Dear Riga Resident

If you’re thinking the Wind Developers building new roads in your community is a reason to support the Industrial Wind Turbine development, I’d like you to take a closer look at the issue.

How much do wind turbines weigh?

In the GE 1.5-megawatt model, the nacelle alone weighs more than 56 tons, the blade assembly weighs more than 36 tons, and the tower itself weighs about 71 tons — a total weight of 164 tons. The corresponding weights for the Vestas V90 are 75, 40, and 152, total 267 tons; and for the Gamesa G87 72, 42, and 220, total 334 tons. This information is from wind-watch.org

Michigan’s Policy
Michigan’s truck weight law is designed to control axle loads instead of gross vehicle weight. Research conducted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and other organizations, has shown that pavement damage is directly related to axle loadings, not gross vehicle weight. Michigan limits the weight allowed on individual axles, depending upon the spacing between them, with a maximum of eleven axles.

The maximum gross vehicle weight allowed on a “federal-weight-law truck” is 80,000 pounds, with four of its five axles carrying 17,000 pounds each. The calculated maximum allowable gross vehicle weight on the heaviest “Michigan-weight-law truck” is 164,000 pounds, which can only be achieved with the use of eleven properly spaced axles. Most of these axles carry only 13,000 pounds each. It would take two and a quarter 80,000 pound trucks to carry the same cargo as a single 164,000 pound Michigan truck. Pavement research has shown that these two smaller trucks actually cause about 60% more pavement damage than does the single heavier truck, because of their higher axle loadings and the extra weight of additional tractors at about ten tons each.

The information above was prepared by the Michigan Department of Transportation
Bureau of Transportation Planning, Intermodal Policy Division

The maximum gross vehicle weight allowed on state and county roads in Michigan is up to 164,000 pounds, more than double that of other states. MDOT officials have said heavier trucks do not cause a disproportionate amount of damage, as long as the weight is evenly distributed. I’m sure that last point can be debated. One could imagine that each wheel passing over a bump in the road acts like a hammer upon landing on the other side of the bump. It wouldn’t matter how evenly spaced the axles are. It wouldn’t take an engineer to determine that farming equipment running on the shoulder of the road breaks the edges of the asphalt apart, allowing even more damage to occur by exposing new edges to the same wear/tear and water/salt, freeze/thaw deterioration.

There’s probably more heavy farming equipment than tractor trailers damaging our county and rural roads, unless those semi’s are carrying wind turbines. Transporting the turbines does major damage to our roads, hence the reason developers have been charged with fixing the roads upon completion of a wind farm project.

Transportation Problems Challenge the Wind Industry

From special trucks to special permits, there’s more to moving a turbine than one might think. It takes as many as a dozen truckloads to move a single turbine. Multi-axle (think 80 wheels) flatbed carriers carry the nacelles. This is no small feat at no small cost. Read more of what it takes to move the turbine beasts: http://mvwind.10.forumer.com/a/turbines-specs-on-weight-and-transport_post2555.html

Advertisements
This entry was posted in lenawee county, wind farms and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Dear Riga Resident

  1. Pingback: Snyder’s Romneyesque Approach to Michigan Transportation « Cynical Synapse

    • Robin says:

      I think it’s only fair that heavier vehicles that do more damage get charged more…the problems connected with this are:
      1.) A government entity has to monitor and issue permits for this charge – we’d have to pay wages, benefits, office space, electricity, etc. Or,
      2.) The increased charges would be tacked on to the retail cost of whichever commodity the vehicle hauls.
      It seems no matter how it’s sliced, we (taxpayers) pay for it in the end. It reminds me of an email I got in 2009 called “Gubmint and How Gubmint Works

      Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night.” ”We’ve got to address this right away”.
      So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

      Then Congress said, “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?” So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

      Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?” So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One to do the studies and one to write the reports.

      Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?” So They created the following positions, a time keeper, and a payroll officer, then hired two people.

      Then Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?”
      So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

      Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $18,000 over budget, we must cutback overall cost.”

      So they laid off the night watchman.

      Now slowly…let it sink in.

      Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter.

      Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY….. during the Carter Administration?

      Anybody?

      Anything?

      No?

      Didn’t think so!

      Bottom line. We’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency…the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember!

      Ready?
      It was very simple…and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

      The Department of Energy was instituted on 8-04-1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

      Hey, pretty efficient, huh?

      AND NOW IT’S 2009 — 32 YEARS LATER — AND THE BUDGET FOR THIS “NECESSARY” DEPARTMENT IS AT $24.2 BILLION A YEAR. THEY HAVE 16,000 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND APPROXIMATELY 100,000 CONTRACT EMPLOYEES; AND LOOK AT THE JOB THEY HAVE DONE! This is where you slap your forehead and say, “WHAT WAS I THINKING?”

      32 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.

      Ah, yes — good ole bureaucracy.

      AND, NOW, WE ARE GOING TO TURN THE BANKING SYSTEM, HEALTH CARE, AND THE AUTO INDUSTRY OVER TO THE SAME GOVERNMENT?
      HELLOOOO!

      Anybody Home?

Tell us what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s