Sunday, 14 August 2011

UP!

The weather forecast called for a chilly day of rain and thunder storms, but it turned out to be a gorgeous day after all. A perfect day to lower our wind turbine for its annual inspection - and hopefully repair. It hadn't been performing well since a bad wind storm did some damage to it last April, it was now a matter of finding out how much damage.

Coming down carefully...
As usual, Frank "the Solar Guy" who designed and installed the system was in charge of the operation. Lowering a 306-feet, $9,000 tower is not something you do lightly, it takes thorough planning and smooth team work. Fortunately we had a good group volunteering to help us out, which included a powerful Bobcat to do most of the heavy lifting.

Once the tower had come down we quickly found out what the problem was: a frayed tension wire in the turbine head had overheated and shorted the system. The good news was that we had the skills and the tools to repair it. Other than that there were no further issues or repairs, thank goodness.

Many hands...
Getting the tower back up proved a bit more of a challenge. Because of the slippery tall, moist grass under the Bobcat, its wheels began to spin. The solution proved simple: everybody pile on top of it to give some extra grip - and there we went.

All aboard!
Lowering & raising a turbine, even a relatively small one as ours, is always a hassle and time-consuming. On the other hand, it's also a great exercise in community building, with everyone pulling his/her weight, learning about wind power and adding to a wonderful day. But the end of the afternoon the turbine was back to happily cranking out green energy again.

Thank you, Frank, Jane, Mark, Dana, Paul, Brian, Will, Joey, Mel and Tyler for your help and positive attitude. Oh, and the happy dogs Will & Kate and Amber, too!



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