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Wyoming has a ton of wind turbines. There's a place I pass a couple of hours up the interstate where they stretch literally as far as you can see out over the horizon. Heck, I can count nearly 20 of them way out over the ridge from my house when the weather is right. It's neat to see how they're made and serviced, and stunning to see one up close. They're truly massive.

At first I wasn't sure if I'd like living in sight of them (even though it's 20 miles away), but it's kind of neat to see them off in the distance.i kind of like watching them sometimes. :)
 

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These are uncommon around here because of the mountains I guess. But when I visit my one doctor that is ~100 miles to the south there is a mountain range that has dozens of them along the top. I find them mesmerizing myself. The one road we take coming down out of the mountain brings you very close to the one on the end - amazing how huge they really are.
 

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They put a few thousand up in Fowler,IN a few years ago.
 

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Pretty darn cool, but, I think I'd insist on a short-line parachute hooked to my D-ring on the back of a full body safety harness. Looks like plenty of height to deploy a chute safely in the event of an OOPS!
I wouldn't have any of that stuff because I wouldn't do it. No way, no how , for no amount of money. I'll fly in most anything that flies but I will not do that. It's like surgery, don't like seeing it but once I start watching I can't stop watching and it gives me the jitters, but I have to watch it to the end. Makes no sense to me but that's the way I am. :dunno:
 

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It's neat to see how they're made and serviced, and stunning to see one up close. They're truly massive.
There's one about an hour from here that you can get really close to. You can pull off the road and walk up to the fence underneath it, it really is an amazing thing to see.
 

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My parents farm was in a potential wind farm area. They did quite a bit of research on them. Even visited another farmer with several windmills. The farmer told my folks, "Every swish a blade makes is a Nickel in the bank." My folks signed the contract actually knowing there wasn't much chance at getting their two windmills. The $500/ year lease checks came every year just like clockwork and cleared the bank. About twelve years later they got a letter, Notice of contract cancelation. No chance of any windmills now, but the $6000 is still in the bank!

IMO, wind or even wave power is the only kind of renewable energy that makes sense. I'm not a fan of solar.
 

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At the end of our community you can see 7 or 8 wind turbines . We've taken Gator rides to see them up close, the grandsons like to have a picnic while there. Guessing 5-6 miles from the house, they are big.

We only have about 20 on Summit Mt. but in the Somerset, Pa and Oakland Md, Elkins Wv area have quite a few of them.

As for working on the towers, I think I could , I climbed (with hooks) a 85' telephone pole 3 or 4 times within 30 min one day. First time going up wasn't to bad , at that time it was the highest I had ever had to use my climbers. The final time after completing my work just laid back in the body belt and enjoyed the view. Been on the top of WVU Mylan Puskar Press box several times getting eqpt setup for video feed for WVU football games. Guessing it is 200-250' or more to the top. Main level is 30-40' below the ribbon board and we had to go to the height of the top row of lights on top of press box.

You could see for miles , Lots of times , camera crews will set at least one camera on top to show the mountain view and fall foliage.
 

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Iowa has a ton of them also. All along I-80. Very cool to see. Mid American is our power company also so that video may have been shot around here. It's neat seeing the parts traveling along the Interstate. In Iowa the wind never seems to stop blowing so it works for us. I can see how Solor wouldn't be all that great here. I've seen some houses installing them so it must work. Probably not enough sunny days here to make it work on a large scale. Every area has it's own natural resourse to tap and I'm a firm believer in diversity.

-636
 

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I'm always impressed at the skill of the crane operators, riggers and iron workers. You can be the best engineer in the world and design some of the coolest stuff but without the guys and gals that put the stuff together you might as well be an artist.


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I'm in the early stages of considering a wind turbine for our house. Several neighbors have them between here and the paved road, including the retired gentleman right next door to me. He has some form of home built system he did himself, and runs his entire shop operation off a small turbine and a gas welder/ generator. It certainly seems feasible to do here, even if just to decrease the power bill if not totally eliminate it.

But there's more research to be done on that...:) I completely agree with 636, diversity in power sources is a huge advantage.
 

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Thanks Jep. Did you see the follow up? I couldn't do it.
Breathtaking day, but add wind, rain and and me tripping over my own feet and dropping things off my work bench and I Am Out. Very good video
 

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I like the videos but would appreciate more of the boring stuff like how in the world do they get all those bolts/studs lined up and draw them down to their final fit without knocking the threads square.
 

