Visit gundersenenvision.org to learn more about Envision’s wind projects.
These photos show a turbine blade from the Gundersen Health System Envision® wind project in Cashton, WI, before and after assembly. This particular design has blades that are 48 meters in length, which forms a rotor diameter of 96 meters after assembly … in other words it is roughly a football field across. Each blade has a laminate construction and weighs approximately 26,000 pounds.
The blades are aerodynamically designed to act as “big sails” in their function. The rotor can spin and produce power in very light winds. At maximum capacity, the blades on this rotor, combined with the drivetrain and generators, can produce up to 2.5 megawatts (MW) of power. Each turbine can supply the equivalent power needs for 600 homes per year in this wind regime and location. The pitch on the blades can be adjusted through remote control of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) to stop rotation if that is required for maintenance work or when encountering excessive wind speeds above 50 mph. Modern commercial wind turbines are also installed with governors and braking systems to add further safety and control.