A Brief Introduction to Windmill Design

What constitutes a windmill? What are the main components?

small wind turbines

The major components of a typical windmill are as follows:

The blades: The number changes from four to 20. There are some even bigger wind mills that have more blades.

The tower: The blades should be held high so that the wind can run them.

The shaft: The shaft joins the blades with the tower.

The generator: The generator is what convertes mechanical energy to electricity and stores power for future use.

The base: The base of the windmill connects it to the earth.

As you can see in the image below, some windmills necessitate more parts. It depends on the needs and the use.


The kinetic energy of moving air initiates the force that turns a windmill’s blades. It spins a drive shaft that in turn spins the turbine of a generator to make electricity. A gear box located along the drive shaft increases speed and optimize power generation. Longer rotor blades mean a larger “rotor swept area,” the total area covered by spinning blades, increasing the energy that can be captured and generating more electricity.

Many factors affect the design of a windmill:

Wind speed: You can measure the wind speed at site via an anemometer. Wind speed is the major determinant factor on the kind of windmill that is the best for your site.

Wind direction: For designing a windmill, it is also important to know the direction from which the wind flows most of the time.

Obstructions on the site: The less are the obstructions, the better the site is to generate windmill power.

Wind turbulence: The patter of wind movement determines the windmill design.

The height at which the wind is significantly active: The height of the tower is dependent on the distance of wind activity from the ground level.

Due to these variations, windmill designs require particularities. Number and shape of blades, the height of the tower or other features may change according to the necesities of the environment.e4e

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One Response to “A Brief Introduction to Windmill Design”

  1. sethusiva.M says:

    That’s a pretty good effort to explain things about wind,ills. but some more details like questions as follows can give us a clear view.

    1) how the speed in the generator maintained constant in order to maintain the grid frequency since wind speed & direction may vary?

    2)how the grid connections circuit will be?

    3)Is there any aux. power requirement?

    4)Is there any case studies about wind mill accidents?

    5)what are all the major logics involved & is there any PLC?

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