The principle upon which wind turbines are designed has been with us for centuries, used in windmills to drive machinery for grinding grain or pumping water. A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy which in turn is used to generate electricity. However, modern turbine designs have come a long way since James Blyth, a Scottish academic, first developed an electricity generating wind turbine in 1887. As early as 1900, Denmark was producing about 30 MW of power from 2500 windmills.
Wind turbines come in two types based on whether they rotate about a horizontal or vertical axis. All Turbowinds wind turbines are the horizontal type. Depending on their generation capacity, wind turbines may be termed, small (or micro), medium or large. Small wind turbines can range from 50 watts to 50 kilowatts. Large, utility grade turbines range from 500 kW up to the current record of 7.58 MW. Turbowinds wind turbines sit in the medium-scale band between 50kW and 500 KW.
The move to wind is gathering pace, wind power is growing at a rate of 30% annually. Global wind power capacity grew by 35,800 MW in 2010. Global installed capacity in 2010 was 198 gigawatts (GW), accounting for 21% of stationary electricity production in Denmark, for example. However the potential for energy generation from this free resource is many times that. The long-term technical potential of wind energy globally is estimated to be five times total current energy production.