Experimental Wind Turbine Design Concept

Experimental Wind Turbine Initial Design Concept and Ideas

This page is about the concept for my Wind Turbine, check out the main project index for the rest.

There is a YouTube video about this which shows the entire process, or scroll down for pictures and words.


My intention is to build an omni directional wind turbine for a variety of applications. This means it will need to spin vertically, and also be able to produce low-speed-high-torque to drive a mechanical application, as well as high-speed-low-torque to generate electricity, when required.

There are two main existing vertical/omni directional designs. The first is a Savonius turbine, which is essentially like ‘wind cups’. This design is high torque, but can never spin faster than wind speed, and therefore isn’t very efficient:

The second design is the Darrieus design, which used an aerofoil like an aeroplane wing to generate lift. This design can spin faster than the wind, and is therefore more efficient. However, the design is not self starting, so it needs a push to get going, but is has low torque. This design is probably best for generating electricity.

Since I want the best of both of these designs, my concept is to build a wind turbine that can transform between the two. I intend to build aerofoils which are split in two, and can open up to make ‘wind cups’.

I think that the split aerofoils will tend to open due to the ‘lift’ that each side creates in opposing directions, and the ‘umbrella’ effect the partially open aerofoil/cup will produce. Therefore I think that a cable will be required to pull the two halves closed (as shown by the red line in the diagram below). The cables from each aerofoil, which will be spinning, will be transferred to stationary cables attached to the wind turbine mounting via slip ring. This is similar to the way a helicopter adjusts the pitch of its rotors while they are turning: