Windy Wednesday: An Artist’s Impression in Progress

When I started looking into wind farms a few months ago, I wanted to visualize them. The developer’s artists impressions aren’t exactly telling us anything. So I set about making images. It turned out to be more complicated than I thought.

The first image shows the height of the turbines proposed relative to Brownstown head, 5km away in this photo. I did this by finding out the height of the towers on Brownstown (c.20metres) and stacking up towers to the height of 250 metres at their very tip. I got a turbine graphic from Blue Horizon’s page. This gives a good impression of size and I know how big a turbine 5km from me – if I am standing 60metres above sea level – will look. (See post on elevation here). I measured the turbines at 10km using the container ship. But of course, the turbines are not going to be right next to Brownstown (I think I hope) so I figured I needed to create a more realistic view before causing a mad panic.

I tried some 3D modelling software but I didn’t last long at that because even if I got more ‘professional’ measurements, I still had some problems. How many turbines will there be? How far apart? And then how do I allow for rows of turbines moving diagonally away?They will appear closer together. I can place them on the horizon relatively correctly but what about the ones closer than the horizon? Or the ones beyond the horizon but still visible?

The second images show turbines a lot further out than the 5km or 10km that Energia and ESB are proposing and a lot less than the 60-80 turbines Energia are hinting at (they are a bit vague). It is an impression of 19 turbines in 2 rows, the first row about 22km away, the second row (every second turbine) further away. 22km is the minimum distance Blue Horizon are suggesting for the windfarms. I have also made them around 200 metres high rather than the max 260 metres. There is the issue that ships on the horizon will look bigger than they are…but then again so will the turbines. There is a larger version of the main image with one row of turbines at the end of the post.

I stress that this is a work in progress but I have erred on the smaller size and dulled the colour of the turbines (usually white) which I believe will be more visible in reality. And keep in mind images are not reality. In reality, the impact is usually much stronger.

I’ll work on a 10km wind farm impression next. See you Saturday with another post…probably on what turbines are made of.

Other posts on #windfarms on this blog: The Winds of Change: Introduction to a series Windy Wednesday: The distance to the horizon for Dummies Windy Wednesday: Some Windfarms The Winds of Change: Block Island

(New!)Image of the Week: Hare

Whoo hoo. I’m back. Again!As I wrote in my last post in April I had thought of deleting the Mermaids Purse blog but I still want to publish a book of illustrated essays connected to the work here before I move on and – full disclosure – I neeed a place to advertise it. But I don’t want to regurgitate old posts and, as it turns out I am a bit too busy for new posts so, inspired by my blogging pals Rocking Fraggle and Traci York, I am going to kickstart my posting with an image of the week. If I write at all I will hopefully keep it to a minimum – famous last words! These photos will not be technically brilliant as I am notorious for my bad treatment of my cameras but they will be wide ranging of subject. First up an early morning sighting of a hare.

Incidentally this week a disease which is fatal to rabbits and hares but of no risk to humans, has been confirmed in the wild in Ireland for the first time. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) causes death within a few days of infection, with sick animals having swollen eyelids, partial paralysis and bleeding from the eyes and mouth. This disease emerged first in 1984 and can spread quickly and devastate hae and rabbit populations. The public have been asked to report any incidents of it they see or any unusual behaviour. It has to be said I was surprised to see this hare being so visible for so long after the sun came up and behaving a bit like a ‘mad March’ hare. Fingers crossed that its only a sign of high spirits…

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