The wind turbine commented


1950-1955 : The prototypes
The choice of the site
Access to the site
Establishment of the site
The team
Design features
The wind turbine commented
Sights on the wind turbine
Close-ups on the wind turbine
The research station
The tilting of the wind turbine
1959: Record of production
Disassembling the generator
Some figures
1966: the scraping
Remains of the wind turbine
Great power wind turbines
Where are the archives?
Lucien Romani
L. Romani & l'O.N.E.R.A.
The wind turbine & N.A.S.A.
French wind links
Legal notice
Site map
Who am I?
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(Click on the pictures to see their actual size).
On the official photograph taken by EDF, we added a few comments.
  • North pillars: about 150 tons of concrete each. Buried approximately 1.20m. They bore the axes of rotation of the wind turbine to allow it to topple on the research station.
  • South pillar: about 100 tons of concrete. It allowed the anchor and locking of the third leg when the wind turbine was vertical. Its slip allowed tilting.
  • From the left north pillar one reached the top of the tripod platform via a staircase that you see on the picture. The stairs allowed to go to a first platform at the base of the central part of the tripod. From there, one reached to the top of the tripod by a vertical ladder plated along the pivot. The upper platform of the tripod was 16 meters above the ground.
  • Behind the left north the pillar one can see the IPN to receive the weight of the wind turbine when it was in a horizontal position.
  • At the back of this pillar is the laboratory of the research station.
  • Above the tripod, one can see the pivot of the wind turbine (painted red and white). The pivot was sinking in the form of a cone (black in photo) in the axis of the tripod to the base of its central part. It was moving through ball bearing set (bottom of the tripod) and a series of vertical rollers (top of the central part of the tripod).
  • One reached the top of the wind turbine by a series of vertical ladders along the pivot between two airfoils, then bypassing the navelle located 32 meters above the ground.
  • The nacelle housed the generator, the disc brake, clutch and various equipment.
  • Each propeller blade measured 15 meters giving a diameter of 30 meters. For comparison, the wingspan of a Douglas DC3 (Dakota) is 28 meters 90. The swept area is 707 m2 approximately.
  • From the south pillar one notices the mine cable, laying down on railway sleeper, linking it up to the south winch.
  • In the foreground is the fourth blade. It was used for testing of resistance to laboratory. Note the "socks" that are red track marks left by the cylinders during stress tests. On the enlarged photograph you can see the holes a few inches in diameter located every 20 inches on the leading edge of the blade. These are the sites of spoilers which alter the profile of the leading edge and the aerodynamics of the blade, used as an emergency brake in case of runaway. I had ten years at the time and, with my brother, we spent hours playing the « acrobats aviators » on such a full-scale « wing ».
  • At bottom right, the pylon of 60 meters equipped with a windsock.

On this picture, the wind turbine is oriented in the sense of actual operation to the wind (see the windsock on the pylon of 60 meters to the right of the photo). The wind turbine was operating in "weathervane" mode : it was moving into the wind, upwind nacelle, propeller backwards.

We guess in front of the nacelle a mast that supported an anemometer for measuring wind at exact level of the wind turbine. The air intake which can be seen at the front of the car ensured the cooling of the generator, clutch and other devices (see photo at full size without comments).

An employee standing on the platform, gives an idea of dimensions.

« Lapie » post card commented.

Remains of the wind turbine (Street View - 2012).

Idem from the sky (Google Earth - 2012).

Last update: Mar-01-2019 13h35 CET

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