Because of recent requests in the r/pics thread. Here I am!

I'm in mobile so please be patient.

Proof More proof

Phil of you're reading this you're a stooge.

Comments: 2143 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

kittos1149 karma

Does it annoy you that so many people call them windmills?

jayce5131513 karma

HOLY FUNK YES IT DOES. Haha I'm not sure why it bothers me so much

Some_Random_Guy_1138765 karma

We have all seen the burning turbine photo.

What are the emergency exit options when the exit is blocked?

What do you think went wrong with the burning turbine case? No rope, rope got burned, no time, point of descend was blocked, ...?

edit: For clarification I added a link to the post/picture I was referring to.

jayce513712 karma

Good questions. I think that there are a variety of things that possibly went wrong here. One is that they did not have an exitinguisher with them. Two the fire was most likely started by a spark (grinding) that was not seen or an arc flash. Also work in the hub could have been happening which would delay those two workers from getting to the exit.

Fiberglass burns quickly but the nacelles aren't that big. Although there is only one out to the tower and the other out is rappelling outside. Tough to say.

I would say the exit got blocked and that is where all their emergency decent gear was.

Kibethy456 karma

I'd let you service my wind turbine

jayce513426 karma


str8faced333424 karma

Is it windy up there?

jayce513603 karma

Well yeah...hahaha

KderNacht376 karma

Can you explain why is it that on windy days, instead of exploiting that power, the turbines have to be shut off ? Isn't that a bit backwards ? Thanks.

jayce513575 karma

Well there are different reasons for that. This is most likely due to grid limitations. There always a demand and a supply on the grid. If someone is making too much power. They will be shut off because a wind turbine is easier to be shutoff than a coal gen.

Also the turbine could be faulted or there could be too much wind (25 m/s usually)

titoblanco107 karma

Hopefully the next big push in the energy industry is a smarter grid. Like developments where the grid has battery *energy storage to capture the unpredictable production from turbines. Unfortunatly there just is not much financial incentive for that kind of development.

Edit: Yes, I could have chosen my specific words more carefully in the first place

jayce513151 karma

I totally agree. The grid is a huge problem that is often overlooked. Which in my haste to answer this question I overlooked as well. Good poi t!

Phycoz180 karma


I think you dropped this.

jayce513201 karma

Hopefully it didn't fall down tower. :-/

Infectios31 karma


Damn you keep dropping things.

jayce51311 karma

Hahaha comes with the job. But seriously doing this on my phone blows

locke990302 karma

How much money does this profession make?

jayce513518 karma

I made $70,000 last year

rrcon85 karma

Our guys make 40-45 base, and the rest is O/T. Is that pay based on 2080 hours of work (40 hour weeks)?

jayce513142 karma

God I'd love to work for you. I only make 25/hr

DarkHelmet36 karma

45k/year is actually only 21.63/hour with 2080 hours.

jayce51353 karma

I estimated the percentage of overtime.

Mine424239 karma

Dude... how much overtime and on calls?

jayce51387 karma

Almost a quarter of my income comes from overtime

meegunz23 karma

Are you a contractor? You may want to research other turbine companies. I worked as a tech and pulled in about 105K/yr. It's a dangerous job, and is pretty taxing on the body (I remember working in Iowa where my eyelids would be frozen shut when I blinked.) Obviously, 70K isn't a small amount, but you should be able to get more.

jayce51323 karma

Yeah I don't travel at all. I am actually not a contractor which kind of sucks. I know I could make more but have to stay in one place due to my schooling

adamcr151515266 karma

What's the closest call that you have had while working on the job? Also, thanks for doing this!

jayce513369 karma

The closest calls I've had were mostly to do with moving very heavy equipment and being shocked with 240v.

In my turbine there are 4 gearboxes for the yaw system each are about 500 pounds and changing one is a real hassle. Sometimes the gearboxes don't do what you want them to.

DragonbornAgain196 karma

Do you think wind will ever properly take off as a sustainable energy source? Like, will it replace some of our current methods down the line? (thanks for doing the AMA, I think this could be quite interesting!)

jayce513388 karma

No. It can never replace a on site gen plant entirely. Wind power is known as something called 'dirty power' because it fluctuates so much. There are different classifications of power demand as well that would be hard to satisfy with wind. Base load mid load and peak load are their general terms Nuclear and solar are our best bets.

handsomescot85150 karma

I live in the town where work has just been completed on the Samsung Heavy Industries 7MW turbine. Just thought I'd share that.

For the curious.

jayce51359 karma

Awesome! !

KilgoreTroutQQ96 karma

My grandfather was an engineer who died after being electrocuted by a live power line when I was younger--so I've always wondered these things:

What are some general precautions that you have to take while being up there?

Do you use a cherry picker to get up there, or is there an elevator inside? I'll bet the view is pretty nice.

jayce513161 karma

Well we are required all general OSHA safety requirements. Such as lock out tag out... etc. I have to have a variety of certifications to work on these things. Such as being rescue trained and A.ED certified.

