Conventional wind power faces challenges that have limited its use.
Small, conventional turbines often do not produce enough electricity to make them worth their cost. One reason is they do not run in low winds and must be shut down in high winds, reducing the amount of energy they can generate.
Traditional wind turbines capture less than half of the wind’s energy producing potential.
Conventional turbines can dominate a landscape. Towers are typically 120 feet high, require an acre of land, and must use guide wires to keep the towers stable. Even so-called “small” turbines can be large devices that stand high above buildings and trees, and often are prohibited by zoning laws.
Open-rotor turbines are loud, particularly in high winds. Some municipalities have required owners of conventional wind turbines to take them down because they exceed noise ordinances.
Open-rotor turbines’ blades sometimes fly off, and large wind turbines have been documented to throw a rotor blade up to a quarter mile. In addition, when conventional turbines are idle, ice can build up on turbine blades. The ice is thrown off when the turbines engage.
Conventional turbines operate with a great deal of vibration. That vibration, coupled with noise issues, precludes them from being mounted on places like rooftops.
Hazards to wildlife
Thousands of birds and bats die each year when they fly in the path of spinning open-rotor turbine blades.
Because open rotors are constantly exposed to the elements (ice, wind, U/V rays), they require routine maintenance that requires the use of heavy equipment such as cranes.
These concerns have been legitimate – until the introduction of the WindTamer turbine.