Which Material Is Best for a Wind Turbine Rotor? Which Material Is Best for a Wind Turbine Rotor?
Choosing the best material to build a wind turbine rotor can be a complicated process. With a wide range of materials being used to build rotors today, the material you choose totally depends on the usage and power of the rotor you have in mind. The materials being used for building rotors include steel, aluminium, copper, glass reinforced plastic, wood epoxy, permanent magnetic materials and pre-stressed concrete. Deciding which material is best can be done by taking a few points into consideration.
The weight you are going for while building the wind turbine rotor matters a lot. If you are building a small wind turbine, the weight of the rotor has to be kept minimal. Most small wind turbines have light materials for the rotor to decrease cost and increase power efficiency. Die-cast aluminium is the best material to use in small rotors. For bigger wind turbines though, steel forgings have to be used for added strength.
Material fatigue is the most important point to take into consideration when building a wind turbine rotor. A typical rotor will encounter a fatigue of around 4 x 1000,000,000 cycles over its 30 year expected lifetime! Choosing the right material for the job means everything. Permanent magnetic materials and pre-stressed concrete have been found to work really well over the long life of a wind turbine and are the best for either small or large wind turbines if longevity is what you want the most.