Brian’s Morning Newsletter for Friday March 6th 2009
Trying to wakeup this morning, not having much luck and this is the third cup of Eight O’clock brand java. Remember when I was saying it was going to get windy according the the weather report? The weather report was correct. We don’t have an anemometer, but we tried to work outside for a good long while before giving in to the wind and returning to the sun and firewood warmed shop to spend the rest of the day indoors listening and watching through the big beautiful windows of the shop as the wind tore anything and everything not bolted down asunder.
At some point dark clouds rolled in from the west and hung in the sky quite ominously lending us hope that some kind of precipitation was in store. Later on the wind changed direction and blew violently in the opposite direction. I mention this because I was fairly optimistic that even though the wind was moving at a greater velocity than our wind turbine can utilize, I thought at least it is blowing constantly from the same direction. Crap, not true either.
After so much work to get our wind turbine in the air before these Spring winds, I for one am quite concerned that the wind will be too much for our little turbine. Just what I need, another little burr in my shorts. I hope I don’t sound like I’m bellyaching, we are all pulling together on this project and the wind turbine will be up in the wind come hell or high water. Overcoming obstacles isn’t something I am adverse to, but it did occur to me yesterday that we really couldn’t have picked a worse season to erect our tower.
So what the heck were we doing out in that god-awful wind yesterday? Breaking ground for our tower of course. Kevin, Danny and I laid out the plans for the 46 foot tall wind turbine tower. We rounded up three 4 inch square, thin-wall tubing in twenty foot lengths and carried them over to the site behind the shop, at the crest of the hill. After running the numbers for the steel we selected, we then came up with anchors at four points 20 feet from the tower. Using simple geometry and a bit of decimal to feet conversion, we determined the anchors were 28 feet 3.5 inches apart.
At this point it was around 10 AM and just plain windy outside making it a small inconvenience to keep a fifty foot tape in place while we measured the location for the anchors. Once we had the location of the tower base and the four anchor points marked with survey flags, we made the giant leap forward on our wind turbine building project; we broke ground!
Of course breaking ground at Las Tusas Ranch really means breaking rocks.
Seen above are the three 20 foot lengths of steel tubing. Two laid out east to west being the bulk of the tower, and one lying to the north, which is the jin pole. The jin pole attaches at the base and is at a right angle to the tower. The jin pole enables us to raise the tower from ground level, it is one half the height of the tower.
Above is a crude drawing I pulled off the www.otherpower.com web site of a small tower like we are building. There is a statement under the section I got this from, noting that these plans are obsolete. However I couldn’t find the updated information on tower construction. I used my laptop in the shop to hook up with one of the Dans from Other Power and he said they were quickly selling out of their newly published book, Home Brew Wind Power.
ay, a couple of quick pictures and I got to go and get ready for work in town. Above you can see the 4 inch square tubing we’ll use for the tower and Jin pole.
Of course I take pictures of everything so here ya go: The hole for the foundation for the base of the tower.
This is a drawing I made yesterday morning of the way I imagine the ironwork for the base of the tower to look. The tower needs to be hinged so that it will move 90 degrees vertically then lock in the vertical position. Shown on the left is one of two stationary parts which will be set in the concrete on either side of the tower base. A large steel pin pierces the base and the two brackets creating a hinge which can be disassembled in case we want to change out the tower for some reason.
Enough is enough,