Let's talk Wind Todaywind energy
Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:14 PM
In the old day like the late 1970’s when California got going with wind energy the amounts of energy produced was much smaller, usually between ¼ to 1 MW so the mechanics related to transferring the turbine movement to electricity was very different. Yet as turbines increased in size and electricity produced, the standard gear systems were less and less advantageous.
Translation older wind turbines moved a lot faster and therefore could have more affect on birds and bats. Likewise the amount of cavitations was higher and this translated to noise.
When I toured a few wind site in California in the early 90’s I quickly noticed that some producers turbines were much nosier than others and that those turbines were moving really fast. That said the average size then was 1 MW and the area of the turbines blades were much smaller than today, another factor I learned was how the turbines were arranged on the sites. It turned out that different turbine positional layout played a big part in the bird strike risk and the noise generated.
Fast forward to today when the average turbine size has doubled and for ocean turbines sites tripled in size and electrical generation and it becomes apparent that if the blades are three times in diameter there is no way they can move as fast. So over time turbine producers have moved to gear reduction and direct drive systems. What this means is that the turbines blades move at much slower speeds thus cutting down on the possibility of bird strikes and cutting noise significantly. Likewise today the turbine site layout configurations have advanced also with design programs, environmental studies and permitting now taking in to account the lessons learned from the past.
Another growing factor to help lessen Wind issues has been more incorporation of land owner Co-Op’s to put these Turbines on. If a farmer who is producing a crop on his land can lease part of the site to a Wind producer, both benefit.
For the farmer there is the ability to have a fixed average revenue over many years that can be counted on no matter what crop prices are doing, which secondly gives them the ability to qualify for loans based on those guaranteed incomes while they continue to use that land to raise crops like always because the actual footprint of a turbine is not that large.
For the electrical provider this allows them to spread out there site more to provide much more room between turbine locations. Instead of having to purchase hundreds of acres and cram as many turbines as possible on the site, they can lease and spread out the locations which actually helps produce more energy while lessening the negative effects I have been discussing.
Now I must say that all the turbine sites I have dealt with have been primarily rural instillations. For those communities bigger turbines have meant not only less chance of negative wildlife and environmental impacts, but also big increases in revenue from green energy that has led to income and revenue for the local economies and tax bases, meaning that there is more money for teachers and schools, police and firefighters, roads and bridges, senior and child services and healthcare.
Case and point here is a new story from the Department of Energy (DOE) on North Carolina and their instillation of Wind Turbines for schools. From the DOE site.
North Carolina Installs Nine Wind for Schools Projects in 2011: A Wind Powering America Success Story
North Carolina's Wind for Schools project team installed nine projects in the Tar Heel State in 2011 and hopes to facilitate more installations in 2012.
According to Dave French, associate director of the Appalachian State University Wind Application Center, the achievement can be attributed to the group's preliminary work preparing for the multiple installations which was rewarded when funding was received late in the year. While waiting for the funding, the team members concentrated on citing, identifying host schools, and talking to teachers.
"It was really nice to finally be able to call those teachers and tell them that we were able to deliver once we got our funding. Then things kind of turned into a sprint," French said. With a deadline of six months in which to spend the money, the group had limited time for the planning, zoning, and construction process for the nine schools. To complete all installations prior to the end of the year, the group contracted them to Sundance Energy Systems, a local company with renewable energy project experience.
Seven of the nine schools installed the 2.4-kilowatt Skystream 3.7 turbine. Installations were divided into two categories: coastal and mountain. The coastal schools are First Flight Middle School, JP Knapp High School, and Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies. The mountain schools are Avery County High School, Alleghany County High School, Watauga County High School, and North Wilkes Middle School. The team also installed turbines at the College of Albemarle's Dare and Edenton campuses.
Two sources provided funding for the projects. A rural development grant that was part of a state program focused on workforce development provided funding for the coastal installations. The Wind for Schools project team partnered with Albemarle Resource Conservation & Development to apply for this funding. The North Carolina Green Business Fund provided funding for the mountain installations.
Jessica Hocz, program manager at the Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation & Development, Inc. and North Carolina Wind for Schools project state facilitator, believes that these projects are important examples of wind energy in a state with few installations.
"Utility-scale wind really hasn't taken hold in North Carolina," Hocz said. "It's a state that has a great wind resource on the coast and in the mountains, but we have a lot of challenges right now, so it's more important than ever to promote wind energy, even if it's on a small scale."
"We were very encouraged by the progress of the North Carolina Wind for Schools team over the past year," said Ian Baring-Gould, Wind Powering America technical director. "The five new states that joined the Wind for Schools project last year hit the road sprinting, and we are very encouraged by their progress. By the end of 2012, we expect to have more than 100 wind turbines installed at schools across the nation that directly relate to the Wind for Schools project. Although this may not be many in general terms, the tens of thousands of students who walk by these turbines every morning will help determine the future of our great nation."
