Pictured is a wind turbine in the Blue Sky Green Field
wind farm. There were two wind farms on the way to Manitowoc, and this one was very close to us. As we approached, Amber asked if we get closer to one of the turbines—something I had very much wanted to do. Although I have stopped at two wind farms in the past, I've never been next to a turbine while it was running, and had always wondered how it sounds. With a steady breeze, all the turbines were turning steadily. Doing a simple second count, I estimated they were turning about 15 RPM. After reading about the field, I found I was fairly close—they turn at 14.4 RPM.
After a fuel stop, we found our way to the pictured turbine. Standing about 100 feet from the tower, I could hear a slight "swoop" sound as the blades went by, but it was more faint than the sound of the wind in the corn field we were surrounded. After taking a couple pictures, Amber and I discovered something that turned out to be a lot of fun. Looking directly up at the spinning turbine, you could see a massive 134 foot (40 meter) blade coming directly down at you, then turn up and out of the way. We both laid down on the ground to stair up at this phenomena—it was like being on a carnival ride.
This tower stands 162 feet (50 meters), and can generate 1,650,000 watts. Under the tower you couldn't hear the passing of the blades, nor the 60 Hz hum of the transformer over the sound of the wind. I was already a fan of wind power, but this experience has made me even more so. What a great way to make electricity.