Photo Challenge 14: Big Revisited (oh, and Silhouette)

Since the seasons have not really changed in my neck of the woods much, I decided to revisit the challenge of BIG. If you may recall, I wanted to do images of wind turbines or windmills but was unable to get to the “farm.” I also didn’t have a suitable image for the Silhouette challenge. Last month, I finally made it over to the tiny town of Minco and happened upon “pieces” of a new turbine heading down the road. And, voila! My big images finally came to pass (as well as my silhouette). I probably will revisit Changing Seasons later – do you notice a pattern? You would think as a former photojournalist/reporter I could stay on task. I guess after seven years of someone telling what to shoot and write about, I have developed a little bit of a rebellious streak! 🙂

The extra long blade comes with a red-tipped warning to motorists.

The extra long blade comes with a red-tipped warning to motorists. Kind oh reminds me of Santa, Ho, Ho Ho!

Killing two birds with one stone, I managed to encompass Big and Silhouette in one shot! Better late than never!

Killing two birds with one stone, I managed to encompass Big and Silhouette in one shot! Better late than never!

Admitted, our Oklahoma wind giants aren’t as massive as some others I have seen on the show Turbine Cowboys. But they are still pretty impressive when you seen them being hauled down the road. Each of the three blades measures approximately 126 feet long and are hauled separately. It takes a special semi truck with independent front and rear wheeled platforms to haul each piece. In fact, the rear pilot truck has a remote control that steers the back of the transport truck around corners – freaky! The rest of the rotating giant’s skeleton also arrive in pieces on many different trucks.

A single blade is transported by a special truck.

A single blade is transported by a special truck.

This big fellow was parked on the roadside waiting to make its final journey to a nearby wind farm

This big fellow was parked on the roadside waiting to make its final journey to a nearby wind farm

The piolet driver has a special remote to steer the back of the semi truck.

The piolet driver has a special remote to steer the back of the semi truck.

Wind energy and Wind Turbine farms have fast become a visual maintain in Oklahoma – hey we are the state “where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!” In fact, the town of Piedmont recently petitioned its city council to prevent one from inhabiting local farmland. Its citizen stated reasons like the windmills blocking their view of the sunset. I personally think that is a little closed minded, but I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

I know it looks like the blade is stationary, but it is actually moving at a very slow 8 mph.

I know it looks like the blade is stationary, but it is actually moving at a very slow 8 mph.

Wind energy is definitely the cleanest energy and cheapest (once the huge turbines have been paid for) – after all the wind never stops no matter what the weather (or drought) conditions are here in Oklahoma. The giant turbines sit like sentinels on the precipice of Oklahoma farms, turning at a governed, very slow eight miles per hour to generate electricity. They really are a sight to see and the sound they make is a bit eerie.

I love the solider-like quality of these massive giants. They stand at attention, doing their part for clean energy.

I love the solider-like quality of these massive giants. They stand at attention, doing their part for clean energy.

The key to their efficiency is the size of the blade; the bigger the blade, the more power they can generate. Two things have limited the size of the blades: the size (and subsequentually the weight) and the cost to produce them. Last week General Electric released plans to create a cheaper, larger, more efficient fabric blade. Uh, kind of going back to the beginning on this one as windmills of times past were always covered with fabric. I personally think these will not last as long, because the fabric will deteriorate and have to be replace more often – but then, what do I know. You can read about GE’s project at http://www.zeitnews.org/applied-sciences/energy/ge-bids-increase-wind-turbine-efficiency-fabric-covered-blades.

I shot these images early in the morning facing the west, thus producing a silhouette of my project.

I shot these images early in the morning facing the west, thus producing a silhouette of my project.

Anyway, I degris. I kind of got caught up in the science of this adventure and turned this photo challenge into a research project. LOL I hope you enjoyed my images.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. stuffitellmysister
    Dec 11, 2012 @ 04:58:26

    It is always amazing to see these being transported. Even more amazing to see them in action!

    Reply

  2. eof737
    Dec 16, 2012 @ 06:24:39

    Fascinating… had no idea! 😉

    Reply

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