Wind Turbines Now
Wind turbines are able to capture and convert to electricity the
clean, green renewable energy that flows everyday at most places
on Earth. While windmills may pump water or in some places still
grind grain, wind turbines are used to create electricity and
do so without the burning of fossil fuels.
Wind energy is not only the future, it is
Turbines, known for being intermittent renewable energy resources,
are the fastest growing alternative energy segment in the United
States, outpacing solar, hydropower and geothermal. These wind
generators can be classified generally as commercial or residential.
These two classes of wind turbines can also be divided into horizontal
axis or vertical axis. The commercial or utility scale turbines
typically tower above the ground at 60 to 200 feet where the air
moves more freely.
The commercial wind generators commonly have three blades that
help balance out the device and reduce wear and tear on the bearings.
The large scale wind power generators also have a horizontal axis
with a gearbox that drives an electrical generator on the backside.
The tip speed on the wind turbine blades can be as much as six times
the speed of the wind itself.
Some of the advantages of utility scale turbines are the variable
blade pitch with an optimal angle of attack and the tower size
it can be placed upon, which reaches stronger winds that are typical
higher up from the ground.
Some of the disadvantages of large commercial horizontal wind
turbines is that construction, transportation and installation
can be quite expensive. Some local residents may object to a wind
farm disrupting the appearance of the landscape.
Utility Scale Turbines
Environmentalists object to some horizontal
turbines that disrupt migratory bird paths. Utility scale
horizontal wind generators are also prone to structural
fatigue both from within the turbine and from being downwind
from another turbine.
Residential wind turbines, on the other hand, offer homeowners
a break from total dependency upon the utility companies. Home
turbines may be either horizontal axis or vertical axis.
The vertical axis turbines can be installed lower to the ground
and may offer more unique design than horizontal turbines with
The energy provided by residential wind turbines can offset part
of one's monthly bill or in some instances will provide the homeowner
the chance to sell power back to the utility company.
Many states now have net metering programs where the electrical
meter is rolled back with the surplus of alternative energy that
is supplied to one's home.
Home wind generators, whether on the rooftop or in one's yard
provide those with houses the opportunity for individual energy
independence including lower bills.
Whether one talks about utility scale wind turbines such as outlined
in the Pickens Plan or residential turbines, horizontal or vertical,
What matters is to get started today in using clean, green renewable
energy from the world's most abundant source: the wind. The zero
emissions answer my friend is blowing in the wind.