Wind power refers to the conversion of the kinetic energy of wind into a useful form of energy used to complete work through mechanical energy or generate renewable electrical power. Wind power has been used by mankind for thousands of years a means of maritime propulsion, water pumping, and grain milling.
Wind power was one of the first technologies used in early industrialization to drive machinery used for food and material processing, textile manufacturing, and water pumping before being displaced by thermal fuels. Wind power’s resurgence to a relevant form of modern energy originated in the late nineteenth century with the invention of the wind turbine. Wind turbines form the basis for modern renewable wind energy and hold a common design of a rotor (wind turbine blades) and an electrical generator that uses rotational mechanical energy to create an electro magnetic field and generate an electrical current. Power generation from wind turbines became common in remote regions such as Scandinavia (Denmark), Scotland, and Russia since the early 20th century due to its early economical generation of power at “off-grid” locations without electrification. Wind power continues to be an effective model for distributed generation (DG) or power generation near individual points of electricity consumption, and is a leading distributed generation market technology along with reciprocating engines and solar panels.
Wind power is now commonly aggregated into collections of wind turbines known as wind farms, with individual turbine generating capacities approaching five megawatts (MW) and contributing to utility-scale power generation meeting a notable part of municipal, regional or even national energy demand. Small wind turbines with generating capacities of less than one kilowatt (kW) can be used to power “off-grid” or remote equipment installations, residences and facilities in un-electrified areas, and to provide distributed generation (DG) at a home, business or factory that generates electricity alongside central generation resources and grid-connected power plants.