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I hope that I will find time to get more onto this page about tails. They are a very undertreated subject on the web but both Bob Budd and Hugh Piggott give a lot of information in their books.

The purpose of the tail is to keep the propeller facing into the wind in low winds and to turn it from the wind (feather it) when the speed exceeds the windmill's design for either the propeller or the speed of the generator. There are some designers that don't bother but you will have to judge the wisdom of that for yourself.

The mechanism that causes the tail to feather the blades is based upon speed and lift. The greater the speed the more lift and the tail swings to the side. At what speed this should occur depends upon the performance of the individual components of the unit. Units vary in weight, blades vary in performance and every generator has its own sweet spot for performance.

The only way to accurately determine the placement of a tail so that it will do its job is to test it with all the assembled components of its unit. I treat more of that subject on the page dealing with "testing".

Tail Mounting: Some pictures of a tail mounting.

Overview: Forcefield Overview of Windmill Design.

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