Wind Turbine Facts

Wind Turbine Facts
Wind turbines are devices that harvest kinetic energy and turn it into electricity. Because they can provide electricity from a renewable resource wind turbines are becoming popular across the globe. Their use can greatly reduce the reliance of fossil fuels such as gas and oil which are not renewable resources. The first windmills were invented in Persia as far back as 200BC. It wasn't until the 7th century that practical windmills were built, in Iran. In Europe windmills became known in the Middle Ages, but it wasn't until 1887 when a Scottish inventor James Blyth built a windmill that could power batteries. At first they were not accepted but it wasn't long before their use became more well-known. Today the use of wind turbines is growing and is expected to continue to grow considerably.
Interesting Wind Turbine Facts:
Wind turbines that rotate on a horizontal axis are called Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT). This type of wind turbine is the most commonly built and used today.
Wind turbines that are used on wind farms usually have three blades, with tips that can reach 200 miles per hour, and are white to make them more visible to aircraft. Their length is usually 66 to 131 feet with a tower reaching up to 300 feet in height.
Horizontal axis wind turbines are either geared wind turbines or direct drive turbines.
A geared wind turbine uses a gear box to speed up the generator while a direct drive turbine uses a huge generator (because of the slow rotation).
Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) are less common but do not need to be pointed into the wind to work. Although this can be an advantage if wind direction changes frequently it results in a low speed and less power produced.
There are several types of vertical axis wind turbines including the Darrieus wind turbine, the Giromill, the Savonius wind turbine, the twisted Savonius wind turbine, and the Vortexis.
When determining a locations wind turbine requirements, aerodynamic modeling is used. This will take into consideration various factors to determine the tower height, blade shape, blade number, and control system that will suit the particular location the best.
Wind Power Density (WPD) is a quantitative measure at a particular location of wind energy available.
Most common wind turbine blades are made of a composite of vinyl, polyester, and epoxy resins, carbon fibers, and S and E glass fibers.
The blades of a wind turbine are usually expected to last for 20 to 30 years.
The Fuhrländer Wind Turbine in Germany is one of the world's tallest horizontal axis wind turbines, at 160 meters.
The largest vertical axis wind turbine, Eole, is located in Cap Chat, Quebec, Canada.
The wind turbine located at the highest point is in Peru at the Pastoruri Glacier's base. It is located 16,001 feet above sea level.
Wind turbines can be floating, like the Hywind turbine located more than 6 miles from Norway's coast.
Although many wind turbines are built for large commercial applications there are smaller version that allow home owners to supplement and sometimes replace the need to be hooked into the power grid.

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