Galvanize It! Online Seminar

Aesthetics

Stirling Solar Array, Tooele, UT
Stirling Solar Array, Tooele, UT

Aesthetics are an important part of any project. Making the project structurally sound isn’t enough; it also has to look good doing it! In the power market, the desired appearance is usually inconspicuous and easily ignored.

Hot-dip galvanizing’s natural gray finish blends seamlessly with almost any landscape. As the galvanized steel weathers and the zinc patina forms, the coating becomes a uniform matte gray. The non-intrusive finish is great for outdoor applications in rural, wildlife sensitive areas where wind or solar projects may be located as well as in cities where it is non-reflective and does not distract drivers.

If the matte gray finish doesn’t suit your project, you can still get the great corrosion protection benefits and extended maintenance by utilizing a duplex system – galvanizing your project and then painting or powder coating over the galvanizing to the desired color. Duplex systems not only provide aesthetic options but also extend the life of the project and the maintenance cycle of the paint or powder coating.

Aesthetics Case Study

Optiwind, Inc. - Klug Hill Farm Torrington, CT

Keuka Energy Wind Towers, Ainsworth & Fairfield, IA
Keuka Energy Wind Towers, Ainsworth & Fairfield, IA

Located at the site of a 120-year-old dairy farm, the Klug Hill Farm windmill was specially developed to support the green movement as well as decrease cost and increase energy efficiency. Optiwind began the design of this windmill after realizing a need in the market for a smaller windmill that could still power commercial applications such as schools and factories. This smaller, more practical windmill would create a significantly smaller footprint on the landscape and would be known as a Compact Wind Acceleration Turbine (CWAT).

Optiwind designers had specific criteria in mind when developing the windmill. They wanted to create a sustainable, ecologically-friendly, cost-effective way to generate wind energy for smaller markets. Made entirely of galvanized steel, the CWATs at Klug Hill produce enough electricity to power the entire farming operation or up to 50 homes.

Galvanized steel utilizes 100% natural, abundant zinc, a reflection of the earth-friendly nature and intent of renewable energy production. The zinc in hot-dip galvanized steel is infinitely recyclable and essential for life, while the unbeatable corrosion protection means no unnecessary energy or materials will be wasted on routine touch-up and maintenance required by other corrosion protection systems. The sustainable nature of galvanized steel is the perfect complement to the Klug Hill Farm initiative.

Keuka Energy Wind Towers, Ainsworth & Fairfield, IA
Keuka Energy Wind Towers, Ainsworth & Fairfield, IA

Using a self-erecting tower with a rotating cylinder around it, wind is accelerated around the cylinder and forced through a series of smaller fans mounted on each side of the structure. The engineers at Optiwind briefly considered painting the structure for corrosion protection, but quickly realized the routine upkeep of a painted structure would add maintenance costs for years to come.

This groundbreaking project has mass appeal to broad base of smaller institutions that will benefit from the development of cost-effective and environmentally-friendly energy solutions. The long-lasting, maintenance-free sustainability of hot-dip galvanized steel is an essential part of the project’s success and will make the CWAT design an integral player in the renewable energy market.