ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is a Horizontal Wind Turbine?

Updated on April 12, 2015

A wind turbine is a device that is used to convert the energy from the wind into electrical energy. If the wind energy is used for mechanical purposes like grinding stones, pumping water etc then the device is called a wind mill. The most commonly used type of wind turbine is the horizontal wind turbine.

The main parts of a wind turbine are rotor, tower, gear box and generator. In a Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT), the rotor’s axis is parallel to the ground and the direction of wind flow. The rotor resembles the propeller of an airplane and consists of blades that are attached to the rotor. This propeller is built on a horizontal shaft. With the wind, the rotor rotates and this in return rotates the horizontal shaft and drives the generator attached to it.

The rotor blades have an aerodynamic design. The top side is curved and the bottom side is straight. When wind passes over the blade, due to the difference in shape on either side, air passes faster over the curved side creating a low pressure area on the curved side which is also the upper side. This pressure difference results in lift force that helps the airplane to rise and keep it afloat in the air. Because the blades of the turbine are connected to the rotor by a hub, the lifting of the blade is not possible; instead the blades rotate about the hub. The lift force has a perpendicular drag force that slows down the rotor. The higher the lift to drag ratio the higher is the efficiency.

The Horizontal Wind Turbines are used when electricity has to be produced from wind on a large scale. HAWT is mounted on towers so that it could raise high above the ground where there won’t be any obstructions for the flow of wind. Further the air flow at higher levels will be more steady and strong. These towers have to be supported firmly on the ground since varying forces are developed in the turbine during different wind speeds.

During horizontal wind turbines, there are chances that the blades, rotor and generator will get damaged. So safety devices are installed in these turbines that reduce the rotation of the rotors in case of high speed winds. The safety devices can disconnect the rotor from the generator at times of high speed winds.

The HAWTs have many advantages over the VAWTs (Vertical Axis Wind Turbine) HAWTs. The main advantage is the efficiency. Since HAWT is installed in the direction of the wind and steady wind flow is ensured, the maximum output could be achieved. Since the wind strikes the blades at a consistent angle, there won’t be much vibration or other noise.

The disadvantage is that HAWT used for commercial generation of electricity are massive structures. This makes them really expensive. Since the blades and towers are really huge, transportation charges comprises almost 20% of the equipment cost. Installation charges are also very high. The height of the tower makes maintenance difficult.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)