ONE ENERGY FEED
This aerial photo shows various wind turbine components at a Wind for Industry construction site.
Counter-clockwise from left are three blades, four tower sections, a permanent magnet direct drive generator, a palletized tool kit used by our Construction Team, the circular turbine foundation pedestal (the brown circle is the anchor bolts that attach to the base tower section), a green step-up transformer, and a blue junction box. All of these parts play an important role in the finished product, which now powers a nearby manufacturing facility.
Check out the three blades – they’re shipped and stored in metal stands, which hold the blades off the ground and protect them prior to installation.
Fun fact: while each blade weighs more than 18,000 pounds, the individual blade weights can vary from set to set. That said, the weight of blades within a set are consistent – that is, the three blades used on any given turbine (like the ones below) will have weights that are extremely similar.
In a previous episode of our Science Shorts, we learned about the difference between “energy” and “power.”
In today’s Wind Study, we’ll be applying the concepts of energy (the ability to do work) and power (the rate at which work is done) to One Energy’s Wind for Industry projects. Take a moment to review the concepts of energy and power by watching our short video here. Then download this week’s Wind Study Homework Questions – we’ll post the answers Friday.
At One Energy, there is no singular path to success. In fact, we believe that our team members’ varied backgrounds and skillsets is a tremendous source of strength.
In this edition of Climb to the Top, join One Energy Technician Kerry Gaines as she describes her professional journey from tending bar to terminating electrical cables. Learn about the role of wind energy technician, as well as some of the electrical work that Kerry executes during the construction of a Wind for Industry project.
For Wind Study’s Question 2 of 2021, we needed to use percentages and the concept of wake loss to determine 1) annual net energy production for a Wind for Industry project, and 2) the gross energy production for one specific month – for a single wind turbine and for the project as a whole. (Download the questions here.)
Think you’ve got it figured out? Click here to download this week’s Wind Study answers, and check your work against our calculations!
Class of 2021 graduating seniors: scholarship applications are now being accepted for the 2021 Megawatt Scholarship season!
If you’re a high school senior in one of the communities of our Wind for Industry projects, and you plan to pursue a two or four-year degree in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field – head to the scholarship site to see if you’re eligible to apply!
One Energy and our Wind for Industry customers partner to offer one $5,000 scholarship for each wind turbine at a customer’s facility – for every year the turbine is in operation. To date, more than 50 scholarships have been awarded to outstanding area students – and with 20-year turbine lifetimes, we’re just getting started.
Our Wind for Industry project customers determine the specific application criteria, select the qualified candidates, and award the scholarships to recipients each spring.
In addition to the one-time $5,000 award, recipients are recognized with their names permanently displayed on a turbine at the company’s facility. This scholarship program is a part of One Energy’s commitment to being good corporate citizens and building lasting relationships with our customers, as well as with the communities where we operate.
When you see wind turbines, think scholarships.
Just write the first draft. Then, expect your coworkers to trash it. These are the first two steps my team and I take when producing written communication pieces, and we believe it leads to great results.
Typically, there is far too much group discussion in the abstract stage. Groups are great for theory and horrible for execution. Writing by group is nonsense. After some initial philosophical chat on what the document should be, I have found that the best thing to do is have one person take the first pass on their own.
One thing is certain when the first draft is done: it is not the way everyone else would have done it. This begins the “robust feedback” (trashing) process. If everyone, including the author, is willing to engage candidly in the feedback process, the document can quickly transform and improve. The resulting document is usually better than any one of the team members would have written on their own.
This process is fraught with issues, however, and it has taken time to find what works for us. These are the tricks we’ve learned along the way:
- Don’t fall in love with the first draft.
Know from the beginning that the document is going to be trashed. That does not mean you don’t put in your best effort, but it does mean that you don’t get attached to the document as is.
- Have one person own the document.
Someone must be in charge. It may be the highest-ranking person on the team, it may be the technical expert on the topic, or it may be the person with the functional responsibility for the document. Whoever it is, there must be a committee of one who makes the call as the document goes through the iteration process. Teams are great for ideas and horrible for finalization. Individuals finalize things.
- Ignore nuance in round one.
People tend to focus on grammar, word choice, and subtleties in the first round. It is a generally a waste of time until the document has been honed. The first draft is often substantially changed, and the nuances that people spent time on become moot. Save grammar and word choice for one or two detail-oriented people at the end.
- Vary the sacrificial lamb.
No one likes being the person to write the first draft. But it is a necessary part of the process. Alternating first draft authors not only shares the burden, it also sets the tone. As much as the document evolves, you can almost always see the first draft’s soul live on. It’s good for all team members to know the feeling of having their document trashed. It makes them better when they are editing other peoples’ documents.
- Don’t worry about credit.
The glory belongs to the company, not the individual. If everyone can align on that, then the process works great. If people are jockeying for credit, things quickly go awry. Often there is strategic value for the company in deciding who the named author is, and that strategic value should govern.
- Be willing to trash your own work.
After you hear other opinions, yours will often evolve. Go with it.
- Encourage new team members to go through the process.
Colleges have done a horrible job preparing students to efficiently collaborate. They focus on participation, credit, and “group decision-making skills” (whatever those are supposed to be). In the for-profit world, we need the best result as fast as possible while utilizing as few company resources as possible. As the saying goes, time is money. We are perfectly comfortable using the time of one employee to revise a piece before we spend time on it as a team.
So, as you read this Executive Thought and think about how you would have done it better, that is a good thing. In this case I own this document, so I decided how to get my point across. But, don’t think for a second that we don’t go through the same process I describe above, even on an Executive Thought.
Jereme Kent is the CEO of One Energy.
Wind turbines are very tall and their components are quite heavy – which is why their foundations must be extremely strong.
Different stages from a One Energy wind turbine foundation pour are highlighted in this week’s Wind Views. Concrete is delivered via Telebelt, and members of our Construction Team work to evenly place, spread, and smooth the concrete.
Want to know more about concrete (what it is, how it’s made, etc.)? Check out our Science Shorts video “Concrete vs. Cement.”
This week’s Wind Study question uses math and percentages to solve two homework problems related to turbine siting, wake loss, and energy production.
We’ll need your help determining estimated energy production values, on both an annual basis and for a particular month. (But don’t worry – this week’s question has all the information you’ll need to calculate these values!)
While there’s a common misconception that the materials “concrete” and “cement” are the same, there’s in fact a very big difference between them!
In the latest installment of Science Shorts, Field Engineer Erica explains the difference between concrete and cement. She’ll share details about how concrete is made, and why it matters for wind energy construction. (We’ll give you a hint – One Energy turbine foundations require a LOT of these materials!)
View the video below to understand the difference between cement and concrete, or watch and subscribe via our YouTube channel.
On Monday, we shared homework questions about the delivery of crucial wind turbine components – specifically, how long it would take for components to arrive, and the speed at which the trucks shipping the components were traveling. (Download the questions here.)
See how you did on this first Wind Study of 2021 – download this week’s Wind Study answers.