turbine is used to convert kinetic energy into mechanical
energy. The use of a wind turbine is particularly effective
in areas that are subject to wind on a consistent basis.
Most of the wind turbine installations in South Africa
are based on older technology – using horizontal
axis wind turbines. These older systems are noisy and
generally require servicing and high levels of maintenance
The newer, current technology, using vertical axis wind
turbines are more efficient, are less noisy and require
less maintenance. They run more smoothly than the horizontal
axis wind turbines and can handle wind from all directions,
thus making them more efficient.
Since the amount of wind required to generate energy
from a wind turbine is not normally reliable, wind turbines
are most effective when used in conjunction with other
technologies, particularly that of solar photovoltaics.
It is estimated that the most effective use of a wind
turbine is through the application of a hybrid system
where roughly 75% of the energy is generated through
solar photovoltaics and 25% through wind turbines.
Wind energy is renewable, clean and widely distributed.
Wind energy reduces toxic greenhouse gas emissions
if used to replace fossil fuel-derived electricity.
When using wind energy at low-moderated penetration
levels, the intermittency / lack of consistency of
wind seldom creates problems.