How Do Windmills Work? - Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 What Are Windmills?
  • 0:43 Why Are Windmills Important?
  • 1:17 How Do Windmills Work?
  • 2:30 Where Are Windmills Located?
  • 3:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tiffany Hightower

Tiffany is a certified elementary school teacher. She has a B.A. in English, education certification and a master's degree in education from Central Michigan University.

Windmills provide an important source of electricity using wind power. In this lesson, you'll learn what windmills are, why they are important, and how they work. Check out this lesson to explore interesting facts about windmills.

What Are Windmills?

Have you ever used a fan at home when it gets too hot? It has blades that spin around to produce wind to cool you off. Well, a windmill looks similar to a fan, but it's much larger and operates differently.

Windmills are also called wind turbines, are large structures that produce electricity from wind power. Windmills are located outside and look like tall poles with blades at the top. The poles of windmills can be 200 to 300 feet tall. The blades are usually over 100 feet long. Therefore, windmills can be as tall as 400 feet or more, which is as tall as some skyscrapers!

Why Are Windmills Important?

Windmills are very important since they provide a way to produce electricity without causing pollution, which is a healthier option for us and for the earth. Wind power is also a renewable resource. This means that it will continue to be available on Earth since wind is constantly produced. Windmills are very useful and have been around for over 500 years.

Wind power is a great option compared to nonrenewable resources such as coal and oil. Coal and oil are gone once they are used, only exist in limited supply on Earth, and can cause pollution.

How Do Windmills Work?

When you use your computer or watch television, you plug them into a socket to get electricity to give them power. Windmills work in reverse: instead of plugging a windmill in to get power, it actually makes power, or electricity, from wind.

Windmills create electricity through a series of steps. These steps involve multiple parts of the windmill: the wind, blades, rotor, shaft, and generator. Let's take a closer look at how these parts work together:

Step 1: Windmills are built with enormous blades. When powerful gusts of wind move past these blades, it causes them to turn and move in a circular motion.

Step 2: The blades are built around a part known as a rotor. The rotor also turns as the blades move.

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