When driving by a wind turbine farm, it’s impossible not to marvel at the sheer size and power of these machines.
Although the science may seem modern, the concept has been around for millenniums. Its predecessor, the simple windmill, can be traced as far back as 200 BC, when it was used for simple farming like grinding grain and drawing water.
Not until 1888 did the first electricity-producing wind turbine come to the US. Today wind energy powers everything from neighborhoods to schools to telecom towers. The machines supply about 4.5 percent of the electricity in the US. And while that may seem small, it’s equivalent to about 15.5 million US homes.
Here’s a brief infographic by Charles Cook at Save On Energy.com that shows what keeps the massive propellers in motion.