Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wind Turbine Has Switch To Move Clear Of Migrating Birds

Date:
August 28, 2007
Source:
University Of New Hampshire
Summary:
The wind turbine off in the distance is flopped over on its side -- the 11-foot blades suspended just above the ground at one end and a 2,000-pound, bulbous, galvanized steel counterbalance pitched into the air at the other. The unique turbine isn't broken; it was lowered from a height of 80 feet to test the ability to bring it down at the drop of a hat should foul weather set in or should the migratory songbirds and nesting seabirds that frequent this 95-acre island run afoul of the whirling blades.

AIRMAP project director Kevan Carpenter, left, and Robert Pechie, engineer and CEO of Northeast Wind Energy, work on the wind turbine recently installed on Appledore Island. Pechie designed the custom-built tower.
Credit: David Sims, UNH-EOS

The wind turbine off in the distance is flopped over on its side – the 11-foot blades suspended just above the ground at one end and a 2,000-pound, bulbous, galvanized steel counterbalance pitched into the air at the other.

Related Articles


The unique turbine isn’t broken; it was lowered from a height of 80 feet to test the ability to bring it down at the drop of a hat should foul weather set in or should the migratory songbirds and nesting seabirds that frequent this 95-acre island run afoul of the whirling blades.

Indeed, that the newly installed wind turbine can be lowered with ease by one person at the flip of a switch is the key reason local, state, and national permits were granted for its construction on Appledore – the largest of the nine Isles of Shoals some six miles off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine and the site of the Shoals Marine Lab (SML) operated by Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire.

The island is also home to one of the six atmospheric observatories run by UNH in the region as part of its AIRMAP program, which funded $83,000 of the $120,000 price tag for installing the turbine, the balance coming from SML operating revenues.

AIRMAP, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is housed at the Climate Change Research Center within the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space. The nine-year-old air quality and climate program seeks to unravel fundamental chemistry-climate connections in New England directly downwind from major U.S. urban emission sources.

The AIRMAP observatory here on Appledore is largely housed in a monolithic, concrete, World War II surveillance tower that rises 60 feet into the air (120 feet above sea level) and once stood vigil for German U-boats. The tower roof is now agleam with state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation. The wind turbine delivers its power to a 7,000-pound rack of batteries in the tower and is then converted from DC to AC power.

For the past seven years the observatory has gathered an ever-growing wealth of scientific data on continental and marine air masses that co-mingle over the ocean and change chemically and physically. But until now, with the wind turbine poised to generate as much as 7.5 kilowatts of power, scientific study was conducted only during the summer months when the island’s diesel generators churned away before being shut down in late summer.

“We just don’t have a picture of what happens in the atmosphere out here in the winter, and that really led us to evaluate an alternative energy source,” says AIRMAP project director Kevan Carpenter.

After pondering the alternatives, Carpenter suggested a collapsible wind turbine as the most practical and sustainable method of keeping the observatory operating year-round. It took nearly two years of paperwork to get the turbine up and running because of the complexities involved with placing the 80-foot tower on the small, remote island where the SML has operated a bird-banding station since the 1970s.

In addition to allowing the AIRMAP observatory to operate year-round, Carpenter notes that the wind turbine is helping to spawn greater possibilities for the application of sustainable technologies and related educational opportunities through the SML. This summer the lab installed eight solar panels that generate some 2.2 kilowatts of power. In the future, more panels could be installed and, should all fare well with the island’s bird population, a larger wind turbine could be installed to bump up the kilowatts generated.

As far as AIRMAP’s need for year-round air quality and climate data, the program’s principal investigator, Robert Talbot, notes that in order to accurately look at and understand the complexities of the atmosphere in this region where marine and continental air masses converge, data from all seasons are needed.

“With just five months of data, you get a snapshot and it doesn’t provide the type of information you need to understand the big picture,” Talbot notes.

Long-term, year-round data from other land-based AIRMAP observatories have provided this bigger picture view. But gathering data at sea, typically by boat during a short-term scientific cruise, is prohibitively expensive and makes continuous measurements impossible.

Says Talbot, “To really look at how climate change is affecting air quality, you need to look at the variability from year to year, that’s how you figure out the climate impacts.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of New Hampshire. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of New Hampshire. "Wind Turbine Has Switch To Move Clear Of Migrating Birds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823115345.htm>.
University Of New Hampshire. (2007, August 28). Wind Turbine Has Switch To Move Clear Of Migrating Birds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823115345.htm
University Of New Hampshire. "Wind Turbine Has Switch To Move Clear Of Migrating Birds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823115345.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) A virtual flying enthusiast converts parts of a written-off Airbus aircraft into a working flight simulator in his northern Slovenian home. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins