New safety brake for small wind turbines

Suco Technologies

Suco Technologies’ centrifugal brakes are great for small wind turbines.

Based on 60 years of experience in clutch- and brake technologies, Suco Technologies has developed a safety brake which can reliably protect small wind turbines against storm damages due to excessively high-wind speeds.

Small wind turbines are designed mostly for low- and medium-wind speeds. The dangerous wind speeds from storms and hurricanes can, damage or, even, destroy the rotor.  To protect the rotor from damage, wind speeds are monitored and decreased when wind speeds surpass the turbine’s limits. Only when wind speeds are decreased will the rotor brake be released. The monitoring normally requires complex and costly mechanics.  When using electronic systems, a permanent supply from an external power source is required.

Suco TechnologiesWith the advanced development of a conventional centrifugal brake, Suco has chosen an entirely distinct solution using a proprietary, patent-pending technology. Even though the standard centrifugal brake activates at certain rotational speed to avoid exceeding critical limits, it still does not make it possible to brake down to a standstill. This limitation was identified when developing this new safety brake.

Based on the principle of a centrifugal brake, a purely mechanical, dependable brake was developed that, in the case of a severe storm, let the rotor safely come to a standstill without any need for an external power supply. The automatic restart of the rotor (the release of the rotor brake) is fully automated and secured by a thermal element. Thus, manual unlocking of the brake is not necessary. This safety brake can be adapted to most designs of small wind turbines

The new safety brakes are used for small wind turbines providing a self-sufficient power supply to buildings and other structures whose existing infrastructure is not connect to the power grid. Finally, the new safety brake offers the highest degree of safety and dependability even when confronted with the most formidable weather event.

Suco Technologies


  1. Emily S says:

    There are very simple methods to furl the blades out of the wind. Off-setting the tail means there are no extra parts, nothing that moves and therefore could be jammed/stuck after months of non-use, etc.

  2. It’s about time. The braking system should be an integral part, built into every wind turbine. It is a very simple device and braking can be achieved by simply using pneumatic pressure to engage the brake plates. One simple method would use the force of the wind to slide the rotor back on the shaft to engage contact of the brake plates.

    Another way of using pneumatic pressure for braking would be a circular device on the arbor with air inlet ports that take in air with each revolution. As the RPM increases, more air is being taken in and creating more pressure to cause the air cylinders that push the braking plate to engage.

    Alternately, a standard mechanical centrifugal clutch can easily be adapted or developed for small to medium wind turbines. The Arctic Cat Company have an excellent clutch design, also used by Polaris and others, that uses weights on a spider that travel up ramps to engage the clutch. The clutch is held open by a coil spring around the shaft. When the RPM is high enough, the centrifugal force causes the weights to extend outward to the ramps. As the RPM increases, the centrifugal force will increase and bring more pressure to the weights on the engagement ramps. When the force is great enough to be stronger that the coil spring on the shaft, the clutch will engage.

    The beauty of this clutch design is the flexibility in configuring this clutch for various engagement settings, by using heavier or lighter weights on the spider, or using different strength of coil springs, or variations in the angle of the ramps the weights roll on to engage the clutch. In racing snowmobiles, I took the weights out and cut a small indentation in each of the three ramps at the precise location. Then as the weights rolled up the ramps, they would drop slightly into this indentation and hold at this location until the RPM had increased. When reaching the higher RPM, the weights would have significant increase in centrifugal force and jump past the indentation and strongly apply the clutch.

    With this Arctic Cat clutch design applied in Wind Turbines, you would have a standard device for use on all wind turbines, with the flexibility to adjust the clutch to the preferred braking for each wind turbine by using different weights and coil spring to set the clutch to the proper engagement. You simply need to know the RPM at which the brake should be applied, then assemble the clutch with the weights and coil spring that will cause the clutch to engage at the proper RPM.

    This should have been done already. This should be the standard used on all wind turbines. This method eliminates all the other electrical and electronics involved for providing baking to the turbine.

  3. Hossam Moh. Elbakry says:

    That is a very hopeful achievement,
    But after all that explanation,there is no details about how it works?
    Also,is it commercialized or not yet?
    Thanks for your effort,
    With regards,

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