Skinny windmill blades

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by megafiddle, Nov 30, 2012.


  1. megafiddle

    megafiddle

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Why are windmill blades so skinny?

    Wouldn't wide blades like a fan be better?

    Obviously not, but why?
  2. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    The lighter they are, less wind is needed to turn them and generate power? Therefore more efficient?
  3. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid Supporting Member

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    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
  4. line6man

    line6man

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Close to Los Angeles, CA
    Wide blades would create drag. /Thread.
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  6. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

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    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Ever seen one of those up close? Each blade is longer than a semi trailer, and about 8 feet wide.
  7. mc_muench

    mc_muench

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Its freaky when they time them all the same and at night its hundreds of red dots, then nothing, then hundreds of red dots, then nothing, then hundreds of red dots, then nothing.
  8. machine gewehr

    machine gewehr

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Location:
    Istanbul
    [​IMG]

    :ninja:
  9. mc_muench

    mc_muench

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
  10. Topspin

    Topspin

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    +10000000000000000000000000000000000000

    Driving back from Colorado at night, I saw this. Felt like I was tripping balls for about 40 miles. I felt quite dumb when I figured out what it was. ;)
  11. MX21

    MX21

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA
    Long, thin (high aspect ratio) airfoils are more efficient. That's why gliders have long thin wings.
  12. Jim Nazium

    Jim Nazium

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Takoma Park, MD (DC)
    It's just a fasion trend, like jeans or neckties. In the 70s we had big wide windmill blades with tie-dye colors.
  13. AnchorHoy

    AnchorHoy

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Yes Indeedy

    There's a plant just across the river from me in Bristol PA that makes blades for these. Most definitely an Oversize Load when they're loaded up for shipment - in the neighborhood of 80' long for the trailer alone
  14. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Wide blades would be a huge problem if the wind exceeds their ability to resist the forces. Also, the tower would have to be a lot stronger and that would raise the price to the point of being uneconomical.
  15. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Yes.

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