Types of Wind Turbines: Explained and Compared 2022 - Ablison Energy (2023)

Wind is a renewable energy source caused by uneven heating of the earth's surface by the sun. Devices known as wind turbines were invented to convert wind energy into electricity. There are manyTypes of wind turbines. The turbines are environmentally friendly as no harmful chemicals are released into the environment during power generation. The wind turbines, made up of rotor blades, are connected to a generator that produces electricity as soon as it is rotated by the wind.

Types of Wind Turbines: Explained and Compared 2022 - Ablison Energy (1)

Types of wind turbines are:

The horizontal axis and the vertical axis are the two main types of turbines. Other types of wind turbines include diffuser-extended, multi-rotor, and coaxial wind turbines.

sizes of wind turbine types

Wind turbines vary in size. The length of a blade is decisive for the amount of electricity to be generated. The largest wind turbine can generate an output of up to 10,000 kilowatts. A single house can consume 10 kilowattsgenerated electricity from the small wind turbines. Many turbines are combined into oneWind farmor a wind turbine to provide power grids.

Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT)

What are horizontal axis wind turbines?

Horizontal axis wind turbines are the most commonly used turbine types. Its components include a shaft, generator and blades. The leaves are facing the wind. The blades are hit by the wind, causing the wave to rotate. The generator is turned on by a gear connected to the shaft and power generation begins and is sent to the grid.

Types of Wind Turbines: Explained and Compared 2022 - Ablison Energy (2)

Key elements for horizontal wind turbines

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In order to increase the efficiency of the turbine, the wind turbine has some key elements. In the nacelle, also called the head, there is a wind vane, an anemometer and a controller that measures the speed and direction of the wind. As the wind changes, a motor rotates the nacelle to ensure the blades face the wind. In extreme winds there is a brake on the turbine to slow down the speed of the shaft. The brake prevents the turbines from being damaged in difficult conditions.

The horizontal axis turbines have plane like propellers with three blades. The largest is a nearly 20-story building with 100-foot wings. The higher the turbine, the more electricity is produced. The horizontal type is used in almost all turbines.

Advantages and disadvantages of horizontal axis wind turbines


  • The blades are positioned off center to improve stability.
  • Has the ability to wrap wings, giving the blades an angle of attack
  • Has the ability to pitch the rotor blades in the event of a storm, minimizing potential damage
  • A tall tower allows easy access to stronger winds
  • A tall tower can be erected on uneven land or offshore locations
  • It can be placed in the forest among the tall trees
  • Most of them start themselves

Types of Wind Turbines: Explained and Compared 2022 - Ablison Energy (3)


  • Difficult to operate with ground wind
  • Difficult to transport
  • Difficult to install, requiring experienced operators and cranes
  • Difficult to maintain
  • Proximity affects radar

Types of Wind Turbines: Explained and Compared 2022 - Ablison Energy (4)

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT)

What is a vertical axiswind turbine?

In a vertical axis turbine, the shaft and blade are connected vertically to the ground. The main components are all located near the ground. The wind turbines of the vertical, in contrast to the horizontal, are at ground level. The vertical axis wind turbine has two types namely: lift-based and drag-based turbines. The buoyancy design is more efficient than drag or paddle based designs. The vertical axis turbines are shaped like a whisk and the blades are attached to a vertically positioned rotor at the top and bottom.

Types of Wind Turbines: Explained and Compared 2022 - Ablison Energy (5)

Darrieus wind turbine

The Darrieus wind turbine is another common type of vertical axis turbine named after French engineer Georges Darrieus. The design he patented in 1931 looks like a giant whisk with two blades. Some of the versions used are the 100 foot and 50 foot vertical axis turbines. These turbines are rarely used because the horizontal performs better.


