Creating Longer Lasting Wind Turbines



If you want to know what’s the hold up with realizing all these great ideas for green technology that you see, you might look to a paraphrase of an old saw: It’s the economics, stupid. When deciding whether it makes sense to install a wind turbine or a solar farm or what have you, virtue withers in the face of maintenance and start-up costs. Which is why a long-lived wind turbine is such an important invention. 

The engineers at Moog Japan tackled one of the greatest causes of wear and tear on big wind turbines: The stresses of the wind itself on the rotors, which causes the joints and blades to bend and weaken. So they designed a feedback mechanism that can adjust the blades, the reduce stress loads:

According to Tech On:

Four load sensors are installed at the base of each blade to measure
distortion. The system adjusts the pitch angle to reduce the load on
the wings when the wind is strong or when asymmetric load is applied on
the windmill due to variations in wind strength. The adjustment will
extend the lifetime of a windmill and reduce power generation cost.

The designers claim that stress loads on the turbine will decrease by 20%—giving a little more oomph to the positive side of the ledger, for future wind projects.

[Tech On via Treehugger