Ole Friis, windmill builder
In 1975 we in the Windmill Team said that it was realistic that 10 % of Denmark’s power consumption could be covered by wind. This is something we said on a good day, and because we were filled to the brim with self-confidence. In between, we also believed it ourselves. I doubt that many Danes believed this statement.
But ... In this age 40 % of our power comes from windmills. This is an increase of 1% a year over 40 years, so we have everything to expect. At the start of the build not many had much faith in that bunch of semi-freaks out in Tvind, neither people from different parts of industry, groups of engineers, nor fans off nuclear power.
They said, --"That power will surely be much too expensive ... "
They said, --"It is absolutely not possible to build such a large windmill."
They said, --or maybe they only thought so, --They will surely break their necks.
They were wrong.
So did we know how wrong things would go with our climate now 40 years after we cut the first sod?
But we knew that fossil fuel would run out -- sooner or later
We knew that the price of energy would sky-rocket -- sooner or later
And we knew it was wise to stay clear of nuclear power because accidents would happen –¬ we knew there would be an accident -- sooner or later.
The windmill build started in year 0 for big windmills.
There were no windmill standards.
There were no data programmes for claculating neither tower nor wings.
And no one had made fibre glass wings before.
We started from scratch, so to speak, where the Teacher Group and the Windmill Team went hand in hand, not only in harmony, but for better and worse with tasks that were always more difficult than we could solve -- just until we had solved them.
And believe you me, it sometimes took our breath away when we realized how big the tasks were.
But we succeeded, the Windmill Team, mainly volunteers. Young people, many without practical experience, but all going for the windmill and all doing our very best. Like everyone else in Tvind we were impatient and wanted to finish the windmill as soon as possible without ever compromising quality and safety. To us that meant. For us that meant long work days and horny hands. Our demands to quality and safety decided how the work was organized, and not everywhere on the site understood this necessity.
Now, 40 years after the build started, there is an old, but still fine windmill. It has long since been overtaken, both in regard to technology and size. It was designed to last for 30 years and was the starting signal for Denmark’s windmill adventure. And just imagine ...
.. .In December ... d. 21. of December 2013, windmills in Denmark produced more than 100% of the power which was used.
Congratulations to all of us!
Jens Bjørn, the Windmill Team.
Thank you for letting me hold the floor. 40 years – Acting brings results.
As many others, I was a convinced opponent of nuclear power and I was thinking: Opposition in words is not enough, you also have to take action. I was a young, trained mechanic. I went to Tunoe (a small, Danish island) to build the Tunoe windmill together with engineer Hans Joergen Laursen and the local blacksmith, Thomas Noergaard. It never materialized, but then one day my sister saw a newpaper add where they were looking for windmill builders, and that was really me. So I applied, and I am so glad that I joined the Windmill Team. This was where I could do something, and the windmill team was a close-knit group.
I would like to tell you a couple of episodes from out daily life.
We had finished the tower and we were going to lift up the machine house. It was standing on the ground and we had made it ready. The only part which was in the house was the generator. The generator weighed 12 tons, and it was placed in the far end. There was nothing in the other end. There were two tall ”gittermast” cranes.
The machine house is liftet up while Johannes and I are standing in the top of the tower together with Egon, who is steering the two tall cranes together with Palle. And the hat is mover over the tower and lands over the big bearing and the “skørtet” goes down over the tower top, and suddenly it is totally dark and I am thinking oh my God! But Egon is in full control of what he and Egon are doing. They were steering each their crane, and they steered the house across the bolt holes so that we could start tightening the big nuts. We started. Hardly had 5 minutes passed before Egon says, “I am going down for lunch!” And there we were! We knew we had to tighten the big bolts with 215 kpm and believe you me: If you ask me today, I can assure you that all ”momenter” were absolutely accurate. We were so focused on getting it accurate, so the reason why the windmill is standing there today is because we were a team who were determined and had technical enthusiasm.
But as I said, Egon goes down and there we are, sweating, for there was the 12 tons at the back, and what about the cranes? Well, we figured they could support the machine house, and so they did.
