back to article Forget feet and inches, latest UK units of measurement are thinking bigger

The UK has announced new units of measurement as part of pronouncements on wind turbines by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). While many might have expected meters and centimeters to be replaced by feet and inches as the UK throws off the shackles of the metric system …

  1. xyz Silver badge

    What the hell is a meter?

    METRE...

    1. LRanger

      Re: What the hell is a meter?

      You measure electricity with it.

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: What the hell is a meter?

        ... or basically anything... like mikros (mikrometer)

        (I'm pretty sure the two words have the same latin root, et c., but at the moment I care sweet FA).

        1. Dinanziame Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: What the hell is a meter?

          Greek

    2. I am David Jones Silver badge

      Re: What the hell is a meter?

      I know, the Americanisation of everything has gotten terrible round here!

      1. John Hawkins

        Re: What the hell is a meter?

        Dunno about Americanisation - 'meter' is the Germanic spelling while 'metre' is likely the Latin (aka froggy) spelling. While one of my distant ancestors was born in France (Alsace to be exact, though back then it was called Elsaß and was patriotically Teutonic), I regard myself as more Anglo-Saxon than French.

        So I use 'meter' to refer to the unit of measurement - YMMV.

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: What the hell is a meter?

          They're both from the same greek root of metron or metreon, but reached us by different paths, so they now serve different purposes in British and Commonwealth English.

          A meter is a measuring device, while metre is a unit of measurement, whether that be a unit of length or the frequency of a regularly recurring pattern, such as in poetry or music. You could use a one metre pendulum to time your music, giving you a metre metre meter, or a metre metronome. By extension, this means you can, by regularly tapping one metre long stick on the ground for every one metre pace you take in time to a song, have a metre metre meter metre meter.

          1. myhandler

            Re: What the hell is a meter?

            At last - we finally know the inspiration for Lovely Rita

          2. the spectacularly refined chap

            Re: What the hell is a meter?

            The Metrons? They were in Star Trek yes? The one where Kirk invented gunpowder to defeat an enemy that resembled a man in a cheap dinosaur costume?

            1. Dr_N

              Re: What the hell is a meter?

              No, The Metron was Dan Dare's nemesis from Venus.

          3. sedregj
            Windows

            Re: What the hell is a meter?

            1m pendulum. T = 2 pi times root (l over g)

            So l = 1, g ~= 9.81ms-1 ...

            ... T is very slightly more than 2s

            2.0066. g varies somewhat around this non homogeneously dense, oblate spheroid planet so be careful when setting your watch to a pendulum.

            1. Thorsten
              Alien

              Re: What the hell is a meter?

              ... 2.0066 s?!

              Which, by some strange coincidence, is the length of one Osman in metres!

              Spooky

          4. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: What the hell is a meter?

            "A meter is a measuring device, while metre is a unit of measurement, "

            That was a funny thing to write.

            But we have to go back to Paris on 20 May 1875 to the "Convention du Mètre" where

            17 nations, Argentina, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, Ottoman Empire, United States of America, and Venezuela, but not Britain, met and signed the treaty.

            The French influence ön the English language with about 10.000 loan words is through historic reasons such that the British chose the French (aka froggy) spelling "metre" while more or less the rest of the world chose the "meter".

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metre_Convention

        2. Roj Blake Silver badge

          Re: What the hell is a meter?

          The SI people call it the metre, and that's good enough for me.

        3. General Purpose

          Re: What the hell is a meter?

          Basically, the metre was invented and named in France as mètre, a word that already existed in French, with Latin and Greek roots. The Brits accepted that name, merely dropping the accent; the word already existed in English too. When the metre was taken up in Germanic-speaking countries, they spelt it meter; that word already existed in German. The Americans used metre at first but Webster switched it to meter in his dictionary, saying that was more consistent with diameter, barometer, and thermometer, and that stuck.

          1. Timbo

            Re: What the hell is a meter?

            "The Americans used metre at first but Webster switched it to meter in his dictionary, saying that was more consistent with diameter, barometer, and thermometer, and that stuck."

            But Webster screwed up as one of those words (diameter) is actually to do with a unit of measurement.

