Where Discovery Begins

# The Physics of Windmill Design

This video was created in partnership with Bill Gates, inspired by his new book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.” Find out more here: https://gatesnot.es/3u7UUVU

This video is about how physics dictates the design of modern windmills – why they are so big, have so few blades, and have such skinny blades.

REFERENCES
H. Glauert: Aerodynamic Theory, 1935 Division L (Airplane Propellers), Chapter XI: Windmills and Fans

Wind power extraction fundamentals
https://home.uni-leipzig.de/energy/energy-fundamentals/15.htm

Betz’s Law
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betz%27s_law

Tip Speed Ratio
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tip-speed_ratio

Aerodynamics of Wind Turbines Book

Penn State Wind Turbine Aerodynamics Lesson
https://www.e-education.psu.edu/aersp583/node/469

Wind Power Physics youtube video

Why do Wind Turbines Have Three Blades?
https://rosemary-barnes.medium.com/why-do-wind-turbines-usually-have-3-blades-f7f95d714869

Wind Power Fundamentals
http://web.mit.edu/windenergy/windweek/Presentations/Wind%20Energy%20101.pdf

Wind Power Explained

The Physics Behind Wind Turbines

Drag Coefficient
http://dx.doi.org/10.1615/AtoZ.d.drag_coefficient

Reynolds Number and Drag
http://www2.eng.cam.ac.uk/~mpj1001/learnfluidmechanics.org/LFM_blank_notes/handout_8_v3.pdf

Reynolds Number
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_number

Viscosity of Air
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viscosity#Air

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Created by Henry Reich