Tower Work and Do-it-Yourselfers

By Paul Gipe

Adapted from the book Wind Power: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business.

Any wind turbine and tower that cannot be safely lowered to the ground for servicing should have a fall arresting system for ascending, descending, and working atop the tower, a sturdy work platform, and safe, clearly identifiable anchorage points for attaching your lanyard. No one should climb a tower of any type unless they’ve received training in tower safety.

Homeowners should only attempt installing wind turbines less than 3 meters (10 feet) in diameter on lightweight tilt-up guyed masts. Homeowners should avoid installing larger turbines, free-standing truss towers, or heavy-duty guyed towers without hands-on training. Most lack the skills, specialized tools, and safety equipment necessary. The tools can be purchased, and the skills needed can be learned. Workshops, such as those that Mick Sagrillo teaches, or installer training programs offered by manufacturers, are worth the money and are the best way to learn how to install wind turbines safely. A book (or this web site) is no substitute for the hands-on learning that’s required. –Paul Gipe

All wind turbines that cannot be lowered to the ground should have a work platform as shown here. This wind turbine uses a 12-meter rotor and is rated at 30 kW, a typical size for a household-size turbine in Denmark where this photos was taken.