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  • #61
    What I see as the ultimate future energy source is a staple of science fiction, the Magma Tap.
    That, my friend, is dangerous territory. After we have sucked the heat from the earth's core and discover it has serious consequences, it is too late to go back.

    I'm reminded of my freshman science class where I learned all about combustion, carbon dioxide and all that. When I raised my hand and asked the teacher about CO2 buildup in the atmosphere, I was laughed out of the classroom. That was about 60 years ago. Now, look where we are.

    Orrin
    So many projects. So little time.

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    • #62
      When I raised my hand and asked the teacher about CO2 buildup in the atmosphere, I was laughed out of the classroom. That was about 60 years ago. Now, look where we are.
      Tapping core heat isn't in the same realm, not even close.

      There is no possibility that we can make any perceptible difference to the planet by extracting heat from the upper magma. The amount of heat available is beyond comprehension and it is continually being replaced by radioactive decay. The heat contained in the magma without replenishment is equal to our current yearly energy use for 1.5 quadrillion years. Radioactive heating releases 1.5 times our annual total energy use every year.

      This isn't the same as tapping regular geothermal hot water pools underground, this is extracting heat directly from molten rock. It is entirely clean with no emissions at all and the energy density is enormous. That means very small facilities can produce very large amounts of power with virtually no disturbance of the landscape. There are no "leftovers" from the process, it consumes nothing and it does not capture additional solar radiation. It is about as close to perfect as a power source can be.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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      • #63
        The argument of subsidies is somewhat specious.....

        Wind or solar require a higher electric rate to make them pay well. This is hardly surprising, since the rates as-is are "optimized" for coal fired and similar fossil fuel thermal plants which have had 200 years of development of the prime mover, and over 100 of the generation side.

        Not to mention that the fuel is "free", the cost is merely for the minor trouble of "picking it up off the ground".

        Anyone who does NOT think that rates will have to go up, wind, solar etc notwithstanding, has their head in the sand.

        And, WHEN (not if) rates DO go up, there will be wind power in-place, and the industry required to both provide, and maintain the facilities. Absent the subsidies, it would probably take 5 to 10 years to build up to any significant replacement of fossil fuel thermal with wind.

        Originally posted by GadgetBuilder

        Wind power is also a major technical problem in that it destabilizes the grid. Fluctuations in power delivered by wind are relatively rapid, requiring large and rapid adjustments by other grid power sources to compensate. In Denmark they can generate up to 20% of their power from wind. Unfortunately, their grid isn't large enough to handle the inherent fluctuations so they must sell this power to Russia whose grid is large enough to handle the instability.

        Further, because wind is an unreliable source of power it requires a backup source for times when the wind dies. So you have wind's extra capital cost above the original fuel powered facility's capital cost. Thus, the only real saving from wind is in fuel expended -- and wind typically delivers less than 30% of rated capability.
        All of the above issues are storage-related, and storage fixes all of them. That is inherent with any "get it when the getting is good" type source.

        As for the "delivers less than 30%" argument...... you need to be careful how you use that one.... it will turn and bite you.

        Steam power plants have the same exact issue, but in reverse..... they CANNOT deliver full power, because most of the time full power is not required. So steam plants operate at a low percent load, very inefficiently, or are "banked" just keeping the water hot, waiting for the "peak" power requirement.

        Gas turbine plants, and pumped storage are used to even out the load, so the storage issue, AND the capacity usage issue exist with steam plants also.

        In effect, the power company must maintain a large amount of excess capacity in order to handle peaks of load. And they must also burn fuel in much of this excess capacity just to maintain standby capability, since a steam plant cannot be turned on from cols easily. In fact, a steam plant is DAMAGED by being warmed and cooled a lot.... they are best when hot all the time.

        Sound familiar? I thought so.....
        CNC machines only go through the motions.

        Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
        Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
        Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
        I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
        Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

        Comment


        • #64
          J tiers, you ignorance is showing. Steam plants do not "keep the water hot". These are water tube boilers. They produce steam almost instantaneously . The turbine is on turning gear if it is running condition. Full power in 24 hours or so. But the way it works is this: picture a plant I work at frequently. 2 755 MW units. 3 units 125-200MW ea. The 755 MW run every minute they are available. The smaller units on line as required. However all 5 are running every minute available. Why? It is the cheapest power other than Nuclear. It is there when you need it. You can count on it. The EPA wants to shut them down. They burn that nasty old coal y'see. Now our economy is in the toilet. When (if) it recovers and industry, machine shops, for example need power to go to full production where will it come from? Are you going to pay people to stand at the machines waiting for the wind to blow? I guess night shifts are out of the question. These things are nice when they work but that is not often enough to run a business or keep your kids warm. Your tax money should not got to unworkable crap enterprises to be syphoned off to political asswipes. Or is this what you want?

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by justanengineer
            If the government offered you free money, would you not take it?
            "FREE" money??? LMFAO! Don't you mean someone else's money?

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by tdmidget
              J tiers, you ignorance is showing. Steam plants do not "keep the water hot". These are water tube boilers. They produce steam almost instantaneously . The turbine is on turning gear if it is running condition. Full power in 24 hours or so. But the way it works is this: picture a plant I work at frequently. 2 755 MW units. 3 units 125-200MW ea. The 755 MW run every minute they are available. The smaller units on line as required. However all 5 are running every minute available. Why? It is the cheapest power other than Nuclear. It is there when you need it. You can count on it. The EPA wants to shut them down. They burn that nasty old coal y'see. Now our economy is in the toilet. When (if) it recovers and industry, machine shops, for example need power to go to full production where will it come from? Are you going to pay people to stand at the machines waiting for the wind to blow? I guess night shifts are out of the question. These things are nice when they work but that is not often enough to run a business or keep your kids warm. Your tax money should not got to unworkable crap enterprises to be syphoned off to political asswipes. Or is this what you want?

              You may WORK there, but it don't make you an xspurt , apparently....

              I amn't one myself.......... but I DO know that you cannot heat the boiler plant up really fast, or it stresses the water tubes, the insulation and structure, and risks damage.....

              And I also know that a steam turbine expands when hot, you can't slam on steam to a cold turbine either..... not unless you want to risk wiping the blades or other undesirable stuff..... such as slugs of condensate hitting the blades at speed.....

              I have been told that a realistic warm-up from cold takes at least several hours or more, depending on size of the plant.... You seem to be quoting 24 hours. I don't know the details on that, but for sure the plant ain't ready to go at full rating from cold like starting the car.....

              You seem to be AGREEING with me and then calling me ignorant, which looks like meaning YOU are as "ignorant" as me.

              A gas turbine can warm up to full power in a few minutes, I am told.... that makes sense, and is why they are used for peaking.

              Maybe YOUR plant is at full power most of the time, but others are not.

              As for the waiting, and night shift Bull-puckey...... Did you somehow FORGET that I said STORAGE is the key to making wind and solar work?

              Apparently you did.

              Both wind and solar tend to be available in large amounts or not at all.... if you cannot store the power, then you must put up with variability and unavailability.....

              If you CAN store the power, now you have it when you want it, and there is no need to put up with variability or power grid disturbance as has been alleged in other posts to be the doom of wind power.

              I actually do NOT THINK wind power is really viable yet..... but I DO see that it WILL be, in the amounts that are available, which is at most 20% of current usage. 20% is 20%, nothing to sneeze at.

              Do you want to have to develop it on short notice when there is a crisis? Or would you rather have it ready to go when needed?

              Thermal solar seems to be reasonably viable now, PV is still hostage to the high cost of cells. We have enough area to use for that to power all we ever need, according to studies I have seen.

              And a thorium nuclear program would power us for hundreds of years, no carbon footprint or whatever..... heck, just actually USING the energy in teh existing nuclear fuel, instead of calling it "waste" and burying it instead of re-processing it.... that would last us a hundred or more.

              it ain't like nuclear is cost-viable now..... not the incredibly stupid way these idiot americans do it...... it could be, if done right. And it could be a heck of a lot safer than it is now also. Every plant we have is a Fukushima waiting to happen. But they don't have to be.

