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February 25, 2008

Giai Blows A Gasket

h/t

Posted by Kate at February 25, 2008 3:12 PM
Comments

Looks like they may just have to switch to nuts.

And you think deforestation for hamburgers was a problem? Just imagine all the deforestation for the "nuts."

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 3:29 PM

Looks like it's time to install these in all major cities.

Posted by: Dave at February 25, 2008 3:40 PM

I wonder what Kate is trying to prove here?

I can show a video of people dying while riding a motorcycle. Happen all the time.

Technology fail all the time. We improve it and we continue to use it.

Trial and error toward better reliability.

Posted by: atheist quebecois separatiste at February 25, 2008 3:50 PM

As many may know, there are a few hundred of these in the Crowsnest Pass area and further east by Ft. Mcleod, AB.
This area is like a wind tunnel, it just blows and blows to no end. If you pump gas at the Shell gas station at Pincher Creek, you better hold on to something or you may get blown away.
The first batch of about 30 or so of these wind turbines are by now about 25 to 30 years old, these have steel structure supporting them.
The rest are between 5 to 10 years old, these models are supported on the same fiberglass tubes as the one that collapsed in the video.
In all the years these hundreds of turbines that have been generating power for the Calgary C-train there never was an accident like this.
Normally when there is high wind as it seems in the video, the turbines are shut down, they don't spin, for exactly the reason to avoid what happened here.

Posted by: Lev at February 25, 2008 3:57 PM

Wouldn't want to be standing near that thing when it let go.

Can you imagine one of those on every rooftoop in Canada?

Posted by: Honey Pot at February 25, 2008 3:57 PM

I had an interesting discussion recently with someone involved in managing the power grid. We discussed wind power -- seems it has some major limitations. First, any generating capacity created by building wind power devices has to be matched by a corresponding expansion of conventional generating capacity, because if the wind doesn't blow, or as the clip demonstrates, if it blows too hard and the wind generators have to be shut down then the loss in output has to be made up by the conventional generator. In other words, you have to build twice. Second, wind generation is very fickle, and for the most part is least effective when power is most needed, i.e. winds tend to be calmest in the evening and early morning when power demands are highest. Unlike water behind a dam, or coal, there is no way to store wind. Third, wind generators are very expensive to build relative to the power they generate. Finally, wind generators have their own environmental impact. They are unsightly -- probably the reason Senator Ted (Save the planet and all causes left) Kennedy fought their installation in Chesapeake Bay, where he likes to sail. And they kill birds -- lots of birds. Birds aren't dumb. If they want to move or migrate they take advantage of prevailing and strong wind currents, right where the enviros like to install the bird blenders. But, they're a feel good hit so . . .

Posted by: DrD at February 25, 2008 4:00 PM

a very inefficient design, the prop style wind turbine is only capable of generating electricity in a narrow bandwidth of wind speeds. If the wind isn't strong enough, the turbine doesn't work. If the wind is too strong, the turbine explodes. A new design featuring a vertical axis and a style much like a revolving door was developed a few years ago. It is able to operate in a much wider band of wind speeds, and would make the cost of implementing wind powered electricity much more affordable. To date, I have yet to hear about this new style implemented anywhere. Does anyone know any more about this?

Posted by: pete at February 25, 2008 4:05 PM

What about the birds?! will no one think of the birds?!There would be not enough left of them to dip in batter if they ran into one them.

Posted by: Honey Pot at February 25, 2008 4:05 PM

Is anyone familar with the Protectdabee's report? Apparently they are saying the windmill's are killing the bee's, and other flying bugs. Something do with the flight pattern of the bee, and the windmill's changing the wind patterns.

Posted by: Honey Pot at February 25, 2008 4:09 PM

"I can show a video of people dying while riding a motorcycle."

Nobody's proposing we replace coal generated power plants with motorcycles.

I'm embarrassed to have to point that out to you...

Posted by: Kate at February 25, 2008 4:11 PM

Turbine is not the only design. There are other designs, more compact and efficient. For some strange reason, the world is hell bent on the turbines.
For example, this is a 20 kWt unit:
http://www.ecoteco.ru/img/uploads/Tehnologii_03.07_enecsis_8.jpg
They can be installed in arrays using very little space and stabilized with cables, as opposed to the turbines.

Posted by: Aaron at February 25, 2008 4:13 PM

A great example of renewable energy!

Remember: "renewable" means "we have to put up a new one every few weeks."

Posted by: Lickmuffin at February 25, 2008 4:15 PM

Pete, I think the Aerogenerator is what you are thinkng of.

http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/next-energy-news2.1c.html

At least that seems to be the most likely item you are talking about.

Posted by: Ln(e) at February 25, 2008 4:36 PM

One safe clean, quiet nuclear power plant can replace 1,000,000 of these stupid, dangerous, ugly, idiotic wind mills.

A windmill may be a great way to mill flour in
the quaint country sides of Holland, but we need some real horsepower to light up, heat and cool millions and millions of homes here in the great white north.

Just more of the gaia stupidity.

Even if there was severe climate change that would kill off a large chunk of population of Earth, wouldn't that suit the people hating Left just fine?

Those folks are oh-so confused.

