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Tower begins measuring Tiverton for wind power

TIVERTON - A meteorological tower designed to test the breezes has just been erected at Sandy Woods Farm adjacent to and south of the Bulgarmarsh recreation area. If the direction, speed and constancy of the winds are right, there could well be a wind generator at the location two years or so from now that would be capable of meeting most of the electrical energy needs of an artists' community now being proposed for the site. After a small number of trees had been cleared in a rocky pasture on the farm, and a concrete footing for the structure had been set in place, the 132-foot tall "met tower" was hoisted intact in just a few hours on Thursday morning last week. It is visible looking south from Bulgarmarsh Road on the hill and curve just west of the recreation area. The so-called tilt-up "met tower" system, consisting of interlocking galvanized steel tubes that slide together without bolts or clamps, was hoisted from the ground with a ginpole and winch. It is held in place by cable guy wires that run in four directions at several levels.

TIVERTON - A meteorological tower designed to test the breezes has just been erected at Sandy Woods Farm adjacent to and south of the Bulgarmarsh recreation area. If the direction, speed and constancy of the winds are right, there could well be a wind generator at the location two years or so from now that would be capable of meeting most of the electrical energy needs of an artists' community now being proposed for the site.

After a small number of trees had been cleared in a rocky pasture on the farm, and a concrete footing for the structure had been set in place, the 132-foot tall "met tower" was hoisted intact in just a few hours on Thursday morning last week. It is visible looking south from Bulgarmarsh Road on the hill and curve just west of the recreation area.

The so-called tilt-up "met tower" system, consisting of interlocking galvanized steel tubes that slide together without bolts or clamps, was hoisted from the ground with a ginpole and winch. It is held in place by cable guy wires that run in four directions at several levels.

At three different levels - the top, and at 99 and 66 feet - wind measurements will be taken. Anemometers at those levels, small cup-like devices that rotate on a pin, much... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

TIVERTON - A meteorological tower designed to test the breezes has just been erected at Sandy Woods Farm adjacent to and south of the Bulgarmarsh recreation area. If the direction, speed and constancy of the winds are right, there could well be a wind generator at the location two years or so from now that would be capable of meeting most of the electrical energy needs of an artists' community now being proposed for the site.

After a small number of trees had been cleared in a rocky pasture on the farm, and a concrete footing for the structure had been set in place, the 132-foot tall "met tower" was hoisted intact in just a few hours on Thursday morning last week. It is visible looking south from Bulgarmarsh Road on the hill and curve just west of the recreation area.

The so-called tilt-up "met tower" system, consisting of interlocking galvanized steel tubes that slide together without bolts or clamps, was hoisted from the ground with a ginpole and winch. It is held in place by cable guy wires that run in four directions at several levels.

At three different levels - the top, and at 99 and 66 feet - wind measurements will be taken. Anemometers at those levels, small cup-like devices that rotate on a pin, much like wind indicators on a sailboat's mast, measure wind speed, while two wind vanes at 132 and 99 feet measure its direction.

Robert W. Chew, founder and president of Ocean State Wind and its parent company Solarwrights, Inc., which installed the structure, said that sensors will be recording the wind speed and direction every two seconds and averaging the data into 10 minute chunks. Then each day, using a battery and cell phone situated in the tower, the data will be e-mailed to the company's offices in Bristol.

The tower, which went operational Wednesday, March 7, will remain in place for a year, Mr. Chew said. "In the first three months we'll have a good idea about wind speeds," he said. He said that after the first week he'll have an indication what the wind resources are likely to be.

"I'm hoping for maybe 13 m.p.h. on the average," he said. "It's pretty exciting. I love this stuff."

The artists' community, proposed to be situated on about 173 acres of Sandy Woods Farm, is now under review by Tiverton's planning board. It would consist of about 23 acres with 50 cooperative affordable housing units, plus mixed use activities that would support agriculture and the arts, such as a gallery and studio spaces, a cafe, farm stand, performance space and a small bed-and-breakfast. Also on the site would be 20 market rate housing units, a farm-manager's dwelling, and acreage dedicated to agricultural purposes.

The wind turbine being considered for the location is a Fuhrlander FL 250. At 139 feet in height it would be capable, said Mr. Chew, of generating 350,000 kilowatt hours per year, "or enough electricity for 87 houses like mine. The turbine is expected to produce 100 percent of the electricity used in the development."

The Portsmouth Abbey generator, by comparison, cranks out 1.3 million kilowatt hours per year.

Mr. Chew said "the projected cost of the turbine will be around $650,000 before incentives. We are hoping the Office of Energy Resources will either provide buydown (incentives) or low interest loans to help pay for part of this project." The Portsmouth Abbey turbine received $450,000 from the state energy office.

Donald Powers, the lead architect on the artists community project said the idea of wind power "is a logical extension of the philosophy of the whole community."

Mr. Chew said "we don't expect any danger to birds since newer generation turbines are larger, the blades rotate slower, and there will be no guy wires.

Mr. Chew was optimistic about the issue of noise. "The experience from the Portsmouth Abbey Turbine is that you can't hear it 400 feet away," he said.

Blowing in the wind

* Height of Furhlander 250 wind generator: 139 feet (add 48.5 feet to tip of rotor at top of arc)

* Diameter of rotor: 97 feet

* Furhlander 250 is about one-third the size of the Portsmouth Abbey generator

* Noise from Fuhrlander 250 (see Fuhrlander website): range of decibels is from 50 dB(A) at 215 feet to 35 dB(A) at 990 feet

* Tiverton's new noise ordinance (Table I) charts the sound of moderate rainfall at 50 decibels, a refrigerator hum at 40, and a quiet whisper at 30

* Wind is capable of supplying 10 percent of world's electricity within 20 years (Source: NRG Systems website, below)`

* Germany, Spain lead U.S. in wind energy production, with India and Denmark next (Source: NRG website, below)

* Websites of interest:

Fuhrlander 250: http://www.fuhrlaender.de/

Ocean State Wind: http://oceanstatewind.com/

Solarwrights, Inc.: http://WWW.SOLARWRIGHTS.COM/index.html

NRG Systems (manufacturer of "met tower"): www.nrgsystems.com

By Tom Killin Dalglish

tdalglish@eastbaynewspapers.com


Source: http://www.eastbayri.com/st...

MAR 12 2007
http://www.windaction.org/posts/7753-tower-begins-measuring-tiverton-for-wind-power
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