Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy from wind into mechanical energy. When used with an electrical generator, the rotation of the wind turbine’s blades turns a shaft to produce electricity. There are two basic types of wind turbines: horizontal-axis and vertical-axis.   Horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT)   Image Credit: GE Energy - Wind Energy Horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT) have a two or three blade rotor that rotates about a horizontal axis. The...
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Q & A on Wind Turbines

We asked our users for their input on Wind Turbines. Here are the results of 370 users familiar with Wind Turbines.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing wind turbine design?
57 answers
Answers:
The present manufacturers are reluctant to furnish information on their test results, I am looking at various design modifications to reduce the acoustic footprint and to look at alternative power train logistics.
~Peter G, Design Director - Research and development principal, Moelfre, Wales - U.K.
Constant refinement of aerodynamic design to improve aerodynamic performance performance and minimize effects of dust, insect, or other debris. Refinement of electronic components.
~Marketing/Sales, Melbourne, Australia
Computer fluid dynamic simulations and cfd optimization, theoretical models for small wind turbines, building integrated wind systems
~Joe V, Business development, Jerusalem, Israel
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative wind turbines?
54 answers
Answers:
I am not sure about all companies and what they are doing but, as for my concerns I find Bergy wind out of Oklahoma seems to be very reliable product. Moreover, the electronics used to modify the electrically produced needs to be reliable or you waste your investment.
~Faculty/Staff, Waimanalo, HI
Innovation alone does not impress me, unless backed up by real proven service time in the field; Air turbines have a good reputation with the yachting frat.
~Murray F, Engineering Consultant, Pambula, Australia
I only know a few of the Spanish companies, Gamesa, General Electric and so on. We are initiating contacts with designers, builders and operators.
~George P, Fire Protection Specialist, Madrid, Spain
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used wind turbines for?
92 answers
Answers:
QSE Coordinator in charge of product quality of the 1.75 and 2.0MW WTG manufacturing at the VESTAS Australia facility that was in Wynyard Tasmania. This facility ran from June 2003 until December 2006. Basically we build them and on sold them to VESTAS Wind Technologies, the sales division to erect and commission then pass over to customer.
~Quality Control/Assurance, Wynyard, Australia
I have not yet purchased, built, or installed a wind turbine. However, I am very interested in their potential - mainly for supplementing or replacing current residential energy sources. I am planning on installing one in the near future.
~Engineering, Other, Livoinia, MI
Our company's products are used in blades for electricity generation from the largest built to smaller twin blade proprietary designs for high wind areas to small VAWT domestic designs.
~Marketing/Sales, Melbourne, Australia
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that wind turbines have been used for.
28 answers
Answers:
Food processing (old milling windmills), water pumping / drainage (old Dutch windmills, farm water well pumps).
~Engineering, Design, Huntington Beach, CA
Driving water pumps, powering the the desolemnization units, production of hydrogen and oxygen.
~Ray Hofmann, Project Manager, Capistrano Beach, CA
Applications on ground water extraction and mechanical such as milling of grains and pulps.
~Engineering, Consulting, Makati City, Philippines
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of wind turbines?
20 answers
Answers:
Poor safety practices, short cuts when maintaining WTGs by using the generator coupling as a winch. Tools left in electrical cabinets or dusty electrical cabinets. Not conducting proper inspections on transformers, or loose transformer connections than will cause fire.
~Quality Control/Assurance, Wynyard, Australia
The list is really long. But, usually it gets back to the engineering. Something are black and white. Build a better mouse trap? Sure but some things are still better improved rather than replaced. If you want to be happy, buy quality.
~Faculty/Staff, Waimanalo, HI
Only public perceptions, and questions about odd lights and flashes as turbine blades move light differently than neighbors expect.
~Jim H, Faculty/Staff, Portage, IN
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
51 answers
Answers:
My product shall be a low cost point of use turbine that can be orientated without high rise masts or reliant on higher than average wind speeds, the benefit of this is to bring an affordable solution to the people and reduce the on cost normally associated with renewables technologies
~Peter G, Design Director - Research and development principal, Moelfre, Wales - U.K.
1) Maximum 5Kw. 2) Vertical axis for avoiding over speed and for using a guy ropes.Tilting for maintenance. 3) If possible direct pumping of water and in combination generation of small power say 500 w.
~B N Murthy M, Manufacturer, Hyderabad-India, India
Multiple blade, with rotational axis to better support all forms of wind loads, this makes the model too complex but very efficient at least, similar techniligy as the old WWII aeroplane propeller improvements.
~Manuel S, Engineering Consultant, Pretoria, South Africa
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of wind turbines?
30 answers
Answers:
Buy from a long time manufacturer rather than someone who is just recently decided they work and are a good ideal. Go for the track records and research who has been in business the longest. There has to be a reason to still be around and it's not just luck. And, try to buy American products although the electronics might come from some other sources.
~Faculty/Staff, Waimanalo, HI
Look for viable alternatives and choose from a reputable source of equipment, don't accept salesman's pitches!
~Peter G, Design Director - Research and development principal, Moelfre, Wales - U.K.
Pick industry knowledge people. Not start ups. This industry has a long training curve. Decades.
~Chris Meier, General Management, Goderich, Canada
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using wind turbines?
38 answers
Answers:
1. Establish and implant emergency response plans for any and all situations, including fires, structural collapse, personal injuries, etc. 2. Establish close working relations with local fire and rescue services. 3. Carry out frequent emergency drills with active emergency services participation.
~George P, Fire Protection Specialist, Madrid, Spain
1. Focus on contract; 2. Require technical documentation; 3. If possible, avoid buying WTG from a company that has no office in your country; 4. Be aware to the supplier's demands.
~Douglas M., Engineering Consultant, São Paulo, Brasil
For local home use these systems are mediocre at the present state of affairs, they rate similar to the purchase of autonomy batteries, the more power the larger the system.
~Manuel S, Engineering Consultant, Pretoria, South Africa
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