The Optimum Windmill Efficiency

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Robert Fox

24 April 2007

Physics HL

To Investigate the Optimum Windmill Design

Planning A:

Problem statement:

Windmills convert the wind into either mechanical or electrical energy. If the efficiency of the windmill can be increased, then the need for expensive, polluting, power generators will be reduced. As a result, we would be helping the environment and economy at the same time

Research Question:

The study that power is directly affected by the angles and/or the number of blades on a windmill and to determine the optimum efficiency for a windmill design


    The blade angles:            I have predicted that as the angle lowers the obvious reaction to the wind would be more surface areas and thus the more power the wind mill as more wind is striking more of the blades. The countersuit being that the larger the angles become the less surface areas and thus the windmill produces less power.  .

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Number of blades:           According to my own knowledge I predict that the more blades added to the wind mill will produce more power as there is more surface area for the wind to contact.



Independent Variable: number of the blades + angles

    Dependent Variable: Time to lift weight

    Controlled Variable: wind speed, the mass of weight, the size of the blade

Planning B:


  • Windmill tower
  • 4 detachable wind blades
  • 0.5m long string
  • 3 x 10g weights
  • ...

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