Why was the new big Shell wind generator turned backwards to the breeze ?

unkilmalunkilmal Registered Users Posts: 1
Can these airfoil like blades work backwards in some limited capacity.  This new installation a few miles south of Upper Sandusky, Ohio had the rotors backed into the gentle SW breeze and was turning very slowly.  Can they develop some lift when air flows backwards over them?  Is this made possible by adjusting the pitch?  Or was the power I could hear flowing through the big breaker box at the base of the tower, powering the rotors and not sending power away from the big wind-gen?  Maybe the new wind-gen was set to run very slowly for break-in purposes.  Backing it into the wind might be break-in procedure?  Anybody have some light on this question of mine?  Am I ignorant of some basic blade fact?    unkilmal


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,027 admin
    Yes, blades can be driven backwards. And blades are variable pitch, so the computer can adjust angle based on wind and electrical demand.

    Generally, large turbines have a wind vane and electric motor to point "towards" the wind.

    Most turbines have the blades up wind of the tower. However there are a few that have blades downwind of the tower.

    Lastly, very large turbines (both wind, steam, and natural gas) can have a "turning gear" that will slowly rotate the gear train/alternator/etc. to keep them lubricated and to prevent the very heavy rotating parts and shafts from getting a "set (bend)" from gravity if it stayed in one position for long periods of time.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,034 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Is it still standing vertically ?  You might have been the last one to see it before it broke?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,382 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016 #4
    I just ran through West Texas panhandle on I-40 and was very surprised to see from the highway at least 10 new large scale turbines going up.  I thought they had way to much wind already in west Texas causing grid issues.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,034 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Dave,  I read recently that a new power line to the south east is being built to get the energy flowing that direction.
    With 22 nuclear plants in the US just like the GE reactor models in Fukashima there are some in the south east who are concerned.
    I think I read 11 of the old GE reactors are in the south east.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

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