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General => General Chat => Topic started by: oliver602 on January 03, 2015, 04:31:21 pm

Title: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: oliver602 on January 03, 2015, 04:31:21 pm
This is vaguely electronics, right?

2500kW wind turbine (http://www.nordex-online.com/en/produkte-service/wind-turbines/n80-25-mw/product-data-sheet-n80-25mw.html?type=98&no_cache=1&%3BL=2) took a tumble not to far from home. Was spinning like crazy in the wind, some time after dark there was a loud crack and this was the result.

Article with close up photos (http://ulsterherald.com/2015/01/03/wind-turbine-collapses-near-fintona/)
Title: Re: Wind turbine distruction
Post by: netdudeuk on January 03, 2015, 04:41:25 pm
Thanks for sharing.  A sight for sore eyes and may all the others go the same way.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: amyk on January 03, 2015, 04:46:26 pm
I bet it was making some pretty intense power before that happened...
Title: Re: Wind turbine distruction
Post by: SeanB on January 03, 2015, 04:47:42 pm
Structural failure due to unbalanced operation owing to blade failure. So much for the 25 year life of the structure that was touted. Even the SA coal silo collapse was 20 years old when it failed due to lack of maintenance.
Title: Re: Wind turbine distruction
Post by: zapta on January 03, 2015, 05:07:23 pm
Structural failure due to unbalanced operation owing to blade failure. So much for the 25 year life of the structure that was touted. Even the SA coal silo collapse was 20 years old when it failed due to lack of maintenance.

Looks like wind turbines failures are more common than I thought. These machines are monsters. Netflix have an interesting documentary call Windfall about the impact on small communities.

https://www.google.com/search?q=wind+turbine+failures&es_sm=119&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X (https://www.google.com/search?q=wind+turbine+failures&es_sm=119&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X)
Title: Re: Wind turbine distruction
Post by: oliver602 on January 03, 2015, 05:25:27 pm
Structural failure due to unbalanced operation owing to blade failure. So much for the 25 year life of the structure that was touted. Even the SA coal silo collapse was 20 years old when it failed due to lack of maintenance.

Got the wrong site, it was a Nordex 2.5MW, only commissioned in 2011
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: coppice on January 03, 2015, 05:47:13 pm
This is vaguely electronics, right?

2500kW wind turbine (http://www.nordex-online.com/en/produkte-service/wind-turbines/n80-25-mw/product-data-sheet-n80-25mw.html?type=98&no_cache=1&%3BL=2) took a tumble not to far from home.
Each rotor blade is 9 tonnes, and the whole rotor is 52 tonnes. That's quite a mass to go flying around.

I wonder if there is a breakdown of wind turbine failures due to build quality issues versus failures due to extreme weather conditions exceeding the design envelope?
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: netdudeuk on January 03, 2015, 06:24:39 pm
This is vaguely electronics, right?

2500kW wind turbine (http://www.nordex-online.com/en/produkte-service/wind-turbines/n80-25-mw/product-data-sheet-n80-25mw.html?type=98&no_cache=1&%3BL=2) took a tumble not to far from home.
Each rotor blade is 9 tonnes, and the whole rotor is 52 tonnes. That's quite a mass to go flying around.

I wonder if there is a breakdown of wind turbine failures due to build quality issues versus failures due to extreme weather conditions exceeding the design envelope?
From what I've read, they don't even allow them to run when the winds are high.

I'd say that a more interesting statistic would be the increased number of senior citizens dying due to hyperthermia brought on by the shocking renewable tariffs added to our energy bills.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Zero999 on January 03, 2015, 06:30:43 pm
Mechanical failure due to lack of maintenance or manufacturing defect.

20 year life? Of course that's just the typical life expectancy. There will be infant mortalities and some which last for much longer than 20 years. If it's the manufacturer's fault, I hope they will pay for it to be replaced, plus damages.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: tom66 on January 03, 2015, 06:49:50 pm
Sometimes they catch fire...
(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/07/17/article-0-1FB3BEC400000578-40_634x445.jpg)

I wonder how frequent this is?  There's a large wind farm near me, I go past it on the train every morning, and I've seen no fires yet. This must mean wind turbines never catch fire. (Of course if I saw one near me burning, I would immediately assume they all are due to catch fire.)
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: nctnico on January 03, 2015, 06:56:10 pm
Windturbines failing is not uncommon. Loosing wings or the structure bending gets on the news every few years.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: CosPhi on January 03, 2015, 07:26:22 pm
Windturbines failing is not uncommon. Loosing wings or the structure bending gets on the news every few years.


How many large (>1MW) wind turbines are around in the world???

I would guess between, hm really no idea. I would guess more than 2000 less than 10000.

=> ask Google ... Google say ... http://www.gwec.net/global-figures/wind-in-numbers/ (http://www.gwec.net/global-figures/wind-in-numbers/)

=>225,000:   The number of wind turbines spinning around the world at the end of 2012.
=> 45,894:   The amount of wind turbines up and running in China at the end of 2011.

I really wouldn't think there are so many. I guess now there has to be 250'000 to 300'000 wind turbines by now
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Neilm on January 03, 2015, 07:33:46 pm
I found this a few years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMNqjirbWoQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMNqjirbWoQ)

If you see one spinning really fast - walk away even faster
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: nctnico on January 03, 2015, 09:43:45 pm
Windturbines failing is not uncommon. Loosing wings or the structure bending gets on the news every few years.

How many large (>1MW) wind turbines are around in the world???

I would guess between, hm really no idea. I would guess more than 2000 less than 10000.
I think there are already 2000 wind turbines in the area I live in. When I drive in the night the sky is filled with blinking red lamps to warn airplanes there is something big standing in the way.

@Neilm: a wind turbine is much more complicated then it looks. A couple of years ago I had the idea of building one. Put a propellor on a generator and done. NOT! One of the biggest challenges is to stop it at some point. If the wind gets too strong the generator can't deal with the power so you need a couple of brakes to halt the blades and put them in an idle position and/or turn the blades away from the wind.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: codeboy2k on January 03, 2015, 10:26:26 pm
Ours have viewing pods. 

I better visit it before it falls over.

(http://i.imgur.com/Cy5FRfV.jpg)


https://www.grousemountain.com/eye-of-the-wind (https://www.grousemountain.com/eye-of-the-wind)
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: dannyf on January 03, 2015, 10:48:59 pm
Quote
I'd say that a more interesting statistic would be the increased number of senior citizens dying due to hyperthermia brought on by the shocking renewable tariffs added to our energy bills.

The only thing green about those "green energy sources" is the giant socking sound of your money going into some else's pockets.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: zapta on January 03, 2015, 11:23:15 pm
Windfall (2012), the trailer

Windfall Trailer (2012) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OZgoERceSU#ws)
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Zero999 on January 03, 2015, 11:46:13 pm
Windfall (2012), the trailer


I think having strobing in your home from the shadow of the blades would be maddening. I don't know I would get used to it. Putting them so close to homes is unwise in my opinion. Looks like an interesting doco. I'm yet to be convinced of the sub-sonic sound issue. All the people I hear complaining they are driven mad by it sound like kooks to me. Which is sadly ironic.
I agree, putting wind turbines that near houses is a stupid idea.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Tinkerer on January 04, 2015, 12:00:50 am
Well actually these things can fail when the governor which limits their speed fails. They are limited in how fast they can spin and when they are allowed to spin at high speeds, they can fly apart. You can find video of this one youtube as well.
The catching fire likely comes from imbalanced blades and lack of/improper maintaince.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: tom66 on January 04, 2015, 12:02:19 am
There is a nice wind turbine in an office park nearby where I live but I can't help but think the strobing of the blades must irritate the employees.

Wind turbines belong on hills and off shore - those are the best places. Anyone who puts a wind turbine near a house (or the other way around, even) must be an idiot.

Well actually these things can fail when the governor which limits their speed fails. They are limited in how fast they can spin and when they are allowed to spin at high speeds, they can fly apart. You can find video of this one youtube as well.
The catching fire likely comes from imbalanced blades and lack of/improper maintaince.

Last I heard for one fire of a turbine was that the brakes failed which meant the turbine tried to spin too fast causing the gearbox and motor to overheat, leading to a fire. Lack of proper maintenance or perhaps lack of important redundant systems, I don't know. There's nothing inherently flawed about wind turbines that should lead to them randomly catching fire with no easily preventable cause.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: dannyf on January 04, 2015, 12:22:19 am
Quote
putting wind turbines that near houses is a stupid idea.

Don't know. It seems to me that anyone voting for wind turbines should have one installed in their backyard - why should they push the negative externalities associated with their pet projects onto the rest of us?

If they think it is good for us, it must be good for them too.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: gxti on January 04, 2015, 12:22:52 am
I think having strobing in your home from the shadow of the blades would be maddening. I don't know I would get used to it.

I wonder what it would do to a photovoltaic system. Would probably drive the inverter mad, too.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: tom66 on January 04, 2015, 12:26:49 am
Quote
putting wind turbines that near houses is a stupid idea.

Don't know. It seems to me that anyone voting for wind turbines should have one installed in their backyard - why should they push the negative externalities associated with their pet projects onto the rest of us?

If they think it is good for us, it must be good for them too.

Does this work the other way, anyone voting for coal power has a minature coal power plant installed in the back garden? If so, would be interesting to see how quickly that would change people's minds.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: TopLoser on January 04, 2015, 12:34:23 am
Quote
putting wind turbines that near houses is a stupid idea.

Don't know. It seems to me that anyone voting for wind turbines should have one installed in their backyard - why should they push the negative externalities associated with their pet projects onto the rest of us?

If they think it is good for us, it must be good for them too.

I look out of my office window and see 75 x 3.6MW turbines. They supply 2/3 of the electric for the county I live in. I think they are a fabulous sight, love them. They are less than 6Km away and I'm totally unaware that they are there. I welcome the plans to build another 250 of them.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: pickle9000 on January 04, 2015, 12:39:19 am
Any power generating system or plant = Nice place (interesting) to visit wouldn't want to live there.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: TopLoser on January 04, 2015, 12:43:22 am
Magical sight from my office... levitating turbines!
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: TopLoser on January 04, 2015, 12:54:38 am
Magical sight from my office... levitating turbines!

Bugger the turbines. that's an amazing vertical horizon. A verizon.

Australian version attached
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: GreyWoolfe on January 04, 2015, 12:57:51 am
Quote
putting wind turbines that near houses is a stupid idea.

Don't know. It seems to me that anyone voting for wind turbines should have one installed in their backyard - why should they push the negative externalities associated with their pet projects onto the rest of us?

If they think it is good for us, it must be good for them too.

I look out of my office window and see 75 x 3.6MW turbines. They supply 2/3 of the electric for the county I live in. I think they are a fabulous sight, love them. They are less than 6Km away and I'm totally unaware that they are there. I welcome the plans to build another 250 of them.

5 or 6 km away is one thing.  I don't want one anywhere near my house where a catastrophic failure could could cause injury or damage to my home, property or family.  Don't have to worry about it, I live near a commuter airport and there is a 26 foot structure height limit.  I am also sure that any strobing of daylight into my office window would send me over the edge.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: TopLoser on January 04, 2015, 01:03:37 am
Quote
I live near a commuter airport

Give me the turbines any day of the week instead of an airport.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: netdudeuk on January 04, 2015, 01:21:44 am
Quote
I'd say that a more interesting statistic would be the increased number of senior citizens dying due to hyperthermia brought on by the shocking renewable tariffs added to our energy bills.

The only thing green about those "green energy sources" is the giant socking sound of your money going into some else's pockets.

Completely agree.  Makes me so angry and the idiot who signed the UK up for some of the most difficult 'green' targets in the world may well be the Prime Minister in five months time.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: ovnr on January 04, 2015, 01:24:27 am
I've found wind turbines to be rather ridiculously over-hyped (OMFG fifty 2.5MW turbines! Just a shame wind speeds need to be at record levels 24/7 for that to be a reality...). Locally there's plans to build a massive wind farm right next to one of the very few popular tourist spots (some skiing thing on a mountain); I can only imagine they picked the location in part so the local politicians can croon about how green we are and that everyone gets their nose rubbed in it.

