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Wind Generators and their Different Kinds

     Harnessing the power of the wind is one of the best ways to produce clean energy. The two main types of wind turbines used to produce this energy are called horizontal and vertical axis turbines. The turbine produces electricity by converting the friction caused by its rotating blades into electricity. This is done with the use of a generator built into the turbine.

Turbines can be used to generate electricity for a whole city or for one household. There are many small ones available for the home. The most common are the horizontal axis types, which are either free standing or mounted onto a roof. These are popular with people who wish to reduce their carbon footprint and save money. In some countries it is even possible to sell electricity from the turbine to an electricity grid.

Horizontal axis models are probably the best known and the most common. They have what resembles a propeller, which has been mounted on a tall tower. They are tall so that they can harness the high winds that are available at higher altitudes. These models have a rotating mechanism that enables then to be moved so they can face the direction of the air currents.

Horizontal axis types can produce more energy than the vertical axis types due to the high winds they can access. They are more difficult to maintain however, as the blades and propeller are high off the ground. Also, during periods of high winds they can fail due to the pressure of the air on the blades. Many people dislike them as they may dominate some landscapes, although the wind farms that use this type of turbine can be put out at sea.

The Vertical axis types are more unusual and have a vertical rotor shaft with the generator at the bottom. The whole unit rotates as the wind hits the blades. These are usually placed in an area where the winds direction is more variable. They are much lower to the ground and are often placed on top of buildings or somewhere where there is a wind tunnel.

There are two subtypes of Vertical axis turbines. Darrieus and Savonius. The Darrieus ones look rather like an eggbeater with helix shaped blades and are usually more efficient than the Savonius ones, although they require energy to start turning. They are generally used when there are less reliable winds. The Savonius ones have two scoops that look like an S shape when looked at in cross section. These are less efficient but they do not require any energy to turn and are usually used at locations that have a lot of turbulence.

The vertical Axis types can be grouped much closer together in a wind farm and take up less space. They are easier to maintain as the generator and main parts are close to the ground. They also do not require a turning mechanism, as they do not have to face the direction of the air flow. They are unable to produce as much energy as the horizontal types of wind turbines, but they can be placed at locations where a horizontal axis turbine cannot.

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Posted on 2011-12-02, By: *

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