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Topic Title: Why do wind turbines rotate anti-clockwise?
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Created On: 02 March 2012 10:28 AM
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 02 March 2012 10:28 AM
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Banksman

Posts: 35
Joined: 19 July 2011

I got asked why wind turbines rotate anti-clockwise when they generarte power. Something I have never really paid attention to before. But my thinking, is it because of phase rotation of r-y-b phases rotate anti-clockwise??
 02 March 2012 10:37 AM
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aroscoe

Posts: 91
Joined: 18 October 2002

Nothing to do with phase rotation. You could just swap two phase connections which would allow either direction. Anyway, usually there is a gearbox in there anyway, and nowadays most machines are interfaced through power electronics which allows rotation either way in theory.

It'll just be convention. Prop planes always rotate the same way, for (I guess) just to maintain convention. The blade manufacture is very expensive and it only makes sense to have one conventional blade mould or set of parts. If you made some turbines one way, some the other, then you need two whole sets of symmetrical parts and mounds, whereas when they all go the same way you only need one set. Cheaper, less stock to carry, less chance of mess-ups!


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Dr. Andrew Roscoe

http://personal.strath.ac.uk/andrew.j.roscoe
 02 March 2012 11:02 AM
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Banksman

Posts: 35
Joined: 19 July 2011

Thanks Andrew. Always seems to be an obvious answer that is overlooked with these things. Do you know of any wind generator where the turbine blades rotate clockwise??

I am now keeping a look out for this but haven't come across any.
 05 March 2012 01:52 PM
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oneye

Posts: 158
Joined: 25 February 2008

I had to double check - I see 2 sets on a regular basis.
All rotate clockwise ...
that is clockwise from the blade front with the generator housing at the rear.
 05 March 2012 06:11 PM
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jcm256

Posts: 1793
Joined: 01 April 2006

The earth rotates anti clockwise, how many of these costly machines sticking up 60ft above the surface of the earth would it take to effect the rotation of the earth Itself. Perhaps should make every other one rotate clockwise. Good job they re not running fast enough for the gyroscope effect.
(Lighthearted reply not related to any Engineering principals)

Regards
 05 March 2012 06:20 PM
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OMS

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I worked on a project in eastern Europe - one of the boffins was begining to wonder what would happen to the weather further east if we continued to keep abstracting wind energy over western europe with wind turbines.

Not much I suspect - this was one of those theories along the lines of "If you drink 8 pints of scrumpy cider every day for 3 years you'll go blind because there is arsenic in apple pips" - I'm sure it's true but clearly there was no experience of drinking scrumpy cider - you'd be dead long before you went blind !! -

Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 06 March 2012 08:52 AM
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Banksman

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I saw my first clockwise turbines the other day! Vestas machines coming up the M74.
 07 March 2012 10:59 AM
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ArthurHall

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Originally posted by: Banksman

I saw my first clockwise turbines the other day! Vestas machines coming up the M74.


Dident know they could move, which lane were they in.
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