Wulf Test Field

The 24 acre (10 ha) site near Oak Creek Pass in the Tehachapi Mountains was bequeathed to Paul Gipe by Ed Wulf in the spring of 1997 for furthering the development of small wind turbines. There were two test stands at the site, one for micro-wind turbines, the second for mini-wind turbines.


Wulf Test Field is Now Closed

Sometime following the note below one battery of the four used failed. In 2017 I determined that I was no longer able to service the batteries, electronics, and the turbine. Subsequently, I stopped maintaining the site. At the time, the Air Breeze would no longer operate without continuously braking to a stop. The turbine operated effectively for a decade. I closed Wulf field and sold the site to Windstream Properties on 11 June 2019. Windstream is the site neighbor and was formerly known as Zond.

Testing at Wulf Field fulfilled its function. We successfully tested almost a dozen micro and mini wind turbines during the two decades the test field was in operation. In the meantime the small wind turbine industry has matured and has begun to more rigorously test its turbines, in part because of the work we started at Wulf Field.

Below is a brief description of the turbines we tested in reverse chronological order. Following that is a series of articles on how the tests were conducted and the results we obtained.


The Air Breeze installed in December 2007 continues to operate reliably and charge the site’s batteries. In early 2016, the turbine continues to operate unattended. The turbine has operated more than eight years without intervention. One cable clip needed repair. One storage battery may have a bad cell. I left the site with the turbine charging the batteries and all the loads switched off to see if the batteries would recover their full charge.

Wulf-Field-Air-Breeze-0001

In May, 2009 we inspected the site and the Selsam Super Twin had a blown diode. We removed Selsam’s Super Twin on October 31, 2009.


In the spring of 2008, we installed an unusual experimental turbine, the Selsam SuperTwin. The turbine uses two eight-foot rotors on a single shaft.

Doug-Selsam-Super-Twin0010

In December 2007 we removed the AirX s/n ABeta004 after it failed sometime in the fall. We replaced it with a Air Breeze s/n BR0001068 for testing at the request of SWP.


The Whisper H40 on the second test stand was removed and scrapped in June 2006.

Whisper-H40-Wulf-Field-01

The site is adjacent to one of the world’s largest concentrations of wind turbines and is very windy. The property also has a large erosion gully formed by a seep or spring. At the time the property was transferred the access road was bare and suffered from sheet and rill erosion during spring rains.

Since 1997, my wife, Nancy Nies, and I have installed several small wind turbines. We have also experimented with various erosion control practices and revegetation seed mixes to control erosion from the access road.

We have tested several micro- and mini-wind turbines at the Wulf Field: BWC 850, Air 303H, Air 403, AirX (various versions), LVM 6F, Marlec 910F, Ampair 100, and Whisper H40. Results of noise and power curve tests can be found by following the links below. The results are also summarized in Wind Power: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business published in 2004. Tests on the Air series of wind turbines (Air 303, 403, and Air X) by other researches have confirmed the findings first reported here.

Raising-Air-Wulf-Field-2002-43-2

Articles on Small Turbine Testing

Cruising World Noise Measurements

By

Paul Gipe

Cruising World Noise Measurements Turbines Rotor Swept Rated SPL* Tested Dia. Area Power @11 knots   m m2 W dBA …

Summary of Small Wind Turbine Noise Measurements in dBA

By

Paul Gipe

Summary of Small Wind Turbine Noise Measurements at Wulf Test Field in dBA   Hub Reference Slant     Sound …

Comparison of Noise from Small Wind Turbines

By

Paul Gipe

Comparison of Noise from Small & Selected Medium-Size Wind Turbines                 ECN/Van der …

Noise Air 403 Ambient

Air 403 Noise Measurements

By

Paul Gipe

Air 403 Ambient Noise.   Air 403 Noise. Linear regression trend and data for Air 403 charging a constant load. …

Ampair 100 Ambient Noise

Ampair 100 Noise Measurements

By

Paul Gipe

Ampair 100 Noise Ambient.     Ampair 100 Noise Charging.   Ampair 100 Noise Unloaded.   Ampair 100 Noise Summary.

Ambient Noise Measurements Chart

Summary of Ambient Noise Measurements

By

Paul Gipe

    There was generally good agreement with the measurement of ambient conditions for the three seperate tests. Note that …

California’s Power Crisis

I maintain this topic as a separate section because politicians and policy analysts are prone to forget what happened in California around the turn of the current century. The power crisis then was a man-made catastrophe that is still playing out nearly a quarter centry later. For example, NRG, one of the utilities involved in the scandal, was force to install hundreds of electric vehicle charge stations across the sate as part of its long-overdue settlement with the state California. Though NRG is no longer involved, that network of stations is now EVgo and an important EV charging network nationwide.

What happened then still haunts California politicians and its regulatory agencies.

Latest News

The revolving door at public utilities commissions? It’s alive and well

By

External Source

Of the 473 commissioners for whom Heern could find information on what they did after they left utility regulation, 50% of them went to work for one of the industries they regulated, or in an industry-adjacent role such as consulting. “That revolving door is definitely alive and well,” Heern told me.

Since the long-term targets are in place – the big question remaining to be answered is how to accomplish these goals. Namely, how to manage the transition from a fossilnuclear system to a mainly renewable energy system at the lowest possible cost and with

By

Dale Kasler

More than a decade after the last rolling blackout, Californians could get $1.6 billion in electricity refunds because of market manipulation during the first few months of the energy crisis, officials said Monday. . .

California’s Power Crisis: An Environmentalist’s Vision

By

Paul Gipe

  The current power crisis offers an unparalleled, if not unfortunate, opportunity to rethink how we produce, consume, and value …

California’s Power Crisis, A Personal View

By

Paul Gipe

2003 Note: This was written at the height of California’s Power Crisis. Some who read this piece criticized it for …

Comments on California’s Power Crisis

By

Paul Gipe

California’s power crisis occurred in 2000 and 2001. By 2002 the threat of rolling blackouts had effectively passed. However, the …

My Take on the Power Crisis or How the Anchovies Were Fed to the Sharks

By

  October, 2001 presentation to the League of Women Voters Energy Forum, Bakersfield, California It’s quite a privilege to be …

12 Next

Articles on Travel

There was a time when I wrote about topics other than renewable energy, including my experiences traveling the world. Here are some of my observations.

With the Lyonnais: My Big Fancy French Dinner

By

  The following is a report to family and friends form a lecture tour to Lyon in southern France. In …

With the Lyonnais

By

  The following is a report to family and friends form a lecture tour to Lyon in southern France. Ok, …

With the Irish 01

By

  The following is a report to friends from a lecture tour to Ireland, to Carrick-on-Shannon to be specific. To …

With the Irish 02

By

  The following is a report to friends from a lecture tour to Ireland, to Carrick-on-Shannon to be specific. Carrick-on-Shannon …

With the Irish 03

By

Tea Means Dinner & Other Anomalies

With the Catalans or How to Become a Sardanista

By

  Well it was hot during much of the day but it cooled off in late afternoon when I was …

12 Next