually higher near the seacoast or coasts of very large lakes and offshore islands. 2) Available wind energy is gene rally high in the central plains region of the U.S. because of the wide expanses of level (low surface roughness) terrain. 3) Available wind energy is generally low throughout the Southeastern U.S. except for certain hills in the Appalachian and Blue Rid ge Mountains, the North Carolina coast, and the Southern tip of Florida. This is ...