            Whereas the other two (barometer, and thermometer) are actually the devices used for taking the measurement.

            No doubt the US educational system was not mature enough (at the time) to know the difference !

            And of course, the mis-spelling of the words: colour, aluminium, tyre, sceptical, doughnut, jewellery, etc have also slipped through.

            1. General Purpose

              Re: What the hell is a meter?

              OK, to be fair to Webster, he did put it better than I said, tackling a whole mass of words ending in -re such as sceptre, theatre, metre, mitre, nitre, lustre, sepulchre, spectre. It's a short but effective passage in the Orthography part of his introduction to A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language.

            2. Andy A

              Re: What the hell is a meter?

              I'm afraid that "tyre" is a modern UK English spelling. The steel band around a wooden carriage wheel was (and still is) a "tire". I think the fresh spelling was intended to show how new-fashioned the pneumatic rubber things were. Of course it may just be a reference to a place in Lebanon.

          2. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: What the hell is a meter?

            That is stupid but to be fair we call a gasometer a gasometer.

        4. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: What the hell is a meter?

          Or just drop the second "e" altogether, as in the Welsh, metr.

          (I note Wicipedia offers the alternative spelling "medr", but that's a word which is more commonly used to mean skill or ability so could be a bit confusing)

          M.

        5. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: What the hell is a meter?

          It's an ISO unit, so it's irrelevant what language you use, the ISO unit is specified as being spelled metre.

      2. I am David Jones Silver badge

        Re: What the hell is a meter?

        I’m curious about the downvotes, who/how have I offended?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What the hell is a meter?

          Idiot Americans who are unable to spell words correctly.

          1. Fred Dibnah

            Re: What the hell is a meter?

            Just ‘Americans’ then.

            1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: What the hell is a meter?

              USAian here, extremely annoyed and frustrated that in my 70 years of life, The Greatest Country in the World, Democracy's Haven (as we like to call ourselves, in spite of any alleged evidence to the contrary) hasn't yet grasped the fact that most of the rest of the world has metric tools and would perhaps buy more of the stuff we make if they could use their tools on it.

              1. Spamfast
                Trollface

                Re: What the hell is a meter?

                Don't beat yourself up, Antron.

                Many of my mouth-breathing Brexit-voting compatriots over this side would have us revert to Whitworth screws and bushels of wheat.

                I drink pints of beer but I could handle a litre (or liter) fine - if it's somebody else's round, of course!

                1. Piro Silver badge

                  Re: What the hell is a meter?

                  Well, your pipes are threaded to Whitworth's specifications.

                  1. Spamfast
                    Happy

                    Re: What the hell is a meter?

                    Well, your pipes are threaded to Whitworth's specifications.

                    How dare you. I can show you a colonoscopy video to the contrary! No threads at all.

                    Getting the callipers (calipers?) up there to measure the diameter was a bit eye-watering though.

                    I think the other exit is rifled but I don't know the twist rate.

                    Pass me the lubricant so I can check, would you?

              2. Binraider Silver badge
                Joke

                Re: What the hell is a meter?

                Ahh, yes, the US, where feet and inches are king; and you have a 9mm in the holster & 5 grams in your pocket!!

      3. Fred Dibnah

        Re: What the hell is a meter?

        Americanization, Shirley?

      4. Andy A

        Re: What the hell is a meter?

        I know, the Americanisation Americanization of everything has gotten terrible round here!

        FTFY

    3. JohnSheeran

      Re: What the hell is a meter?

      If that bugs you then wait to hear what they've done to "decimation".

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: What the hell is a meter?

        Oooh, do tell.

        1. Spamfast
          Headmaster

          Re: What the hell is a meter?

          Decimation originally meant to reduce by one tenth i.e. multiply by 0.9. (Think mutinous Roman legionaries - execute one in ten to keep the rest in line.)

          It is commonly misused in engineering to describe reducing to one tenth i.e. multiply by 0.1.

          Then there's decimated coconut, but I digress.

          1. rafff

            Re: What the hell is a meter?

            "decimated coconut" - desecrated coconut, Shirley?

            Goes with suggestive biscuits.

