Monday, May 21, 2012

Wind Turbine Blades

A wind turbine blade against the Laramie sky.  May 20, 2012.  
(Click images to view larger)

Wind is a fact of life in Wyoming, and especially here in Southeastern Wyoming, where it blows a lot of the time.  According to the USGS, there were 777 known wind turbine locations in Wyoming in August, 2009, and that number has undoubtedly grown considerably since then.  A graph on Wikipedia and copied below ranks Wyoming as the number one state in terms of per capita wind power capacity.  Wind farms seem to be sprouting like weeds across Wyoming basins, and it's hard to know whether to support them (this is renewable, carbon-free, energy production, after all) or to lament their impact on wide open spaces, not to mention wildlife.  

Yesterday, while on my way to pick Bei up at a friends house south of town, I encountered a trainload of wind turbine blades, waiting on the tracks to pass through Laramie on their way north, so I stopped and photographed the sight, which was impressive.  

Per capita wind power capacity from Wikipedia.

For some reason this view reminds me of the malevolent sand worms from Frank Herbert's Dune.

Interesting that there are teeth near the tips.  According to researchers in the Netherlands, these saw teeth make the blades much quieter as they spin in the wind.

Turbine blades stacked up on flatbed train cars.  

The turbine blade train heads into Laramie.

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