Animation: Forces on the rotor of a wind turbine

The interactive animation shows the forces acting on the rotor of a wind turbine. The visualisation is reduced to the forces that can be represented in the rotor plane.

The amount of tangential force can be varied using a controller. The tangential force results from the lift force that is generated when the wind hits the rotor blades. Further forces are shown, including the enormous total force resulting from the addition of all active forces.

Note on use

After starting the application, you can view the animation in full-screen mode. To do this, click on “View” and then on “Full screen”:

To exit full screen mode, press the Esc key.

Description of the animation

The following forces are visualised:

  • Tangential force FT
  • Weight force FW
  • Resulting force FRes
  • Centrifugal force FC
  • Total force FTot
  • Motive force FMot

The tangential force results from the lift force (not shown in the animation) that is generated on the rotor blades. The tangential force can be seen as the component of the lift force that is visible when looking at the rotor plane. The lift force or the tangential force depends on the wind speed, the angle of attack of the rotor blades and the rotational speed.

The weight force is caused by the weight of the rotor blades. This force is always directed downwards.

The tangential force and the weight force together form the resulting force FRes. If the centrifugal force is also added, the resulting force is the total force FTot. The total force changes during one rotation and can deform the rotor blade. The level of the total force is an important boundary condition that must be taken into account when designing a rotor blade.

The motive force FMot is the effective component of the total force on which the acceleration of the rotor depends. The amount of drive force also changes during a rotation. There may also be cases where the drive force is temporarily opposite to the direction of rotation.

Overview and download

TitleForces on the rotor of a wind turbine
Target groupTeachers and lecturers
PlatformsMicrosoft® Windows®
Apple® Macintosh®
FeaturesFull screen mode
lossless zoom
Large screens and projection screens supported
DownloadContact us


C. Hein, S. Rikowski

Source information

  • Authoring tool (control elements supplied): Adobe Animate


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