How Do They Work
Wind And The Environment
Wind Power Plants
There are two types of wind machines used today: horizontal–axis wind machines and vertical-axis wind machines. Most windmills are the horizontal-axis type. One wind machine can produce 1.5 to 4.0 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity a year. That is enough electricity for to power 150-400 homes.
Horizontal-axis wind machines have blades like airplane propellers. A typical horizontal wind mill stands about as tall as a 20-story building and has three blades that span 200 feet across. The largest wind machines in the world have blades longer than a football field! Wind machines stand tall and wide to capture more wind. The more wind the more power.
Vertical–axis wind machines have blades that go from top to bottom and look like giant egg beaters. The typical vertical wind machine stands 100 feet tall and 50 feet wide. Vertical-axis wind machines make up just five percent of the wind machines used today.
The Wind Amplified Rotor Platform (WARP) is a different kind of wind system that is designed to be more efficient and use less land than wind machines in use today. The WARP does not use large blades; instead, it looks like a stack of wheel rims. Each module has a pair of small, high capacity turbines mounted to both of its concave wind amplifier module channel surfaces. The concave surfaces channel wind toward the turbines, amplifying wind speeds by 50 percent or more. Eneco, the company that designed WARP, plans to market the technology to power offshore oil platforms and wireless telecommunications systems.