              A bit of changing of the electric rates and you will be howling for some of these alternatives...... regretting that you voted in the folks who hate them and publicly state that they want to tear down every single one of the wind turbines.
              CNC machines only go through the motions.

              Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
              Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
              Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
              I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
              Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by Black Forest
                We were just informed by the town that they are considering building three windturbines very close to us. 800meters away from us. We own all the land around us but the town owns the land on top of the hill where they want to build these things.
                Take detailed pictures of the area. When the machines are abandoned (about 12 years) somebody has to restore the property. Usually the land owner. When that happens you have the pictures of what it looked like before.

                Comment


                • #68
                  I already have an agreement with the town that if this project goes ahead the company will be required to post a 250,000 Euro bond for each one of the turbines. The bond is for removal of the turbines if deemed necessary.
                  Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                  How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    I'm still waiting for that pill to take for longevity so as to further witness energy sources "a, b, and c" being replaced by enrgy sources "e, f, and g". "d", the wind source has come now and yes they will eventually be dismantled. Journey to the central portions of the Earth! Extract that abundant source.

                    We have to give up a little something now for those of future generations. I live in a "vacation land". There are wind towers to the south, but the wealthy owners of the north, migrants from Chicago, came in and made true the huge billboard "Keep Door County Green...Bring Money" that adorned the major road into this area. They object to any such "unsightly" form of energy generators(wind) and of course prevent them from being built. Mostly these are summer home owners with the wives looking for something to do by opening little "homespun" shops to provide something for the "vacationers" to spend their money on.
                    Having lived here all my life I would welcome wind towers here. I would have loved rushing past them as I ran over the sand dunes while avoiding the poison ivy along the paths. Now all the land has been bought up and privatized with only small access points to the shores of lake Michigan.
                    More big power lines on poles rivaling the wind towers pass through the area to supply more power to the northern peninsula.
                    An attempt was also made to erect the towers off the shores into lake Michigan, but the "view" couldn't be compromised.

                    Note: The general "gist' of my comments may change upon feeling the sun shining through the morning window.
                    Last edited by Deja Vu; 12-21-2011, 03:39 AM.
                    John M...your (un)usual basement dweller

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                    • #70
                      What has not been touched upon is the fact that subsidies can jumpstart your industry. Denmark for instance has heavily subsidised windmills and because of it the Danish company Vestas is now the biggest player in Europe. I don't know the exact numbers, but I'll hazard a guess that their tax on windmill exports is paying for a large part of their subsidy program. (Total tax payed by Vestas in 2010 is 82 million euro)

                      By getting there first and grabbing all the knowledge and patents, you can generate quite a healthy industry.
                      If you start thinking about renewable energy by the time there is price parity, you'll be stuck paying royalties to every Tom, Dick and Harry.

                      Igor
                      Last edited by ikdor; 12-21-2011, 10:17 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Mcgyver
                        along with what Saltmine was saying, most environmental initiatives are driven by people wanting to 'feel good' about themselves. Some twit comes around and tells kids in school to turn the shower off between lather and rinse....Politicians pick up on this human need to feel good about themselves and the whole thing becomes little to do with fact and just to do optics and manipulation.
                        "optics "..... yep, that is what most of the recycling drives are..... when there is no market, as for instance recently when the chinese stopped buying recycled cardboard, the stuff goes into the landfill, or sits around rotting into uselessness.

                        "Saving water"...... when we have the largest river on teh continent going by, we have to "save" more and more water, as if we lived in the desert.... We only "borrow" it anyhow, and if we don't, the same thing happens, it goes down river to the ocean, and is "wasted" by fresh water getting diluted in the salt. No "saving" involved.

                        These sorts of things should be imposed on teh areas that CAUSE the problem..... tax L.A. for using all the water on the West coast...... don't force all others to live as if they were in L.A.

                        P.V. shingles..... recycling...... cycle to work..... re-use bags..... turn off the shower for a few seconds....

                        All "optics".... not bad things to do, but utterly meaningless in the big picture, and actually shift the "blame" onto the people who are NOT at fault..... And some can be impossible... cycling to work is hard with 4" of snow and ice on the ground

                        Individuals do not dump hundreds of tons of pollutants. Individuals do not pollute teh air, large industries do, and we have no say in how they make things for us.....

