A wind farm outside of Palm Springs, California during a colorful sunset. A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into electrical power. The term appears to have migrated from parallel hydroelectric technology (rotary propeller). The technical description for this type of machine is an aerofoil-powered generator.
The result of over a millennium of windmill development and modern engineering, today's wind turbines are manufactured in a wide range of vertical and horizontal axis types. The smallest turbines are used for applications such as battery charging for auxiliary power for boats or caravans or to power traffic warning signs. Slightly larger turbines can be used for making contributions to a domestic power supply while selling unused power back to the utility supplier via the electrical grid. Arrays of large turbines, known as wind farms, are becoming an increasingly important source of renewable energy and are used by many countries as part of a strategy to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.