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Windmill 12

Turbine windmill

(Click to enlarge photo)

Another test trying to eliminate the need for a gearbox. This time a direct drive turbine to a car alternator. This machine is only intended to work at very high wind speeds and is really just a small version of the large diameter water-pump previously described. The turbine blade is only 0.3m diameter and therefore rotates at a much higher speed than my usual 1.2m propeller.

The reason for trying to eliminate any gearing is partly because of efficiency but mainly because under storm conditions the power throughput means the gearbox must be extremely large and heavy and thus, expensive! There is also the problem of shock pulses when the wind suddenly changes direction, this sort of effect is not good for gearing systems and can wreck them in double-quick time. Gearboxes are one of the main reasons why very large wind machines are so hideously expensive. Their reliability record is not particularly good either and they require a labour-intensive and frequent maintenance routine. If it is possible to avoid gearing systems altogether I believe we would then have much more usable and practical wind machines.


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