Advantages and disadvantages of vertical axis wind turbines

Types of Wind Turbines: Explained and Compared 2022 - Ablison Energy (6)


  • Easy maintenance
  • Low transport and construction costs
  • They are not indicative
  • Effective on a ridgeline, hilltops, mesas and passes


  • Less efficient
  • The blades turn back into the wind, creating drag
  • Work in light and more turbulent winds
  • It has low starting torque and needs energy to run.

Other wind turbine designs

Diffuser-extended wind turbine

A diffuser-enhanced wind turbine is modified with cone-shaped wind diffusers to increase the efficiency of converting wind power into electricity. The diffuser increases speed; thus the efficiency is increased. In traditional bare turbines, the rotor blades are mounted vertically on the support shaft or tower. In the diffuser-extended wind turbine, rotor blades are installed in the diffuser. It is then placed at the top of a shaft or support tower. In order to increase the efficiency of the device, further modifications were made to the diffuser.

double blade rotor

Almost all modern wind turbines use a three-blade rotor, but there are special two-blade ones. GROIWAN was a two-bladed unit tested from 1983 to 1987 at Kaiser-Wilhelm-Koog in Germany. The two-bladed turbines were used by the Eemmeerdijk wind farm in Zeewolde, the Netherlands. The manufacturer of the two-blade turbines was Nordic Windpower, which brought a model like the N 100 onto the market. NedWind has also manufactured other turbines.

headwind rotor

Approximately all wind turbines have a rotor that is placed in the front of the nacelle when there is wind. In some turbines, the rotor is located behind the nacelle. The design is advantageous because the turbines align themselves with the wind, which reduces costs. The downside is that the loading on the blade changes as it passes behind the tower, increasing fatigue loading and resonance in the other structures of the turbine.

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Koaxial, Multi-Rotor

More than three rotors can be mounted on the drive shaft. They combine as the wind passes through each rotor through the distance between an angle from the wind direction. Research by Douglas Selsam in 2004 proved that the coaxial multirotor was generating a significant amount of power. The first was used in California with the 12-foot pitch propellers. With the new rotor, the diameter was 2.1 meters. Aerospace engineers from Lowa State University have optimized the turbines, among other things. The turbine showed a 10-20% increase in power and was less efficient than the counter-rotating design.

Opposite horizontal axis

When mass is accelerated in one direction, it causes a proportion, but in the opposite direction. There is a significant amount of rotational air taking place. Too much tangential airflow is lost in a single rotor. To make it more useful, an extra rotor is added to increase the production of extra power. Another advantage of counter-rotation is the absence of a gearbox and automatic centering on the turbines.

The turbines in the counter-rotating horizontal axis are on the same side, while those placed in front are mounted at an angle to avoid hitting the rear ones. If the blade is on the opposite side of the turret, the rear blades should be smaller than the front ones. With few common multiples, the turbines should spin at a 7:3 ratio to reduce vibration. As a result, the generator can also function in a wide speed range.

Savonius wind turbine

Types of Wind Turbines: Explained and Compared 2022 - Ablison Energy (7)

The turbine has airfoils mounted vertically on the shaft and grounded to a station. From above, the turbine has an S-shape and rotates slowly. It is used to grind grain, pump water, and perform other tasks. Due to the slow rotation of the wind turbine, no electricity is generated.

Flutter Plate Wind Turbines

A flap turbine, also known as a check valve turbine, is a vertical axis turbine in which the blades are adjustable flaps. When the leaves are combined, they act like a sail. When the wind blows, the flaps close and don't let the wind through the sail. The wind is blocked and the turbine starts rotating.

Giromill wind turbine

A Giromill wind turbine is powered by two or three blades fixed vertically with horizontal support at the center. It works well in turbulent wind conditions and is an affordable option. With this type of turbine, the standard horizontal axis windmill is unsuitable.

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What is the most powerful wind turbine built in 2022 how many watts? ›

As of January 2022, the most powerful wind turbine that has received customer orders that is at least at the prototype stage is the 14 MW GE Haliade-X. Prototype deployed July 2020. Rotor diameter of 185 meters.

