Classification of Wind Turbines

By: Aidan Doran

For people who are not privy with how electricity is generated, this article is for you. There are many forms of electricity just like there are many sources of it. One source of electricity is the wind that we are breathing right now. Wind is capable of producing mechanical power which is important for electricity generation. 

How Wind Turbine Work
So how can we get the wind to work for us? Well let us think of it this way. Wind turbine functions in exactly the opposite way a fan does. While a fan uses electricity to generate wind, a wind turbine uses wind to make electricity. A typical wind turbine consists of a blade, shaft, and the generator. This is strategically placed to catch the wind which will then turn the blade. The shaft is then triggered by this simple movement. Once a continuous action is derived from the blade and the shaft, a generator connected to the shaft will now give out the necessary electricity. The electricity generated from wind turbines scan give out the same quality of electric power as those found from other energy sources.

1) Classification of Wind Turbines

A. According to Design
There are two kinds of wind turbines,

  • The Vertical axis design
    The vertical axis type is designed like an egg-beater. Darrieus, a French man, invented it.
  • The Horizontal axis design.
    The horizontal wind turbine, has two to three blades. This type functions best when it is directly facing the wind. Farmers with great land area found out another source of income. When wind turbines became the newest source of electricity, these farmers leased their lands to power developers. Wind farms mushroomed all throughout the Midwest.

B. According to Size
Wind turbines vary not only with their designs but also with their sizes.

  • Smaller turbines
    They are usually lower than 100 kilowatts and they are most often found in homes. They are associated with simple diesel generators and water pumping needs.
  • Utility-scale wind turbines.
    They start at 100 kilowatts and reach up to even a few megawatts. There are also the really large turbines seen in wind farms. These turbines serve as the primary source of electricity in the electrical grid.

2) Wind Turbine Basic Parts & Functions
For those of you who are interested to know more about wind turbines, below are their basic parts and functions:

  • Anemometer – is a tool that measures wind speed.
  • Blades – are the main electricity-generating parts of the turbine. Once wind passes through it, they will rotate thereby causing a series of reaction which will eventually lead to electricity production.
  • Brake – as with any other break, this is used to stop the turbines in emergency cases. This could be a mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic break.
  • Controller – this dictates the wind speed at which turbines start and stop. It usually starts the machine when the wind hits 8 mph and stops it upon reaching 55 mph. It is an important part of the machine since it automatically stops any machine activity when wind speed is more than 55 mph because blades may easily be damaged.
  • Generator – produces electricity usually at 60 cycles.
  • Shaft – signals the generator to conduct electricity.
  • Tower – is a place where turbines may be placed to get more wind.

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