Since 1999, Denham has been using wind turbines & diesel generators from the Denham Wind Farm to supply electricity to the town and nearby areas. More than half of the town’s electricity is supplied by the wind turbines at the wind farm, reducing the amount of diesel fuel used at the power stations and significantly reducing the greenhouse emissions. Wind turbines produce power at a significantly lower rate than diesel and even better still it is a renewable resource.

Wind Turbines

Wind turbines are machines that use the wind to generate energy. The turbines are usually set on towers approximately 25-40m off the ground because wind velocity (speed) increases as altitude (height) increases. Wind turbines usually have three blades and are placed upwind so that the blades face the wind. The wind turns the blades, which spins a shaft which connects to a generator that creates electricity. The wind turbines at the Denham Wind Farm start producing power when winds reach 9km/hr and maximum output is reached when winds reach 47km/hr. The turbines will automatically shut down when winds reach over 90km/hr.

How It All Works

Denham Wind Farm, Western AustraliaThere are four main parts to a wind turbine the blades, nacelle, the tower and the base. The blades on modern wind turbines are designed like airplane wings and use “lift” to capture the wind’s energy. The blade design enables the wind to create a pocket of pressure as it passes behind the blade. The pressure pulls the blade in order for the turbine to rotate, unlike windmills which use “drag”, where the wind pushes against the blades in order for them to spin. The “lift” method captures the wind’s energy more efficiently. Once the blades begin to rotate they spin a generator in the nacelle. The nacelle is where the generator and gearbox is located. The blades are attached to the generator through a series of gears. As the generator spins, electricity is produced. The tower supports the nacelle and contains the electrical conduits (pipes). At the Denham Wind Farm maintenance for the nacelle is done via the tower which has a ladder running up the inside. The base supports the whole structure and is made of concrete and steel.