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Latest Articles by Paul Gipe

Paul Gipe Husum Windenergy 2012 Opening Address Hwe12 1 1 2795

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Paul Gipe

Nyckelharpa Concert in Bako

Our friends organized a group to see a concert dubbed “blue grass and swedish.” The Swedes were bringing their Nyckelharpa. That’s not a word you see every day but it did trigger a thought. Hmm. I think I may have seen one once before. Sure enough, after a little googling …

Amost nine years ago I wrote a series of articles explaining why we chose to drive electric. These essays were simple and straight forward. In part they were based on first principles from my early days in automotive engineering and my subsequent years writing about renewable energy.[1] The gist was …

We stopped at Caltrans Shandon rest area on Hwy 46 as part of a road trip from Bakersfield to the Salinas Valley. Caltrans District 5 has installed another of its solar-powered DCFC station using Beam Global’s EV Arc. The station was up and available to charge. This charging location has …

By now everyone’s heard the January 2024 horror stories from Chicago about how you can’t charge EVs in extreme cold. Memes of people pushing EVs through the snow to charge stations are flooding social media. The great green hope that are EVs is all just hype, say the likes of …

The trial of Sebastian Parra and Robert Pernell Roberts for the murder of Benny Alcala Jr. at an Electrified America charge station in Bakersfield, California has been set for 13 February. (See Trial date set for defendants in murder of correctional counselor.) The popular DCFC station in a Target parking …

Other Articles

Paul Gipe Husum Windenergy 2012 Opening Address Hwe12 1 1 2795

By

Paul Gipe

Nyckelharpa Concert in Bako

Our friends organized a group to see a concert dubbed “blue grass and swedish.” The Swedes were bringing their Nyckelharpa. That’s not a word you see every day but it did trigger a thought. Hmm. I think I may have seen one once before. Sure enough, after a little googling …

Batteries’ domination is likely to be extended as the money pouring into research and infrastructure addresses questions of range and charging times. Compared with that flood of investment, hydrogen is a trickle. Hydrogen’s advocates now face the question of whether they can build profitable businesses in longer-distance, heavy-duty road transport. They need an answer soon on where they will source enough green, cheap hydrogen – and whether the gas would be better used elsewhere.

Accidents & Safety

I’ve been concerned about safely working with wind energy since 1976 when I nearly killed myself taking down a 1930s-era windcharger. While wind energy is an environmentally beneficial technology–and that’s the reason we need to use it–it can and has killed. Consequently, I’ve been tracking fatal accidents in wind energy since I wrote an obituary for a colleague, Terry Mehrkam, in 1981. For this reason, my books on wind energy have always included a section on safety.

Latest News

Worker dies in Tarifa after being trapped in a wind turbine

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External Source

A worker lost his life on Friday, 28 July, in Tarifa (Cadiz) after being trapped in a wind turbine, according to the emergency services. The event occurred at around midday, when the 112 emergency telephone operators handled a call from a worker who was trapped in the hub (the part of the machine where a shaft is supported and rotates) of a turbine, at a height of 130 metres. The turbine was located at kilometre 90 of the N-340. Emergency services, including a helicopter ambulance, the Guardia CIvil, fire brigade and police were deployed to the scene. The health services on the scene were only able to confirm the death of the worker. No further information has been released on how this incident occurred.

Latest News

‘Extreme caution’ as Hull’s first large wind turbine to be taken down following major blaze

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External Source

The turbine was built back in 2008 along the banks of the River Hull. Standing at an astonishing 125m, it has been a part of the Hull skyline for over 15 years.

Viking Shetland wind farm: Man dies at Upper Kergord construction site

By

Jody Harrison

A 23-year-old man has died after he was injured at a windfarm construction site in Shetland.