(It seems at least every other local project has a larger focus on attracting media attention so vain politicians can appear in the paper than providing any benefit to the local population.)

No, build them on a remote mountain or field or at sea and I'm fine with it. Not thrilled, but fine with it.


As for the "Well if you don't like turbines you must love coal!" argument: No. The "new" renewables make little sense where I live (little wind, little sunshine) - the only good option is hydro, which seems to be even less popular than fossil fuel-burning plants. Or go nuclear, which is my preferred option (and ideally dump the politicos into the damn reactor while you're at it).
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: GreyWoolfe on January 04, 2015, 01:41:48 am
Quote
I live near a commuter airport

Give me the turbines any day of the week instead of an airport.

Not a busy airport.  Very little day traffic during the week, the weekend is busier but only during the day-still not that many planes.  Almost no night flying.  I hear the trains more that are twice the distance from my house as the airport.  Besides, there are some cool looking experimental aircraft that fly out of it.  I have no issues with turbines, just don't want it close enough to be a threat from a failure.  I live off to the side of the single runway so a whole lot of things have to go horrifically wrong before there is even a remote chance of a plane landing on my house.  5 or 6 km is fine, I don't want it a couple of lots over.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: coppice on January 04, 2015, 05:00:44 am
This is vaguely electronics, right?

2500kW wind turbine (http://www.nordex-online.com/en/produkte-service/wind-turbines/n80-25-mw/product-data-sheet-n80-25mw.html?type=98&no_cache=1&%3BL=2) took a tumble not to far from home.
Each rotor blade is 9 tonnes, and the whole rotor is 52 tonnes. That's quite a mass to go flying around.

I wonder if there is a breakdown of wind turbine failures due to build quality issues versus failures due to extreme weather conditions exceeding the design envelope?
From what I've read, they don't even allow them to run when the winds are high.
They are supposed to shut down in very high winds, when the governor systems can no longer regulate their speed properly. However, that doesn't just make the thing go away, and not be influenced by the massive wind. It seems most failures occur in high winds. Is this because of poor design, manufacture or maintenance, or is it because the freaky high winds just overwhelm the design (i.e. the wind can be much more aggressive than the designers expected)?

There were lots of tidal power experiments in the 60s and 70s and the thing which defeated most of them was the need to withstand the super storm that comes once every few years. A problem with most mechanical structures is that when they are pushed a bit too far they don't just bend a bit, they fall apart completely. Wind and tide are subject to some occasional massive surges, like the UK storms of 1987, and you see total failure of trees and structures which had stood for centuries.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: zapta on January 04, 2015, 05:51:40 am
As for the "Well if you don't like turbines you must love coal!" argument: No. The "new" renewables make little sense where I live (little wind, little sunshine) - the only good option is hydro, which seems to be even less popular than fossil fuel-burning plants. Or go nuclear, which is my preferred option (and ideally dump the politicos into the damn reactor while you're at it).

Aren't you a inch or two from Denmark on the map? I saw a claim that 30% of their annual KWH is coming from wind. If so, this is quiet impressive technically (don't know about cost).
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: SeanB on January 04, 2015, 06:05:02 am
Denmark, exposed to the North sea and the warm water left over from the Gulf stream. Norway gets the rain as they are the mountain range stopping the wind. As well the Danes only really have wind power, they wheel power across the country from one side to the other with the other ones having the coal and nuclear plants.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: coppice on January 04, 2015, 06:28:14 am
As for the "Well if you don't like turbines you must love coal!" argument: No. The "new" renewables make little sense where I live (little wind, little sunshine) - the only good option is hydro, which seems to be even less popular than fossil fuel-burning plants. Or go nuclear, which is my preferred option (and ideally dump the politicos into the damn reactor while you're at it).

Aren't you a inch or two from Denmark on the map? I saw a claim that 30% of their annual KWH is coming from wind. If so, this is quiet impressive technically (don't know about cost).
Read more carefully. Denmark actually gets none of its annual kWh from its wind farms. It exports their entire output, and imports reliable hydro power from Scandinavia to run the country. This has been their way to sidestep the storage problem, but the cost is high, and their approach doesn't scale.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Bloch on January 04, 2015, 08:09:59 am
coppice i dont agree. Some off you facts are just wrong


For example see pic 


2803 MW windturbine


973 MW Import
600 MW Import
1532 MW export
351 MW export
810 MW export


so now we use 1700 MW windturbine ourself the rest is export !




If there is some one to blaim it is Germany !




Here are some links
http://www.energinet.dk/Flash/Forside/index.html (http://www.energinet.dk/Flash/Forside/index.html)
http://www.energinet.dk/DA/OM-OS/Sider/Det-nordiske-elsystem.aspx (http://www.energinet.dk/DA/OM-OS/Sider/Det-nordiske-elsystem.aspx)
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Stigaard on January 04, 2015, 08:11:07 am
Quote
Read more carefully. Denmark actually gets none of its annual kWh from its wind farms. It exports their entire output, and imports reliable hydro power from Scandinavia to run the country. This has been their way to sidestep the storage problem, but the cost is high, and their approach doesn't scale.

Actually 26.7% of Denmarks electricity consumption came from wind in 2013 if you correct for export, if you don't 32.5% so yes the grid is used as a buffer, however not nearly the entire output. (26.7% is from eurostat, 32.5% is from energistyrelsen ?Danish ministry of energy)

There is however from time to time an overproduction caused by the windmills just during the Christmas holidays for example we had negative energy prices ie. you were paid to consume electricity, this was because we had high winds combined with closed factories, this happens every couple of years.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Thilo78 on January 04, 2015, 09:23:46 am
Sometimes they catch fire...

I wonder how frequent this is?  There's a large wind farm near me, I go past it on the train every morning, and I've seen no fires yet. This must mean wind turbines never catch fire. (Of course if I saw one near me burning, I would immediately assume they all are due to catch fire.)

Well, I don't know the actual frequency of those events, but I read about three or four here in Germany, that failed during heavy winds or due to construction failure.

AFAIK, a common failure mode is overspeed (due to strong winds). This leads to overheating of the bearings and thus having them jam and lose a blade, or overtemperature in the bearings and thus fires.


