Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) have long been promoted as superior to those huge horizontal axis wind turbines you mainly see in wind farms. The concept behind VAWTs certainly is attractive – VAWTs are smaller, safer for birds, quieter, and supposedly can produce electricity with lower wind speeds.
Unfortunately, the reality behind VAWTs has not been as good. There are two main problems, according to Scientific American, with those being cost and reliability. While companies have made VAWTs more efficient over the years, they still cost more on a per watt basis than horizontal axis turbines. And issues of reliability have been just adding to the cost equation. Windspire Energy, which began shipping it’s $3,955 VAWT in 2008, declared bankruptcy last year because of their huge warranty repair costs.
via: Scientific American