Chapter 2
Introduction to Modern Wind Turbines


The preceding chapter traces the development of wind power technology from ancient windmills through the historic Smith-Putnam project which ended in 1945. During the next 40-odd years, wind energy enthusiasts proposed turbine designs covering every conceivable concept, shape, and size. Many of these resulted in complete designs, and a large number were built and tested. In the last decade of the 20th century typical configurations of modern horizontal-axis and vertical-axis wind turbines (HAWTs and VAWTs) began to emerge, and these will be described in this chapter. The evolutionary process that led to modern wind turbine configurations is described in detail in Chapter 3.

Wind turbine nomenclature has also evolved during the past several decades, and definitions of common terms will be presented here. In addition, parameters which wind turbine engineers use to analyze power and energy output will be introduced, in preparation for the more-detailed discussions of the wind characteristics and wind turbine performance that appear later in this book. A bibliography of publications recommended for additional introductory information on modern wind turbines is given in Appendix A.

  • Introduction
  • Modern Large-Scale Wind Turbines
  • General Configurations of Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbines
  • General Configuration of a Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine
  • Wind Turbine System Performance
  • Wind Turbine Economics
  • Offshore vs. Onshore Wind Power Station Costs
  • Rotationally-Sampled Wind Turbulence
  • References

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