Can Wind Turbines Work When It Is Not Windy?

Nature suggests that nobody can predict the direction in which the wind is blowing.

Turbines work on the blades’ rotation principle when it is windy.

However, turbines can rotate on a windless day, but their turning cannot generate electricity.

It is important to note that it takes longer to slow down and eventually stop when the turbine has been set into motion.

Turbines can still turn when there is no wind but cannot work to generate enough power when it is not windy.

This article will explain whether turbines can work when it is not windy.

How Does Wind Turbine Work?

Wind turbines operate on the concept of wind-turning propeller blades embedded in a rotor.

The rotor spins a generator which produces the electricity.

The power generated from the wind turbine can be used as an alternative power source.


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Wind turbines can be constructed on open space – large or in large bodies like lakes and oceans.

The science behind wind turbines generating electricity proposes that wind turbines convert wind energy into electrical energy by the aerodynamic force that emanates from the rotor blades.

Interestingly, when the wind blows through the blades, the pressure difference is created between the blade’s sides.

This pressure difference causes the blades to spin.

The amount of wind entering the blades should equal the amount of wind leaving the blades.

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The rotor is connected directly to the generator or through a shaft.

Other turbines are designed to connect the rotor to the shaft, and a series of gears accelerate the blades.

The translation of the aerodynamic force due to the spinning of the blades leads to electricity generation.

Wind turbines cannot generate electricity when there is no wind.

They can spin but cannot create power.

The working principle of the wind turbine is also anchored on the principle of energy conversion.

The moving wind possesses kinetic energy.

This energy is converted to electrical power with the turbine as the transducer.


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The Size of the Wind Turbine

There are two major types of wind turbines, and they both depend on the wind to work.

Additionally, the size of the wind turbine determines the amount of electricity.

The electricity produced by small turbines can be used to power traffic signs and weather stations, charge batteries, and service other local needs.

Moreover, giant wind turbines are significant in providing alternative power to the communities around the power plant.

If the power generated by the turbine is in excess, it can be channeled to the national grid system.

A minimum wind speed is needed for the wind turbine to generate power.


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However, even a tiny breeze or wind can cause the blades to spin but can’t generate power.

Renewable energy experts opine that the location where the wind turbine is installed should have an average wind speed of about nine mph.

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Additionally, global wind turbine experts suggest that an average speed of 16-26 mph can generate much energy.

Wind turbines will drive without wind, but no power will be generated.

The blades are sensitive to any wind.

This makes them spin even when the amount of wind is unnoticeable.

Again, any little breeze is sufficient to drive the blades.

Due to the high sensitivity and effective rotation shafts, the wind turbine can continue to rotate long after the wind has stopped.

There are situations when wind turbines draw power from the grid and rotate.

This is only common during the winter season when gears and blades freeze.

Like any other machine, wind turbines can break and become malfunction.

They can turn but not produce enough electricity.

Why Wind Turbine Can Fail to Rotate

There are reasons why the wind turbine can fail to spin.

First, when there is no wind.

There are seasonal fluctuations in wind speed.

A time can come when there is no wind at all.

The installation site should be carefully evaluated to ensure the wind turbine is directly located in the path of the wind flow.

Secondly, when the wind velocity is too low.

The start-up speed should be met for the turbine to work.

Without wind, the turbine cannot work and generate electricity.

The experts should consider industrial specifications that would yield maximum output.

The wind speed plays a critical role in determining whether the turbine would rotate when a given amount of wind is detected.

Thirdly, when the turbine is repaired and not correctly fit, it can fail to rotate.

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The system operators should keenly inspect and conduct wind turbine routine maintenance to ensure it is effective and efficient.

Wear and take is another essential factor that would cause the wind turbine not to rotate.

It can lead to the turbine not working at full capacity.

Lastly, the intensity of the wind.

When the wind is too strong, it is dangerous to the machine and the people around it.

The system can intentionally be shut to avoid mechanical damage due to harsh weather conditions.

The wind turbine cannot work without wind.

This means that there is no wind and no electricity generator.

The choice of the quality of the wind turbine determines its effectiveness in all seasons.

For instance, when the temperature falls to -40 degrees, the turbine still spins, and electricity is produced if the following features are appropriately maintained.

  • Speed sensors
  • Moderated heaters
  • Efficient gearboxes
  • All time generators

The world is slowly gravitating towards green energy; therefore, the wind is an environmentally friendly energy source.

Wind turbines wholly depend on the wind in motion to spin the blades to generate power.

The wind turbine can take a long without maintenance, but with time, environmental factors such as debris or dead bugs develop on the rotor and blades, reducing the turbine’s effectiveness.


The wind turbine does not work without wind. But it can still spin.

The spinning of the wind turbine does not mean it works. It works when it produces electricity.

However, four major wind turbine components should be maintained for effective operation.

The part includes blades, a rotor, a generator, and a gearbox.



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