Turbine glossary


Measures the wind speed and transmits wind speed data to the controller.


Lifts and rotates when wind is blown over them, causing the rotor to spin. Most turbines have either two or three blades.


Stops the rotor mechanically, electrically, or hydraulically, in emergencies.


Starts up the machine at wind speeds of about 8 to 16 miles per hour (mph) and shuts off the machine at about 55 mph. Turbines do not operate at wind speeds above about 55 mph because they may be damaged by the high winds.


Furling works by decreasing the angle of attack, which reduces the induced drag from the lift of the rotor, as well as the cross-section. One major problem in designing wind turbines is getting the blades to stall or furl quickly enough should a gust of wind cause sudden acceleration. A fully furled turbine blade, when stopped, has the edge of the blade facing into the wind. Loads can be reduced by making a structural system softer or more flexible. This could be accomplished with downwind rotors or with curved blades that twist naturally to reduce angle of attack at higher wind speeds. These systems will be nonlinear and will couple the structure to the flow field - thus, design tools must evolve to model these non-linearities.

Standard modern turbines all furl the blades in high winds. Since furling requires acting against the torque on the blade, it requires some form of pitch angle control, which is achieved with a slewing drive. This drive precisely angles the blade while withstanding high torque loads. In addition, many turbines use hydraulic systems. These systems are usually spring-loaded, so that if hydraulic power fails, the blades automatically furl. Other turbines use an electric servomotor for every rotor blade. They have a small battery-reserve in case of an electric-grid breakdown. Small wind turbines (under 50 kW) with variable-pitching generally use systems operated by centrifugal force, either by flyweights or geometric design, and employ no electric or hydraulic controls.


In conventional wind turbines, the blades spin a shaft that is connected through a gearbox to the generator. The gearbox converts the turning speed of the blades 15 to 20 rotations per minute for a large, one-megawatt turbine into the faster 1,800 revolutions per minute that the generator needs to generate electricity.

Integrated Control Unit

The ICU takes care of the device integrity by parameter monitoring and surveying tasks.

Integrated Control Unit (ICU)


Safety of Machinery standard

This International Standard specifies basic terminology, principles and a methodology for achieving safety in the design of machinery. It specifies principles of risk assessment and risk reduction to help designers in achieving this objective.

Safety of Machinery standard (EN 12100)

EN 12100, ISO 12100, or IEC 12100

Safety of machinery directive IEC 12100

Machinery standard, machinery guidelines

Wind turbine

A machine that captures the force of the wind. Called a Wind Generator when used to produce electricity. Called a Windmill when used to crush grain or pump water.


Rotation parallel to the ground. A wind generator Yaws to face winds coming from different directions.