What are the five 5 types of wind power? ›

The Different Types Of Wind Energy
  • Horizontal-Axis Turbines. These types of turbines typically have three blades, similar to airplane propellers. ...
  • Vertical-Axis Turbines. ...
  • Utility-Scale Wind. ...
  • Offshore Wind. ...
  • Distributed or “Small” Wind”
Nov 21, 2018

What are the four types of wind turbines? ›

There are four types of wind turbine generators (WTGs) which can be considered for the various wind turbine systems, those are:
  • Direct Current (DC) Generators.
  • Alternating Current (AC) Synchronous Generators.
  • AC Asynchronous Generators, and.
  • Switched Reluctance Generators.
Oct 6, 2019

What is the most efficient wind turbine type? ›

Wind turbines with blades and horizontal axis.

The common horizontal axis wind turbine models use three blades, the most efficient solution.

How many watts do you need to power a house? ›

How many watts does it take to power basic items in an average size house? In a typical home, essential items will average 5000 - 7500 watts of power to run.

What size wind turbine is needed to power a house? ›

A 1.5-kilowatt wind turbine will meet the needs of a home requiring 300 kilowatt-hours per month in a location with a 14 mile-per-hour (6.26 meters-per-second) annual average wind speed.

What wind turbine can power a house? ›

A 1.5-kW wind turbine will meet the needs of a home requiring 300 kWh per month in a location with a 14 MPH (6.26 meters per second) annual average wind speed.

What are Category 7 wind types? ›

It is divided into three types:
  • Permanent winds.
  • Seasonal winds.
  • Local winds.

What is Grade 6 wind energy? ›

Wind energy conversion is the process of converting the kinetic energy of wind into electrical energy. Wind turbines are a clean and renewable energy source.

What is wind class 11? ›

The wind is defined as the flow of gases or air on a large scale from the high-pressure area to low pressure area. Wind can be classified based on the following parameters: Spatial scale (used for classifying large approximation) Speed. Types of forces.

Which is better 3 blade or 5 blade wind turbine? ›

Compared to the traditional three blade wind turbine, a five-blade turbine can increase annual performance by more than 60%. The speed of the blades of a five-blade turbine is 60% of the three-blade wind turbine. Five-blade wind turbines greatly reduce the chance of high-speed malfunction.

What are the 6 types of wind? ›

This classification is based on the periodicity of occurrence and location of occurrence.
  • Primary Wind or Planetary Wind. ...
  • Secondary Wind or Periodic Wind. ...
  • Tertiary Wind or Local Wind. ...
  • Trade Winds. ...
  • The Westerlies. ...
  • Polar Easterlies. ...
  • Monsoon Winds. ...
  • Land Breeze and Sea Breeze.
Nov 7, 2020

What is the most efficient wind turbine for home use? ›

WINDMILL 1500 W Wind Turbine Generator Kit

More expensive than many wind turbines, the Windmill 1500W is also one of the most powerful and comprehensive wind generator kits available. Rated at 1500 W, with a cut-in wind speed of 5.6 mph, this turbine can start generating power even with relatively low wind conditions.

Which turbine has lowest efficiency? ›

Among the following which turbine has least efficiency? Explanation: Pelton turbine is an impulse turbine, where there is no theoretical limit for head due to high head there is loss due to friction when water passing through penstocks hence its efficiency is less.

Which wind turbine will have high power output efficiency? ›

New research from Oxford Brookes University has found that vertical turbine design is more efficient than traditional turbines in large-scale wind farms.

Are longer or shorter blades better for wind turbines? ›

Larger rotor diameters allow wind turbines to sweep more area, capture more wind, and produce more electricity. A turbine with longer blades will be able to capture more of the available wind than shorter blades—even in areas with relatively less wind.

Which country has the best wind turbines? ›

List by country
#Country or territory2021
European Union187,497*
2United States132,738
33 more rows

Why are there no 4 blade wind turbines? ›

The extra cost of a fourth blade would not be worthwhile. The reason for this is that the air stream is under no obligation to pass through the rotor – it can diverge around it. The proof of the pudding is in the eating – the vast majority of the world's wind turbines have three blades.