Posted by: John West at February 25, 2008 4:38 PM

Until we can build giant batteries or capacitors to store the power, wind power will be nothing more than a curiosity feeding into a power grid. Maybe it could be used to supply electricity to crack water to make hydrogen gas?

Posted by: holdfast at February 25, 2008 4:43 PM

Wind generators have a control circuit which is "supposed" to feather the blades once the wind speed exceeds the rating of the windmill ... "obviously a major malfunction'.

I expect this video to be used by many of the anti-windmill lobbies , and rightly so. The "greenies" have so hyped the BS about alternative energy that no one looks at the problems.

Posted by: Brian at February 25, 2008 4:45 PM

I once did the math on blade speed for one of those things. Turns out that the blade tips can easily break the sound barrier at not too high an RPM. Blades are 80 ft long, 10 feet or so of hub gets you a circle with 90 ft. radius.

Oh, I forgot Lefties can't do math. ASQ, it means the machine explodes if the brakes fail in anything more than a stiff breeze. Not what I want in my cow pasture, thanks.

Posted by: The Phantom at February 25, 2008 4:49 PM

Who wants to live near something that sounds like a 747 taking off every minute of the day?

Posted by: Honey Pot at February 25, 2008 4:52 PM

Well, there's one green idea that's finally qualified for O'Reilly's no spin zone!

Posted by: Earl the Pearl at February 25, 2008 4:56 PM

theres one across the bay from me at the pickering nuclear station. standing under it as it is rotating is kind of scarry. there is a very loud whoomp whoomp and you can feel the wind displacement as the blades go by. this model apparantly can be run on a windless day. it has a internal generator to turn the blades which in turn turns the power generator.

Posted by: spike at February 25, 2008 5:14 PM

Those windmills are surprisingly expensive. What a piece of crap.

Posted by: Schwarze Tulpe at February 25, 2008 5:43 PM

While I'm a total non-believer in man-made global warming we don't have to throw out the baby with the bathwater. There is lots of areas where wind can be harnessed with little danger to man or animal. Oil and natural gas are precious resources that if their use can be replaced for wind power production the supply will just last longer. If wind generation is combined with hydro there are efficiencies. You can pump the water back uphill when wind generation is in excess and regenerate it by hydro when the wind is weak. Sure nuclear is much greater in terms of volume but would someone point out to me one place in North America where environmentalists and even normal neighbours have been willing to put one in their back yard in the last 25 years.Ultimately the answer might be to go back to smaller scale windmill generation such as
was done on prairie farms prior to rural electrification.

Posted by: Jake at February 25, 2008 5:43 PM

I'm just glad nobody lost an eye!

There isn't enough energy density in wind flow to power our modern world.

Bob Dylan’s little ditty has befuddled the usual suspects.

Posted by: Cal at February 25, 2008 5:43 PM

Not sure what your point is, Kate.

Technology is known to break down. That happens with cars, home appliances, nuclear power plants and computers, to name a few.

I agree windmills are only a partial solution for large scale power generation, but they are a good choice for single rural homes.

I've operated a 2-kW windmill, supplemented with solar panels, for the last 5 years without a hitch. I get all the power I need. Sure the wind doesn't blow sometimes, that's why you have batteries. I installed it 300 feet away so the noise is not a problem.

In my neck of the woods the hydro is flaky; the neighbours had 3 major outages so far this year, one lasting 60 hours. I had lights all the time here.

Posted by: GreenNeck at February 25, 2008 5:47 PM

I am a fan of wind power. I helped my brother build a system at his farm. They do have their limitations. I will address some of those here. All the things Dr D says are pretty accurate.

Speed - the big ones have to turn at the speed required to generate 60 hertz power. This means they are limited to a band of wind speeds.

Vertical axis machines, which someone mentioned are actually an old design. Their advantage is that you don't have to point them into the wind. The disadvantage is that they are not as efficient.

The one I built can take advantage of a much broader range of wind speed. It generates AC, inverts it to DC to charge batteries and then the battery power is converted to AC to be used. The wind speed doesn't matter because the AC freq doesn't matter. Its a fairly efficient system, but on a pure cost recovery basis it will never pay for itself.

I believe the future of this technology is in the generation of power to make hydrogen. The hydrogen would then be used as a fuel. I believe this will be the way they go.

They are a great technology, but it has a way to go before it is mature. I think the way we are using it now will disappear in the future.

Posted by: minuteman at February 25, 2008 5:49 PM
Technology fail [sic] all the time. We improve it and we continue to use it.

You mean like your frommage-addled brain? If you continue to "improve it" as you say, you just might become a God-fearing conservative someday!

ROFLMAO!

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 5:51 PM

2kw Greenneck? Hardly comparable.

What's your cost/kwh? And what do you plan to do with the worn out toxic lead acid batteries?

Posted by: Gord Tulk at February 25, 2008 5:55 PM

Lev: "The rest are between 5 to 10 years old, these models are supported on the same fiberglass tubes as the one that collapsed in the video."

Large turbines like the one in the video have steel towers.

DrD: "Unlike water behind a dam, or coal, there is no way to store wind."

