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Watch Crew Build Wind Turbine Farm

  • Watch as builders dig, frame, and fill the foundation for a 250-foot wind turbine.
  • Turbines are growing in popularity all the time, and they’re marvels of engineering.
  • Three words: sixteen African elephants.

    Get ready to see one of the biggest and most common large technical installations of today: a wind turbine farm. First there are countless meters of trenching and cable laying, then the digout of a gigantic pit for the base. It only gets better from there.

    You love badass construction projects. So do we. Let’s nerd out over them together.

    Let’s watch what happens.

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    To start, the team lays a concrete disc that covers the entire base of the foundation. Then, the contractors place an anchor cage in the center and start to lay radiating rebar that extends out in a sunburst shape. Ultimately, the resulting cage assembly looks like a very wide and flat jungle gym. It extends to the edges of the concrete base and its very top lies flush with the surrounding ground level.

    A bunch of very patient, talented workers fill the entire cage base with concrete—the video cites between 130 and 240 cubic meters—before they fully cover the rebar and finish the concrete to a smooth surface. Dirt is pushed back in, hiding the structural bulk and leaving just the opening where a turbine will be mounted.

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    Next comes the manufacturing and quality testing of the turbine parts. “By the approximate weight of 16 African elephants, blades are vigorously bent for testing,” one caption reads, while blades are tested for flexure in the background. A brittle rotor wouldn’t be practical, the same way airplane wings must be able to tolerate flex and rebound. Special, wild long two-piece trucks called Dolls carry the front and very back of each rotor blade as well as the parts of the turbine’s trunk.

    These are all assembled on site. The final turbine, between 212 and 262 feet tall, is piled piece by piece and topped with the spinning motor portion—itself in two pieces the size of a large car. Finally, the rotor blades are hauled up on surreally large cranes and attached.

    The turbines are so gigantic that fog appears in the massive distance between the camera and the entire turbine assembly it’s capturing in frame. And while some people argue that wind turbines are an eyesore, this one—a collaboration between ERBI, Peikko Group, LM Wind Power, DOLL Fahrzeugbau, GE Europe and, MidAmerican Energy Company—looks strong and elegant.

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