New Record: World’s Largest Wind Turbine (7+ Megawatts)

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The world’s largest wind turbine is now the Enercon E-126. This turbine has a rotor diameter of 126 meters (413 feet). The E-126 is a more sophisticated version of the E-112, formerly the world’s largest wind turbine and rated at 6 megawatts. This new turbine is officially rated at 6 megawatts too, but will most likely produce 7+ megawatts (or 20 million kilowatt hours per year). That’s enough to power about 5,000 households of four in Europe. A quick US calculation would be 938 kwh per home per month, 12 months, that’s 11,256 kwh per year per house. That’s 1776 American homes on one wind turbine.

The turbine being installed in Emden, Germany by Enercon. They will be testing several types of storage systems in combination with the multi-megawatt wind turbines.

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These turbines are equipped with a number of new features: an optimized blade design with a spoiler extending down to the hub, and a pre-cast concrete base. Due to the elevated hub height and the new blade profile, the performance of the E-126 is expected to by far surpass that of the E-112.

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WiredForStereo of The Way explains the operation of these new turbines:

[The E-126]… has no gearbox attaching the turbine blades to the generator, in fact, the generator is housed just at the widest part of the nose cone, it takes up the entire width of the nacelle to generate power more efficiently, and provide longer service life with less wear.

Also like small turbines, these have inverters instead of synchronous generators, that is to say, a separate controller that converts the wild AC generated into something the grid can use. This means the rotor can run at more optimum and varied speeds.

Again like small turbines, this one does not shut right off at a predetermined speed due to gusts or just very high wind speeds. It simply throttles down by turning the blades slightly away from the wind so as to continue to generate power though at a lower production rate. Then the instant the wind is more favorable, it starts back up again. Many smaller wind turbines do something similar except have no blade pitch control, they use a technique called something like “side furling” where the whole machine, excepting the tail, turns “sideways” to catch less wind but continue operating.

Money, why else? Big things are cheaper per unit production. If you have 3 2 MW generators, you have to have three (at least) cranes to put them up, build three foundations, have to maintain three machines, and have three times the parts to fail. If you have one, it is larger and more expensive in itself to move, but not as expensive as having to move three smaller ones.

I don’t understand how people can be so concerned about birds becoming mush with modern wind turbines, especially ones this big. It only turns at 12 rpms. That means it takes five seconds to complete one revolution. That is slow but this is much bigger and easy to see compared to the whirring blades of old. The Altamont Pass turbines gave wind turbines such a bad name because they were built in the middle of the natural habitat of rare birds, the turbines were the small fast spinning type, and they were built using lattice towers, the kind birds love to nest in. These are slowly being replaced and all of the new ones are of the slower rotating kind. In the end, it comes down to this. Stationary buildings and moving cars kill literally millions of times more birds than wind turbines. And things like the Exxon Valdez spill kill millions of everything. So let’s go with the best option.

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A graph of the World’s Largest Wind Turbines.

Comments

  1. Lee says

    I agree about the bird thing being overblown. But 12 revs a minute is not slow. At the end of the blades, they’ll be traveling at nearly 180mph.

  2. says

    That is true, according to my quick calculations, the tips would run about 177 mph, but that is only the tips, the great majority of the swept area poses very little danger to birds. If you come in 26 meters, the blade speed drops to 59 mph. Additionally, the sheer size of the blades and the turbine over all acts as a deterrent. Unlike skyscrapers and buildings with large glass windows, wind turbines are solidly colored so birds cannot fly through what they think is empty airspace but actually happens to be a window.

  3. says

    Good job this turbine is not located in the UK. I can already hear the screams of the Rotary group complaining about noise pollution, aesthetic impact on our rural locations and the general desire to use renewable energy but not actually do anything constructive to help that mission succeed.

  4. dip says

    Wait, do i get this right, We in germany can power 5000homes with this one turbine, but you yanks are only able to power less than half of this? i.e. “1776 American homes”. Wonder what you guys do wrong?

  5. Tony says

    This does look awesome, and I’m obviously no expert, whilst reading through the comments about how fast the blades at the tips an idea struck me, would it be possible to put smaller turbines mounted on the tips of the blades perpendicular the the large blades, so that as the large blades spin the smaller ones could also produce power? It may well be a completely stupid idea, but one I thought worth sharing. I will now return to my humdrum existence.

  6. says

    We would need only seven of those to provide enough electricity for my entire town. And that’s not counting solar power, which is already very common in Limburg.

  7. says

    To Tony:

    It is a creative idea but I suspect that the energy lost due to drag on the main turbine caused by the smaller ones would be more than the smaller turbines would produce.

  8. says

    This company is the largest producer of wind turbines in Germany. They know what they are doing. I produce small wind generators and understand the technology. I would be you could never hear this machine. It likely turns at only 10-15 rpm. This machine is designed primarily for off-shore wind farms and breakeven is most likely 7-8 years like other designs.

  9. says

    dip,
    You are right, we Americans live in houses that are much too big and inefficient, but what difference can I make, I’m just a blogger. I live in a small house and I am working it make it more efficient. I spread the word, but few listen, it is called “The American Dream.”

    Saul Wall,
    Actually, there is very little power available at the hub. Smaller turbines don’t have the blade extending all the way to the hub, it just doesn’t provide down there.

    Tony,
    The efficiency is in the lift created by the air foil of the blade moving across the wind. If there were blades on the tips of the blades, you would begin to harvest power using drag which is less efficient. Additionally, a bunch of tiny blades moving at 180 mph would be VERY loud.

  10. cyric says

    I might be misunderstanding something, but according to Enercon own site, the tower hub height is 135 m tall and it has a rotor diameter of 127 m (so the blade length is half that, ~63.5 m). The total height is then about 135+63.5 = 198.5 m. This is still not as tall as the Fuhrländer Wind Turbine in Laasow Germany, which is ~205 m (160 m tower with 90 m diameter rotor). However this new turbine can generate much more power ~6-7 MW vs. 2.5 MW.

  11. Waldo Hitcher says

    Ultra expensive low return wind turbine built instead of standard generating power methods, causes a significant net reduction in World wealth.

    That means people at the bottom drop out of the wealth redistribution league, while rich countries indulge themselves with these ludicras “eco totem poles”.

    This eco madness has gone too far. Either bring up the Eco technology beyond the efficiency of new generation or ditch it. At present Wind is five times as resource intensive to achieve the same in City (where the demand is) balanced secure 24/7 generation and wave/solar/tidal over 10 times as resource intensive.

    Every one of these built starves poorer people of the resources it wastes. Six billion people would have to be reduced dramatically (ie die) if these eco technologies become widespread. The Earth can’t generate energy therefore sufficient wealth with stone age technology. Energy is the multiplier of wealth and every increase in real terms cost reduces potential wealth serverely and even more so in poor communities. Meanwhile the Germans are feeling very self satisfied at building expensive statues to their own ecological excellence with money that could have built efficient power stations in SS Africa.

    The answer is to starve these “wind engineers” of funds until they can deliver the 5 times improvement in generation,storage and distribution efficiency necessary. Don’t pay for steam engines, make them deliver what we need.

    The physics of the situation is clear even without the blindingly obvious solutions. The only thing that will return this wind or wave efficiency is scale, a technical solution that multiplies scale without multiplying mass. A windmill is not it , nor ever will be. As the height/span increases the rotating inertial mass goes through the roof.

    Stop subsidising junk technology, start starving it .

    Starve poor technology, not poor people.

  12. Ugly American says

    re Waldo Hitcher

    A 2007 US government study found wind power was half the price of coal per Kwh,.

    Since then, the price of coal has more than doubled at some ports.

    US anthracite (high grade coal) production peaked in the 1920s.

    Oil, coal and nuclear power are scams. Everything from their exploration to to the waste products they produce is subsidized by income tax and has been for decades.

  13. Another US Scumbag says

    Despite being the world leader in charitable giving and foreign aid, I see it’s still chic to bash the US. We have our drawbacks, but so does every other nation on earth. Here in South Dakota, 20% of our electricity comes from wind, and more turbines are being errected daily.

  14. says

    Blade speed and bird kills – not what you think.

    Try 355.7 mph at the tips. The circumference of a circle is 2*r*pi* = d*pi. If one blade is 413 feet, the diameter is 826 feet * pi = 2,594 feet / 5 seconds for one rotation around the circumference = 519 feet per second * 60 seconds * 60 minutes = 1,867,421 feet per hour / 5,250 feet = 355.7 miles per hour. Some birds fly horizontally as slow as a person walks. Try to walk through huge blades coming at you 355.7 miles per hour every 0.6 seconds (three blades completing a revolution every five seconds) randomly a few times and see if you escape getting hit.

    As an economist, the question is not whether birds get hit and killed by wind power. Some will be. The question is whether fewer birds get hit and killed by wind power (the larger the turbines, the fewer of them there are, so fewer birds get killed by mega-wind power anyway) than by the oil and gasoline trucks that the wind turbines replace. The answer is yes. It turns out that the number two killer of birds (after house windows) is motor vehicles, with big trucks taking more than their share. Birds win overall with wind power (not to mention the cleaner air gives them back their normal life span and function).

  15. says

    vlad –

    The fixed cost is a sunk cost once the thing is up and running (just like a building) and connected to a storage system and distribution network, so that’s zero. The actual cost of the electricity prodcued is the variable cost per unit of energy produced, such as maintenance and replacement of worn parts. It’s probably way cheaper than coal. The actual energy source is caused by the interaction of the sun and the earth, so that’s free (a sunk cost worst) to the producer under clear solar/wind rights.

    Your accountant and local politicians can tell you the additional unit costs of inefficient accounting, taxation and regulatory schemes and lobbying for unhelpful squirrelly laws from dirtier producers of electricity.

  16. Barbara Azevedo says

    I would like to publish 1 photo of the The world’s largest wind turbine is now the Enercon E-126, you have in this website, for a publication I am developing about R.Energies in Portugal.
    What would be the price for it?

  17. says

    As pointed out by cyric, the wind blade length is actually a little less than 126/2 meters taking account the diameter of the hub. The article simply dispersed the wrong information. Check Enercon’s website.

    Math person’s calculation is correct, but the blade radius is wrong from the beginning. Consequently, the tip velocity is also wrong.

    The wind speed versus power graph is not linear but asymptotic, hence, there is a point of diminishing return. No need to go so fast. Eventually, the mechanical properties of the blades will determine how fast the blades can/should turn. The faster the blade turns, the higher the mechanical loadings are. The higher the loadings, the shorter the lifespan of the blades. Say, fatigue!

  18. Emilio says

    “Wait, do i get this right, We in germany can power 5000homes with this one turbine, but you yanks are only able to power less than half of this? i.e. “1776 American homes”. Wonder what you guys do wrong?”

    Well according to Mass.gov, “A megawatt is enough energy to power about 1,200 New England homes.” What so let me get this right at 7 Megawatts, thats 8,400 homes. So us YANKS aren’t really doing anything WRONG, are we dip?

    http://www.mass.gov/dep/public/publications/0707land.htm

  19. Bill Hyde says

    Output of a windmill is proportional to the cube of the wind speed, eighth power at half speed, one twenty-seventh at one third speed, one sixty-fourth at quarter speed. Using Met Office figures plus 20%. i calculated that windmills spread all over the UK were producing less than 5% for fortnight in October, December and February. Which is why 27 nations around the world are building or planning nuclear power.

  20. dugudr says

    It’s too big. If we enough of this built it would slow the rotation of the Earth and fall into the Sun. Maybe that’s the solution, too.

  21. Richard Leschen says

    For Heaven sake,

    To all those Troglodites in La-La Land who come up with lame excuses for knocking Wind- Power……….We who care about our Planet Earth are sick of acursed Nuclear Power Plants which only causes dangerous long- lived atomic waste which poisons our planet’s soil, air and water. The same goes for Coal Fired Power Stations which belt out stinking fumes which clog the air we breathe.
    I say, ” Let the Wind Farms flourish, Wave generating power stations and Solar mirror electricity power generation stations as well.

    Ruptured oil tankers spilling their stinking oil cargo kill far more bird, penguins and fish than any number of windmills anyway. ” Have you so soon forgotten the terrible maritime Oil Spill from the ‘ Lesson of the Curse of the Tori Canion.’ Don’t forget that nature’s Perigrine Falcons and Eagles also kill birds.

    Richard Leschen

  22. Vanya says

    This is an answer to DIP.
    UNfortunately electricity is cheap. Almost every house you go to half the house is lit even when there is only one person home! or none. Lived here 20 years and still I hurt people’s feelings when I asked them not to leave lights on in my studio after they go to another room!

  23. For Math Person says

    On The website of http://www.enercon.de/ the Model E-82 has a Rotor diameter: 82 m and the E-33 has a
    Rotor diameter: 33.4 m. That tells me that the E-126 has a Rotor diameter: 126 m (413 Ft). That will make all the calculations you have done to be incorrect. the tip of the rotor travels at 177.
    P.S. even if the blade was 413 feet the rotor would be much more than 826 feet. You would have to include the diameter of the hub. Also 3 blades completing a rotation every 5 seconds that means a blade passes you 5/3= 1.6 seconds.

    I am sure that the sub level noises will cause the birds to be aware of it more than us. The movement also will allow birds to see it better.

  24. Willie C Wuddle says

    I’d love to see more windmills here in Eastern Canada. Give me a can of beans and a case of beer and I could be self sufficient for at least two days. I can also think of a few local politicians who produce enough hot air to run a large windmill.

  25. outlaw says

    No one will say what it cost to build but if the figure is known its ten million or more. How long does it need to work to pay for itself.

  26. American proud says

    dip, yes the U.S. is over dependant on energy and we are very inefficient in its uses. But, we also enjoy the spoils of war….kicked yours twice. ha ha

  27. says

    Apparently these are being installed in the North Sea as well. No shortage of wind there.

    Some people object to these turbines. Here in Australia lots of people think they are ugly. To me they are magnificent; making energy for the cost of the turbine and its maintenance is one of the most sensible things humans have done so far.

  28. says

    I love it , its beautiful . In Australia you can travel tens of thousands of kilometers and never see one . In Thailand on , there are some which attract tourists . Fools say its inefficient , but thats short sighted . If Roman ruins can last thousands of years , I bet this megalith will be there making free power for a long time . Small speakers making bird warning calls can scare away birds .

  29. Scott says

    Quote:
    “The world’s largest wind turbine is now the Enercon E-126. This turbine has a rotor blade length of 126 meters (413 feet). ”

    The article says Rotor Blade LENGTH. Not Diameter.
    I’ve looked at Enercon’s websites, and I see no reference to the E-126’s diameter size. Or any reference to it at ALL, for that matter.

    Several different web-pages report the Diameter being 126m and others say the Diameter is 126m

    Yes, you can see that in the past Enercon have named their turbines after the diameter size, but to assume that continues without confirming it is a bit unscientific, wouldn’t you say?

    Can anyone provide a link confirming this either way?

  30. Scott says

    Sorry, that was meant to say:

    Several different web-pages report the Diameter being 126m and others say the Blade Length is 126m

  31. Jonathan says

    Re blade length/diameter. How about this link from Enercon in Germany: http://tinyurl.com/696oon
    They state that hub height is 135m and overall height is 198m. It seems clear that the blade length is therefore 198-135 = 63m and the diameter therefore 126m.

  32. concerned citizen says

    The first true plug-in hybrid cars should be reserved for Texas farmers and ranchers, those staunch backbone of the land people. They could recharge them with smaller windmill driven generators.

  33. willie c wuddle says

    I bet the rich get them first. They will have us everyday Joe’s working to pay for the generators then run their hummer size electric vehicles and boats at our expense causing the price of the remainder of the electricity to skyrocket.

  34. logic person says

    for people who can’t figure out how long the blades are, use logic. is it logical that the blades could sustain 20 plus years of 356 mph rotation? honestly.

  35. says

    DIP – It’s called AIR CONDITIONING…Having lived in Germany for 2 years, there is a pretty HUGE difference in the amount of energy required in a German home vs. an American home during the summer!

    We’re hardly “doing something wrong”.

  36. Tom says

    Does anyone know what rpm (input/output) the gearboxes run at for 2,3 or 4 MW systems? I realize this system is a direct drive (at 12 rpm -that’s got to be one big generator)?

    I know of a very interesting new generator technology that just scaled up by a factor of 17,000% (to 10,000 lb-ft or 13k NM). It’s about 1/3 the weight of conventional generators and may hep out in these applications. Interestingly, big oil is who is advancing it right now.

  37. Matthew says

    in response to dip’s comment, i believe at least a small amount of that difference is in the climate, alot of germany is cooler in climate than the US. places like LA california and the massive surrounding metro get extremely hot (often above 100f in summer) and thus are “cranking up the a/c” i doubt that it accounts for the entire difference but part of it anyway. i admit, americans are probably a little more power hungry than germans. although recent government codes have changed requiring appliances like washer dryer and A/C must use a set minimum amount of energy per year in order to be sold.

  38. Robert Walther says

    Emilio,
    Us dum hllbillys hav to spend lot money to keep smrt Germans frm blowing up world every generation

  39. says

    Irregular said “I can already hear the screams of the Rotary group complaining about noise pollution…”

    What has irregular got against Rotary? Most Rotarians are business people and so support technology that improves things. I am a member of Rotary and think every town should have at least one turbine. Far from being unsightly I think they are heartwarming and certainly no more unsightly that the pylons that march across the landscape.

  40. eelectron says

    Ugly American -Really!!! You think T-Boone would get into this business if it wasn’t heavily subsidized by our government. Left alone, wind would fail miserably.

    Don’t forget, for every wind plant there must be a base plant (nuclear,coal,etc.) Which make it very expensive. Additionally, only about 25% of the unit maximum capacity is realized on average as energy is proportional to velocity squared. Without the base plants (choose coal or nuclear) blackouts are a fact, potentially long ones!!

  41. says

    Readers please note….. All atomic Power Stations need Coal-Fired Power Stations to make the electricity to manufacture the atomic energy to build the atomic piles to run these Godforsaken energy plants. The sooner the whole World goes Solar, Tidal Power ,Wind Power,Wave Power the better. China is already choking to death by Australia selling them there Dopey Coal to further pollute our Planets already fast chocking LUNGS.

    Richard Leschen

  42. says

    IMHO people should stop demonizing atomic power its cheap and cleaner then coal (yes long term storage needed for the waste) there is room for multiple solutions and in fact the world will need them all soon enough. Because there are times when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine. Options are good to have…

  43. eelectron says

    Richard Leschen – read some science books!!!
    The coal/smog you see in China are from very crude plants. Coal is now nearly 50% efficient – totally different from the plants now in operation. Emissions are falling quickly.

    What are you going to do when the wind stops??? Sit in the dark with your HUYA.

    The idiots in Wasington and Hollywood and obviously – you don’t know anything about Nuclear power. Only low level wastes are buried, the rest is reprocessed – assuming our Congressional “Experts” ever get a clue. Look at FRANCE!!!!!!

  44. SteveT says

    After 50 years of wise land use planning which protected fragile mountain ecosystems, and recognized the importance of natural beauty to the human psyche, the US has been duped by the wind industry into deciding, for present and future generations, that the mountain tops are now industrial zones.

    The cumulative effect of the billions of dollars being directed into wind farms will be a massive degradation of the natural environment. If these monstrous contraptions are allowed to pollute every horizon, what possible objections could we have to any other type of development? Hey, lets put some gambling casinos up there on the ridges, there are great roads, the power lines are run and the views are fantastic!

    It would be one thing if windpower was a real solution, if redundant power plants did not have be constantly on line to make electricity during the 75% of the time that the wind is not blowing.

    Electricity is produced by coal and natural gas, not oil, so wind power does not reduce our reliance on foreign oil. Insulating our homes and using hybrid cars, or better riding bicycles would do that, and if the billions spent on wind farms was used to help conserve energy, and develop dependable renewable energy like geothermal, biomass, small scale solar pv and water heating, we would save the landscape, solve the problem, and prevent the huge outflow of dollars to foreign countries that wind farms, which are mostly owned by foreign entities, represent.

    The wind industry is nothing more than a modern day gold rush, and the pay dirt is 200% 5 year depreciation, 2 cents/kw direct tax credits, property tax abatement, green credits, etc. It is an investors dream. It has been a nightmare for the community fabric of every town that has been conned into accepting it.

  45. says

    Dear sir/medam

    i have the experience in windmill since last three years and in electric field the experience is last 26 years.so i wish to take electric contract in your company so kindly request you to addmit me as a part of your company as a contractor. i willing the responce from your side.if you wish to devlope me as your vendor then send me the registration form of your company for my addmition as a contractor.
    if you have any querry then free feel to mail me.

    thanking you,
    V.M.Patel

  46. zalera girish says

    Dear Sir /Madam
    I am really proud of your technology and I congratulate you .
    Can anyone tell me the coast of installing up to the grid these mega turbines not necessary ENERCON E 112
    instead even little smaller like VESTAS V90-30 to produce 60 megawatts.

  47. steve says

    I and my family own several thousand acres in west texas.we are looking for capital investors to develop a wind farm there.it is located in crez (competitive renewable energy zone) 9…send me an e-mail if serious.

  48. says

    The cost of building and connecting a windturbine the grid is measured in EUR/kW (or $/kW)
    With the more current models the cost is 1400 EUR/kW
    So a turbine with a genarator of 3 MW costs about 4.2 Million EUR, deliverd, build and connected to the grid

  49. says

    Pay attention, soulless androids and Trekkies who keep applauding wind turbines. I am stating a view that’s not in the minority.

    These monster machines pose serious concerns for those who aren’t aesthetically-challenged. Part of the whole quality of life is simply looking at a natural horizon without 400+ foot spinning distractions. It’s not just a NIMBY issue when planned on a massive scale, if you have aesthetic values beyond those of a robot. People who want half the planet to look man-made are sick, in my opinion.

    Limited wind power in areas that are already “ugly” is OK, but people who actually live around them are rarely happy with the noise, sunlight strobe effect and red lights at night.

    I think we should put at least equivalent effort into halting population growth (now 77 million annually) so demand for energy doesn’t keep rising. We expect every other species to live withing its means, but people have been exponential takers. Costly oil is finally slowing that down, but now they want the same gluttony transposed to “clean” energy.

    True conservation should be about personal restraint, not meeting endless greedy needs. Growthism is the underlying issue in energy policy but it’s not being addressed directly. There is a still a general failure to admit that the planet is finite.

  50. says

    The megawatt andpower consumption numbers people are having problems with come to the following: I did the calculations using kwh production per year not peak instantaneous production. Simply take the per year consumption per US home, and that’s where the numbers come from.

    All turbines have maximum efficiency based upon tip speed. 300+ mph is beyond the range that things explode. Smaller turbines are constrained by the same tip speed efficiencies, that is why they rotate faster but still have the same tip speed.

  51. Batman says

    I too think that people should seriously consider not getting pregnant to have children or at the very least just have 2 children, but no more. One child per family would be optimal and would shrink the population within 20 or so years if that plan were carried on for 20+ years duration. Unplanned children happen, but don’t plan to have more than 1-2 of them.

    I laugh when I see people post about wind generators slowing down the orbit of the earth around the sun–goofy reasoning, but funny.

    I often wonder why wind generator shapes mostly use the big prop type designs. There are other designs to be used to that wouldn’t give that strobe light show against the sunlight. There’s got to be other designs that are better and smaller. Bigger isn’t necessarily always better.

  52. Enviro says

    It is amazing to see the number of people who are against clean, renewable energy. There will always be people who are against anything and everything. If we expect our society to survive we will have to develop clean non fossil fuel energy. Or we will go the way of the Dodo. Wind energy is simply the only practical available clean large scale renewable energy we can turn to right now. Anyone who thinks burning coal or oil is a smart long term solution is simply sticking their heads in the sand. Nuclear works but toxic waste will always be a problem. When the first nuke blows up, that industry will die overnight. The global warming time bomb is ticking and we are having these silly debates. In the near future, the problem will be irreversible and we will all pay the price. In the last hundred years we have gone full circle on energy and now we are addicted to it. Without it the world as we know it ceases to exist. All the people who don’t want to see wind power should sign an agreement that they will never be allowed to use any in the future. Let’s hope smarter minds prevail in this battle for our survival. Hats off to the Germans for doing it. All the old nonsense arguments about the evils of wind power are falling on deaf ears and have been shown to be not true. When will the die hard wind haters simply knock it off.

  53. Kirbert says

    Something this big requires a steady wind. In Denmark, they built a 2 MW wind turbine and quickly discovered it was too big. Because of the gyroscopic effects, it could not change direction fast enough to follow changing wind directions, and would have to just shut down in gusty conditions. They found that 1-1.5MW was just about the optimum size to take advantage of the wind they had. Obviously, Germany must have steadier wind.

  54. A Canadian says

    Thanks for all the comments and website references. you all helped me out on a law assignment. Wind power is a great source of energy.

  55. Pedro says

    In the UK we have 60,000 tonnes of nuclear waste with no plan of how to deal with it. It’s difficult to visualise, so imagine a pile of 15,000 elephants. That’s around a quarter of the world’s Asian elephant population.

    Iodine-129, a by-product of nuclear fission, has a half-life of 16 million years but is still dangerous after 160 million years. Or to put it another way, if the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period had had nuclear power, we’d still be looking after their waste.

    wind turbines are a beautiful addition to a landscape and for people with some perception of the future, a symbol of hope.

  56. says

    you guys just have to realize this is a breakthrough in alternative energy.this is a way to a new and enviromentally powered earth btw theres a larger turbine about 10 feet taller then yours .your FACE!!ive seen it in real life search biggest turbine on google!!!

  57. says

    Message to Eelectron,

    Please note electron has only one ‘e ‘ in it, unless you are a poet and claim poetic licence . if not, then please learn to spell correctly.
    I have probably read more science books than you will in your life-time. Please take off your blinkers. Have you so soon forgotten the Chernobyl Catastrophy not that many years ago and the terrible aftermath, children still dying from atomic filth, soil still poisoned with atomic radiation. All or Chernobyl’s residents had to be moved a long way from Chernobyl as far too dangerous levels of radiation are still there to safely allow humans to live there for many life-times to come.
    When the wind stops blowing there is still tidal power, see tidal generators in Scotland and other places on Earth with tidal energy.

    Mr Eelectron, please GET A LIFE and read more Science Books to get a balanced education, which you sadly seem to lack at present. As you so love stinking coal, you probably have shares in it and atomic power as well. There is no such thing as CLEAN COAL, it is black when it comes out of the ground and black as its stinking small sooty particles sweep into the air and your poor soon to be tortured lungs. I know what I am talking about as I lived in London for many years from 1939 up to 1948 and we lived through some terrible smogs. Actually a number of people died from the SMOG in London. No matter how well you try to clean up the smoke particulates with electrostatic rods and steam cleaning techniques as was done at Battersea Power Station in London back in the 1960’s you cannot keep every smoke particulate from getting into the atmosphere or the carbon- dioxide gas. Now I suggest that you stick that in your pipe and smoke it !

    Signed,

    Richard Leschen.

  58. says

    Go for Wind Power Baby, Tidal, Wave, Hot Rocks………anything but stinking Coal or Devilish Nuclear Power which is the Coals of Satan and Money Grubbing Capitalist Pigs.

    Signed,

    Vimana Man.

  59. EARL POWLETT says

    I am interested in setting up a wind power system. Please help me as to what best suits me.
    my house is wired with a 100amp breaker.
    what information would you need to assist me

  60. says

    To Earl

    You need to talk to a marine/boating store they have wind ginnies for 12/24 volt systems with115volt inverters they usually use them on sailboats.

    G-no

  61. Steve G says

    I guess the world will always be plagued by dinosaurs and nimbys and no matter what you try someone somewhere will object so I guess the saner amongst us will just have to put up with it. Personally, I have an open mind. I think large wind turbines are elegant and certainly much better than a power station belching out clouds of pollution. As for the cost, I think you may well find that if all the costs of power generation are taken into account including the cost to the environment, wind power might come out very well. Rather than global warming, which will happen anyway, we should be more concerned about diminishing resources. The coal and oil won’t last forever – wind will.

  62. says

    To…..Steve G,

    You are correct, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Every ton of Coal that’s burnt is just adding to the pollution of Planet Earth. Wind power does not pollute our Planet.

  63. says

    I personally wouldn’t find it an eyesore to see one or more of these gargantuan machines perched on a hilltop or in an open field. There’s a large (but much smaller) wind turbine in downtown Toronto, right by the lake, that was funded in part by members of the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-op (trec.on.ca) and in part by Toronto Hydro, which agreed to buy a portion of its power to sell to its customers as green electricity.

    The turbine in Toronto is definitely not an eyesore. It is a symbol of hope for the future. Everyone I’ve talked to loves looking at it, whether from afar, or from right at its giant base. One of the great things about these mega wind turbines is that you can see them from even farther away!

  64. CNITDONE says

    BTW.. one ton of CO2 is created for every ton of cement, now this wind monster is going to require at least 800 cubic tons of cement and reinforced steel to anchor. How many european dump trucks running on diesel is that for one wind farm ? how many dead birds and bats. Actually I don’t care..but 30% efficiency is just counterproductive, this monster is not going to shut down any existing power plants, wind energy cannot be stored as hydro or nuclear, it a use it or lose it proposition. Anyone know what the efficient wind speed to power ratio of this thing is? Cause it only works at peak efficiency ( let’s be generous and say 35%) when the wind is moving at precisely that speed. Wind to slow efficiency drops, wind to high efficiency drops, I”m not going to even touch the air density questions. Hey here’s another question how much petroleum based oil ( not the environmentally friendly type made of magic dust ok) do you think is in the generators of this wind sucker?.. at least 2000 gal in the turbine.now multiply time how many turbines and lets remember, like a car we need to change the oil ok or else, the big wind machine loses efficiency then grinds to a halt, or blows up in a really spectacular manner. Oh we have to change the multiple filters and seals as well, maintenance costs!!! oh clean the rotors of dead bugs, and sand and grit and( salt ..if your offshore) . or else ..we lose efficiency. And don’t forget to change the really beautiful blinking light on top. Damn it wait, we got to cut down 5 acres of forest for every turbine installed in a wooded area.. and we all know that trees give up their stored CO2 when dead right? It’s not like the trees convert it to something and no don’t say O2 please…chemistry chemistry. Cut trees, build a huge heat retaining base, I’m sure the erosion and heat retention is minimal.. no problem here. Argg we need to build more roda to get to the bases, hey how about a few more gas stations along the way so the manitenace trucks can fuel up, and restaurant so the workers can eat, and a hotel and and and …. how many jobs created for a wind turbine? And once built, where do the workers go, cause sure as hell they are not local are they?

  65. Neil says

    Forums are great for discussions. A lot of different viewpoints are expressed which hopefully cause us to look at issues from different angles.

    However, it never ceases to amaze me how many people are incapable of discussing ISSUES without bashing PEOPLE. Why do people from one country have to bash the people in another country? How many of those criticizing the other country have actually lived there? I’m an American born in Florida to American parents but lived in Germany for 29 years of my adult life and since 2002 am back in Florida. As a whole Germans have a much greener attitude than Americans as a whole. It is practiced voluntarily in their daily lives in many ways – conservation, recycling, health. They definitely have a greener mindset.

    This is not something that couldn’t happen in the US as well. In Germany it is the result of repeated promotion of a green mentality by the government and the media. Forums like this could contribute greatly to a changed way of thinking if everyone contributing would be respectful and mature regarding other viewpoints.