Guilty plea by Kerry windfarm firm over the death of employee in Sligo landslide

By

Paul Deering

Patrick McCaffrey (37) from Rossinver, Co Leitrim died at Derrysallagh wind farm

Probe launched after death at Austrian wind farm

By

Craig Richard

Service provider dies after falling around 100 metres while installing Enercon turbine at a wind farm in eastern Austria

Dismissal of Charges Sought in Death of Skookumchuck Wind Farm Worker

By

Emily Fitzgerald

Three of the five codefendants charged with manslaughter for their alleged involvement in the death of a Chehalis man who died in January 2020 when a trench collapsed during construction of the Skookumchuck Wind Farm have filed motions asking Lewis County Superior Court to dismiss all charges against them.

Firms fined £900,000 over Ayrshire wind farm worker’s death

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Two firms have been fined nearly £900,000 over the death of a security worker left in freezing conditions at a wind farm in East Ayrshire.

19 2 44 Gipe Wind Breath Of Life Or Kiss Of Death Analysis Of Wind Energy Fatalities Public Jpg

Wind—the Breath of Life or the Kiss of Death: Analysis of Wind Energy Fatalities

By

Paul Gipe

Presentation to Winterwind 2021 21 April on a Comparison of Wind’s Fatalities to that of Other Industries. Wind energy’s hazards, like its appearance on the landscape, are readily apparent. Wind energy hides no latent killers, no black lung, for example. When wind kills, it does so directly and with gruesome effect.

Family of Chehalis Man Killed at Wind Farm Site Settles Wrongful Death Claim for $12 Million

By

Eric Rosane

The family of a Chehalis wind farm worker who died last year while on the job has settled a wrongful death claim for $12 million after filing suit in King County Superior Court.

Worker falls to death inside wind turbine tower in California

By

Leigh Collins

Mario Contreras Jr was working for Site Constructors Inc at an unidentified project near Palm Springs

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Tower Climbing Safety

Safety

In 2013 I pulled together some links to documents on safety relative to the wind industry. These topics went beyond simply tower climbing safety and safety at height and included work around rotating machinery and other common industrial hazards. Unfortunately, the industry has changed dramatically in the past decade. Most safety documents once freely available are now securely hidden by paywalls. Moreover, even the wind energy trade associations where these documents were once located have ceased to exist, merging with other renewable trade associations. Some of the British documents are still available and I’ve provide links to them. I found one public document on the off shore industry in the USA.

Europe

Great Britain

North America

USA

Contact the Clean Power Association.

Worker Health and Safety on Offshore Wind Farms, Transportation Research Board, 2012.

Canada

Contact the Canadian Renewable Energy Association.


Mortal Accident Summary

I no longer actively track deaths in the wind industry. However, I will update my data as it becomes available. Below is a presentation updating my statistics to 2020. Also below is a link to the original article. For a complete analysis see Chapter 17 in my most recent book Wind Energy for the Rest of Us.

19_2_44_gipe_wind_breath_of_life_or_kiss_of_death_analysis_of_wind_energy_fatalities_public-jpg

Note that the spreadsheet has six tabs. This is only the summary page and does not include all the data on the summary page.

My Deaths Database is publicly available. Simply ask for it.

History of Wind Power

V47 Monte Falcone Campania Italy 49

Wind Power Plants and Wind Farms Definitions

By

Paul Gipe

In recent correspondence with colleagues, I noted the unfortunate reoccurrence of the term “wind parks” to describe wind farms or …

Retrofutur Bruyerre 2023 11 20 122012 Cropped

Philippe Bruyerre’s Retrofutur: une autre histoire des machines à vents–a Review

By

Paul Gipe

Eclectic. That’s the word that comes to mind when describing Philippe Brueyerre’s Retrofutur: une autre histoire des machines à vents. …

Transpower By Vaughn Nelson In Other Wind Turbines Fig 6b

Transpower—the Flying Clothesline from the Early 1980s

By

Paul Gipe

Transpower was another of those companies that thought they had a bright idea about how to harness wind energy in …

Wiskey Run Oregon 1985 Wtg 200kw Cropped

WTG Energy Systems’ MP-200 (1975-1982)

By

Paul Gipe

Who remembers WTG Energy Systems and its developer Alan Spaulding? I’d certainly forgotten about him and his wind turbine until …

