The Windmills of Bangui, Ilocos Norte
Posted by BCS on June 23, 2009
Last December, my family and my in-laws went on a two-day tour of Ilocos Norte, visiting places like Paoay, Currimao, and Batac, among many others. Neither did I think nor imagine, at any time prior to that trip, that I would see what I would later consider to be among the most beautiful man-made mechanical structures I’ll ever see with my own eyes.
I’m referring to the windmills of Bangui, Ilocos Norte.
According to a news article I’ve read online (dated October 13, 2005), the windmills stand 23 stories tall (I’m supposing this is for the tower only) and the blades have a diameter “wider that the wingspan of an airbus” (which, understandably, was in reference to an airbus aircraft, but which aircraft it is, I don’t know).
Warning – Mathematical content follows:
23 stories high… that translates to more or less 69 meters. Considering the blades’ length is about half the tower’s height… that makes the blades 34.5 meters long (each). Now, to get the diameter… multiply 34.5 meters by two and we get 69 meters. Ok… now I’m going in circles. :-| Anyway, that makes the windmills’ blades’ diameter wider than the wingspans of all Airbus aircrafts EXCEPT the A380 which has a wingspan of 79.80 meters.
According to the article:
“Standing in an arc in wind-lashed scrubland, the windmills, which started supplying electricity to 40 percent of Ilocos Norte in May, are the first source of clean energy introduced in the Philippines, a nation with 84 million people reliant on oil and gas.
“Costing more than $48 million, the windmills, built by a private company with interest-free loans from the Danish government, can harness winds the strength of Hurricane “Katrina” which devastated the US Gulf Coast last month.”
The windmills may be a marvelous sight to see from afar but seeing them up-close is an entirely different story.
Standing directly underneath one, seeing and hearing the blades slicing through the air above head makes for a truly exhilarating experience! I’m actually quite surprised to find out that the tips of the blades were so much high up because when I was standing beside one, it felt like the blades were just a few feet above my head.
I can’t help but imagine how wonderful the view is at the top of these things… if only I was able to climb up in one of them. I almost did, actually.
While we were having our lunch in a nearby cafe (Kangkang Windmill Cafe), we were told by one of the cafe’s staff that people are allowed to climb up the windmills whenever they’re being repaired… all we have to do is ask permission (from the people working on the windmill). There was one being repaired at the time… but, to my dismay, the crew told us that they couldn’t allow us up because the electrical wirings were exposed…
Maybe next time…