  66. A. Shylock says

    The only way centralised power generation systems like these are financially viable is through subsidy, now I’m not saying subsidies are bad, I’m saying that for the subsidy given to install that wind giant, Americans could install home energy generation power systems, a localised empowering alternative, this is a subsidy worth investing in as it doesn’t require people to work as much, by getting into their cars to drive to the office using gas, diesel and other carbon emitting tools, they essentially nullify all benefits that this type of renewable energy has to offer, as they still require the money to pay for the energy and that means people still have to travel to work to earn a crust, small home based energy systems are the natural way for people to generate and use energy, it’s in harmony with their local environment. No monstrous gigantic power cables and no large hideously dangerous substations. Approximately a half of all energy generated by centralised eletricity power stations is used to distribute that energy on the GRID, therfore centralised electric energy generation systems require double the resources they need to sustain them, which means the energy charged to customers is double what it needs to be, which means they require at least twice the amount of time to recover the carbon they have emitted into the atmosphere, hmmmm….and they say these are supposed to be environmentally friendly, not as environmentally friendly as small localised energy genrating systems, that empower people and their communitites to become independent of the centralised industrial production system.

  67. trnstn says

    I agree with Shylock, building large scale wind farms does not contribute to a greener future in energy production, we should reuse the land we already utilize for our cities. The amount of land already consumed by urban sprawl would be enough land for small wind turbines and solar arrays in backyards, empty lots, tops/ sides of buildings, not to mention all the empty land under power line corridors.

  68. DougO says

    I would love to go up one of these turbines. I’ve been a turbine tech for 2 yrs and this thing’s a monster. hope they bring ‘em to Texas soon.

  69. says

    I think we should invest in wind turbines. You UK people can go jump of a cliff, you to germany people.The US Rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =)

  70. StellarBOyMk says

    In my Science and Sustainability class at school, we have discussed that same thing, and it’s a good idea Michael, but it costs millions of dollars to build and launch a space shuttle into outer space. Plus there is limited space in a space craft. Plus, the amount or fule that it would take to launch and send a space craft to the sun is a tremendous amount. Plus, the time it would take for the shuttle to get to the sun would be a waste of time, money, and fuel because in the time it would take, you could be just about finished letting the nuclear waste de-toxify. It only takes about 150-200 years for nuclear wast to become un-harmful. And when you launch the shuttle, you have to think about all of the space shuttle missions that have gone sour. It wouldn’t be a good thing to have radioactive waste everywhere now would it? Good question though.

    By the way, if anyone cares, I reccomend the series Pendragon if you like sci-fiction or fantasy books.

  71. Konstantin Mihnev, Innovative Energy Systems Ltd says

    The wind industry R&D is focused on improvinng technical characteristics of conventional HAVT’s. We have created a prototype of vertical axis wind turbine, more efficient than horizontal axis mashines. We had tried to speek with big manufacures of HAVT’s so that to suppport our R&D but it appears that they have no interest of doing so, probably because the existing industry work with high profit margins and nobody of key factors there has no interest completely new wind systems to appear in the market at the moment.

  72. Brent says

    The number 5000 and 1776 are questionable.
    7mwatts/5000 gives you 1400 watts. Now that’s is no electric water and no electric heat and no air conditioning.

    1776 is also a crap number. It just so happens to be the year the declaration of independence was signed?
    3941.44 would be the wattage with the 1776 number. That’s electric heat and electric water. This is crappy science and high school grade school math. Why bash the USA when it is china building so many coal plants?

    This 7 m watts only produces when the wind blows, meaning you got to have a coal or naturals gas plant somewhere to take up the slack. Not very efficient to build two electric power stations, when before you had one.

  73. says

    Wake up, those of you who knock WIND POWER ! You seem to forget that to generate power from atomic energy plants you have first to dig the stinking uranium, or DEVIL’s ore out of the ground, then separate it from the dross that surrounding it, and then process it. Digging machines use diesel or petrol to fuel their engines, or electric power. Next you have to crush and mill the uranium ore, then turn it into yellow cake. Next you must turn it into uranium hexalfluoride gas, then separate the Uranium 235 from the Uranium 238 and still carry out more complex tasks to turn it into URANIUM power pellets. These power pellets then have to be placed into stainless steel rods etc before you can even use it in the Atomic Power Stations. Most of the power needed to do this comes from Coal-fired Power Stations, thus adding to the carbon burden. Uranium ore is not a renewable source any more than base oil or shale oil, or oil from tar sands. Wind energy and Tidal energy will last until our Earth burns up after many more millions of years when our Sun runs out of hydrogen gas to turn into helium through natural atomic Fusion.

    Wind energy, solar energy, tidal power and energy from hydro-power or from hot rocks ( read geyser power) do not contribute to green-house pollution, as does stinking coal. Long lived Nuclear Waste, some of it needed to be burried and not able to all be reprocessed is still a headache, as it can, in certain cases leach into the water supply. What sane person wants to take on such a terrible abonimable risk. Even low level atomic waste, NIMBY. No, I don’t want any Atomic Waste no matter how low the level of radiation…… No, NOT IN MY BACK YARD THANKS !

  74. says

    Wind power is not a solution.
    The whole truth about wind turbines is never told by lobbyists and governments.
    How could the very weak and extremely unreliable initial energy source of a wind turbine ever produce a steady power of any significance?
    Please think!
    And read: “Wind energy- the whole truth” at: http://www.windenergy-the-truth.com/
    And to show how completely irrelevant wind power is in regard to the worldwide energy and climate crisis visit the following link: http://www.bp.com/iframe.do?categoryId=9024179&contentId=7044895
    And play around with the charts you see there (The BP charts regarding energy reserves and energy consumption worldwide over the last 20 to 40 years.) and make some calculations. And if you don´t get confused with the zeros, you will get my point.

    The number one priority of the US (or any country) must be: Complete Independence of FOREIGN fossil fuels. America is sitting on one of the biggest fossil fuel reserves in the world, called COAL. Good for another 100 or 200 hundred years! Like China and Russia. Pour your 2 trillion dollars into developing the technology to burn that stuff in a clean and efficient way. And once when America has that technology, imagine the power that will bring by exporting that technology to the rest of the world? Having that technology will turn the table completely for America. Instead of wasting a trillion dollars on wind. Have a look at: http://www.windenergy-the-truth.com/wind-mills-electricity-yield.html There you will see how many monster wind turbines a small country like the Netherlands has to build just to compensate their 1% increase of yearly electricity consumption.
    Can you imagine Russia or China coming- up with that kind of technology first? America will be literarily blown of the face of the earth! And don’t forget that electricity is only 30% of all energy used. Why tackle only 30% of the problem with futile, but ingenious, wind turbines and not tackle the complete problem.
    Therefore America should do the following:
    1) Burning coal in a cleaner way,
    2) Efficiency of energy use in the broadest sense of the word
    3) Promoting a drastic change of life style (There are about 6.5 billion people, who all have the right to have some energy to their disposal).
    4) Put a 1 or 2 dollar tax on gas and use these revenues to force (or help) those dumboos in Detroit (I mean the CEO’s) to develop the most fuel efficient cars in the world. America has the technology and could lead again!
    5) Super conductivity.
    6) Plasma fusion.
    7) Energy efficient housing. (Insulation, window planning and if you like put some solar panels and silly wind mill on the roof, but without subsidies and or tax breaks, but make it obligatory.)
    8) Rethink city planning, so you don’t need a car to move from shop to shop.
    Just a few ideas.
    Alexander

  75. says

    I am fascinated by those beautiful, effective and environmentally sound modern wind turbines. My latest video shows the Enercon E-126 at Rysumer Nacken near Emden in Germany. I have attempted to show the size, power and the fact that – to me – these machines are aesthetically appealing. Have a look at
    <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQxp6QTjgJg”

  76. Edward Simmons says

    I seldom see so many MORONS posting against a sane alternative to fossil-based energy generation. Hey, morons: What’s the market price of WIND? How will a war in the Middle East affect the price of WIND? These are all rhetorical questions. The answer is that wind power is a good alternative that is immune to this horrible world market for fuels. The world market for fuels is so damaging that all supplies rise in price once one pocket of the world sees some strife. A previous poster wanted us to rely only on domestic production … yet he’s such a MORON that he didn’t realize or admit that the price of domestic crude oil would ALSO RISE when the price of foreign crude oil rises in response to yet another bombing in the Middle East.

    Also, we must ask what’s the pollution emitted by a wind turbine. That’s another rhetorical question. Obviously the pollution footprint of a turbine is ZERO … considering that if you’re going to build an energy plant anyways, the amount of steel and concrete and copper involved is a constant.

    Wind is one of the solutions that we MUST accept. We MUST raise these towers and we MUST let them amortize for decades, like bridges, generating into our power girds all the while. These efforts are in addition to nuclear, to solar, to tidal, to dams, etc. Our energy infrastructure now is heavily dependent upon fossil fuels, which are pricey and polluting and damaging to world peace. That infrastructure must change since we can’t afford not to.

    • Michael N says

      Edward S:

      Wind energy is actually incredibly expensive despite the fact that the “fuel” is free. A coal-fired power plant costs approximately $2,500/KW to build, has a 94% availability factor and a 40-50 year life. A wind farm costs $1,900/KW to build, has a 26% availability factor and less than 20 year lifespan. The low availability, high maintenance cost and short life span makes the wind-KW approx. 3 times as expensive as a coal KW even when the fuel costs are taken into account.

      Switching to a high percentage of wind power will raise domestic energy costs and make the US industries even less competitive against China/India who rely heavily on coal-based electricity.
      Morever, dependence on foreign oil will not diminish with more wind energy as oil is used almost 100% for transportation, not in electric power generation.

      The true reduction in GHG emissions that wind power could provide are much less than would be expected. The net GHG reduction between a mixed wind/gas turbine generating facility and a 100% gas combined-cycle facility capable of sustaining the same population is only 9%. A nuclear facility, on the other hand, reduces GHG emissions by 100%.

      I will not call you a moron but an ill-informed, well-intentioned person advocating the politically correct but technically absurd, solution to our current energy-environmental dilemma.

  77. SteveT says

    Wind can not provide more than 20% of grid capacity without instability. Smart grids and economic storage are billions of dollars and decades away. Wind power’s effective capacity is much less than 30-40% claimed by the wind industry. Turbines are gigantic, intrusive, noisy, arm waving machines that degrade the quality of life of anyone living near them. Electricity accounts for only 20% of worldwide energy production. Do the math. 20% of 20% is 4% of worldwide energy production can be met by wind turbines that only produce at 10% capacity. How many turbines is that? How many beautiful landscapes are sacrificed? How many taxpayer dollars in subsidies to the wind industry, without which the industry would not exist? Wouldn’t it make more sense to promote community based biomass and hydro (high capacity dispatchable generation) invest in fusion nuclear, cut energy consumption in half with conservation, build fuel efficient transportation, do things that reduce demand for fossil fuels? What drives this obsession to degrade the environment with wind “farms”? Reminds me of the Billy Cristal sketch where he intentionally hits himself with a hammer and then says “I hate it when that happens!”

  78. says

    It is not possible to solve the Global Energy Crisis and The Global Warming Crisis without developing the technology to burn coal in a clean and environmental responsible way.
    And please, before calling anybody a MORON, check the worldwide energy consumption and then come to conclusions based on facts.
    Yes, the “clean burning of coal” is going to be extremely difficult and I even say extremely expensive. But I don’t believe in the word “impossible” as long as we don’t cheat on the laws of nature.
    The crux of my argument is that people are going to burn coal because it’s cheaper and more readily available than other alternatives.
    ”We need time but no pollution”, to develop serious energy sources like Plasma Fusion (in conjunction with Super Conductivity) and lower our energy needs per capita drastically by changing our lifestyle in the developed world.
    1) Today humanity uses 426 Quads (426.000.000.000.000.000 BTU or 1.055 x 10.000.000.000.000.000.000 joules) of energy per year, of which the lion’s share comes from burning coal. (50 % worldwide, I don’t think that is a very bad estimate)
    2) In ten years time humans will “need” or use 150 Quads more, thinking about the 3 billion people in the fast developing countries like China, India, Indonesia, Russia, etc., sitting on very big coal reserves!
    3) Global Warming has set in and one of its major contributors is CO2. Our days are counted if we don’t do anything about it!
    In my opinion it will be impossible to take coal out of the energy equation for the next 100 years, because all the renewables (now worldwide probably a energy contributor of less than 3 %) will not be able to off-set the amount of energy produced from coal and coal is the most available fossil fuel in those fast developing populous countries. Social pressures will force those fast developing countries to burn coal anyway (in a clean or dirty way). Wars have been fought for much sillier reasons. Therefore I am of the opinion that we have to develop the technology to burn coal in a clean and environmental friendly way, despite the extreme difficulties and extremely high costs. We cannot deprive humanity today of about 220 Quads (halve of its energy “needs” or usage) and we cannot go-on burning fossil fuels as we do today without destroying the global climate completely. Both ways (depriving or dirty burning) will bring war, death and mass extinction for humans.
    A great consolation for me lately was the book I was reading by Richard Dawkins called: “The Ancestor’s Tale, A pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution”. There it becomes completely clear that life will go-on on earth with or without humanity. But I would appreciate it if we (humans) could be part of life on earth in the future. We will definitely not be there, if we pretend to WINDMILL ourselves out of this inevitable predicament.

  79. says

    As the link in my post from 01 JAN 2009 does not function, here is another attempt. I am fascinated by those beautiful, effective and environmentally sound modern wind turbines. My latest video shows the Enercon E-126 at Rysumer Nacken near Emden in Germany. I have attempted to show the size, power and the fact that – to me – these machines are aesthetically appealing. Have a look at my
    Video
    Here are some additional facts. The energy consumption for production, installation, operation and decommission of a wind turbine is usually earned back within 3 months of operation.
    When the wind industry first began to develop in California in the early 1980s, wind-generated electricity cost 38¢ per kilowatt-hour. Since then it has dropped to 4¢ or less in prime wind sites.. By 2020, many European wind farms will be generating electricity at 2¢ per kilowatt-hour, making it cheaper than all other sources of electricity
    However, even here in Germany there is a mighty lobby working against renwable energy. The reason for this is that here in Europe there are only few big power companies which control the energy market. They own huge power plants and make good profits. So renewable energy e.g. from wind turbines is not welcome as those wind farms are usually operated by small companies or even private people. Fortunately in Germany the power companies are forced by law to allow all those renewable energy suppliers to use their power supply lines and to pay a fixed price for this energy.

  80. says

    Dear Bernard Reibe,

    Loved your last comment of 8th Jan 2009.
    I just hope that wind power turbines, and solar panels and solar towers, are developed even faster than they have been up till now. Those people who hate wind power with such falacious arguments as……..wind turbines kill birds etc are short of reasoning power. When I lived in Glenroy in Victoria in Australia, 7 birds died over 20 years, through hitting my big glass window in my lounge room. Did I go outside my house and scream …….” You wicked window, you just killed an innocent bird,” no of course not.” Did I go outside and smash my window in a rage, shreiking …” You killed another poor innocent bird?” No, what would that accomplish ? I grew up in London as a child not far from the Battersea Power Station and saw the stinking soot coming out of this Power Station’s chimneys day after day. Yes I even lived through the terrible days of Smogs in London and know just how many people died from the London smogs.
    Those of you, citizens of Planet Earth who are in love with Atomic Power and Coal Fired Power Stations should have lived through the Terrible Smogs of London. These were caused through the burning of coa lin Coal Fired Electricity Power Stations in my Native England and in fire- places in most of the homes in England just after the Second World War and well after this war.
    Those of you who are so in LOVE with Atomic Power, and coal fired Power Stations should go and live next to these Devil’s Chimneys and get a good lung-full of the stinking fumes from the Coal Fired Power Stations smoke-stacks. Those of you who love atomic power stations should get a good whif of the fumes from the atomic nucleotides that are vented into the atmosphere at times, such as irradiated Iodine Fumes etc, breathe in and enjoy.
    For God’s Sake You WANKERS,

  81. says

    Bernd and Vimana,
    Please don’t call people that are critical on Wind power “Wankers” or “lovers of smoke stags” or think that we have a stake in the coal or oil industry. Because that is utter nonsense. Those that are critical on wind power are as worried as you are about the energy crisis and the global warming. But those Critical on Wind Power also realize the following:
    Humanity needs 426.000.000.000.000.000 BTU of energy per year and obtains it for about 50 % burning that dirty coal!
    Only about 20% of the energy needs worldwide goes to electricity generation of which the “Windmillers” want to off-set 20 % with wind power. Great and how do we generate the other 80 % of the electricity? Still burning that dirty coal!
    And the remaining 80% of the worldwide energy needs are still obtained by burning dirty fossil fuels.
    We, the critics of Wind Power, are getting sometimes very desperate about the fact that the “Pro Wind Power Lobby” sees Wind Power as the Holy Grail to our worldwide energy problems.
    Please have a look at the following scenario: We plant as many windmills necessary to generate 20% of our electricity needs worldwide. It doesn’t matter how many that will be (calculate it, just to have an idea!) With those windmills we have covered 4 % of the world’s energy needs. And now, as supposedly seriously worried people about the health of our climate, explain the “Critics on Wind Power” how you want to supply the other 96 % (408.000.000.000.000.000 BTU) of energy to the world without the extremely expensive and difficult technology for burning coal in a clean way.

  82. says

    Sorry, Alexander, but you seem to miss the point. Why being critical on a source of energy as wind power that supplies the world with 20% of its electricity need? These 20% will reduce the greenhouse gases emissions by million of tons, see it as an alternative to fossil fuels, as it is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed and clean. No sensible person expects wind power to solve our energy problem, this can only be one step in the right direction. There are a lot of innovative technologies capable of supplying the future world with alternative energy such as geothermal, biomass combustion, fuel cells, hydropower e.g. tidal energy and first of all the whole range of solar technology. So please stop painting bleak pictures, don’t waste your time in demonizing promising technologies but support innovative technologies!

  83. says

    Turbines in New England have a 10% capacity contribution to the grid because seasonal wind patterns are in opposition to the demand curve of the grid. To achieve 20% grid penetration in New England you would need to build 200% of the total grid capacity in turbine name plate capacity. That is tens of thousands of turbines. Cost effectiveness aside, is there ever a point at which there are simply too many turbines cluttering the landscape? By installing monstrous arm waving machines on every mountain top and windy farm field we are paying a high price for the loss of our connection to the beauty of the landscape. I would much prefer a clean coal plant in a previously industrialized area.

  84. says

    Sorry Bernd, where did I demonize alternative renewable energy such as geothermal, biomass combustion, fuel cells, hydropower e.g. tidal energy? Which are all very valuable, viable and promising technologies to off-set the burning of fossil fuels. There we go again (see my former post) the “Wind Lobbyists” are criticized and they start barking against the “Anti Wind Lobby” implying that the “Anti Wind Lobby” is against alternative renewable energy technologies and don’t see the need to off-set carbon burning. To show you how committed I am together with a Spanish partner I inform you that we reforestate 10 hectares of waste land in the tropics (Central America) per year (we started 4 years ago) paid out of our own pocket to off-set some of the CO2 generated by the burning of fossil fuels without cashing in on possible CO2 trading! How committed are you?
    And not to waste my time, just read the following:
    Denmark for instance:
    70 to 80% of the electricity generated by wind power in Denmark is exported to Germany because the Danish grid cannot handle the fluctuations. Don’t believe it? Visit: A Problem with Wind Power by Eric Rosenbloom. Also follow the well referenced links there.
    And the biggest fallacy of the Danish Wind Power! Now they are also exporting their surplus electricity to Norway (again at a financial loss), because Norway can ramp their hydro plants easily up and down. This really kills the argument of last resort used by the Wind Power Lobby “But wind power off-sets some carbon emissions!”. ( I am very sorry if I stepped on some looong toes with the expression “Windmiller”) Not in Denmark! Over there apparently the Wind Power reduces the output of the cleanest and environmentally friendliest renewable. How friendly and reliable Hydro Power is, is very well explained by David M. Clemen in his post reacting on an article in the SciAm China’s Big Push for Renewable Energy.
    Please read visit: Wind turbines: the whole truth. READ IT (it is heavy reading) and tell me if there is one fact incorrectly stated, just one.
    Look up the problems VESTAS is having in Denmark with its wind turbine farms.
    Look up the Windreport 2005 from E.ON in Germany (not a small player in Wind Power).
    Do your homework and make some simple calculations.

  85. says

    Dear Steve,

    You seem to miss the point entirely by talking about “Monstorous Arm Waving Machines on every mountain top and windy farm field.
    ” Please don’t forget that in Scotland they have wave turbines that use the energy of the water rushing into natural caves that forces air through turbines to produce great electrical energies which are used to light and power villages supporting many hundreds of people. In time these tidal powered electricity generators will become more numerous and they are underground and will not spoil your view of the landscape. I would rather see Windmills or ….Giant Arm Waving Machines all over the countryside than be threatened by STINKING Coal-fired power stations and Atomic Energy Stations dotting the landscape. It is so sad that many people have already forgotten the terrible lesson of Chernobyl and the terrible legacy of death and destruction left behind not only on the humans who suffered its terrible atomic pollution, but upon the poisoning of the soil in and around Chernobly making it unfit for cultivation and human habitation for aeons to come.

  86. says

    To all those on Planet Earth,
    Before writing anything on this web-site please remember that you are probably one of those lucky ones who was not around Chernobyl when the Atomic Power Station blew up, killing and maiming so many adults and children, especially those brave souls who had to clean up and bury the atomic waste spewed out by the exposed and shattered atomic reactors. Those brave people who went in to mop up the atomic FILTH and shovel it into drums and who had to dispose of it; Yes,they all died and in AGONY TOO.
    “Would to GOD that I had not needed to go in an clean up that Atomic Filth,” was probably the thought of many of these rescue and clean up crew before they died.
    Imagine those poor parents who lost their children through the nuclear filth spread throughout the air in and around Chernobyl after the blast.
    These poor children dying by inches from the cancers they were doomed to inherit after being exposed to these dangerous atomic fallout particulates.
    To get a good idea about the terrible legacy of atomic power I suggest you read a number of the Indian Vedic History Books, translated from the Sanskrit Tongue into English, as I have done. One book, the Mahabharata talks about a great Indian Maharaja in days of Yore, who cursed himself after dropping the BRAMA WEAPON in one of the wars against thousands of enemy troops in India. He dropped this Brama weapon from his VIMANA or Aerial Craft, from many thousands of feet during a great battle many thousands of years ago, long before Jesus Christ was born upon Earth.
    After dropping the Brama Weapon, (read Atom Bomb) it exploded and sent out its deathly blast and light which was “Brighter that a Thousand Suns,” and destroyed those enemy troops far below.
    The Maharja who was also the pilot of this VIMANA realised the atrocity of his act and cursed himself for what he had done and said with great sadness……
    “Cursed be me, for I am become DEATH the DESTROYER OF WORLDS, woe unto me for the wickedness that I have this day wrought unto the Earth and o its people.” And he wept pitifully.
    After landing back at base he was so sorrowful that he could not be comforted for many days.
    Some people think that these accounts are just fables, but they are not. I had the good fortune to be taught physics and mathamatics for five years by a very clever Indian Science Teacher who had studied all these books and their culture and who knew for a fact that Aerial Craft existed not only in India around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago but even earlier and upon the Continents of Atlantis and Mu or Lemuria as it was know in days of Long ago.
    No, my friends, the Wright Brothers were not the first men on Earth to fly.
    They may have been the first to use craft with wings, but cultures far older than those of the West had Aerial travel in Sky-Craft which needed no wings, but were driven by super-powerful magnetic forces which bore them heavenwards. These craft were known as VIMANAS.
    Please search your Libraries and you will find that a wonderous age existed many thousands of years ago not only in India but on the great continents of Mu, or Lemuria and Atlantis. Read the ancient Indian Texts of Yore and you will find diagrams of these sky-craft and strong clues as to how the engines of these craft were constructed. MERCURY was one of the constituents used in powering such sky-craft which roared like thunder as they coursed the Firmament.
    We think that we are so cleaver with our Rockets to the Moon and Mars and Venus etc, but really, relying on such VAUNTED technology is about as intelligent as a man loading up a small dingy with a few hundred pound of rocks who want to cross a small stream. He must throw one rock at a time with great force from the stern of his dingy to propel himself and his dingy across the small stream. Not only must he propel himself and the dingy, but the rocks within the dingy as well. This is the situation which still encumberes your science by clinging to rockets in your attempt to cross space and reach the stars. A man with greater intelligence would fashion a pair of oars and rowlocks to cross the stream and not rely upon rocks thrown by his arm with great force to cross a narrow stream.
    We have known for many years that out there in SPACE there are a multitude of natural magnetic forces which we can use to propel our space craft, but still Earth men cling to to the status quo. The rocket engine has not made one really basic advance since the military ordnance rockets repulsed the invading hordes of Ghengis Khan back in the year of 1217 AD. Certainly you have improved the shape of the rocket motor a little and found fuels with a little more specific thrust than gunpowder, but the basic concept of the rocket has not made any real advance since 1217 AD.
    If you are fortunate enough to have read the works of James Churchward you will have a good lead into the ancient cultures of Earth.
    Remember it is easier to ridicule than to investigate, but it is not as profitable. This last quotation is from my friend A-Lan Alan. Who is he…..
    Investigate please and you will soon have the answer !

  87. says

    To all on Planet Earth,
    My apologies, the military ordnance rockets launched by the Chinese against Genghis Khan and his troops was in the year 1214 AD, not 1217 as I had stated before.

  88. says

    Vimana,
    Thanks for your informative post. You are most certainly correct that the tragedy of Chernobyl must not be repeated. Hopefully we have learned from this disaster and would not repeat the same mistakes. As you point out so eloquently, ancient civilizations made great achievements in technology that were somehow lost along the way. But I wonder, as these ancient technologies were developed, if all went smoothly. Do you suppose there were setbacks along the way that maybe even cost people their lives? Civilization is an experiment isn’t it? The hypothesis is that we will reach a state of profound knowledge and awareness, but there will continue to be many fits and starts along the way, and many mistakes made, as we pursue this quest. Success is rarely had without risk. I would love to be able to row to the nearest star in my little pulling boat.

  89. says

    To Author : Steve T.

    Dear Steve, T.
    Many thanks for you questions. Yes I hope that we have no more atomic disasters on Earth and hopefully no more World Wars. I lived through the Second World War in 1939 to 1945 in London and it terrified me and my whole family. Now to answer you questions in detail.

    1. No not all went smoothly with all the advances in the material sciences between the 2 continents of Atlantis and Lemuria we are led to believe.
    Some 30, 000 to 40,000 years ago great Material and Scientific advances had been made amongst the Atlanteans and the Lemurians, but in their quest with the material science they decided to have a competition between the two great Continents. The competition started off quite friendly at first, but they gradually lost respect for one another over time. Bitter rivalry finally broke out as they flaunted their Scientific achievments in the face of one another until outright war broke out between the 2 continents. Not content with releasing a few binding crumbs of the energy of the Atom such as we had done in exploding our Atom bombs and Hydrogen bombs, these inhabitants of Atlantis and Lemuria had learned to rotate entire Energy Masses upon their axis. This simply means that they had learned how to make any mass attain a speed very close to 186,000 miles per second or close to the speed of Light and move in any given direction from a fixed reference point on Earth. In learning to weild such titanic forces they were playing with energy levels far greater than the Atom Bomb or Hydrogen Bomb. How did they do this exactly? I don’t know, but their material science was obviously many years ahead of ours. The rest of this story if fascinating so I will not spoil it for you. If you care to read the story of Daniel Fry’s you will find it in a book called …….”They Rode in Space Ships, by Gavin Gibbons, an Oxford Don. You can find this marvelous book on the Internet which has legally been reproduced by Shane Donovan an American.
    You should find this book with pictures and drawings on………………….
    Daniel Fry Dot Com Rode in Space Ships : I found it under Google some two years ago.
    The Chapters of the book run so :
    The Vimana at White Sands. ( Vimana = a magnetically driven Scout Craft)
    To New York by Vimana
    A-Lan Explains the Vimana
    Gravity
    Matter and Mass
    Space
    Time
    And a couple more chapters.
    A-Lan is the being who contacted Daniel Fry near the White Sands Missile Proving Grounds on the 4th of July (Independence Day) back in 1950.
    He stressed that there are 3 basic sciences….. The first is the Spiritual Science which is needed above all others to keep us from enmity and war with our neighbours, the second is the Material Science which leads us to manage materials and their use and eventually to Space Flight. The third Science is Social Science, or how man co-operates with one another in finding food and shelter, housing, and getting along with each other peacefully, etc.

    A-lan Alan (his full name) stresses that we should always put the worship of God first, or the Spiritual Science, Next the Social Science, and last of all the Material Science.
    The reason that Atlantis and Lemuria ended up waring was that over the years they lost sight of the Spiritual Science as they concentrated almost entirely on the Material Science to the exclusion of the Spiritual and Social Sciences. This is a condition which threatens our World today as we see so much emphasis on the posession of material things to the exclusion of love for our neighbour and a love for GOD which should be our first goal.
    Jesus summed it up perfectly when he gave the two following Commadments saying…………………………
    1. Though shalt love the Lord thy God, with all they might, with all they strength and with all they soul. And the second is likened unto it,

    2 . And Though shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two laws hang all the Prophets and Commandments.
    I hope you like the book They Rode in Space Ships as much as I do.
    Cheers,

    Vimana Man.

  90. says

    Dear Steve, T,

    If you need to contact me, you can Email me at the following address..

    rvimana@vic.chariot.net.au

    I am trying to get as many people as possible to read this book, for I believe that it is the best book I have ever read apart from The Bible.

    If you look at T. T. Brown on the Internet you will find that back in the early 1900’s he was conducting experiments into electrogravity research if you are interested in this field of material science.

    Cheers,

    Vimana Man.

  91. says

    Dear Alexander,
    first of all I wish to honour your ambitious commitment on climate and environmental
    matters. The more I wonder why you are so critical on wind energy. Is it
    because you are misinformed? When I look at your quoted sources this could
    be the reason:
    You refer to the "Wind Report" by EON. As this company is just round
    the corner where I live here in Germany and as I knew a lot of EON people I
    can give some facts:
    The E.ON Group describes itself as the world’s largest
    investor-owned power and gas company. Headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany,
    the Group has operations in Europe, Russia, and the US that include the entire
    power and gas chain, from electricity and heat generation and gas production
    to energy imports to distribution and customer sales.
    EON has a long track record of fighting energy efficiency and renewable energy.
    It says that “since the opening of Germany’s electricity market
    in April 1998, E.ON has tried to shut down gas-fired high efficiency co-generation
    plants from small utilities and private investors by dumping prices.
    EON has a long tradition of fighting against the most successful laws in Europe
    to phase-in renewable energy. It says “since the very beginning, the
    company, under the name PreußenElectra (Veba) and Bayernwerk (VIAG),
    has fought against the renewable energy law with several court cases” (which
    it lost) tries to block wind development in Germany by ‘grid blockades’,
    meaning that the wind turbine operators are forced to sign contracts which
    enables E.ON to shut down wind turbines in peak production and low demand situations.
    What about their credibility when publishing "wind reports"?
    Eric Rosenbloom is the president of an anti-wind NIMBY group
    called National Wind Watch. What does aweo.org stand for? Who knows. The website
    does not identify the organization sponsoring the website. The whois record
    for the website hides the organization behind aweo.org.
    Find out the truth about some of Mr
    Rosenbloom’s
    imaginative distortions.

    The Dutch engineer Hans Halkema belongs to a world which
    technology lies 15 years behind us, many of his "facts" can be easily
    be proved wrong.
    My advice, please read the only reliable objective analysis by the Deutsche
    Energie Agentur
    "Grid Integration of Wind Energy" written
    by a national panel of independant scientists:
    this is the English
    Summary

  92. says

    Dear Bernd, thank you very much for the link to the Dena Grid Study report. Fascinating reading. I will come back on that in a couple of days. I am not impressed with the imaginative distortions of Mr. Rosenbloom. And I would like to know were Hans Halkema got it wrong.