Windstar By Wind Harvest Cec Report

Wind Harvest VAWT—a Jungian Vision (the Backstory)

By

Paul Gipe

While strolling through the Bakersfield Museum of Art this summer—yes, don’t laugh, we have an art museum here—I came across …

Howden

Howden Wind Farms: Scottish Adventure in the New World

By

Paul Gipe

The Great California Wind Rush (1980-1985) was on and like gold had done before it, the lure of riches drew …

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History of Wind Power in North America

History of Wind Power Internationally

Museums with Wind Exhibits

Museums often have extensive permanent collections and only display a small portion at any one time. Museums frequently change their exhibits and that is the case below. The museums noted here have all changed their exhibits since I last visited. Some have created “virtual” exhibits, and these I’ve noted.

North American Open-Air Museums

European Open-Air Museums

There’s nothing like walking among the operating windmills of Zaanse Schaans in the Zaan district of Noord Holland, or strolling among the vertically-jutting blade sculpture at the Folkecenter for Renewable Energy in Denmark to gain a sense of the importance of wind in European–and thus Western–culture. For the avid wind aficionado and the scholar alike, I strongly suggest putting one of the many open-air museums in Europe on your travel itinerary. Some we discovered by serendipity others we searched out. All were worth the effort.

Note that in most western European countries there are national “windmill” days where many of the historical windmills are open to the public. Many now include some modern wind turbines as well. Often the national windmill day is the second Saturday in May though this may vary by country. In Germany, Deutscher Mühlentag is held on Whit Monday or Pfingstmontag in German. In 2023 Whit Monday was 29 May.

  • Museum Park, Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, Germany displays a historic stage mill, a mechanical farm windmill, and a micro wind turbine.
  • Schloss Sanssouci Berlin displays a reconstructed stage or gallery windmill that has served the palace (Schloss) since 1787. It was a mill on this site that served in the famous legend of the Miller of Sanssouci who challenged kingly power.
  • Windmill Blade Expo at the Folkecenter for Renewable Energy in Jutland, Denmark.
  • Showroom for historical Danish wind turbines at the Folkecenter for Renewable Energy in Jutland, Denmark–An extensive collection of wind turbine drive trains from the early days of Danish wind power.
  • Poul la Cour Museum–The museum is situated in the historical buildings where Poul la Cour, affectionately called the Danish Edison by Danes, conducted his research into wind energy and hydrogen storage. The site is the cradle of modern wind energy.
  • Energimuseet Vindkraft–The museums’ open-air exhibits include the original nacelle from the famed Gedser mill designed by Johannes Juul, an erect Riisager machine from the rebirth of Danish wind energy in the late 1970s-early 1980s, a cut-away wind turbine blade and more.
  • Frilandsmuseet–The Open Air Museum north of Copenhagen is one of the largest and oldest in the world. Spread across 86 acres of land the museum houses more than 50 farms, mills and houses from the period 1650-1950.
  • Museummolen Schermerhorn–Open air museum of the polder mill on the Schermer polder in Noord Holland (north of Amsterdam).
  • Germania (molen)–Platform grain grinding mill in the province of Groningen, the Netherlands. One of the more than 1,000 windmills in the Netherlands that are periodically open to the public.
  • Internationales Muhlenmuseum–in Gifhorn, Niedersachsen, Germany has 13 different windmills on display, including a Greek sail windmill.
  • World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk–The nineteen windmills of Kinderdijk illustrate the way the Dutch have used windmills to drain the polders that have made the Netherlands what it is today. Kinderdijk is most likely the world’s oldest wind farm and was in use into the 1950s.
  • De Vereniging Zaanse Molen–No tourist trip to the Netherlands is complete without a visit to Zaanse Schans and the working windmills of the Zaan district. The Society of Zaan Mills was founded in 1925, beginning with the restoration of the oil mill De Zoeker. Three years later, they opened the Mill Museum at Zaanse Schans. Now, nearly a century later, the Society possesses 12 industrial windmills, representing an important part of Dutch cultural heritage and to this day still define the Zaan skyline.
  • Museumdorf Cloppenburg is south of Oldenburg in Niedersachsen, Germany.
  • Nederlands Openluchtmuseum–Open Air Museum in Arnhem, Gelderland, the Netherlands.
  • Mola – het Provinciaal Molencentrum–East Flanders windmill museum in Belgium with four restored windmills.
  • Wind Energy Museum Norfolk Great Britain–The museum is closed in 2023. The collection depicts the evolution of polder drainage in what’s called the “Broads.” The technology for the mills and how to use them was imported from the Netherlands.
  • Deutsches Windkraftmuseum–Begun in 1997, the museum seeks to preserve some of the early electricity-generating wind turbines from the 1980s and 1990s in northern Germany. While the exhibits focus on German development of wind technology, the museum includes a Lagerwey, an early Dutch machine, early Danish wind turbines, and some American-made wind turbines as well, including a Kenetech drive train and a Bergey small wind turbine.
  • Allemolens.NL–Web site listing the location of every windmill in the Netherlands from the smallest mechanical wind pump to the giant polder draining windmills and to the multi-story stage windmills for grinding grain. They even include a few modern wind turbines as well. In Dutch.
  • Dutch Windmill and Watermill Database–Working historic windmills and watermills of the Netherlands with a searchable database and interactive map. The map identifies individual windmills and when they are open to visitors. The home page is in English, map data is in Dutch but understandable to English-speakers.
  • La route des moulins–Interactive map and list of windmills and watermills by region with a description of the specific mill in French. Includes a description of the Centre Molinologique.
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Mühlenkunde und Mühlenerhaltung–The German society for the preservation of wind and water mills. They too have an interactive map of the mills throughout the country. The map can be searched by town, village, or state. The detailed data includes the type of mill and its construction.

