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The Wind Turbine Atop the VA

Question Corner: February 2020

by Tim Athan

From the February, 2020 issue

Q. What is the history of the red, white, and blue wind turbine that sits atop the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Fuller Rd.? Does it ever spin in the wind? Has it always been painted like an American flag?

A. The VA selected this vertical-axis wind turbine as a clean-energy demonstration project. If it had performed as advertised, such turbines could have been considered for VA facilities around the state.

The turbine failed on three occasions. Each time it was repaired or replaced on warranty, but when it failed a fourth time, the vendor was no longer in business, and the VA threw in the towel.

It has always been painted like an American flag. The cost for removal of the useless turbine is substantial, and the flag painting is cool, so it has been left to sit, motionless.

Got a question? Email     (end of article)

[Originally published in February, 2020.]


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