          2. General Purpose

            Re: What the hell is a meter?

            >execute one in ten

            Even more memorably, make nine in ten beat the tenth to death.

            1. Spamfast
              Headmaster

              Re: What the hell is a meter?

              And yet we're still told that everyone else was uncivilized.

              For more information on the Roman Empire, I recommend Terry Jones' Barbarians. (Actually, all of his historical documentaries are informative fun.)

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: What the hell is a meter?

        Is it what happens to people who are burglarized and convicted of a belief?

        1. Kubla Cant

          Re: What the hell is a meter?

          I too used to think "burglarize" was illiterate. But it seems that it's the correct* verb for what a burglar does. The alternative "burgle" is a back-formation based on the misapprehension that the "-ar" suffix is just an eccentric spelling of the agentive "-er" or "-or", but "burglar" dates from the 1540s, while "burgle" doesn't appear until 1869, and it seems to be a joke.

          * There may be some dispute over "-ize" versus "-ise".

          1. Andy A

            Re: What the hell is a meter?

            In UK church registers, until the 1810s, children were "baptized" rather than "baptised", so we are dealing with what passed for officialdom then.

            1. Spamfast

              Re: What the hell is a meter?

              The '-ize' ending is the earlier common form in British English and is still used by our left-pondian friends. The use of '-ise' was promulgated when all things Romance became fashionable in 18th Century "polite society".

              The same goes for color/colour, honor/honour and so on - the Yanks are using the older English form while we've been Frenchified.

              Having said that, spelling was more a matter of personal taste back in the day, rather than fodder for flame wars. :-)

              1. Lars Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: What the hell is a meter?

                @Spamfast

                The way I have understood it is that the Americans made an effort to make the language a bit more straight forward dropping silly letters like "u" in colour, and similar.

                The English will use some other word for "straight forward".

                Anyway looking at the number of spell checkers for English it's clear that the English have little control of the language outside of Britain.

                Even less about howto pronounce it, and that is perhaps a good thing and I still wonder about the English teachers they sent to India during those happpy times long ago.

                1. Spamfast
                  Headmaster

                  Re: What the hell is a meter?

                  Americans made an effort to make the language a bit more straight forward dropping silly letters like "u" in colour

                  I just checked Shakespeare's First Folio for examples and it uses both, although it seems to favour (!) the 'ou' spelling.

                  So my previous assertion may be wrong.

                  Thanks for prompting me to check and for a plausible alternative explanation. Maybe the most prolific early immigrant American writers preferred the simpler spelling.

                  The switch to '-ise' from '-ize' ending issue may still be down to the French influence. The Folio uses '-ize' even for words like 'surprize' for example.

  2. Roger Kynaston
    Happy

    Hah!

    I was worried that the Reg Standards Secretariat had been retired.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hah!

      Yes, fantastic news.

      Maybe they can dust off the Playmobil too

  3. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Osman is only good for the big stuff

    For smaller measurements, rather than Miliosmans and the like, we could introduce the Sunak.

    1. DishonestQuill

      Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

      I can't quite remember, was a Truss established as a unit of time?

      If it was, then shirley the real question becomes: how many Sunaks does light travel during a Truss?

      1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

        At 0.85 Osman per Sunak, that would be 6.704E14 Sunaks.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Eccella

          Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

          I can't quite remember, was a Truss established as a unit of time?

          Does it not subordinate to a lettuce?

    2. Timbo

      Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

      "we could introduce the Sunak"

      Perhaps, but I believe that the said Sunak unit may soon be consigned to the history books, and will therefore become a meaningless and obsolete unit, just like the Carucate, Puddee, Rod and Slug.

      And so therefore there is little need to update the Reg Standards, and sully the existing extensive range of measurement units.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_obsolete_units_of_measurement

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

        Perhaps, but I believe that the said Sunak unit may soon be consigned to the history books, and will therefore become a meaningless and obsolete unit, just like the Carucate, Puddee, Rod and Slug.

        I approve in principle, although it runs the risk of too many units, and then conversion errors. So Sunak could be used as a measurement of length. Call it 5' at STP. On which point, do we have units for temperature and pressure? Same could be done for a Truss given they're already widely used in construction.

