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bobbrakes

Wind power.

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Apropos of nothing.I worked in Southampton making blades for a wind farm in the Altamont pass area of California?The original blades had started to fly off and it was decided to make new ones with increased Q.C. The record distance for a flying blade was 2 miles and it killed a cow.

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fair distance. better than a pumpkin chunker.

 

how many of the original blades acually flew off and how long had they been in service before they did?

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Sorry, don't have any figures and it was 40 years ago. I remember they were 33KW and 45KW versions. I had the impression that the US govt offered financial inducements for renewable energy sources and there was a rush to get snouts in govt trough. I last heard the blades were staying on but the gearboxes were failing as the standard industrial gensets didn't like being stuck at the top of a tower, and not bolted firmly to a concrete plinth.

 

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Re blades.I don't have any figures for failure rates but the decision was taken to reblade all of the windfarm with these type of machines. A factory was set up in Southampton as the types of skills needed were available locally from making GRP boats.The blades were GRP and mahogany ply hand laid in moulds and cured under vacuum. The tips, which feathered for speed control,were made separately.

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Oh well at least it was ony a cow.

 

Just curious about the numbers really as detractors of these things will always point to such incidents as reasons not to have them.

 

have also wondered if smaller generators might be more the way to go. Instead of one with  hulking great blades slowly churning away on the horizon. maybe a few hundred the size of a desk fan might be more acceptable and possibly more economical. ok so they would only produce a small amount of power each but like solar panels the more you hook up the more energy generated.

 

if one large windmill generates 330kw then 330 desktop fans producing 1kw would be just as good wouldn't it. another advantage is that due to the small size then they would be cheaper to produce and install. would be easier to replace as well. You would not nees a large tower to mount them on a fifty foot tower with 12"" fans mounted on posts either side would easily house over a hundred fans.

 

but maybe that is just me wandering into the realms of fantasy.

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