Funding for additional school projects in 2012 is still undetermined, but the team members continue to identify likely host school sites in the interim.
"We have some really good candidate schools picked out," French said. "We're at kind of the same place we were last year, where we picked out some sites with a combination of a good resource and a teacher who's really interested in the project. They've been spreading the word around their schools, and we've been trying to come through on our end. Once Jess Hocz secures funding, we'll be able to move forward with this next round."
The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America initiative also provides funding for the Wind for Schools project, which works to raise awareness in rural America about the benefits of wind energy while increasing the wind knowledge base of future leaders of our communities, states, and nation. The project is currently supported in 11 states (Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Virginia).
From E3 Wise
Personally I think that as we transform our country from a Carbon Based society to one based more on Alternative Energy, lessons from the past, and a focus on best practices will become more and more prominent. Likewise anytime you can make something like schools and education, or governments less dependent on tax dollars and more self reliant it helps everyone. Remember nothing is perfect and nothing worth having ever comes easily, but through the lessons of the past and focusing on solutions we can all make a positive difference in the heath of our country, economy and precious planet.
Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:49 PM
The world market for wind turbines set a new record in the year 2011 and reached a total size of 42 Gigawatt, after 37,6 Gigawatt in 2010. According to the preliminary data gathered by WWEA and published on the occasion of the 3rd WE20 by 2020 conference in Coimbatore/India, the total capacity worldwide has come close to 239 Gigawatt, enough to cover 3 % of the world's electricity demand.Wind2012.jpg 61.16K 2 downloads
Amongst the individual countries, China kept its strong position reached a similar amount like in the previous year 2010:
. . . China installed around 18 GW,
. . . USA with 6,8 GW,
. . . India 2,7 GW,
. . . Germany 2 GW,
. . . Canada 1,3 GW,
. . . Spain, 1 GW,
. . . France 1 GW,
. . . Italy 1 GW.
Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:54 PM
Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:29 PM
I was wondering where you got the information from. The reason is that out of the twelve wind parks we have worked with only one has been a non grid connected instillation, what is generally referred to as a grid parallel system. All the others were connected to the grid. Now it is true that systems must be in place to load balance the electrical production and this is one reason why you are seeing more MW battery systems used in wind facilities. That said by routing through a sub-station buffer configuration (transformer stations) wind can be integrated into the grid. These sub stations exsist in every US electrical grid system, they are designed to step up or step down the voltage.
At the wilderado wind park in Texas 161MW is balanced using 9 sub stations arranged geographically along different high voltage transmission lines going to Amarillo, Dumas, Borger, Plainview, Clovis New Mexico, with 2 going south towards Lubbock and 3 going east and north into Oklahoma and Kansas. Excel energy oversees the transmission of the elecrticity which is rated at 50,000 American homes.
Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:40 PM
Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:46 PM
Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:54 PM
Some of its negative effects includes the annoyance of people living near wind turbines due to its noise production. Birds and other flying creatures had increase the mortality rate compared to other artificial structures. Wind farms located on top of ridges and hills leads to complain about the ruin of the landscape.
Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:47 PM
. . . As of October 2010, there were 52 wind farms in Australia,
. . . most of which had turbines of from 1.5 to 3 megawatts (MW).
. . . The total operating wind generating capacity at this time was 1,880 MW,
. . . with annual production of almost 5,000 GWh
. . . providing close to 2% of Australia's national electricity demand.
However, despite having excellent conditions for wind power, Australia lags considerably behind leading nations
. . . both in terms of wind generation capacity and percentage of power production.
Roxby Downs (30°33′S 136°54′E is a mining town in outbackSouth Australia,
. . . 563 kilometres north of the state capital Adelaide.
. . . The town has a highly transient population of around 4,000 people,
. . . almost 1/3 of whom are under the age of 15.
South Australia had close to 1/2 of the nation's wind power capacity,
. . . accounting for almost 20% of that state's electricity needs as of October 2010.
Victoria also had a substantial system, with about a 1/4 of the nation's capacity, and
. . . projects under construction forecast to more than double that capacity by the end of 2013.
Posted 19 February 2012 - 06:30 AM
I did take a look at your link but unfortunately I do not read or speak German, wish I did though. I think what may be going on here is that the source you are referring to in anti alternative energy. The reason why I say this is that even though Germany currently the world leader per population of alternative energy in the world, some in Germany are very opposed to alternative energy solutions and will put out incorrect or slanted information to try and let’s say muddy up the waters.
Now with that said I have to be very careful to check my own sources also because some sources tend to slant the arguments for alternative energy with incorrect information also, so I have to research information from multiple sources.