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The company I work for has wind farms. I've been in one at one of our wind farms. Really cool. There was a man tram they called it (think elevator) to get to the top. Wind turbine technician said the elevator takes 7 minutes to reach the top, he can climb the ladder in three minutes. What I found interesting was the ladder and elevator were attached to the side of the turbine with huge magnets not bolts. Bolts we were told would require holes in the tower thus making it weaker and requiring the walls of the tower to made thicker. I'm sure we've all heard people complain about the noise of wind turbines. I was standing under it and could hardly hear it, yet I could hear the tractor going down the highway 200 yards away load and clear. Lots of wind turbines in Wisconsin as well. One farm just north of me in Fond du Lac area and another west of me about 10 minutes.
 

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Vestas has a plant just a few miles from my house and I've seen blades transported on road and via rail.

A buddy I used to work with at NREL keeps me apprised of some of the latest advances in wind-turbine technology, and the big push is to go higher to get to the sweet spot of consistent winds. The problem with that is the towers need to be wider and the blades longer, and both are pretty much near the limit for expensive oversized road transport. The German video showed extreme width of the tower base.

One solution being proposed is to build the towers on site with a mobile factory that would take steel sheets transported by conventional tractor-trailer rigs and fabricate them into tapered spiral-wound tubes similar to a paper towel core or Sono-Tube. Another idea is some sort of bolt together lattice assembly; but it's too labor intensive with too many connections. The Holy Grail of tower construction would be a self lifting nacelle, and hub & rotor assembly to eliminate the expensive cranes. Ideas are afoot; but so far they are wet dreams.

As for the blades, to get around the growing problem of transporting ever longer blades; there are concepts in the works to build the blades in sections in the factory, transport them via conventional tractor-trailer, and assemble them on site. The last article my friend sent me on the modular construction idea would also significantly reduce blade weight. A lot of blades are made of solid balsa wood and infused with epoxy resin to keep them together, and covered with a weather resistant material.

If I recall correctly, most of the ground based units are in the 1 - 2 megawatt range, and the ones anchored in shallow ocean waters are in the 5 - 8 megawatt range. A megawatt serves about 1,000 homes as I recall. A lot of these turbines' blades will sweep about 2-acres of area as I recall.

Thanks for the videos and I sent them to my buddy. Oh, and if you want to piss off a wind energy advocate; call them windmills instead of wind turbines. Depending on the personality of the advocate; you may get an earful that windmills grind grains, while wind turbines generate electricity.
 

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wind mills

hello, we have these giant things on top of the mountain where I live too. they are about six miles from my house, if u can picture I live along the base of the mountain and they are at the top. now right on top where I'm below they never got built because of a bat colony was found to live their. their is 36 turbines that I count in the bunch. the plant that was building them has closed down a couple of yrs.ago and I don't know where all the ones that wasn't put up went to. we watched them go up across the ridge one summer when I was pushing dirt and I also would not hang on that little rope for my paycheck, we had binocolars in our bulldrozers on dayshift and watched, quite a sight. oh I can't see them at all from my house, but I too would love to have a little one in my back yard so the electric co. could send me a check every month too. thanks big jim
 

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hello, we have these giant things on top of the mountain where I live too. they are about six miles from my house, if u can picture I live along the base of the mountain and they are at the top. now right on top where I'm below they never got built because of a bat colony was found to live their. their is 36 turbines that I count in the bunch. the plant that was building them has closed down a couple of yrs.ago and I don't know where all the ones that wasn't put up went to. we watched them go up across the ridge one summer when I was pushing dirt and I also would not hang on that little rope for my paycheck, we had binocolars in our bulldrozers on dayshift and watched, quite a sight. oh I can't see them at all from my house, but I too would love to have a little one in my back yard so the electric co. could send me a check every month too. thanks big jim
Some of the Amish in the Ohio area have small wind turbines and a few small solar panels. The one family I was talking with has a small hardware store. So I asked them how each of the units was working for them. The wind turbine didn't produce enough electricity for them to have a few led lights in their house plus in the store.They also had the cash register and a small freezer and a refrigerator. The solar panel didn't provide enough during certain times of the year, during the winter with snow storms and then summer rain storms. They would need to run the generator 3-4 days every week which was very costly.
 

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I'm sure we've all heard people complain about the noise of wind turbines. I was standing under it and could hardly hear it, yet I could hear the tractor going down the highway 200 yards away load and clear. Lots of wind turbines in Wisconsin as well. One farm just north of me in Fond du Lac area and another west of me about 10 minutes.
I would think the older units were much louder. My uneducated guess is that the newer turbines have much larger blades and spin much slower then the ones that I remember in the late 80's and 90's.
 
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