Wind turbines allow you to generate electricity without producing air pollution or other harmful emissions, using only the power of the wind. The most common wind turbines are horizontal or vertical axis turbines.
Horizontal wind turbines look like household fans. The horizontal shaft of the turbine has large blades attached. When the wind hits these blades, they turn and activate the electricity generator. Horizontal turbines must face into the wind to function, so their heads turn to follow the wind direction.
Vertical wind turbines look like the blades of an eggbeater. The central shaft is vertical, and the rotor blades attach at the top and bottom and bow out to the sides. These blades catch the wind and turn the generator. Vertical turbines work when the wind blows at almost any angle, making them a very reliable source of wind power.
- Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images