When building windmills, people think about how to increase their efficiency. In order to do that, they analyze the components. The most important components of a windmill are, of course, windmill blades.
The first thing to take into consideration when talking about windmill blades is their number. The more blades a windmill has, the harder will be for it to rotate. The old ones used to have 4 very heavy blades. Most of them were use in grain grinding. Nowadays, the most recent windmills are equipped with two or three blades.
The length is important too. If a blade is longer, it covers a larger surface when it rotates, therefore they can catch more wind with every rotation. This may lead to more torque. To protect the windmill blades we mustn’t forget about their surface. If we provide them with efficient maintenance, they will last longer and will also be more productive.
Also, the shape of windmill blades influences their rotation. There are a few different shapes of windmill blades: the flat, rectangular ones, the wing shaped ones and the ones with both edges tapered to a thin line or both edges rounded like the ones of an airplane wing. In the case of the horizontal axis windmills, the wing shape has proven to be by far the most efficient one. The vertical axis windmills works very well with all the shapes of the windmill’s blades, but the best performance is given by the flat ones and the ones with both edges rounded.
Regarding the material with which the windmill blades are made from, if we think about the old ones, they were usually made from wood. Even though those windmill blades are made of wood, their structure changed over time. They are lighter now so they can spin faster. A common material which brings a high performance due to its sharp edges and its light weight is carbon fiber. Another material that is light, but also cheap is PVC. It is a synthetic material often used for windmill blades. New materials are always being tested, in the hopes of finding a cheaper, more effective solution.
Windmill blades are constantly developing, even though they appeared a very long time ago. At their beginnings they were somehow inefficient, but people learned to develop them and to make the windmills a desirable source of energy. Many more shapes and materials have and will be for windmill blades and people start using more and more this alternative source of energy that will not only save our money, but also our environment.
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