ONE ENERGY FEED
Today’s Wind View is brought to you by one of our technicians, Justin!
He snapped this photo from his cell phone while he was working on a wind turbine at the project located down the street from the One Energy headquarters. This picture shows seven of the eight turbines at the North Findlay Wind Campus – which power local manufacturing plants in Findlay, Ohio.
Justin is a great technician and all, but we’re wondering if a career move to photography may be in order!
Wind Study | Yaw and Energy Efficiency
Ever wonder how wind turbines keep up with changing wind flows?
Our wind turbines rotate, or “yaw,” to face directly into the wind and capture it more effectively. A turbine’s yaw is an axis of rotation that changes the direction the turbine is facing.
This week’s homework asks you to calculate how much energy a yaw consumes, the energy output of the turbine after the yaw, how much energy the turbine would have produced if it didn’t yaw, and the difference between the two scenarios.
And YAW better come back on Friday to check the answer! Ya hear?
Wind Study | Potential Energy and Gravity
Were you able to figure out what wind turbines have to do with gravitational potential energy? It may surprise you to find that there was more than one way to arrive at the correct answers for this week’s Wind Study.
Monday’s Wind Study homework questions asked you to calculate the gravitational potential energy of a wind turbine technician, as well as the turbine tower itself!
🔗 Download the answers here and come back Monday for the next math and science problem!
S&P’s Energy Markets Specialist, Janet McGurty, details Marathon’s Q1 earnings call. In the article, Janet highlights Marathon’s announcement to once again partner with One Energy for a Wind for Industry project at its Dickinson, ND facility, as it aims to “balance its traditional oil refining business as it moves forward to increase its renewable fuel operations in order to lower its carbon footprint.”
This week’s Wind View features a photo taken from high above the North Findlay Wind Campus (NFWC).
Captured via drone, four of the now eight turbines located at the NFWC (as well as two turbines in the distance, part of a neighboring Wind for Industry project) can be seen. These wind turbines directly power nearby factories, decarbonizing operations and providing 20 years of electricity rate control.
This photo also provides an aerial view of One Energy’s component yard, stocked with wind turbine blades and a variety of components such as generators and nacelles.
For their second Wind for Industry project at one of their facilities, Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) signed an agreement with One Energy for five 2.3 MW wind turbines to be installed at their Dickinson, ND location. Read MPC’s announcement, which declared the project will “help further decrease its carbon emissions profile” by generating more than 40 million annual kWh of energy for the facility and offsetting ~45% of the plant’s electricity needs – at a fixed rate for the next 20 years.
Wind Study | Potential Energy and Gravity
The technician in the photo below has HUGE potential… potential energy that is!
We know that One Energy’s wind turbines convert wind energy into electrical energy – but what do they have to do with gravitational potential energy? Find out in today’s Wind Study!
This week’s homework asks you to calculate the potential energy of a One Energy technician standing on top of a wind turbine tower, carrying all their tools and safety equipment.
Then, use the same mathematic equation to determine the gravitational potential energy of the turbine tower itself!
🔗 Download the questions here and don’t forget to come back on Friday to check the answer!
You’ve probably noticed that wind turbines typically have three blades – have you ever wondered why?
There isn’t one single reason that utility-scale wind turbines have three blades – rather, it’s a culmination of many factors. Think of a three-bladed turbine as being the best of each world, when it comes to:
When determining the number of blades for a wind turbine design, there are two main factors to consider: cost and blade structure.
A design with more than three blades, for example, does mean there is a marginal increase in the turbine’s efficiency – but manufacturing and transporting the additional blade(s) costs more money. Adding more blades also means each bade must be thinner, and thus less stiff. This makes it more difficult to keep the blades straight, therefore making them less effective from a structural perspective.
For a design with less than three blades, there are two options: one blade and two blades. One-blade turbines are hard to get started and are very unbalanced, even with a counterweight.
Two-blade turbines, on the other hand, are arguably as good as (if not better than) a three-blade design, depending on the application. Having two blades (rather than three) means you’ll save the cost of one blade; however, the two remaining blades must be larger in size, which erodes some of this cost advantage.
In addition, when a two-blade turbine turns to face the wind, the rotational forces change significantly as the blades rotate (kind of like when a figure skater is spinning, they can bring their arms in to spin faster or out to spin slower). This changing force makes the two-blade turbine unstable when turning into the wind. Three blades increase this stability due to the balanced shape, no matter the blade orientation or rotation speed.
What’s more, two-blade turbines don’t rotate as smoothly as their three-blade counterparts (in fact it can look a little bouncy!) making them less visually appealing.
There you have it – the main reasons three-blade turbines are more common: cost, efficiency, and aesthetics!
For today’s Science Short, we’re conducting one of our favorite demonstrations at One Energy: the pop can experiment!
We use this experiment to illustrate something called atmospheric pressure, also known as air pressure.
In this episode, Nate demonstrates the effects of temperature on molecules and air pressure – using a few household items:
a soda can
a bowl of ice water
♨️ a hot plate
and plenty of safety gear!
Watch to see what happens to the can – and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more educational videos!
No screws loose here! This week’s Wind Study called for some sharp (and tight!) math skills.
Check the answers to Monday’s homework questions about torque, force, bolts, and wrenches – to see if you solved the equations used to help ensure our wind turbines are extra sturdy!