upwind wind turbine

An upwind wind turbine is a type of wind turbine in which the rotor faces the wind. The basic advantage of upwind designs is that one avoids the wind shade behind the tower. By far the vast majority of wind turbines have this design. On the other hand, there is also some wind shade in front of the tower, i.e. the wind starts bending away from the tower before it reaches the tower itself, even if the tower is round and smooth. Therefore, each time the rotor passes the tower, the power from the wind turbine drops slightly. The basic drawback of upwind designs is that the rotor needs to be made rather inflexible, and placed at some distance from the tower (as some manufacturers have found out to their cost). In addition an upwind machine needs a yaw mechanism to keep the rotor facing the wind. Compare with downwind wind turbine.