This one burnt out in Magdeburg, Germany, following overheating of the bearings and generator:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85tj-A_-PSs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85tj-A_-PSs)

And this one in Denmark collapsed after losing a blade:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2Z_YwqTbHo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2Z_YwqTbHo)
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: dr.diesel on January 04, 2015, 09:53:06 am
There are a couple hundred GE 1.1MW units about 2-hours north of my house in Benton/Kentland Indiana.  These units control speed by pitching the turbine blades, which can rotate all the way back, effectively making them sterile.

There is a fairly bright light on the peak of each turbine, and they blink in unison, light up the entire area.  Glad I don't live too close.  Probably more annoying than the light pollution is the very low frequency whooshing sound they make, like a train in the far distance.

I'm all for green energy, but I would not live anywhere near one.  During the day they'd not be a problem, but as an insomniac, it would push me over the edge at night.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: VK5RC on January 04, 2015, 11:37:24 am
@Stigaard  I am moving to Denmark! Negative electricity prices !   HiHi

In South Australia, we are close to the roaring forties winds so wind is pretty good here, we have about 1500MW of wind turbines, they generate about 30% of the state's electricity and operate at about 30% of their maximum or "name plate" capacity over a year.
I wouldn't like to be one of the engineers who balances the whole electrical grid; solar and wind along with ad breaks in TV-boiling kettles etc  mucking up supply/demand and all the voltage sensitive modern electronics connected to the grid!
Just to really do his/her 'head in' the price of electricity varies by time as well, they have to do it cheaply!
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: electrophiliate on January 04, 2015, 11:50:50 am
Reminds me of this video ...

Tony Abbott - Wrecking Ball on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/81879012)

Presumably the wind turbine scene was a response to news stories such as:

"Industry warns NSW could lose 10 wind farms, $2.5 billion under Tony Abbott's plan to cut clean energy"
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/industry-warns-nsw-could-lose-10-wind-farms-25-billion-under-tony-abbotts-plan-to-cut-clean-energy-20141024-11apwj.html (http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/industry-warns-nsw-could-lose-10-wind-farms-25-billion-under-tony-abbotts-plan-to-cut-clean-energy-20141024-11apwj.html)

"Joe Hockey says wind turbines 'utterly offensive', flags budget cuts to clean energy schemes"
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-02/joe-hockey-wind-turbines-utterly-offensive/5425804 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-02/joe-hockey-wind-turbines-utterly-offensive/5425804)
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: dannyf on January 04, 2015, 11:50:59 am
Quote
light up the entire area. 

Not to mention low freqency noises those things generate.

Quote
Glad I don't live too close.

The Kennedy's agree with you as well. As much as they love all things wind energy, they fought tooth and nail to move a wind farm project from their backyard. What's good for you the mortals apparently aren't good enough for those guys.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: tom66 on January 04, 2015, 12:14:42 pm
Nuclear has a horrible failure rate. Of around 435 civilian reactors in the world, 6 have failed catastrophically which is about 1.3%. Many more have had serious but less costly failures and accidents. Imagine if 1.3% of passenger aircraft crashed, it would never be tolerated. Energy seems to be an exception though, e.g. we tolerate massive oil spills and wars over it.

It's a case of there being no better alternative.

I am pro wind, and to a limited extent pro solar. However, they cannot provide for 100% of our demands without ridiculous amounts of grid storage. Simple fact - during the June/July months wind power was only providing about 10% of its nominal output. How can that work? We'd need 10 x as many turbines to just get a base load, and most of the time, they'd just be off or idling, making the cost of wind power far too high.

Nuclear is extremely safe compared to other options. The worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl, has killed about 6,000 people. A series of  design errors, poor staff training and poor maintenance lead to the disaster. But alone in the USA, coal power kills ~7,500 people per year due to pollution.

The problem with nuclear is when it does go wrong, it often goes really wrong. This makes for bad PR, nuclear has serious problems with PR. But it's comparatively very safe compared to the alternatives and it's an acceptable risk in my opinion. Flying in an aircraft is something like 100x safer than driving a car, yet you don't see 24/7 coverage of car accidents.  We take flying and driving as acceptable risks, we must take nuclear as the same. (Coal could be considered an acceptable risk, but personally I think it's too much of a risk compared to the available alternatives like nuclear.)

Later reactor designs are extremely safe. Some fast reactor Gen 4 designs (prototype/research stage currently) can even work on the waste of Gen 3 reactors, which would close the fuel cycle. Of course the main reason nuclear plants aren't built as often as they were is NIMBYism. I'd honestly be 100x happier to have a nuclear plant near me than a coal plant.

Wind is cheaper than most nuclear power plants to operate, so should sell into the grid in periods of high wind, reducing overall nuclear demand and electricity prices. Since reactors take time to spin down, this would have to be planned in advance, or grid storage for the wind/nuclear would have to be used, but on a much smaller scale compared to pure solar/wind solutions. Solar can also sell into the grid but in the UK I don't really see much benefit, except maybe on residential houses as an investment.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: tom66 on January 04, 2015, 12:19:43 pm
The Kennedy's agree with you as well. As much as they love all things wind energy, they fought tooth and nail to move a wind farm project from their backyard. What's good for you the mortals apparently aren't good enough for those guys.

And Al Gore lives in a massive mansion with air conditioning... I mean, seriously, who cares? I mean, do you seriously believe politicians aren't hypocrites? It doesn't invalidate the argument.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: dannyf on January 04, 2015, 12:25:21 pm
From the link above:

Quote
"The economics don't work. Right now wind requires massive subsidies over and above other means of reducing carbon emissions," he told the ABC.

"This is not about their appearance; this about their cost and we all pay."

Those wind farms are the latest round of taxpayer funded corporate welfare / crony capitalism to a favored sector / contributors.

Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: electrophiliate on January 04, 2015, 12:34:48 pm
From the link above:

Quote
"The economics don't work. Right now wind requires massive subsidies over and above other means of reducing carbon emissions," he told the ABC.

"This is not about their appearance; this about their cost and we all pay."

Those wind farms are the latest round of taxpayer funded corporate welfare / crony capitalism to a favored sector / contributors.

