Modern wind turbines are sleeker and bigger than old-fashioned windmills, with enormous blades and towers as tall as high-rise buildings. The precise placement of these turbines on a wind farm affects its overall energy production.
As a general rule, the larger the wind turbine, the greater its generation capacity. The most commonly installed wind turbine has a capacity rating of 1.5 megawatts and can power 500 homes. Newer models run even bigger. General Electric’s website lists sizes up to 3.6 megawatts. Other wind turbine manufacturers include Vestas, Siemens, Mitsubishi, Suzlon, Clipper, Nordex, and Gamesa.
Large and heavy wind turbines require bigger foundations and cost more to install. Offshore wind turbines must be designed for ocean conditions. Keep in mind that wind turbines rarely run at full capacity since their energy generation is weather-dependent.
In addition to wind turbines, a wind farm requires an electrical power collection system, transformers, a communications network, and substations. A SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition information system) is used to monitor performance. Your engineer will recommend suitable equipment and turbine placement based on your site, finances, and energy goals.