See vanadium redox betteries (http://www.vrbpower.com/applications/renewable-resources.html)

"Third, wind generators are very expensive to build relative to the power they generate"

Wind projects are competitive with alternatives - presently somewhere between 8 and 9 cents per KwHr. Natural gas costs between 5 and 6 cents per KwHr for the fuel only and it's only going to get more expensive. As for nuclear, who knows what it costs (see former Ontario Hydro's stranded debt which is all due to nuclear).

"Who wants to live near something that sounds like a 747 taking off every minute of the day?"

Have you ever listened to one? There is a 1.8 megawatt turbine on Lake Ontario in Pickering and you can walk right up beside it. I've been there in 20 mph winds and you can't hear it beyond 200 yards. As wind speed increases, so does background noise so they aren't noticeable. The same goes for the large Lake Erie windfarm which I've also visited on a windy day.


Posted by: John B at February 25, 2008 6:03 PM

"2kw Greenneck? Hardly comparable."

That's enough for my needs. I need to electricity to power my water pump, a fridge, a freezer, a few lights and my computer. For heat I use wood, for hot water active-solar in summer and wood in winter. We don't have A/C, the few days it's too hot I jump in the lake!

"What's your cost/kwh? And what do you plan to do with the worn out toxic lead acid batteries?"

It's not cheap, i give you that. My installation cost 10,000$ (windmill, tower, solar panels, inverter, batteries, controller) and that's because I did buy some of the equipment second-hand and did the whole installation myself. I factor my costs, so far, amount to 35 cents per kilowatt-hour over the last 5 years. Assuming I have another 5 years before some major parts replacement this may drop to 17 cents, still way higher than the going commercial rate. I'm fully aware of that. My goal was independence, not savings.

As for the batteries, this is indeed a concern. Technically the lead can be recycled, but I'm afraid most used batteries end up shipped in the third world with little say on what's done with them.

Posted by: GreenNeck at February 25, 2008 6:17 PM

Nobody's proposing we replace coal generated power plants with motorcycles.

yah! cuz 6 storey smokestacks spewing poison into the atmosphere is way more attractive and far safer than a windmill.

i'm embarrassed to have to point that out to you...

Posted by: jeff davidson at February 25, 2008 6:31 PM

Those white tubes that the turbines are on top of are fiberglass, those in souther Alberta are made in Crossfield, AB.

Posted by: Lev at February 25, 2008 6:55 PM
spewing poison into the atmosphere

You mean like the way you poison everyone around you when you open your mouth to spread your special brand of idiocy?

I'm NOT embarrassed to point this out to you.

Posted by: Doug at February 25, 2008 7:26 PM

I've often wondered why NS Power's wind turbines are never operational on quite windy days. I now have the answer.

Posted by: mark peters at February 25, 2008 7:27 PM

Those white tubes that the turbines are on top of are fiberglass, those in souther Alberta are made in Crossfield, AB.

Posted by: Lev at February 25, 2008 7:29 PM

Mr. Davidson, are you suggesting that we replace coal fired plants with, er..... smokestacked coal fired plant? Whoa there fella, momentarily blinded by eco-rage were'nt ya.......

Posted by: RCGZ at February 25, 2008 7:34 PM

Posted by: DrD at February 25, 2008 4:00 PM
They are unsightly
That depends on your esthetics, they look good to me.
And they kill birds -- lots of birds.
They have done study on this very thing in the Crowsnest Pass, AB. After the turbines were there about 15-20 years, they found one dead bird and they could not connect it to the windmills, birds usually take a break when it is windy.

Posted by: pete at February 25, 2008 4:05 PM
If the wind isn’t strong enough, the turbine doesn’t work. If the wind is too strong, the turbine explodes.
The turbines work at 15 MPH winds, when the wind became too strong they shut down.
See Post by: Brian at February 25, 2008 4:45 PM. I would only add, if you have been close to one, you would see on top of the turbine, instruments measuring wind speed, wind direction and other parameters that are fed into the local computer. The computer controls the blades and on and off switch.

A new design featuring a vertical axis and a style much like a revolving door was developed a few years ago.
The vertical axis concoctions were tested in Crowsnest Pass some years ago by U of Calgary; they did not have anything good to say about them, the project was abandoned.
Among the very first wind farms was one in the neighborhood of Palm Spring, all of the turbines were run by the vertical contraptions, it was a debacle of major proportions. Nobody ever heard about the project again.

Posted by: Honey Pot at February 25, 2008 4:09 PM
Apparently they are saying the windmill's are killing the bee's, and other flying bugs.
The bees don’t fly at those heights. They usually stick to the flowers.

Posted by: holdfast at February 25, 2008 4:43 PM
Maybe it could be used to supply electricity to crack water to make hydrogen gas?
Bingo! There is your stored energy.

The wind energy to be sure is not stable due to the wind conditions though it is good as complimentary to the existing other power generating modes.
Sorry about going on like this.
A question, how do you do italics.

Posted by: Lev at February 25, 2008 7:34 PM

yah! cuz 6 storey smokestacks spewing poison into the atmosphere is way more attractive and far safer than a windmill.

Yeah.And you see jeffie poo-boy.That's the problem.
The S02 etc they are spewing out is called POLLUTION, not GWG. Something you leftard wingnuts can't seem to grasp. CO2 IS NOT poisonous,nor causes global warming. The biggest contributor to GW is dihydrogen monoxide. Something you Kyoto Kultists can't seem to grasp. When you start yapping to clean up REAL smog and pollution,then youu'll have a true,factual hit.