I wonder how those subsidies stack up compared to:

Australian coal, oil and gas companies receive $4b in subsidies: report
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-11/coal-oil-and-gas-companies-receive-4-billion-dollar-in-subsidie/5881814 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-11/coal-oil-and-gas-companies-receive-4-billion-dollar-in-subsidie/5881814)

Quote
"The fossil fuel industry writ large receives around $775 billion in subsidies," Ms Whitley argued.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: dannyf on January 04, 2015, 12:40:45 pm
Quote
I wonder how those subsidies stack up compared to:

A reasonable person would take a look at approaches utilized by a partisan report and see if those approaches make sense.

Take this for example:
Quote
exploration funding for Geoscience Australia

Maybe they should shut down Geoscience Australia, or all of scientific researches in Australia as they represent a form of subsidies? :)

Of course, it is so much easier, however dumb it may be, to quote a headline number.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: ovnr on January 04, 2015, 12:46:06 pm
Nuclear has a horrible failure rate. Of around 435 civilian reactors in the world, 6 have failed catastrophically which is about 1.3%. Many more have had serious but less costly failures and accidents. Imagine if 1.3% of passenger aircraft crashed, it would never be tolerated. Energy seems to be an exception though, e.g. we tolerate massive oil spills and wars over it.

It'd be more appropriate to calculate for TWh produced before failure.

Also, six reactors failed? Fukushima's four, Chernobyl's one, and what's the last one? Three Mile Island? TMI failed in a largely safe way, Fukushima is still a bit too recent to make blanket statements about, and Chernobyl was a disaster. But both Fukushima and Chernobyl could've easily been avoided if the operators weren't morons (general idiocy at Chernobyl, and "lol we don't need to upgrade this shit, it'll be fine!" on Fukushima).

I'd rather have a nuclear plant in my backyard than a wind turbine, TBH.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: tom66 on January 04, 2015, 02:06:32 pm
A reasonable person would take a look at approaches utilized by a partisan report and see if those approaches make sense.

Oh, this gem again.

Subsidies for fossil fuels are much higher than those of renewables. Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27142377 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27142377)
http://www.iisd.org/gsi/fossil-fuel-subsidies (http://www.iisd.org/gsi/fossil-fuel-subsidies)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies)
http://www.odi.org/subsidies-change-the-game (http://www.odi.org/subsidies-change-the-game)

This is ignoring the ~$2tn cost of the Iraq war.

The reason most of these sources aren't supporting your side is you won't hear anyone from the fossil fuel industry parroting on about it. Because it looks bad.

Renewable energy subsidies look like a drop in the bucket, about $90bn last year. 
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: zapta on January 04, 2015, 02:17:09 pm
So, even if they do occasionally go wrong, they still represent a good option.

They go wrong whenever the wind stops.  Zero output.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: electrophiliate on January 04, 2015, 02:17:43 pm
@dannyf.

Apologies for not spending hours wading through reports and comparing the various categories of energy subsidies to arrive at a detailed conclusion before expressing a casual curiosity over how subsidies for fossil fuels stack up to subsidies for renewable energies?

Exploration subsidies are only a fraction of the total. A subsidy for exploration is still a subsidy for fossil fuels if petroleum exploration is a priority for Geoscience Australia. Classifying it as such and questioning its usefulness because of its contribution to climate change does not necessarily warrant a comparison of logic to shutting down all scientific research in Australia simply because some other research is subsidized. If exploration for optimal wind farm sites was a priority for Geoscience Australia, then that would be a subsidity for renewable energy.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: G7PSK on January 04, 2015, 03:13:38 pm
Some of those claims for fossil fuel subsidy are far fetched to say the least, all business get tax relief on invested expenditure whether it is for exploration or just building a new works or office or installing production machinery, the other subsidy they are whittling on about are fantasy claims for carbon emissions which before climate change regulations just did not exist. You can only positively claim that something is a subsidy if the money is forcibly lifted from the public's pocket and then handed out to keep a business afloat artificially.     
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: amyk on January 04, 2015, 03:14:42 pm
I've looked at the videos of these things catching fire, and one would think that a piece of equipment consisting of not much more than a fan and a generator should be less flammable than that...
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: tom66 on January 04, 2015, 04:09:17 pm
I've looked at the videos of these things catching fire, and one would think that a piece of equipment consisting of not much more than a fan and a generator should be less flammable than that...

It's a lot more complicated than that. Here's a video of one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG1uGt6qUfM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG1uGt6qUfM)

At the very least, there is a gearbox, braking system, generator, pitch and yaw adjustments, power control, etc.

Though remarkably less complicated than many other power generation systems, like coal or nuclear. Probably only solar is less complicated.

What I find funny is that for the yaw adjustment, the turbine can get itself in a twist. That one can only turn three times before it has to undo itself. I wonder if they considered using some kind of ring commutator system, but decided it was not worth the expense.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: dannyf on January 04, 2015, 04:11:28 pm
Quote
Apologies for not spending hours wading through reports and comparing the various categories of energy subsidies to arrive at a detailed conclusion before expressing a casual curiosity over how subsidies for fossil fuels stack up to subsidies for renewable energies?

it is not reasonable to expect anyone, you included, to thoroughly study a subject before expressing your view. It is, however, reasonable to expect an adult to think critically of any subject.

Quote
Exploration subsidies are only a fraction of the total.

Then why mention it? Just mention a material, substantive subject that you have objection on and then focus you debate on that.

Quote
A subsidy for exploration is still a subsidy for fossil fuels if petroleum exploration is a priority for Geoscience Australia.

I would posit that all subsidies are evil but some are necessary. There are things a nation absolutely have to have a steady supply on, like food, and energy. Other examples are national defense and law enforcement - two 100% subsidies services.

I think there is probably some public good / national interest for Australia to have secured energy supply. Another form of subsidy would be education and scientific research: think about how much everyone, wind farms included, benefited from that.

Quote
Classifying it as such and questioning its usefulness because of its contribution to climate change does not necessarily warrant a comparison of logic to shutting down all scientific research in Australia simply because some other research is subsidized.

Why not?

Quote
If exploration for optimal wind farm sites was a priority for Geoscience Australia, then that would be a subsidity for renewable energy.

I don't know what exploration activities Geoscience Australia performs but if it benefits a particular private entity, that would be wrong.

