Wind energy is the world’s fastest-growing energy technology. It is a clean energy source that is reliable, efficient, and reduces the cost of energy for homeowners, farmers, and businesses.
Wind turbines can be used to produce electricity for a single home or building, or they can be connected to an electricity grid for more widespread electricity distribution. They can even be combined with other renewable energy technologies.
For utility-scale sources of wind energy, a large number of turbines are usually built close together to form a wind farm. Several electricity providers today use wind farms to supply power to their customers.
There are two main forms of wind turbine used today. The most common of which is the horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT), these are identified by the fact that the axis of rotation of the blades are in a fixed horizontal position therefore the unit must be placed in the direction of the wind, these are most popular in rural areas.
The other main type of turbine is the vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT), this has a vertical axis position and does not have to be faced into the direction of the wind, and therefore it is equally effective irrespective of wind direction. This type of turbine works most effectively in urban areas usually typified by turbulent winds, therefore although the HAWT typically produce a higher efficiency rating, the development of the VAWT technology is surely essential for the future of building-integrated systems to allow the technology to be used in a diverse range of environments. The other main advances required to increase productivity include advanced blade design and the ability for the turbine to operate in lower wind speeds by lowering the cut-in threshold.