Different Wind Turbine Blade Designs
Wind turbines are one of the oldest devices in existence used for generating power . Even now, the basic concept that underpins this type of device is the same as it ever was , but design aspects of the blades used have undergone drastic changes over time . Today, it’s possible to produce much more power from much less wind than ever before, which is largely due to these improvements .
Early wind turbine blades were essentially nothing more than large mats made from reeds . While they did the job under the right conditions, they lacked durability . They frequently needed replacing , especially when they were exposed to strong winds .
The next stage in the evolution of wind turbine blades was the cloth sail . Along with a new vertical axis style design, many early windmills incorporated this type of blade in order to harness wind energy for the purpose of processing grain .
Eventually , horizontal axis wind turbines became the norm , often using wooden blades . These blades were inspired mainly by airplane blades . Although much lighter, wooden blades were nevertheless able to generate much more power than previous turbine blades .
Electricity was produced for the first time from wind turbines thanks to these designs . The earliest wind turbines of this type were fairly small in size, but it wasn’t long before they were scaled up and used for commercial purposes .
In order to meet divergent needs , the differences between horizontal axis turbine blade designs and vertical axis ones started to become even more distinct . The following horizontal axis blades would differ in terms of shape and pitch, materials, and the number of blades used per rotor .
In most cases, 3-blade designs are the norm for horizontal axis wind turbines, as they have the best balance of stability and rotor speed . Modern turbines make use of composite blades, which are both lightweight and strong . Composite blades give wind turbines the ability to spin faster and produce more power as well as pick up low-speed winds, making them immeasurably more efficient .
Some of the most spectacular and effective designs available today belong to vertical axis wind turbines . These designs usually take advantage of either wind drag or wind lift in ingenious ways in order to produce surprising amounts of rotation .
The number one advantage of vertical axis wind turbine designs is their ability to provide power regardless of wind direction . Horizontal axis turbines usually aren’t able to provide quite the same consistency of power generation . What’s more, since vertical axis turbines rarely require a tower, they’re frequently preferred by residential users .
To learn about the advantages and disadvantages of wind power, visit Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Power.
For the best guide I have found for building your own wind turbines with step by step videos, go to Best DIY Solar and Wind Guides.
For another guide to building a diy wind turbine, visit Homemade Wind Turbine.