Types of system
Modern wind turbines fall into two basic groups: the horizontal-axis or vertical-axis varieties.
Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines typically either have two or three blades. These horizontal bladed wind turbines are operated “upwind,” with the blades facing into the wind.
There are two types of horizontal domestic-sized wind turbine:
- Pole mounted wind turbines are free standing and mast erected in a suitably exposed position and typically generate around 5kw to 6kw of energy.
- Building mounted wind turbines are most often smaller than mast mounted free standing wind systems and can be installed on the roof of a home where there is a suitable wind resource. Building mounted wind turbines usually generate around 1kw to 6kw of energy.
Vertical Axis Wind Turbines have two or three blades that spin around a vertical, or upright, shaft. The turbine blades catch the wind from any direction. The gearbox is located near the ground at the base of the tower, which is thin and light. Vertical axis turbines produce less electricity than horizontal axis turbines because their blades are closer to the ground where the wind is slowed down by obstacles, such as trees.