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do turbine generators have a maximum rpm or does it just produce more energy the faster it spins? Answered

i am trying to find out if wind turbine generators have a maximum rpm or if they just keep producing energy. if so, my next question would be, does generators maximum output have a maximum rpm. if it spins too fast because the wind is very strong that day, will it affect the turbine and cause it to overheat?


Yes, turbines have a rated speed. Either limited by their electrical properties or the fact the alternator will burst.



To add to Steve's answer, wind turbines often have variable pitch rotors to accommodate varying wind conditions, especially the large commercial units one sees installed at wind farms and similar installations.

.  hmmm  I would have though that turning the rotor into or out of the wind would be much easier/simpler/cheaper to do than variable pitch props. <shrug>

.  Could be. I'm just thinking out loud (guessing). Not important enough to me to do the research. ;)

I hear that. I'm no stranger to shoot from the hip. I do it enough m'sef. And it does make one wonder what they DO do when they expect a really bad wind to hit the blades, like August/September along the eastern coast of the US.

Ordinary water pumping windmills here in Australia are locked off if strong winds are expected.
Also the stuff you said about stress problems with turning the blades into and out of the wind is true for these as well.
I believe the pump is also disengaged when required. Don't know if this all translates to power generation though.

by disengaged, I assume you mean that they allow the windmill to freewheel? If so, that would make some sense, in order to avid burning out the load, whether a mechanical or electro-mechanical load, although I don't have the experience to say with anything but an academic guess.

They do have mechanical limits.


In my opinion, that was down to poor choice of design - if the area is prone to winds that would wreck a horizontal turbine that has not failed "safe", then a vertical axis turbine should be used.

The narrative says "braking failure". Where the machine was allowed to overspeed you see the mechanical limit(s) being exceeded.


If I was writing the requirements for a turbine like like, in an environment like that, I would want the blades to automatically "feather" as soon as any braking system failed, and (in hindsight from that video), I would want the loss of one blade to trigger the immediate dropping of the rest, to save the generator and mast.

ALL the safety systems failed apparently. According to the guys I met at the local windfarm, the blades are "naturally" feathered and positively driven (hydraulics) into attack to extract power. Power failure is supposed to make them move to off.....

You could be quite right, the differences in designs are significant. I just wanted to address the question "find out if wind turbine generators have a maximum rpm" on a practical level.