However you should know that to truly be safe. You have to want to be safe. And that comes from habit formation and the desire to come home safe everyday.

For my turbines there is both a ladder and a man lift on the interior of the tower.

iwanttofork84 karma

Is it possible to install a fire suppression system similar to one in use on aircraft engine turbines? What would you recommend?

jayce513116 karma

Yes very much so. It's very expensive though.
And only newer turbines have this option. This industry is still in its early stages of heavy lifting so I could see something like that become standard.

I would totally suggest them. I think most manufacturers didn't expect the possibility of these catastrophic failures. Or simply thought a fire extinguisher would be enough

EvilTech515070 karma

You people are insane. Not to mention cell tower and radio mast techs.

So what's the deal? Did you have a natural inclination to climb things to ridiculous heights at a young age?

jayce513117 karma

Holy crap I love doing insane stuff. I think that's what brought me to it. I love rock climbing as well and I think that my love of heights and adrenaline is what got me into it

Ravioli_Stash24 karma

Going off of this, have you ever thought about getting into base jumping because of this profession. I think the temptation to take a parachute up on the job would be hard to resist. I also think I would be fired very quickly after.

jayce5137 karma

Yeah I have never been base jumping but I think about that all the time

SeryaphFR50 karma

So I play in a band called Turbine Toolshed . . . obviously, we use a ton of Wind Turbine related images for our marketing and promotional materials . . . Is there any chance you could send me a cool pic of some turbines or maybe one of the view from the very top of one of those?

That would be awesome.

jayce51378 karma

Yes i can! I am actually an amateur photographer and would love to give you guys some stuff.

Zeimeris49 karma

What science degree do you have to get for this kind of job ?

jayce51369 karma

I have a 2 year AAS in electro mechanical engineering.

jaymedz47 karma

1) is it true that these generate enough noise to bother local residents?

2) what do you think of newer wind turbine designs? would it be ever possible/sensible to reconstruct/modify existing wind farms to incorporate newer technologies?

jayce51384 karma

1) most turbines generate refrigerator loud noises from 1000 yards away. That being said some companies make agreements with localities to be closer. They do make noise. And if you are close it is significant. I find it relaxing IMO

2) some of those new designs are pretty cool but I think will have lower cut out speeds because of the amount of blades. I think it will be difficult to do that large of a design modification. However much smaller design modifications happen all the time

trollindowntheriver44 karma

How many birds are killed annually by a turbine?

jayce513134 karma

Most turbines kill less than one a year. The majority of bird kills in the USA are cause by cats, cars , and buildings

Insane_Man43 karma

Do you like cheese?

jayce51399 karma

Fuck yeah I do

DesertTripper40 karma

How reliable is the latest crop of turbines? As in, how much time on average can a turbine run before something (gearbox, hydraulic system, etc.) requires major maintenance? Have any direct-drive turbines hit the market yet? I imagine things are better now than 15-20 years ago - many if not most turbines I see of that vintage have nasty stains from the oil leaking out of them.

Also, are there any 5MW turbines installed on land yet? I know there are some in at-sea installations but have heard they're too massive for land-based installations.

jayce51350 karma

Great questions! Most direct drive wind turbines are not megawatt class. Since the size of the rotor limits the speed it can rotate. The newer turbines are starting to get much more reliable. The turbines that have been installed within the last 15 years. Not so much.

Yeah there are lot of turbines that will have grease/oil leaks. Sometimes this is due to a leak and sometimes it's due to a previous failure. The cost to clean the outside of the turbines is significant.

I think the there are some 5 me installations in Europe and I'm fairly confident that the largest in the states is 3.6.

Piotr55537 karma

What would happen if you were tied to one of the blades? Would the G-Forces kill you?

In a grouping of wind-turbines, how come some move crazy fast, but others nearby are almost stationary?

How do you get them started? Does the wind just start them up, or is there an actual mechanical apparatus that gets it going? If the latter, does the mechanical apparatus turn off and allow the wind to take over?

I drive by wind turbines all the time in Germany and sometimes these questions pop into my head.

jayce51338 karma

Most blade tip speeds reach 150 mob so yeah you you'll not have a good time.

The wind is very variable. Even on a single wind farm.

The blades pitch in and out of the wind much like if you hold your hand outside of the car when it's moving. You can 'cut' the wind when you hold your hand in parallel to the wind dire ti on

toddsleivonski37 karma

Where do you see U.S. wind technology in 10 years?

jayce51394 karma

Hopefully generating 25% of our electricity needs. However I would put my money in solar. Solar manufactures and installers are going to be the next big push. Solar is more reliable than wind and costs less to maintain

On the other side of things I think that wind power needs to do some serious research on the design side because of serious vibration issues in most manufactures

goldendecorations36 karma

Is there any significant environmental impacts from turbines such as bird mortality or bat mortality? How do you handle those types of situations to reduce mortality?

jayce51374 karma

YES . My wind farm killed a single endangered bat and is not able to run turbines at nigh for the majority of the year.