                        A few tiny "tree hugger", "Birkenstock moment" actions do not fix problems.... and even the environmentalists agree they do not... it is all "optics" and "consciousness raising"..... as the can gets kicked down the road.

                        Actually putting in place alternatives for major power generation is at least a positive step with immediate and visible results.

                        As for turbines not turning....When I drive up 39 in Illinois, the majority of the turbines are turning..... most of the ones that are not are obviously still being built.




                        Originally posted by lost_cause
                        electric cars will require a battery replacement at some point that will cost more than the car is worth, thus making its lifespan shorter than a conventional combustion engine car, causing more cars to be made sooner, which can't be green. lithium doesn't grow on trees. there are limited deposits in the world, so how long will that last, and how unhealthy and unfriendly to the earth is the mining required to get it?
                        Interesting argument.... WRONG, but interesting.

                        Most of the materials in a storage battery are not used up... they are not "transmuted" into some other element.....

                        Unless you advocate calling batteries "Hazmat", and requiring them by law to be buried in expensive containers to safely hold them for 10,000 years (like good, usable nuclear fuel), recycling the materials into NEW batteries would seem to be a sensible plan..... And it has to take less energy overall than mining, transporting, refining and so forth.

                        BTW, I do NOT think electric cars are any viable answer. Not without range and re-fueling time equal to a gas or diesel car..... You cannot take teh bus everywhere, and can't even drive from St Louis to the Chicago suburbs in an electric car.

                        Even in the city, ONE errand by bus takes as long as 10 by private vehicle. Buses required me to use 3 hours beginning at 4 AM to get to work by 7, when it was an 18 minute drive, in traffic. That is a useless, worthless, unworkable, frankly idiotic and ridiculous alleged alternative". Even an electric car would be better, but 40 miles range as has been common, would strand folks in any decent sized metro area.

                        Businesses and places in general in this area are too intrinsically spread out, inherently located for auto users, to ever be able to be used by folks having only limited range electric vehicles that take hours or days to recharge.... or buses, for that matter. It is best to admit that, and focus on ways to handle the "situation on the ground", instead of pretending it can be fixed by cycling to work.
                        Last edited by J Tiers; 12-21-2011, 10:25 AM.
                        CNC machines only go through the motions.

                        Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                        Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                        Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                        I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                        Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          BTW, I do NOT think electric cars are any viable answer. Not without range and re-fueling time equal to a gas or diesel car..... You cannot take teh bus everywhere, and can't even drive from St Louis to the Chicago suburbs in an electric car.
                          While I agree, research and development has to be done now in order to assure viable energy sources exist for future generations.
                          Your comment above is exactly why those that are opposed to subsidies for wind power do so...lack of usable storage.

                          You say that fossil fuels have an advantage because of it's development and use for so very many years. But lets face it, although we have done some very wonderful and marvelous things with electricity over the last 200 years, storage has not been one which stands out at this time...yet.
                          Until this hurdle has been dealt with, subsidy money for this industry can be better utilized elsewhere.
                          Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                          Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                          Location: British Columbia

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by J Tiers
                            You may WORK there, but it don't make you an xspurt , apparently....

                            I amn't one myself.......... but I DO know that you cannot heat the boiler plant up really fast, or it stresses the water tubes, the insulation and structure, and risks damage.....

                            And I also know that a steam turbine expands when hot, you can't slam on steam to a cold turbine either..... not unless you want to risk wiping the blades or other undesirable stuff..... such as slugs of condensate hitting the blades at speed.....

                            I have been told that a realistic warm-up from cold takes at least several hours or more, depending on size of the plant.... You seem to be quoting 24 hours. I don't know the details on that, but for sure the plant ain't ready to go at full rating from cold like starting the car.....

                            You seem to be AGREEING with me and then calling me ignorant, which looks like meaning YOU are as "ignorant" as me.

                            A gas turbine can warm up to full power in a few minutes, I am told.... that makes sense, and is why they are used for peaking.

                            Maybe YOUR plant is at full power most of the time, but others are not.