The whole discussion misses the point. We have a few criteria for our energy sources: it needs to be inexpensive, widely available and incredibly reliable. Those "green" energy fails quite miserably in availability and reliability measurements and economics in terms of total generation costs - they are the least expensive form of electricity in terms of marginal generation costs.

But the poor reliability makes them incredibly costly for the grid / base load perspective, as well as the end user perspective. Think of your needing someone who cooks for you every day - you have no other sources for meals.

You can hire a guy for $10/hr and he will always show up on time, etc.

Alternatively, you can hire another guy for $1/hr. He will not show up on sunny or calm days - he's going to the beach.

What do you think a reasonable person would do?

Now, think what will happen if the government demands that a certain percentage of your labor force consists of the 2nd type of guys.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: dannyf on January 04, 2015, 04:12:52 pm
Quote
a piece of equipment consisting of not much more than a fan and a generator

Far more complicated than that. The amount of electronics and engineering going into those things is quite amazing and some are still unresolved at this point.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: zapta on January 04, 2015, 04:15:08 pm
@Stigaard  I am moving to Denmark! Negative electricity prices !   HiHi

Actually electricity prices there are very high, even higher than Germany (another 'green' champion) and double than France (nuclear)

(http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/electricprices.gif)
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: mamalala on January 04, 2015, 04:27:00 pm
Some of those claims for fossil fuel subsidy are far fetched to say the least, all business get tax relief on invested expenditure whether it is for exploration or just building a new works or office or installing production machinery, the other subsidy they are whittling on about are fantasy claims for carbon emissions which before climate change regulations just did not exist. You can only positively claim that something is a subsidy if the money is forcibly lifted from the public's pocket and then handed out to keep a business afloat artificially.   

Plus, just comparing the amount of $$ alone isn't helpful either. Like, electricity generation system A receives $1bn in susidies over one year, system B receives $2bn. Which one got more? Well, most people would just say "system B". However, what if system A generated 1TWh during that year, and system B generated 10TWh? Then it becomes clear that system B got less subsidies when the "usefulness" is considered.

So, how do the numbers for subsidies compare between renewables, nuclear and fossil, when it comes to the amount of energy produced? _That_ is the important metric, not the raw $$ number alone.

Greetings,

Chris
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Stigaard on January 04, 2015, 04:43:14 pm
@Stigaard  I am moving to Denmark! Negative electricity prices !   HiHi

Actually electricity prices there are very high, even higher than Germany (another 'green' champion) and double than France (nuclear)

(http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/electricprices.gif)
Yes, agree don't move to Denmark for the energy pricing, though most of it is actually taxes, from my last energy bill I payed 0.4dkr / kwh = 0.065 U.S. dollars however I payed 1.54dkr/kwh = 0.25 U.S. dollars in taxes. The high tax is there to generate an incentive for saving on the energy consumption and of cause as a way to collect taxes in general.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: G7PSK on January 04, 2015, 05:01:53 pm
I've looked at the videos of these things catching fire, and one would think that a piece of equipment consisting of not much more than a fan and a generator should be less flammable than that...

Apart from winding varnish 200 or so litres of oil in the gearbox and fibre glass cowling's and blades plus all the plastic insulation on 11KV cables all of which burns very well and at a high enough temp. to set off the alloy gear casings.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: zapta on January 04, 2015, 05:10:43 pm
AFAIK, a common failure mode is overspeed (due to strong winds).

They should cover them with tarps before the storm. Problem solved.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: zapta on January 04, 2015, 05:11:37 pm
So, how do the numbers for subsidies compare between renewables, nuclear and fossil, when it comes to the amount of energy produced? _That_ is the important metric, not the raw $$ number alone.

Very well said.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Zero999 on January 04, 2015, 05:20:33 pm
Yes, agree don't move to Denmark for the energy pricing, though most of it is actually taxes, from my last energy bill I payed 0.4dkr / kwh = 0.065 U.S. dollars however I payed 1.54dkr/kwh = 0.25 U.S. dollars in taxes. The high tax is there to generate an incentive for saving on the energy consumption and of cause as a way to collect taxes in general.
Where do those taxes go to? Perhaps they green taxes which subsidise green energy?

That's also an oversimplification because people in Denmark generally earn more compared to those in India and China (the cheapest countries for energy).

Denmark also has less pollution than the countries where energy is cheapest so it's worth paying extra.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: zapta on January 04, 2015, 05:27:28 pm
Where do those taxes go to? Perhaps they green taxes which subsidise green energy?

That's also an oversimplification because people in Denmark generally earn more compared to those in India and China (the cheapest countries for energy).

Denmark also has less pollution than the countries where energy is cheapest so it's worth paying extra.

A fair comparison would be to the rest of Europe.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Stigaard on January 04, 2015, 05:30:07 pm
Where do those taxes go to? Perhaps they green taxes which subsidise green energy?

That's also an oversimplification because people in Denmark generally earn more compared to those in India and China (the cheapest countries for energy).

Denmark also has less pollution than the countries where energy is cheapest so it's worth paying extra.
I am not sure whether part of it is actually locked for renewable or whether it just goes into the big pot.
Another important part to note is that companies can be tax exempt from a large part of these taxes on the part of the energy that is not used for heating or illumination.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Bloch on January 04, 2015, 05:32:39 pm
(http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/electricprices.gif)
Well if you take that graph in reverse then you have power outages :-DD Nothing is free :) There have only been one or maybe 2 in my life time !! And we have never been asked to use less power in certain hours
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Stigaard on January 04, 2015, 05:35:07 pm
Where do those taxes go to? Perhaps they green taxes which subsidise green energy?

That's also an oversimplification because people in Denmark generally earn more compared to those in India and China (the cheapest countries for energy).

Denmark also has less pollution than the countries where energy is cheapest so it's worth paying extra.

A fair comparison would be to the rest of Europe.
Even that would not necessarily be fair, the average salary in Denmark(3122€) compared to for example Germany(2054) is vastly different, and just to go to an extreme comparing to for example Bulgaria (332€). All of these countries members of the EU
(source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage))
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: dannyf on January 04, 2015, 05:39:25 pm
Quote
Well if you take that graph in reverse then you have power outages

That way, you also get GDP growth too.

Does that means burning coal stimulates growth?

