Safety and Wind Generators
For the sake of everyone's
safety and to insure a future for Wind Energy in our communities we
all have to think about safety!
Several City Counsels
throughout the US are reviewing their ordinances on wind
generators. Some are making them tougher, some are adding ordinances,
while others are willing to cut some slack on the harsh ordnance
currently in place. We need to prove that it is safe to
own and operate a wind generator in your back yard and the only way
we can do that is if we think about safety when building and
installing our birds.
The reason for this page is
due to the numerous questions I have been getting here lately about
some really dangerous ideas that are getting mixed into the
renewable energy market once again.
When I say once again I am talking about the 1980's when the Government
put out grants to assist homeowners in getting wind
generators. Once that happened everyone wanted a piece of the
pie. There were all kinds of companies that popped up in the
80's, each one claimed they had the best product out there.
Some of these companies still remain today supplying good quality
products while others just vanished. It was some of the fly by
night companies along with the so called professional installers and
homeowners that mounted some dangerous setups are the reason some
areas have such stiff ordinances against wind generators.
Lets take a "basic"
look at some known ordinances and why they are in place: (please
note that I am not going to quote from any certain ordinance).
The Fall Zone Ordinance.
In place because of the first homeowner OR professional installer
didn't use the right equipment when erecting a wind generator tower,
then at some point the tower fell going through someone's property.
At that point every surrounding community that heard of the event
joined the band wagon to write an ordinance against a wind generator
in their town or zoning area. It just takes one bozo to ruin
it for everyone, and it has always been that way, and that will
The Clear Zone, also known as The Debris Zone and many
many other names.
This one is about the harshest that I have ran across. For
example to fly a 10 foot rotor in some areas you have to own all the
property for 1/4 mile in all directions. And how many of us
own a 1/2 mile square? Exactly! That's why I call this one
It's in place because of wooden blades and some metal speed control
tips used on wooden and fiberglass blades.
This one almost explains itself, but you all know me. ;)
I remember a few incidents that brought this harsh ordinance into
play in a few areas. One that comes to mind is a wind
generator that threw its metal speed control/governor off the end of
a wooden blade over 1/4 mile and it went through a City Councilman's
window. That ordinance went into place real quick. I bet
it still would have been written but maybe not so fast if it had been
someone else's house.
Another one was a run down wooden blade that had not been cared for
filled up with water and started running ruff. It was believed
that the vibration caused the mount to break which allowed a blade
to strike the tower, sending the top blade flying through the air
like a tomahawk which ended up going through the roof of a two story
house and came to rest in the hallway. It was a little over 5
blocks the way it was explained.
That was a lack of maintenance but still ruined it for everyone just
The Sound/Noise Ordinance.
In place in some areas because some blades sound like helicopters
hovering in back yards. It only take one neighbor that can't
sleep that has to get up at 4:00am to complain and it will be on the
agenda at the next Council Meeting.
If you are running a loud rotor then think about shutting it down at
night or you may not be running it much longer.
There are several more ordinances
out there and like I said many of them are being reduce, remove,
overruled, etc. If we use our heads when building and
installing wind generators and do all we can or all we know how to
do to insure safety. Accidents can and do happen in every aspect of
life and in the event of an OOPS there is not near as much said
about a fluke event as there is an all out oversight or lack of
paying attention to detail.
By the year 2020 Electric is
going to be at an all time high. The wind has always been free
and is becoming a more acceptable source of power all the time, but
remember what I have said a couple of time on this page. "it
only takes one to ruin it for everyone." Don't be that
It is up to you or the person that installs your system to make sure
that it is done as sturdy and safely as possible.
Click the link below to read
some things not to do.
Read some of the things I
personally feel you SHOULD NOT do.
to Tips and Tricks