OLC is going to collect wind speed data for a year in order to evaluate the potential for generating electricity here with a wind turbine. Joe Brignolo, with the Foundation for the American Indian, was contracted to install a 50 meter tall (165 foot) tower with anemometers at 3 elevations, 10 m, 30 m, and 50 m. Second Wind is the company that actually performed the erection. They specialize in anemometer tower construction. Here the tower was delivered to OLC in a wooden crate.
The tower sections prior to assembly. This tower is built from 6” diameter galvanized steel tubing.
The base is a simple galvanized plate structure that is bolted together.
The base is positioned by driving the angled ends into the ground. The weight of the tower further secures the base in place.
Next, the first tower section is bolted to the base.
Rob Hach and his helper Brandon start assembling the tower sections on the ground.
And it gets longer. Assembly is simple with subsequent pipe sections flared for about 10” to fit over the section below and stop at the end of the flare.
Guy wires are attached to the pole by a ring collar that snugs down against the flared section of the pole.
Brandon and Rob screw the 6 foot long anchor into the ground that will hold the guy wires and will support the tower. Two of these anchor screws are position on each of four sides of the tower to hold the six guy wires per side.
At the top of the tower 2 anemometers are positioned 180 degrees opposite one another and a weather vane is in the middle. Anemometers and weather vanes are also attached at the 30 meter and 10 meter heights.
The gin pole is built and attached to the base. It will be used to lift the tower up vertically.
Another Second Wind employee, Joe, and Brandon install the anchor that will support the electric winch that will be used to pull the tower up.
The gin pole is lifted by hand . . .
to a height at which the winch can begin to pull it up the rest of the way.
When the front guy wires are connected to the main tower and the side wires are attached at the side anchors, the tower raising is ready to begin.
As the tower slowly goes up side wires are adjusted to keep the tension balanced and the tower straight.
Here the gin pole is nearly down to the winch level and the tower is almost erect. At this point the rear guy wires have to be attached to the anchors and tensioned to prevent the tower from falling forward as it goes vertical.
Once the tower is up the front wires are removed from the gin pole and attached to the front anchors and the rear wires are tensioned.
This was a successful erection and we will soon be collecting wind speed, wind direction, and temperature data at this site. I teach a class in Renewable Energy Technology and will use the wind data we are generating to enhance the course material pertaining to wind energy. Other instructors will also use the wind data generated here in their classes to help illustrate principles of physics, climatology, and environmental science. My renewable energy class will also visit the anemometer tower and learn about the way that data are collected and analyzed and then used to properly select a wind turbine for future installation at this site.
Joe Brignolo caught this beautiful shot of the completed tower at sunset on the day of the installation.