What are the best materials to make wind turbine blades?
Wind turbine blades are the key to a windmill’s optimal power output and the part of greatest diversity involved. Although the generator can vary widely based on the size of the installation, a single wind turbine design can be fixed with any number of different blades.
In the following, we are going to take a look at the different materials used in making wind turbine blades and their respective advantages and disadvantages.
A very popular option for homemade windmills is using wood to make wind turbine blades. Wood is obviously very readily available at any home supplies store or lumberyard, or if you’re feeling froggy, trees, whilst growing more elusive daily, are as yet usually possible to attain at your nearby forest.
Be it solid plank, laminate, veneer or a composite, wood is cheap, strong and lightweight, and a very legitimate material for this type of application.
Steel has been used in the past, but it is unnecessarily heavy and prohibitively expensive.
Aluminum, while it is light and easy to work with, which is crucial in a project like this; is also subject to metal fatigue, making it a less attractive choice.
Fiberglass is probably going to be the best choice for the average person that doesn’t want to use wood, and there are several different varieties out there. Cloth over frame, pultrusion, and filament winding to produce spars.
An easy and cheap way that a homemade set of wind turbine blades can be made is to just buy a length of PVC pipe and cut it into quarters. The quarters can then be cut down into a blade shape easily.
The enormous modern wind turbines being used more frequently around the world now will use much more advanced technologies for their blades, such as GFRP, glass fiber-reinforced composites, and carbon fiber-reinforced composites. Various polymer matrix composite materials are being used in monolithic, or single skin, and sandwich composites.
Research is constantly underway to find a lighter composite with greater strength that does not sacrifice fatigue, and thus the composite genre will continue to evolve. Therefore, wind turbine blades will also continuously improve. But for the average user, the materials mentioned earlier will be encountered far more often, and provide an affordable, environmentally friendly avenue to energy.