Development of a butterfly wind turbine with mechanical over-speed control system

Yutaka Hara, Kotaro Tagawa, Shigenori Saito, Keisuke Shioya, Takeshi Ono, Kenji Makino, Kazutoshi Toba, Takakazu Hirobayashi, Yousuke Tanaka, Kazuo Takashima, Susumu Sasaki, Kengo Nojima, Shigeo Yoshida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Based on a concept of “cost reduction by large rotor and small generator”, a kind of small vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) called a butterfly wind turbine (BWT) has been developed with rotor diameter of 7 m and five looped blades. One of the features is a mechanical system which can twist each blade of a VAWT by using the centrifugal force acting on the blades in order to prevent over-speeding of the rotor. An electric power generation system that combines the BWT utilizing the over-speed control system (OCS) with a coreless generator connected to a three-time increasing gear unit is constructed in this study. The performance of the BWT power-generation system is predicted by the blade element momentum (BEM) theory. The final goal of this research is to show the feasibility of the low-cost VAWT power generation system with the proposed OCS. From the results of a series of forcible rotation experiments of the BWT rotor that is driven by an induction motor in very low wind speed condition, it is shown that the twist movement of the blades is improved by the design of the OCS that considers the observed radial force deprived of the centrifugal force and the pre-compression of springs. In the generation experiments with the final design of the OCS, the expected twists of the blades are observed for the first time in strong natural wind speed over 18 m/s.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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