Vertical Axis Wind Turbine
There are two major types of wind turbines. A vertical axis wind turbine is one which rotates arounda vertical axis. Each type of turbine is based upon the axis on which the turbine rotates. Vertical axiswind turbines (VAWTs) are less frequently used, as they are not as efficient as horizontal axis windturbines.The rotor shaft of a VAWT is designed tooperate vertically.The main advantage of a VAWT is that theturbine doen't need to be oriented to face intothe wind to be effective. As a result, VAWTscan use wind from all directions. This is particularly useful on sites with highlyvariable wind direction.Another advantage of a VAWT is thegenerator and gearbox can be placed near theground. This makes it faster and easier for maintenance to be carried out. There is also noneed for a tower to support it, cutting downconstruction and possibly also maintenancecosts (depending on the design).So why are VAWTs less common thanhorizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs)?They have some major drawbacks. SomeVAWT designs produce pulsating torque, anddrag is often created when the blade rotatesinto the wind.VAWTs are difficult to errect on towers. Thismeans they are predominantly installed on the base which they rest upon, such as the groundor a building.As wind speed is slower at lower altitudes,less wind energy is available to harness. Also,air movement nearer the ground can createturbulents which cause VAWTs to vibrate andto operate with increased noice. The result isincreased wear and tear which increases themaintenance.Most VAWTs produce less energy thanHAWTs. VAWTs run at about 50% of theefficiency of HAWTs. This is mainly due tothe additional drag that VAWT blades have -as they rotate into the wind.While the parts of a VAWT are located on theground, they are also located under the weightof the structure above it. This can makechanging parts nearly impossible withoutdismantling the structure.