Wind turbines (again ...)


A

Arfa Daily

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
 
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M

Mike Tomlinson

Arfa Daily said:
and got to wondering just how much advantage, if any, the wind farms have in
this regard.
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.
 
A

Apellation Controlee

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.
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.
 
S

Syke

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.
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
 
T

Tim Streater

Java Jive said:
Why would anyone want to remove an access road?
Because the farmer would be returning the field to crops, f'rinstance.
 
W

whisky-dave

Why would anyone want to remove an access road?
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.
 
D

Dave Liquorice

Why would anyone want to remove an access road?
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.
 
J

John Williamson

Java said:
Why would anyone want to remove an access road?
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...
 
J

John Williamson

whisky-dave said:
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.
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.
 
T

The Natural Philosopher

Routine maintenance can be done using a Land Rover or similar. The heavy
stuff is once a year at most.
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.
 
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W

whisky-dave

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.
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.
 
A

Adam Aglionby

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
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
 
S

S Viemeister

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...
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.
 
T

The Natural Philosopher

That is only because it is cheaper to store the residue than to
reprocess the fuel. There are recycling techniques that can reduce the
waste from 95%, mostly high level, waste with half lives in the
thousands of years to around 5% low level waste with a half life of
about 500 years.

Colin Bignell
+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.
 
T

The Natural Philosopher

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.
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.
 
B

Brian Gaff

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
 
N

newshound

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.....
 
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A

Arfa Daily

newshound said:
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.....
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
 
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