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Denmark

Denmark

Clockwise or anti-clockwise -- Woman power

Looked at face on, most of the world's wind turbines rotate clockwise. LM Glasfiber, the world's largest independent supplier of rotor blades to the industry, has its own theory for why this is so. Back in the 1980s some of the first wind turbines equipped by the Danish industry veteran rotated anticlockwise, in line with an old Danish tradition, explains LM. It suggests that the decision to choose clockwise rotation resulted from the competition between two brothers, Erik and Johannes Grove-Nielsen, both of whom were involved in early wind power developments. Erik worked as an independent supplier of blades, whose customers eventually included Vestas and Nordtank (now part of Vestas) and Bonus (now the wind power division of Siemens Energy). When Erik was about to complete his first design he consulted his wife, who said the blades should rotate clockwise because the rotor on an early wind turbine built by Denmark's infamous Tvind co-operative that Erik's brother was involved in, rotated anticlockwise.

When not delving into the history books, LM is using its wind tunnel to refine blade profiles and to position vortex generators (small devices similar to those found on aircraft wings) on its blades. These are expected to improve the efficiency of the blades by about 2%. LM has sold more than 100,000 blades since it entered the wind business in a diversification from making caravans and yachts.

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