(above thumbnail links to 2048×768 panoramic image.)
It’s nice here at the Risø test centre, with a view of over 70 wind turbines across Jutland. I’m on top of a Siemens 2.3 MW turbine. There’s an elevator, before you ask how I got up an 80m tower.
Visiting Siemens’ factory in Aalborg, we saw the blade fabrication process. I was pleasantly surprised to discovered that a major component of their blades is balsa wood, which, when combined with clear glass fibre and epoxy, makes a lovely organic-looking surface. It’s a shame that they have to be painted, but environmental degradation will always get ya in the end.
These blades are big:
The above is a 45m blade being loaded onto a truck.
Here is a bunch of 45m blades waiting to be finished and painted. You’ll note that there’s still some mould flash on the edge of the blade; that gets ground off. The submarine-like thing on the right is the truly colossal Siemens B52 blade (as a lifelong fan of Kate, Cindy, Ricky, Keith and Fred, the name alone made me happy, even if I knew it denoted a 52m blade). It was so large our entire party managed to stand inside the blade root, with no stooping required.