Now, the machine house was up and they started taking down the cranes, and I don’t know hw long time passed, but the gearbox was going to be hoisted up. This was to be done with an even higher crane, and just the one. The gearbox was standing there on the parking place. It had been there for a long time. It weighed 17 tons – or so we thought. Just till the crane man picked it up as tells us that it weighes 25 tons. That was what the crane showed. I was up in the house and I don,t remember who said it, maybe Egon, who was steering the crane again. An then all went quiet. Because now the engineers had to start calculating. You see, there were the 12 tons in the back, and now a further 25 tons were going up in the same end, not support tons, and there wa sno hu bor wings or anything in the other end. This is what I was thinking. I don’t know what the engineers were thinking. At least, they were working high speed. As I remember it 3 hours passed, where nothing happened because the calculations had to be checked, But then someone said ”GO” and the gearbox came up. And then we land it on the braces, it was going to rest on. And when you land a thing like that you steer it to the prices place it is going to rest. There cannot be any leeway. So he lands it accurately placing it with 100 kg pressure. So imagine you are up there, you are kind of standing in hole. The gearbox is standing there. So it is really there, and Egon he says ”GO”. Then he starts to slacken the crane. At the same moment I stand looking at the edge of the machine house and in the background I see the mast of the crane, which is the whole huges crane towering 35 meter up in the air above gliding backwards. I don’t consider that it has just been holding 25 tons and been under strain, so what he slackens it it really veers backwards and I am thinking: are we toppling now? I believe we can go up n the windmill today and see the marks where I was grabbing the machine house – I though it as the windmill which was toppling.
It was all huge. We had made the machine house, the tower and everythin else ourselves. We had made it all ourselves, and suddeny it was put to the test and passed it.
Bagefter fik vi akslen op. Akslen vejede 40 tons sammen med navet. Og så skulle vi have vingerne op, men det blæste hele tiden – vindmåleren stod aldrig stille. Så besluttede vi, at nu ville vi bestille kranen og så måtte den holde der, indtil det blev vindstille. Stille nok til vingerne kunne komme op. Den nat hvor kranen var færdigmonteret, blev det totalt vindstille, i 1½ døgn. Fuldstændig. Det var helt surrealistisk. Så gik vi i gang, og på de 1½ døgn nåede vi at få vingerne op. Der er altså 160 bolte i hver vingerod, der skal spændes. Jeg kan huske den første – jeg lå og tog imod oppe i navet. Ved den første bolt skulle vi bare dreje navet en lille smule for at den passede, næste gang var det kun et halvt boltehul, og til sidst da passede det fuldstændigt. Da den 3. vinge kom ind, kunne vi bare begynde at ploppe boltene i og begynde at spænde. Det var dygtigt gjort af dem der stod og målte op nedefra. Efter de 1½ døgn, så blæste det igen. Jeg kan huske, vi havde en guitar hængende, og det var nøjagtigt som at komme ud at sejle. Vi havde jo vidst at tårnet skulle kunne gi’ sig, men indtil nu havde det hele været helt stift, intet havde bevæget sig, men lige så snart de kæmpe vinger kom op, så stod det hele og gyngede når det blæste godt.
Samtidig med vi byggede møllen, lavede PTG deres PTG vindmølle. Her må jeg korrigere Preben Maegaard lidt. Den var på 22 kW.
Vi satte den op på et 18 meter højt gittermast tårn med barduner, og så testede vi den. Jeg kan love jer for vi testede. Vi testede jeg ved ikke hvor mange typer gearkasser. Indkoblingen var fra Electromatic. Vi testede kraftoverføringer, og jeg drejede rigtig mange af dem af og krympede akslerne på bøsningen og svejsede dem i enden. Kraftoverføringerne var bagtøjer fra lastbiler. Det var det vi brugte, og det blev der flere andre, der også brugte. Jeg har lavet adskillige af dem. Men som sagt testede vi.
Jeg kan huske én gang, hvor jeg var oppe i tårnet for at indregulere en skivebremse, og jeg sad inde i gittermast-tårnet og det blæste jævnt godt. Og møllen kørte op i omdrejninger og skivebremsen koblede ikke ind, og så ræsede møllen op i omdrejninger og jeg kunne overhovedet ikke se, hvad der var vinger eller hvad, og jeg tænkte: nu er mit sidste minut kommet. Det suste og blæste og det var i sidste øjeblik, og så at se bremse-armen bevæge sig ud, ja det virkede som timer, men selvfølgelig kom den. Den nåede dog at blive rødglødende.
Det at vi testede så mange forskellige ting, gearkasse og alle andre komponenter, det kunne vi give ud, kvit og frit, til folk via Vestjydsk Energikontor.
Til slut vil jeg gerne sige tak. - Tak for en rigtig god tid. Jeg vil gerne sige tak til Lærergruppen for at det kunne lade sig gøre. Jeg vil gerne sige tak til Mølleholdet og den ånd der var, den fantastiske ånd. Jeg kan ikke mindes én gang, hvor vi tvivlede på om det kunne lykkes. Ikke én gang. Og så vil jeg gerne sige særlig tak til Ole Friis for god ledelse på holdet, for høj kvalitet, ansvarlighed og godt håndværk i øjenhøjde.
Tak for det.