Wind Farm in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania

October 16, 2009


Photographer: Bradley Goshen
Summary Author: Bradley Goshen; Jim Foster

The photo above showing a line of wind turbines in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania was taken in mid September 2009. Though only a handful or turbines can be seen in the picture there were about 20 on this hillside, each standing about 215 ft (66 m). Wind turbines convert the wind’s kinetic energy to mechanical energy, which then is converted to electricity using a generator. The big advantage is that there’s no emission of pollutants or greenhouses gases. Turbines typically have either single, double or triple blades (featured here) and are configured as either horizontal or vertical axis turbines. Horizontal axis turbines, such as the ones above, are able to produce energy in both fast winds as well as in winds having relatively low velocities. Faster and less turbulent winds are encountered when turbines are mounted on towers higher than about 100 ft (30 m), therefore the taller turbines are more energy efficient, though more costly to erect. See also the EPOD for September 16, 2009. An increasing concern has been the impact of wind turbines on birds, particularly migration birds. Avian mortality in wind farms, in the U.S. alone, numbers in the tens of thousands annually. Note the colorful fall foliage. In some areas of the Appalachian Plateau, trees begin to turn in mid to late September; a week or two earlier than trees at similar latitudes but lower elevations.