General Electric Wind Turbines

Not far from my cousin’s shop (where bowtie6 was born) is General Electric’s Turbine Assembly Plant in Greenville, South Carolina.  Some very interesting machines are built here.  Among them are the turbines that are used on windmill electric generators.

The generators are huge and pretty much require a special goose-necked lowboy with upteen wheels to properly distribute weight on the road.  Yes, there is also a railroad track that snakes its way into the GE plant and their very own “Blue Thunder” locomotive. Its a sight to behold to see the also specially built railroad car used to transport these behemoths.

Well the subject of today’s gallery is something a little more unusual.  You see, on one of their access roads this past weekend I spotted the above rig.  This is one of three blades used on the windmills.  I found it most interesting because of its shape, size and last but not least the device in which it was being transported.

The Blade

The blade is one of three.  The thing airfoil design is a thing of beauty.  The shape is extremely unusual in the “twist”, curvature and overall design.  I have if from a reliable source these blades are sculptured to the “n’th degree” in order to obtain the most efficient use of wind across their surface.  I am no aerodynamicist but just looking at this thing amazed the hell out of me.  The blade was wrapped in some sort of shrink wrap and when I tapped it, it sounded hollow and made of some high tech composite.  Can you say “big bucks”?

On the photos below you will see different angles of the blade as it was mounted on the transporter.  Interesting thing to note are all the studs sticking out of the root of the blade.  These things are all stainless and again, this ain’t cheap stuff!  Very impressive.

The Rig

The trailer this blade was mounted on is equally impressive.  The cradle was fully adjustable and from the markings on the pad it must have been mounted at some critical, weight-bearing spot on the blade.

The trailer was also a thing of beauty.  Fully adjustable and if you look closely, the rear bogies are steerable.  Not an ordinary trailer!

If you have any more insight on this and/or the blades – drop me a line.  I sure would like to know more about them…  Enjoy 🙂

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