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#4438224 - 06/22/17 06:35 AM Non politcal windpower question
callbay Offline


Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 814
Loc: Ozark Mountains
While driving to Colorado Springs last week from the Ozark Mountains I crossed the whole state of Kansas. Thousands of huge wind generators along the highway. They must be over 180' tall as at night they all have flashing red lights.

My question is why so many of them are not turning at all when ones right next to them are turning fine. Rough estimates as I drove was most of the time 15% not running and many places 75% not running. I saw hundreds of them not turning.

My question is why? Has the program run out of money? Are they hard to keep running and therefore they can't keep up with fixing them? I only saw one crane on my whole trip next to one and I never saw anyone working on them.

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#4438233 - 06/22/17 07:05 AM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: callbay]
Kruse Offline


Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 4294
Loc: Kansas
According to a neighbor who used to be a wind turbine tech, there is a lot of downtime on these units. I have 44 of them within three miles of me and your stats of 15% is low. There were two of them that were down for over two months and they finally brought their cranes out to fix them about two weeks ago.
I'm also not really sure how they can get people to work on them, as this one fell for seemingly no reason at all.

http://beatricedailysun.com/news/local/w...ec7e2121b6.html

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#4438235 - 06/22/17 07:10 AM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: callbay]
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 11199
Loc: PA
Apparently "why do some windmills not spin" is a common Google search. I hit the first few links and found a bunch of possible reasons.

E.g.:
https://www.quora.com/In-a-field-of-wind-turbines-why-are-there-a-few-that-do-not-move
http://turbinegenerator.org/wind-turbines-spin/
https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfi...t_spin_even_if/
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#4438236 - 06/22/17 07:11 AM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: callbay]
Al Offline


Registered: 06/08/02
Posts: 18033
Loc: Elizabethtown, Pa
I love windmills. I think they are a great thing.
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#4438269 - 06/22/17 07:45 AM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: Al]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16812
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Originally Posted By: Al
I love windmills. I think they are a great thing.
untill they put one that blocks your million dollar view or closes your favorite fishing hole when they put them there.
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#4438272 - 06/22/17 07:47 AM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: Al]
4WD Online   confused


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6353
Loc: Texas
My friend bought a turn of the century farm house with some acreage - spent a fortune to rebuild and update and figured a few years there and flip for profit. After 180 wind turbines moved in (so loud the peaceful setting lost) the property value has tanked and tens of thousands down the drain ...

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#4438312 - 06/22/17 08:37 AM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: callbay]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10097
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I'd guess because the wind doesn't just blow in 1 direction, they're probably turned a little bit and when the wind blows that direction then they get to spin with some others that are halfway positioned between the others.
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#4438324 - 06/22/17 08:51 AM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: callbay]
TWG1572 Offline


Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 558
Loc: Madison, Wisconsin
There's three main reasons a turbine isn't turning. (1) Needs repair. (2) It's intentionally feathered because the electricity demand isn't present at that exact time. These turbines are electronically monitored and controlled from large control centers. (3) Wind is variable across even 50 yards - there may be enough to turn it's neighbor, but not enough in it's location.

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#4438346 - 06/22/17 09:12 AM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: Nick1994]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
I'd guess because the wind doesn't just blow in 1 direction, they're probably turned a little bit and when the wind blows that direction then they get to spin with some others that are halfway positioned between the others.


No, they do actually rotate.

They don't have a "tail vane" (it would be enormous) so it's done with other wind direction sensors and computers.
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#4438406 - 06/22/17 10:12 AM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: callbay]
KrisZ Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 7456
Loc: Toronto, Canada
It's because there is little incentive to keep them going. That's what happens when the taxpayer funds these little pet projects.
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#4438410 - 06/22/17 10:16 AM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: callbay]
bioburner Offline


Registered: 09/19/16
Posts: 1418
Loc: Minnesota
TWG1572 pretty much has the detail right. I helped repair smaller ones. If no demand why run and put wear and tear on things? We have a farm that can't run all the mills at the same time as the power lines can't handle all the output on a windy day.
They are training help pretty fast in the industry. Getting to the top is not a old man sport.
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#4438414 - 06/22/17 10:18 AM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: KrisZ]
4WD Online   confused


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6353
Loc: Texas
They have major loads in the gearbox - and with inherent CG issues+economic projection - it's pretty hard to overbuild and over maintain like one would equipment at ground level.

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#4438512 - 06/22/17 12:31 PM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: Chris142]
Al Offline


Registered: 06/08/02
Posts: 18033
Loc: Elizabethtown, Pa
Originally Posted By: Chris142
Originally Posted By: Al
I love windmills. I think they are a great thing.
untill they put one that blocks your million dollar view or closes your favorite fishing hole when they put them there.

You want a coal fired plant in your back yard?
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#4438523 - 06/22/17 12:47 PM Re: Non politcal windpower question [Re: callbay]
dnewton3 Offline



Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 7389
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
I am locking the thread, because despite the best intent of the OP, and a few that can stay in the designated travel lane, it's already going P.
Not that I'm immune here; happens to my stuff too.
Some folks just cannot seem to understand how to discuss things on merit of topic (why do not all windmills run), and leave out the political world.
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The act of preventative maintenance, in and of itself, is FAR MORE important than brand/grade/base choices among lubes and filters.
- under maintaining something is akin to abuse/neglect; that can kill equipment by shortening the lifespan
- over maintaining something has never been proven to be anything but a waste of time and money

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