# Why did my result show "more blades on turbine = more RPM"?

I placed a normal cooling fan 45cm away from a small turbine generator. i had 3 turbines, one with 4 blades, 8 blades, and 12 blades.

The one with 12 blades always rotated the fastest, even after changing any possible variables such as height or distance from the fan.

I did some research and apparently turbines with higher number of blades rotate more slowly.

So why did my experiment show that more blades on a turbine gives more RPMs? Any ideas?

• I'm not sure why you'd expect anything different. As long as each blade contributes more torque than drag, more blades implies more torque and more torque implies higher RPM. Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 21:49
• But i did a lot of research, and the higher number of blades, the more solidity you will have. Meaning more torque, but less speed and less efficiency. Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 22:30
• Maybe the 12-blade unit has the lowest-friction bearing system? Maybe the blades on the various turbines have different pitches? Without knowing a lot more, it's hard to suggest a reason. Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 12:11
• Without some drawings or pictures of the complete set up, it is impossible to guess what results you "should have" got. We have no idea if your turbines are similar to the ones where "apparently turbines with higher number of blades rotate more slowly," or not. By definition, the results you actually got are the correct results for your experimental set-up, but the design of your experiment might be different from what you were trying to measure. Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 0:41
• Can you add some data and a diagram of your setup for testing? Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 21:51

Blades of wind turbines use the same aerodynamic principle as airplane wings do: By generating a pressure difference on both side, lift is caused. Since the blades are forced to move on a circular path, lift is transformed into torque. Hence, incrementing the number of blades, also increments the torque $M$ and the power $P$ since: $$P = 2 \pi n M \quad,$$ where $n$ denotes the number of revolutions. As stated in the comments above, the more blade a wind turbine has, the less is its efficiency, but this may be neglected for small numbers of blades.
The same applies for real wind turbines. However, for wind turbines it may be favorable to keep its number of revolutions constant or even reduce them as excitation frequencies are couple to them by $$f_{1P} = n \qquad \text{and} \qquad f_{3P} = 3n$$ due to imbalances in the rotor ($f_{1P}$) and tower shading ($f_{3P}$). Eigenfrequencies of wind turbines are typically at 0.2 Hz to 0.3 Hz, what exactly is between those two frequencies for three-bladed wind turbines with a rated rotational speed of 10 rpm. In order to avoid resonance, the number of revolutions should stay roughly the same or even decrease. Said that, on increasing the number of blades you may also increase the generators torque in order to keep the number of revolutions constant.