How is wind converted into useable energy?
Windmills, and sails
Windmills take the kinetic energy of the wind and change the kinetic energy of the wind to mechanical energy.
The mechanical energy can be used in several ways. The mechanical energy traditionally has been used to pump water up to holding tanks. The kinetic energy has been used to create mechanical energy which is used to create potential energy in the water tanks. The potential energy of the water stored at higher elevation is then used to create water pressure that makes plumbing work. The mechanical energy was also used directly to use machinery such as gris mills, and looms.
The mechanical energy can be used to turn wind turbines. Wind turbines turn the mechanical energy into electrical energy. The wind turbines cause electrical coils to turn inside a magnetic field. The movement of wires inside a magnetic field creates an electric force which is used to produce electricity.
The kinetic energy of the wind can be captured by sails and turned directly into the kinetic energy of sailing ships, and wind surfers, In the age of sails wind energy was the driving force of international maritime trade ( and war)