  93. says

    The Dena Grid Study acknowledges that for the development of wind power to continue beyond 2015, there are currently no solutions available. The study also does not include the cost of the transmission infrastructure that must be built to accommodate wind up to 2015 in the increase in house hold energy costs. The cost of the transmission will be socialized with tax policy, but that’s just a way of hiding the true cost of wind power. Germany is in a tough spot. Having rejected nuclear energy and without an abundance of coal or gas, it has little choice but to pay the wind pipers. The US is in a different place. We have proven reserves of coal and gas to meet demand for centuries. If we can assume that Germany will solve the technological hurdles that will allow the proliferation of wind farms in the near future, cannot we also assume that given several hundred years of plentiful and cheap fossil fuel, the US, with help from the rest of the world, will have enough time to develop fusion, wave power, or even rediscover the ability to cause energy masses upon their axis?

    On a more sober note, one issue that seems to be missing in the “wind power at all costs” discussion is the impending worldwide recession that will make it very difficult for governments to tax and spend at will as unemployment will be at unprecedented levels. The printing presses may keep printing money but the only result will be runaway inflation.

    Survival will be the name of the game and energy usage worldwide is going to decrease for the foreseeable future. We will meet GHG emissions goals as a by-product of this massive decline in the worlds standard of living. The market should determine how we meet our energy needs going forward, not government mandates. Governments have done enough damage already.

  94. says

    Alexander, you would like to know were Hans Halkema got it wrong. Here is just one example,

    Mr Halkema:
    “…this proves that the spreading of Wind turbines over great distances has little effect on making the total power more constant, no matter whether dealing with on- or offshore Wind turbines….It also becomes clear how difficult it will be to maintain a steady power for the grid by adjusting the power of the conventional powerplants to counteract this chaos of hundreds of very sharp peaks in the wind power.
    ..It indeed means that around 90% of the total so-called installed wind power (turbine capacity) must be available from conventional power plants, in order to compensate for the variations of wind power. ”

    DENA Study: The needed amount of wind related regulation and reserve power is about 8-9% of the installed wind power capacity….

    Today these can easily be provided by conventional power plants, in the near future this will be done by renewable energy sources.
    Reserve power has always been needed to compensate power demand on an hourly or daily scale, for a longer period of weak winds there is a reserve of about 10,000MW from reservoir power stations available.
    Guess, where Mr Halkema has got his “facts” from, in fact, it’s the EON wind report!

  95. says

    Dear Readers,

    Regarding Wind Power and storing this energy effectively for the times that the wind is not blowing. The solution is very easy, simply build large super gyroscopes balanced on Magnetic bearings in a Vacuum or Tor- Chamber, linked to a generator with a magnetic clutch. Then, when the wind is blowing for a steady period of time, simply use a portion of this available energy to spin these super gyroscopes to high speed in order to harness the electrical potential for the occasions when the wind is not blowing.
    Another sollution is, if a group of windmills is built high up and close to a set of water dams, use the excess energy of the active windmills to pump the lowest level dam-water up to the higher dam. Then,when the wind is not blowing, simply allow the water in the higher dam to run through a set of tunnels and turbines to escape into the lower dam and spin turbines coupled to electrical generators. By doing this you will gain a steady power output from the spinning turbines coupled to the generators.
    It is a sad fact, that on your planet, there are still a number of people who love to find fault with wind-mills.
    There is often an easy solution to most problems, if people will only put on their THINKING-CAPS.
    Sadly, some people just love to grumble and tear down Earths Science, somewhat Vaunted though it still is; but you will find that in the main, these people never contribute much of value or inventiveness to your world.
    “Wind power will never supply the Base Load energy we need, they continue to bleat” ( like sheep). Well, I have shown you a way to gain a good deal of base energy, but many will not accept this solution, they would rather continue to grumble and live in their little Dickensian World where the Coal Barons back in the early 1800’s ( Victorian times ) first began to poison Earth’s atmosphere and the lungs of all living creatures then, and as modern power barons continue to do; ” A pox on all of them,” I say.

    For thousands of years Earth Men navigated to many parts of their world using natural energy differentials which were not always reliable, but even now, the motors of your cars and aerial conveyances occasionally break down.
    Millers of long ago ground their corn, oats, barley etc using windmills. The important thing here is that they did not pollute their world which GOD gave to them and to you.
    A warning give I now unto all those captains of industry who continue to pollute your Earth. When the Day of Judgement Commeth, as it surely will, those Captains of Industry with their insatiable Lust for Filthy Lucre, read Money and other worldly riches will be held accountable for the pollution which they and your earlier Captains of Industry have wrought upon this now despoiled Earth.
    The only reason mankind still uses hydrocarbon fuels is because Earth’s Citizens have been COLLECTIVELY-HOODWINKED by greedy Captains of Industry, who have effectively enslaved mankind to the Hydrocarbon Treadmill. since the early 1800 ‘s.
    It is perfectly possible to capture Raw Electrical Energy from the Earth with out the need for any polluting machinery as follows. Go to the Internet and look up the following…http://www.theverylastpageoftheinternet.com/forsale/plans/earthbattery/ebpage1.htm
    The title of this article is….. Earth Energy. Subtitle = Experiment#1 How to assemble the 12 vdc system/kit. I found this under Google and am getting more information on the safety aspects of building this system from an Electrician friend of mine for the benefit of those citizens of Earth who wish to be somewhat freed of the Polution Cycle.
    WARNING ! Before attempting to build this system, get advice from a qualified electrician, or see if he is prepared to help you build it. Do not try it alone, unless you are a qualified electrician. This Earth Energy Battery Article is 10 pages long. To increase the voltage, one only needs to add to the number of copper pipes buried vertically in the ground. Again be very careful and get a qualified electrician to help you with this project for both you and everybody’s safety.

    Cheers,

    Vimana Man.

  96. farzad says

    i wonder why they do not use larger blades. is it becouse larger blades need much more powerful supports to handle or is it somethig else?

  97. says

    Bernd,
    According to you the DENA report is “the only reliable objective analysis” (which in itself is off course ridiculous) and in the same post you reproach the Dutch engineer Halkema that one of his references where he gets his facts from is the E.ON wind report. But E.ON is one of the major collaborators in your only reliable objective analysis the DENA report. In other words when Halkema refers to it, E.ON is not objective, but when E.ON collaborates in the DENA report they all of the sudden are objective. For me that kite doesn’t fly!
    The DENA report does not discuss the viability of Wind Energy, but the consequences of Wind Energy on the German Electricity Grid, because some politicians took the well intended (WE ARE SO GREEN,) but “irresponsible” decision to go for enormous amounts of WIND Energy.
    I completely concur with SteveT:
    The Dena Grid Study acknowledges that for the development of wind power to continue beyond 2015, there are currently no solutions available. The study also does not include the cost of the transmission infrastructure that must be built to accommodate wind up to 2015 in the increase in house hold energy costs. The cost of the transmission will be socialized with tax policy, but that’s just a way of hiding the true cost of wind power.

    Therefore I repeat:
    It is not possible to solve the Global Energy Crisis and The Global Warming Crisis with Wind Power and without developing the technology to burn coal in a clean and environmental responsible way.. Read my posts of 12.30.08 at 4:33 pm & 01.08.09 at 9:25 am earlier in this blog.

  98. says

    Alexander,
    The DENA report is so far the most reliable analysis as the authors represent some 20 institutions, companies, authorities etc (yes, one of them is EON Netz, a division of EON, while the “Wind Report” is an exclusive EON product) and because the results of the study were evaluated by two independend experts who accompanied the study. Do you know of any other study that was eloborated on a comparable basis?
    There are some results of this study I find encouraging for any supporter of renewable energies:
    An 80 Mio industrial country is capable of installing about 50GW reneable energy sources within some years raising the share of total electric power to 20%. Wind power production will rise to 78 TWh/a in 2015 resulting in a reduction of 40Mio tons carbon dioxide. The wind related regulation and reserve capacities can be covered by conventional power station park. The extension of extra high voltage transmission network would will be 0,025ct/kWh for private households.
    Who says that the global energy/warming crisis can be solved by wind power alone? It’s just a valuable contribution, one important step towards a possible solution…Here again my
    Video

  99. says

    Bernd Our discussion is becoming completely senseless, whacking each other around the ears regarding which report is more reliable.
    The European Wind Integration Study (EWIS) is as reliable and gives a much better idea of the magnitude of the problems wind power generates to have it integrated in a Pan European Electricity Grid.
    And the Facts about the German Electricity Grid in the Vattenfall report shows where the money goes, when you pay your electricity bill in Germany.
    But this is all totally irrelevant when you realize that:
    1) Today humanity uses 426 Quads (426.000.000.000.000.000 BTU) of energy per year, of which the lion’s share comes from burning coal. (50 % worldwide, I don’t think that is a very bad estimate)
    That means: 213.000.000.000.000.000 / 20.000.000 (This is the amount of BTU one ton of coal produces when burned.) = 10.650.000.000 tons of coal are burned by humanity every year. With the result that we are pumping 10.650.000.000 x 2.86 (burning one ton of coal produces on average 2.86 tons of CO2 (plus a lot of other harmful stuff)) = 30.459.000.000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year.
    2) In ten years time humans will “need” or use 150 Quads more, thinking about the 3 billion people in the fast developing countries like China, India, Indonesia, Russia, etc., sitting on very big coal reserves!
    3) Global warming has set in and one of its major contributors is CO2. Our days are counted if we don’t do anything about it!
    In my opinion it will be impossible to take coal out of the energy equation for the next 100 years, because all the renewables (now worldwide probably a energy contributor of less than 3 %) will not be able to off-set the amount of energy produced from coal and coal is the most available fossil fuel in those fast developing populous countries. Social pressures will force those fast developing countries to burn coal anyway (in a clean or dirty way). Wars have been fought for much sillier reasons. Therefore I am of the opinion that we have to develop the technology to burn coal in a clean and environmental friendly way, despite the extreme difficulties and extremely high costs. We cannot deprive humanity today of about 213 Quads (halve of its energy “needs” or usage) and we cannot go-on burning fossil fuels as we do today without destroying the global climate completely. Both ways (depriving or dirty burning) will bring war, death and mass extension for humans.
    I am of the opinion that all resources spend on Wind Energy is a waste of time and resources because it only tackles 4 % of our total energy problem in about 15 years time ! ( 20 % of our total energy needs go to electricity generation and the politicians want 20 % of our electricity from Wind Power in about 10 to 15 years time. 20% of 20% = 4%)
    These resources could be used in a much better and effective way. By for instance:
    1. Informing the general public about our real energy needs and explain how much we waste.
    2. Educating the general population how to save energy.
    3. Creating a real awareness about everybodies personal footprint and make it a national and global sport to make those individual footprints as small as possible, through schools and television programs (EDUCATION)
    4. Going for the technology to burn coal (and other fossil fuels) as clean as possible. Humanity is going to burn them anyway.
    5. Plasma Fusion and Super Conductivity are the only technologies that really can get humanity out of its energy predicament. But it will take decades before we have those technologies available.
    For me Wind Power is as ridiculous as putting sails on 300.000 ton Super Tankers to of-set 4 % bunker oil by WIND Power. (And when you make some simple calculations you will see that this rediculous idea is of the same order of magnitude as Wind Power!)
    A great consolation for me during our discussions was the book I was reading by Richard Dawkins called: “The Ancestor’s Tale, A pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution”. There it becomes completely clear that life will go-on on earth with or without humanity. But I would appreciate it if we (humans) could be part of life on earth in the future.

  100. says

    farzad
    Going from 3 to 5 blades might increase your output by 2%, but it could add 10% to the costs (Just think in the size of the hub!).

    Adding too many blades lowers the total power collected though, not raise it. The drag of moving a large number of blades through the air takes power away from the output. As another blade is added, the drag of moving it forward through the air takes away from the torque available to the output shaft. Power losses due to added drag mount faster than power production form adding blades. The fewer the better from that standpoint.

    Generally a ‘prime number’ of blades is desired to minimize vibrations. Even numbers give the system more problems between the ‘forcing frequencies’ of torque/pressure pulsations as each blade passes the tower and resonant/natural frequencies of the components.
    Have a look at Optimising Wind Turbines and at Wind Energy Technology. Both links give a pretty good idea of blade design for wind turbines.

  101. says

    Alexander,
    Your posts are unassailable. I don’t know why the wind proponents keep up their assault. Its checkmate.

    Their “every little bit helps” argument would be benign enough if “little bit” didn’t mean having thousands of the things on the top of this page sprawling all over the few unspoiled places that are left, like the beautiful mountains and lakes of Maine, where 6000 turbines will be required to meet the goal of 3000 MW of capacity by 2020. Maine could easily meet all of its electric needs with long term hydro contacts with neighboring Canada, but the ex governor has manipulated the political process and bamboozled the ill-informed legislature into believing that turbines will save the earth.

    Its 20 below zero in Maine today. I am sick to death of the AGW fanatics. Humans will adapt to whatever happens to the climate. The have shown that capability through several periods of glaciation and warming. The real risk humans face is governments that think they know whats best.

  102. Konstantin Mihnev, "Innovative Energy Systems" Ltd says

    Enercon is on right way but not due the size of this wind turbine. Their main achievment lie in the improvement aerodynamic profile. It could be even subject to more improvement by implementing new technologies. Unfortunatelly the main producers as Enercon, Nordex, Siemens, GE, etc. are not accepted innovations by other small companies, probably becouse to justify that they have large R&D units which is exoected to produce new ideas and to realize them. Practically this ocuure very rare. For example we have some solutions but fail in contacts with the established producers- they simply pay no attention, or say – give us your idea, we will consider it, which is not realistic.

  103. says

    SteveT, thanks for the compliment :-)
    Next week Obama gets sworn in and his energy team is going to have (and is having already) a fresh look at:
    1) The energy crisis
    2) The oil dependence of the US (By the way, Wind Power is NOT going to solve the US oil dependence, because the US hardly uses any oil for its electricity generation).
    Where can you help me to get my message across? Being it with the Obama Energy team or with your local Governor in Maine. Be aware that during the last decade the Wind Power industry has grown worldwide so big, that it is going to be very hard to turn this tide. The wind industry has reached critical mass and has (for the UNINFORMED general public and the UNIFORMED politicians) a very popular “do-good” and “save the world” message.

  104. says

    Among the many myths that wind power has attracted here is one also used in this discussion:
    The Myth: As an energy source, wind power can’t make any difference
    The Facts: Wind Power…
    reduces pollution…
    • Unlike other forms of power generation, wind energy is clean
    and renewable. It’s “clean” because its operation doesn’t
    produce any carbon dioxide, the largest contributor to global warming. There
    are also no other harmful gases or waste products. By contrast, power stations
    burning fossil fuels, mainly coal and gas, are responsible for a quarter
    of the increase in greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere. It’s “renewable” because
    its fuel source is the wind – freely available and constantly renewed.
    • Every unit of electricity generated by wind power will avoid pollution
    from an existing power station. This is most likely to be fuelled by coal or
    gas. The operation of an average 2 MW wind turbine will reduce CO emissions
    by 4.4 tonnes per year. In total 370 million tones of CO can be avoided in
    Europe by the use of wind power, which represents 36 % of the target agreed
    in March by the Heads of States.
    • In the United States, if wind energy were to provide 20 % of the
    country’s
    electricity, this would displace a third of the emissions from coal-fired
    power stations.
    generates reliable electricity
    • Modern wind turbines are extremely robust machines designed to operate
    in all types of climate – in the desert, the Arctic and the middle
    of the sea.
    • Wind turbines generate electricity most (70-85 %) of the time, although
    their output varies according to the strength of the wind. They start generating
    power when the wind is blowing at about 4-5 metres per second and then stop
    again if it reaches gale force strength – about 25 metres/second.
    • Over the course of a year, a wind turbine on land will generate
    around 30 % of its theoretical maximum output, depending on the specific
    site. Offshore, the percentage is higher. This is known as its load factor.
    By comparison, the load factor of conventional power stations averages 50
    %. Because of stoppages for maintenance or breakdowns, no power plant generates
    for 100 % of the time.
    • Wind turbines can carry on generating electricity for 20-25 years.
    Over their lifetime they will be running continuously for as much as 120,000
    hours.
    On an average site, a 2 MW wind turbine will produce electricity equivalent
    to the consumption of 1,375 average EU households.
    • Security of energy supply is improved by renewable sources such as
    the wind because there is no reliance on extensive fuel supply chains or
    politically unstable countries for the supply of fuel.
    is already making an important contribution to electricity supply…
    • Over the past decade the global market for wind power
    has been expanding faster than any other renewable energy source. Since
    the year 2000 the average annual increase in cumulative installed capacity
    has been 28 %.
    • By the end of 2006, the worldwide capacity of wind power generation
    had reached 74,000 MW. In Europe, it had reached
    48,000 MW. This is enough to meet 3 % of European electricity demand. Denmark
    gets 20 % of its electricity from wind power, Spain 8 % and Germany 7 %.
    •The EU overall long-term target of at least 20% renewable energy in 2020
    should be accompanied by sector-specific targets for electricity (35% by
    2020, of which wind can provide 12%), heating (25%) and biofuels (12%).
    These three sectors all contribute to a sustainable, secure and competitive
    energy supply.

    Anyway, for those coal supporters here is my video Energy from Coal
    the
    others may enjoy The
    World’s largest Wind Turbine

  105. says

    Alexander,
    Visit saveroxbury.org and leave a comment. I will then be able to contact you via your email address without broadcasting it to the web. I agree with your assessment of the wind industry’s advantage. Last night the voters of Roxbury, Maine succumbed to promises of much lower property taxes and voted 87-81 to allow 22 turbines on the ridges above the town. We will fight on.

  106. says

    SteveT
    I posted the following comment on your saveroxbury.org page:
    I understand that: “last night the voters of Roxbury, Maine succumbed to promises of much lower property taxes and voted 87-81 to allow 22 turbines on the ridges above the town”. That looks like a pretty small margin and I hope the decline in local revenues are added to the integral costs of those 22 wind turbines. I think I can provide the arguments to turn that vote around in the future, despite the promise of lower property taxes or any other “pay for play”. Because that’s what it is, in a disguised form!
    Lets see what we can do :-) !

  107. says

    Do not see any way in the world that wind energy is anything but a global ponzi scam. Given they have been operating in America for a quarter of a century and still enjoy 24 tax dollars for every one dollar of conventional energy I would say they are in it for the tax dollars and little else.

    Most experts agree that fusion will be on-line before the storage issues related to wind power will be solved. Wind energy is just an icon to those who long for the elusive “holy grail” known as energy independence.

  108. says

    This Horizontal Access Windmill Turbine (HAWT) is more of a killer than the average Vertical Axis Windmill Turbine (VAWT) which are lower in frequency than HAWT. If this is true than what about rare earth magnets as bearings for the VAWT so that efficency can be increased for a more compatible design.

  109. Bhavath says

    I would like to ask all of you a question.Wind mill requires no fuel and so it is clean. Agreed. But it needs tons of steel and other alloys. A lot of coal is burnt for making the steel. Did any body in the world has considered this pollution?My be it can nullify the advantages!

  110. says

    To all readers of this Site,

    Some of you are very caring about this Planet and its inhabitants. A very few of you seem to hate wind turbines, or wind mill electrical generators. Please, those of the latter view, just Thank God that you were not a child at Chernobyl when their Atomic Power Plant blew up and wrought such terrible consequenses to the immediate population. Don’t you GET IT……..it’s the little children, especially who are doomed to a life of very short duration as their little bodies fight to overcome the terrible legacy of crippling radiation damage which has been wrought upon them by this ATOMIC FILTH which poured out of those accursed atomic chimneys and spread their cancerous radiation over all and sundry, especially those close to the atomic chimneys and well down wind. WAKE UP, I SAY ! For Heaven’s sake, Atomic Power is a BLOODY CANKER of DEVILLISH PROPORTIONS. The sooner all atomic power plants and stinking COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS are consigned to the DUST-BIN of useless inventions will be a great day for the Earth. Yes, all coal-fired power stations are a CANKER ON THE FACE OF PLANET EARTH.

    Cheers,

    Vimana Man.

  111. Trevor & Lou says

    i think its a pile of rubbish… (meaning the comments not the wind thingy)
    i wouldnt listen to any of the comments.
    they suck!!!!!!!

    x

  112. jaxon Jackson says

    If you don’t see a need to reduce fossil
    Fuel use then the economics will never
    Pencil out. Otherwise wind power is the
    Most mature tech when properly sites.
    Projects have the lowest financial risk and
    Shortest lead time. The fluctuating
    Generation will be less of an issue with
    A smart grid. Leave your car plugged in
    Let the system decide when to charge it.
    Current turbines will be upgraded as
    Tech improves. How big will these things
    Get. Amazing.

  113. Joe says

    Its not a major hazard for a few turbines to be set up here and there. Its when we build many in a localized area that happens to be in a major migratory route that kill a lot of birds, and it does add up over time and will only get worse with more and more turbines being set up across the country.

  114. the other guy says

    hey Vimana Man, keep in mind that that has only happed once, im for wind energy but we really need to look into other alternative sources to. by the way wtf is a bloody canker. use words that make sense

  115. says

    To : The other guy.

    Sire, or old English for a distinguished gentleman like YOU!………..
    Please see the “Collins English Gem Dictionary”, Canker is a Noun and means the following……….eating sore, thing that eats away, destroys, corrupts.–v.t . = verb transitive infect, corrupt = verb intransitive.decay.– cankered a. = adjective, = canker-worm, n. = noun.
    If you do not know the meaning of a particular word or words…..please check a dictionary first before having a dig at me.
    You said in your letter, ” im for wind energy etc….”
    Good on you Mate, if you are an Aussie, but you meant I am which is spelt I’m you should have spelt it with a Capital “I”.
    I do use words that make sense, just check you dictionary first before insulting me, a German who has learnt the English Language since I was a child, and who is a teacher of the English Language as well.
    Cheers!

    Vimana Man.
    Vimana Man.

  116. says

    Bhavath,
    Part of the Energy balance of a 6 MW Wind Turbine,br/>

    Wind mill with a capacity of 6 MW produces per year:
    Watts installed: 6,000,000
    Capacity factor:0.33
    Days: 365
    Hours/day:24
    Sec/hour:3600
    Joule/year: 6.2+13 Joule

    The energy needed to produce the 680 tons of steel used in the 6 MW Wind Turbine.
    The Windmill contains 500 ton of steel in structure plus about 180 of steel re-enforcement bars in the reinforced concrete. That makes a total of 680 tons of steel.
    Now visit the following link:http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80841e/80841E06.htm

    Let’s take the US number of 23.9E+9 Joule per ton. That means to produce the 680 tons of steel necessary for the 4MW windmill you need 1.6E+13 Joule of energy.

    The energy needed to produce the 1500 M3 of concrete used in the 6 MW Wind Turbine.
    Let’s have a look at the Portland Cement Company’s information:
    Visit the fllowing link: http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/image.cfm?imageName=images/0202/ee4cc.gif&fileName=020201b.xml

    So, to produce, transport and pour 1.500 tons of concrete you need 1.500 x 2,345,824,341 = 3.51874E+12 Joules of energy.
    CONCLUSION
    For the 680 tons steel you need: 1.6E+13 Joule of energy
    1.6E+13 Note: The figure of concrete includes everything, production, transport and pouring. The figure for steel only includes the conversion of iron ore to rough steel. So the energy needed to convert the steel in plates, make a tower of it and erect the tower is not included. As far as I can find that represents another 25 % of energy.
    For the 1500 m3 of concrete you need: 0.351874E+13 Joules
    So a Wind Turbine with an installed power needs for its steel and concrete:
    (1+ 0.4 (25 % more) + 0.35)E+13 = 1.75E+13 Joule
    It produces: 6.2E+13 Joule per year.
    In about 1.75/6.2 = 0.28 year equals 102 days the WIND Turbine has produced the energy needed for its steel and concrete

    • Brian says

      So 3 & 1/2 months to generate the energy for it’s concrete and steel? What’s the lifespan of the turbine? 5, 10, 25 years? Seems like it’s still a win.

    • says

      That is assuming the thing produces 6MW. In reality, a wind mill only produces about 18% of its installed capacity in a year. And the power it produces isnt helping anything. It just puts a coal-fire power plant on standby, still burning its fuel but not generating electricity. Then when the wind stops, it then generates the power. Wind does not work.

      • Anonymous says

        do the same analysis for any other type of power generation, clean or not… of course you use energy to build the damn thing… the point is once its constructed there is no byproduct associated with operating it…

  117. says

    Godeon,
    Off course not!
    Please see the capacity factor of 0.33 I have taken into account.
    Please read my other comments in this blog, then you know exactly how I think about these futile wind contraptions.

    And because their total futility with regard to solve the worlds energy crisis and the dramatic climate change we have started to construct a webpage where all aspects of the worlds energy situation are highlighted and put into a proper perspective. Where we also invite everybody worldwide to contribute.
    At the moment this page is under construction, please have a quick look at Global Energy Crisis , just the get the idea. We hope to be up and running in a couple of weeks and we are looking forward to your future contributions.

  118. says

    Wind turbines present an ecological paradox that must be dealt with. What sort of environmentalists would trash priceless vistas and say that it’s good for the environment? Nature is supposed to be easy on the eyes, not an acquired mechanical taste. Turbine pushers are busy wrecking wilderness acreage, historic landmarks and postcard rural scenery. Spinning white beams rarely fit the landscape, especially when placed on ridge-tops. Along with blighted horizons, many trees are cut for roads and clear-space around turbine bases. One can only hope that their favorite scenery is outside a “wind resource zone” and won’t end up resembling Coney Island.

    Low-profile (and hopefully quiet) turbines powering one home at a time are better aesthetically, and THEY should be subsidized, along with solar panels on existing rooftops. The idea should be to minimize impact on untouched lands and uncorrupted views. This is not NIMBYism. The world (with population growth of 75 million annually) has a finite supply of places on which to build spinning skyscrapers. The land and oceans have been trashed enough already.

  119. Charlie says

    Alexander, thank you for your response to Bhavath’s question. 102 days and it’s paid for itself right? but the money isn’t really the issue, since in initial production, transportation, construction etc energy has already been used. Most probably from fossil fuels. So, even though the whole thing is paying for itself in an amazingly small period of time, we’re still producing green house gases and burning fossil fuels to make this thing.

  120. says

    He He He, I DID NOTsay that it paid for itself! I only showed that a windmill of that size (smaller ones take much longer) recuperates the energy spent on the production of its steel and concrete in about 102 days. Nothing more. When you take everything into account then you’ll see that a windmill (also add on the subsidies, tax-brakes, adaptions to the grid, horrifying maintenance costs, back-up conventional powerplants (the wind doesn’t blow always :-) etc. the list is endless) will never be viable.

    I suppose you don’t believe
    Then try this: Ask any “serious” windmill manufaturer a serious quotation!.
    With a serious quotation I mean including:
    1. Guaranteed output
    2. Complete turn-key costs (I mean you make the last agreed payment when the contraption is functioning and delivering the energy to the grid, the connection to the grid and a sales contract with the local energy distrbution company.)
    3. A 5 year warranty on material failures and maintenance.
    4. A reasonable maintenace contract.
    I assure you, when you try that you will drown in a guagmire of irrelevant nonsense exuses. You will never get that quoationbecause those manufacturers know very well that their product isn’t viable.Windenergy is a green polical driven Ponzi Scheme.

  121. aym says

    There is nothing wrong with wind power. Looking at the total energy consumption of the human species, total energy consumption was around 0.5 ZJ (15TW) per year from of all sources. It is estimated that 72TW of wind can be commercially exploitable.

    At best coal technology only coverts to about 45% of it’s energy to electricity. It is limited by basic thermodynamic limitations. Arguments of the direct replacement of the equivalent BTU’s is a disingenuous argument since the only thing being replaced is the electricity generated.

    The EIA puts the production costs of wind electricity around 0.9 c/kwh. A Minnisota utility study put the additional costs of having 25% wind at less than an additional half cent to the cost of electricity. Adding capital costs does increase the overall costs of wind power, and this levelized cost is presently higher than coal and gas but lower than nuclear. Wind capital costs have gone steadily down though except for the last year or so because of explosive US demand which put in I think around 12 to 14 GW of capacity over the last 2 years. The equivalent to 4-5 1GW nuclear power plants for around the 20-25 billion US. Fairly cheap considering the equivalent figures for nuclear power being discussed by the utilities.

    According to a 2007 Stanford University study published in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, interconnecting ten or more wind farms allows 33 to 47% of the total energy produced to be used as reliable, baseload electric power, as long as minimum criteria are met for wind speed and turbine height. Confirmed in the DOE’s wind 2030 study.

    Clean coal has been bandied about for years. No private industry has tried it. Bush promised it before 2000. Zero. Latest foray by public/private consortium failed. The supposition that since wind cannot be used for total replacement of coal, it is a waste of money is erroneous. Although cost savings are slowing down for wind, it is still a maturing technology. Coal is a much more mature technology, and any improvements are more incremental and hence will not lead to larger cost savings, although tech improvements for various streams ie waste will be improved and you will only see small improvements. When cap and trade or any schema that internalizes cabron costs comes, the situation vis a vis coal will be even less favorable. Industry itself doesn’t believe in the absolute future of clean coal, in a very similar way that the US car industry didn’t understand the nature of high oil prices or hybrids and dragged it’s feet and the industry is dragging it’s feet on coal.

    Wind power has been installed world wide by all types of utilities. The market is growing in all types of markets in all types of utilities both private and public. The imputation that wind doesn’t have definable parameters is of course misinformation. The utility companies of the world aren’t that stupid. They would not build anything that they couldn’t justify. There are definite studies from the DOE on down on the advantages and disadvantages of wind. Wind isn’t the exclusive answer to our energy problems. There are distinct problems that require the implementation of solutions, some of which exist, some of which are in developement. But the implementable parts of wind to the energy needs of today and tomorrow are very viable and cost effective. They aren’t perfect but then no technology is ideal especially since it seems more of a value question and hence more qualitative than a quantitative question.

    Society has to build capacity for replacement and growth. We know about conservation and that should be maximized. But that will only go so far. We know how much we already have, pollutes and why. We need to diversify. We need to create green technologies that maximize our resources and extend our options. Wind power is a very viable and far better solution to that of coal which still hasn’t changed fast enough in this changing environment. Coal still has and probably alway will have a place. It will have to leverage it’s positive aspects and create/ameliorate it’s liabilities just like wind does. And wind does do this in a very transparent fashion. Coal still has no implemented solutions to it’s latest liabilities and no real timetable when they will be a reality.

  122. says

    AYM,
    Fact – Electricity generation accounts for only about 14% of worldwide energy consumption.
    Fact – Wind power cannot exceed 20% of electrical generation without grid reliability problems due to the well documented intermittancy issues. Only a cost effective storage solution can solve that problem. Got one?
    Fact – Therefore wind power cannot reduce fossil fuel consumption, which is primarily used for transportation and heating, by more than 2.8% (20% of 14%).
    Fact – Wind power, at full deployment will not extend the fossil fuel supply by more than 2.8 years per century at current rates of consumption, which are anticipated to grow as undeveloped countries become industrialized and burn coal and build nuclear reactors.
    Fact – Wind power, at full deployment will not reduce GHG emissions by more than 2.8%, so will have no measurable impact on climate change, as if we can actually control the climate in the first place. Al Gore notwithstanding the debate is far from being settled.
    Fact – If the money being used to subsidize wind power was spent on conservation, insulation, energy efficient lighting and heating equipment, and fuel efficient vehicles, the reductions in fossil fuel use would be many times greater than the benefits provided by wind power. An example from Glenn Scheede is a dollar spent on CFL light bulbs will save 5 times as much energy in 5 years as a dollar spent on a wind turbine will generate in 20 years.

