50th HS Class Reunion 2016 Trip travel blog

Wind Turbines 1

Wind Turbines 2

Wind Turbines 3

Wind Turbines 4

Wind Turbines 5

Wind Turbines 6

Wind Turbine 7

Dear Friends and Relatives:

Because we have a down time for about a week (i.e., not much of interest for each of you), I decided to educate you on the construction of wind turbines – which generate electricity. I have no idea how many of you have seen current wind turbines in person, but probably everyone has seen them on the news. I can’t recall seeing them on the east coast, but they are very prevalent in the west. Attached are a number of photos we’ve taken on the trip. Some are close enough to get some perspective as to their size, but you really can’t put them in perspective until you pass a single blade being transported on the highway. As I say below in the statistics, each one is 173’ long – more than 3 times the length of a 53’ trailer (of a tractor/trailer) on the interstate. And the big thing that the blades are attached to (the nacelle) is the size of a school bus. I got all this information from the following video:


It’s a must see. As you can see from the video, the blades turn very slowly -- even in a heavy wind. Seems like if they turned faster, they’d generate more electricity, but what do I know. I’ve already forwarded this to a few of you. The video does not mention the total cost of each project, but it seems to me that you’d have to have a lot of tax credits and sell an awful lot of electricity for the project to become cost effective – and then it becomes less cost effective when the price of oil drops. Oh well, it may be the future, but it certainly clutters the environment. That doesn’t mean than I’m against their construction, just a comment about how they look when you’re traveling the interstate.


Excavation of site: 10’ deep and and 100’ in Diameter

96,000 lbs of reinforcing steel and concrete from 53 concrete trucks and 1,500 cubic yards of soil to fill the hole

Each of the 3 blades is 173’ long (just think that each trailer of a tractor/trailer on the road is 53’ long) and weighs 27,000 lbs.

Nacelle (contains generator, gearbox, and rotor shaft) is the size of a school bus and weights 181,000 lbs.

Base tower: height – 53’11’’, weight – 97,459 lbs, 160 bolts to secure it to the concrete.

Mid tower: height – 84’6”, weight – 115,587 lbs

Top tower: height – 119’0”, weight – 104,167 lbs

Diameter of assembled blades: 354’

442’ from ground to blade tip fully extended (i.e., 12 o’clock)

Time for worker to climb to the top: 10 minutes

Total time from excavation to operation: 3 weeks!

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