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The Ultimate Wind Turbines Guide

Wind turbines, also called wind generators, are the important components to convert the kinetic energy from wind into the electrical energy to be used in powering appliances. With the best wind generator, you can generate more electricity to power your home and save an exorbitant cost of energy bills.

There is a plethora of wind turbines on that market. As a result, it can be challenging to handpick the best if you are not well-informed. We have compiled this comprehensive guide to help you purchase the best wind turbine.

Wind Turbine Questions and Answers

Q1. How do wind turbines work?

Wind turbines are equipped with a variety of components that convert wind into an electrical energy. Its major components include the gearbox, rotor, main shaft, frame, blades, yaw mechanism, yaw drive, tower, nacelle, power conditioning equipment and the hub assembly.
The rotor is attached to the main shaft to spin the wind generator and produce electricity. Note that there are two basic designs of turbines, viz. upwind facing directly into the wind, and downwind design which faces away from the wind.

Q2. What types of wind turbines are there?

Wind turbines types include the horizontal axis and the vertical axis. Horizontal axis is a popular type and mimics the design of the wind mill. The main rotor shaft and the generator are at the top of the tower directed towards the wind. The blades rotate on the horizontal axis hence the name. The advantage of the horizontal axis turbine is that it is highly efficient because its blades are directed towards the wind, whereas the downside is that it requires a large tower to support its heavy structure.
A vertical axis turbine, on the other hand, has its rotor shaft put vertically and faced away from the wind. The advantage of this type is that it can work well in areas with variable wind directions. However, it is practically challenging to mount vertical turbines on towers.

Best wind turbine type

Comparing these types, the horizontal axis turbine can be best suited for homes while the vertical axis turbines can be best suited for farms or industrial applications where the area has variable wind speeds.

Q3. How big is a wind turbine blade?

The sizes of wind turbine blade can vary tremendously. A 1.5 MW turbine can have a blade of
Feet mounted on a 212 feet tower.

Q4. How to install wind turbines?

The installation of a wind turbine can be a complex task if you are not a tech-savvy person. It requires advanced technical skills to install. That being said, it’s important to hire an expert in wind system installation to do the task on your behalf. The expert will be able to determine if the ground and the location are suitable to install the wind turbine. He will install according to the right specifications. Among others, the installer can check the wind speed estimation, proximity of properties, and accessibility of the site.

Choose the right installer

One of the difficult tasks is to find the right installer among a plenty of scams. The installer must be certified and must have a proven record. Assess the installer and check if he’s well-rounded with your local zoning codes, height restrictions, etc.

Q5. How much wind is needed to turn a wind turbine?

A small turbine can be rotated by wind speeds as low as 9 mph. On the other hand, wind speeds of 13 mph can turn utility wind power turbines.

Q6. How long can a wind turbine generate electricity?

A wind turbine can generate electricity as long as it is in a peak performance. The maintenance of the wind turbine is important to enable it generate electricity efficiently as long as it has not reached its life expectancy.

Q7. How many wind turbines are needed to power a house?

There is no standard number of wind turbines to power your house. The output depends on several factors such as the size of the wind generator and the wind speed. On average, a wind generator with a capacity of 2.5 to 3 MW can have an output of 6 million kWh a year. Households usually use between 1000 and 2000 kWh per month. A powerful turbine with a capacity of 2.5 to 3 MW can power about 1500 homes.

home wind turbine system

Home wind turbine system diagram

Q8. How many wind turbines do you need to have a wind farm?

A wind farm in Altamont Pass, California has over 4800 wind turbines. This is one of the largest wind farms in the world. A typical wind farm can have a minimum of 5 wind turbines.

Q9. How long do wind turbine last for?

A wind turbine’s life expectancy can take about 20 to 25 years. However, because a wind turbine has some moving parts, they may have to be replaced before the 20 years period.

Q10. How much do wind turbines cost?

A wind turbine can cost around $40 000. Adding to that are installation and shipping costs which can range from $48 000 and $65 000. Other features such as towers and the size of turbines have to be taken into account.

Q11. How long do wind turbines take to pay for themselves?

It depends on the price of the turbine as it varies per case. For example, a 15 kilowatt wind turbine that costs around $50 000 would typically pay itself in over 40 years if the electricity cost is about $1250. Unfortunately, because of the typical lifespan of about 20 years, the turbine may die before it even pays itself.

Q12. What companies build wind turbines?

The major and top builders of wind turbines include the Ming Yang in China, Nordex in Germany, Gamesa in Spain, United Power in China, Sulzon Group in India, Siemens in Germany, Goldwind in China, Enercon in Germany, and Vestas in Denmark. However, the best wind power company in the world is LM Wind Power with their headquarters located in Denmark.

Q13. Do wind turbines need a lot of maintenance?

Like your vehicle, wind turbines need several maintenance plans in a year to retain their peak performance. At least 2 to 3 times a year will be sufficient. If you fail to maintain the turbine, it can incur exorbitant repair costs or can interrupt electricity connection.

Q14. What is the warranty period for wind turbines?

When purchasing wind turbines, it’s important to take into account the warranty. Warranty can save you against mechanical failures of the parts. Usually, warranty can be between 2 and 10 years. Beware of how you choose the installers because uncertified installers can void the warranty.

Wrap up!

With this buyer’s guide, we are confident that you will be able to make an informed purchase decision. Wind turbines are generally expensive. As thus, it is important to purchase vigilantly by understanding how they work and how to choose. The other worth considering factor is the price, but it is more of a supplementary factor not a sole decision-making factor to make a purchase.

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