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What is a Wind Turbine?
A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy; a process known as wind power. If the mechanical energy is used to produce electricity, the device may be called a wind generator or wind charger. If the mechanical energy is used to drive machinery, such as for grinding grain or pumping water, the device is called a windmill or wind pump.
 
Basic Types of Wind Turbines:

Horizontal axis
Horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT) have the main rotor shaft and electrical generator at the top of a tower, and must be pointed into the wind. Small turbines are pointed by a simple wind vane, while large turbines generally use a wind sensor coupled with a servo motor. Most have a gearbox, which turns the slow rotation of the blades into a quicker rotation that is more suitable to drive an electrical generator.

Vertical axis design
Vertical-axis wind turbines (or VAWTs) have the main rotor shaft arranged vertically. Key advantages of this arrangement are that the turbine does not need to be pointed into the wind to be effective. This is an advantage on sites where the wind direction is highly variable, for example when integrated into buildings.
 
When a turbine is mounted on a rooftop, the building generally redirects wind over the roof and this can double the wind speed at the turbine. If the height of the rooftop mounted turbine tower is approximately 50% of the building height, this is near the optimum for maximum wind energy and minimum wind turbulence.
 
Environmental impact of wind power
Compared to the environmental impact of traditional energy sources, the environmental impact of wind power is relatively minor. Wind power consumes no fuel, and emits no air pollution, unlike fossil fuel power sources.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Pollution:
Wind power consumes no fuel and no water for continuing operation, and has no emissions directly related to electricity production. Wind turbines produce no air pollution, unlike fossil fuel power sources. Wind power plants consume resources in manufacturing and construction.

Net energy gain
Any practical large-scale energy source must replace the energy used in its construction. The energy return on investment (EROI) for wind energy is equal to the cumulative electricity generated divided by the cumulative primary energy required to build and maintain a turbine. For off shore wind turbines that is generally 9 months.

In the United States, landowners typically receive $3,000 to $5,000 per year in rental income from each wind turbine, while farmers continue to grow crops or graze cattle up to the foot of the turbines.

Our experts at IZA will not only help you discover the benefits behind Wind Turbines but will discuss if this technology is right for your location. -click here-

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