Posted by: Justthinkin at February 25, 2008 7:36 PM

jeffie poo-boy

that's new. the rest of your comment is too stupid to address.

Posted by: jeff davidson at February 25, 2008 7:57 PM

First off, the world's largest operator of wind turbines is EOn, one of the large German electric utilities. Here's their performance report from 2005:
http://www.eon-netz.com/Ressources/downloads/EON_Netz_Windreport2005_eng.pdf

Summed up in short, they're an operational and budgetary disaster with each increment more costly and less productive than the previous one. This is actual utility experience, folks, not promotional rubbish.

Second, Greenneck, a system may work fine at 2 kW, but modern wind turbines are 1 to 1.5 MW, that's 500 times the power output and size of your machine. The oldest problem in engineering is scaling, what works at one scale usually doesn't work at another, particularly if it's a technology dominated by material structure.

Pete, the vertical axis turbine was an experimental design in Canada tested by Hydro Quebec in the Gaspe. The design was dropped, I understand, because of very large problems with large bearing rings.

Atheist quebecois separatiste, yes, sometimes technology does fail. And sometimes, technology is inadequate for solving problems like power generation no matter how vigorously you beat your head against the wall.

Honeypot, tests conducted by Ontario Hydro in the 1970s, and confirmed by operational experience in Germany has shown that the median throw distance of blade separation from the turbine is about 500 metres. No, you don't want to be anywhere nearby, considering that the blades weigh up to a tonne. This sucker is going through the roof of your house.

Phantom, quite right about tip speed. It's the same problem with ship propellers, and why you have to have multiple propeller shafts to move a ship. At the point of breaking the sound barrier, you get cavitation. This means enormous loss of energy and a lot of sound. Can we say, sonic boom?

John, there are so many errors in your post it's difficult to know where to start. The cost for wind you quote doesn't include the 1.8 cents direct subsidy to the producer paid by the federal government. Further wind only exists in Europe because of a highly consumer unfriendly measure called feed in tariffs. Go look it up. Furthermore, it also ignores the fact that the turbine is always turning, even if the windspeed is too low to generate anything. Wind turbines require excitation current for the converter and to power the gearbox. Finally, your comments on Ontario Hydro stranded debt are wrong. Yes, about half of it was nuclear; the other half was transmission system upgrades, reconstruction and emissions abatement at coal-fired plants, and purchase and refurbishment of a number of hydraulic stations in the late 80s and early 90s.

Finally, Jake, yes, windmills were useful for early rural work. Remember, however, that their principal use was pumping water, not generating electricity at a constant 60 Hz, 220 V. Water can be easily stored, electricity cannot.

Posted by: cgh at February 25, 2008 8:12 PM

Say Jeffie poo-boy, did you know the Chicoms are bringing on-line one brand new coal fired "6 storey smokestack spewing poison into the atmosphere" every single week? Latest, state of the are 1930's technology too, with zero pollution controls installed. All the crud straight up the flue, no stupid scrubbers or precipitators to get in the way.

Did you know that six stories is -short- for a smokestack?

Did you know that the Chicoms don't burn the nice, hard, black anthracite coal us bad people in North America use? Nuh uh Jeffie, they burn the cheap brown sh1t they dig up local. Nasssty, ssstinksy stuff it is too. Maximum sulfur content for atmospheric creation of sulphuric acid. Yeah baby!

Oh and btw, did you know you're an objectionable buffoon with the brain of a carrot?

Posted by: The Phantom at February 25, 2008 8:37 PM

took me a while to find it, but here's the original article I had read regarding a new vertical axis windmill:

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine

Posted by: pete at February 25, 2008 9:09 PM

It looks like it has been hit by something coming from the left of the screen...

Was this a two for one; testing missiles on a tower that needed to be taken down anyway or what?

Posted by: Friend of USA at February 25, 2008 9:27 PM

“i'm embarrassed to have to point that out to you..”.

Posted by: jeff davidson at February 25, 2008 6:31 PM

It may have been embarrassing but obviously nessesary.

Posted by: Libforlife at February 25, 2008 9:40 PM

John West: I think you got carried away with the zero's, it would be between 1200 to 1500 hundred 1Mw plus industrial scale wind turbines to replace a 1000Mw nuclear plant. Not including the backup gas turbines to replace output if there is no wind. I don't disagree with the rest of your post.

The issue here is you can easily imagine a whole field of these getting whacked in a windstorm. Not a good option for baseload electricity.

Like, how often to you hear of a coal or nuclear plant getting blown over by wind?

Greenneck: Sounds like you have a cool setup, but please realize that not everyone around you is prepared to live your lifestyle (...or has the zoning to plant a wind turbine in downtown Calgary).

Posted by: Dave in AB at February 25, 2008 9:40 PM

Here's the company's website:

TMA Wind

Posted by: pete at February 25, 2008 9:41 PM

"I wonder what Kate is trying to prove here?

Posted by: atheist quebecois separatiste at February 25, 2008 3:50 PM"


Prove? That's a good question. As crazy as it sounds (and these cons appear)anything that can be remotely linked to benefiting the environment is loathed by this bunch. I think when she ("she". I remain unconvinced) was young she was attacked and traumatised by an enraged ground squirrel. Just look at the picture at the top of SDA.

