Why do wind turbines have only three blades?

Why do wind turbines have only three blades?

Why do wind turbines have only three blades?

01/14/17

“Why is it that wind turbines always seem to have three blades?”
Wind turbines can be seen everywhere nowadays, from the coasts of Brazil to the mountains of Scotland. Throughout these installations, they all seem to have one peculiar feature in common: only three blades are attached to the turbine. Why is it like this? Well, let’s use our engineering mindsets to figure this out. The more blades that a wind turbine has, the more torque, generating more electricity. However, each blade will come with its own particular weight and cost, so simply adding more would prove ineffective. If one were to create a performance vs cost analysis, they would find that the three blade design would come out as the most efficient! This little example is a great showcase for how engineering is not utterly based off the laws of physics but the nature of economics as well.

3 thoughts on “Why do wind turbines have only three blades?

  1. 3 blades is optimal in a similar in the way that 3 legs is the optimum number for a stool.
    More blades will harness more torque from a given wind gust, but the addition of the 4th blade has a diminished return. (It costs 30% more, but generates less than 30% more torque.)
    There are windmills out there with fewer blades but they also create more vibrations and suffer mechanical imbalances.

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