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Name: Andy
Status: Other
Grade: Other
Location: N/A
Country: United States
Date: August 2008

Why do companies make very long-bladed wind turbines instead of short-bladed turbines?

Hi Andy,

The answer is simple. Wind turbine blades are very similar in function to glider wings. Both are designed for maximum lift and efficiency with minimum drag. Both wind turbines and gliders operate with relatively slow air speeds passing over their surfaces. It turns out that a long thin wind turbine "wing", just like a glider wing, offers the best performance in the very similar conditions under which they are used.


Bob Wilson

The power that can be gotten from a wind generator is proportional to the area swept out by the blades, so one would hope for a factor of four increase in power from a factor of two increase in blade length. I do not think the full increase is actually obtained, though, because the area between the blades also increases with blade length.

Tim Mooney

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