Cologne VAWT Captured on Grainy Cell Phone Pics

By Paul Gipe

While deleting some old files–yes, I am one of those who deletes unnecessary files–I came across two photos I meant to post in 2018.

We were peacefully cruising on the Rhine in Cologne when my work once again intruded. Just can’t avoid wind turbines these days. They’re everywhere. This is especially true in Germany so I should’ve put my blinders on and drank my Kölsch in peace.

I didn’t and what caught my eye was a Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine atop a commercial building on the Rhine ufer or bank across from Cologne proper where the famous cathedral and its neighboring train station are located.

This reminded me that I’d written a critical article about such an installation earlier. It was 2013 when I posted Mein Gott! Costly VAWT Installed on Cologne High-Rise.

And there it was! Now it wasn’t turning, but to be fair it was either calm or a low wind day. Nevertheless, I am confident in saying that even if it had been windy the turbine would not have been turning. Why? You may ask. For an answer to that you’d have to wade through a 14,000 word essay in my latest book. Let’s just say I have some experience with these things.

Let me warn you that if you go looking for the manufacturer, CleanVerTec of Vienna, their web site is for sale. That’s usually a good indicator that there’s no support for keeping the wind turbine in operation.

The public agency that installed the device, Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR) in Köln-Deutz, has a series of installation photos up on their web site. Yes, they’re still there as is the promotional hype touting the turbine.

My policy is not to lift photos from others so all you’ll get from me is two grainy cell-phone pics–and my cell phone is notorious for lousy photos. And I was on a moving boat.

But the photos are sufficient to show that the device was still on the building in 2018. I doubt that this turbine operated for very long at all. It’s likely that the turbine was taken out of service soon after it was installed. So let’s say the turbine has been effectively abandoned and a symbol of folly for at least five years.

LVR could have installed a conventional wind turbine, one that would work, and one made in Germany and not Austria, but they didn’t–for whatever reason. Then LVR leaves their mistake up in the air for all to see . . . for years. The least they could have done was admitted their mistake and have quietly taken it down.