This week we'll be continuing our look at the anatomy of an industrial wind turbine, focussing on the visible parts of the turbine. They are the nacelle, which houses the machinery of the turbine, the blade assembly, or rotor, which is located at the hub of the turbine, and the tower it all rests upon.
The above-ground parts of an industrial scale turbine can measure from 400 feet to 500 feet - or forty to fifty stories stories tall -from ground to blade tip.
(Photo above taken by Town of Union Study Committee member, Jim Bembinster, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, 2008)
The towers can weigh between 150 to 225 tons and are typically transported in three sections, each approximately 80 feet long.
(Unless otherwise noted, all other photos in this post were taken by wind farm resident, Gerry Meyer, near the town of Byron in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Winter of 2007-08)
The cranes required to assemble the turbines can weigh 300 tons and also require several over-size loads to transport them to the site.
The first section of the tower has been set. If you look closely you'll see two men at its base.
Workers are visible at the top of the first section.
Turbine constuction work continued into the night near the town of Byron in Fond du Lac County.
The turbines in Byron have blades that are 130 feet long each. Newer turbines are getting larger and larger. Here is a description of the new 15 ton turbine blades being transported from Brazil which appeared in a news article today. [Click here for source]
"Each blade is 154 feet long, weights about 30,000 pounds, and they come to the site fully assembled on the back of a tractor-trailer. That isn’t the only thing needed to put together these enormous turbines. The amount of equipment needed to put a turbine together is massive."
The blade assembly, or rotor, can weigh anywhere from 35 to 45 tons. The bladespan on this turbine is wider than a 747 jet. The newest big turbines have a blade span as wide as a football field.
After the construction noise is done with, and the turbines go on line, a new kind of noise cuts through the Fond du Lac County nights, keeping residents awake and angry. It's the noise wind developers said would not be there. But the developers are gone. And the noise is here to stay.