Posted by: Libforlife at February 25, 2008 9:50 PM

Dave, it's worse than that. A typical wind turbine has a capacity factor of about 20 per cent. A typical baseload nuclear or coal fired plant has a capacity factor of 80 per cent. So, to balance off a 1000 MW nuclear plant, you need about 4000 wind turbines, plus back up capacity as spinning reserve (that means fossil plants, gas or coal) burning on no load condition when the wind drops. Checking the performance of large wind fleets such as EOn's, the spinning reserve requirement is about 70 per cent, so call it an extra 700 MW you need on top of the 4000 wind turbines to ensure electricity production. Just to add spice to the m mix, that's also about five times the transmission system requirement for the wind fleet as well, all of it chronically underloaded.

Posted by: cgh at February 25, 2008 9:53 PM

Libforlife, you just don't get it, do you? You stupid leftards are busy screaming about Carbon Dioxide and eeeeeviiiiil oil/gas/coal while a quarter billion cars are stopped dead in heavy traffic spewing out their exausts while not going anywhere. Why? Because you leftist asshats stop any sort of new infrastructure from being built, you delay any sort of improvements to existing infrastructure with years and years of "environmental impact" studies and other useless delays, and all the while the clouds of smog over our cities grow thicker and thicker. Instead of demanding our current coal plants be retrofitted to be extremely high-efficiency plants, you demand they be shut down and replaced with wind turbines. A great idea in principle, but when you realize just how many turbines it takes, and how long it takes, and how much it costs, it just isn't workable. And to top it all off, you'll try and force your ideas onto everyone else, but you won't practice what you preach until everyone else is forced to do so as well. So don't talk about caring for the environment. If you truly cared, you wouldn't drive, or use electricity unless absolutely necessary, and instead of screaming about Carbon Dioxide and tilting at windmills you'd be calling for incinerators, clean-coal tech, and traffic clearing infrastructure.

Posted by: pete at February 25, 2008 10:14 PM

cgh: You're right, I probably was too optimistic. Most wind farms seldom reach peak capacity.

lib: People here aren't "against" the environment.
More likely they are against spending good money doing dumb feel-good things in the name of the environment that don't really solve the problem.

Speaking for myself, I like the idea of wind, solar, geothermal technologies.

But as an engineer, I know that these won't be more than a small part of the energy mix for a very very long time.

How much steel and concrete goes into building a single wind turbine? Multiply that by thousands. How much energy does that take to fabricate, transport, build on-site? Connect it all to the grid? How much land does all this use? Does this still sound green to you?

I'm much more interested in solutions that work in the real world - "does this work?" - endstop. Now, you may disagree but that's cool. But if you want to be taken seriously, then come to the table with ideas that work, and recognize the tradeoffs to be made.

BTW, the name calling doesn't help. But you know that.


Posted by: Dave in AB at February 25, 2008 10:19 PM

Actually, the name calling in all directions doesn't help. But that's just my $.02

Posted by: Dave in AB at February 25, 2008 10:22 PM

Got stuck in traffic and now in a pissy mood huh Pete? Maybe you could take the bus or train tomorrow.

Oh the humanity, not public transport.

Posted by: Libforlife at February 25, 2008 10:27 PM

Poopforlife, do you happen to know what the cost per kilowatt hour is from those frakin' giant bird blenders is?

Oh wait, never mind, I forgot. You don't admit that money is a legitimate concern when Mummy Gaia is at stake.

I'll redirect my earlier Jeffie poo-boy question to you instead. Why is it do you suppose, if wind power is the greatest thing since Karl Marx, that those good brothers in arms of yours over there in ChicomLand are bringing a new coal fired generating station on-line every week?

Just sayin'.

Posted by: The Phantom at February 25, 2008 10:29 PM

Actually Phantom, it might be worse than you think.

Google ""china 2030 Co2 emissions"

From Wired:
"Coal power has been driving the stunning, seven plus percent a year growth in China's economy. It's long been said said that China was adding one new coal power plant per week to its grid. But the real news is worse: China is completing two new coal plants per week."

Posted by: Dave in AB at February 25, 2008 10:38 PM

Dave in AB at February 25, 2008 10:19 PM

"How much steel"

A fraction of the steel used on an oil pipeline.

"concrete goes into building a single wind turbine"

A tiny fraction of concrete in a nuclear power plant, a coal power plant or a hydro electric dam.

"Multiply that by thousands”.

Ok let’s take a look. China's Three Gorges Dam used 27,200,000 cubic metres of concrete. That means that one dam used the equivalent concrete that would be used in about one million wind turbines. But the dam puts out about the equivalent power of 23000 wind turbines similar to the one at the CNE grounds. As long as the wind blows for the wind turbines or there is water for the dam of course.

“How much energy does that take to fabricate, transport, build on-site?"

The turbine is transported only once. How much does it take to transport thousands of tons of coal across thousands of miles EVERY DAY.

Connect it all to the grid?

It depends on the location of the farm. But it would be no more than any other form of generation.

"How much land does all this use?"

The land under a wind farm is dual use, it shares the land with agriculture. How many other forms of energy can make that claim?

