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Difference between Windmill and Wind Turbine
The energy of flowing wind is a versatile source of renewable and sustainable energy. In practice, people use the terms Windmill and Wind Turbine interchangeably, but these two terms are different from each other.
Windmill and wind turbines are different from each other in structure and application.
Windmill is a technology in which energy of wind is used to mill grains, moving water, driving machines, etc.
On the other hand, a wind turbine converts the wind energy into electrical energy by driving a generator connected to it.
In this article, we will discuss all the noticeable differences between wind mills and wind turbines. Let's start with some basics of windmill and wind turbine so that it becomes easy to understand the differences between them.
What is a Windmill?
A windmill is a device which converts energy of flowing wind into mechanical energy (rotational energy) with the help of blades. The windmill is an old method of energy conversion. The mechanical energy produced by the windmill is used in different applications like grinding grains, pumping water, driving machines, etc.
What is a Wind Turbine?
A wind turbine is a device which converts the kinetic energy of wind into electrical energy. The wind turbine consists of blades that are rotated by the force of wind, and then the turbine drives a generator to generate electricity.
The wind turbine is a renewable method of electricity generation. The wind turbine technology of electric power generation is one of the most reliable, clean and inexpensive technologies used for generation of large amount of electrical power. The wind turbines do not cause pollution in the environment for power generation. Therefore, the wind turbines are widely used in hill areas for power generation for homes and commercial purposes.
Difference between Windmill and Wind Turbine
Both these technologies convert the kinetic energy of wind into other forms of energy. However, there are several differences between them that are highlighted in the following table:
|Basis of Difference||Windmill||Wind Turbine|
|Definition||A windmill is a wind-powered machine which converts the kinetic energy of wind into rotational mechanical energy.||A wind turbine is a wind-powered machine which uses the kinetic energy of wind for the generation of electrical energy.|
|Construction||A windmill consists of enormous blades that move in a circular motion by the force exerted by the blowing wind.||A typical wind turbine usually consists of two or three blades which are rotated by the force of blowing wind.|
|Working principle||The working of a windmill is based on the pressure difference created by the blowing wind.||The working of the wind turbine is based on the principle of lift and drag forces, which operate the blades of the turbine.|
|Working||The blades of windmill spin a rotor shaft. The rotor shaft is further connected to a machine such as flour mill, water pump, etc. and hence drives the machine.||The blades of the wind turbine are connected to a rotor which in turn connected to a main rotor shaft. At the other end, the main shaft is connected to a generator which produces electricity when the blowing wind spins the turbine.|
|Main components||The main parts of a windmill are rotor blades, rotor shaft and a machine to be driven.||The main parts of a wind turbine are rotor blades, rotor shaft, gear box, generator.|
|Main purpose||Windmills are mainly used for generation of mechanical power to do physical work.||Wind turbines are mainly used for generation of electricity.|
|Applications||Windmills are used for grinding grains, pumping water, driving machines, crushing rocks, shredding agriculture materials, etc.||Wind turbines are primarily used to generate electricity for domestic and commercial purposes.|
People use these terms "Wind Mill" and "Wind Turbine" in the same sense, but they are distinctly different from each other. The most significant difference between a Windmill and a Wind Turbine is that a Windmill converts the kinetic energy of blowing wind into mechanical energy, while a Wind Turbine converts the kinetic energy of blowing wind into electrical energy.
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