Tag Archives: Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines for Farm and Ranch

I don’t usually insert an article into the blog like this, but renewable and sustainable items like this I think are valuable.  So, here it is.

Smaller wind turbines provide renewable energy for homes, businesses » Abilene Reporter News.

Wind farms supporting upward to 200 or more huge wind turbines on 200-foot towers are becoming rather commonplace across West Texas these days, but what about smaller wind energy solutions for the single farm or ranch?

Joey Henderson, who is general manager of Porter Henderson Implement Co. with stores in San Angelo, Ballinger and Big Spring, observed the big gap between the large turbines and smaller units and decided to do something.

The demonstrator unit installed at the Henderson home office, east of San Angelo, gives prospective buyers an idea what a small unit looks like. The Endurance Wind Turbine is a 5-kilowatt model on a 105-foot tower with three fiberglass blades on a induction generator.

Henderson Wind Energy, a division of Porter Henderson Implement Co., has been in operation about a year and covers a territory made up of most of Texas and New Mexico, said Doran Reynold, wind specialist for the firm.

Reynold said the small machines are not competition to large wind turbines. They serve different purposes. The large turbines harvest the wind and supply electricity for thousands of homes or businesses. The smaller units provide clean, renewable energy for a single farm or a home.

“We offer 5-kilowatt machines that are geared more for residential use, either in town — if a person lives in an area which is zoned for the 105-foot tower — or a farm or ranch home. But they are predominantly geared toward rural residential application,” Reynold said.

“The 50-kilowatt machine we offer is more geared toward commercial application,” he said. “It can provide enough electricity for a cotton gin or a feedlot, even a small school district. They can produce up to 200,000 kilowatt hours.”

The commercial towers extend up to 140 feet on the 50-kilowatt model, he said. When the blades are pointed straight to the sky, it adds another 10.5 feet to the height of the residential models and 29.5 feet to the commercial models.

“We recently installed our fifth 5-kilowat unit at Munday, north of Abilene. We have a couple units around Big Spring and another at Monahans,” Reynolds said. “A 50-kilowatt model is currently under construction at McKinney, north of Dallas.”

The whole movement these days is focused on more “green energy” and it works hand-and-hand with West Texas where there is a wind source that is mostly untapped, Reynolds said.

Joey and Jeb Henderson represent the third generation to operate the West Texas John Deere dealership. Their grandfather, the late Porter Henderson Sr. became the sole owner in 1954 which was started in 1928 as Whitaker Brothers Implement.

In 1989, a major expansion took place with the opening of John Deere Sales and Service Center in Ballinger. It is interesting to note that Porter Henderson Sr. managed Whitaker Brothers, the dealership in Ballinger, from 1934 to 1936.

Porter Henderson Implement Co. added a third location in Big Spring in July 2001.

Although chairman Joe Henderson Sr. still maintains “veto power,” the Henderson Brothers have give him no real need to use a veto. They have grown the family business at a steady pace by latching onto the latest space-age technology to compliment the John Deere legacy.

In 2008, Porter Henderson introduced the Real Time Kinematics Network, the newest tool in precision farming. The main purpose of the RTK network is to correct signals which get distorted coming through the atmosphere from a satellite. The latest technology is also using satellite imaging to record where underground drip irrigation lines are located, so the farmer can plant cotton directly over the water source.

For the Hendersons, harvesting the wild West Texas wind is yet another challenge to better serve farmers and ranchers.

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More Santa Fe Blizzard Express

Hermleigh, Texas, December 24, 2009

Hermleigh, Texas, December 24, 2009

Roscoe, Texas, December 24, 2009

Roscoe, Texas, December 24, 2009

Jack Matthews, Roscoe, Texas, December 24, 2009

Farm Fields, Slaton, Texas, December 24, 2009

We had been keeping up with weather forecasts before we left at 5:00 a.m. CST from our home in Mingus, Texas.  The weather forecasts on December 23, indicated that the Arctic snow front would pass through the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma, bypassing our route on Interstate 20 to Sweetwater, Roscoe north to Lubbock, then Clovis, Santa Rosa, Santa Fe.

On December 24, we left Mingus, temperature 37 degrees.  We first encountered snowflakes in Eastland, Texas, but before that, only minutes out of Ranger, Texas, a Federal Express double-trailer had overturned, indicating, perhaps, high cross winds.

The snowflakes would not subside until we reached Lubbock at 2:00 p.m.

We did not encounter snow accumulating on the road until Sweetwater where we made a rest stop.  At Sweetwater, the temperature was below 30 degrees.  By the time we reached the turnoff to Roscoe, Texas, then north to Lubbock, the snow had accumulated on the highway and the wind blew the snow to a white out for a few seconds every so often.  The turn off at Roscoe was treacherous because a white out suddenly occurred at the intersection and I had to “feel” the turn for a few seconds.  At that point, I decided to go into Roscoe and put the cable-chains on the back wheels of the F-250. We also considered staying put and waiting the storm out and Highway Department to clear the roads.

The F-250 I drive is a 2003, the last year they made the 7.3 liter diesel engine.  Our F-250 is maintained precisely to the Ford Motor Company’s guidelines, plus a few of our own.  As a consequence, we have 240,000 plus miles and it pulls a twenty-six foot tack and stock trailer or a flatbed with a DX-55 Case tractor.  We had a full fuel tank, blankets, phones, and food and water.

At Roscoe, I put the chains on and we ventured out again on the highway to Lubbock.  At Hermleigh, we stopped at an Allsup’s for a rest stop but the convenience store was closed.  Our daughter in Lubbock called by cell and said that there was a thirty-two car pileup at Post, so we first decided to go from Snyder to Lamesa, then Santa Fe by various routes, but the latest reports at Allsup’s from truck drivers indicated that the wreck had been cleared.

The wind turbines at Roscoe and Hermleigh were hidden by the snowstorm, but occasionally the wind would die down and we saw the giant turbines, less than a quarter-of-a-mile away, slowly turning in the storm.  Nothing else but snow and the turbines.  We maintained a long distance between ourselves and the car or truck in front of us to give us time to stop.  Yet, we did not have the respect from cars in back of us.  Truckers, however, gave us space.  Since we had chains and traction, I could ease over and let cars and trucks pass us.  Several cars that passed us we later saw in the ditch or median.

Our speed could not exceed 30 m.p.h. with chains.  Finally, at Post, Texas, we stopped and I took off the chains.  Between Post and Lubbock, we were diverted by the Highway Department to tour along the access roads and avoid going over bridges.  In Slaton, a U.S. Postal Service truck was blocking the overpass because it had no traction and was stalled.  We saw several National Guard medical vehicles headed south from where we had come.  We later found out that Governor Rick Perry had called out fifty National Guardsmen to assist in rescue efforts.

From Post, then, we had no chains, but the Highway Department had cleared one lane by the early afternoon on the highway.

At Lubbock, we visited with our relatives and left Lubbock at 4:00 p.m. for Santa Fe, arriving at 9:30 p.m. MST.

Notes

“Postscript by Brenda:  Jack’s writings depict the experience perfectly.  What cannot be conveyed completely was the stress and emotions of the eight-hour drive to Lubbock…but, the picture of him above portrays his attentiveness.  I was never terribly worried because I knew he was an excellent driver and near obsessive over safety.  Yes, I wish we had left a day earlier, but I am happy to be in Santa Fe!  Brenda Matthews, 12.28.2009.”

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