Does this still sound green to you?

Why, yes it does.

Posted by: Libforlife at February 25, 2008 10:57 PM

cgh:

"The cost for wind you quote doesn't include the 1.8 cents direct subsidy to the producer paid by the federal government."

Where do you get the 1.8 cent figure? Following is the Wind Power producers Incentive (WPPI)

Commissioning Date (WPPI for 10 year period)

April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003 inclusive (1.2 cents per kWh)
After March 31, 2003 and on or before March 31, 2006 ( 1.0 cent)
After March 31, 2006 and on or before March 31, 2007 ( 0.8 cent )
http://www.cbsc.ic.gc.ca/servlet/ContentServer?cid=1081944217575&pagename=CBSC_ON%2Fdisplay&lang=en&c=Finance

"The commitment of funds for wind energy projects under the WPPI program ended on March 31, 2007."
http://www.canren.gc.ca/programs/index.asp?CaId=107&PgId=622

"Further wind only exists in Europe because of a highly consumer unfriendly measure called feed in tariffs. Go look it up."

I know all about feed in tariffs, in Ontario it's referred to as the Standard Offer Contract or Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program (RESOP). RESOP pays 11 cents per kWh for wind, biogas and small hydro with inflation protection limited to 20% of the CPI. Solar photovoltaics have a rate of 42 cents per kWh with no inflation protection.

At a recent conference, a spokesman from the Ontario Power Authority stated the entire RESOP cost approximately 0.075% of the total cost of electricity. Hardly breaking the bank. BTW - the reason for the high solar rate is to encourage a knowledge base in Ontario if/when solar costs drop. I was doubtful but given a recent announcement by Nanosolar that they can now produce thin film panels for as little as 99 cents per watt, who knows.

"it also ignores the fact that the turbine is always turning, even if the windspeed is too low to generate anything. Wind turbines require excitation current for the converter and to power the gearbox"

Interesting given the sites I've visited (e.g. Shelburne and Lake Erie Shores) in light winds where the turbines have been still.

Posted by: John B at February 25, 2008 10:57 PM

Duooooooooo....I hate when that happens !

Posted by: Orlin at February 25, 2008 11:07 PM

Several people have commented as if wind power could supply a high percentage of required power. Even people in the industry acknowledge that wind power is a niche player that could supply perhaps 10% of total energy.

Lev: "Those white tubes that the turbines are on top of are fiberglass, those in souther Alberta are made in Crossfield, AB."

I'm surprised although I know the blades are GRP. All of the turbines I have seen have steel towers. Here is excellent background information on turbine construction:
http://www.windpower.org/en/tour/manu/towerm.htm

cgh: "A typical wind turbine has a capacity factor of about 20 per cent. "

A typical wind turbine is not considered economic at 20% capacity. The cut off figure is in the 30% range based upon long term weather data. Wind does have a problem (in Ontario at least) in that it's seasonal with low production during summer and peaking during winter.

"Tom Adams says Ontario's wind turbines are not performing up to expectations. In fact, they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do. The wind does not blow all the time or at the optimum speed, so wind turbines are expected produce at 27% to 32% of what they could do under perfect conditions."

"In their first year, Ontario's turbine fleet operated at 29%. This compares with 27.4 % in the U.K., 24.6% in Spain, 24% in Denmark and still less in Sweden and Germany."
http://www.financialpost.com/money/rrsp/Story.html?id=119666

Posted by: John B at February 25, 2008 11:24 PM

This is so simple.

The designer allowed too much prop flex and not enough clearance from the main frame or a combination of both.

The model A Ford was much better than the model T. = TG

Posted by: TG at February 25, 2008 11:35 PM

jeffy


"""""yah! cuz 6 storey smokestacks spewing poison into the atmosphere is way more attractive and far safer than a windmill."""""


wot poison, wid klean burn technology, no poison jeffy my boy


I'm em bare assed to have to point this out to ewe!!!!!

Posted by: GYM at February 25, 2008 11:38 PM

Libforlife, you're using only a few of the numbers. First, you're ignoring capacity factor. 3 Gorges makes power essentially at 100 per cent capacity factor, wind at best at a quarter to a fifth of that. Second, the expected service life of a dam is more than a century. The service life of a wind turbine is 20 years at best. Third, 3 Gorges would be completely necessary even without any power generation whatsoever. It's called flood control.

No libforlife, the T and D requirement is not the same. You have to build lines to meet the maximum capacity but you're only delivering a fifth of the time. Hence, far more transmission infrastructure per unit of energy produced. Your comments on transport costs are silly. They're factored into the construction and operating costs of wind and coal, respectively.

John, the Ontario numbers are not indicative of a large fleet performance. Ontario has a handful of optimum sites built in such generally ideal locations as exist in the province. Start building thousands or tens of thousands of the things and you have to use less than optimum sites. Read the EOn report, its all in there. Read the OPA power supply report and try figuring out just how costly the enabler lines will be. Moreover, you quote Ontario but conveniently don't mention Quebec. The windfarms in Gaspe have produced less than 20 per cent in supposedly a better wind regime. Next, the OPA's comment on proportion of costs is utterly absurd, and you should know it. The OPA is calling for more than 3000 MW of the things. How much of a cost escalator do you think wind and solar will be creating when they're 20 plus per cent of Ontario's electricity supply rather than the trivial less than 1 per cent now? Keeping trivial the costs of renewables is entirely dependent upon a large supply of things like nuclear producing most of the kWh.