        On the subject of windmills, the have both a tower height and wingspan, as does the AoN, so there's the potential for AoNS for span, and AoN for height. Which won't confuse anyone at all.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

        One of them is Batman

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

        Wikipedia may call the slug obsolete, but I recall doing fluid dynamics calculations using slugs. Granted, that was in a different millenium.

        If you study fluids and thermodynamics on the left side of the Atlantic, you get full exposure to multiple systems of measurement, and you learn to appreciate the metric system.

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

          full exposure to multiple systems of measurement

          Someone in the family decided to re-watch The Matrix the other day and I have to say that it was slightly surprising when Morpheus explained "human batteries" as providing so many BTUs of energy.

          M.

    3. I am David Jones Silver badge

      Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

      A Sunak could be introduced as a unit of information content, ie entropy.

      You’d probably have to go straight to Megasunaks though, before the unit is big enough to be usable.

      1. tyrfing

        Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

        Unlikely - zero times anything is zero.

    4. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

      A quantum of Sunaks - it exists only for as long as one does not do the test to see if it exists?

    5. steelpillow Silver badge

      Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

      So - how many Sunaks to a rusty angel? I'd estimate around 33 1/3.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

        Well played sir. A very Long Play :-)

        1. steelpillow Silver badge

          Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

          Well, it was really just for the record.

    6. herman Silver badge

      Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

      The trouble with Sunaks and Trusses is that these are ever shrinking measurements…

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Osman is only good for the big stuff

        And they'll be ever present in the national stage when it is customery for former prime ministers to make an appearance - and it irks me that the lettuce will not be there, but Truss will after all the damage she'd done

  4. I am David Jones Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Thanks Reg for this island of sanity

    in a crazy world

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Osman unit of measurement

    Hi

    As a member of the Osman clan, I would like to point out that The Reg's use of the generalised Osman term is a little misleading, as in my family it has lead to many conflicts both within the family and when going to the likes of the haberdashers (as my partner buys cloth material quite often) or when we go to B&Q and have need of some sustainable naturally grown products (which are usually available in square/rectangular cross-sections but in multiple lengths).

    This is due to various family members being of different heights and thus when they use the said Osman term, they frequently receive the required item but it being either too short or too long.

    So, now, we have had to use a prefix to be more specific, such as the DadOsman, Son1Osman, Son2Osman and even the MumOsman and GMumOsman when required.

    This solves the issue, so can I suggest that the Reg's "Osman" be given a prefix, so that the outside world can update their records and hence prevent further embarressment or dispute.

    I would suggest "RsOsman" be considered - which would then be a standard R Osman compared to the non-standard versions used in my extended family's nomenclature. :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Osman unit of measurement

      I'm sorry to hear your family doesn't meet ElReg standards. Perhaps they could be adjusted to avoid further confusion?

      1. KarMann Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Osman unit of measurement

        You are Procrustes, and I claim my 100 shillings.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Osman unit of measurement

      Is one GMumOsman 1,000,000,000 MumOsmans?

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Osman unit of measurement

        I get enough Turkish TV at home Diriliş Ertuğrul & Kuruluş Osman* being watched on TV where I live, without walking into it here.

        If you thought Murray Gold had a good gig with his Doctor Who Stuff, he's got nothing on the composer for those two connected dramas which uses the same theme & incidental music used endlessly throughout, I can tell when someone's dead or dying, being rescued, there's a big battle or fight, lovers are reunited etc from the music from the other side of the house while on a different floor.

        *Both of these are still streets ahead of a dirge that they used to watch called "Lovebird", which took about 3 episodes to get through a 5 minute threat\chat with the heroine cornered in her bedroom by a (rejected) suitor.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Osman unit of measurement

        "Is one GMumOsman 1,000,000,000 MumOsmans?"

        Now that is something we never thought of...I commend your lateral thought process that came up with that !

