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Types & Sizes Of Wind Turbines

Types Of Wind Turbines

Modern wind turbines fall into two basic groups: the horizontal-axis variety, as shown in the photo, and the vertical-axis design, like the eggbeater-style Darrieus model, named after its French inventor.

Horizontal-axis wind turbines typically either have two or three blades. These three-bladed wind turbines are operated "upwind," with the blades facing into the wind.

Many wind farms have sprung up in the Midwest in recent years, generating power for utilities. Farmers benefit by receiving land lease payments from wind energy project developers.

Sizes Of Wind Turbines

Utility-scale turbines range in size from 100 kilowatts to as large as several megawatts. Larger turbines are grouped together into wind farms, which provide bulk power to the electrical grid.

Single small turbines, below 100 kilowatts, are used for homes, telecommunications dishes, or water pumping. Small turbines are sometimes used in connection with diesel generators, batteries, and photovoltaic systems. These systems are called hybrid wind systems and are typically used in remote, off-grid locations, where a connection to the utility grid is not available.

GE Wind Energy's 3.6 megawatt wind turbine is one of the largest prototypes ever erected. Larger wind turbines are more efficient and cost effective.


RELATED INFO:

Information From U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and
Renewable Energy Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program


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What You Should Know
Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth's surface, and rotation of the earth.
Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth's terrain, bodies of water, and vegetation.
Humans use this wind flow, or motion energy, for many purposes: sailing, flying a kite, and even generating electricity.
The terms wind energy or wind power describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity.
Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power.
This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity.