Wind Turbine Info

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Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

Vertical axis wind turbines are in the minority compared to the horizontal variety. But, fans of vertical axis wind turbines plus new technology is starting to turn heads and gain advocates.

vertical axis wind turbines

Vertical axis wind turbines tend to be for home and residential use so most are smaller rooftop or backyard installation instead of the behemoths one might find standing guard at Palm Springs, California for instance.

Vertical axis wind turbines are just as the name implied, they spin on a vertical axis instead of horizontal ones and come in many different sizes, shapes and colors. Some of the advantages of vertical axis wind turbines are:

1. they tend to be bird-friendly
2. they generally turn at lower wind speeds
3. can be mounted closer to the ground
4. not as affected by cross-winds
5. quieter than other models

Some environmentalists have dubbed the large utility size horizontal axis wind turbines to be "bird Cuisinarts" advocating against putting these machines in the bird flight pathways were the killing of such animals has been observed. Instead, many vertical axis wind turbines are bladeless, turning instead with flanges, or other wind-catching outcroppings that don't interfere with the birds' flight.

Because of the design of many vertical axis wind turbines and efficiently they can generally turn at lower wind speeds than other varieties. This is especially true of magnetic wind turbines or (MagLev turbines) that have low resistance because of the use of magnets.

Because vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) can turn at lower wind speeds generating electricity, they can also be mounted lower to the ground such as upon a rooftop rather than a 50 ft. to 300 ft. tower upon which many horizontal turbines are mounted.

Some vertical axis wind turbines have a cylindrical or helical design, which makes them less affected by cross winds. Many times horizontal turbines will flutter around a bit when gusty side winds and crosswinds hit.

Homeowners will generally find that vertical axis wind turbines are a bit quieter in operation than there horizontal counterparts but much of this has to do with the design as well as sound dampening properties of the residence itself.

Vertical axis wind turbines are gaining in popularity by leaps and bounds and many of the current designs are also aesthetically pleasing to homeowners as well.

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