JustAnAvgJoe27 karma

I sent you a PM before I saw this.

I've been looking to get into this field for a while, however I have a few questions:

  • Is the work schedule typically 3 on and 1 off? I've heard this while looking around the google

  • Since there are no longer official schools certified for training, what are the current standards looking at new hires?

  • I live on the east coast, and while there's a small turbine market developing (especially offshore) my schooling options are limited. Would a ME or EE degree be just as useful and finish training OTJ?

jayce51331 karma

I'm sorry I didn't reply to the PM. Sometimes I get busy and forget. I'll get to your question after work to give you a proper response here

hello_amy24 karma

In Indiana there is a "wind turbine farm" that spans a few miles. Are these turbines likely owned by one farm/company or did the farms collectively get together and decide on wind power?

jayce51334 karma

I've heard of this farm many times and most likely it is not just a single farm but multiple farms owned by differwnt companies close together. Since wind resources usually are concentrated in a location.

betaboxx24 karma

Please tell me you have life insurance and a fire extinguisher.

jayce51332 karma

I do! Have both :-)

coolcatinsquareville14 karma

So as a wind site manger myself I just have to ask this. Why aren't you working right now?

jayce51325 karma

Lol I'm up tower right now. Hahaha

widdowson11 karma

What would you have done if you found yourself in the shoes of the two technicians in the burning tower?

jayce51334 karma

In their exact situation? Probably the same thing. Try and aim for a soft spot...

karmanaut11 karma

Could you also provide some proof that you are the person in that photo, like a picture of you now with a sign that says your username?

jayce51341 karma

Hey karmanaut. I do have a picture but am having trouble uploading it via mobile. Please be patient.

Here you go

YoYoDingDongYo9 karma

What is the circle and claw device on the left side of the first picture?

jayce51311 karma

Anemometer and wind direction sensing instrument!

benlew8 karma

How long does it take to climb a wind turbine?

jayce51310 karma

Depends on how out of shape you are.

Anywhere from 3-10 minutes

Spuffeld8 karma

I was told by a fellow yesterday who used to be in the turbine business here in the UK that most wind turbines have a lifespan of 25 years, and the length of operation required for the materials/work (and everything else put into it) to break even is 50 years.

Also, do they actually kill a lot of birds.

jayce51316 karma

Yeah 20-25 years is usually the guarantee by the OEM..

Most turbines average less than one bird kill annually

baggedminiz7 karma

Just wondering if you ever worked on any Gamesa Turbines? I work in a plastics/fiberglass plant and we use to make the Nacelles for them out of fiberglass and also assemble them. We actually just did a couple of spinner hubs this week.

jayce5137 karma

I actually do work on gamesas! :-)

Mkjcaylor5 karma

Tur-bin or tur-bine? The entire scientific community (and me) seems to want to pronounce the long i, but when I spent 3 months at a wind facility last year I heard everyone at the farm call them turbins. We made fun of them because it sounds like a headpiece. I am sure they made fun of us because we were getting paid to pick up dead animals. Which one do you use? Is it regional?

jayce5137 karma

For some reason I always say turbin. It's the lingo for all techs that I work with...

bigj87055 karma

Was the episode of Dirty Job's when they showed what a Wind Turbine Tech does on the level?

jayce5135 karma

Didn't see that one but I will admit my job is extremely dirty.

ELite_Predator285 karma

Thanks for doing this IAMA!

What are the possibilitys for alternative energy such as wind energy in a state such as Florida, OFFCOAST?

I did a report on this and I would like to know your take on this OP.

jayce5134 karma

Off shore wind energy is the way to go. 80 meter averages are much higher and more consistent than almost anywhere in the states

fnoobreported3 karma

Is it cosy up there?

jayce51312 karma

More than it should be hahaha

Dysalot3 karma

What do you think of so called "Wind Turbine Syndrome."

jayce5134 karma

It's mostly bullshit.

Nathul2 karma

Have you ever made use of an iPad at work? Apple showed off the new iPad Air with a few guys working on a wind turbine, not sure how that would work...

jayce5135 karma

Some subcontractors use the iPad mini for work. I don't but just imagine it would work well.

oreito2 karma

What's your favorite board game?

jayce5136 karma

MONOPOLY OR RISK! Hahaha caps lock was on. Not changing it

fuckyou_space1 karma

Do you know where I can find a quality sound clip of the "whoosh" from a large windmill? Everything sounds fake or has too much wind noise. It is such a calming sound.

jayce5132 karma

I have plenty videos. I can PM you one later

Patches671 karma

What is the most amount of wind that a wind turbine can safely withstand?

jayce5134 karma

My turbines cut out at 25 m/s but can handle much higher without falling over. Highest I've seen is 48 m/s