    A 2.5 MW turbine is equal to a 3000HP engine and costs about $5 million.
    At 10% capacity credit that $5 million turbine is equal to a 300 HP Ford pickup truck which costs about $25,000.

    Wind power is a transfer of wealth scam. Nothing more. Utility companies build wind turbines because they make money for their shareholders from the ill conceived and unjustifiable but nevertheless real subsidies, not because wind power makes sense. No one who is in the electricity generating business will denigrate wind power because it is an attractive investment.

    • Glenn Martin says

      That’s because they don’t know yet. It’s guarenteed that some parts will fail well before their estimated design lifetimes but that’s really the only way to find out. However the structural and wear aspects are very similar to the engineering required for high bridges, automobile vibration wear for same and a huge body of practical knowledge in the aeronautics and aeromechanics field. The thing will very likely work as planned for the most part with few nasty surprises.
      Given that your own calculations show that it could produce the energy required to manufacture, ship and assemble it in less than a third of a year, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect an energy payback in under five years. As for the financial aspects, it is, of course a prototype (a test bed in fact) and therefore was never expected to break even.
      Now a mass-produced model in the thousands or tens of thousands is another thing. Given that most power plants are replaced every 40 years on average and that power transmission technology has gotten cheaper in the form of DC transmission lines which make it easier to synchronize new incoming power sources with the existing grid via transformers, it shouldn’t be much of a burden to go this route. Especially if wind is given the same subsidies, tax breaks and favourable legislation that the fossil fuel industry is given,

      • Glenn Martin says

        My bad!
        I missed the capacity factor you put in at the start of your calculation. Since you’re already estimating that the windmill’s average output is only a third of its’ maximum rating then the evergy payback time will only be the 102 days you estimated.

  123. zeus says

    This windmill is cool and all, but you green energy people need to understand its limitations. It would take more than 20 of these things just to support 1 of the mills required to make the materials to build this windmill. That doesnt include the copper for the windings, and the maintenance parts required for sustained energy production. In fact after 10 years most windmills are more expensive to repair than to replace. so what are you really saving.

  124. bob says

    HAWAII IS BUILDING WIND TURBINES ON ALL ISLANDS
    AND WILL BE TOTALLY OFF OIL SHORTLY CONTRACTS HAVE
    ALREADY HAVE BEEN SIGNED FOR ELECTRIC CARS FOR
    HAWAII AND IT WILL BE THE FIRST STATE TO GET OFF OIL!

  125. GREEN says

    This is not about money its about reducing carbon emissions and eventually not relying on hydrocarbons for energy because we will run out of them and wind power is not being seen as the only solution, the solution is everything from solar, wave, biomass, etc. One big change will be more and more electric cars using hydrogen fuel cells. Think about the cost in materials, money and to the environment of oil and gas platforms and this cost is always there because most workers are transported by helicopters which burn fuel and cost money. Wind and other green energy is cheaper if you look at the bigger long term picture.

  126. GREEN says

    WORKERS ON OIL AND GAS PLATFORMS. THEY DONT LIVE ON THEM. ITS A BIG COST AND ADDS TO POLUTION. MUCH CHEAPER AND CLEANER INSTALLING AND OPERATING WIND, SOLAR, WAVE POWER ETC

  127. says

    Green,
    Timing is everything. It makes no sense to invest in more expensive and less reliable generation before it is needed. CO2 is a poor excuse to stop using the cheapest forms of energy. The price of energy should drive the switch to non-fossil fuel, not some politically correct theory of global warming. Building wind farms before they are economically justifiable requires subsidies that only enrich wind farmers and make citizens poorer. Just because we know how to build huge turbines doesn’t mean its a good idea. Lets use that money on conservation, efficiency and to continue looking for real solutions to the end of fossil fuels, which will not happen anytime soon according to the US Energy Information Administration:
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/contents.html.

    • Glenn Martin says

      By all means let’s let economics decide but TRUE economics; with ALL the costs factored in. This would include the truly terrifying costs of SCIENTIFICALlY correct global warming.
      As for EIA figures on future oil production, no geologist worthy of the name would endorse them.

  128. says

    We have for years researched a unique verticle axis turbine design that incorporates the dyno into the turbine hub. Since the advent of ‘True-Turbine “Jet” propulsion, propeller designers have had to take a back seat except for helicopters till they could ply their clever craft to set up their Ponzi scheme with their Propeller Towers. It’s actually a perversion of the definition of ‘Turbine’ to call Propeller Towers Wind “Turbines.”They fought and argued long and hard against the ‘Jets’ and have carefully money funnelled all alternative wind energy R & D away from even considering looking into anything that is not a ‘Propeller Tower’for generating electric power from wind. But, like Wall Street Bankers, they know their inevietable demise will come when cheaper, more efficient, verticle axis turbines are even slightly developed for their potential, they revolve ‘with’ the flow of the wind, not against it, and can maximize wind force capture while gyroscopically stabilizing. Propeller Tower advocates know this and have had to lie and cover to get as far as they have while shutting out the whole truth about wind dynamics, just like building the “Spruce Goose,” its like giant scale prestige. Even though the Chevy might be a great car, they only want the BMW. Come to think of it, Propeller Towers do resemble Mercedes Benz emblems. They just are not the “ONLY” way to convert wind to electric power, and probably are not the best. They do need to research “New” alternative wind energy potential designs for cost effective benefit and not just for Fad, Trend, Prestige, and Profit. Propeller Towers are neither NEW or perfectable means of deriving electric power from wind.

    • Glenn Martin says

      Your average city sky scraper is far bigger and more complex. This also pales in comparison to the size of suspension bridges. Why do you find this so alarmingly large?

  129. Wind Power 4 Ever says

    Many people have commented saying we should build nuclear plants, and this may be fine for those countries with vast water supplies, but down here in Australia, where we have had a drought for the past 12/13 years, nuclear reactors require far too much water to cool their reactors. The other option is to place them near oceans or lakes, but then again this only kills the sorrounding fish and marine life, partly on whose behalf we are trying to step away from coal generation. If we are truley intent on ‘saving the world’ Australians simply cannot afford to do it through nuclear, leaving wind/solar/tide etc of which wind is the most efficent and cost effective.

  130. THX1168 says

    lets get the facts on rotor tip speed done once and for all.
    GIVEN: Diameter is 126 meters. ( give or take a few decimeters)
    It Takes 1 blade, 5 sec to do 1 rev.
    distance traveled 1 rev: (126*2)*pi =791meters
    meters /sec: 791/5= 158m/sec, OR (158*3600) =570010 m/hr OR
    570kph. OR 570*.6 = 342mph.
    This equates to 1.256 Radians/sec ( 71.9 deg/sec)
    it doesnt matter, the rotational velocity is the same in radians or degrees per sec. however speed along any point along the blade will vary with the distance from the center from zero for center of the hub to +340mph at the tips.
    I WOULD rather have a roof covered in solar cells to supply my house with electrical power during the day, Use the grid power by night supplemented with wind power 24hrs a day when the wind is blowing. Yea, this may cut my demand for oil/coal/nuclear based power, but in the end, its green power.

    No matter what you do, you are always going to get “the butterfly effect”.
    ie. solar cells are dark in color, and absorb photons for electrical generation and more in the EM band generating excess heat and transferring it into the atmosphere.

  131. Anamouse says

    It sure would have been nice if they gave us a few econimic facts.

    What does it cost?
    How much does it cost to set it up?
    What are the anticipated maintenance costs?
    What is it’s expected life?
    How much will they have to charge for the power it creates?

    I love the fact that it could easily coexist in most urban enviroments. If it was at oneone edged of a park it could easily be serviced.

    And about those birds, I see lots killed by buildings all the time, so a few more dead birds is a small price to pay for the CLEAN power this creates.

  132. Harold Armitage says

    The whole idea is complete nonsense, technically and economically. When the wind don’t blow, the thing don’t go. Ergo, conventional backup power has to be constructed and kept on line to meet the electricity demand when there’s no wind.. Or do without electricity.

    It says the thing generates DC which is then converted to AC. I can’t imagine how MW of power is inverted. Do they make electronic devices that big?

  133. says

    There is a cheaper and better way.

    PROPOSAL
    1. Wave Water Pump – WWP
    • Lifts a small quantity of water to a high head due to the Potential Energy of the incoming wave, collects it in a piping network and feeds it to a hydro-turbo generator to produce electric power
    • A set of pumps up to ten and a mile wide may be installed in line with the incoming wave to extract most of its energy.
    1. Wave Air Pump – WAP
    • Compresses air due to Kinetic Energy of the incoming wave, collects it in a piping network and feeds it into the air inlet of a turbo generator. Fuel is injected as needed to maintain turbo generator output irrespective of wave heights.
    • Utilizes an existing power plant, or a new power plant close to the shore.
    • Ideal for off-shore wind turbine farms, as it utilizes the off-shore wind turbine supporting structure as a Wave Air Pump at negligible cost.
    2. Wind Turbine Pump – WTP
    • Present design of wind turbines call for installing 3-blade turbines to directly drive a generator installed at the top of the wind turbine supporting structure.
    • One firm boasts that it had developed a 100 meter diameter wind turbine and installing a 5-Mega Watt generator weighing 403 tons at the tope of the wind turbine supporting structure. This is an engineering achievement, to provide the highway to transport the equipment to site, lift a 403 ton generator and install it at a minimum height of 70-meters above ground level. Many reasons make this as ridiculous: Cost, Frequency Stabilization, Operation and Maintenance, and dependability; since NO Wind NO Power Output.
    • A simpler way is to make the wind turbine directly drive a fluid pump installed at the tope of the mast, transmit the power down the mast to a ground based generator. This technology is known and developed.
    • Another method is to have the fluid power drive an air compressor at ground level, collect the compressed air from more than one wind turbine and feed the compressed air to the air inlet of a turbo generator. Fuel is fed according to power requirements and is used to stabilize frequency. This is a known and proven technology.
    • In this manner power is generated irrespective of availability of wind and is more economical than any other proposed systems.

  134. says

    It had to be Germany, they are miles ahead in this field evry year i visit Germany they have more and more wind turbines erected. Come on United States your well behind!

    • Michael N says

      Not true. The USA has more MW of operating wind power production capacity than any other country in the world…
      But it’s still a bad idea because there is no way to store the energy.
      Wind power plants have to be backed up with 100% capacity in conventional power for the times the wind is down (74% of the time on average). With the current technology a wind power plant has to pay for itself only through the fuel savings they allow the conventional power producing facilities to make by reducing load to a less efficient operating level. With the current US electric rates wind power cannot pay for itself without government subsidies.

  135. ChicagoTom says

    I want one of these bad boys on the roof of my house!! Actually the base will just barely fit into my backyard! I could hook up the neighbors and make a fortune. To hell with the flight path of the planes coming into O’hare, they can go around this thing, a few dollars in an unmarked envelope will see to that! And, I’ll just close the windows to avoid hearing the whoosh. THis has potential, with this much powere generated I’ll have plenty of cash to pay off city hall and get the right permits!!

  136. Rick Williams says

    It’s very impressive but I imagine it’s just that bit too big for most applications and the industry will stick with the physical size used for current 2MW – 3MW turbines.

  137. precaryus says

    The US is the Saudi Arabia of wind. ie: Lots of wind and open spaces to put turbines in proximity to population centers. If we can increase the efficiency of our electricity usage, the wind will become cheaper still.

  138. TOM says

    they’re not even that loud! has anyone actually ever been under one? id rather live next to a wind turbine then a neuclear power plant. And forget about this bird issue buisness, statistics show only one bird is killed per 10 years of each wind turbine, so possibly 3 birds for a wind turbine’s life span x the minimal amount of wind turbines we have (using reverse phycology so someone might build more turbines) more birds are killed by domestic cats then wind turbines. cats kill hundreds of millions a year worldwide. although this is alread more then the amount of birds wind turbines affect, i’l continue,
    between 100 million and 1 BILLION birds are killed by tall buildings, 60-80million from cars and turcks, pesticides, jet engines, smoke, homes and electricity distribution all contibute about 100 MILLION birds each for the U.S alone.
    i am a student, hoping wind power will be a possible solution for at least 25% of the worlds electricity in the next 10 years. it is completly possible. Just that some think its too expensive.
    with all the money being spent on the perfection of clean coal (which i think is the silliest solution for energy yet, pffft, putting it underground is just hiding it and will most likely affect the techtonic plates with the pressure of the gas and the digging down) it could be invested into alternative energy sources. i wish more people would understand that we don’t have all day to act and everyone can contribute by just telling others the benefits and what will happen if nothing is done.
    one last thing, already thousands of animal and plant species are extinct due to global warming, the earths biodiversity will never be the same. if you dont care about this, then i wonder how selfish you must be.

    if you disagree, i will be sure to accept you’re opinion, but i am a very strong believer in not ducking up our world

  139. TOM says

    they’re not even that loud! has anyone actually ever been under one? id rather live next to a wind turbine then a neuclear power plant. And forget about this bird issue buisness, statistics show only one bird is killed per 10 years of each wind turbine, so possibly 3 birds for a wind turbine’s life span x the minimal amount of wind turbines we have (using reverse phycology so someone might build more turbines) more birds are killed by domestic cats then wind turbines. cats kill hundreds of millions a year worldwide. although this is alread more then the amount of birds wind turbines affect, i’l continue,
    between 100 million and 1 BILLION birds are killed by tall buildings, 60-80million from cars and turcks, pesticides, jet engines, smoke, homes and electricity distribution all contibute about 100 MILLION birds each for the U.S alone.
    i am a student, hoping wind power will be a possible solution for at least 25% of the worlds electricity in the next 10 years. it is completly possible. Just that some think its too expensive.
    with all the money being spent on the perfection of clean coal (which i think is the silliest solution for energy yet, pffft, putting it underground is just hiding it and will most likely affect the techtonic plates with the pressure of the gas and the digging down) it could be invested into alternative energy sources. i wish more people would understand that we don’t have all day to act and everyone can contribute by just telling others the benefits and what will happen if nothing is done.
    one last thing, already thousands of animal and plant species are extinct due to global warming, the earths biodiversity will never be the same. if you dont care about this, then i wonder how selfish you must be.

    if you disagree, i will be sure to accept you’re opinion, but i am extremely passionate about in not ducking up our world

  140. Corey says

    yes this is a quite a machine i have worked on Re-Power 5 MW and Suzlon 2.1 and Gamesa Eolica 2.1 this would be quite an engineering marvel if this would actually become a product over here in the states 413 ft is ridiculous also thats another 100 FT then the ones im currently working on ….. has anyone on this site worked on or been around this turbine if so please reply thank you

  141. Alex says

    I think environmentalists should sit down and think seriously about what it is that they want to accomplish. First you want to stop the emissions of greenhouse gasses, which cause global warming. But when Wind Farms are installed to cut the emissions you complain about it disrupting the view! How about everyone that has issues with wind power hops on a bicycle with a generator attached to it… Then we can produce the power needed without disrupting the view.

    Whatever the way of producing power, it being wind, solar, wave, geothermal, hydroelectric or what ever else. There should be a global energy grid that can transport the generated electricity to wherever it is needed. Think about the power use during the day, most countries use more power during business/daytime hours than during the night, which requires alot of peaking plants to supply that power. If you have a global grid, the power can just be routed to wherever it’s needed. In total the use of power should not change much during the hours of the day, if you see it on a global scale.

    • says

      Environmentalists often skirt the root environmental problem; the one that keeps driving up demand for energy, water and food. That problem is OVERPOPULATION of the human species, at the expense of most others.

      We can’t keep adding 75,000,000 people annually to a finite planet and expect nature to supply every want, with no reduction in quality of life. There is no hypocrisy in decrying wind-turblight on the landscape if one also criticizes mindless population growth and rising energy demand. Environmentalists who think we can have it all (endless growth AND sustainability) are deluded.

      “Environmentalists” who see no limits to human numbers have no business using that term. They are just techno-apologists and greenwashers.

  142. Len Hrrison says

    H6 Len
    Hello everyone: H6, here, I am very impressed with the Knowledge and dialogue you’re having here. I am a back yard tinker, who has no back yard, yet, I have discovered a new and unique way to generate energy for power. It works and I believe it will do away with the need for these monstrous windmill turbines (bold, but you will see).

    Would love to work with some of you, on the technical aspect of my design; on electrical etc. This is serious, it’s a simple law of physics that everyone ignores, but with modern innovation, it’s shockingly amazing, at what is produced. My business plan is almost completed; then my invitation letter to Investors, it’s that close to finishing. This one principle utilizes five completely different designs that are phenomenal. Just waiting to secure all the patents needed to cover all areas. Email: osiimpactearth@yahoo.ca If you can contribute in any way, before I hire the big dogs: Welcome. You will be compensated in time. I am in London, Ontario at present, but eminent move back to Toronto soon. Just a hint of its power; the first Energy Structure, design #1, uses 40-60 already existing (wind) ‘turbine generators’ and can run three times as long with a high capacity factor of 96+%. I did not re-invent the wheel. It’s not new technology, but better use of technology.

  143. amily says

    what’s the stator rated volatege of the generator? how many converter is there E126? are they series or parellel? where the transformer? what’s the lower voltage of the transformer?
    who know these message? thanks.

  144. says

    If you look at a map of the globe it is obvious that the cost of interconnecting everyone into a single grid would be an absurdly expensive, environmentally disastrous undertaking, and the line losses from such long transmission lines would be enormous. Much smarter is to think small. Self generation with small scale hydro, wind, solar, ground source, biomass makes infinitely more sense on both the impact on the planet from massive unnecessary infrastructure, and on more sustainable living. The inconvenient truth is that we are addicted to convenience and waste. We need to reconnect with living sustainably. Generating our own electricity at the home or community level is a step in the right direction.

  145. Michael N says

    Unfortunately we have constructed super-megapolis population centers where tens of millions live clustered together under unsustainable conditions except for a massive energy, food, water and transportation lifeline to the outside. Well over half the population of the earth live at the mercy of the “infrastructure”. If we have to scale back to more natural living we first have to dismantle the urban civilization and then reduce the earth’s population by 2/3… A few 7MW windmills are not going to change the fact that there are too many of us and we are using up the world’s resources at a catastrophic speed.

  146. Trivial Persuit says

    Who are you people? YOU’RE MISSING THE ENTIRE POINT!

    And think of all the energy you all have collectively wasted by running your computers just to keep arguing about whether something is viable or not. A machine of the size described in this article would be able to provide enough juice (“capacity factor” included) to keep this web site and a thousand like it running for eons, at almost no additional cost once it’s built and flying.

    NONE of the other non-renewable resources that any of you clowns have mentioned falls in this class.

    Get over it and grow up.

    • Michael N says

      I happen to work in the power industry and those wind mills are way more expensive to maintain than ANY other form of power production equipment. They wear out like every other machine but are difficult to access because they are typically spread out on mountain ridges with poor access and they don’t have the foresight to all break down at the same time like a single 600MW steam turbine. That’s why most of them are “abandoned-in-place” once they have a serious failure. Typically 10-15 years. The wind consortiums are set up so the entity owning and operating the wind mills can go bankrupt once they have pumped all the available subsidy money out, leaving the task of cleaning up the mess to the landowners or the government.

  147. says

    Who is missing the point ?
    Indeed this monster will probably keep this web site and a thousand (probably millions) like it running for eons 8 hours per day with a capacity factor of 33% (By the way eons is a little too long, a mechanical contraption like this will probably fall to pieces in a couple of years) when the wind blows.
    But what do we do when the wind doesn’t blow ?
    Why tackle only 30% of the problem with futile, but ingenious, wind turbines and not tackle the complete problem.
    Therefore America should do the following:
    1) Burning coal in a cleaner way,
    2) Efficiency of energy use in the broadest sense of the word,
    3) Promoting a drastic change of life style (There are about 6.5 billion people, who all have the right to have some energy to their disposal),
    4) Put a 1 or 2 dollar tax on gas and use these revenues to force (or help) those dumboos in Detroit (I mean the CEO’s) to develop the most fuel efficient cars in the world. America has the technology and could lead again!,
    5) Super conductivity.,
    6) Plasma fusion.,
    7) Energy efficient housing. (Insulation, window planning and if you like put some solar panels and silly wind mill on the roof, but without subsidies and or tax breaks, but make it obligatory.),
    8)Rethink city planning, so you don’t need a car to move from shop to shop,
    Just a few ideas.
    Alexander

  148. says

    If only this issue was a Trivial Persuit to those of us who are impacted by the intrusion of these monstrous machines into our lives with their sleep depriving blade thump, reduction in value of our tourism business and value of our properties, and untold impact on wildlife habitat and wildlife mortality. What avian species stands a chance against a blade tip moving at 180 MPH? Wildlife protection has been reduced to counting dead animals in “post construction mortality studies”.

    In remote areas like Maine’s mountain regions it will cost the wind industry over $110 per MW to deliver electricity to the grid. Electricity is currently selling for about $35 per MW in the day ahead ISO NE grid in Maine. The difference is made up in subsidies.

    If the public monies being directed to wind power in Maine were instead directed to energy efficiency and conservation programs for Maine families, each household would be eligible for $15,000 for insulation, better windows, heating system upgrades, or a more fuel efficient vehicle. The budget this year is about $15 per household. Since conservation and efficiency are well known to be the most cost effective means of reducing fossil fuel consumption, aren’t these spending priorities completely reversed from what is intuitively obvious?

    Instead $4.75 billion of our tax dollars is being directed toward the deployment of 1800 1.5 MW turbines on over 200 miles of pristine ridgeline, plus hundreds of miles for access roads and hundreds of miles of new transmission corridors to reach remote wind projects. All for about 4.5% of the average daily demand of the New England grid. 2700 MW of installed capacity is 675 MW of actual generation using the 25% forward capacity factor assigned by the grid. The grid operates at an average daily demand of about 15,000 MW. 675 divided by 15,000 is 4.5% Am I missing something?

    President Eisenhower warned of the military industrial complex controlling government spending. It has n0w become the global warming industrial complex but the same players are in control – GE, Goldman Sachs, ex- Enron employees who know a good scam when they see one, retired politicians who are now industry lobbyists. Wind power is not about electricity production. It is about using global warming as an excuse to steal your money.

    God help anyone who lives within sight or earshot of the Enercon E-126. Their lives will never be the same from the day the blades start turning.

  149. Robbie says

    Yes, OK, Wind turbines are part of a short term solution to mankinds future energy needs.
    But lets not bury our heads in the sand……..Fossil fuels WILL run out eventually……and until that happens we must strive to change our energy habits and develop new and novel solutions to our needs.
    I prefer Nuclear power, given that Mankind can get together and adopt a safe disposal method for the High level waste…….like burial in subductive tectonic regions.

    Any thoughts folks?

    Robbie.

  150. mark says

    People keep saying that because “wind turbines are only aprox 33% efficient you need to have 100% grid backup”… but forget 2 BIG points!
    1. They are 33% efficient – but that means 33% of max capacity… it does not mean they sit idle for 67% of the time!… the wind CAN be blowing 100% of the time but turning the blades slowly (this is what 33% means) it does not mean 10 days a month of 30mph winds, 20 days of nothing! That means 100% grid backup is NOT NEEDED. There is never really “no wind” (apart from the doldrums)… at ground level there may seem to be “no wind” often – but that is because wind is disturbed for a long time by trees and buildings.. but pretty much every day you will see clouds moving across the sky – and that’s why turbines are tall! Trust me – go 100metres up in the air – and you will feel wind on what seems like a non-windy day! And it won’t be gusty (like near the ground it will be sustained). When you have an efficient grid then when there’s less wind in one end of the country, there can be higher wind speeds somewhere else… (this is the same way insurance companies work… not everybody has a car crash at the same time), it is very rare for the wind to not be blowing fast enough to blow a turbine somewhere.. and when there is this is how the grid works – there are old, inefficient coal power stations that are almost never used because there cost per MW is so high – they are turned on at peak time!!
    2. Every watt of energy saved by generating electricity from alternatives is oil / gas / coal (and yes even nuclear) saved for the future… these are not renewables… oil is peaking, 83 MILLION barrels a day is NOT sustainable… estimates put max production at 50 million barrles in 15 years, 30 million barrels in 30 years… gas is peaking, oil HAS peaked in 60 countries (UK 1999, Norway 2002, USA 1970, Venezuala, Mexico, China, etc).

  151. Michael N says

    Because energy cannot be stored and production has to follow demand wind power is a “fake” solution to GHG reduction and global warming stabilization.

    Contrary to hyped claims by the ill-informed, Hawaii will not get off fossil fuel by installing 100% wind turbine generating capacity instead they will guarantee that they can NEVER meet the 80% GHG reduction by 2050 set as a goal by the Obama administration. Even in Hawaii they can’t summon the wind so the turbines will on average produce around 26% of the power they need… the other 74% will have to come from a variable source that can come in and out on demand: single cycle gas and oil turbines. On windy days no problem 100% power from the wind. On the “average” day 26% power from the wind 74% from gas and on bad days 100% power from gas and 0% from wind. Because gas/oil units with fluctuating demand make much less efficient use of the fuel than modern combined-cycle base-loaded gas units the TRUE savings in GHG emissions savings realized in this scheme is only around 9%.

    There is a reason natural gas barons, such as T-Boone Pickett, promote wind farms: They virtually guarantee a huge future demand for natural gas and a “WINDFALL” for them because you can’t back-up wind farms with base-loaded nuclear or coal-fired units. Don’t be fooled, the “wind promoters” are not all selfless environmentalists.

    US Utilities that have recently bought wind-energy contracts from the big wind farms in Kansas know it: The yearly number of starts on their small gas-fired peaking units has skyrocketed and their natural gas consumption along with it while they have reduced their consumption of cheap coal.

    If our aim is to cut GHG emissions by 80% by 2050 (just 41 years) wind power cannot even be a part of the solution because it locks-in a large GHG producing back-up capacity. As much as I hate it, the only existing technology that can get us there is nuclear combined with electric cars and (wishful thinking) an efficient electro-catalytic method of producing Hydrogen from water for applications where a combustible fuel is required. If we started right now building enough nuclear power plant to replace all older coal and gas units as they fade out and building additional ones to cover growing electric transportation needs we have a small change to get to the goal of 80%.

    If we go the wind route I predict we will be at 110% of current GHG emissions in 40 years, still making over 70% of our electric power with coal and gas power plants.

    • Toon D R says

      Michael, you’re right, and you’re wrong..
      If the turbines are spread geographically, there’s always wind somewhere, and the average production value will prove to be more stable than is the case now, so the solution is to interconnect the windfarms. On the other hand, I don’t think those turbines alone will prove to be the answer for the carbon emission problem.
      It’s not or, it’s and. Build the turbines and build the nuclear power plants. Build them both.

      • Michael N says

        Toon: I tried to keep it rather simple with my example of Hawaii which can physically not be interconnected with other power grids.
        But on a 48-state basis we are facing exactly the same situation:
        Wind is a large scale atmospheric phenomena which affects areas too large to interconnect. It is unrealistic to expect that a MW produced in Kansas can back-up a MW missing in New England because the transmission losses would eat up 50% of the power. There is a capability to “shift” moderate amounts of power between adjacent areas so wind can exist as a small (and expensive) GHG reducing factor IF we plan to continue to use gas and coal as our primary power source. If we decide on a wholesale move to nuclear wind becomes unnecessary and diverts effort and resources from replacing existing fossil plants with nuclear. Wind power is a distraction that politicians use to avoid dealing with the problem. As religion was called the opium of the people, wind power is the opium of the green movement…

        • RolfB says

          Michael: I totally agree with you. Nuclear is the best way to go – technically. Sorry to say though, I don’t believe we will see any new nuclear plant coming online in the next 20 years. We want them but people will not have them approved. And placing them in the dessert – well – we run into those big losses of 50% in those high-voltage power lines. So we are mmh, screwed, unless we reduce the losses to – let’s say 10%. Isn’t that more realistic? So while we can start saving (?) money for nuclear which may never spend, we could complement what we have with todays technology, readily available: wind and solar. BTW: Just a few weeks ago I saw an entire summer school class understand that solar works on the grid, even though at the beginning of class most of them had the notion that it did not, since at night, well – no sun. Then again, we hang out in CA. We have a history with working wind energy (about 30 years) and being weird.

          • Michael N says

            While I have nothing against solar and wind power technology, neither is ready for “prime time” on wide scale. Wind, solar, geothermal and other green technologies account for less than 1% of the electric power generated in the USA today (50% coal-20% Natural Gas-20% Nuke-7% Hydro-2% Petro-1% Other) and that is electric power only.

            The other big energy consumer is transportation which is almost 100% Petro and finally direct use energy (Habitation heat and direct processing heat) which again are 90% Petro-based. Wind/Solar is no solution for those either.

            Converting a significant portion of the US electric production to wind and solar, which are non-dispatchable power sources (You can’t decide when they produce power) and also geographically restricted puts a huge constraint on how the rest of the power generation facilities will operate. A grid with 20% non-dispatchable power is practically uncontrollable and requires a huge percent of the remaining power to be rapid on/off sources such as gas fired turbines. The portion of our electricity produced by natural gas turbines would have to go to over 50% to accomodate 20% wind power. If over 50% of your power comes from burning Natural Gas it is obvious that you will NEVER achieve a 80% reduction in GHG emissions.

            Transmission losses in electric power lines are currently 7.2% of the power produced in the USA but power is typically produced within 100 miles of where is used. Wholesale power transfers from solar zones (southwest) and wind zones (mountains, coasts, plains) to population zones could easily triple or quadruple those losses. There is no current technology to reduce electric transmission losses as we are already using the highest voltages possible (Balancing resistance and corona losses).

            Many new technologies could change the whole picture such as massive energy storage, efficient electro-catalytic hydrogen production, ambient temperature superconductors etc. but with the current technology investing in wind/solar over nuclear will aggravate our GHG emission problems not improve them.

        • Henry says

          michael: you said before…

          there is no current technology to reduce transmission losses – well, there is, high voltage DC.

          wind energy is not ready for “prime time” on wide scale – it is widely used and integrated in europe, much more than 1% of the energy produced in countries such as germany, denmark, UK, spain.

          It is unrealistic to expect that a MW produced in Kansas can back-up a MW missing in New England – true, but it is very realistic for MW in the wind rich New England coast to power New England. Again, proven in Europe, the US only needs to catch up.

          • Michael N says

            High Voltage DC is nothing new and does reduce line losses because it eliminates the voltage drop due to line inductance, but it is a rather small factor. Corona losses due to extreme high voltage (over 750KV) is what limits the capability to transmit power over long distances. This is also a problem with DC power. That is why DC is barely used in power transmission. The power saving is offset by the huge cost of converting AC to DC then back to AC.
            As far as New England is concerned you just proved my point. If you chose to use New England wind power in New England only you have 26% of your power need covered (Average wind availability = 26%). But that’s an average number. You also have committed to a secondary rapidly variable power source equal in capacity to the wind turbines that covers the other 74% of the electric energy needed in New England. This will be a mix of single cycle gas turbines and combined cycle (Turbine/Boiler) gas units.
            Because these units will operate up and down depending on the wind load their efficiency will be reduced. Net result is only a 9% reduction in GHG emissions and a guarantee that you won’t go any lower than that in the future. The USA is targeting an 80% GHG-reduction by 2050. It is impossible to achieve if we opt to spend our resources subsidizing wind power. Spending money on wind power is a BAD idea from an Environmental standpoint. It’s like having to cross the Atlantic as fast as possible and deciding the best option is to get into a row boat and start rowing. Sure you will make progress in the right direction but you’re never going to get there and once you are 30 miles off the coast your options are used up.
            Europe already made those bad choices and they are realizing it right now. Danish power engineers say that they have reached the absolute limit of the amount of wind energy they can use (20% of total power) because their grid is becoming unstable. Being a little country with big neighbors they have the added benefit of being able to sell their excess wind power to Germany & Sweden and use back-up capacity from their grids when the wind energy production drops off. This cannot be done on a global scale.

