Building a Small Wind Turbine: Weight Guidelines Building a Small Wind Turbine: Weight Guidelines
When building a small wind turbine or a relatively large turbine, weight is an important factor to consider. Weight is an important issue because you need to keep your blades as light as possible for it to turn with the help of the wind. However, the turbine itself shouldn't be too light that it can be damaged or blown by the wind. For more guidelines about the weight of your wind turbine, continue reading below.
Manufactured Wind Turbines
Currently, the manufactured wind turbine blades measure as big as 80 meters in diameter, having prototypes even bigger than that. Larger and stronger blades, though they may weigh more, are being produced to cover larger areas. A larger blade will result in an increased tip-speed ratio that increases the energy extraction of any one turbine system. Nevertheless, it is very important to keep a blade's weight at optimum level.
Decreasing the Weight of Wind Turbine Blades
While manufacturers tend to build larger blade systems, they make sure to control the blade weight. Manufacturers are looking at lighter materials mixing in wood with fiberglass and carbon. Some of the manufacturers also make use of pre-preg fiberglass as well as vacuum-assisted resin. Other companies are making use of carbon fiber-reinforced load bearing spars in order to reduce the weight of these wind turbines. It allows manufacturers to save on cost and decrease the total mass of the blade by up to 38% for a 60-meter blade. All these efforts are being made to ensure a large yet light blade that will provide better energy extraction results.
Decreasing Weight for Small Wind Turbines
By now, you should have a better understanding as to why weight is a big factor in the manufacture of wind blades. This will give you a better understanding when you build your small wind turbine. You should always keep in mind that weight plays an important factor when you build your own wind turbine. Thus, you may want to look for better alternatives when preparing and purchasing your materials for your small wind turbine.
Tips for a Lighter Small Wind Turbine
The good thing about working with a small wind turbine is that you won't be working with a large blade. Of course with a small-sized turbine, a smaller blade is more appropriate. Not only will it be more appropriate but you definitely can't go too big because your small wind turbine may not be able to hold and power it up. Because of that, rest assured that the blades for a small wind turbine will be lighter than any other type of wind turbine. Nevertheless, there are still ways that can help you achieve a lighter small wind turbine. For smaller blades, you can make use of light metals instead of wood. Older wind turbines are made up of wood and canvas. However the force that these two materials capture could not be compared to the high drag that they make. Aside from that, canvass and wood requires more frequent maintenance. Instead, just go for aluminum and/or solid airfoils.