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These are relatively small turbines: each one produces about 700k W of energy (enough to supply about 400 homes).The turbines are 79m (260ft) high (from the ground to the very top of the rotors) and the rotors themselves are 48.5m (159ft) in diameter.The blades have a special curved shape, similar to the airfoil wings on a plane.
This is not a drawback, however, but a deliberate feature of their design that allows them to work very efficiently in ever-changing winds. Cars don't drive around at top speed all the time: a car's engine and gearbox power the wheels as quickly or slowly as we need to go according to the speed of the traffic.In practice, wind turbines use different types of generators that aren't very much like dynamos at all.(You can read about how they work, more generally, in our main article about generators.) If you've ever stood beneath a large wind turbine, you'll know that they are absolutely gigantic and mounted on incredibly high towers.Obviously, faster winds help too: if the wind blows twice as quickly, there's potentially eight times more energy available for a turbine to harvest.That's because the energy in wind is proportional to the cube of its speed.That's not really a problem, because there's usually plenty more wind following on behind!It is a problem if you want to build a wind farm: unless you're in a really windy place, you have to make sure each turbine is a good distance from the ones around it so it's not affected by them.Wind turbines are analogous: like cars, they're designed to work efficiently at a range of different speeds.A typical wind turbine nacelle is 85 meters (280 feet) off the ground—that's like 50 tall adults standing on one another's shoulders! If you've ever stood on a hill that's the tallest point for miles around, you'll know that wind travels much faster when it's clear of the buildings, trees, hills, and other obstructions at ground level.So if you put a turbine's rotor blades high in the air, they capture considerably more wind energy than they would lower down.(If you mount a wind turbine's rotor twice as high, it will usually make about a third more power.) And capturing energy is what wind turbines are all about.