                            As for the waiting, and night shift Bull-puckey...... Did you somehow FORGET that I said STORAGE is the key to making wind and solar work?

                            Apparently you did.

                            Both wind and solar tend to be available in large amounts or not at all.... if you cannot store the power, then you must put up with variability and unavailability.....

                            If you CAN store the power, now you have it when you want it, and there is no need to put up with variability or power grid disturbance as has been alleged in other posts to be the doom of wind power.

                            I actually do NOT THINK wind power is really viable yet..... but I DO see that it WILL be, in the amounts that are available, which is at most 20% of current usage. 20% is 20%, nothing to sneeze at.

                            Do you want to have to develop it on short notice when there is a crisis? Or would you rather have it ready to go when needed?

                            Thermal solar seems to be reasonably viable now, PV is still hostage to the high cost of cells. We have enough area to use for that to power all we ever need, according to studies I have seen.

                            And a thorium nuclear program would power us for hundreds of years, no carbon footprint or whatever..... heck, just actually USING the energy in teh existing nuclear fuel, instead of calling it "waste" and burying it instead of re-processing it.... that would last us a hundred or more.

                            it ain't like nuclear is cost-viable now..... not the incredibly stupid way these idiot americans do it...... it could be, if done right. And it could be a heck of a lot safer than it is now also. Every plant we have is a Fukushima waiting to happen. But they don't have to be.

                            A bit of changing of the electric rates and you will be howling for some of these alternatives...... regretting that you voted in the folks who hate them and publicly state that they want to tear down every single one of the wind turbines.
                            A turbine must be brought to full power slowly if it is cold. There is a lot of mass that will expand as it warms up. The idea is to let it all warm up at the same time so that as it grows the relationship of the parts is maintained. If the rotor expanded faster than the shell, clearance would be lost and there might be contact. If a unit has run recently, say 48 hours, it will be fairly hot and could be running rather quickly.
                            You are right about nuclear. Right now it is the cheapest power that we have, at least in the newer plants. New reactor designs which are held back by the irrational fear of plutonium would be even cheaper.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              At this point it looks like we have sucessfully blocked the building of the wind turbines at this location. We have our springs for our property very close to where they want to erect the turbines. Today we had that area declared a water protection area so no building is possible.
                              Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                              How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Orrin
                                The latest development in wind power is gearless units.

                                As for windmills killing birds, I'd wager that picture windows kill more than windmills do. The windows on our house, alone, kill at least a dozen birds a year. As far as that goes, it is a proven fact that more birds are killed by automobiles than are harvested by hunters.

                                Outlaw picture windows! Automobiles!

                                Humbug.

                                Orrin

                                Ditto that! Boy - there is one thing that is all too common nowadays and that is people who have the inability to take their thinking a step further -- I like windmills cuz their "in your face" with the damage (if any - that they do)
                                So before anybody goes spouting off about a few dead birds please give us all the stats on how many birds (or eggs or all kinds of other critters esp. frogs and salamanders) perish due to acid rain (coal)- or how many fish die getting chopped up by turbines or can't spawn cuz they don't now how to climb ladders - or shell out cuz their water temps have changed or on and on - and what about some of the other method's --- really want to talk nuclear ? you sure you want to go there? whaaaaaaaaaa whaaaaaaaaa someone got hit by a piece of ice from a windmill ------ big fuquing deal...
                                want to talk JAPAN?
                                grow up people - All forms of producing electricity are detrimental to our health and our planet and the creatures that are forced to share this place with our ignorant selves... Coal is nasty business and responsible for an unbelievable amount of carnage -------- but people like the out of site out of mind thing, ohh it's OK ------- yeah just store that spent radio active material under my house, as long as I don't see it im good

                                A good well designed well ran windfarm is an alternative - it's not perfect, but like any of them they have their pro's and con's, deal with it...

                                One thing windfarms are incapable of is wiping out entire towns, states or even countrys,

                                something nuclear is proven to not be able to claim - something hydro cannot (due to damn failures) and something even coal plants cannot totally claim (when their slurry mounds give way)...
                                Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 12-21-2011, 11:31 AM.

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