      • Anonymous says

        the logistics to connect these turbines globally would far exceed their value. and not to mention the volt loss over hundreds and thousands of miles would proove not practicle.

    • Jay B says

      I rotation every 5 seconds means the tip of the blades are moving at 180 miles an hour in case any didnt catch that! i think that could kill a bird???

  152. says

    With respect to Mike N, I whole-heartedly agree with his statements. But there are solutions to his pause about wind energy. Firstly it is a free energy source to drive mechanical/electrical devices.

    We have designed our economical wind turbine machines to not only provide a constant available source of electricity, but also produce viable non- polluting by-products. Hydrogen is easily sourced from our turbines to provide zero emission fuel to produce electricity when wind is unavailable.
    Our turbine operates not only on land but also underwater in the tidal and ocean regions of our planet. Please contact me by visiting our website, http://globalwindengineering.com/contactus.aspx for any information and I will gladly speak or write back to you ASAP.
    Sincerely, John Guncsaga. Executive, V.P.

  153. tolu ala says

    hi,
    this is incredible. we have urgent need for turbines like this if you’ll be gracious enough to mail us a full literature on its spec, output, land area requirement if we need it modules to give 100mw.
    we need urgent reply please.
    well done and keep breaking through.

  154. says

    All this talk of “non-polluting” wind farms doesn’t account for their massive VISUAL pollution at great distances, plus clear-cuts and access roads that pollute the immediate terrain.

    There are also big problems with turbine noise and shadow-flicker for people and animals that live up to thousands of feet away. The whole concept of wind “farms” is a misnomer, since “farm” conjures images of pastoral, quiet scenery.

    Wind power (on an industrial, land-grabbing scale) is the mean side of Green. It’s disturbing to see these eyesores pushed as “clean” energy when they defile almost every landscape and seascape they’re built on.

    • JJ Guncsaga says

      We need proactive solutions to counter the growing demand for energy. Everyone reading these blogs just plugs in. We must all account for this power useage. We are private companies using our own monies to create energy and jobs as well as clean energy. It is not a perfect world and we as inventors must try to alleviate as much of the future burden with ingenuity and development.

      • says

        Half the problem in the first place is the idea that “growing demand” must be coddled no matter what. Why is it so hard to question human numbers? We expect other species to live in balance while we run rampant over nature with housing-starts, roads and turbines.

        You can tell a superficial environmentalist from a pragmatic one by the former’s blindness to overpopulation. You don’t solve overpopulation by treating it as inevitable. It’s an unnatural situation caused by death control overriding birth control. Birth control at replacement levels would stabilize the population, and it’s long-overdue. Current world growth tops 75,000,000 per year!

        The planet is FINITE and the population/economy can’t grow ad-infinitum just because there’s money to be made in a pyramid economy (false prophets chasing false profits). One of the truest quotes ever written was: “Perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell.”

    • m yates says

      Land grabbing? It’s still possible to use the land for other activities – eg. farming.
      Defile a seascape?! – reminds me of that Daily Show skit about that “horrible wind farm project that’s visible 7 miles out to sea from some expensive homes off Marthas Vinyard” and how much physcological damage it would do to the owners of their million dolllar mansions seing these tiny white specs in the distance!)
      Shadow flicker on animals? That has to be a joke right? Name me a study about squirrels (or cows that people will eventually slaughter anyway) going crazy from shadow flicker! If the animals are in a field I’m sure they’re perfectly capable of moving somewhere else by themselves. And noise… wind turbines aren’t that noisy – I’ve stood underneath a 2MW turbine and it’s barely audible in average winds … you could argue that we should ban airplanes they are noisy, lorries and roads are noisy too. And if they’re in an upopulated area who’s going to hear this noise?
      Anyone who believes resources (oil and gas especially) but coal and nuclear are depletable (ie. not infinite) should realise that 1 MW from wind, wave, tidal, solar is 1MW of non-renewables we didn’t use (and can use in the future). So its stupid that some people say JUST because you need a backup for when there’s no wind that you should rule out wind power completely.
      UK Studies show given an efficient grid we can hit 30% wind (unreliable renewables) before the grid would suffer. Portugal, Germany, Holland are already at 15-25% renewables already. But 30% is possible due to several factors:
      1. pumped hydro or just plain hydro (can typically start in under 90 seconds to meet grid fluctuations – the US is 20% hydro power).
      2. gas (again has a better start time than coal)
      3. grid usage is often predictable (kettles on during TV advert breaks) and small fluctuations in power are made by experts, adjusting the voltage so as to make sure demand=supply. You underestimate grid balancing done every day for decades if you don’t understand this concept.
      4. There is always grid excess capacity – inefficient coal power plants are often mothballed for days or months because they are only brought in during peak use (summer daytime 11am – 6pm when air conditioners in homes and offices are running).
      Now there are vast open tracts of land in the world with no people, and few animals, and are not an area of “outstanding natural beauty” (but also close enough to a grid or populated area for transmission purposes). Stick wind farms in these places.

    • Graeme says

      I would much rather have a little “visual pollution” though I think wind turbines are graceful in any case…than a coal fired, smoke belching power station or an invisibly radiating nuclear power station shredding my genes.

      Would you offer up your backyard for nuclear waste or coal ash EA? If not, get used to cleaner and truly renewable energy!

      • Michael N says

        Smoke-belching power station? That’s a scare tactic from the 1960’s… How many “smoke-belching power-stations” are in your back yard? The flyash disposal is so minute compared to the hundred million tons of garbage the US population produces each year. Having a municipal landfill in your backyard is much closer to reality.

        Modern coal fired power plants are actually very, very clean. The issue is CO2 emissions which are clear, non-toxic, but contribute to global warming. Coal-fired power stations produce a little over 50% of the electricity in the USA and their share is growing every year because other electric power sources (nuclear, hydroelectric) are stagnant. Wind, solar, geothermal and other “renewables” account for less 1% in total.

        The true cost of wind energy is approximately 4 x as much as coal energy. Would you be willing to pay 4 x as much for electricity and for the energy component in every service and product you buy? Most people wouldn’t be able to. That’s the primary reason I don’t see wind power as a “real” solution to any of our current problems.

  155. johhney says

    I agree that wind farms are not a solution but only a bandaid. Nuclear is our best choice. Wind would work well on an individual basis; ie, not one where the consumer pays the wind company but one where the consumer owns his own windmill. This as well as solar panels on every new home would ease costs. Having any entity other than yourself provide basic energy is why we never get ahead. We have become slaves to coal, gas, and oil. None of which can be harvested by individuals at home.

  156. says

    We have Renewable Energy Management Expert™ certificate program. Could we have a case study on this t”oy”? I would like to include in my presentation.

    Thanks.

    Mike Marco

  157. Pham Phu Uynh says

    Ich glaube nicht alle, was die Windturbinen die Leistung ereichen koennen, ­weil die Windturbinen mit horisontalen Achsen viele unten Nachteilen:
    1- Durch die schraegen Fluegel wurde meiste Windstroemmungen gerutscht.
    2-Das Windradempfaengt nur eine Windrichtung beschraengt die Leistung
    3- Niedrige Effekt
    4- Mit langen Fluegeln dreht der Rotor sehr langsam, weil der Luftwiderstand sehr gross ist.
    5- Bei Rechnung wurde die Leistung dÎ Windturbine mehrmal Uebertreibt

  158. Gordon says

    “I don’t understand how people can be so concerned about birds becoming mush with modern wind turbines, especially ones this big. It only turns at 12 rpms.”

    That shows your ignorance. the blade tip speed of a blade that long is more than fast enough to kill bats and birds.

    • Jim says

      Sure, 12 rpm doesn’t sound like it could harm a fly. However, a rotor diameter of 413 ft at the above mentioned rpm equates to a tip speed of 177 mph. Sounds lethal to me. Buildings, cars, and oil spills are still a big pet peeve to birds worldwide, but I provided this simple calculation just so the original author does not trivialize the impact this device will have.

  159. Michael N says

    While I see a lot of well-meaning people supporting the use of wind power, they don’t really understand the “big picture”.
    It seems logical that putting a windmill up and having it “pump” energy into the grid would be a positive thing because it would logically reduce the use of “bad power” (GHG-producing fossil fuel power).
    This is the simple “Happy Face” the wind power industry puts on the issue.
    But the secondary consequence, which is overlooked by most people, is what happens to the grid when this variable (basically unreliable) source of power is added?
    The grid is designed to follow the demand which varies seasonally but also from day-to-day based on temperatures, other weather conditions, human events/schedules. At any instant the power produced must equal the power used because there is no “storage” capacity in the grid. You can’t put more in than is used or put less in than is used.
    To follow the variable demand the power producers use a variety of “building blocks” from steady running constant load units (Nuclear, Hydroelectric) to slow load-following power plants (Gas & Coal boilers) to rapid start high demand units (Combined Cycle Gas Units) to peaking units (Gas & Diesel generators). Typically, the further up on the demand curve a unit is the more expensive it is to run and the more GHG gasses it makes. It is optimal (economically) to run the base loaded units at maximum capacity and only use the expensive units to fill-in the ripples at the top of the demand curve.
    When you add a new source that itself is fluctuating based on wind velocity in a short time span and also fluctuates from 0-100% availability from day-to-day, you can no longer rely on a few small peaking units to fill the ripple, because the “ripple” becomes much larger than the demand ripple and becomes bigger the more wind power sources are added. Large Coal & Gas fired power plants are not designed to be taken in and out of service on a day to day basis. When they are staffed, maintained and fueled they need to run at high capacity to justify their operating costs.
    These units would have to be phased out in favor of new peaking gas-fired turbines and huge numbers of them equal in capacity to the added wind power capacity.
    This is a terrible idea, basically forcing the building new GHG-producing generating units, and not very efficient ones, in order to be able to insert wind-power into our grid. It is definitely not the route to 80% reduction in GHG by 2050…
    And please don’t tell me that because there will be so many windmills spread over a large area they can be interconnected to even out the load so they will need no back-up. This is fantasy. Wind is a large scale phenomena which comes and goes over entire regions. Transporting electric power more than a couple of hundred miles is unrealistic until we develop commercial ambient temperature superconductors. The average KWh in the USA travels less than 100 miles from the place it is made to the place it is used yet 7.2% of the power is lost in the process. Double or triple those distances and you have more than wiped out any GHG emissions savings with line losses.

  160. says

    I concur with your explanation and this is evident with anyone building turbines. The only way to provide true non-GHG energy is to make sure
    these wind farms are offshore and producing hydrogen. We have done it with the wind and ocean turbines in our grouping of patented commercially available systems. We as business people and inventors have successfully swayed investors to our inventions. Once we make green energy sexy enough, you will see a tidal wave of investments come to the aid in building super efficient non-GHG power systems. BUT, dirty power is more profitable right now. We’re getting closer though!
    Soon the real power of the people spoken through their 401k’s, etc… will be the change the earth needs.

    • Michael N says

      I agree 100% – I only want people to know what the real issues are and make informed decisions. The route to Green Energy, which we all should want, seems to pass through development of new efficient energy storage or energy conversion technologies. While these are being developed let’s not invest in dead-end technologies that are expensive and resolve nothing.
      However, don’t put too much stock in the investor’s mood. They will invest in anything that can make money even if it’s a bad idea. Investments in conventional wind farm technology is 100% driven by government subsidies not by real market factors.
      Because the net GHG emission reductions from using wind energy are so modest it makes more sense financially AND ENVIRONMENTALLY to replace old inefficient gas and coal boilers with new super critical units which produce as much as 20% more electricity for the same GHG emissions. Engineering Companies in the power industry know this but it is not a politically acceptable position because it makes it clear to all that we are settling for cutting our GHG emissions by only 20%.
      On the other hand, moving forward with current wind farm technology on a large scale, with a maximum potential GHG emission cut of 9% is acceptable because the public perceives that wind farms are “clean”… As with the investor’s mood, public acceptance of an idea is not a criteria that should be used to decide if it is a good one.

      • Anonymous says

        Good points Michael, we should be seriously investing in Hydrogen conversion and storage for the long term energy future.
        In the meantime ? well i for one see wind energy as a big white elephant.
        More efficient generation systems and our old freind Nuclear would be a stop gap for the rest of this century while we wait for new technology and energy breakthroughs to occur.
        But governments are taking the easy way out and pleasing the green lobby by subsidising wind turbines.

    • Michael N says

      Kieran:
      Not specifically in wind power but I have 30 years technical experience in all forms of power generator, power distribution and environmental engineering. I work daily with people who produce and sell power, people who analyze power project feasibility and who deal with all these issues. Although I currently work on several coal-fired projects I am in agreement with a long term plan to phase that type of power out but not in favor of something that will cost more and not significantly improve GHG emissions… that would be stupid.

      • Ray says

        ######Your experience: Not specifically in wind power but I have 30 years technical experience in all forms of power generator, power distribution and environmental engineering.#####

        As my experience is basically zero i always rely on various sources to check the information and the attempt to find a medium that matches the answer sought.

        While your explanation of the technology is quite fulfilling and would satisfies my thirst to find a balance to what is being spilled out as we in Australia call ‘spin’ I also make a habit of questioning the ‘truth’ from both sides when attempting to find the ‘medium’.

        As i have no basic knowledge in the field of energy (power) production or transmission I rely on what is available out there to fulfil my thirst to clarify technical jargon.

        ####You wrote:It is unrealistic to expect that a MW produced in Kansas can back-up a MW missing in New England because the transmission losses would eat up 50% of the power.####

        And i thought to myself that 50% seems a little over the top as far as high voltage transmission is concerned, and especially in the US where the electrical transmission is basically networked as a whole to ensure a stable current to keep the infrastructure stable hence not causing blow outs due to transformer shut down.

        This text is purely a copy of what I’m reading so it may not be as accurate as to what your knowledge is so I expect a lecture of some sort :=)
        Why is it then that the official figures state the power loss in transmission around 7% but you state it as 50%?

        If the figure is the 7% I would be inclined to say that if your figure in one item is so far out of whack, then how can do I translate the remainder of your text?

        The reason I am asking this question, is that while there are a lot of people out there seeking answers to make an uneducated decision in the daily medial/political spin on the environment issues, we are entitled to get a fair go at finding answers are not?

        The one outcome of the Copenhagen B-S festival was that there is a lot of doctoring of documents behind closed doors to ensure the data matches the ‘spin’ and that does not help the cause.
        Nor does incorrect or overstated figures in technical text.

        I say this without prejudice and hope for a fair outcome for the whole humanity, which i am afraid will not happen without the gradual reduction of population.

        • Michael N says

          Ray,

          Thank you for your reply and for staying very focused.

          The figure of 7.2% is the 1995 US power losses in distribution of power which is correct. In the US the average kWh produced travels approximately 100 miles from the placed it is made to the place it is used.

          Power losses in transmission are proportional to the distance traveled. They are due to resistances losses (Electricity converted to heat and lost to the environment) and Corona losses (Ionization of the air surrounding the conductor causing electrons to migrate off the line to the environment).

          The reason transmission distance averages 100 miles is because fossil fuel generation plants (coal boilers, gas turbines, combined cycle plants) and nuclear power plants are generally placed near populated areas.

          IF we were to transition to wind power as our primary power source we would now have much longer transmission distances to deal with because the effective wind generation areas (areas with frequent AND stable wind conditions) are concentrated in the mountains, some open plains and some coastal areas. I was speculating that high concentration of wind farms would occur in Kansas-Oklahoma, New England, the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas where current and proposed wind projects are mostly located. This would mean much longer average transmission distances to population centers and would result in much higher losses (My 50% number is a speculative figure assuming power produced in Kansas being used in New England which is an extreme case).

          I completely agree with you in regard to the population issue. There are not enough resources on this planet to support 7 billion people living at the current consumption levels of the USA, Europe, Japan and other “Western” cultures, yet all countries strive for this “standard”. Something is going to have to give but I don’t see anyone willing to give up what they “have” until something catastrophic happens to force the issue.

  161. Syed Sohail Ahmed says

    this is big verry big can i see closely i live in Pakistan City Karachi i have a poultry forms but here is not electricty i made one small windterbine i made generator work is finish his weight 102 kgs i still working his blade i fiber glass
    i think i finish this month and nest month i installed in my form
    thanks
    Sohail

  162. says

    OMG! This is the first time I had seek wind turbine in picture. I could generate (7+ Megawatts) of electricity.

    It has to be in japan!

  163. says

    This article explains very well why subsidizing ineffective renewables to fight global warming is causing us to miss the only opportunity we have to reduce fossil fuel consumption – massive conservation and efficiency. Wind power will not push the fossil fuel horizon out more than 4 or 5 years in the next century. C and E could push it out 40 or 50 years. 90% of subsidies are going to wind power. Almost nothing, by comparison is going to C and E. Government are in complete denial about the real target.

    http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=2138

  164. Kenny says

    Frankly, nuke for now and solar when it gets more efficient, in the long run, are going to be our best bets.

    Although…if they could figure out how to harvest the energy produced by kindergartners at recess we might have a longer term solution to our energy problems…j/k :)

  165. Michael N says

    Although solar is more “predictable” than wind it is still a non-dispatchable power source.
    The capability to convert and store electric energy in a large scale, cost effective and energy efficient way is the key to making both solar and wind viable options. In my opinion the most promising technology is electro-catalytic conversion of seawater into hydrogen which can be stored in tanks and transported in pipelines.
    That’s where I would invest my “green” dollars if it was up to me. You can make it whenever the wind blows, the sun shines and the atoms split. Then you can use it in fuel cells in your own home to create the electricity you need on demand or fuel your hydrogen powered car with it… no more grid losses… no more black outs… no more gas stations… no more oil imports. Forget solar panels and rooftop windmills, get me a hydrogen tank and a fuel cell!

  166. Rajeev says

    Hi….my two bit.

    The only way i believe wind can play a part in our quest for alternate sources of energy, is when we master a cheap and efficient way of storing this unstable power. It could either be building wind plants together with pumped storage or with a reverse fuel cell unit (breaking up water into H2 and O2 and then using H2 to recombine to produce power)

    Another interesting technology could be compressed air…using the wind turbines to compress air at low demand periods and then using this compressed air to drive generators

    Or perhaps someone will come up with a simple idea….

    Keep it (b)flowing…….

  167. says

    Rajeev, at last somebody who makes sense talking about wind energy. I participated in the beginning of this blog as a fervent opposer of this ridiculous idea that windpower could make a serious dent in world wide fosil fuel consumption. And got a little tired of the total lack of understanding by the general public (and about 70% of the bloggers in this blog) with respect to energy.
    But I like to pint out there is at least one project in the world where windpower could make sense. Have a look at the following link:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7951286.stm

    • Michael N says

      This type of example is commendable as long as people understand that this cannot be duplicated on a large scale. The island is a very low energy consumer with no industry, no mass transportation and a very mild climate… basically a residential community in the middle of the best wind power conditions you can get (Windy coastal area with hilltops). The pumping system to store energy is absurd from an economic standpoint but with an unused source of power (excess wind energy that can’t leave the island) an energy storage system that returns about 20% of what you put into it is better than nothing. You can disregard economics when you build a utopian green energy showcase like this island using government money but it would be economically disastrous to scale this up. If the islanders were asked to pay for the true cost of the equipment and infrastructure themselves they would all move back to the mainland and there would be no need to produce any energy on the island… Problem solved!
      Sorry if I sound sarcastic. So much of this green talk is “doublespeak” that I even get mad when I hear about a very nice project like this. I know that some will seize this “banner” and use it to advocate that we should convert our entire power production to wind mills and pumping stations even if it makes no sense at all.

  168. Nick says

    Wind power may not solve all the worlds problems but i don’t find anyone here coming up with better ideas. Ferrel cats kill 10 times as many birds as wind farms do but i don’t here anyone complaining about them! I build wind farms and the ones i put up don’t make any noise at all, unless you have youre ear pressed up against the tower! As far as i’m concerned the tree huggers have run out of things to complain about so they are nit-picking anything they can. Every one on this blog has used a computer to post: which uses electricity, which uses energy of some sort. so when your done chasing oil tankers with you diesel powerd boats maybe you will find a real cause to pick on.

    • Michael N says

      Nick: Most people objecting to wind power in this thread do not oppose it on environmental impact grounds but rather on the fact that windmills do not come close to solving the problem and provide cover for those who want to “appear” to be green while refusing to face the real magnitude of the global GHG emission problem.
      Having lived near several large windmills I do agree with you that (while they ARE annoying and ugly) windmills are not a major threat to wildlife or quality of life.

      • says

        How can you admit that turbines are “annoying and ugly” yet call them “not a major threat” to quality of life? What IS “quality of life” if nature continues to be visually degraded?

        Some of us put very high value on keeping the landscape as unfettered as possible. We are dismayed by mindless population growth for the same reason. It’s no trivial thing to industrialize what’s left of nature, which continues to shrink in the face of growthism.

        Turbines are increasingly visible from protected areas, which degrades the whole experience of escaping to nature. Climbing a mountain in a national park and not being able to screen out turbines on the horizon cheapens the whole experience. Their movement sets them apart from power lines, which are rarely white and contrasty also.

        And remember, they’re talking about dramatically increasing the scale of these things. What you see today could be repeated 100 or 1,000-fold in worst-case scenarios. This is not something to casually dismiss. Both aesthetic and economic arguments should be used.

        • Michael N says

          E.A.
          I also place a high value on the beauty of nature and my tranquility, but those considerations have become secondary to trying to solve global environmental and economic issues.
          While we live in a highly industrialized, efficient, convenient and “pampered” environment, we can afford to worry about such things as impact on wildlife and visual impact. On the other hand, if your life depended on the power from that windmill you would probably not care as much if it killed a few birds or cluttered a “beautiful” view.
          The world population has reached such a level that it can no longer be sustained without heavy industrialization. Rapid growth in countries such as India and China, both striving to achieve the “lifestyle” of western countries, is adding a huge new stress on the world’s already damaged environment… And they are still in the early stages of their industrial development. This will be getting a lot worse.
          We have to face the fact that there is no status quo possible and there is no way back to “the way it used to be”.
          If windmills provided a real solution to the energy problem I’d advocate covering every shoreline, every National Park, every mountain range with them.

          • says

            You and I radically differ in that I DON’T accept the inevitability of mindless population growth. I’m not anthropocentric or a Creationist, i.e. one who thinks everything revolves around human needs because some old book said so. Nature is actually more important than people because it keeps us alive, not vice versa. Blindly putting people above nature is a dangerous priority. It can only be gotten away with up to a point.

            Biologists have stated that the optimal world population might be as low as 2 billion, not the depressing 9 or 10 billion we’re currently headed for. Society needs to stop treating large families as a “freedom” since they are more of a burden overall. Pragmatic choices must be made on a finite planet.

            Birth control (two or fewer children per couple) is old technology that could solve far more problems than building skyscraper turbines. Reducing demand is far more intelligent than coddling it on auto-pilot. Societies throughout history have collapsed when they pushed the growth envelope. Newer technology doesn’t make us immune to that.

            I would NOT trash a view just to satisfy my own energy needs, so speak for yourself on that. Solar and safe nuclear (like the new “portable” reactors) can help minimize the visual impact of the energy grid. It’s not inevitable that views must be sacrificed to the God of overpopulation. It’s only happening because people don’t respect limits to growth.

          • says

            Michael N wrote: “If windmills provided a real solution to the energy problem I’d advocate covering every shoreline, every National Park, every mountain range with them.”

            That’s a disturbing display of anthropocentrism that contradicts your other statements. If do you have aesthetic values they must be easily bought and sold. I’m guessing you’re a Republican.

            In that scenario, unspoiled nature would be reduced to film footage, like the scene with the old man in Soylent Green. A depressing legacy for the human race.

            Sure. Instead of wisely using birth control to restore balance, let’s just convert the remaining scenic parts of the planet into industrial parks to satiate techno-drones. Then, we might find another planet to spoil in the same manner. Growth for the sake of growth itself, like a tumor set free from one body to invade another. Progress with no soul.

          • Michael N says

            E.A. wrote: “That’s a disturbing display of anthropocentrism that contradicts your other statements. If do you have aesthetic values they must be easily bought and sold. I’m guessing you’re a Republican.”

            I think the issue is not selling my values but realizing what the extent of the problem is and how high the cost to survive it might be. You are quick to label me so you can take refuge in the fact that I am not “enlightened” like you and thus you don’t have to deal with the issues I raise.

            Are you willing to make the sacrifices it will take to keep the planet alive? I mentioned paving the parks/mountains/seashores with windmills only to highlight what extremes we might need to go to in order to reverse the environmental destruction that is in progress.

            Would you be willing to cut your personal energy consumption by 90% in order to use only “your” share of the current worldwide production? This would include also cutting all forms of consumption by 90% as all consumption equates to energy. Producing and distributing goods including food, accounts for a huge portion of your energy footprint.

            Advocating birth control as the solution in a society where the population growth rate (minus immigration) is already seriously negative is not going to take you very far.

            Advocating population and industrialization growth limits on foreign (developing) countries where the real growth is, will get you labeled as an American Imperialist but will not do anything to fix the problem either.

            Since I can’t see a realistic way to stop the world wide growth trend I choose to look for the least damaging solution to allow us to survive until reason sets in. Wind Energy isn’t it as I have repeatedly stated here if we are to roll back our GHG emissions by 80% in 40 years.

    • says

      You build wind farms and refuse to criticize them? What else is new with the profit motive? It’s apparent that the turbine business is run by the same mindset that’s happy to scar the land with oil wells. Wind is worse in many ways because the structures are permanent, spinning and usually larger. It perpetuates the trashing of nature under a “green” badge.

      Give a specific example of a turbine that makes “no noise” except up close, as you claim. Evidence debunks that claim. The noise is often broadcast long distances in unexpected ways, especially at night when ambient (masking) noise drops and people are trying to sleep.

      A video project called “The Voices of Tug Hill” (on YouTube, etc.) goes in-depth about life around monster turbines. Noise a is a major issue, in addition to visual blight, the strobe effect of blade shadows, and the impact of service roads.

      Your (well-worn) comment about everyone using electricity misses the point. Just because one is born into a wasteful society doesn’t mean one must either live in a hut or be a full-on glutton. People use energy at different rates based on personal choices.

      Many people calling themselves “conservatives” have little interest in conserving anything but money. They think nature owes them a ravenous lifestyle with no sacrifices. Many Creationists think Jesus will return and wipe out nature, so why should they conserve?

      I’m for halting population growth via birth control, using solar panels on roofs and making nuclear as safe as possible. Freezing demand-growth (sheer numbers of people) would finally give us a stable supply target. It will fix countless other environmental problems as well.

      • Michael N says

        E.A.
        I do agree with you on this point. The current crisis is brought on by continued growth of world population and the rapid development of previously non-industrialized giants, India & China.
        But since there is no realistic way to decrease world population rapidly, impose population growth limits on a global scale or prohibit industrial development in other countries, I see no solution along that route short of direct catastrophic environmental changes forcing global policy changes or causing a massive population decrease.

  169. George P says

    Interesting discussion. From my view, there is no “answer” to the 80% reduction at this time. There will probably be a combination of solutions, all of which will be dependent on future technological developments and it may take longer than 41 years. As for the current technologies, the cheapest and best is energy conservation. You don’t need: to drive to work in a vehicle the size of your living room; to live in the middle of nowhere commuting from a former cornfield that has been converted into concrete and grass that is mowed every week by a 2 cycle machine that emits more GHG’s than the family car (why not convert to vegetables and mow the remainder with a person powered machine (might solve the obesity problem)); to live in a 5,000 sq ft house; to use 2 cycle man sized toys; etc, etc. Over time, better urban planning, smaller vehicles, public transit, and more cycling and walking will help and will also lead to a better social life. Smaller & hybrid cars can make an immediate dent since hybrids do not idle in traffic congestion and electric cars hold promise for the suburbs but note the cars will be small.
    Nuclear energy can form part of the solution but it is also dependent upon some developments. For whatever reason, many of the projects went 5 or 6 hundred per cent over budget and may have something to do with no (or at least very rare) new plants built in the last 25 years. The fuel will not be almost free as the cost for uranium will skyrocket and the waste will still have to be put away for thousands of years.
    I am familiar with 2 existing wind power farms in Eastern Canada approx 30 MW each and one very large project (over 1,000 MW). One project is exceptional at 46% capacity and the other is the average for this region at 38%. This does not mean that other fuels pick up the remaining 54 & 62% because full load electricity is not required all of the time and most of the wind blows in the winter when the load is highest. They are balanced against hydro power (store water when the wind is blowing) and savings from oil fuel avoidance. Neither of the projects is subsidized and both actually save the Utility money. However, they cannot be scaled to save the world, just form part of the solution. The larger 1,000 plus MW project(s) will be built in Northern Quebec and Labrador. They will balance against the huge existing hydro projects storing water when the wind load is sufficient. The primary energy market is New York State which is several thousand miles away. The line losses are I think about 20 or 25% at the most. Line losses are largest at each end of the system.
    As for future technology needs: economical electrical power storage and conversion; better, cheaper and smaller nuclear plants; more efficient engines; more efficient peaking plants to support intermittent wind and solar; and more eco-friendly lifestyles.

  170. c300man says

    Michael N.

    I was certainly happy to read all your good posts about the real truth of wind energy technology and its place / effect on the grid. It is almost unbelievable to me where our energy policy is being guided by this administration and the Democratically controlled congress. It is hard to believe they can be so ignorant so you have to assume they have some other agenda. Who are advising our leaders?

    Anyways, I just hope through the internet and other modern day information sources the average American soon wakes up and starts to demand that our leaders begin to do what is best for our country. Our energy and probably most especially our electrical energy is too critical to our long term survival.

  171. says

    Most studies I have read point to the relative cost effectiveness of conservation and efficiency vs changing the way we currently produce electricity. Wind power is getting about 90% of subsidy dollars while C and E is getting practically nothing by comparison. Why are we not doing the most cost effective things first? C and E provides a return on investment unlike any form of generation. When C and E are no longer the most cost effective solutions to reductions in fossil fuel consumption, we go to the next most cost effective method, which will likely be nuclear. Nuclear is proliferating around the world, just not in the US. The charts accompanying the Waxman-Markey bill show massive construction of nuclear generation beginning in about 15 years. C and E also ramp up considerably beginning in 10 years but the there is a tremendous push for wind power over the next 10 years. I conclude that the wind industry has successfully lobbied for favorable treatment, and that it has nothing to do with the contribution that wind power will make to our energy needs. Wind power is a waste of precious resources that should be directed toward C and E, but public policy firmly backs wind power at the moment, because the wind industry has done a good job of misrepresenting itself to the public and to government.

  172. Lee Nelson Hall Junior says

    I visit the Amish, the Amish use windmills and windturbines, they would not use them if they did not work. The Amish do not waist money or time, on things that do not work, and yet Amish are heavily investing in putting up windmills and wind turbines. These windmills and widtubines compress air, to run everything from water pumps to powered compressed air equiptment. They use large tanks to store compressed air, actually used propane tanks, maybe they are on to something here?

    I live in Michigan, which surounded by great lakes, that said have vast resource of untaped wind power. I think windturbines are beautifull majestic sculptures in the lanscape, I love to see more and bigger the better. I think their is money be made in long term business scheme, putting up more windfarms, which also provide local jobs. I would love to see windturbines, double even triple in size next couple years, as a mega windturbine would be very interrsting to look at.

    I see allot of comments, dumping on the use of windturbines. I Just have to wonder why, and what are the motives, of these individual and their affiliation status, with competative power producers. I hear in the news, that consumers are using less electricity. Their are more alternative electric power suppliers, contributating more percentage wise, to electric power production. Still though, the electric companies are pushing need for more coal and nuclier power plants to be built, and you got to ask yourself and wonder why as they are not needed!

