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Vertical Axis Wind Turbine with ring gear/flywheel?....

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Location: RRV of da Nort
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Many of the home-brew vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) have a large circular plate that defines the top and bottom of the rotor as shown here: http://zedomax.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/f87j8sy5sxeykvv74rmedium.jpg

It likely has been tested to simply make a ring gear on the outer circumference of the lower plate that would engage a quite small gear on the generator shaft. This would give quite high rotation to the generator from moderate rotation of the turbine. But I've only ever seen this drive configuration done with belts and pulleys or sprockets and chains. Has anyone seen mention of or weblinks to demonstrations of what I describe? Thanks....
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Location: SW Missouri
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A little late, but your starter on your car is the exact system your describing in reverse of course.
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There are a couple of drawbacks to the system of gears you describe, compared to belts.

Gears are far far noisier. We're talking triple or quadruple the noise.

The metal on metal contact of gears pretty much requires the use of oil or grease to prevent rapid wear and failure.

If the gears are exposed and lubricated, that is a dust and dirt magnet, which quickly turns into an abrasive paste, and we're right back to
rapid wear and failure. Enclosing the gears is not a trivial engineering problem regarding maintenance and inspection.

Gears, of necessity, must have very tight tolerances so the gears mesh properly. Again, not a trivial engineering feat.

A properly engineered belt drive will typically be 90-96% efficient. A properly engineered gear train will only beat that by a few percent. The belt drive system is far less fussy about alignment issues.
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