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Wind-Site Problems and Logistics
A good wind-site assessment report should identify potential landmines.
Mick Sagrillo (msagrillo
Sagrillo Power & Light is a
small wind consultant
n the Nov./Dec. issue of
, I described the broad outlines of the report a good wind-site assessor will produce. Beyond that, the assessment report should go
into specifics regarding problems that might be encountered
in the construction phase. These are potential landmines for
the installation. For example, where is the septic tank and
field? You certainly do not want a backhoe excavating for
a tower anchor in the leach field. Nor do you want a crane
driving over the septic tank.
A good wind-site assess-
ment report will address
potential obstacles your
turbine installation might
Other critical questions
about the site include —
muck won’t support a standard tower foundation.
impact the foundation design?
affect the foundation design.
breaker box adequate?
road? Is it adequately sized?
Consider hazards to aviation,
such as —
FAA need to be notified?
on neighboring fields?
you should consider include —
would apply to the tower?
Keep utility interconnection issues
in mind, such as —
ing the system to the grid? Are there any turbine capacity
switch? If so, is there a specified location for this discon-
charging a substantial premium?
you’ll want to think about include —
interfere with the wire run?
tion for the balance-of-system components (e.g., controls
and inverter) that has an adequate circuit-breaker box? Is
there adequate space for all such components?
to the controls and inverter without compromising the
wind resource or creating more turbulence due to ground
tively close to the location of the balance-of-system
components that can be utilized to optimize the wind
vailing wind directions? It is important to site the tower
upwind of such obstacles to maximize wind speed and
area (which are usually the tallest obstacles that must be
overcome by the tower)? Plan for mature tree height 20
to 30 years into the future, not today’s tree height.
tower? Are there any activities or planned structures that
will either interfere with the installation or with accessing
the tower for future maintenance and repair work?
danger during installation or while workers and service
personnel are on the tower?
to consider —
for the guy cables?
to lower the tower to the ground, and possibly leave it in
that position for periods of time?
and turbine in place?
drive over the septic tank or field? Is there other infra-
structure that could be damaged by heavy weight?
Food for thought
It may take awhile to read and digest the assessment
report. Don’t procrastinate — read it, and then read it
again. The assessor may put a score of hours into preparing
the report. There’s a lot of valuable information there, so
make sure you read it thoroughly. You will probably have
questions. Be sure to contact the assessor for answers in a
timely manner. The fresher the visit and report are in every-
one’s head, the more valuable the entire effort will be.
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