Who is the largest manufacturer of wind turbines? ›

Vestas. The Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas is currently the world's largest wind turbine maker, representing over 16% of the world wind turbine market. The company was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Aarhus, Denmark.

How many kw does it take to run a house per day? ›

How Many Kilowatts Does It Take to Power a House? With the average American home consuming 900 kWh a month or 30 kWh a day, that brings the total yearly usage to around 10,800 kWh.

How many watts do I need for a 2000 square foot house? ›

On average, a 2000 sq ft home would need a 4kW system which means 10 400-watt panels.

How many batteries would it take to power a house? ›

A 400 amp-hour 6 volt battery can provide around 2.4 kilowatt hours of power. A three-day battery bank planned to provide 90 kilowatt-hours of electricity to an average American household. The previous example battery can provide2,4 kilowatt hours, while 38 batteries would be needed.

Can a single wind turbine power a house? ›

To put it another way, the average wind turbine that came online in 2020 generates enough electricity in just 46 minutes to power an average U.S. home for one month.

How many houses can 1 windmill power? ›

A typical 1.5-3 kW turbine will produce about 4,000 kWh per year in good average conditions. A typical house uses 10,000 kWh per year. So, if you have an average wind speed of 8 meters/second (about 18 mph), then you can produce enough electricity for 3 houses from one turbine!

What distance should a wind turbine be from a domestic property? ›

All wind turbines over 25 meters (82 feet) high must be placed at least four times their height from all residences.

How to choose a wind turbine? ›

Choosing a Turbine. The turbine you decide to purchase must fit your needs for size, wind resource, availability, reliability, warranty, spare parts availability, and proximity of operation and maintenance teams.

What can a 500 watt wind turbine run? ›

NATURE POWER's wind turbine can produce up to 500-Watt of power. Use with an inverter to run small TVs, phones, lights, radios, and power tools, in your cottage, cabin, work site where power from the electric company is too expensive or not available.

How many homes can a 2mw wind turbine power? ›

The project, which uses the 2 MW wind turbine platform, will eventually generate enough electricity to power 60,000 homes.

What is a Class 5 wind? ›

5. 17-21. Fresh Breeze. Moderate waves 4-8 ft taking longer form, many whitecaps, some spray. Small trees in leaf begin to sway.

What is a Category 5 wind? ›

A Category 4 with 130 to 156 mph winds and a Category 5 hurricane with winds of 157 mph or greater will cause catastrophic damage, taking out trees, power lines and doing major damage to any building in its path.

What is a level 8 wind? ›

8. Fresh gale at 62-74 kph (39-46 mph). Twigs and branches break off of trees.

What is a Class 3 wind? ›

A Wind Class 3 turbine is designed for an easy life with average wind speeds up to 7.5 m/s, and these turbines typically have extra-large rotors to allow them to capture as much energy as possible from the lower wind speeds they are subjected to.

What is 40 knots of wind? ›

Now we know that 40 knots is equal to 46.03 mph.

What are 5 uses of wind? ›

Uses of wind energy
  • generating electricity.
  • milling grain.
  • pumping water.
  • powering cargo ships (via kites)
  • reducing carbon footprint.
  • sailing.
  • windsurfing.
  • land surfing.

What causes high winds? ›

Heavy winds are typically formed by atmospheric pressure variations, which cause gusts of air to rush in to fill low-pressure zones. Additionally, wind can result from heavy activity in the jet-stream high in the sky. Finally, large fronts of cold air can also provoke turbulence in the atmosphere.

How wind is formed? ›

During the day, air above the land heats up faster than air over water. Warm air over land expands and rises, and heavier, cooler air rushes in to take its place, creating wind.

