Blades on Fort Atkinson turbine replaced

Posted on June 7, 2010. Filed under: Wind |

From an article by Randall Dullum in the Jefferson County Daily Union:

The three blades on the wind turbine at Madison College-Fort Atkinson are being replaced with new ones to achieve even greater electrical energy savings for the local campus.

The new 100-kilowatt Northwind turbine sits atop a monopole with a total system height of 155 feet.

Using a crane, crews began removing the blades and planned to have had the job completed on Wednesday, but their efforts were hampered by heavy rains.

“We expected to have it (the project) completed yesterday, but we ran into a thunderstorm,” Fred Brechlin, Madison College facilities architect, said this morning. “We were expecting to have it done in one day, but the weather did not cooperate.

“There are some difficulties with working up so high, but otherwise these are simple connections,” he added.

Crews resumed their work this morning and were expected to have the entirely new assembly replaced by noon, he said.

As part of the new assembly, Brechlin said, crews were installing a hub ring that is attached to the turbine with the three new blades connected to the hub ring. The old blades will be returned to Northwind, the manufacturer.

The reason for replacing the blades, he said, is to generate additional electrical energy on the power grid.

“We’ve been monitoring the system since we installed it back in December, and the (turbine) was not producing as much electricity as we expected,” Brechlin said, noting that Madison College-Fort Atkinson officials have been keeping the manufacturer of the turbine aware of that. “They (Northwind) determined that by changing blades with ones that had slightly more pitch, they would be able to get more production out of the machine.”

Therefore, he said, the blades have a slightly altered pitch, with less drag, to allow them to move more freely when the wind is blowing.

“So we’re hoping to generate more electricity from the system,” Brechlin said.


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