Most wind turbines generating electricity today are horizontal axis machines. It is predominantly medium-sized enterprises that have pushed wind market developments. Wind power plants have reached a high technical level and
current systems reach powers up to several megawatts, whereas the wind generators of the 1980s were in the power range below 100 kW.
A horizontal axis wind turbine generally consists of the following components (see Figure 5.12):
• rotor blades, rotor hub, rotor brake and if need be, a pitch mechanism
• electrical generator and if need be, a gearbox
• wind measurement system and yaw drive (azimuth tracking)
• nacelle, tower and foundation
• control, substation and mains connection.
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Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.