:)
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: tom66 on January 04, 2015, 05:45:16 pm
Apart from winding varnish 200 or so litres of oil in the gearbox and fibre glass cowling's and blades plus all the plastic insulation on 11KV cables all of which burns very well and at a high enough temp. to set off the alloy gear casings.

Oddly, most wind turbines use low voltages, around 400 to 800V, which is stepped up externally. I'm not sure what the rationale behind this is, perhaps it reduces the cost of the generator and the losses over about 200ft are mostly negligible.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Bloch on January 04, 2015, 05:45:56 pm
Last I heard for one fire of a turbine was that the brakes failed

New (>2MW) Vestas disk brake is not a break !! It is more like a parking brake. If the turbine needs to stop it have to turn at least 2 wings in "reverse" angel. It is part of the safty that all 3 wings are 3 different systems.
And I dont think that is only Vestas but for all big turbines.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Bloch on January 04, 2015, 05:53:23 pm
Oddly, most wind turbines use low voltages, around 400 to 800V, which is stepped up externally. I'm not sure what the rationale behind this is, perhaps it reduces the cost of the generator and the losses over about 200ft are mostly negligible.

Simens turbines did at some point have the transformer inside the middle tower. Not sure if that is the case today.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: W8LV on January 05, 2015, 07:18:15 am
Boilers explode. Nuclear cores melt. A failing wind turbine? Still less catastrophic. Curtiss Wright determined, MANY years ago, that a.three blade design for aircraft is much, much more stable than a two pitch design. The two blade ones were tearing themselves right out of.their test stands, this on the eve of jet engines. I suppose you can feather the blades parallel with high storm winds. But when that plant turns tail, wow, that's a lot of gyroscopic action going on there. And all of that weight,  and servicing,  way, way up in the air.
Solar? No moving parts. None. Unless you are swinging around arrays, reflectors, concentrating mirrors and such. Quiet. But how to store any if these?  Big assed batteries, invert. Why not simply pump and store some water somewhere uphill, bring it back down through a water turbine when no wind (or no sun)? Or convert the water to hydrogen, store and burn in turbine. Or electrochemical a la fuel cell. Is anyone doing anything along these lines I wonder. I think any generation of energy has risks. I am still quite attracted to Nuclear...no carbon emissions, a lot of energy constant and still the place at the end of the day where I'd Bet the rent. Fifth Generation a la Thorium, and keep working towards fusion.Lock up a bunch of Scientists out in some remote location,  and let them have some chalk, a blackboard, and let them bang a few erasers around until they get it right.
Fusion is the Holy Grail. Containing it with magnetic fields as they are trying? Magnetic fields break down with heat... getting that "floating" in mid air and into a steady state? How can that EVER be stable?  The SUN isn't even stable in that state! There MUST be a better way.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: TerraHertz on January 05, 2015, 01:07:40 pm
It's surprising to see 6 pages in a thread about wind turbines, and so far not one mention of the terms EROEI or EPR.  Energy Return On Energy Invested, aka Energy Profit Ratio.
This is the fundamental measure of worth for all energy sources, and much more important than cost of installation, or subsidies in dollars.

A simple measure: how much energy does a society as a whole have to invest in making that energy source available for final use, compared to how much of that energy actually becomes available for final use? This has nothing to do with dollars or economics, it's a question of basic thermodynamics - does the energy source return a worthwhile energy profit? It the ratio is below zero, obviously it's unworkable. Slightly more surprising is that ratios below about 10 to 15 are also unworkable, as they require too large a proportion of total social structure be dedicated to maintenance of the energy extraction infrastructure.

Iirc, in the early days of the industrial revolution (coal powered) coal had an EROEI of around 20. Only just good enough. (It's listed at 80 in refs I see on the net now - presumably modern mining methods.)

In the early days of oil, oil's EPR was over 150. Easily extracted, high grade crude, near to refineries and final use locations. Now oil's EPR is below 50 and falling fast, due to exhaustion of all easy resources, leaving mostly only difficult fields. Deep water, shale oil, tar sands, very deep wells, high sulfur content, long distance transport, etc.  We'll never 'run out' of oil, it's just that oil's EPR will keep falling till eventually it's not thermodynamically feasible as an energy source.

Solar electric... sigh... typical silicon panels take more energy to produce, than the panel will return in 15 years of operation. Supposedly the panels last longer than that. And designs get better, but then maybe operating lifespan gets shorter too, with cheaper production.

Nuclear (fission) is really terrible. For a long time no one tried to work out the total lifespan energy cost of nuclear plants, including all the infrastructure required to build and operate a plant, all the security apparatus for keeping the fuel safe, the cost of decommissioning plants once the pressure vessel is too embrittled to function safely, and worst of all, the costs of maintaining secure containment of the high level wastes for thousands of years after.
But it turns out, that all fission power systems lifetime energy costs probably exceed their total energy production. That is, they are net losses, energy-wise. They only seem dollar-profitable in the short term, while an oil-based economy is used to support the required infrastructure, and one ignores the long term waste storage costs.
This is why for instance, no one wants to buy the British aging nuclear plants. Because the decommissioning costs begin to loom scarily.

All that's quite apart from the risks of nuclear power.  Most people seem to have some difficulty comprehending that nuclear risks are different in kind from all other industrial risks. An explosion, oil spill, bridge collapse, plane crash, etc are all short term disasters, with no consequences beyond a few years, or maybe a few decades for major oil spills. But nuclear accidents risk planet-wide epigenetic permanent disaster, and radiological contamination lasting for hundreds, thousands and even with some isotopes MILLIONS of years. Life on Earth evolved once Earth's primordial radiation level decayed mostly away. Nuke accident cascades absolutely could reverse that state, and return Earth to a lifeless condition effectively forever.

Then ANOTHER different-in-kind aspect to fission plant risk, is that natural disasters do happen. Tsunamis, earthquakes, and the ones we forget because there have been none SO FAR during our mere 200 years of industrial civilization - major asteroid strikes. One major impact in an ocean, and every nuke plant on bordering coastlines is smashed. Or say, if Yellowstone supervolcano blows. What would have been a human/ecological disaster recoverable in maybe 100 years, gets turned by smashed nuke plants into a planet dead for thousands/millions of years. Especially since in that scenario ALL the other nuke plants and waste sites would also eventually be weathered till they leaked.

