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Wind turbines have blades designed like airplane wings. They rotate due to a pressure differential caused by air moving over the surface of the blade. The blades turn a rotor which drives an electrical generator. Turbines are designed to automatically face the wind either mechanically or by computer-controlled drive systems.  

Wind turbines can operate at variable speeds or at fixed speeds. Variable speed designs are more complex but convert wind power into electricity more efficiently. Most new projects use variable speed design.