Wind Turbine Components

Three rotor blades (collectively referred to as the collector) determine the output of the turbine. When you double the diameter of the rotor, you will get four times the output, which is also referred to as the swept area. For example, a ten-foot diameter rotor equals 78.5 square feet of swept area. If you double the rotor size to 20 feet, your swept area quadruples to 314 square feet of swept area. Simply put, larger rotors generate more power.

The tail of a wind generator orients the turbine into the wind. When the wind changes direction, it pushes on one side of the tail, swinging the turbine around to face and collect wind energy. In tail-furling designs, the tail is also involved in protecting the turbine from high winds and tail and boom length are designed carefully for weight and area.

Most modern small-scale wind turbines employ permanent magnet alternators (PMAs). Electricity is generated when a magnetic field passes a wire. In a PMA, magnets move relative to coils of wire (windings).