What is it?
“What is it?” I’m glad you asked, because you’re not the first. Apparently so many people have asked that they put up a sign:
SDG&E is San Diego Gas & Electric.
NIC&E is… Ain’t got a clue. When I Google NIC&E, nothing. At least nothing useful for us here.
The sign on the vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) kind of leads one to believe that this is “the first of its kind in the U.S.” Not necessarily true. They have been around since just before World War II, and the largest one is located in Cap-Chat, Quebec, Canada, which, of course, to those of us who are not geographically challenged, is not in the U.S.
According to Wikipedia, with VAWTs, “the main rotor shaft is set vertically and the main components are located at the base of the turbine.” There are three main advantages to such a design: (1) generators and gearboxes can be placed close to the ground, making them easier to service, (2) VAWTs do not need to be pointed into the wind like the airplane propeller-type of wind turbine, and (3) they are small and quiet.
So there you have it. You now know what a vertical axis wind turbine is. And there are hundreds of different designs, so perhaps this is the first of this design “in the United States.”
I guess you want to see the design of the one here in San Diego.
Here is a picture taken at dusk last night over on Harbor Island (it’s not an island) while I was taking gorgeous sunset pictures (yes, you’ll get to see some of those, too, but later!):
Since the VAWT can be much smaller than the regular airplane propeller-type of wind turbine, they are much less visually offensive and much quieter, capable of being installed in residential areas. You could have one of these in your back yard!
The big disadvantage of VAWTs is that, up until recently, they simply have not been reliable, sometimes suffering catastrophic failure where the blades blew apart.
The largest VAWTs in the United States are located in my home state of Texas on the campus of Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. Just 45 miles or so from Corpus Christi, in the small (population 25,000) South Texas ranching and farming community of Kingsville, someone you know was born on March 11, 1955. Care to guess who that was?
Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572
If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!
Posted on May 4, 2013, in Did you know?, Manmade, Out & About, Photos and tagged nic&e, san diego gas & electric, SDG&E, vawt, vertical axis wind turbine in San Diego. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.