Wind turbines are one of the oldest devices in existence used for generating power . With time , design aspects of wind generators have steadily improved, especially when it comes to how the blades that are responsible for turning the turbines’ rotors have been built . Today, wind turbines generate much more power from much less wind than ever before, which is largely thanks to these improvements .
The earliest wind turbine blades were basically just large mats made from reeds . While they did the job under some conditions, they weren’t very durable . The short lifespan of this type of blade led inventors to seek out other options .
Cloth sails were the next step in the development of wind turbine blades . Thanks to this blade design, early windmills were able to harness wind power effectively in order to process grain .
The next major kind of blade to be introduced was the wood blade, which was often used in conjunction with a horizontal axis configuration . This development mimicked those seen in the world of aeronautics , as improving rotors often had these characteristics . Although much lighter, wooden blades were nevertheless able to provide much more power than earlier turbine blades .
Electricity was generated for the first time from wind turbines thanks to these designs . The earliest wind turbines of this type were relatively small in size, but they would soon be enlarged and used for commercial purposes .
In order to meet divergent requirements , the differences between horizontal axis turbine blade designs and vertical axis blade designs started to become even more distinct . With regard to horizontal axis blade design, most of the changes would manifest themselves as differences in blade shape and pitch, materials, and the number of blades used per rotor .
Due to their strong balance of stability and rotor speed, 3-blade designs came to be the standard for horizontal axis wind turbines . In many current turbines, composite blades are used, which are extremely strong and flexible in addition to being lightweight, making them excellent for both residential and commercial uses . Unlike previous generations of turbines, these new turbines can both spin at higher speeds and pick up winds of lower velocity .
For vertical axis wind turbines too , there are a number of new designs available currently , appropriate for a wide variety of purposes . The rotation for these units is usually provided by features that take advantage of either the lift or drag of the wind .
The big advantage of vertical axis wind turbine designs is their capacity to generate power regardless of wind direction . In this regard , they provide a more consistent supply of power than standard horizontal axis turbines . What’s more, because vertical axis turbines usually don’t require a tower, they’re often favored by residential users .