Wind turbines are becoming a larger factor in electric power generation. Overall, 8% of total power in the U.S. comes from wind energy, but wind farms in Texas make 15% of the state’s electricity, according to a Wikipedia entry. Those numbers are more than a year old, so are higher now.
Of course the heavy and oversize components for the giant wind-driven dynamos are carried by truck to erection sites, and a convoy of these transporters is an entertaining sight. Among other things, there are three blades per turbine, so that’s three extra-long rigs right there.
Turbine blades are long, with those of one model from Denmark being 148 feet. So trailers that haul them must be approach that length. What if blades to be carried become longer than what an existing vehicle can accommodate?
XL Specialized Trailers has a solution in its Flip Extension. The device is usable on XL’s own BladeMate trailers and on other makes, too, the company says. XL announced it last summer, but it’s interesting enough to deserve a look even months later.
The 27-foot extension is more of a handful than its name suggests. But with a little training, it’ entirely workable for drivers and assistants. XL has posted a YouTube video that explains it.
Note that the extension has no axle supports; it just hangs there. But it apparently works, and is an example of ingenuity by people in this industry.