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Turbine Spins Both Ways, Says Consultant

The Archbold Area School District new wind turbine has been spinning, but it’s been going both ways.

Aaron Godwin, the school district consultant working on the project, said there’s nothing to be alarmed about.

If you face the turbine with the hub and blades pointing at you, it spins clockwise when it’s generating power.

At other times, when the turbine is paused, the blades will spin slowly counterclockwise.

Joe Long, interim superin- tendent, described the situation as “free-wheeling.”

“It puts less strain on the machinery,” Godwin said.

When the turbine orients itself into the wind, it does so with the help of electric motors.

Called “yawing,” Godwin said weather vanes atop the nacelle sense the wind direction; then, computer controls direct the yaw motors to turn the blades into the wind.


The turbine is still undergoing the commissioning phase. Commissioning includes such things as checking critical bolts for tightness, inspection of the wiring, and computer programming.

Godwin and Long said those working on the commissioning process are waiting for a meeting with Toledo Edison officials to arrange for a TE inspection and approval of the connection between the turbine and the TE electrical distribution system.

“That’s basically a scheduling issue,” Godwin said, adding that due to Superstorm Sandy striking the East Coast, many utility workers are there, repairing damage.

Long said district employees have received some basic training in assisting with the turbine.

Godwin said the school employees won’t be actually be “operating” the turbine, but can actuate some basic controls, such as resetting circuit breakers or pushing buttons at the direction of others.

Long said district employees won’t climb to the top of the turbine tower.

Those who climb inside the turbine receive special training, he said.

“Three people are always involved in that operation. Two go up, and one stays on the ground with a radio,” Long said.


In the meantime, the Pettisville Local School District wind turbine is still waiting for blades.

Steve Switzer, Pettisville superintendent, said, “Based on our weekly turbine conference call on (Thursday) Nov. 15, Global Blade Technology is showing blades number seven, eight, and nine will be ready to ship on (Wednesday) Dec. 12.

“We anticipate their installation within a day of delivery,” Switzer said.

“We have been granted an extension of our ARRA (American Reinvestment & Recovery) Grant until Dec. 28, 2012. This is the sixth amendment to the grant,” he said.

ARRA funds, also known as economic stimulus money, are paying the largest share of the cost of wind turbine projects.–David Pugh

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