        But I think we'll stick with the G = Grand, which is just 1,000 MumOsmans hehehehehehe

  6. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    Incommensurate units

    I suspect the Reg standard osman, tour-eiffel, big-ben, and the geordie-angel don't bear a rational relation teach each other let alone an integral ratio. As el Reg units should be - relating to the real world - not the myopic fantasies of 18th gallic rationalists :)

    I am surprised this demented Tory crew and fellow travellers haven't proposed de-decimalizing the UK currency (GPB) £sd just looks better and a chap just know he better than the common lot when he is paid in guineas. Lock £ to gold's spot price and florin to silver's - what a wonderful arbitrage opportunity for a chap in the city. Think of the IT contracts for subcontinental outsourcers.

    How fast are wind turbine supposed to rotate (rpm or rad/sec)? Having a 150m (1.5 big-ben) blades rotating at appreciable rpm is going to be a bigger-bill price. As flower pot would have said [someone has been smoking] weeeed!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Incommensurate units

      Oh I would love that. May I suggest 12 pounds to a guinea, 16 crowns to a pound and 20 pence to a crown.

      Top it off with 6 coppers to a pence.

      Now I feel like dusting off one of my old AD&D adventures and implementing that . . .

      1. Spamfast
        Stop

        Re: Incommensurate units

        Top it off with 6 coppers to a pence.

        The only place you're going to see six coppers is in the canteen at the nick.

        Or the coach to the demo for a spot of overtime.

        Certainly not walking the beat.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Incommensurate units

      "How fast are wind turbine supposed to rotate (rpm or rad/sec)?"

      Typically the limit is airspeed of the blade tip, where you don't want more than 180 mph airspeed as that shortens the blade lifetime due to coating and blade erosion. Which means the bigger the rotor, the slower the rpm. For really big offshore turbines, consider the max operating rpm as about 11 rpm, some of the monsters currently on test are looking at 8 rpm, although for the typically smaller onshore units you're in the 20-30 rpm range. Whilst possible to design differently, there's little value in higher rpm as power varies with rotor diameter rather than rotation speed, and as you comment there's a big cost to designing a GTi wind turbine.

      As an aside, if high winds threaten to take the rotation speed above the permitted speed the blades will be feathered to prevent over-speed, the alternative is blade damage, bearing or gearbox failure, all of which can result in complete loss of the rotor, turbine and mast, although China claim that they've had a 15MW wind turbine generate continuously during a typhoon, albeit a "mere" Cat 1 typhoon.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Incommensurate units

        I've always been puzzled why large wind turbines rotate on a horizontal axis, which always requires a tower taller than a blade length with the inevitable flex issues. Wouldn't it be simpler to put a cage of blades on a vertical axis, with the generator at ground level? No need then to have it pivot to follow the wind, either.

        1. Jan 0 Silver badge

          Re: Incommensurate units

          @Phil O'Sophical

          Efficiency? Look up Savonius rotor.

          1. Dante Alighieri

            Re: Incommensurate units

            Although a helical Darrieus might be better

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darrieus_wind_turbine linky

        2. Lurko

          Re: Incommensurate units

          The do exist, mostly as fashion accessories for eco-business parks, government or academic campus installations. Nominally they're more efficient and don't have to turn into the wind, most designs don't scale well, as a result they're too close to the ground to get decent wind speeds or high outputs, and there have been problems of cost and reliability.

          There have been a few serious attempts to build large scale vertical axis turbines, but so far results have not has persuaded investors that its a better bet than the well proven horizontal axis turbines. One main proponent is Norway's "World Wide Wind", who have a funky two stage contra-rotating vertical axis design as their web site shows, and claim very high potential outputs that eclipse the largest horizontal models of today, but it's still at the government-funded seed capital stage. As a personal observation, most things that involve the words "contra-rotating" never really become mainstream, and even if it is in fact better technology, it's in danger of being the Betamax of wind power.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Incommensurate units

      "How fast are wind turbine supposed to rotate".

      As far as I have understood the tip of the blade has to stay below the speed of sound and easy to work out as the lenght of the blade is "r". The longer the blade the slower it can rotate.

