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TurbineClimber20 karma

That they are noisy and kill a lot of birds and wildlife. And they can give you motion sickness or migraines. The noise and wildlife taking are partially true but the other two are nonsense. If they aren't running correctly, then they may make noticeable noises. But that means there is a problem with the turbine itself. IE brake sticking, bearings getting seized, etc. Luckily for us, most the land owners are farmers and will let us know if a turbine is being noisy. If it is, we help them out by finding the problem and they help us out by notifying us. They do make noise, but generally unless you are standing under one you aren't going to be able to hear them over the wind. As for the animal taking, we are require to report and submit any bird or other animal to higher authorities. We live in a bat migration line and during spring and fall we shut our turbines off from dusk to dawn to help prevent bats from being harvested. They really aren't very common and not nearly as much as a lot of people think they are.

TurbineClimber19 karma

Probably when I got fiberglass behind my safety glasses and a piece scratched my cornea*. Ended up being blind for 3 days and was extremely painful.

TurbineClimber16 karma

I can't answer exactly unfortunately. I would say it would depend on the size and cost of the turbine. I work on a platform that puts out 1.65 mW but there are many now that output 2 or more. Some are producing well over 3 mW with offshore having larger outputs. Our turbine life expectancy is 25 years, so I would assume it would take less time than that to pay for itself. They have become a lot more efficient and production costs in the U.S. have gone down over the recent decade as well which is leading to an increase in popularity. If I had to to make a guess, I would guess around 1-2 years

TurbineClimber14 karma

So we have several overspeed systems in place. There are various sensors on the drive train both in the front and the rear of the gearbox as well as on the main rotor. They test for variation to see if the gearbox or drive train would be slipping, as well as direction, and speed. The turbine systems are designed so that they will only spin at a set number of revolutions per minute at the rotor side which transfers to the generator. This ensures a steady output of electricity is sent to the substations and is cleaned up before entering the grid.

Turbines get struck extremely frequently by lightning. They have several grounding guards in place for both mechanical and electrical components. The blades are generally made of a wood core with mesh wiring and covered in fiberglass. There are lightning receptors at the end of the blades that allow for electricity to flow through the whole turbine and be grounded down tower. For the electrical components, there are redundancies in place such as fuses and thermal overloads to ensure if a strike didn't go to ground it wouldn't harm any of the main systems. Sometimes strikes get through but I've never seen any major damage due to one.

I'm a geek about wind and love talking about it and sharing information, so ask away!

TurbineClimber11 karma

Most turbines are designed to run with ice on the blades. That being said, there are multiple vibration sensors throughout the turbine that would detect any anomalies that would cause imbalances in the turbine. So if there were a large chunk at the end of one blade, it would cause vibrations at some point in the nacelle and the sensor would tell the turbine to shut down. They are generally coated evenly since they accumulate ice during production. We don't remove any ice but I believe there are companies looking at using drones for removal. I'm not sure why you would need it, but they are made to work in the cold and warm.