"Even people in the industry acknowledge that wind power is a niche player that could supply perhaps 10% of total energy."

If only it were true. Instead, too many of the politicals, including the OPA who should know better, talk in terms of much higher proportions of the total mix. You're aware I trust of the EU's renewable energy standard.

Glad to hear you know all about FITs. Since that's the case then presumably you agree that they are utterly and entirely hostile to consumer interest.

Posted by: cgh at February 25, 2008 11:55 PM

Dave in AB, I like these technologies too. But they can only be used on the scale for which they are appropriate. As soon as you see large scale FIT programs, along with the huge interest free loan programs that the German state banks dumped into creating them however, you start to realize that what has been created is something of a monster. These are all signs of a technology being forced by policymakers (mostly of the Green persuasion) into a role which it cannot function economically and effectively.

Posted by: cgh at February 26, 2008 12:06 AM

Greenneck is a true conservative.

He has chosen to be self reliant at his own expense.

I thank you for doing your part. If we all did something along these lines our massive energy web could be more easily maintained in top condition.

Can*t understand all the emotion and name calling over a mechanical design failure.

Wind generation has it*s uses and it*s weaknesses, just as all other man made machines do.

I want to welcome all the Liberal converts to SDA. Heated emotions will calm down somewhat over time, I hope. = TG

Posted by: TG at February 26, 2008 12:10 AM

Somewhere a tree hugger cries.

Posted by: kada at February 26, 2008 12:14 AM

This thread really points out the difference in liberals and conservatives. The cons present facts and reasoning in pointing out the real time problems with wind power. The liberals react with their emotion, attacking those who give the factual analysis of why wind power, at this time, is not practical. This infuriates the liberals who stamp their feet, pout and demand that wind power be implemented anyway no matter the cost.

We all would like clean, non polluting power but as Pete has so aptly pointed out leftists constantly obstruct and delay anything like modern incinerators or nuclear power plants as Miller and his comrades have in Toronto.

Posted by: Dave at February 26, 2008 12:41 AM

"Does this still sound green to you?

Why, yes it does."

Let's examine that...

"But the dam puts out about the equivalent power of 23000 wind turbines"

But 23000 turbines isn't enough to generate 24 Gw as that assumes 100% full wind blowing 24 x 365 which is not realistic.

Using John B's numbers of 30%, that means you need more like 80,000 turbines, and even with that means you still have to deal with:

1) What happens when the wind doesn't blow when you need power (you need backup generation capacity)

2) What happens when the wind blows but there is not demand (you can't store power on a large scale, at least with hydro you could pump water back behind the dam)

3) Where is your power is being generated (if you are producing electricty far away from a city, you have to deal with tranmission losses - Manitoba Hydro uses DC transmission to move power from it's large hydro dams, but the hardware is expensive)

4) How do you deal with peak demand (wind remains unpredictable, you can't increase it on demand if the wind isn't blowing hard enough, so you need sufficient backup peak capacity - this is no different from nuclear or coal but the amount of peak capacity is lower as the baseload you can produce is higher)


Regarding your material argument "A tiny fraction of concrete in a nuclear power plant, a coal power plant or a hydro electric dam."

Google "Constructing a lot of nuclear power plants is not material constrained"

Nuclear power plants:
40 metric tons of steel, and 190 cubic meters of concrete, for each megawatt of average capacity.

Modern wind energy systems with good wind conditions:
460 metric tons of steel and 870 cubic meters of concrete per megawatt.

Modern central-station coal:
98 metric tons of steel and 160 cubic meters of concrete — almost double the material needed to build nuclear power plants.

Natural gas combined cycle plants:
3.3 metric tons of steel and 27 cubic meters of concrete

So...wind requires 10 times more steel and 4 times more concrete per megawatt than nuclear.

Multiply that by tens of thousands of wind turbines and 3 Gorges looks like a cheap deal.

So, with all that I'll ask again - Does wind still sound green to you?

Because it doesn't look like it to me.

Posted by: Dave in AB at February 26, 2008 12:43 AM

Why 80,000 wind turbines in a single grid?

One problem and everybody is in the dark. How stupid is that?

80,000 wind gen sets on farms and rural properties would blend in easily and a massive outage would be impossible.

You never get something worth having for peanuts. = TG

Posted by: TG at February 26, 2008 1:22 AM

No, TG, the centralized grid system has evolved for very good reason. If you do what you suggest, you don't have 80,000 going out all at once, you have lots of little grids going out all the time. Shrink the size of the grid and you increase the amount of total reserve generation required to ensure reliability. What's worse, power quality becomes very difficult to control on lots of little grids, particularly if they're interconnected.

Posted by: cgh at February 26, 2008 1:49 AM

Cgh: you brought up the issue of cavitation and I am not sure that it is applicable here. Cavitation is caused by pressure dropping below the boiling point of a fluid. Air does not have a similar boiling point so cavitation does not take place or have I missed something.

