Wind turbines (again ...)

Discussion in 'UK DIY' started by Arfa Daily, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Looking at the one that caught fire and fell down the other day, it occurred
    to me that these things are massive at 200 ft tall. and mechanically
    complex, yet the alternators in them only produce a maximum of less than 2.5
    MW - enough to drive 1000 fan heaters - on a good day of perfect wind.
    Compare that to a typical power station alternator at 300+ MW, or more than
    100 times the capacity. I then started to think about the energy budget to
    build 100 wind turbines, transport them to site, erect them, and maintain
    them, compared to building a single steam-driven power station alternator,
    and got to wondering just how much advantage, if any, the wind farms have in
    this regard. If you drive the power station with carbon-clean fuel such as
    nuclear, then the 'green' case for covering the country in windmills, seems
    pretty thin to me. Unless, of course, I'm missing something, which *is*
    entirely possible ... d:)

    Arfa
     
    Arfa Daily, Feb 1, 2013
    #1
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  2. Not much. You also have to factor in the cost of the infrastructure
    needed to connect wind farms to the grid, since by their very nature,
    they're sited in locations well away from the grid.
     
    Mike Tomlinson, Feb 1, 2013
    #2
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  3. TNP mentioned the non-trivial cost of maintenance/downtime a week or
    two back, so a fair amount of redundancy in generating capacity would
    need to be factored in.
     
    Apellation Controlee, Feb 1, 2013
    #3
  4. Arfa Daily

    Syke Guest

    Someone on Question Time last night said, in support of wind-farms,
    that when their useful life is over they can be dismantled in a matter
    of weeks, conveniently omitting to mention the many tons of concrete
    used in the bases and the miles of access roads; you can be damn sure
    these won't be removed.

    Syke
     
    Syke, Feb 1, 2013
    #4
  5. Arfa Daily

    Tim Streater Guest

    Because the farmer would be returning the field to crops, f'rinstance.
     
    Tim Streater, Feb 1, 2013
    #5
  6. Arfa Daily

    whisky-dave Guest

    If it's a road it'll need maintaining surely and you can;t have pot holes in a road that's used for transporting turbines which are quite large and heavy but I've little idea on what sort of trucks would be required to build such a site or what equipemtn would be needed to remove the windmills/turbine and transport that and what sort of road required neeted I assume more than a dirt track.
     
    whisky-dave, Feb 1, 2013
    #6
  7. So you can plough the field to grow crops? abd enough having to avoid the
    massive concrete foundation block that will no doubt also be left behind.

    As other industries have to return sites to "green field" level so should
    the wind power industry.
     
    Dave Liquorice, Feb 1, 2013
    #7
  8. Because after you remove what it's been used to access, it's just a blot
    on the landscape, the area of which could be used to grow stuff.

    Admittedly, it's less of a blot on the landscape than a wind farm, but
    still...
     
    John Williamson, Feb 1, 2013
    #8
  9. If it's only for use while the windfarm is being built, then they'd
    normally just use a temporary steel track if the ground is smooth
    enough. The next stage up is a hardcore road, which will only last a
    year or two. the trucks they use are just longer than normal, normal
    weight articulated lorries as the individual components aren't very
    heavy, and the cranes just use their normal steadies, laid on some sort
    of weight distribution system such as stacked timbers.

    Routine maintenance can be done using a Land Rover or similar. The heavy
    stuff is once a year at most.
     
    John Williamson, Feb 1, 2013
    #9
  10. BUT THATS A GAS GUZZLING 4x4 !!!


    --
    Ineptocracy

    (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least capable to
    lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the
    members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are
    rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a
    diminishing number of producers.
     
    The Natural Philosopher, Feb 1, 2013
    #10
  11. <Grin>
     
    John Williamson, Feb 1, 2013
    #11
  12. Arfa Daily

    whisky-dave Guest

    Pity they cant; use those land rovers to repair the 100os of pot holes throughout london streets. I know how it can be done but how pays the local taxpayer or the energy companies.
     
    whisky-dave, Feb 1, 2013
    #12
  13. Problem with nuclear is it isn`t very clean really:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-21253673

    Carbon capture for coal appears to be a buzz phrase rather than an
    actual working technology.

    Energy budget for making any of these `renewable` generators is always
    questionable, solar panel manufacture being another highly
    questionable system.

    As are `green` CFL lamps, majority of those made consume more energy
    in manufacture than they will save in use.

    Seems little interest in `old fashioned` ideas like insulation,
    combined heat and power and neighbourhood heating systems.

    Battersea Power Station had flue washers on the chimneys and waste
    heat was pumped around local housing , from a 1920`s design , some
    ideas are bound to coime back around.

    Cheers
    Adam
     
    Adam Aglionby, Feb 1, 2013
    #13
  14. Arfa Daily

    S Viemeister Guest

    I know of a small community wind farm (only 3 turbines) which is to be
    built in a remote area totally unsuitable for anything else. It was
    peatland, but the peat was completely stripped off during WWII. Small
    groups of turbines in carefully-sited out-of-the-way areas, can be
    useful, but are not The Answer. No _one_ source of energy can be The Answer.
     
    S Viemeister, Feb 1, 2013
    #14
  15. +1

    What is needed is a joined up proper nuclear policy.
    BUT every mans hand is against it. IT directly competes with coal and
    renewables and even gas could be reduced by nuclear development

    Whereas renewables mean more coal and more gas!


    --
    Ineptocracy

    (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least capable to
    lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the
    members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are
    rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a
    diminishing number of producers.
     
    The Natural Philosopher, Feb 1, 2013
    #15
  16. Then there is no answer, because ultimately there is only one source of
    energy. Nuclear reactions.



    --
    Ineptocracy

    (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least capable to
    lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the
    members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are
    rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a
    diminishing number of producers.
     
    The Natural Philosopher, Feb 1, 2013
    #16
  17. Arfa Daily

    Brian Gaff Guest

    No you are not missing anything. Its just that the market is skewed as it
    appears wind turbines are favoured as the least bad way to make power.
    However, I foresee a huge bill on servicing them all in their lives.

    Brian
     
    Brian Gaff, Feb 1, 2013
    #17
  18. Arfa Daily

    newshound Guest

    You *could* make a "green" landy with a couple of solar panels on the
    roof. Of course it wouldn't go very fast, and only when the sun was
    shining. But all the energy would be free, so that's all right then.....
     
    newshound, Feb 2, 2013
    #18
  19. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Ha! Perfect for the job. You could use it to creep up to the windmills on
    those totally still high pressure sunny days that we have in winter. Even
    though it's bloody freezing, and the general electrickery demand is high,
    the windmills will be conveniently standing still ready to be serviced. Only
    slight drawback that I can see is that by the time the solar-powered Landy
    has managed to get there, it will be getting dark, so the maintenance crew
    would have to stay there the night ... :)

    Arfa
     
    Arfa Daily, Feb 3, 2013
    #19
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