wind turbine (1)

GC: n

CT: Wind turbines operate on a simple principle. The energy in the wind turns two or three propeller-like blades around a rotor. The rotor is connected to the main shaft, which spins a generator to create electricity.
So how do wind turbines make electricity? Simply stated, a wind turbine works the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity.
Wind is a form of solar energy and is a result of the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and the rotation of the earth. Wind flow patterns and speeds vary greatly across the United States and are modified by bodies of water, vegetation, and differences in terrain. Humans use this wind flow, or motion energy, for many purposes: sailing, flying a kite, and even generating electricity.
The terms wind energy or wind power describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity.

S: (last access: 12 December 2014)

N: 1. wind (n): “air in motion,” Old English wind “wind,” from Proto-Germanic windaz (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Dutch wind, Old Norse vindr, Old High German wind, German Wind, Gothic winds), from PIE we-nt-o- “blowing,” from root we- “to blow”.
turbine (n): 1838, from French turbine (19c.), from Latin turbinem (nominative turbo) “spinning top, eddy, whirlwind, that which whirls,” related to turba “turmoil, crowd”. Originally applied to a wheel spinning on a vertical axis driven by falling water. Turbo in reference to gas turbine engines is attested from 1904.
2. The term “wind turbine” has two meanings:

  • a tall structure that has large blades attached to an engine and that is used to produce electricity.
  • a wind-driven turbine for generating electricity.

3. A wind turbine that produces electricity is called more specifically a wind (power) generator or aerogenerator.
aerogenerator: An installation in which the rotor of a wind turbine is coupled to an electric generator W.E.C.S. (current used term in USA).
4. As a rule, a wind turbine (or windmill) is any type of wind converting machine, whether the kinetic energy (wind power) is used directly, like for pumping water, or converted into heat or electrical power.
5. Strictly speaking, a “windmill” is used for milling (grain grinding, etc.) and not for the production of electricity or water pumping. But, being short and evocative the word tends to be used to describe what is properly called any one of the following: wind generator, wind driven turbine, wind plant and wind machine, to mention but a few.
Windmills function similarly to wind turbines, and ancient cultures had both horizontal-axis windmills and vertical-axis windmills. In fact, the only difference between windmills and wind turbines is in how the energy they harness is used. Wind turbines generate electricity. Windmills were originally designed to grind (mill) grain and pump water.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 12 December 2014). 2. MW – (last access: 12 December 2014). 3. TERMIUM PLUS; EEP – (last access: 12 December 2014). 5. TERMIUM PLUS; (last access: 12 December 2014); (last access: 12 December 2014); MO.

SYN: 1. wind generator, wind turbine generator, WTG, windpower generator, wind-driven generator, aerogenerator (Europe), aero-generator, air generator, aero-electric generator (less frequent), aeroturbine (less frequent), wind dynamo, wind-generating unit. 2. aerogenerator, wind-power generator, wind dynamo, Wind Energy Conversion System (US). 3. aerogenerator turbine, aerogenerator wind turbine.

S: 1. TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 13 December 2014). 2. EEP – (last access: 12 December 2014). 3. (last access: 13 December 2014); (last access: 13 December 2014).

CR: aeolian, [multibladed windmill], nacelle, rotor , wind energy, windmill, windmill park, wind turbine (2), yaw.