A wind turbine is a type of power generator that utilizes strong wind currents to help produce electricity. The internal machinery captures wind energy that can be stored in batteries or connected to an electrical grid system to provide power to subscribing electrical consumers or utility companies. GE makes large scale industrial size wind turbines that can generate 1.5 MW, 2.5 MW and even 3.6 MW of power. With gear boxes the size of a school bus, rotary blades that span over 100 feet and towers that weigh around 70 tons, it requires planning, resources, heavy machinery, several weeks and sometimes FAA approval to erect a GE wind turbine.
- Prepare a cleared work site by digging a deep and wide base to sustain the tower structure and its supported load. Use heavy machinery such as diggers and loaders and adhere to engineering guidelines pertaining to materials specs such as the types of rebar mesh and rods needed. Check that proper grading and the right depth of concrete is poured.
- Build up a concrete steel-reinforced pedestal in the center of the site and attach the drive train, or turbine control unit on top. Lower the bottom section of the 3-part tower onto and over the drive-train assembly. Add the remaining sections, securely bolting them into place as you proceed. The resulting tower height will be over 250 feet, so use a crane that is tall enough to manage the work.
- Lift the nachelle up onto the top of the tower and position it to fit over the opening. The nachelle is an enclosed unit that houses the gearbox and generator that makes possible the power conversion from wind to electric. Make the necessary wiring connections and secure it into position.
- Assemble the rotary blades on the ground. Use cranes to hold up each of the three blades and then move them together to connect. Use the taller crane to lift the rotor assembly up to the nachelle and insert it into the nachelle hole with blades facing outwards.
- Connect turbine electrical wiring with the existing main grid wires. Run through system checks before powering on the wind turbine.