Montana State University

Wind Applications Center

Red Bluff Turbine Donation

Early in 2009, the WAC gained ownership of a Whisper 4500 Turbine formerly used in wind power projects by MSU Electrical Engineering Professor Hashem Nehrir. The turbine was installed near Norris, Mont., along State Highway 84 at the MSU Red Bluff Research Ranch. One of the conditions imposed with transfer of ownership was that the WAC would dismantle the installation.

The Whisper 4500 was manufactured by World Power Technologies of Duluth, Minnesota. This company was acquired by Southwest Windpower of Flagstaff, Arizona, in April 2000. Southwest Windpower presently markets the re-vamped Whisper line and several other lines of small wind turbines, including the Skystream and Air models. The Whisper 4500 turbine produces 3-phase AC power which is converted to 48 volt DC (to charge a battery bank or for other electrical needs).

In June 2009 the WAC team lowered and disassembled the tower, turbine and blades, and support equipment and brought the entire unit to the WAC for evaluation, testing, and refurbishment. If all goes well, the reconditioned turbine will be given a new home on MSU property. (Below. Pictures of the machine as it stood at the Red Bluff Ranch.)

Wind turbine at Red Bluff Ranch

Wind turbine at Red Bluff Ranch

Wind turbine at Red Bluff Ranch, lowered post

The WAC team has disassembled the turbine for cleaning and inspection.
It will be re-assembled and tested. (Below. Pictures of the disassembled turbine)

disassembled wind turbine

Disassembled wind turbine

Disassembled wind turbine