Wind energy turbines are generators that produce electricity by harnessing the energy of the wind. Wind energy is formed due to the uneven heating of earth’s surfaces. There is a constant temperature difference between the earth’s equator and its poles, which causes cooler wind to flow to the comparatively hotter regions.
There are two main types of wind energy turbines; the vertical-axis type and the horizontal-axis type.
Horizontal Wind Turbine
Horizontal wind turbine is the commonly used variety. It rotates around a horizontal axis. A horizontal-axis turbine mainly consists of a rotor shaft, two or three blades and an electric generator. The blades are positioned towards the wind flow. The shaft is rotated with the rotation of the blades.
The generator connected to the shaft uses the mechanical energy produced by the shaft rotation for electricity generation. Newer technology uses a gearbox to speed up the rotation of the shaft to increase electricity output. Wind turbines that are mounted on high towers are capable of generating more electricity as the wind flow is much faster and smoother at such heights.
The blades are of the turbine are rigid because they have to stay intact and not be pushed inside the turbine by heavy winds. They are also slightly tilted in the upward direction.
Downwind turbines are also built; however, their efficiency is reduced in heavy winds due to the fatigue failures.
Vertical-axis Wind Turbine
The main rotor shaft is vertically positioned in a vertical-axis turbine. Due to the orientation of the shaft this turbine can work efficiently even if it’s not facing the wind.
Wind from different directions is easily and efficiently utilized by the vertical-axis wind turbines. However, the size of these turbines does not allow its use on a large scale as they cannot be placed on top of wind towers.
In conclusion there is quite a bit of research and investigation you need to do before you decide to ditch your energy supplier and take the diy route. To properly harness wind enery for residential use certain conditions will need to be fulfilled before it will become a cost effective option for you.