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Windmill are one of the most mature of alternative energy technologies.  They differ little, conceptually, form the familiar windmills seen on American farms to drive pumping equipment, or even the grain mills of Holland.  Many of the current electrical generating wind energy devices use a variant of the familiar blade or propeller to catch the wind force and convert it to rotational, mechanical energy.  The scale, and subsequent power generated by these devices has gotten huge, but the basic design shares similar components.


Most current large-scale wind farms use conventional propeller driven systems.



A second generation of wind devices is gaining popularity as they are quieter, and more efficient in low winds.  The vertical axis systems come in a great variety of shapes and blade designs from drum-like turbines to exotic helical forms.  The standard shared feature is that they are upright with the rotating shaft of the mechanism vertical.  Some of these systems have nearly frictionless magnetic levitation bearings that allow them to turn at even the slightest breeze.


Vertical axis systems work well for smaller installations in residential areas and are generally quieter and more "bird friendly."


Additional attributes make them more compatible with residential areas, as they are quieter and transmit less vibration while in use.  These characteristics make them ideal for roof top installations in high rises and other urban environments.  Other interesting benefit is that birds tend to see them as a solid object, as opposed to the spinning blades of the more conventional wind systems, so they avoid flying into them.


First Wind on Schedule in Kahuku

One Comment leave one →
  1. Dexter permalink
    February 22, 2014 8:38 am

    Hi, I currently undergoing a Bsc in Physics. I am constructing a Darrieus Helical Wind Turbine and I found this design very interesting. Can I get the plan of the design please…?

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