In the first installment of what I hope will be a weekly (or close to) occurrence, I’m going to be throwing up a photo set a week on some sort of topical, timely, or interesting theme.
Today’s installment is titled, The Long Beach Windmill. Full disclosure, I took these photos last Friday. I think if I took them today the windmill would probably be taking off considering how bad the wind is today.
Also, there was a lot of discussion two weeks ago wondering why the turbine wasn’t spinning. I spoke with an electrical engineering expert familiar with wind power and he had a very easy answer for me. “It was too cold.” I was a bit surprised by the answer, but he explained that the extremely expensive lubricants that are required to keep the turbine spinning cannot operate in arctic conditions (unless special equipment is used). Without a doubt, the days in question when the turbine weren’t spinning were bitterly cold (around 20 degrees at times). I did some googling and found this to be a severe downside to some windfarms, especially when they are built not expecting cooler-than-projected weather, as was the case with much of Britain’s wind power farms.
Note: I’m aware the technical title of this should be a “wind turbine” or “wind power generator,” but I think windmill is a bit more poetic and I’m going with it in the case of this photo spread.
The temporary path up to the windmill… the beginning of something bigger?
You come for the windmill, but you’re blown away by the massive solar panel array
From the pier, a great view of the loop and the windmill
The very active fishing pier next door, loaded with boats of all sizes
Half of the solar array soaking up the sun
Seeing its blades rotating from below tested my faith in modern engineering
The machine that helped rebuild much of the pier the windmill is sitting on
NOM OM OM OM OM
The fishing pier unaffected by the “green” energy rush
The Northern Power Turbine
Spinning into the sun
From every angle, the move towards solar and wind was on exhibit
The windmill whipping around, generating some of its 100kw potential
Across the way, a man waits for a bite, unimpressed by the turbine behind him
After spending an hour or two down by the windmill I was really impressed by how well it fit into the skyline. While walking around, I realized the turbine itself emits a low humming sound that blanketed much of the immediate area around it. What really surprised me was how much else was built on the site: Two full rows of solar power panels, a new fueling station (under construction), and what I assume will be some sort of classroom/demonstration building (also under construction), and you can’t forget the huge fishing pier and dock that has been there for decades. On a nice Saturday or Sunday, I highly recommend heading down here and seeing this in person (parking is abundant). Regardless of your opinion of wind power or “green” energy – seeing this in operation is pretty neat.