There are several ways to make wind turbines efficient, these include:
- All wind turbines must have three blades to produce just the right amount of drag to make electricity production efficient. Any more than three blades would increase the amount of drag on the blades. Therefore, the speed of the blades turning would reduce and the efficiency would lower. If you had less than three blades, the blades themselves would turn faster due to less drag on the blades, and ideally this would make the turbine more efficient. However, due to less weight from the blades and the speed in which they are moving, the blades will begin to wobble. This wobbling will cause turbulence which will cause an increased rate of drag and will reduce the efficiency.
- Wind turbines are known to produce a lot of noise. When you have a lower number of blades the sound becomes very high pitched. The more blades you add the deeper the sound goes; meaning that there will be fewer complaints from the public regarding the noise.
- The blades on a wind turbine are known to be heavy, however, having too few are not heavy enough. If only two blades are used, the balance of the wind turbine may become unstable, this can be caused by the blades rotating on the axis instead of rotating from the pressure from the wind. If this is the case, there is a chance that the turbine may wobble, or it may fall over. Making sure the turbine has the advised three blades means that this weight is much more easily distributed and will take pressure off the axis and will rotate due to the wind instead.
- It is important that the location of wind farms and turbines is suitable. The area in which they are set up needs to be somewhere flat, high, and uninterrupted such as the top of hills (onshore) or in the sea (offshore), as hills, building, valleys, and forests/woods can deflect any wind and prevent energy generation.
- Most wind turbines now are fitted with sensors. Therefore, they will detect the strongest wind’s direction and the top will rotate, turning the blades towards the oncoming wind. Therefore, allowing the turbine to take advantage of the wind’s energy from any direction.
- Each blade costs roughly US $150,000, and although more blades would produce more electricity each time another blade was added, it isn’t cost effective. Moving from three blades to four blades will only produce 0.5% more electricity, therefore, the cost of a fourth blade outweighs its efficiency.