Other Open-Air Museums

  • Fred Turner Museum in Loeriesfontein, South Africa displays 27 water-pumping windmills.
  • Morawa District Historical Society and Museum–The small rural town of Morawa with its museum is approximately 400 kilometres north of the state capital Perth, in the northern wheatbelt of Western Australia. The Morawa Museum’s collection of Australian made and imported windmills consists of over 50 different models in various states of restoration.
  • Penong Windmill Museum–Penong, South Australia, includes the Comet, Australian-made, railroad water pumping windmill.
  • De Molen, Dutch Windmill–Foxton, New Zealand. De Molen is a full size 17th century replica Dutch windmill.
V47 Monte Falcone Campania Italy 49

Wind Power Plants and Wind Farms Definitions

By

Paul Gipe

In recent correspondence with colleagues, I noted the unfortunate reoccurrence of the term “wind parks” to describe wind farms or …

Retrofutur Bruyerre 2023 11 20 122012 Cropped

Philippe Bruyerre’s Retrofutur: une autre histoire des machines à vents–a Review

By

Paul Gipe

Eclectic. That’s the word that comes to mind when describing Philippe Brueyerre’s Retrofutur: une autre histoire des machines à vents. …

Transpower By Vaughn Nelson In Other Wind Turbines Fig 6b

Transpower—the Flying Clothesline from the Early 1980s

By

Paul Gipe

Transpower was another of those companies that thought they had a bright idea about how to harness wind energy in …

Wiskey Run Oregon 1985 Wtg 200kw Cropped

WTG Energy Systems’ MP-200 (1975-1982)

By

Paul Gipe

Who remembers WTG Energy Systems and its developer Alan Spaulding? I’d certainly forgotten about him and his wind turbine until …

Windstar By Wind Harvest Cec Report

Wind Harvest VAWT—a Jungian Vision (the Backstory)

By

Paul Gipe

While strolling through the Bakersfield Museum of Art this summer—yes, don’t laugh, we have an art museum here—I came across …

Howden

Howden Wind Farms: Scottish Adventure in the New World

By

Paul Gipe

The Great California Wind Rush (1980-1985) was on and like gold had done before it, the lure of riches drew …

12318 Next