My point when I was writing this post was to show that the energy industry is learning and working on resolving issues regarding alternative energy and especially wind energy. Is everything perfect- No
We still have the issues of variability of wind and storage to deal with, and these are also big hurdles to overcome. Currently in California we are losing on average 1 out of every 3 MW of energy produced because the grid cannot take all the energy produced at times and there are not storage currently matched with the facilities.
However the industry is working on this by integrating new MW battery storage, some flywheel storage and also Hydrogen production. I am most familiar with the battery and hydrogen storage methods because these are the routes we have researched for storing excess wind energy for use later. Another interesting development is the hybridization of wind with solar because many times when the wind is not blowing you have lots of sunshine. This not only provides redundancy but also provides an even larger potential energy production, yet storage is still needed for all alternative energy.
Lastly on the subject of wind or wave affecting the earth’s energy balance, I can say that I have never seen any credible science on this subject. Think of it this way, all the wind and wave energy that is occurring on the planet is natural already, we are only harnessing this energy we are not changing it any way so if it has always existed, how could recycling this energy change the earth’s energy balance. In fact in my mind if you could change the earth’s energy balance using fossil fuels would cause this more than alternative energy could. Fossil fuels have been locked up for millions of years in the earth, mining, drilling, refining and burning those fossil fuels is releasing millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere every day. So if there is an earth energy balance this would upset it more. Honestly however I think this is just a false issue made to confuse people with incorrect propaganda. This is of course my personal view, but I am basing it on confirmed science as we know it.
Just watch out for sites like the Heartland Institute and others that are presenting fasle information simply for moneys sake because they are only helping themselves for financial gain and not really helping anyone except fossil fuel companies and big investors like the Koch brothers. All they care about is their own money and screw you, me and the planet.
Thanks for the question and your participation and as always
Health, Happiness & Success
Posted 19 February 2012 - 01:47 PM
I did take a look at your link but unfortunately I do not read or speak German, wish I did though. I think what may be going on here is that the source you are referring to in anti alternative energy......
....Lastly on the subject of wind or wave affecting the earth’s energy balance, I can say that I have never seen any credible science on this subject.....
Regarding the eike-klima website that arboramans linked to, looks like you've got it pegged. I don't read German either, but when I right click on the body of that webpage my browser brings up a translate option....
In the masthead area it translates: "Not the climate is under threat but out freedom! Environmental protection: Yes! Climate Protection: No"
The title of the article is "The energy revolution has already failed (with update 4.1.12)"
The article runs in the same vein.
Regarding the article in New Scientist, I need to read some more. The New Scientist piece is at http://www.newscient....html?full=true
and i think that the author, Mark Buchanan, is misreading some of what the Axel Kleidon wrote in the peer-reviewed article titled "How does the Earth system generate and maintain thermodynamic disequibrium and what does it imply for the future of the planet?" (Viewable at http://rsta.royalsoc...2/1012.full.pdf )
One bit in the New Scientist article is "The idea that we can draw endless supplies of clean energy from the wind and waves just doesn't add up."
Of course, not literally endless. Duh.
I doubt that any engineer or scientist or even any thoughtful person at all would think that there is any such thing as a literally endless source of energy. I can imagine that a journalist or politician might get the wrong idea though. It is quite true that the Sun will quit working someday. Billions of years from now. Not a literally endless ource of energy. And the ultimately sun drives winds and waves. On a human timescale though, endless.
And yes, there is ultimately some maximum rate at which wind or wave energy that can be caught and turned into electricity. That's one of the reasons you see resource estimates published by the likes of DOE. The estimates even get into forums like this http://www.altenergy...ergy-resources/
Yes, ultimately, if enough windmills were built, we'd begin to affect how much wind were left to move clouds around, to move heat around, would affect weather.. Think we've got a really long ways to go though.
Anyway, I need to spend some time on the Kleidon article, some meat there, I think.
Posted 19 February 2012 - 04:43 PM
“Hidden out of sight behind smoke-shrouded factory complexes in the city of Baotou, and patrolled by platoons of security guards, lies a five-mile wide ‘tailing’ lake. It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill and put one of China’s key waterways in jeopardy.”
“This vast, hissing cauldron of chemicals is the dumping ground for seven million tons a year of mined rare earth after it has been doused in acid and chemicals and processed through red-hot furnaces to extract its components.”
“Rusting pipelines meander for miles from factories processing rare earths in Baotou out to the man-made lake where, mixed with water, the foul-smelling radioactive waste from this industrial process is pumped day after day. No signposts and no paved roads lead here, and as we approach security guards shoo us away and tail us. When we finally break through the cordon and climb sand dunes to reach its brim, an apocalyptic sight greets us: a giant, secret toxic dump, made bigger by every wind turbine we build.”
Posted 26 February 2012 - 04:47 PM
If we don't want oil,gas,coal mined from the ground due to it's toxic side effects then we should have exactly the same outlook towards neodymium.
Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:42 PM
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