# Why do wind turbines spin at the same speed?

0 votes
asked Apr 22, 2022
Why do wind turbines spin at the same speed?

## 1 Answer

0 votes
answered Apr 22, 2022 by (15,440 points)
Wind turbines spin at the same speed because the high-speed shaft rotates much faster than the low-speed shaft.

The high-speed shaft of the wind turbine is attached to a coil of copper known as an armature inside the generator.

The armature rotates at the same speed as the high-speed shaft.

The armature is surrounded by a magnetic field, created by magnets within the generator.

large commercial wind turbines can spin at speeds of 100 mph to 180 mph.

The blades of the wind turbine can turn between 10 and 20 revolutions per minute depending on wind conditions.

The tips are traveling at 120 mph because of the length of the blades.

The blade tips of the wind turbine are spinning at 180 mph at maximum wind speeds.

Wind turbine foundations are buried as deep as 16 feet in the ground.

Although some wind turbines have a foundation as deep as 30 to 50 feet in the ground depending on the size of the wind turbine.

The taller the wind turbine the deeper the foundation will need to be.

The steel tower of the wind turbine is anchored in a platform of more than a thousand tons of concrete and steel rebar, 30 to 50 feet across and anywhere from 6 to 30 feet deep.

Shafts are sometimes driven down farther to help anchor it.

One wind turbine could power a small town such as with 300 to 400 people.

However the larger the town the more wind turbines are needed and for a town such as a town with 1,300 to 2,000 people need between 4 to 5 wind turbines.

In some cases a wind turbine can withstand a tornado.

During really high wind speeds the wind turbine automatically shuts down to prevent damage to the wind turbine and to the electrical grid.

When the anemometer registers wind speeds higher than 55 mph (cut-out speed varies by turbine), it triggers the wind turbine to automatically shut off.

Tornadoes however can damage just about anything it wants including homes, buildings and yes wind turbines if the tornado reaches the wind turbine and decides to destroy it.

Wind turbines last between 15 years to 25 years depending on the type of wind turbine.

Small wind turbines such as 12 volt wind turbines typically last around 15 years although sometimes longer.

While larger commercial wind turbines last around 20 to 25 years.

As the wind turbine ages the maintenance costs increase.

Large commercial wind turbines typically begin paying for themselves once they begin generating power after 8 to 9 months.

Home wind turbines can begin paying for themselves within the first month or so.

Farmers do get paid to have wind turbines on their land.

Wind turbines can make between \$3000.00–\$10,000.00 or more per year depending on the size and kilowatt capacity of the turbine.

Farmers on wind farms can maintain their own electricity production and guarantee a lower price for at least 20 years.

The rpm of a wind turbine ranges from 20 rpm for low scale wind turbines and as much as 400 rpm for large sized and large scale wind turbines.

Large-scale turbines typically rotate at 20 rpm, while domestic sized turbines tend to revolve at roughly 400 rpm.

In most large-scale turbines, the low speed shaft is connected to a gearbox.

The gearbox increases the rotational speed of the shaft, up to 1200-1800 rpm.

Wind Turbines automatically shut down when the wind speed gets to at least 55 MPH to prevent damage to the wind turbine.

If the wind turbine spins too fast then it could produce too much voltage and destroy the generator and components and also destroy the blades etc.

So during high wind events the wind turbine must shut down to prevent costly damage.

To prevent damage to the wind turbine the wind turbines are shut down at wind speeds of 55 MPH.

Wind turbines are made so that the wind turbines shut down automatically once they get to a wind speed of 55 MPH.

High wind speeds can cause the wind turbines to generate too much electricity and can cause the wind turbine blades to break off as well.

So to prevent damage the wind turbine blades shut down at 55 MPH and stay shut down until the wind speeds drop below 55 MPH.

Wind turbines cost a lot of money so they must be protected from damage.

The maximum wind speed for wind turbines is around 30 to 40 miles per hour and anything above 40 miles per hour wind speed could potentially cause damage to the wind turbines.

When wind speeds get to 50 MPH the wind turbines are shut down to prevent damage because at 50 MPH wind speeds and above severe damage can be caused to the wind turbine.

The high wind speeds can cause the blades to fly off through the air or burnout the generator by creating too much electricity.

So when the wind speeds are forecast or get to 50 MPH the wind turbines are shut down to prevent damage.

The amount of copper that a wind turbine contains varies due to the size of wind turbine and how many megawatts the wind turbine electric generator is.

The average wind turbine however contains around 3.6 tons of copper per megawatt.

Copper costs around \$7,000.00 per ton so the average wind turbine that is used to generate electricity from a wind farm contains around \$20,000.00 of copper per wind turbine.

Most wind turbines that produce electricity will pay for themselves in energy production within 5 to 8 months.

However some wind turbine electric generators may take as long as 1 to 2 years to pay for themselves and most wind turbines have a lifespan of around 20 years before they need replaced.

But during those 20 years the wind generators would have paid for themselves many times over and made money for the energy companies which would be enough to purchase new wind turbines years later without need to get loans.

Electric Utility companies make millions of dollars per year from producing and selling electric energy and using wind generators is cheaper for them to make the electricity that people use and buy from the electric utility companies.

If you have a home wind generator then it may take 1 year to 2 years to pay for itself in energy savings depending on the size of wind generator you have.