While there are several different designs for wind turbines, modern wind turbines fall into two basic groups:
the "horizontal-axis design" and the "vertical-axis design".
The "vertical-axis design," resembles a giant eggbeater-style Darrieus model pictured to the immediate right, named after its French inventor.
The "horizontal-axis design," in which the axis of the blades is horizontal to the ground. Horizontal-axis wind turbines typically either have two or three blades. These three-bladed wind turbines are operated "upwind," with the blades facing into the wind.