Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Power Transmission Ideas for a Coaxial Wind Turbine

Power Transmission Ideas for a Coaxial Wind Turbine

Power Transmission Ideas for a Coaxial Wind Turbine


so the problem I'm dealing with is I have one generator, which does not accept any shafts (the generator itself for some reason i dont understand has a shaft, sigh.) and I will put this somewhere in the wind turbine nacelle or tower.

The wind turbine layers both will rotate in the same direction, so the shafts coming out from (inside the nacelle) them will also rotate in the same direction as each other. What is the most efficient way of delivering power to this generator? (this is the problem statement)

my considerations so far:
since the generator can't accept any shafts theres no chance of putting it into the nacelle. i will have to suspend it in the turbine tower somehow (below the nacelle) so then
I need a mechanical power transmission element that will be at the centre of the nacelle, and be input with the mechanical power of both turbine shafts, and change the axis of rotation from horizontal to vertical. then transfer this power to another shaft, and this shaft would of course be facing downwards and this shaft would rotate a cylinder whose purpose it is to fit into the generator's shaft.
i have included a work of art to illustrate what i mean:

i will then need to ensure this setup doesn't fall apart with bearings and whatnot but idk how that works

note: its not like i want to reinvent the wheel but i couldn't find any co axial hawt models online.

btw I can make the shafts of the turbines rotate in the opposite direction to each other too if that helps power transmission

thanks guys

RE: Power Transmission Ideas for a Coaxial Wind Turbine

Hisham: First question - is it intended to be a "direct drive" application (where the generator shaft and turbine blade rotate at same speed), or something else (usually generator turning MUCH faster than turbine blade). Second question - what is the intended generator rating (more power at lower speed means more torque, which in turn means larger physical size and more weight). Third question - if the drawing you showed is correct, then the generator can accept ONE input shaft (but not two, which is really your issue).

Possible solutions: 1) run both turbine shafts into a speed increaser gearbox assembly with only one output (given the positional requirements, it means running one of the turbine jackshafts back past the generator to the gearbox). 2) If you try to do what you drew, you WILL need some type of clutch arrangement as the turbine shafts will not necessarily be operating at exactly the same speed ... UNLESS both blades are affixed to only ONE shaft. If the single shaft with two blades is used, you have what is essentially a right-angle (speed increasing) gear located where your "mystery element" sits.

Other considerations - mounting the generator vertically inside the "tower" portion will make it virtually inaccessible for repair purposes. Do you really want to go there? Typical crane cost to lift out a conventional wind generator (horizontal mount) on a modern tower runs about 60-100k USD per lift. That would be one lift to take the damaged unit down, and one lift to put the replacement (or repaired) unit up - EACH TIME IT FAILS. In comparison, the cost of a new 3 MW generator itself only runs about 90-120k USD.

Converting energy to motion for more than half a century

RE: Power Transmission Ideas for a Coaxial Wind Turbine

I think you will notice a general lack of aircraft with propellers at both ends; it's been done, but not often. Similarly a low number of co-axial propellers of any arrangement**. They are similar problems - exchanging mechanical energy inside with kinetic energy in the air.

It's not reinventing the wheel - it's reinventing the drag sled.

**an exception of sorts is multi-stage compressors and turbines where the fluid is restricted from bypassing the blades. Bypassing is the actual limitation of wind turbines. Trying to extract too much energy makes a barrier to fluid flow deflecting the wind around the blades where the energy cannot be extracted.

RE: Power Transmission Ideas for a Coaxial Wind Turbine


thanks a lot for the detailed response

firstly I should have clarified d this is a miniature wind turbine project. you should quite easily be able to carry the full model in your hands lol.

(1) No it is not intended to be direct drive. I had just forgotten to include Gearboxes lol.

(2) the generator's ratings are unknown as of yet. I will be told these tomrrow

(3) yes the shafts will most definitely spin at different speeds.

(4) I do not understand how a single shaft attached to both layers of blades could work and I don't know any gear that can do what you describe. Maybe a bevel gear pair? but I heard they are terribly inefficient

My main question is,
what kind of power transmission element can solve the problem of being input with two shafts spinning in the same direction at different speeds and needing to transmit the sum of that rotary power down the turbine tower?

This I think is the crux of the problem right now,

RE: Power Transmission Ideas for a Coaxial Wind Turbine

The differential gearbox of a typical automobile axle operates very similarly to what I think you're trying to accomplish. You might want to take a look at the gear arrangement for that.

Rod Smith, P.E., The artist formerly known as HotRod10

RE: Power Transmission Ideas for a Coaxial Wind Turbine

Bevel gears are reasonably efficient - where was this "heard?" It's best to search for information rather than "hearing" about it.

Quote ( )

Efficiency of Bevel Gear

Because most bevel gears are intersecting shaft gears, their mesh is almost always rolling contact, therefore their general efficiency is high, typically 98-99%.

For balancing purposes it might be better to lock them in phase, turning at the same rate. This will ensure the downwind blades have a controlled disturbance from the upwind blades.

RE: Power Transmission Ideas for a Coaxial Wind Turbine

I think the best solution would be a differential like the ones in cars. There you can transmit the power from two coaxial shafts, which rotate in the same direction but in different speeds, to one shaft which is perpendicular to the other shafts. The only difference would be the direction of the power flow which shouldn't be a problem at all.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close