For what its worth, I have no objection to nuclear power plants as a transitional phase. If we are to move away from fossil fuels it will require a large number of different strategies. For example at current prices I think that OTEC may be worth another try where a sufficient thermocline exists. Is the plant in Hawaii still operating? Solar as appropriate, etc. The only one I am skeptical about is wave energy and - to a certain extend - tidal power.

John


Posted by: John Cross at February 26, 2008 7:49 AM

"Even if there was severe climate change that would kill off a large chunk of population of Earth, wouldn't that suit the people hating Left just fine?"

Aren't you the one who's always advocating genocide? Quite whining. At best, accidents like this will kill tree-huggers, which is what you want, right?

That video's a photo-shop job. An obvious and inept fraud.

Posted by: CBC Fan at February 26, 2008 11:02 AM

Don't be utterly stupid, CBCfan.

Here's one:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/cumbria/7168275.stm

Here's another:
http://www.fieldlines.com/story/2005/5/13/12819/8541

The video clip referenced was taken in Hadsten-Hornslet, Denmark and is taken from the local television news program.

Fact is, these things have a solid history of falling down or flying apart. But then I don't suppose you've heard anything about Horn's Reef, have you?

Posted by: cgh at February 26, 2008 11:59 AM

Someone brings a fan to a windmill fight.

Rotor envy there Fanny?

Posted by: richfisher at February 26, 2008 12:11 PM

"Don't be utterly stupid, CBCfan."

What? I'm just trying to fit in:

"Someone brings a fan to a windmill fight.

Rotor envy there Fanny?"

Posted by: CBC Fan at February 26, 2008 12:36 PM

So you're conceding that your photoshop allegation was wrong?

Posted by: cgh at February 26, 2008 1:12 PM

Wow, one video and all the "experts" come out of the woodwork and the leftoids start to try and psychoanalyze Kate not to mention the ad hominem attacks.
Fact is that propellers, rotors and wind generators utilize something called pitch to maintain a controllable rotation speed. Overspeed a prop on an aircraft and you sort of get the same (catastrophic) result.

btw, in the technology world, expert is defined as the combination of "x" which is an unknown quantity and "spurt" which is a drip under pressure.

Posted by: Texas Canuck at February 26, 2008 1:43 PM

Many greens support wind turbines over nucular power plants even the WORLD WILDLIFE FUND put on a dumb TV ads supporting windturbines but these things are bird killers so wind turbines are not enviromentaly freindly so why dont the eco-freaks go take a hike AND WATCH OUT SQUAWK SQUAWK IM ON THEIR WAY SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUAWK

Posted by: Spurwing Plover at February 26, 2008 3:27 PM

So you're conceding that your photoshop allegation was wrong?

Never. NEVER!

Posted by: CBC Fan at February 26, 2008 4:08 PM

"Never. NEVER!"

Then you are utterly stupid.

Posted by: cgh at February 26, 2008 5:55 PM

Dave in AB at February 26, 2008 12:43 AM

Worried about transport of that power are you? How far is it from Toronto to Abitibi? There is always a demand somewhere on the grid Wind is the cheapest and most efficient means of producing power but only when the when the wind blows, so naturally it couldn’t be the only form source of power. But it is a very rare day when there is no wind at any of the wind farms and when the wind is blowing it alleviates the demand on dirtier and more dangerous forms of generation.

Posted by: Libforlife at February 26, 2008 10:15 PM

Lib: Trust me, I'm not "worried" about power transport. Everything can be done for a cost. It is just that if you find a good location with lots of wind (like off shore), don't be surprised that it is far away from where you want it.

Why does Manitoba sells lots of hydro power to Minnesota rather than Toronto? Not because they don't want to sell to Toronto, but because it isn't cost effective to run a tranmission grid all the way through Ontario.

My point of all the posting is to say that if you look at all the numbers (efficiency of costs and materials used) wind will be little more than an expensive niche power producer. Too few people seem to be thinking about how to generate the other 90% of power required.

Now, you can disagree, that's OK. And I wouldn't refuse someone dropping a large contract on me to build all those wind turbines and the distrubution network.

But because I don't see wind as the big fix, I don't "hate" the environment. I just think there are more effective ways to conserve resources (and money is a limited resource) to generate power.

Posted by: Dave in AB at February 26, 2008 10:49 PM

Dave in AB at February 26, 2008 10:49 PM

http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/press/top/2005/10/2005-10-27-01.html

Posted by: Libforlife at February 26, 2008 11:49 PM

Besides there are lots of good locations along the lakes being used now with many more acres of land that can be developed near existing transmission lines. Much closer than Manitoba, Abitibi or James Bay.

Posted by: Libforlife at February 26, 2008 11:55 PM

Sure thing pooforlife, except for the exploding wind turbine problem. Isn't this where we came in?

Posted by: The Phantom at February 27, 2008 2:35 PM

Actually, just go to the projects page here:
www dot hydro dot mb dot ca

Current MB Hydro production capacity 5000Mw (98% of total capacity is hydroelectricity) and the province will be adding another 2200 Mw of hydro over the same time period.

Currently, the St Leon MB wind farm (100 Mw Capacity) is the only operating facility. There is currently a proposal to add another 300Mw of capacity, but no projects have been approved yet.

Posted by: Dave in AB at February 27, 2008 10:21 PM
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