androidCreated with Sketch. angle-left2Created with Sketch. angle-right2Created with Sketch. appleCreated with Sketch. blogCreated with Sketch. envelopeCreated with Sketch. facebookCreated with Sketch. github_24 Icon/contact/chat/ic_chat_24Created with Sketch. Icon/electricity/electricity/ic_electricity_24Created with Sketch. Icon/energy/ic_energy_24Created with Sketch. Icon/gas/gas/ic_gas_24Created with Sketch. Icon/home/ic_home_24Created with Sketch. Icon/lost-search/ic_lost-search_24Created with Sketch. Icon/device/phone/ic_phone_24Created with Sketch. ic_solid-arrow-left_24 ic_solid-arrow-right_24 ic_spinner_24 Icon/profile/ic_username_24Created with Sketch. cabCreated with Sketch. calculatorCreated with Sketch. credit-cardCreated with Sketch. envelopeCreated with Sketch. folder-openCreated with Sketch. homeCreated with Sketch. laptopCreated with Sketch. ovoCreated with Sketch. pagelinesCreated with Sketch. phoneCreated with Sketch. smartmeterCreated with Sketch. toggle-onCreated with Sketch. linkedinCreated with Sketch. plusCreated with Sketch. stackoverflow_24 star2Created with Sketch. star-halfCreated with Sketch. twitterCreated with Sketch. youtubeCreated with Sketch. forum legacy-icon-communities-exit

How do wind turbines work?

Wind turbines are a form of renewable energy technology that harnesses the free power of the wind to create electricity.

OVO Energy how do wind turbines work

Turbines come in a variety of sizes, from small installations on the top of houses to enormous structures on hills and out to sea. A single larger turbine has the capacity to meet the demands of more than 1,000 homes over the course of a year (or power 28 million kettles!), and as the UK is the windiest country in Europe we’re well-placed to take advantage of wind power. 

But how do wind turbines work? Simply put, the blades of a turbine catch the wind. When the wind blows, the blades are moved around, driving a turbine which generates electricity. The stronger the wind, the more electricity is generated. This electricity can then be used for specific mechanical tasks (which is why some manufacturing plants and farms have their own turbines) or put through a generator and turned into electricity for use by homes and businesses.

Utility-scale turbines are often grouped together into wind farms which provide bulk power to the National Grid, while smaller pole-mounted or building-mounted turbines can be installed on houses to generate electricity in the home. People living in very windy areas are increasingly adopting this technology to help save money on their energy bills. 

It’s important that wind turbines are positioned carefully – they won’t generate energy if there’s no wind! A well-positioned wind turbine will produce electricity around 70-85% of the time, but generates different outputs depending on wind speed. Throughout the year a wind turbine will typically generate 30% of its theoretical maximum output, but this is known as the ‘load factor’. It doesn't sound like much, but conventional power stations have a load factor of around 50%, so it’s clear that wind power does have an important role to play in contributing to the UK’s energy mix.

Like most websites OVO Energy uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this site. Accept and Close