What is the difference between Horizontal and Vertical Wind Generators?

What is the difference between Horizontal and Vertical Wind Generators?

Wind generator designs are often determined by the axis upon which the shaft of the wind generator is mounted, horizontally or vertically. The mounting of the shaft also determines the direction and shape of the propeller blades, which means that horizontal and vertical wind generators can often vary in appearance.

A basic definition of a wind generator is to describe it as a mechanical construction that uses the wind to create kinetic energy, which is converted into electricity. The power of the wind is used to turn the wind generators propeller blades, which is how the kinetic energy is created. This kinetic energy is then distributed in a rotating motion through the shaft of the wind generator and fed into a generator connected to end of the shaft. The generator then converts the kinetic energy an electrical current.

Wind Generator Design

The differences in the design of the horizontal and vertical wind generators accounts for differing efficiency, size and suitability issues, thus offering more options to those who chose to utilize wind power to generate electricity. It can be quite confusing when comparing horizontal and vertical wind generators as the terms refer to the mounting of the shaft rather than the appearance of the wind generator.

The horizontal axis wind generator is the most common design used for generating wind power. This is where the main shaft and generator are mounted at the top of a tower. The propeller blades are mounted perpendicular to the ground so the main rotor shaft can run horizontally to the generator. All of the mechanical components are mounted at the top of the tower, which essentially acts as a stand to hold these materials in optimal position to capture the wind.

The vertical axis wind generator is less common and often more difficult to construct and utilize efficiently. In a vertical axis wind generator the shaft vertically runs the length of the structure with the mechanical components mounted at the base of the shaft, often at ground level. The rotor blades take on more of an eggbeater like appearance (like the Darrieus wind turbine design) and differ significantly the propeller blades of a horizontal wind generator design. The shape of the wind generator blades is evidence of differing vertical axis wind generator designs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Generator Designs

Both designs have their advantages and disadvantages. Historically, horizontal axis wind generators have been more popular and widely used which means its design and technologies are more widely understood and developed. Vertical axis wind generators are still a large unknown to many wind power users and technicians. Its technologies and designs are still in the process of being more widely understood.

As a basic overview here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of each design.

Advantages

Horizontal Axis Wind Generator

  • An easier design to construct and install
  • Efficient in capturing and converting wind energy (generates electricity from smaller amounts of wind)

Vertical Axis Wind Generator

  • Doesn’t need to be repositioned to capture wind energy
  • Easy to maintain and repair as the mechanical components are mounted on or close to ground level

Disadvantages

Horizontal Axis Wind Generator

  • Needs to be adjusted realign towards the wind direction
  • Difficult to maintain and repair as the mechanical components are mounted at height

Vertical Axis Wind Generator

  • A more difficult design to construct and install
  • Inefficient in capturing and converting wind energy (requires large amounts of wind power to generate electricity)

This is a simple overview of wind generator design and the comparison of vertical and horizontal wind generator designs. This article was intended to serve as a basic introductory overview of wind generator design and utilisation. The technological aspects as well as the advantages and disadvantages of horizontal and vertical wind generator designs are much more intricate than how they have been outlined in this article.

Wind Generator Info Resources


To find out more about how to construct and utilize wind generators for personal use a great online resource can be found at http://howtobuildawindgeneratorstepbystep.com

Comments

No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working