      (so rather slow rotating)

      1. Lurko

        Re: Incommensurate units

        "As far as I have understood the tip of the blade has to stay below the speed of sound"

        Speed is limited by the durability of blade coatings and materials and in practical terms results in a blade speed about a third the speed of sound. Aerofoils and propellers do work just fine at supersonic speed, but there's no need for wind turbine blades to go fast as the size of the rotor determines power output, not the rotation speed. Unlike commercial aircraft that spend most of their time in the essentially weatherless stratosphere and have regular maintenance, wind turbines have a long hard life battered by rain, hail, seawater or salt (or sand and dust in water free locations), and the blades progressively suffer from leading edge erosion based that varies in large part on the linear velocity of the blades. That erosion roughens the blade edge and reduces its efficiency, and once the coating is gone then the blade structural material itself starts to disintegrate. This degradation is inevitable, and reduces turbine output by about 1.8% a year, based on a UK research study.

        Nice summary in the link below, although the idea that there is in fact a magic bullet coating solution if not quite the truth - evidence shows that applying leading edge tape solutions actually causes a further 1-3% reduction in output.

        https://weatherguardwind.com/leading-edge-erosion/

        And today's curious fact - the lowest drag on a wind turbine would occur if it has a single blade, not three. Because that would create unmanageable stresses, they need two or more. Two is feasible for smaller designs but still have balance issues, and that's why most wind turbines have three - a pragmatic choice, not an efficient one. There is work to create a single "bladed" wind turbine that doesn't rotate, it essentially wobbles. Search Vortex Bladeless if you're interested.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big Ben

    Is a bell, unlike Sunak, who is a bell end.

    Elizabeth Tower would have been more appropriate. Of course, from a man who doesn't know how contactless or hammers work, I'm not really surprised

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Big Ben

      Big Ben is (Lord) Ben Houchen, the local mayor for the freeport site (that includes the turbine factory) that Sunak is chucking the public's millions at... which seem to leaking out the back gate and into the pockets of a couple of local businessmen

      (Private Eye, ad nauseum)

  8. Spoobistle
    Headmaster

    cut ... some slack heads off!

    54m vs 50m might not seem much by the Reg's louche standards, but if the blades end up 4m closer to the ground than passers-by are expecting, there could be some interesting consequences.

    1. Ball boy Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: cut ... some slack heads off!

      That's easy to solve: simply dig a shallow trench below the blade's path. Do I have to think of everything around here?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: cut ... some slack heads off!

        digging a trench below the blade path would be too complicated, costly and, frankly, crude, I'd propose to lift the whole structure by the said unit measurement, simples.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: cut ... some slack heads off!

          Yeah, but you'd need four big blokes, one at each corner to life it up and hold it there. And they get paid by the hour. Not forgetting shift changes and lunch/tea break cover. Suddenly, just "lifting it up a bit" starts to look a lot more expensive than digging a hole. Although you may need a bloke with a bucket on stand-by in case it rains and fills the hole.

      2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

        Re: cut ... some slack heads off!

        Yes, the problem with holes is that they do tend to fill with water (and leaves, and other less desirable things that fall off the backs of trucks).3

  9. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    BBC has been covering 65m turbine blades recently shipped to Pines Burn in the Scottish Borders, by road. Awesome and terrifying.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/ck5w9zlg1r7o

    I don't know if these turbines are now turning.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I believe they are being commissioned at the moment, but not in full revenue earning service AFAIAA. But these aren't the biggest onshore in the UK, where the title currently goes to Longburn Hill wind farm, by the same developer as Pines Burn but with 76m blades and rotor tip height of 200m.

      But that's still credibly smaller than the latest 15MW offshore wind turbines, which have blades up to 115m, and rotor tip height of 280m, and there's active development of 20MW units with blade length of about 140m - almost double the length of the blades in that BBC article, and whilst hub height can vary, likely to exceed a thousand feet tall.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Thank you! I think I forgot which number was needing beaten - the Elizabeth Tower number of around 96m.

        Since the monarch regularly comes to Parliament and is ceremonially not let in, naming a bit of it after Queen Elizabeth seemed to me a bit toadying when they did it. Unless she was sponsoring it. Like Co-op Live, oops.

  10. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    Never mind 'Think Big'

    Small is where it's at in this {cough} modern world, and you'll never take our barleycorns.

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