Renewable Energy

What key factors affect a wind turbine's energy output?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. One issue is speed - how fast is the turbine moving and how long is speed maintained? The kinetic energy in wind increases exponentially in proportion to its speed, so even small speed increases can greatly improve the energy output. The placement of the wind turbine has a great impact on the speeds it can reach. Another important factor is the size of the blades. Generally speaking, the longer the blade, the larger the rotator and therefore the greater volume of energy that turbine can create. However, in areas with low wind levels, smaller blades will actually produce more energy because they'll move more often. The tower height of the turbine is also a factor because the ground can interfere with the wind speed; the higher the tower, the faster the wind blows.

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