Is 4 blade or 5 blade better? ›

The main difference between 4 and 5 blade ceiling fans is generally one of aesthetics and personal taste. And, as we discussed above, the more blades a fan has, the quieter it will be. However, more blades can increase drag on the motor.

Is 3 or 5 blade and better? ›

When it comes to design and aesthetic look, the 3 bladed ceiling fan is more pleasing than the 5 bladed. However, the 5 blades can generate more wind because the blade to blades distance is nearer, thus the wind it produces is more consistent.

What makes the best wind turbine blade? ›

The faster the wind blows, the more lift that is produced on the blade, hence the faster the rotation. The advantages of a curved rotor blade compared to a flat blade is that lift forces allow the blade tips of a wind turbine to move faster than the wind is moving generating more power and higher efficiencies.

What are the 3 major wind systems? ›

There are three prevailing wind belts associated with these cells: the trade winds, the prevailing westerlies, and the polar easterlies (Fig. 3.10). Fig. 3.10 only shows the circulation cells and winds in the Northern Hemisphere.

What are the three main types of wind? ›

There are three main types of planetary winds - the trade winds, the westerlies and the easterlies. These winds are named according to the direction from which they blow.

What are the main types of wind power? ›

There are generally speaking three main types of wind turbines: utility scale, offshore wind, and distributed, or “small” wind. The vast majority of turbines installed and energy generated by wind turbines is from utility scale wind turbines and a smaller but fast-growing proportion from offshore wind turbines.

How many acres of land do you need for a wind turbine? ›

Acreage Required for a Wind Farm

One wind turbine can require up to 80 acres of land, and each turbine will generate around 2.5 MW. Because wind turbines are spaced so far apart, surface activities like farming can still take place on much of the land.

How long can a wind turbine last without maintenance? ›

The typical life span of a wind turbine is 20 years, with routine maintenance required every six months. Wind turbine power output is variable due to the fluctuation in wind speed; however, when coupled with an energy storage device, wind power can provide a steady power output.

Are vertical or horizontal wind turbines better? ›

Horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs) are the dominant wind gathering technology because they have higher efficiency ratings [14]. Their main advantage is that their blades move perpendicular to the flow of wind so energy can be generated the entire way through a rotation [14].

Why are there 3 blades on a wind turbine? ›

This is because their angular momentum in the vertical axis changes depending on whether the blades are vertical or horizontal. With three blades, the angular momentum stays constant because when one blade is up, the other two are pointing at an angle. So the turbine can rotate into the wind smoothly.

What are the two main types of wind turbines? ›

There are two basic types of wind turbines: those with a horizontal axis, and those with a a vertical axis. The majority of wind turbines have a horizontal axis: a propeller-style design with blades that rotate around a horizontal axis.

What is the most common type of wind turbine? ›

There are two types of wind turbines: the horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWTs) and vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs). HAWTs are the most common type of wind turbine. They usually have two or three long, thin blades that look like an airplane propeller.

Are longer blades better for wind turbines? ›

Larger rotor diameters allow wind turbines to sweep more area, capture more wind, and produce more electricity. A turbine with longer blades will be able to capture more of the available wind than shorter blades—even in areas with relatively less wind.

Why do some wind turbines not turn on a windy day? ›

Why do the turbines not spin at times? The most common reason that turbines stop spinning is because the wind is not blowing fast enough. Most wind turbines need a sustained wind speed of 9 MPH or higher to operate. Technicians will also stop turbines to perform routine maintenance or repairs.

Why don't they put windmills closer together? ›

Upwind farms generate “wake effects,” whereby downwind wind speeds are decreased, and that can undermine a downwind farm's potential to generate electricity and revenues. These wake effects can be more significant than previously thought, according to a new study by three researchers in the United States.

What is the difference between the two types of wind turbines? ›

Wind turbines are classified into two general types: horizontal axis and vertical axis. A horizontal axis machine has its blades rotating on an axis parallel to the ground. A vertical axis machine has its blades rotating on an axis perpendicular to the ground.


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