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 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
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.