Get the Power You Need Without Harming the Environment
When you think about wind turbines, you have a particular image in your mind. Wind turbines are those massive propellor-shaped wind mills that spin up on the hills or out in the ocean. They’re popping up everywhere, as governments and companies look for ways to save energy.
But have you ever heard of a vertical wind turbine? Vertical axis wind turbines, or VAWTS, are quite a bit different than the standard wind turbine.
Today it’s more important than ever to find environmentally friendly power sources that do not sap the earth’s natural resources, so that we can preserve them for generations to come. With wind turbines we can use the readily available power of the wind, without having to compromise on the amount of power that we consume. After initial fabrication of the turbine, there are no fossil fuels utilized to harness the power of the wind – it is simply collected and then used.
Most wind turbines on the market today are horizontal wind turbines. This standard horizontal design hasn’t changed much since the Dutch were pumping water out of their canals hundreds of years ago. When it comes to wind energy, a vertical wind turbine uses a unique method to generate power.
A vertical wind turbine is often referred to as a VAWT, or “Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. While the conventional windmill has blades spinning around a horizontal axis like an airplane propeller, the axis of rotation on a VAWT is vertical, so the propeller portion of the wind turbine rotates around a large vertical mast. A vertical wind turbine in action is a sight to see!
Like other wind turbines, a vertical wind turbine is a tall windmill that is able to take the kinetic energy of the wind, or the energy that is created by the wind moving its large blades, and convert it into mechanical energy. Most often a vertical wind turbine is used to generate electricity, but people also utilize these machines to directly perform other tasks as well, such as pump water from a well or even grind grain.
A Vertical Wind Turbine Comes In Many Different Sizes
A vertical wind turbine comes in many different sizes. You will find them on small boats, helping to generate power that can be stored into that boat’s battery, and you will find them soaring hundreds of feet into the sky collecting the breezes and transferring that power into the local energy grid. The largest vertical wind turbine is located inCap-Chat,Quebec. When used in conjunction with other wind turbines, a vertical wind turbine “farm” can be a juggernaut of power on a large scale.
The primary benefit of utilizing a vertical wind turbine is that you do not have to have the windmill blades actually turned into the wind to have the turbine be able to generate power. This means that you don’t have to select particular locations that are more suitable that others – you can literally place a vertical wind turbine just about anywhere. As long as there is wind, the turbine will be able to collect the wind’s energy.
Vertical Wind Turbines Can Even Be Mounted on a Rooftop
How flexible is a vertical wind turbine? You can even mount one on your own rooftop if you’re so inclined. Because the wind generally comes over the peak of your home’s roof, the design of your home can actually double the power of the wind that a turbine could collect under normal circumstances. If there’s enough wind and the turbine is sized correctly, you could have enough power every day to power your own home and get your place off of the power grid.
Other Advantages of a Vertical Wind Turbine
Besides the ability of all wind turbines to generate power without the use of fossil fuels, the flexibility of location of vertical wind turbine allows you to be able to place a vertical wind turbine just about anywhere, since it doesn’t need to be pointed directly into the wind. This makes vertical wind turbines ideal for locating on the open water or along the cost, where the wind direction can fluctuate.
Additionally, in a vertical wind turbine the gearbox is located at ground level, where it can be easily serviced, reducing maintenance costs.
After the initial investment in a wind turbine, your savings continue to grow the longer you own a wind turbine. When you have your own source of power, you are able to go off the grid and generate these long term savings. When expanded into a large grid, imagine the additional power that an entire power conglomerate could generate by being able to get their power off of the traditional grid?
It is getting more and more difficult and expensive for power generation companies to build new power plants. There is a continuing large public backlash against nuclear and coal energy. Wind energy is one way to fill this energy gap. Most people are more interested in living in a safer world, without having to worry about a nuclear reactor melting down or about the price of fossil fuels going up to untenable levels.
Disadvantages of a Vertical Wind Turbine
One of the primary disadvantages of a vertical wind turbine is that the design is about forty percent less efficient than a standard horizontal wind turbine. This is why vertical wind turbines are typically larger than horizontal ones. This efficiency rating is improving as more breakthroughs are made in vertical turbine design.
In addition to that, the vertical wind turbine for the most part has a lower rotational speed than other designs of turbine that are also widely used today, and because there is a lower turbine speed, the vertical wind turbine has to have a higher torque in its drive train, and that means it costs more than the average turbine to construct it.
And though the vertical wind turbine does have an advantage in that it can be placed virtually anywhere, this can also be its disadvantage as well because it doesn’t not tend to harness the full power of the wind that is blowing toward it and so does not take full advantage of the power that it could be able to generate.
The power of the wind, when harnessed correctly, could really be the future of power generation for future generations to have electricity safely. Not only can the vertical wind turbine help get the world to lower its consumption of fossil fuels, but it can also help to save costs in the long term that could be reinvested into other areas. With recent improvements in turbine design, the vertical wind turbine has become a viable energy generating option. Let’s hop on board today!
Image of Vertical Wind Turbine in Cap Chat from Wikipedia.