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Modern Day Turbine Technology

The Science

As yet, the wind is an untamed and unharnessed force, and quite possibly one of the greatest discoveries hereafter to be made, will be the taming, and harnessing of it

Abraham Lincoln

Wind turbines have come a long way from the times of wood and cloth, becoming more and more technologically advanced with each decade. Here in 2019, wind turbines fall into one of two categories, be it on shore or offshore, it still falls into one of the two. Horizontal powered axis or vertical powered axis.

Vertical powered turbines are much rarer than their horizontal counterparts. With each having both their share of advantages and disadvantages. Vertical wind turbines are built pre aligned with the wind, taking away any need to adjust with the changing weather patterns, they are also easier to build, easy to install and the peak is much closer to ground level, so why not use these all the time?

There are several reasons why vertical wind turbines are not the standard, as easy as the installation is, they have a much larger footprint, making them a big issue to landowners. The lower peak also makes the turbine a lot less efficient than the horizontal versions, however for small jobs such as rural work the vertical axis may be favoured.

So what do Vertical Axis have over Horizontal Axis?

Horizontal axis turbines are much more favourable as a way of making power, using an acute design of motors to move the blades to be in perfect synchronisation with the wind, this design is perfect for catching the maximum amount of wind energy. These turbines are favoured for a number of other reasons as well, not only can they be used onshore and offshore, but as the components of the blade are so high up, there is very little footprint to worry about.

Offshore horizontal axis turbines have shown to be the most efficient on a global scale, the collect the most power, take up the least amount of space and are well away from any landowners, wildlife or livestock. The costs for starting an offshore wind farm are exceptionally high, but as time and technology progresses that cost will diminish.


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