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Energy Efficiency u.s. coast guard installs first wind turbine at its Southwest Harbor facility in Maine

Published on August 30th, 2010 | by Tina Casey


U.S. Coast Guard Goes for Wind Power

August 30th, 2010 by  

u.s. coast guard installs first wind turbine at its Southwest Harbor facility in MaineFollowing close on the heels of the U.S. Army, which just activated its first wind power project at the Tooele Army Depot in Utah, the U.S. Coast Guard is diving into wind power, too. The new turbine has been installed at the Coast Guard’s Southwest Harbor Base in Maine.


The new turbine is only rated at 2.4 kilowatts, but in this case, size doesn’t matter. What really matters is that the U.S. military has historically been very cautious about adopting wind power partly due to concerns over radio interference, but now with two branches of the armed services getting their feet wet, perhaps a tipping point is near and more clean, renewable wind power is in store across the Department of Defense.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Sustainability

The wind turbine is actually part of a more ambitious program to achieve a net zero carbon footprint for housing at the Southwest Harbor base. As reported by Rich Hewitt in the Bangor Daily News, other renewable energy steps at Southwest include solar panels and solar hot water heaters, along with new electrical systems and improved insulation. An old oil burner was also replaced with a new pellet boiler.

The U.S. Military and Sustainability

When it comes to sustainability, the three largest branches of the armed services have been grabbing all the headlines, from the Army’s new focus on geothermal energy to the Navy’s solar installations and the Air Force’s forays into biofuels. The U.S. Marines are also getting into the act, for example with new portable suitcase-sized solar installations for field use, so it’s good to see the Coast Guard make the leap, too.

Image: Coast Guard lifeboat by mikebaird on flickr.com.

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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

  • Shamil Ayntrazi

    Most Energy websites do not provide detailed technical information. They seem to act as a marketing tool. There is no wisdom in withholding information.
    Developers are protected by Patents and by Intellectual Property rights. Moreover; due to the size of investment and to business acumen, no one would risk infringement on a Patent and/or Intellectual Property rights.
    Lot of efforts and funds are wasted on systems that are in conflict with engineering principles, or no feasibility study is made to check for system constructability, viability and economy.
    Our decision for Publishing System Details, Drawings and output would allow developers to scrutinize the system, improve system performance, provide collective knowledge or come up with a totally new system. Detailed Calculations are available upon request.
    ONCE an offshore wind farm is planned it is worth investigating utilization of the offshore area to extract maximum marine energy. The REWGD system provides such systems as it extracts Wave, Wind, Ebb/Tide energy together with deep sea cold water for air conditioning. The REWGD system leads to the following:
    1. “Construction Units” of modular offshore fixed construction support all systems and provide a dry deck for installation of different equipment for ease of operation and maintenance and solving the offshore mooring problem. The “Construction Unit” measures 17×18 meters, covers only six meters below mean sea level, and extends to the sea bed by means of structural columns at 18-meter spacing.
    2. Direct drive energy extraction to generate power at the required voltage and frequency without the use of expensive and complicated speed controls and power electronics or inverters.
    3. Removing the heavy weight generators of wind turbines from the top of the supporting mast to the “Construction Unit” dry deck, and using angle gear and/or universal joints for torque transfer to respective equipment, being a water pump or electric generator at the dry deck.
    4. Removing the generators of Ebb/Tide turbines from underwater to the “Construction Unit” dry deck, and using angle gear and/or universal joints for torque transfer to respective equipment being water pump or electric generator at the dry deck.
    5. Adding conic sections or shrouds to the Ebb/Tide turbine raises the water velocity above 2-meters per second and results in efficient energy extraction.
    6. Physical layout of the “Construction Units” with respect to the incoming wave levels power and minimizes power pulsation due to wave energy extraction during the 126 out of the 360 degree wave cycle. This maintains the average power output for the 126 degrees over the whole wave cycle of 360 degrees. For example, a 4-meter hi wave provides a constant average output of 76-KW over the whole wave cycle.
    7. A Deep Sea Cold Water Pump consisting of a pipe installed to the sea bed at 1,000 plus meters, where air is injected in the upper section of the pipe, to produce a column of aerated water column with smaller density than the outside water results in producing a net positive head at the pipe inlet and forces cold water to flow up the pipe where it is de-aerated and pumped as cold water for Air Conditioning.
    The estimated KW-Hour outputs per year are as follows:
    1 – WGD System per “Construction Unit” measuring 17×18 meters, 776,192 KW-H/ Year.
    6 – Ebb/Tide Turbine, with 2 meter cones 1,346,400 KW-H/ Year.
    1 – Wind Turbo Generator with19 meter diameter sweep 859,900 KW-/H/ Year
    Total Output 2,981,602 KW-H/ Year

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