How Wind Power Works
Actually, wind is dependent on solar energy. The phenomenon of wind arises when the sun unevenly heats land and water. When land heats up faster than water, expanding and contracting air is set in motion. In this way, atmospheric wind is perpetuated as the earth rotates.
Wind flow patterns are influenced by landforms, bodies of water, plant life, and man-made structures. In general, wind turbines operate best when wind flow is steady and laminar (straight). They work well in a wide-open area, clear of buildings and forest. In these conditions, most large wind turbines produce a maximum power output at an average wind speed of 33mph.
The diameter of the rotor determines how much electricity is possible to be generated by any given wind turbine model. The height at which a wind turbine is installed will also determine power generating potential.
Automatic "shut-off" mechanisms deactivate wind turbine generator operation in potentially hazardous high-wind situations (45mph+).