    • Michael N says

      Because the Amish use them it’s got to be the right way to go with our National Energy Policy… Are you serious? Oh, and I also think they look beautiful and cool… Get real!

      Electric Energy consumption has been steadily rising in the United States in the last 20 years and coal burning’s share of that energy has been steadily increasing past the 50% mark.

      Meanwhile wind power has been massively subsidized in the past 20 years yet still can only muster a measly 0.5% of the American energy production. If there was real money to be made in windmills there would be heavy investments, but like any program that is kept alive by government dollars, it’s not a “healthy” place to invest. The wind industry is basically on government life-support.

      Mega-turbines like this one may improve the costs marginally but we are still talking about an energy source that is several TIMES more expensive than competing technologies per KWh produced. While fuel cost is zero, capital costs are similar, installation costs are higher, maintenance costs are prohibitive and due to mechanical stress factors the turbines have relatively short lifespans, which makes it even more difficult to recover investments.

      Some will object that the costs should not be a factor when the goal is to “save the planet”, but reality is that it is. Raising energy costs in the USA will only drive industry out, to countries that do not have the same scruples about protecting the environment and we will accomplish nothing.

      Denmark has the highest % of wind energy use in the World… and the highest energy cost of ANY country in the world… and they import all their cement, steel, raw materials etc. from countries like Turkey and India who have no significant GHG reduction programs in place. Is that where we want to go?

      My vote is for 80% nuclear by 2050 because it is the only realistic path we can start on now that takes us anywhere near the 80% GHG reduction targeted by the administration. In 20-30 years maybe a new development will allow us to change paths and I would applaud that, but let’s not waste resources on subsidizing wind-power. It’s a dead horse for the word go.

  173. says

    This is a great way to produce clean energy instead of using coal. I am all for wind power, but there are also many steps that could be taken to ensure the energy that is produced isn’t wasted. For the high price of one of these towers, the government may well have run a tax credit for the purchase of better insulation, double-paned windows, and a ‘cash-for-clunkers’ type program for less-efficient home cooling/heating appliances.

  174. Mohan says

    people who say that wind energy is useless because: – a) energy cannot be stored b) wind does not blow 24/7 … such people are very naive!! Conversion of wind energy to hydrogen (which can be easily stored) causes no more than 20% “energy” wastage.
    This hydrogen can be used to generate electricity and used directly in vehicles. Unreal!

  175. Steve says

    Wow, this looks really attractive. I live in the hills of Sonoma County North of San Francisco. It’s pretty bucolic here. Wouldn’t it be just wonderful to see a bunch of these 400 plus feet monstrosities on the surrounding hillside. Ok so assume you like that sort of thing. Where did this article writer learn mathematics? How does 7 Megawatts translate to 20, million KW a year? And even if it did where does the wind blow nonstop 365 days a year? It actually calculates out at 61.32 KwHours per year, enough to power approx 6900 houses (average USA use is 8900 Kw per year). seems like the writer is using a 25% utilization rate. Assuming a figure of 1766 houses per generator and a local population in Northern California of 10 Million people (rough number) at 4 persons per house, that’s 2.5 million homes or 1415 of these pretty towers. While the new Green’s spout nonsense like how the worlds going to be saved by wind farms and solar panels manufacturers are making lots of money and the real green solution is being avoided. We have too many people in the world and the world population is exploding! The ONLY solution is population control and/or Nuclear Energy.

  176. MeToo says

    “Birth control at replacement levels would stabilize the population, and it’s long-overdue. Current world growth tops 75,000,000 per year!”

    –EA: this is awesome. Plus, to be even more “green,” we should kill off the old people once they become useless to the rest of us.

    Plus: if we kill unemployed people, that helps reduce a lot of energy, righ there.

    -Plus, those convicted of major crimes more than once ought to be sacrificed as well, for the envinronment. Of course, not by electric chair, since that is inefficient. You can kill someone with much less power by inserting an electrode into the heart.

    Maybe we could ask for volunteers to sacrifice themselves. Again, electric chair should not be used, as this is very inefficient. Visually, makes a great impression, with all of that buzzing and sparks, like in the movies, but inefficient.

    Instead of killing humans before birth, we could just give everyone the right to life, but you only get 30 years. That way, we all get to share in life equally, and in a “green” way.

    We are putting too big of a burden on the earth as can be seen by …uh, global warming, I mean global cooling, I mean … climate change.

    Look at all of the starving kids, who are starving because of political instability and foreign nation-building, er, I mean, because of “famine.”

    We need to kill ourselves off. It is obvious that nature cannot do it herself, in her own “green” way.

  177. Robert says

    Steve, here is the explanation of the relation between kilowatts and kilowatt-hours (which admittedly is a bit confusing). There are 24 x 365 = 8760 hours in a year, so a 7 megawatt turbine producing at 100% capacity year round would produce 7 megawatts x 8760 hours = 61,320 megawatt-hours; since a wind turbine produces at about 33% capacity factor this is equal to 1/3 of the above, or about 20,000 megawatt-hours. That is the same as 20 million kilowatt-hours.

    Michael has a number of valid points about the technical limits of wind, but also he makes some important mistakes. His data regarding the percentage of wind power (0.5%) and coal (over 50%) in the US, is years out of date. Wind output has tripled and will pass 1.5% this year, with total renewable electricity growing to over 3%. The result for coal use is the opposite of what he claims: in the 1990s coal amounted to over 50%, but fell below this level years ago, and today is shrinking to near 46% (for 12 months rolling to july 2009) as natural gas and renewables displace it successfully. for up to date info see– http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table1_1.html

    In other words, Michael is missing a key turning point, and declares wind and renewables a failure just as they are actually beginning to have a real effect.

    Michael is correct that wind does not reduce carbon as much as people think if the wind is backed up by fossil fuel, as is commonly the case. However, his value of 9% reduction is a gross underestimation. Simply replacing coal with relatively low efficiency, simple cycle natural gas plants will cut carbon emissions by 30% to 40%, even without further displacing some of that natural gas power with wind.

    As for the intermittant character of wind, that is a technical challenge, but one that is currently not very significant. Except for a couple of local areas in the country, we are a long way from wind producing 20% of our power.

    The argument that we need storage for wind is correct; however we don’t need to wait for hydrogen technology. We can use pumped water storage, which is well proven and relatively cheap, and the nation has over 20,000 megawatts of existing capacity. In addition, output of wind and solar can be balanced by conventional hydropower, which is not just operated as “baseload” as Michael claims. Much of 77,000 megawatts of conventional existing US hydropower can be used to follow variable load or to meet peak demand, and can respond much faster than natural gas.

    If we include hydropower and biomass as renewable (which I know many enviros are reluctant to do), then renewable energy provides 7% of US total primary energy (as opposed to only the sources of electricity cited above), vs. 9% for nuclear and 23% for coal. In fact, renewable energy is worth more than the nuclear, due to the gross inefficiency of nuclear power–less than 30% of of heat from uranium fission gets delivered to customers as electricity. This is in addition to all the other serious problems of nuclear, such as outrageously high cost for new plants, radioactive hazards from mining, transport and waste disposal, not to mention the threat of accidents and international security issues. To illustrate: I suspect that the world’s major nations would not have the slightest concern if Iran and N. Korea were building solar or wind manufacturing plants.

    So, I will go with renewables over nuclear or fossil fuel. Also, I strongly agree with comments saying we need to invest much more heavily conservation and energy efficiency as, in general, these are the most cost effective ways to reduce carbon emissions and avoid wasting resources.

    • Steve says

      Robert,
      I still don’t think you get it. The ONLY solution to our energy requirements is population control. All we’re doing in the meantime is moving the deckchairs around on the deck of the sinking Titanic. Wind power is an interesting concept, but nothing else. It will likely make some people very wealthy though. However, it won’t come even slightly close to resolving today’s energy needs, to say nothing of the needs of a world population that will increase by approx 40% – conservatively – over the next 50 years. In order for wind generators to be a solution we would need thousands of these 500 ft monsters all over the country. Think NIMBY. This will be unacceptable to a vast majority of the population. If the world, which is dominated by religious nutters of all flavors, continues to ignore the need for birth control the solution can only be Nuclear. With regards to Iran and North Korea, the west is less concerned about nuclear power plants than nuclear weapons plans.

    • Michael N says

      Robert,
      From your comments you appear to have “a horse in the race”. Let me address a couple of the misrepresentations you made about my prior postings.
      – The total GHG reduction possible with wind power IS 9% when compared with the alternate of building a new combined cycle gas generating unit as I stated. Wind generating stations have an average availability or service factor of 19.2% worldwide. I generously allow 26% (Not 33% as you state which totally unrealistic as an average). Therefore the best possible outcome would be 26% GHG reduction since 74% of the time the demand has to be generated by burning fossil fuel. Since cycling power plants are significantly less efficient than base loaded ones the average net GHG saving is only 9%. This is directly from two engineering studies done by companies I work with on cost evaluation and feasibility of building new wind farms. These rules apply when you consider wind energy as a large scale alternative to building new base loaded gas-fired units.
      The comparative capital cost study of a combined cycle gas unit versus a wind farm with gas turbine back-up power also reveals that the wind farm/gas turbine installed KW cost is more than twice the cost of the combined cycle plant. The 9% fuel saving cannot come close to covering this differential cost.
      – Your statement that you can cycle hydroelectric plants to compensate for the fluctuations of wind power is anecdotal at best or at worst a smoke screen to cover the fact that wind power is not a real large scale solution. With only 6% of the US electricity generated by hydroelectric stations the most they could realistically back-up through drastic cycling is a 0.5-1.0% wind energy share, so we have to face that if we move forward with wind power as our main energy strategy the overwhelming majority of the back-up power will be fossil-fuel based.
      – Using the potential reduction in GHG emissions caused by replacing an old coal-fired power plant and a new gas-fired one and extrapolating that to imply that building wind turbines would make more sense has no logical basis. Building new super critical coal boilers to replace older units would also reduce GHG emissions by 30% or more. Because more than half of the US coal- and gas-fired power stations are over 30 years old it would make perfect sense, from an environmental standpoint, to replace them all with new technology. This is not happening because of environmental activism and the media-induced anti-coal frenzy so instead the old dirty plants continue to operate under extended consent decrees approved by the same politicians who kill the new projects. Absurd!
      – My previous numbers on the fraction of the US electricity generated by coal is a bit out of date but still at 48% according to my source. Wind is now at 1.2% and total renewable energy at 3% although suspect those numbers are skewed by “fake” information. Most new coal-fired projects I have worked on in the last 4-5 years have been designed to also burn 20% “biomass” according to the permitting which may allow them to be classified as partially renewable energy sources.
      – Your numbers on the percentage of total renewable energy use in the US are completely wrong or have been manipulated to appear favorable. For electric generation 9% renewable (when including hydroelectric) is correct but that percentage decreases drastically when adding non-electric energy use for transportation which is nearly 100% petroleum based, for direct residential and commercial heating, which is nearly 100% gas and fuel oil based, for heavy industry, which is almost exclusively petroleum (petro-chem industry) and coal (steel-industry) and construction, which uses almost exclusively diesel fuels. My numbers are closer to a 4% share.

  178. TheWatcher says

    First you have to sign on to the whole GHG thing, which I and millions of intelligent people refuse to do. Short of a nuclear winter caused by man, man can no more cause global cooling / warming than windmills be responsible for the deaths of millions of birds! The world has and will continue to heal itself no matter what we miniscule creatures try to do to it. If GOD wished us to change the global climate, we’d have been given teh power to do so. We don’t have such power, therefore, we cannot have a substantial impact the Earth cannot rebound from. Why not worry about getting food to people in countries with rougue governments? Why not try to spend money here to improve this country? Why waste millions on “Carbon Credits” that do absolutely nothing but provide a job for those who hwould operate a ruse to defraud hard working companies and people of their money? Get over it. There is NO global warming. The GHG’s you refer to have been there for eons and will be there for eons, long after putz’s like yourself are gone and no longer hurting the economic base of this country. The Earth has been cooling for some time and will continue to do so. Get over it.

  179. Steve says

    I’m not sure this is the forum or the Website to get into long philosophical discussions, so I’ll make this my last comment on any subject. However, I can’t let stand the last writers suggestions that there is no global warming, that man has affected the world climate and that windmills don’t kill birds. What planet are you on? The writer is simply wrong on all these proven facts but can only support the argument with some illusion to a god. A myth of a god whose presence has never been proven. Get out of your church and travel around the world a bit. For example, I frequently fly to Europe over Greenland, and have been for 30 years (contributing to global warming in the process no doubt). The Ice has retreated massively. You now see ground that was covered 30 years ago with ice, and has been covered by ice for millennium. It’s a simple and frightening example of the effect mankind has on the world, to suggest this is a natural part of the world’s evolution defies understanding of the slow changes that take place in nature. On the other hand I doubt the writer even believes in evolution, and probably believes the earth is 4,000 years old. I’m less concerned about the world than I am the future of mankind. The world is resilient and will recover once we’ve all gone. The trouble is that the end of mankind’s existence on the world will be a very ugly sight as people struggle for the last remaining resources. I am only thankful I lived through the luckiest generation in history, and won’t be around to see the end.

    • Michael N says

      Steve:
      I agree with you on the evidence of climate change being caused by mankind and having potential serious repercussions on the future of the species. But I see no reason to attack the person’s beliefs because he is misinformed on the scientific evidence.
      Unfortunately, this whole issue has been hijacked (by both camps) for political gain and common sense has been killed in the process. You can either be conservative, religious, pro-business, pro-America and don’t believe global warming is real or you are liberal, atheist, anti-business, pro-environment and believe global warming is real. No crossing of the ideological lines allowed…

  180. makani la says

    Michael N – You are seriously misinformed on the macro-economic effect of wind power versus coal/nuclear et cetera. Furthermore your comment on hydrogen production and storage as a transmission solution is way off base. How much would it cost to build these supposed hydrogen pipelines. NO LINE LOSSES ???!!!!???? Hydrogen is the TOUGHEST gas to store – it leaks through glass, iron, et cetera. FUEL CELLS??? You argue AGAINST wind and FOR fuel cells?? Have you done an economic analysis of the amount of energy it takes to produce Nafion versus the cost of wind-produced energy? Please read and do more research before spreading misinformation. And I believe that you’re just SLIGHTLY biased since you work on coal-fired projects and depend on them for your income.

    • Michael N says

      Makani,

      You seem quite upset about my posts which contain valuable information aimed at trying to advance a real solution to our energy/climate change issue. You make unfounded accusations yet do not provide any useful information of your own.

      I am an environmental & process engineer and I do work on all kinds of energy projects so I have no special allegiance to coal-fired energy. If you had read all my posts you would know this.

      The basic problems with using wind energy to replace fossil fuels are the following:
      – Low and erratic availability (22-26%)
      – No practical means of storing the energy on the scale required if wind energy becomes more than the minute portion of our energy production it is now.
      – Extremely expensive capital costs/kwh compared to other energy production methods (more than triple coal/gas generation). This makes wind projects non-profitable without massive government subsidies which means no private investments.
      – Short equipment lifespan compared to conventional energy production equipment.
      – Currently requires back-up through conventional fossil fuel generation, such as NG combustion turbines, making the net GHG emission reduction quite small.

      If you want to contribute in a useful manner please tell me how you address the above concerns.

      In regard to my comments on hydrogen production you completely misunderstood my position. I suggested that future large scale hydrogen production was one of the potential means by which we could store energy produced by non dispatch-able sources such as wind and solar and make them viable. If hydrogen could be produced and stored at the wind generation site and then used to power fuel cells to produce power when the wind dies down the erratic nature of the wind energy could be overcome, contrary to the current method which consists of firing up NG gas turbines to replace the missing wind power. If you want to say that this is not currently viable then I will agree and tell you that’s why there is no useful application of wind-energy on a large scale today.

  181. says

    I am wondering what these 7+ mW wind turbines costs to purchase, what the cost to install, what they cost to maintain etc?
    I can not find this information anywhere?

  182. says

    We can supply 2 megawatt wind machines for $ 2 million dollars per megawatt installed here in the U.S.A. . All you need is to bring the grid service connections in to the site.

    • says

      Clive,
      We can support onshore as well as offshore wind machines.(all patented and built to your requirements)
      We also have a patented commercial sub sea generator.
      Please email your requirements and you are cordially invited to
      Palatka, Florida laboratory. Guest accommodations included.

  183. jose3 says

    For all of you disbelievers to see and know: See the future here:
    Spain, 8th of November at 5:50 a.m. Windpower covered 53,7% of Spain´s electricity consumption. You can see it in this here:
    https://demanda.ree.es/generacion_acumulada.html
    Left down you can search the date, and click “consultar”. (in green colour – wind power)

    Go Renewable energy!!

    • Michael N says

      What they are talking about is a one-time event.

      Spain has enough installed wind capacity that during this one-time event 53.7% of the electric energy used in Spain came from wind.

      Denmark has exceeded that percentage a long time ago but still only produces 19% of their yearly energy via wind power. Spain produces 13% of their yearly energy with wind.

      Denmark is the leading nation in the World in regard to percentage of energy produced with wind AND has the absolute highest electric rates in the World… you draw your own conclusions.
      Fortunately, Denmark is also a very wealthy nation and the Danes can afford to pay for it.

      Of course, they exported all their heavy industry to Turkey, India and China where they don’t have be concerned about expensive energy and environmental regulations…

    • says

      I can try to design based on your cost/budget/power requirements any size wind machine for you. from kW to gW We can build wahtever you need. Ours is a flexible design.

    • says

      I can design custom wind machines based on your cost/budget/power requirements any size wind machine for you. From kW to gW We can build what ever you need. Ours is a flexible design. low tech servicing, high efficiency power

  184. daniel maris says

    The problem of low to no wind can be solved.

    1. We can use hydro more as storage rather than base load.

    2. We use energy from waste and biomass to store enough methane to power gas turbines which can see us through those periods.

    3. We can build a big enough grid that can make up for drops in one area.

    4. We can develop new storage techniques e.g. compressed air.

    One point – all functioning grids have to be “overdesigned” to deliver reliable energy. Otherwise, for instance, large parts of the UK would have had no electricity recently when 7 out of 12 of its nuclear reactors were out of commission.

    • Michael N says

      An oversimplistic view of the issue:

      Using hydro as “storage”. .. If we simply reduce hydro output when wind is available how does this improve the GHG emissions? Cutting down one none polluting source to make room for another…

      Trying to put excess wind energy into hydraulic storage: Most hydro plants are not designed for reverse operation and since there is typically no lower storage reservoir on most hydro projects (on rivers) these cannot be reversed.

      Finally given the total hydro capacity in the world this could only be used to back-up a tiny fraction of the wind energy that is proposed.

      Biomass energy contributes just as much CO2 as burning conventional fuels if it from waste that would otherwise be allowed to retain carbon in a non-gaseous form… The only way biomass is better than burning NG, oil or coal is that IT IS ASSUMED that crops will be planted to replenish the biomass fuel (Corn for ethanol, forest for woodchips etc.)

      Capture of natural released methane to convert it energy is not practically feasible at this point.

      If what is meant by “size of the grid” is the capability to carry more power from point A to point B it really does not help with the low availability of wind power, unless a fast response power source is available nearby. The losses associated with transporting energy many hundreds of miles kills any environmental benefit derived from it.

      The grid capacity is not “overdesigned” at all, they are actually close to maximum capacity because environmental pressures have delayed and cancelled construction of needed new capacity.
      When 7 of 12 reactors go down, many high GHG emitting standby sources go online to replace them. These sources are must less cost-efficient than the base loaded nuke plants. You don’t want to use those sources to back-up wind energy as they will wipe out any environmental benefit.

      European countries are electrically interconnected so when UK had a shortage they probably imported electric power from France… didn’t you notice a garlic smell coming from the outlets?

      I want to make clear that I have nothing against wind energy, but I have a problem with utopian plans that make it MAJOR part of a global plan to reduce GHG emissions. With the current technology, it simply cannot be done, yet politicians and special interest groups pretend that it is THE solution and the masses are buying it.

      • Bram says

        Hi Michael N,

        I’ve been reading your comments with attention as I’m very interested in the whole renewable energy subject. I understand a lot of your concerns regarding the ups and downs of wind turbines and the needed stability for the grid.

        Now is my question, how do country’s in Europe manage those up&downs? Country’s like Germany and Spain (both in the top 10 of biggest economy’s in the world) know how to handle that kind of inconveniences.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Spain

        Spain uses already 35% (!!) renewable energy. How are they able to manage that with al the drawbacks you describe? Is their a huge inefficiency?

        About the costs: Aren’t we just paying the price for independent energy supply? For example in Europe (where I live) in 2030 we will have to import 90% from our oil from the middle East and 60% from our gas from Russia. Imagine what kind of problems some geopolitical tensions could cause.
        Imagine what kind of problems this can cause in a world where we can’t play the imperialist any more. Where new economy’s start dictating the rules. Our kind of capitalism is very vulnerable and is overdependent on foreign energy import. Think about the impact of a high oil price on our economy.

        About the looks: Here in Belgium we are proud if they build such an e126 in our backyard. They’ve build eleven e126’s in Estinnes (+70 MW or ~50.000 family’s). These are the best windmills in the world:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN9QHV_cASQ

        It’s a symbol of modern society and independence. We can produce our own energy no matter what happens in the rest of the world.

        If the EU wants to guarantee security, stability, a nice environment, peace and prosperity in and around Europe, Renewable energy is the way to go.

        Even if it’s not that much cleaner for the environment, it has still huge advantages above the alternatives. It’s nice, it’s cool, it has obvious advantages, it’s a business. Give the money to your own people instead of Russians or the Middle East. Germany employs around 250.000 people in the renewable energy sector. Within 10 years there will be 400.000.

        Create your own energy business instead of financing some misty Russian or Middle East regimes.If the government wants to put a green jacket above al those motives, well, so be it :)

  185. Matt says

    I went halfway through the discussions and can’t comment everything, just some thoughts:
    – Maybe one should think sometimes about the demand side than about the supply side ;-)
    – Energy consumption per person is way better in Germany than in USA and I think taking the percentage of wind energy, Germany is still leader although USA produce more MWs in total.
    – Nuclear power is no solution for peak power as plants can’t be started or shut down quickly. Regarding all investments (government,…) for research and establishing the technology nuclear power is the most expensive energy supply ever. Not regarding the waste we will run out of uran in about 25 years.
    – Wind turbines are not able to be the only energy supply, but they are a good addition for reducing pollution.
    – Visual pollution and bird kill are rather inappropriate arguments. How many animals have you killed with your car already? And why not living in a cave underground so that we don’t have to see all these ugly houses and skyscrapers anymore?

    There will be always pros and cons, one only has to decide which arguments are more important. And it’s not a one men’s decission…

  186. mikemike says

    Quit talking about science and global warming you uneducated idiot non-scientists. CO2 doesn’t cause global warming. Global warming causes CO2. Northern regions of the world have vast amounts of CO2 in the soil, and when warmed, release this CO2 into the air. This happens over and over on Earth in time cycles measured in thousands of years. People who support the “global warming” hoax should be hanged for treason because they will be responsible for global taxation and removal of national sovereignty in many developed nations. I am a strong proponent of wind farms. Not because of CO2 or other pseudo-science issues, but because it’s renewable. We don’t have to keep digging holes and putting smelly smoke into the air to use wind farms. Another reason is that solar panels are not sustainable. They cause more global warming than any greenhouse gases. This happens because they trap energy from the sun that otherwise would have a larger reflection rate. Wind mills use energy that is already on earth and hasn’t the possibility of leaving on it’s own. Wave power can hurt local ecology, and geothermal power has dangers (only when developed on a large scale) of interrupting the normal processes of the earth’s insides.

    • Michael N says

      mikemike,

      I would have to agree with Matt that insulting others is not the way to get your point across.

      While there is some questions about the global warming data, especially in view of recent E-mail exchanges between various research institutes showing that they have falsified data to fit the results they wanted to show, there is also no doubt in my mind that man is releasing large quantities of carbon that has been trapped in fossil form for 2 billion years and that this will increase levels of CO2 above those that would otherwise occur.

      The main point of all my posts here has been to bring to people’s attention that wind energy is not a viable solution on a global scale.

      – It is extremely expensive from a capital cost standpoint, from a maintenance standpoint and from a life expectancy standpoint. On its own (without substantial government subsidies or regulation) it CANNOT compete against any other form of generation.

      – It does not significantly reduce GHG emissions because it requires cycling fossil fuel back-up capacity that runs inefficiently and overproduces GHG emissions when doing so.

      – Due to its random availability it is limited to a maximum capacity of around 20% of the total power requirement of an area AND it puts significant constraints on the type of generation that can be used to make the remaining 80% of the power preventing any further GHG emission cuts.

  187. Matt says

    Well I think this offending comment is just inappropriate. You do not know the people discussing here, but one thing I guess: You cannot be a well educated scientist yourself cause all of them would respect other peoples thoughts and try to comment unemotional .
    Sorry.

    From the science point of view: We don’t know what the high concentration of CO2 causes, but it is manmade and not comparable to the usual appearance of CO2 after a warming of the planet. Right now it’s beforehand of the warming. And yes, we had higher concentrations about 100 million years ago (just looked it up). No humans being there at that time…

    Good times discussing the topic. You rather should stay unemotional though. I’m out again.

  188. says

    Using less energy for the energy consumers in America should be coupled with wise choices of energy production. The global solution is less energy from Co2 creating problems, locally. If an immediate solution for us is energy conservation, than the less energy required to produce energy consumed, is making a wise choice. Education is at the root of change, and often neglected, and ignorance is bliss only for the uneducated.

  189. Michael N says

    Bram/Matt:

    – The higher energy use per inhabitant in the USA compared to countries such as Germany or Japan is due to several factors, not just to a wasteful attitude on the part of Americans.
    The States have much more heavy industry than the other “Western” countries. If you use the energy use per GNP$ then the US numbers are more in line with the European numbers. For example: Norway, The Netherlands and Ireland rank worse than the US.
    The population density of the United States is much, much lower than it is in Germany or Japan, making all travel distances further than in other countries. The urban structure in the USA is also very open making it impossible for a large percentage of Americans to walk or use public transportation to get anywhere. Changing this will take generations as it is our entire way of life that needs to be changed.

    – The high percentage of wind power being used by some European countries (Denmark, Spain and Portugal in particular) is deceptive because the countries do not exist in a vacuum. If all European countries reached the same high percentages of wind energy (over 10%) their ability to balance the load using neighboring countries’ power generation/consumption would be impaired. With 19% of its electricity produced by wind power and a capacity factor of 24% Denmark is a perfect example. They an installed capacity of nearly 100% of their average demand which means that on windy days 100% of their electricity comes from wind turbines but it also means that all their other power generation facilites must shut down on windy days or they must export the excess power. On low wind days they must make all their electricity in other ways, which in Denmark’s case means either importing it or starting up a whole bunch of fossil fuel generators. If they were an island they would be stuck burning a whole bunch of gas and coal… For this the danes pay the highest electric rates in the World. On the other hand France with 1% wind energy and 76% nuclear energy has one of the lowest electric rates of any country and emits half of the GHG/inhabitant that Denmark does… Draw your own conclusions.

    – The comment by Mikemike above that really opened my eyes is the one about solar energy. He is absolutely correct that capturing solar power is contributing to global warming as it retains solar radiation in the atmosphere that would otherwise be reflected and partially lost. Solar power is NOT a good solution to combat global climate change. One suggestion advanced by President Obama a few months ago was that all house roofs in the US should be painted white to reflect as much solar energy as possible and help counteract the greenhouse effect. This should have triggered my radar that installing solar power panels has exactly the opposite effect… If you have solar panels on your roof you are a threat to the environment… That is just plain funny and true.

    – The creation of jobs should never be taken into account when evaluating whether something is viable or not. This leads to absurd things such completely unsustainable industries feeding on tax-payer money and making everyone (on average) poorer.

    – I believe worldwide population control must be one part of the solution and a worldwide energy policy must also be. The European Community has exported a large part of its heavy industry to China, India and Turkey to appear more “green” but if they continue to import steel, cement, paper and textiles at the same rate they have just exported their GHG emissions which is fundamentally hypocritical.
    Consumption of goods should always be added to the energy equation to create a true picture of what is going on. This year China has become the largest GHG producer in the world but they are using a lot of that energy to make goods for Europe and the USA… Who is truly creating the GHG?

  190. Charles says

    Michael N. I think you really need to back up what you say or for that matter what anybody says. This sure is just a lot of talk back and forth of apparently I know everything. After reading everyone comments it be easy to look at anybody’s point and throwing out statistics, proving them right. How about if anybody wants to be taken seriously how about some references or links to some references. Other wise this doesn’t matter I can pull statistics out of thin air.

    My thoughts are that I agree that there are other places to put money first energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to first attack this problem head on. One thing I don’t understand is why they do not use more efficient transportation of good updating the rails instead using trucks.

    And another curious thought what about small wind and solar for high usage areas such as factories or say Wallmarts. There is no transmission loses .Is it just not cost effective say even for Wallmart, if they produced there own materials.

    anyways sorry if the spelling and grammar are a little off. Up late and found this thread I found very interesting. So somebody please actually take this question seriously very interested in what is thought.

    • Michael N says

      Charles,

      Thank you for the feedback. There are multiple sources for all the statistics I cite and they are easy to find via Google.
      I am sure that others would immediately point out where I cite incorrect numbers if I did so. If there is specific data you would like to know about I will be glad to provide a reference.

      I am not trying to release some earth-shattering new statistics, but just to make people aware of the fact that the wool is being pulled over their eyes in regard to the benefits of wind power and more generally in regard to the impact of the energy policies our government is trying to promote.

      Our economy is profit/cost-driven and this means that rail has to compete with road trucking for the goods transportation business. Railroads are more competitive in Europe because people live in much more concentrated urban areas so the rail system can serve a bigger percentage of the people. In the US people are more spread out so the more flexible trucking system is needed to reach them where they live. Running freight trains into a remote town of 2,000 people is neither cost effective nor energy efficient.

      In regard to the comment about making the Wal-Mart stores self supporting with solar and wind power I would suggest to you would end up with all the stores located in the Arizona desert and on mountain ridges where those power sources are abundant. It would just require the customers to drive a little further to do their shopping… Just/Kidding of course but my point is that where you can harvest solar/wind power efficiently and where you need the power is typically not the same place. You can’t choose to ignore that fact because of one “Green” building located in a windy & sunny area of Spain that provides 100% of its own power. If you transplanted that same building to Minnesota the occupants will sit in the dark and die of cold before long.

  191. andy says

    (waits for someone to mention keywords embodied energy costs of an entire project for one turbine……From start to finish………)

    Seriously though, has anyone got any data on the embodied costs?
    I mean, it’s some serious amounts…………

    Tons of plastic
    Tons of concrete
    Tons of communication, email, radio comms for working on site, batteries, steel cost, co2 released, and much more…………Transport.

    Solar power is perhaps going to be the better method in the end, IF solar cells can reach 40% conversion one day at least, no noise, but then you need trackers.

    Really, in my opinion we should also look at reducing energy full stop…..

    Also, how many kilowatts of electricity, produced at a power station, are needed to produce a usable 1KW, to the consumer?
    Maybe it sounds silly, but, high voltage power lines, transformers 750kv to 400 V, then 400 V to 230 etc all have losses don’t they?

    I would consult the internet oracle, but there is a lot of misinformation or just purely incorrect information these days, due to affiliations with money…….

    • Michael N says

      This may be useful to you:

      Wind turbine project installed cost: $2,000/kW
      Typical mechanical life of a wind turbine: 20 years
      Hours per year: 8,760
      Average availability of wind power: 24%
      Market value of 1 kWh of electricity at production site: $0.07
      Value of total electricity produced during wind turbine life:
      20 x 8,760 x 0.24 x $0.07 = $2,943/kW installed
      As you can see the payback on wind turbine projects is iffy even with no maintenance and operating costs included in the equation.

      For comparison here is the same equation for a coal-fired power plant:
      Coal power project installed cost: $2,500/kW (High end number – Some coal fired plants are built for $1,500/kW)
      Typical life of a coal fired plant: 30 years
      Hours per year: 8,760
      Average availability of coal-fired power plant: 88%
      Total electricity production during plant life: 231,000 kWh/kW installed
      Value of electricity produced: $16,188/kW installed
      Lifetime Cost of fuel = 231,000 x $0.006 = $1,388/kW installed
      Net Value of total electricity produced during plant life: $14,800/kW installed.

      This is of course oversimplified. Excluding maintenance and operating costs is not reasonable and these impact the economics. Operating cost for wind turbine projects are lower because there is no manpower required to run them, however their maintenance costs are surprisingly high. Gear boxes last 6-7 years and are extremely expensive to replace and any maintenance is difficult because the turbines are typically in difficult to reach areas and require huge cranes for any substantial repair.

      What should be clear is that wind power is several times more expensive than fossil fuel power and that, without international regulation it cannot compete. As long as burning fossil fuels is an acceptable alternate ANYWHERE, production will move there to find the lowest energy cost (Just like it has done to find low labor costs). All we will do is triple US consumer electric bills and export the few heavy industry jobs that remain in the US to China and India.

      The answer to your other question about the losses incurred between production point and use point for electricity is 7.2% (At least it was in 1995). 92.8% of the electricity that leaves the US power plants ends up going through a meter at an end user’s facility (Industrial/Commercial/Residential)

    • sunil says

      we need high voltage lines to transfer power as it keeps resistance in the line low therefore you can move energy long distances more efficiently . if the voltage was low you would lose so much power in the lines it would be impractical to use as there would be not enough power to supply homes hence putting the earth back into the stone age=]

  192. andy says

    Thank you Michael, that is a better start to a comparison that I could have achieved.

    I can see the maintenance costs, the dismantle costs, embodied energy impacts and quite massive.

    as for 92.8% energy, that’s far far better than I expected.

    Just to clarify on energy delivery…….

    You are stating, based on your knowledge sources/education that for every 1 KW that leaves the building: 928 watts will make it to the end user.

    Are there any losses in the power plant due to heat loss etc? or is that dealt with by heat exchangers?

    For instance, 1KW of energy is produced directly by burning, how much is lost to the atmosphere as heat. There must be some even if it’s 1%, so now we are down to 999watts……does the 928 watts figure take all this into account.

    I suppose I should have asked the following to be clearer.

    If the energy value of the fuel source is 1KW pre-burning, how many watts WILL get to the consumer?
    Is it still 928.

    If so, that is almost brilliant.

    • Michael N says

      The 7.2% loss is strictly distribution losses in power lines and transformer stations between the power plant and the end user.

      The net efficiency of converting thermal energy in fossil fuels to electric energy is not nearly that good. It is variable depending on the type of fuel and type of equipment used.

      There are always losses due to heat escaping with the flue gas after combustion and these are minimized by using heat exchangers.
      There are losses of heat to the cooling water or cooling air (through the cooling towers) used to condense the steam after all useful mechanical energy has been extracted from it.

      There is a significant portion (up to 10%) of the electric energy produced that is used to operate catalytic converters, scrubbers and particulate collectors to clean the flue gas.

      There is another large portion of the energy that is used to drive ID and FD fans, feed water pumps and other auxiliaries.

      Finally there is the efficiency of the turbine(s) and generator(s) which is not 100% either.

      A modern coal fired power plant can convert up to 47% of the thermal energy in the coal to electric output leaving the plant.
      A combined cycle gas plant (Gas Turbines + Steam boiler + Steam turbine) is more efficient (up to 60%) but makes up for it by using more expensive fuel (Natural Gas)

      This has an impact on the amount of CO2 and H2O formed in the production cycle but not on the net cost of the kWh produced since the efficiency of the conversion is accounted for in the fuel cost

      For coal the fuel cost is around $0.01/kWh produced – The number $0.006/kWh I used above is too optimistic… I found it in a internet article discussing the cost of various forms of energy but I question it now having done my own calculation. It doesn’t change the comparative economics much but it should still be corrected.

      • Tim says

        You are forgetting about all the power that leaves the plant and ends up stolen. Grow ops are on every block and many use more power then 1o or 15 houses, it is these larger size grow ops that have to steal power to operate safely and there is really no telling how much power is being stolen, I have known people who have bypassed their power meter for legal purposes too (though it is still illegal obviously)

  193. Robert says

    Andy,
    conventional central station thermal power plant efficiency in the US ranges from a low of about 30% for nuclear, about 37% for new coal and load following/peaking natural gas, and 45% to 55% for a natural gas plant operating in combined cycle mode. These are nameplate out-of-the-box efficiencies; actual operating efficiencies can be and often are lower. Additional energy loss in transmission and distribution is about 7% as Michael points out. You can see the efficiency of the entire US energy system in an interesting flow chart here: (click on charts to enlarge) https://publicaffairs.llnl.gov/news/energy/energy.html

    Note in 2008, that the total energy input to electricity was 39.97 quads (quadrillion btu’s), while electricity delivery was only 12.68 (plus a tiny bit more from imports, mostly from Canada). Total system efficiency is 32%, not counting inefficient appliances and consumer waste. From coal to incandescent light bulb, system efficiency drops to about 1% after taking into account 7% efficient lightbulbs (15 lumens per watt out of about 220 max possible for white light), and then subtracting for misdirected light (about 50%). This does not include further deductions for leaving lights on when people are not in the room, or burning lights in the day when the sun could work just fine. Lighting accounts for about 14% of US electricity (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/ask/electricity_faqs.asp) ; by comparison 19% of US electricity comes from nuclear fuel.

  194. Michael N says

    In regard to the above discussion of the relative cost of fossil fuel energy versus wind energy, some will say that the “cost” is not an important consideration because we are dealing with “more important matters” such as climate change….

    Cost is important because the cost of an energy production facility is almost directly proportional to the energy expended to create it and wind energy has a very low return on this “invested energy”. The energy used to produce the concrete, steel, aluminum to make and install the turbines, the energy used prepare the site and erect the turbines, the energy used to maintain them during their useful life adds up to a significant percentage of the total energy output of the turbine during its lifetime…

    It would equate to planting a low yield crop where you need to use 70% of your harvest to reseed the field for next year…

    The bottom line is that wind energy cannot truly replace fossil fuels. It is “window dressing” for the benefit of the Green movement but it is close to useless in the global world energy picture. Only extremely rich nations can afford to produce energy in such an inefficient manner because they can subsidize it with money from their high tech economies that are less dependent energy costs.

    Nations like India and China need “cheap” energy to continue growing and providing for the basic needs of 2.5 billion people through their energy-intensive heavy industry and manufacturing.

    Another 3 billion people live in far worse conditions and WILL eventually follow behind China and India when given the opportunity. When you are starving, freezing or dying of disease you can’t afford to worry about environmental impact and if you live in the USA or Europe, in obscenely opulent luxury by their standards, you cannot morally deny them this opportunity.

  195. Michaelc says

    by my figuring 413 ft diameter/2 = 206ft radius x pi 3.14 = 646.84 feet circumference x 12rpm x 60 minutes for feet/hr / 5280 to get mph means that the blade tips are going 88.2mph.

    I agree the birds have far worse things to worry about (like cats for example which kill 100 million birds /year), but any bird (or anything else) that meets one of those blades (and there are 3 blades every 5 seconds) is totally dead.

  196. andy says

    You are damn £$£$£$£ right.

    Another thing is that, global production of goods mostly happens in those “cheap” countries, so they can hardly be criticised for having fuel pollution issues can they as they produce probably 80% of the worlds goods.

    The gross hypocrisy. How many crappy old toys with limited educational value or longevity were produced for “most of us” to enjoy this christmas. Whatever the gadget, be it really well used, or a e-penis, or bragtool/keeping up with the neighbours tool, it keeps people occupied and quite happily disassociative from their family, friends and neighbours. My point may not get across properly, but I hope it’s understand by some.

    Computers and the internet are extremely useful communication, opinion sharing tools (which is what I’m doing now) but unfortunately they have definitely blunted my social qualities lol and e-opinions have no value to those who need to be influenced ie governments et al.
    However, the technology is a double edged sword and can be used for wonderful things (apparently!)

    So, the energy point you raise about “green” trendy energy sources, but with a horrendous emboided energy status, subsidised by rich economies. You are certainly right on that. I think we should also nod to hewlett packard (I think) extreme packaging waste…. How many energy is wasted, that could be saved.

    Are companies wasting tons of energy or are they, in effect overall, more energy efficient than homeowners lol.
    Anyway, I think these turbines are shite and nothing more than the latest attempt to “redirect” money from taxpayers into “dubious sources” company pockets.
    Whenever you have moving parts, there will always be energy loss.
    Solar power, when a cell is developed that reaches a “provable and credible” 30% conversion efficiency, with a good ratio of embodied energy cost, will be better in some ways. Maybe we should stick panels onto the wind turbines lol……….

    Sometimes, though, I am not sure if my information sources are misinformation or just plain hearsay/urban legend…

    Without testing things myself (which I cannot do) I really don’t know what is fact and fiction. It’s quite irritating.

  197. gardenofeden says

    The island of Kauai HI (pop. 63k) has a utility cooperative, oil-fired 75MW generating capacity and charges homeowners between $0.40 – 0.50 per kwh.
    There is reliable (to the extent state/fed.govt. data is trustworthy) data about wind availability, min class 3 E and N, class 7 S, close to shoreline. Except for Pacific Missile Range, no populated areas near the class 7 wind areas..

    Would off-shore installation of 15 x 5MW turbines (estimated US$75 million installed) make economic sense, keeping existing plant on weekly stand-by maintenance ?

    With populated areas near shorelines and MAJOR (2 lane road) along coast, wind-generated hydrogen could be dispensed along road. Pipe trench could also accommodate power transmission line, which currently overhead and subject to frequent (high wind generated) damage and outages.

    This nonagenarian keeps dreaming, hopefully not Don Quixote like ?

    Would appreciate comments, thank you.

    20100108 20:16 UTC

    • Michael N says

      The first thing I notice is an installed cost of $1,000/kW which is half of the typical total installed cost of a wind project. Is the price the purchase price of the 15 turbines alone or a complete installed cost for the project? I am a bit suspicious that this cost is too low.

      With 75MW installed to replace a 75MW oil-fired facility and a typically wind availability of 25% the project will not generate enough power (even if unlimited energy storage was available) to cover the energy that is currently produced by the oil-fired facility. In a coastal area with a good exposure and higher than average winds these turbines might reach 30% availability which means that they could replace 22.5MW currently produced with fossil fuel but the oil station will have to stay operational and will just run at reduced loads most of the time except on high wind days.

      In an open market environment, the current electric cost of $0.40 to $0.50 per kWh is extremely high and would make the wind power very competitive especially at $1,000/kW installed cost. The “market” value of the electricity produced in one year (75,000 x 0.3 x 24 x 365 = 197 million kWh) is between $80MM and $90MM at those rates which quickly pays for the $75MM estimated project cost. The wind generated power would be significantly cheaper than $0.40-$0.50/kWh

      The only question is that the current electric supplier might raise their rates if their fixed costs (personnel & maintenance) remain the same and they only save a fraction of their fuel cost while selling less power. If you are still forced to buy supplemental power from them when the wind is not blowing (not a true free market situation) then the savings realized with the windmills will be wiped out by the increased cost of the fossil fuel power.

      I hope this is useful to you.

    • says

      Dear Sir,
      One of our wind machines (grid connected) can be installed for less than 2 million USD per megawatt. The hydrogen production has been solved at our 500 acre Palatka, FL laboratory. I am positive that we can get down to that magic $1000 per kW mark on 100 land based machines or more. The 100 offshore machines will be around $1,500-$2000 per kW.
      We have already successfully done it with an ocean turbine which operates in the North Sea near Scotland.

  198. says

    can someone tell me if the electrical out put from a wind power site can be storesd and used later someother time, for example in days of little wind or in a still or calm air?

    thankx,
    sam.

    • says

      The ability to store days worth of electricity is a costly endeavor. Current storage methods utilize a solar collector and molten salts to provide enough heat to drive steam turbines . The other is battery storage. During a no wind event, a compressed air storage method ( air compressors driven by turbine to provide compressed air to storage tanks which supply air motor/generator) allows the wind farm 5-15 minutes to power down the grid connection and afford the utility company time of notice that the wind farm is offline for the time being.

      • Dani says

        Another “easy” way on storaging this energy is by a reversible dam system. It is a hydroelectric generating dam with the possibility of pumping water to the higher position. That way you storage potential energy by night that you can recover by day.

  199. says

    All I could say is great. There are people thinking. I am waiting for windmills. I am Waiting for the day we are not dependant on foriegn oil. What about the birds? Can we put a warning sounds on the blades? Neon Lights?
    Is there funding for these windmills? Who pays 50 cents per killowatt?The average cost is more like a dime. But New York is more like 10 cents for the electricity and 10 cents for the delivery. Which means the most you could get retail prices is 10 cents per kilowatthour

    So Michael N correct me if i am wrong but the cost will take at least four times as long to recover than you estimated But still handsome return.

    • Michael N says

      Joseph,

      The analysis above is much too rosy for a typical competitive market. Change the installed cost to $2,000 per kW (Typical). Change the availability to 22% (Worldwide average) and the value of the kW generated on the open market to $0.06 (These kW, because they are not available on demand, fall in the lowest value tier of electric supply)

      Now the cost of the project is $150MM and the value of the electricity generated in a year is $8.6MM… A 17.3 year payback without including maintenance and interest costs… No investor in their right mind would go for that deal!

    • Michael N says

      Joseph,

      The analysis above is much too rosy for a wind project in a competitive market. None of the factors used can transpose to the “real world”.
      Replace the installed cost with $2,000/Kwh (Typical) the availability with 22% (Worldwide average) and the value of the electricity produced with $0.06/Kwh (Wind Kwh fall in the lowest value tier because they are supplied “when available” rather than “when needed”).

      Now the project cost is $150MM and the value of the electricity produced in a year is just $8.6MM, which means the project payback is over 17 years without taking maintenance or interest costs into account… No sane investor would go into this type of venture without heavy government subsidies.

  200. says

    These machines are absolutely amazing. The kicker is being able to produce them cost effectively.. It’s hard when people are so tied to one way of living that they can’t open their minds to something new– even if it is better. People are scared of what they don’t understand, so if we want to get these out in the public, the info needs to come out pronto.
    -Sylvia

    • Michael N says

      Amazing they are… but in my view useless technological wonders.

      Many people who post on this site have a pretty good idea of what the issues are and what the potential for this technology is, not your average “I don’t understand it so I don’t like it mentality”. I’m mercenary enough that if I thought wind had real potential I would jump on the bandwagon in a second.

      Production cost is not the main problem with windmills. Installation costs, maintenance cost, short life cycle and low availability make them dinosaurs bound for the museum of bad ideas.

      They will never be more than a special application high cost power source for isolated communities or government-subsidized showcase projects.

      • Ken Hungerford says

        Thank God someone else sees wind the same way as me. I am sick to death of wind power purveyors telling porkies about what a wind farm can and cannot do. Most don’t even seem to know the difference between power and energy, and think that simply placing a few more wind frams over a wide spread geography will solve the problem. Except for limited energy applications wind is a waste of time.

  201. andy says

    Michael N is correct. I can’t really agree with Union Glashutte watches comment. In fact Union’s comment seems more like an uneducated viewpoint.

    I believe that these devices are just the latest way for “rich men” get richer through their “contacts” and contracts.

  202. says

    I am sure about the potentialities of wind energy, especially in countries with coast territories. BUT, on the other hand, the innitial costs of instalation and the maintenance costs, the use of wind turbines is a limitant factor for the use of this energy source in porr countries like mine ( Brazil ).
    So, I think is important to work in the development of smaller wind turbines to be used in small comunities and, evventually, in private properties. This is the ideal solution for energy problems, today. I really do not know if this is interesting for the companies who have the technologic sources, because this procedure can excessivelly open the market for this kind of product.
    In terms of results, I feel this is the best solution for this anergetic alternative.

  203. Guy Mercer says

    The largest HAWT may produce 7 + MW but that is less than 1% of what is possible using a lift based VAWT with a simple mechanical control system for the AOA of the vertical airfoils for all wind speeds.
    A 750+ mega watts VAWT would be huge:
    There are limits to the height of airfoils , even those supported by stays.
    With a large diameter such that the rotation is measured in mpr instead of rpm there is virtually no limit to diameter. A high diameter to height ratio also enables air velocity to partial recover prior to reaching the leeward airfoils, increasing the efficiency substantially. The energy recovery per land/sea area could be substantianly greater with such VAWTs.
    The large mass of such a VAWT also has an advantage in that it enables the seperation of energy harvesting to that of electrical generation. In fact the greater the mass the better.
    Happy to expain to interested parties.

  204. andy says

    Hi guy,

    I’m going to presume that a HAWT is a Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine and a VAWT, a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine but I might be wrong?
    It’s good having acronyms, but I’m sure not everyone knows what it means until detailed. I always find it helpful to mention the acronym and its meaning at the beginning of any thread or post.
    Oh, and I don’t know what AOA means…..

    • Guy Mercer says

      Hi Andy
      Sorry for not explaining the acronyms.
      You are correct : Horizontal & Vertical axis wind turbines.
      AOA is the angle of attack : The angle of the chord of an airfoil to the airflow relative to that airfoil.
      Independent control off the angle of attack of all airfoils on a vertiical axis wind turbine enables much greater energy harvesting than unit with fixed airfoils. Control of the angle of the airfoils also enables self starting and controlled stopping if the latter is required.

  205. says

    Dear Mercer,[If you see any prospective to develop any kind of job in Brazil, and if you need to establish a PARTNERSHIP, our small consulting company ( http://www.agroterriani.cjb.net ) is located at Rio de Janeiro-Brazil. We are sure about the huge market to be exploited in Brazil and, over the other companies that are begining similar ventures, the market space is still very positive. I am Agronomic Engineer, 55 years old and I lived in a large number of provinces of my country. So, I am sure about my perssonal knowledge of brazilian potentialities. On the other hand, i have full personal interest in wind turbines, because I believe this is one of the most important technologies for the future. kindest regards. Please, be in contact.

  206. says

    Dear Mercer,[If you see any prospective to develop any kind of job in Brazil, and if you need to establish a PARTNERSHIP, our small consulting company ( http://www.agroterriani.cjb.net ) is located at Rio de Janeiro-Brazil. We are sure about the huge market to be exploited in Brazil and, over the other companies that are begining similar ventures, the market space is still very positive. I am Agronomic Engineer, 55 years old and I lived in a large number of provinces of my country. So, I am sure about my personal knowledge of brazilian potentialities. On the other hand, i have full personal interest in wind turbines, because I believe this is one of the most important technologies for the future. kindest regards. Please, be in contact.

  207. says

    Dear Mercer,[If you see any prospective to develop any kind of job in Brazil, and if you need to establish a PARTNERSHIP, our small consulting company ( http://www.agroterriani.cjb.net ) is located at Rio de Janeiro-Brazil. We are sure about the huge market to be exploited in Brazil and, over the other companies that are begining similar ventures, the market space is still very positive. I am Agronomic Engineer, 55 years old and I lived in a large number of provinces of my country. So, I am sure about my personal knowledge of brazilian potentialities. On the other hand, i have full personal interest in wind turbines, because I believe this is one of the most important technologies for the future. kindest regards. Please, be in contact.

  208. says

    Dear Mercer,[If you see any prospective to develop any kind of job in Brazil, and if you need to establish a PARTNERSHIP, our small consulting company ( http://www.agroterriani.cjb.net ) is located at Rio de Janeiro-Brazil. We are sure about the huge market to be exploited in Brazil and, over the other companies that are begining similar ventures, the market space is still very positive. I am Agronomic Engineer, 55 years old and I lived in a large number of provinces of my country. So, I am sure about my personal knowledge of brazilian potentialities. On the other hand, I have full personal interest in wind turbines, because I believe this is one of the most important technologies for the future. kindest regards. Please, be in contact.

  209. ZachG says

    I agree with a previous comment about this being a way for the rich to get richer… Wind turbines are a total joke, almost as big as green hybrid cars. They dont work if there is no wind and the return time is pathetic. So leave it to our government to give massive cash to anyone wanting to put them up. If world governments were any kind of smart they would all use nuclear fission power plants and give all their research funding to nuclear fusion and there might actually be an answer to the worlds power needs.

    • Anonymous says

      you can get a piece of that money if you invest in these companies manufacturing and buying the wind turbines. so all i hear is ‘wah wah im a little baby and the big man is stepping on me and i just want to complain’. Invest your money and perhaps you can be RICH and get richer. The cycle starts somewhere

  210. Pravin Kumar.M says

    Hi Friends,

    From my point of View these High Capacity wind turbine need to install in Sea so that the Turbine will be utilized fully. And the Great Draw back is that Manufacturing of this turbine is too costly & if you install in onshore it is waste unless if you have high potential site. Investing Hugh money in this High Megawatt turbine we can design in such a way that we can utilize offshore.

    • Guy Mercer says

      The cost of large plant as you said would be high, but harvesting 100x the energy with a small fraction of the land compared to a wind farm and the ability to store energy more than offsets the cost factor.
      The marine version could be designed to also harvest wave energy but it will cost more per unit of power. Where total energy recovered is the primary goal the marine version may be the right choice.
      The lower maintenance and capital cost of a land unit may make such units attractive, especially when other features such as quiet and environmentally safe operation are considered.

  211. andy - enriching the rich says

    It always seems that getting higher energy efficiencies out of the traditional technologies is the way to go – instead of this new age subsidised crap.

    With carbon nanotubes to name only one technology, I am sure a bit more efficiency can be gained. The only trouble is developing the technology requires significant new technology.

    It’s like “wow, on an “x Nanometer” cpu process I can get a quad core cpu at 3Ghz and at 40 watts……amazing….The only troulbe being that this finer technology requires total refinement and more precision of every part of the process….. It really just goes on and on.

    Only those in these industries really know exactly what the potentials could be.

    Also sea-bourne turbines need anchoring… How the fook will they achieve that cheaply?

    It’s just pointless. I’m not even going to think about it, not that I was much anyway…… :/
    I think the world’s in total decline anyway, why bother, yada yada..

  212. andy says

    I think fusion power has the potential to be another one of those energy wasting potentials, ie its another joke, BUT, I’m prepared to sit and wait for people who have done solid research on fusion to post whether it another windmill special or has a potential.

  213. says

    After Chernobyl, I really do not understand how people still think in nuclear energy projects. Today, and in the future, people need to develop projects where other aspects are considered, over efficiency. In this sense, even if wind energy is not so effective as nuclear energy, the final and positive results of wind energy are much bigger, especially when environmental and human health aspects are inside the balance .

    • Michael N says

      I, on the other hand, can’t believe how many people continue to deny the true effect of a bad return on energy investment because they “like the idea” of windmills.

      Wind power costs 3-4 times as much as fossil fuel based power to produce. The costs are real and indicative of the energy investment in manufacturing and erecting the project, the poor availability of the power produced and the short lifespan of the equipment.

      If it was implemented on a global basis the cost of the energy component of every commodity would go up by a factor of 3 or 4. This would cause basic foods to become unavailable in the 3rd world and cause millions if not billions of deaths.

      Cheap energy is necessary for the world to sustain a 6-7 billion population. Wind power is and will always be a special application high cost power source for isolated communities or government-subsidized showcase projects in very rich countries that can afford to WASTE resources on such ridiculous ventures.

  214. Bob H says

    Instead of thinking about 5 o r 7 MW turbines, what specially built wind generator could handle over 120 mph winds continuosly? Any ideas? Blade size would have to be compact (less than 2 meters in diameter). Could anything like this be constructed?

    • Guy Mercer says

      Hi Bob
      Most things are possible with a full spec.
      What variation in wind speed and density do you need catering for?
      Are the up stream flow conditions steady state?
      Why limit to 2 metre diameter?

      • Bob H says

        Guy,
        The application would be coordinated with the outflow winds produced from a skydiving wind tunnel (Skyventure is the franchise). Most wind tunnels that draw outside air through the chamber utilize 4 outflow vents. Steady state ranges from 15 mins up to 1 hour continous flow. Inner chamber wind speeds range from 110 to 160 mph. With the outflow vents, the speed would be less. I always thought that investors in this type of tunnel design could utilize small wind generators to recoup some of the power.

        • Guy Mercer says

          Hi Bob
          For Skydiving tunnels the energy efficient method woul be to recirculate the air investing in a little more ducting.
          The vents and an extra small centrifugal fan can the be used to pressurise the system to vary the density marginally if required.
          The main fan is then only keeping the flow moving at the required speed an will use much less power.

  215. says

    Bob H
    Could anything like this be constructed?

    We just happen to have something that would work. But Money money, And because the propeller icon is the norm who will listen?

  216. Joe America says

    All this data is amazing and precise!? Us “Average Joe’s” appreciate the explanations, thank you. Here’s a question I’d like answered? How much of the power generated by these windmills is lost, traveling up to 10, 20, 30+ miles, from the windmills down to the power station…? Seems like it’s not very cost effective, either way. There’s got to be a more efficient way!

    J. America

    • niterider says

      Joe….
      food for thought…
      as we type there is a plan being implemented, and under construction, for a new power grid to transport, wind generated, power from the texas panhandle down to the houston area. And as i’ve been told, asfar as flordia. The new grid is not here-say,

  217. says

    Dear jj guncsaga,

    You said that, “One of our wind machines (grid connected) can be installed for less than 2 million USD per megawatt.”

    Isn’t it pretty costly? The turbines from India, I think, are available at almost 1/3rd of this price.

    Any comments?

    Azfar A Khan (Mr.),
    Islamabad, Pakistan
    azfar44@hotmail.com

    • Michael N says

      >> Isn’t it pretty costly? The turbines from India, I think, are available at almost 1/3rd of this price.<<

      The turbine is only a fraction of the installed cost. The infrastructure (access roads, grid connection, construction, land purchase/lease & preparation) is the bigger part of the project. Most good wind sites are located in logistically difficult places (ridges, mountain passes, at sea) and therefore are expensive to develop. But I am sure that Indian or Chinese-built turbines would be cheaper than US built ones.

  218. vikram says

    Would it be sensible and practical to install a solar farm under an already existing set of wind turbines/windmills, so the land that is otherwise left alone can be utilized?

    • Michael N says

      For both wind and solar the selected location is a critical part of the project viability. It is very unlikely that a good wind site would also be a good solar site, so locating them together doesn’t make much sense.

  219. says

    Dear Sir,
    Here in Brazil, I feel is possible to locate these two systems together ( wind and solar ), because of environmental condition, positive for both of them. BUT, costs are already limitant factors to be considered… over strategic priorities, naturally. I feel is a matter and a question of time… just time will show, how good ans positive are these two ways to produce clean and permanent energy.

  220. Tom Waite says

    The reason we don’t have freight rail in the US is very simple. In the mid 1900’s, the automobile companies bought up the majority of our freight lines and had the track ripped up. This was done to get people more dependent on autos. If the infrastructure were still there, it would be much cheaper to move our cargo by train instead of car. Less fuel, less manpower, less damage to infrastructure. Trucking would be absolutely prohibitive if we made the trucking companies pay for all the damage to the interstates.

    Tom Waite, MD-PhD
    New York

    • niterider says

      Tom..

      We still have freight by rail, a tremendous amount of it actually.
      As far as the comment about trucking companys being made to pay for road repairs…..they do, every mile a truck drives in the us they are charged for, some states charge more than others but surficeit to say, they Do pay….Do you pay for every mile you drive over and above fuel and upkeep…I think not. Please try to be informed before stepping in on a discussion

  221. says

    I think this turbine is quite lame. It is extremely large and produces around 7MW. I have done some researching and found out that one large UNDERWATER turbine produces 240MW. I think that before wasting such materials into building this turbine, waste them into building three underwater ones producing each 240MW, 720MW in total.
    I might be wrong, though. I’m only 15, what do I know, really?

    • Michael N says

      I searched in vain for large tidal turbines. I found some information on an experimental turbine being installed off the coast of the UK. But the size of the 2 impeller structure was 1.2 MW, not 240MW. In theory a 240MW open design water turbine, as could be used in ocean current, would have to be GIGANTIC, I doubt one could be built. One proposed project in Asia has 300 individual turbines at 1 MW each for a total of 300 MW.

      On the other hand, hydroelectric dam turbines where the water is confined and forced through a duct to the impeller housing can be as large as 700 MW each but these don’t work in open waters.

  222. Rosie says

    I like solar water heaters and radiant barrier they both seem to save me money. and didn’t cost that much with tax credits.
    I got mine from company call sunrise solar solutions

    sunrisesolarnow.com

    • Michael N says

      From an individual’s economic standpoint tax credits for “green” energy projects make sense… but any product that requires tax credits in order for people to buy into it, is not economically viable on its own.

      Since tax credits are paid for with taxes raised on the same people that get the credits (as a group) we are actually fools for letting our government do this to us.

      The government pays one person a tax bonus for doing something economically “stupid” with money taken from other people who decide not to make the “stupid” decision. If the government actually succeeded in getting nearly everyone to do the “stupid” thing (which is theoretically their goal with energy tax credits) then they wouldn’t collect enough taxes to actually pay for the incentives. So it is a policy that is designed to fail even if it succeeds…

  223. B V KANDORIYA says

    I like to comment by Mr. Pravinkumar on 5th march that, we have need offshore wind farm for future. It is to much noted point for enercon team.Hope that take action on the point for future of enercon and India also.

  224. Reni Rose says

    Hi, just wondering if anyone could help, a wind farm is coming really close to my home, and the proposed tower is 120m high with the blades being 80m, total at height 200m or approx. 600ft. Are these the largest in the world, and is there anyother farm with this size of turbine. Just interested. Reni

  225. says

    Very good initiative you done this type of great achivemnt.

    tell how of turbines you want to installl. also let us tell about your future plan for such windmill?????

  226. A funny feeling says

    Hey guys,

    I stumbled onto this page and I couldn’t help commenting on the fact that 1,776 American homes = 5,000 European homes of 4. That had me laughing for a while.

    Anyways, I’m a sales consultant for a cast iron business in China. For all their ductile iron products, they usually report the price at around 12 RMB per kg. That’s about $ USD1.79 per kilogram. A 2005 study by NREL showed that the standard cost for Cast iron parts in a wind turbine for the consumer costs about $4.00 per kilogram to build. These parts are usually 30 metric tonnes or more per wind turbine, which means (4 – 1.79) x 10,000 x 30 ( or however many turbines are in a farm).

    On cast iron parts alone, that’s a price difference of about 650k USD per turbine, where it only costs about 200k USD to produce.

    Somewhere, someone is making a killing on building these things, nearly (300%)… but it’s certainly not the manufacturer, or the assembler, or the end user.

    And you thought oil companies were dirty…

    P.S. oh and in case you were wondering, a lot of companies use parts from China, from G.E. to Gamesa to Vestas, all the big green energy companies

  227. Anonymous says

    reply to…… Neves Terriani Laera.
    I can not believe how short sighted and nieve you are being in thinking there is no place for Nuclear and that wind power is more important !
    Ask the French how their electricity supply would function without Nuclear power stations, ask the french how long they have been operating safely. Ask them how many lives have been lost in comparison to other industries.
    What you will find is that it is safer by a country mile to work in the Nuclear industry than to cross the road and walk to the local shop.
    Yes, Nuclear accidents are catastrophic and headline grabing, however the huge benefits to climate change of zero emissions and the recent step change in safety management and critical fail safe systems (which chernobyl didnt have) make me believe they outway the manageable risks.
    Wind will never be practicable in our energy hungry world. Please do not be fooled.
    Robbie.

