Wind Turbines vs. Power Lines

Case Study

This was a unique case for the visualization team here at Kineticorp.  It didn’t involve an accident, but instead was an aesthetic and economic conundrum.  Should the farm land use wind turbines or power lines.  In order to see these two architectural structures side by side, William Neal and his team developed a scaled physical model that could be shipped directly to the client.  This allowed the client to evaluate their options thoroughly.   

Video Transcription

William Neale: One of the more unique cases we had involved wind turbines and power lines. One of the issues was whether or not the power lines or the wind turbines were visually more appealing than each other on the farm lands and how much area they took up. So in this case we wanted to build a wind turbine to scale and also the power lines to scale so you could see them side by side and how they looked. The wind turbines, they’re gigantic. The blades on these are huge. They are hundreds of feet tall, so it’s shrinking it down. We had to create the blades with the 3D printer because they’re also very unique in their shape. The other problem is that blades spin at a particular rate. So in order to get the turbine to rotate at the correct rate, we built a special motor for it that you could control the speed and make sure that it’s rotating correctly since that’s part of the visual issue of wind turbines.  We created a model that was big enough to ship since the client needed it in another state. The blades itself could be removed and stored into a box so we could ship the box and they could actually carry it around by hand. So size was somewhat of a requirement and that dictated the scale of the wind turbine and the power lines. What was really helpful with this physical model was that you could see side by side, both the size and shape and scale of the wind turbine and the power lines next to each other. So you can make a fair evaluation of the visual appearance of those on the land.

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