This category is about the safety system and explains the fail-safe strategy.

As the presented component setup has never been implemented in a product series it has to be considered a prototype. In terms of product safety, this means that special care has to be taken and careful provisions have to be made to avoid any possible damage to components, but most important to machine operators and the turbine environment. The authors underline that safety plays an essential role in the characteristics of the small wind turbine described in this report. Taken from the contest regulations, the requirements of the turbine safety system are

  • that is independent and superior
  • that it automatically protects the turbine from single failures or faults in any component within the control and protection system and from faults in the load connection
  • that it limits the rotational speed and produced power to the design limits for all load cases \item that it provides a manual emergency stop
  • that it allows blocking of the rotor
  • that it is integrated within the interface boundaries.

In order to fulfill the described requirements, the turbine is equipped with an extensive safety system which features the following components

  1. Electrically actuated, fail safe disc brake
  2. Safety system microcontroller with battery, rpm sensor and voltage monitor sensors
  3. Furling System
  4. Electrical Brake in the controller
  5. Emergency Stop Button

The figure below shows how the different components of the safety system work together in order to meet the contest requirements. The diagram can be split up into three main sections in horizontal direction: Microcontroller, Controller and Furling System. These individual parts can be explored by accessing the articles below.

Articles about the Safety System

Is there any friction between brake disk and caliper? Nick listens closely to find any intereference.

Brake System

Braking is essential for safe turbine operation. Here we explain how to calculate the braking torque. We also find a disc brake able to supply this torque.
Small Wind Turbine Safety Concept Flowchart

Safety System Overview

In our small wind turbine we use an Arduino microcontroller, a bike disc brake, an electrical brake and a furling sytem to limit rotor speed.

Florian RoscheckAbout the author:
Florian Roscheck
Florian “Flo” Roscheck is a mechanical engineer who loves to play around with microcontrollers in his free time. As an industrial mechanic he also has some manufacturing experience. Being passionate about professional tinkering this is the third student contest project he participates in.

He took over project management and several mechanical and electrical engineering tasks in the project. Florian designed the furling system, the safety microcontroller, the hub connection, the frame and the website.