    • moreland says

      comment to nuclear power by anonymous

      1) the french pay about $150 per MW for their energy. Most U.S. cities pay about $50-%80. Nuclear would make our energy bills double or triple…..that is why we use coal and gas as our energy margins. The French have one of the world’s worst grid systems.

      2) Nobody has ever said wind is the solution. Wind cannot be the solution. Its only capable of sustaining about 25% of the nations power….right now its about 3%

      3) coal is the most unsafe. Natural gas is by far the safest form of energy is the entire world and there is not any argument that can be made against it. Its cheap, clean, safe, and effective. Nuclear is very safe in today’s world.

      • Michael N says

        The French also have the lowest carbon emissions/inhabitant of any of the highly industrialized nations when you exclude countries with massive hydro-electric capacity (Sweden and Canada, for example)

        Coal is the cheapest source of energy and really not “unsafe” at all, if you exclude the Global Warming “bogeyman”.

        The threat posed by GW/Climate Change is completely speculative at this time. While I absolutely believe that there is a link between atmospheric CO2 levels and the burning of fossil fuels, the exact impact of a continued rise in CO2 is not an established fact. A large percentage of the scientists who contributed to the studies of temperature and climate variations and greenhouse gas atmospheric concentrations behind the “Global Warming” political movement, disagree with the conclusions that have been drawn from their work by non-scientific hacks with an “agenda” and a stake in the game (Like making billions from the sale of carbon credits or gaining vast powers to control the energy policies of countries).

        If CO2 is the main threat from coal energy then natural gas is not a good alternative since it also produces huge amounts of CO2, albeit a little less than coal. And if CO2 is not considered a threat, then coal is virtually as safe as natural gas, because the technology to remove the actual pollutants such as SO2, HCl, NOx, Hg and particulate from flue gas is available and very advanced. Modern coal-fired power plants are nearly as efficient and clean as gas-fired plants and the energy they produce is significantly cheaper.

        Denmark, the leading country in wind-energy worldwide and strong proponent of “green” energy, nevertheless continues to build coal and coke-fired power plants to supplement the nearly 20% energy produced by wind power. Their energy split is about 50% coal, 30% gas and 20% wind – not accounting for hydroelectric and nuclear which are hidden in the supplemental electric power imported over the grid from Sweden.

        Most countries are in the same situation as Denmark, resulting in coal being the source of nearly half of the world’s electric energy. The only source that realistically can challenge coal in the next 50 years is nuclear. Natural gas and oil are currently near their maximum potential with little or no reserve production capacity and could not fill the void. Wind energy is comparatively very expensive and therefore a luxury only very “rich” societies can afford so it will remain a very small part of the global energy picture.

        China passed the United States as the No. 1 producer of GHG this year and this trend will continue as more and more of our industrial production is shifted to countries where labor and energy costs are low and environmental regulation is nearly non-existent. Driving up the US energy costs with more environmental legislation only accelerates the trend and increases global GHG emissions… A losing battle.

        Ironic is when US windmills are produced in China with energy from coal-fired power plants and steel from coke-fired smelters by workers paid dismal wages, without health insurance and unprotected by OSHA rules… But at least they won’t put them up near Martha’s Vineyard or on T. Boone Pickens own 68,000-acre ranch because, as he stated, “those things are ugly”…

  228. wind expert says

    trying to answer people’s questions. I have been in the power generation and finance world for all of my adult life, working for hedge funds and energy companies. Hopefully this will help answer some of the questions.

    1) Reni, no those turbines are not anywhere close to the largest in the world. More than likely they are 1.5 MW GE machines

    2) nuclear is important. BUT, as an energy consultant I see nuclear as the best solution and best answer. its the most effective form of energy, but it would cripple the oil and gas and renewable industry businesses so bad it would devastate the global economy.

    3) average cost per project is about $2.2 m per MW (cost are going down as turbine prices and construction prices are going down)

    4) You cant use rail systems effectively for turbines. You only get savings on rail if you travel 50 cargo loads over 5,000 miles. I have worked with shipping turbines in the past, its very difficult process. rail is ideal, BUT it just cost so much money by rail. Plus, unless the wind farm is right at the off-ramp to the railway, you still have to spend the money to load them on the trucks. Shipping is about $150 k per MW to anywhere in the U.S. thats 50 feet or 5,000 miles. (just very basic rough numbers)

    5) those Enercon turbines work ideal in lower wind speeds…about 7.5 meters per second

    6) if you support wind, then you should support natural gas. Gas sets the margin for energy pricing in most windy states, so wind prices are hedged to gas pricing.

    7) most turbines from India are not financiable and that is why we dont see more turbines from Suzlon in the U.S.

    8) GE, Vestas, Siemens, Enercon, are tier 1 turbines. Gamesa, Nordex, Unison, Suzlon, Clipper, Nordic, Furlander, etc are some other well known brands

    9) U.S. needs an energy bill….period

    10) Most payout on wind is about 10 years or less. Payouts are generated from Tax equity investors from hedge funds, banks, institutional lendors, and oil and gas companies.

  229. says

    This windmill has been put to shame. The new KiteGen system uses kites to produce renewable wind energy for as low as 0.03 Euros per kilowatt hour. As they build the KiteGen wind power systems to get bigger their efficiency increases exponentially. The largest size being studied so it can be made in the future is a 25km diameter KiteGen that produces 60GWs a year. These create no shadow, take up very little land area since most is in the sky, and create relatively low amounts of noise.

  230. says

    The (RSA) DTS unique design allows us to build (wind turbines) HAWT’s over 20 MW per unit operating at a wind speed of 11 m/s. That is three times the size of your 7 MW wind turbine (please publish the wind speed required to generate 7 MW from your wind turbines to readers, it is not for us, because we can calculate that ourselves).

    Anton Cordier

  231. Ben Mercer says

    It seems that in today’s society we are bickering and arguing with each other with regards to co2 emission levels any solutions to global warming when we all know the solution is wind, wave and solar energy. Here and now collectively we need to act. I feel that politics is holding us back. why invest billions of world currencies in nuclear fusion to then spend millions in decommissioning and getting rid of dangerous waste by products? Current wind turbines are very inefficient as they do not make the best use of the surface area that the rotor blades operate in. Current wave/tidal power stations use linear generators and again are inefficient as they depend on trough and crest variations of sea levels in the waves. Why not combine water flow rates with wind power and make offshore units that have the potential of similar outputs to nuclear fusion?

    • Michael N says

      I don’t believe anyone that works in the energy field and has a solid technical knowledge of the various energy technologies believes that wind, wave and solar are the solutions to our current energy needs.

      China is investing nearly 100% of their energy money in super-critical coal-fired boilers. Their CO2 emissions are growing by more than 10% per year, they passed the US last year as the No.1 producer of GHGs and by 2017 they will produce twice as much GHG as the US. India is on the same track but 20 years behind China. Debate on global warming is basically closed until a technology that is cheaper than burning coal is developed.

      The technologies you advocate are EXTREMELY uncompetitive and even if heavily subsidized could barely slow down the US GHG emission growth and much less impact global GHG levels. They could however cripple our ability to compete with China economically and lower the US standard of living significantly.

      One realistic way to lower US GHG production levels much more than wind, solar, biomass & geothermal could ever do, would be to pass legislation to promote the construction of super-critical boilers to replace the many hundred aging, low-efficiency, boilers currently on the US power grid. This is common sense but because it involves burning fossil fuels it will never happen.

        • Burlap Jack says

          From the viewpoint of a US citizen who is well versed in US history, the notion expressed by Thomas C that the US standard of living should be lowered is unacceptable on at least 2 points. One, if TC is an American, then his statement exhibits a staggering ignorance of his own heritage. Two, if TC is not an American, then his statement is understandable as a jealous onlooker, similar to others we have had for decades.

          Further, dropping the notion that the “GHG problem” is a result of the US standard of living, as a matter of fact is without merit and just plain dumb.

          • Alexander66 says

            Burlap Jack, you know of course TC is right. But in a very different way as you probably be able to imagine.
            If TC is halfway intelligent he of course means the US standard of living has to go way up.
            Because:
            The US is drowning in debts, hardly producing anything anymore, spending atrocious amounts on the military, consuming mindboggling amounts of energy in extreme in-efficient ways, inventing all kinds of pretexts to go to war to shore up the ever falling dollar and satisfy its oil addiction all the while living in constant fear with obesity and crime rates soaring while popping anti depressants constantly.

            Remember the ridiculous request your President had for Angela Merkel (The Chancellor of Germany, this for the lesser versed Americans (80%) in international affairs) during the last G20?

            Please decrease your export surplus with US!

            Despite the fact that the Euro increased more than 90% in value compared to the Dollar during the last 10 years, Germany was and is capable producing very high quality products in very efficient ways that are very much appreciated in the US (just think about BMW, Mercedes, pharmaceuticals, scientific equipment, industrial machinery etc)

            Don’t believe it? Google it!

            Burlap Jack your notion that the rest of the world is full of jealous onlookers is in a way very frightening and puts you in the category of the Sarah Palins and Glenn Becks of think world (Come on lets saddle up the dinosaurs ! :-) Any clue what I am talking about?).

            You really think there many people in the developed and emerging countries are jealously looking on how your enlightened morons in Washington are digging and digging a deeper hole for the militarily almighty US of A, that half a century ago was a beacon of hope for the world?

            How mistaken you are……………………..
            A very Dutch (European :-) )
            Alexander66

      • Ham Clarke says

        Actually Michael, what you say above is completely untrue and reflects our fears rather than the realities.

        China is investing more money in the renewable energy field than any other country. They lead the world in the number of wind turbines installed, solar panels and hydroelectricity. And the gap between their investment in this field and the rest of the world is continuing to widen. With an East coast rather than a West coast which is more suitable for large scale wave energy generation, wave energy is not likely to be their best energy resource going forward.

        The growth in China of coal-fired electricity generation you speak of is part of a total energy mix. And with the renewables still developing it is a critical part of meeting the exponential electricity demand growth in the short term and to take advantage of large coal reserves. China understands coal cannot be the base load generating fuel for the long term, but it also needs to invest in coal in the short term to meet demand that is still less than 1/10th the level used per capita in the United States.

        You are correct, the Renewable Energy technologies are in some cases very uncompetitive. Although it could be argued also that wind is very close to competitive and being emission free is virtually on-par if you consider all factors including benefits and costs of a specific technology. It is also worth noting that the Model T was very uncompetitive in comparison to today’s motor vehicles. Only through years of society buying and using motor vehicles was there sufficient R&D and economics to make the vehicles of today. Thank god my grandfather didn’t say, “Nah… that model T is inefficient… I am waiting for the super efficient Japanese version before I buy one of those horseless carriages!” If we don’t learn to walk, we will never be able to run.

        Forget global warming, we are about to run out of affordable oil. Whether we run our future automobiles on electricity or hydrogen it requires massive increases in the amount of electricity we consume. We as the developed world need to lead the innovation adopted by developing countries – Not because we want to feel good about ourselves, but because CO2 isn’t local it’s global. Even if those people who don’t believe in global warming are right… with 3 out of 5 people on the planet living in Asia and their economies and thus their electricity demand rising exponentially, if they do install all coal to meet demand the plume of black smoke and acid rain will fast become a North American problem. And I wont even tell you how nervous the people on the west coast of North America will be when more Asian nuclear plants go bang.

        Renewables are not competitive, but they are also not mass produced. Couldn’t mass production of wind turbines, solar panels and wave energy converters be just the thing the stumbling US manufacturing industry needs to reinvigorate jobs, inspire the next generation with a “can-do-attitude” and keep American money in the hands of America? America imports 2/3rds of it’s daily oil so every time you drive your car, you are just making someone in a far away land richer.

        Coal will always and should always play a role in the US energy mix… However the medium term future beyond oil will require electricity double or even triple what is consumed today. With thousands of miles of west coast, hot dry deserts in the south west and the middle america endowed with winds that will blow a dog off it’s chain it seems inconceivable to me that the US can’t see this as the greatest opportunity in decades to reinvigorate the economy, create jobs in the manufacturing heartland and stop the hemorrhaging of dollars to the outside world. Oh and by the way, we may just save the planet and make the world a cleaner and nicer place to live while we are at it!!!

      • Mike says

        Pres. Reagon began slacking the day he opted to almost immediatly removed the solar water heater from the Whitehouse. Lead and Mercury is in coal, the coal which in time could run trucks without toxics.
        The energies of wind and geothermal are only bogged down by not having ambition enough to achieve.
        To avoid China is only challenging because of the Gipper. While being conservative is a challenge Ike and Teddy are my role models.
        To achieve energy solutions that achieve 1000 years theoretically. One time or another in the furture oxegen cools the Earth. Water distillation and turbine generation is the only solar power thats in that range. I think there is a sheppard in that one also to inspire hydrogen solution.

    • Willem says

      @Ben Mercer It is way better to invest in nuclear energy as soon as a government can be seduced to guarantee the investments. Windmills pay themselves back in just 8 (land) to 12 (sea) years, depending on the size. At larger sizes this only increases. What that means is that you don’t have the investment risk of nuclear. What that means is that you would have to make your money from the actual production of energy instead of capital interest.
      If nuclear installations pay themselves back at all, they do it after 19 years (best scenario) to 33 years production. The production period starts 5 to 9 years after ground breaking. With an installation period over 9 years the nuclear installation will actually never break even during the production period, assuming facilities older than 40 years are normally closed down in favor of more modern alternatives. But who cares, right? Think about it. It will take 24 years (5 years between groundbreaking and production) or 41 years (9 years between ground breaking and production) to pay back the investment. This means that for 24 to 41 years you can ask an annual interest of 15% over your long term investment capital of say 5 bln (6% if you lend the money as a bank). After 30 years from ground breaking, as an investor you will already have doubled your invested capital. By then it has either been payed back already or you can just sit and strike up that 15% year in, year out. And the only thing that you need for that sweet, sweet interest is some safety guarantees from your local or federal government. So why would a person ever want to invest in wind energy? You can buy your own golf course from the profits you can make with nuclear. It doesn’t even matter if the nuclear installation ever actually breaks even. Others can deal with the polution later. Or why not just throw it back into the pacific like we used to? So what if the shrimp eat it. A little radioactivity can be healthy for you. We use it to treat cancer, don’t we? That worked fine until it was prohibited in the mid-nineties by some stupid law, i bet the democrats did that. And something like Japan or Chernobyl can only occur once in a million years and most times it happens somewhere else (except for Harrisburg). And it’s not as if we build the plants near sea or at fault lines, do we?

      (So, that’s me being sarcastic, but this is how the lovely guys and dolls that make the money from the nuclear plants actually reason away reason. They’re not easy to spot and may go by names of “trader”, “investment banker” or “lobbyist”.)

    • says

      My Design is not mentioned ,It is by far larger, In fact at Half the height and 150 or whatever t wide it would turn at each end two of the largest Generators ever built simultaneousness These mass energy machines are 1000x,s more powerful in currents and thereby smaller to produce as needed energy by just adding Blades and cowling’s to increase vacuums on downward sides.and widths of the 4 walls per superior power revolution. Of course the issue is embedded corporations with other old well developed Ideas Not mass energy

  232. says

    I really cannot understand how anyone can talk about subsidies for wind energy and other sources and, at the same time, to forget that China is one of the countries that more invest in subsidies. For this simple reason, is impossible to win China, in any economical sense.
    On the other hand, if China and other countries develop models of small wind turbines, even without subsidies, maybe people will have solution for local electric energy problems.
    So, it is a question of time, for people see that this is a very siginificant source of electrical energy, especially for poor people and poor regions all around the entire world.

  233. says

    I would think that even the big energy and oil companies should be wise enough to see that if we were to use more wind, wave, and solar power now it could lead to the non-renewable sources lasting longer. thus allowing them to stay in the business of burning fossil fuels.

  234. says

    Although the discussion about politics and , the manifestation of USA based needs, is mind expanding, it has little to do with wind generators. Please also distinguish between USA, Canada, and Mexico as members of (North) America (s). Here on earth Americans deserve their autonomous perspectives since they portray regional and historically relevant perspectives related to reality. While solar is good most everywhere wind potential varies upon location. The intelligent application of knowledge will reflect a relevance according to regional needs. Large H.A.W.T.’s have ideal applications where wind prevails and potential risks can be avoided. Small units fast turning smaller blades are what seems to offend the Naturalist entity’s with bird hazaards, to V.A.W.T.’s tend to present a more sustainable visual image , and are less threatening . While there can be something to be gained from looking at different brands of large scale W.T.’s, it pales in comparison the knowledge gained by the decentralized modeling associated with small scale W.T. energy production reflect opportunities based on local applications of wind technology, relevant to locally sustainable knowledge of potential returns. Certainly if there is a desire to share this knowledge with the less fortune(ate) then the smaller scale knowledge base must be expanded, so that disseminated knowledge has relevance to small time users without Grid inter-ties and Megawatt power needs. This lower level of production actually is capable of meeting a lot of simple needs of 3rd world populations, while simultaneously helping us lower our demands, as a reorganization of our needs emerges from our demand. Ive always been excited about “New Record: World’s Largest Wind Turbines” , and even the often overlooked history of large V.A.W.T.S.

    • Alexander66 says

      one4gaia,
      I nearly stood corrected by your comment “Although the discussion about politics and , the manifestation of USA based needs, is mind expanding, it has little to do with wind generators” , till I realized that US politics are the source of 25% of the worlds energy and all its related (energy) problems. We should not take that out of the discussion. That would be putting our heads in the sand. One of the biggest problems with wind energy is that it is so incredibly easy to sell and misunderstood by the misinformed general public, who has no clue about the energy needs of our different societies.

      Can you imagine anything easier to sell to the general misinformed public that isn’t even is capable to distinguish between energy (kWh) and power (kW), not to mention: The second law of Thermo Dynamics (This incapability makes blogging on this blog sometimes very tiresome)? And all this misinforming is mostly done on purpose by politicians and of course wind-millers industry.

      The easy sell:
      Just plant a couple of those wind contraptions and we have energy for free, forever, totally clean and no more CO2 puked into our already with pollutants saturated atmosphere.

      And as long as you keep the general public misinformed, they will swallow this ridiculous pipe dream with gusto and look at those companies, organizations and institutions that really work on solving our global energy needs as if they are the real villains (surprisingly few exceptions here) behind our climate change.
      This selfish misinformation is costing humanity too much in every imaginable aspect.

      Here a copy of an earlier post of mine:
      Why wind energy is totally irrelevant and a complete waste of resources.

      With exeption for very localized, remote and very tiny (couple of kWdays) energy needs.

      1) Today humanity uses 426 Quads (426.000.000.000.000.000 BTU) of energy per year, of which the lion’s share comes from burning coal. (50 % worldwide, I don’t think that is a very bad estimate)
      That means: 213.000.000.000.000.000 / 20.000.000 (This is the amount of BTU one ton of coal produces when burned.) = 10.650.000.000 tons of coal are burned by humanity every year. With the result that we are pumping 10.650.000.000 x 2.86 (burning one ton of coal produces on average 2.86 tons of CO2 (plus a lot of other harmful stuff)) = 30.459.000.000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year.
      2) In ten years time humans will “need” or use 150 Quads more, thinking about the 3 billion people in the fast emerging (cannot call them developing any more, that would be disrespectful) countries like China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia etc., all sitting on very big coal reserves!
      3) Global warming has set in and one of its major contributors is CO2. Our days are counted if we don’t do anything about it!
      In my opinion it will be impossible to take coal out of the energy equation for the next 100 years, because all the renewable (now worldwide probably a energy contributor of less than 3 %) will not be able to off-set the amount of energy produced from coal and coal is the most available fossil fuel in those fast developing populous countries. Social pressures will force those fast developing countries to burn coal anyway (in a clean or dirty way). Wars have been fought for much sillier reasons. Therefore I am of the opinion that we have to develop the technology to burn coal in a clean and environmental friendly way, despite the extreme difficulties and extremely high costs. We cannot deprive humanity today of about 213 Quads (halve of its energy “needs” or usage) and we cannot go-on burning fossil fuels as we do today without destroying the global climate completely. Both ways (depriving or dirty burning) will bring war, death and mass extension for humans.
      I am of the opinion that all resources spend on Wind Energy is a total waste of time and resources because it only tackles 4 % of our total energy problem in about 15 years time!
      Please realize:
      20 % of our total energy needs go to electricity generation and the politicians want 20 % of our electricity from Wind Power in about 10 to 15 years time.
      20% of 20% = 4%

      These resources could be used in a much better and effective way.
      By for instance:
      1. informing the general public about our real energy needs and explain how much we waste.
      2. Educating the general population how to save energy.
      3. Creating a real awareness about every bodies personal footprint and make it a national and global sport to make those individual footprints as small as possible, through schools and television programs (through EDUCATION)
      4. Going for the technology to burn coal (and other fossil fuels) as clean as possible. Humanity is going to burn them anyway.
      5. Plasma Fusion and Super Conductivity are the only technologies that really can and will get humanity out of its energy predicament. But it will take decades before we have those technologies available.

      For me Wind Power is as ridiculous as putting sails on 300.000 ton Super Tankers to off-set 4 % bunker oil by WIND Power. (And when you make some simple calculations you will see that this ridiculous idea is of the same order of magnitude as Wind Power!)

      There for politics is inseparable from wind energy as long as politicians (especially those in Washington today) want to gain brownie points with the general public, misinforming them for their own personal hunger for voters and the bi-partisan bickering. And there for are digging a tremendous deep hole for the poor almighty US of A. Please realize we don’t want the US of A coming out of that self dug hole shooting, because there is nobody in the world that will be able to stop them. The rest of the world is too busy trying to solve the global energy problem instead of playing soldier.

    • Steven R. Lonien says

      Gee since No Group has even tested or took seriously my Automatic Feathering Flat Blade Radial Windmill your comment is at best narrow minded. The worlds inventors deserve better.My invention is proof of stonewalling Like Thomas Edison’s Frying the Elephant to prove AC to dangerous History will prove It all. Blessings Steve

    • Steven R. Lonien says

      First self serving uninformed mistake , is assuming that props or vawts or other designs now used for the miscalculation of mans ability to convert natural winds and tides energy that are excessive , related to our foreseeable needs second mistake is to assume The low effectives power of todays windmills will remain dominant.

      • Johnny says

        Another mistake would be to call it a windmill, instead of a wind turbine. Now stop writing nonsense, Steven.

  235. andy says

    I think that if all wind power discussions were ceased; all wind power related info was ignored; all wind power politics and wind power production was terminated…. Then we would save far more embodied energy and mind heat/energy than when it started.

    How many tons of fuels(the best way to measure energy usage perhaps?) does it take to product football pitches of reinforced steel bar concrete, the windturbines, the plastic etc etc.

    Crazy idea eh?

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for methods that produce energy efficiently……..

    The three relevant laws seem to be Reduce, reuse, recycle.
    Local recycling must make more sense than extraction.
    I wonder about glass though, that is epic fail on a grand scale.

    Curent process……..
    recycle glass. ……..crush, melt, produce….. lots of energy involved.
    If there were only 100 types of glass bottle produced in the world, then glass could have local sterilisation centres and save a lot of energy.

    Well, it seems that giving the big guys contracts’ seems to be more financially motivating…………
    wonder why?
    Any thoughts on my thoughts are welcomed……

    This is a good thread!

    • Steven R. Lonien says

      Newtons Law that are basis of all natural Energy.That are now converted easily and now more powerful than all polluting others combined ,has to overcome corporate greed.that so far is in dominant positions. This is now under Nuclear Stress.

  236. Norm says

    Until alternative energy production becomes economically attractive to private, corporate and public entities the use of fossil fuels will rise. The United States of America will continue on its course as the “world’s policeman” (translated “imperialist empire”) until it finds itself a hollowed out, third world banana republic. The equatorial countries will suffer most from global climate change. Result……famine, war, pestilence and death. The end. All this talk is just talk. Wake up.

  237. Steven R. Lonien says

    Check Out the—> You Tube Video—> Be Jesus Windmill, A Design that Uses Newtons laws in almost a 100% way It will be much bigger than Hoover Dam Be cause it is also Horizontal With 4 walls closed against the winds and then opening every revolution . The Vertical one posted Should be at waysides charging Cars with its 4,000 watt 110v 220v alternator is not hooked up because of No funding/Help

  238. Jay says

    At 12 rpm, the tips of those blades are doing close to 260 ft/second or about 176 mph. At the halfway point of the blade at the rated rpm, they are doing 85 mph. Just because it’s not spinning at a high rpm, does not mean the blades are moving slowly. Ever hit a bird in your car doing 60 mph? The car usually wins. 70 feet out from the center they’ll be doing 60 mph, which means that 88.5% of the total swept blade area is going over 60 mph at rated speed. Just something to keep in mind.

  239. Tom says

    To the very first post who said that ‘nuclear fusion would require money to deal with the harmful waste products’….there are none. It’s just Helium.

  240. Neutered Observer says

    The wind sceptics should note that Spain, which is a big counrty, now gets an average of 20% of its electricity from the wind ………….& the record for 24 hours last year was 40%.
    And the new big mills have paid off their capital cost well before a new nuclear plant comes on line……………… ask the French!

    Interestingly one of the contenders to build the 6 GW of new offshore mills planned in France ( yes thats 1000 of the big new 6000KW ones)
    is “AREVA”….. who own all the nuclear power plants in France and Britain.
    The contract is worth about 10 thousand million euros & they are much easier to build than nuclear reactors…………. and no nuclear meltdowns!

    Britain has a similar plan to produce 25% of its electricity from windmills in the North Sea by 2025.

    Anybody wishing to cash in on this bonanza should consider buying shares in Gamesa who have built many of the newer 2 MW windmills in the states… This Spanish manufacturer is currently nº 3 worldwide & has been investing all their profits in research and new manafacturing plants in the US, India, China & now Brasil.
    The shares are currently down 80% on their pre crisis 30 euros+.
    Their new 6MW Offshore model will undoubtedly get a good share of the upcoming Frech and British offshore market in partnership with Northrop Grumman (who are doing the bit that goes in the water).
    Expect the shares to double over the next 12 months and then to double again the following year.

  241. says

    Not the biggest , just the biggest allowed of the obsolete leonardo designs.The biggest is the horizontal Automatic feathering flat blade radial windmills that are subdued in corruption. this superior design works in 1000x,s more powerfull 24 7 currents and has no limits horizontally. the brainwashing programs work don,t they. you believe there is no other even when you see the 4 walls per rpm disappear and then close walls in unison.with far more power than a prop, the captured energy is unlimited verses a percentage yep brainwashing prevents even tests

    • Johnny says

      Steven, you are probably very intelligent and most likely an extraordinary engineer. But my god, you have no idea how to explain your thoughts!!! it must be very frustrating for you to be ignored like this. But Steven, people have no idea, what you are talking about. Just plain rambling…it is actually quite amusing. :-)

  242. says

    There are many companies lately that claim new records on “the largest wind turbines in the world”, including our company Design Thinking Solutions RSA. We moved away from that competition, because for us it is not a competition at all. Our DTS HAWT constraint kite design allow us to approach 50 MW per wind turbine @ 12 m/s wind speed, and at +/- a third of the capital cost of a 10 MW HAWT intended to be produced by European Companies. The three bladed conventional design competitions may continue amongst those manufacturers, as they have got a long way to go. All fluid stream energy converters follows the mass scaling law m=k*P1.5, there is a size limit to economic implementation. Independent of the concept considered, the scaling laws hold. This is true for DTS as well, but the wind energy extraction architectures pursued at DTS offers the opportunity to drastically reduce the proportionality constant when compared with the “industry standard” three bladed turbines. In our case it also means that the financial returns look much better when compared with conventional three blade wind turbines. Payback is much quicker. More technical information from DTS will not really contribute to the aforementioned.

    We also have an ocean current turbine capable of approaching 1000 MW per unit. The good thing about it is that it can produce a constant and large base load. The wind turbine designs are based on very low wind speeds in order to improve capacity factor, and be used in conjunction with hydro-electricity / pumping schemes storing / generating electricity as currently used, also in South Africa.

    It will remain the task of all renewable converter designers and manufacturer’s to convince governments and investors alike, to consider alternative energy converters to coal and nuclear power plants by “thinking outside the box”. Our company achieved our first goal in designing the “game changing” large DTS wind and ocean current turbines. Our second goal to get these machines into the market place, is on the way.

    With regards to nuclear power the following:

    The dangers / fatal flaw of any nuclear plant lay in the fundamental requirements with respect to design and construction. These stringent requirements are mainly to prevent the accidental escape of harmful radiation and or nuclear fuel from the plant over many years. Therefore, during an accident or incident where something goes seriously wrong inside the nuclear part of the plant, it is impossible to know what is going on in the inside, and what will be an appropriate corrective action. This uncertainty to know what is wrong in an enclosed nuclear power plant (entrapped with the most powerful fuel on earth) is a fatal flaw in old, and will remain so in also newly designed nuclear power plants.

    If the world politicians decide to drastically reduce the number of new nuclear power plants to be built in future, then the investors need to find alternative investment opportunities to consider.
    Anton Cordier.
    DTS
    cordiera@mweb.co.za

    • Anonymous says

      Until a meaningful method of storage is developed wind will continue to be a waste of time and tax dollars. ~ Walt

  243. Steven Flier says

    A 413 ft diameter turbine making a complete rotation in 5 seconds = blade tip speed of 177 mph. Seems fast enough to catch a bird.

    413*pi = 1298 ft
    1298/5 = 260 ft/sec
    (260/88)*60 = 177 mph

  244. mike scott says

    153 meter blades are now made on a siemens wind generator being the largest. with a 6 megawatt production capability.

  245. mike scott says

    correction this is the diameter of the rotor like the 126. The blades are approximately 75.5 meters in length each making approx. 230 feet long.

  246. Ryan says

    I once sat through a conference delivered by nuclear power plant designers. They spent hours telling us that nuclear power is safe, effecient when mass produced, and reliable. They said we have enough reserves to produce electricity for thousands of years. At the end of the conference, they had me convinced that nuclear is the best. I asked some of the nuclear engineers, “Wouldn’t it be great if the government would let us produce all our power in nuclear reactors?” Their response surprised me. They said, “No”. I couldn’t believe what I heard. They explainded that the best energy policy is a balanced one. We need a diverse portfolio of power sources that they explained. Wind power is excellent when the wind is blowing, but terrible when the wind stops. Solar is great during the day when the sky is clear, but it is terrible otherwise. Fossil fuel plants put lots of C02 in the air, and the supply is limited, but it relatively easy to build a reliable natural gas power plant when the population of a city grows. In short, each energy source has positives and negatives. Consequently, we need to find a mix that doesn’t exclude any source, including wind.

  247. says

    I use the pool a lot so wear earplugs often. My most comfortable pair were custom moulded from a kit, they’re far more hygienic than standard earplugs and last for years. It’s far cheaper than having your ears custom made by an audiologist; I’d suggest them to anybody who uses them often.

  248. how many of these guys live next to one? says

    I live about 200m from a pair of massive wind generators and the NOISE is bloody annoying ALL THE TIME! it’s like you have an airplane (high speed wind noise) passing over head all the time and it never quite leaves the area. Also the strobing in the sun is irritating too, but nothing compared to the whoosh whoosh whoosh high speed tip noise all the time.

    I’d love to make all these wind developers live in the CLOSEST house to the wind generators, if they do that and still have no complaints i think it’s fine to put them up. MAKE THEM LIVE NEXT TO THEM!!! (i think you’ll notice they always live in some swanky part of London – no-where near a wind gen!)

    I used to love the idea of them until i lived in the shadow of two massive ones. (smaller than these though) the tip speed must be incredible and therefore like a speeding aircraft noise. hope no-one lives close enough to hear them

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