So, how would we describe a wind turbine? Simply put, a wind turbine is an electromechanical device used to harness the kinetic energy in the wind. The wind turns the turbine blades which are attached to a shaft that spins a generator. The generator is normally inside the nacelle which is located at the top of tower. In a large scale turbine there is a gearbox which allows the blades and shaft to spin at a speed different from the generator. In a small turbine, the spinning shaft is attached directly to the generator which negates the need for the added complexity of a gearbox. Large or small, these turbines produce electricity that can be used immediately or stored in batteries for future use.
This describes the basic function of a wind turbine, however, the surrounding complexities involved in the nuts and bolts are worth much more discussion and consideration.
If you’re new to the wind turbine market, trying to understand the differences between makes and models can be down right intimidating. It is easy to get confused by the various turbine designs and how they can affect performance under certain conditions. The best way to make sense of what you are looking at when making comparisons is to break down the significant functions and thoroughly examine them. With some things such as the construction of the blade, you may only need to be aware that differences exist. Other issues such as the way a turbine protects itself in high winds is something to thoroughly understand.
We will explore the areas of design that need to be addressed when sorting through the various offerings on the market today. The main ones to consider are:
- Upwind or Downwind
- 2 Blade versus 3 Blade
- Blade Material
- High RPM or Low RPM
- Overspeed Protection
- Swept Area and Rated Power
- Turbine Weight
These different wind turbine designs or operational characteristics directly affect how they will operate. This will also affect performance, longevity and cost.
Want To Know More About Wind Power?
Check out our ebook – a complete guide so you can start harvesting wind energy today! Our goal is to help you have a successful wind system. We will clearly guide you through the steps involved to start producing your own power.
You also get our real life experiences of what wind power is about in a small, off grid system. We are able to do this because we are living it, today. This ebook is equally useful for on grid applications as well.
One thing we want to emphasis is that since no turbine manufacturers are paying us for reviews you will get our unbiased opinion.