Fission power is something only retards, lunatics and the extremely ignorant can seriously suggest. If Chernobyl wasn't enough of a lesson in practical reality, surely since Fukushima and that ongoing radiological disaster, 'ignorant' is no longer a viable excuse. The sooner existing plants worldwide are shut down the better - but that still leaves the waste to be secured. Considering it has to be secured for far longer than our industrial civilization has existed yet, it has to be secured 'effectively forever'. This is not going to be easy.

In the overall scale of humankind's urgent need for some new energy source, wind power is not very significant. Even so, the first question is, what is the EROEI? The figure most commonly given for wind power seems to be around 18.

But I wonder what failure rate was included in that calculation? Also whether it took into account the amount of power wind turbines *draw* from the grid when not generating, to maintain their heading, pitch, de-ice, etc?


A few refs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_returned_on_energy_invested (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_returned_on_energy_invested)
http://energytransition.de/2014/09/renewables-ko-by-eroi/ (http://energytransition.de/2014/09/renewables-ko-by-eroi/)

http://www.energybulletin.net/node/52124 (http://www.energybulletin.net/node/52124)
What is the Minimum EROI that a Sustainable Society Must Have?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2893708/New-wind-turbine-farce-power-National-Grid-NOT-generating-electricity.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2893708/New-wind-turbine-farce-power-National-Grid-NOT-generating-electricity.html)
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: zapta on January 05, 2015, 05:05:32 pm
It's surprising to see 6 pages in a thread about wind turbines, and so far not one mention of the terms EROEI or EPR.  Energy Return On Energy Invested, aka Energy Profit Ratio.
This is the fundamental measure of worth for all energy sources, and much more important than cost of installation, or subsidies in dollars.

I would love to have a magic black box that gives me 1.1 watt of electricity for every watt of electricity I feed in.

It the ratio is below zero, obviously it's unworkable.

Can you give an example of a contraption with negative energy output/input ratio?

Fission power is something only retards, lunatics and the extremely ignorant can seriously suggest.

Isn't this the technology that provides 75% of France's electricity? Are they retards, lunatic or extremely ignorant?
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: ConKbot on January 05, 2015, 05:45:12 pm


Can you give an example of a contraption with negative energy output/input ratio?

I believe this is talking energy to produce and refine said item.

I.e. coal includes energy expended to mine it, oil to drill it (hence the ratio dropping as oil gets harder to drill)


But one of those camp-stove cooking pots with a TEG on the bottom would have a ratio below one (not negative! )  if youre considering power only.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/david-toledo/the-powerpot (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/david-toledo/the-powerpot)

 
5W out, for ~30 minutes to an hour on a butane canister, and I bet it takes a lot more than 2.5-5Wh of energy expended to get that butane into that canister.

However the short term benefits can outweigh long term sustainability in certain cases.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: tom66 on January 05, 2015, 07:28:35 pm
Not entirely convinced by "EROEI" statistics myself. Yes, you might be able to get more energy out of, e.g. the oil used to make the plastics in the wire insulation in a theoretical sense, it contains "X" joules per kg. But extracting that energy out releases CO2 and energy extraction is not 100% efficient.

As I see it, nuclear has more benefits than disadvantages:
- Clean, no lifetime CO2
- Provides continuous, high power output
- Low cost per kWh (more expensive than coal, but cheaper than other sources)

The primary disadvantage is of course radioactive waste. But this may not be so much of a disadvantage with the advent of future nuclear reactors which can work off the discarded fissile material from Gen II/III reactors. And the talk about a catastrophic event, such as an asteroid hitting Earth and causing damage to nuclear power plants. This seems far fetched but to be honest I'd be more worried about the other damage. The nuclear plants would be of low concern to me. Obviously power plants should be built in low-Tsunami and low earthquake risk areas, as well.

And as far as alternatives go, what do we have? Coal? Natural gas? Neither are particularly attractive and both produce substantial CO2 per kWh. Hydro is great, and preferred, but there are few areas hydro is really suitable in.

Environmentalists harp on about a solar and wind future, but how on earth will that work? We don't have the grid storage to deal without wind. And the low winter insolation will increase electricity prices massively during winter. Even solar output isn't very dependable on a day-by-day basis, just look at RTE France's data:  http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/eco2mix-mix-energetique-en (http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/eco2mix-mix-energetique-en)

Solar and wind have a part in the grid, selling in to it to reduce nuclear demand and overall electricity prices, but I don't see the idea of intermittent renewables working well as sole suppliers for a grid.  Even the best grid storage can't cope with 2 months of low wind, or multiple days of cloud cover.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: tom66 on January 05, 2015, 10:09:57 pm
OK, regarding wind power, here's the output over the course of one month from RTE.
(https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/wind-turbines/?action=dlattach;attach=128058)

How do you account for the period of about 3 days, where generation was 1/10th the output the next week.

As for the two months, here's the UK "various sources" graph:
(http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/coal-nuke-ccgt-wind-year.png)

The period mid May to end Jun (maybe ~1.5 months) showed considerably lower wind generation.

Ok, maybe these are arguments that only apply in certain cases. But, it is important that a power generation system be available as often as possible. Even something like 99.99% availability which is similar to what we currently get (52 minutes outage per year) yet wind power can't achieve that. I don't know enough about wind distribution across Earth, how much does it vary? Is the wind always blowing in one area? If so, maybe it could work. I don't know for sure, I'll have to read any relevant research.

One plan I've heard of was quite interesting, the idea being to cover a significant portion of the Sahara desert in solar power. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertec#mediaviewer/File:Fullneed.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertec#mediaviewer/File:Fullneed.jpg)

Sounds interesting but would require a massive investment. If anything though, it sounds like the best non-nuclear solution I've heard of so far.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: tom66 on January 05, 2015, 11:12:38 pm
It would be interesting to compare wind power output per country and see how it averages out. I'm not entirely convinced that it will work myself, but I can change my mind if the data says otherwise. Do  you know of any good research on this?

This was the best I could find with some googling. It's old data, December 2000, but shows what I feared. Wind is generally similar across large areas - comparing Netherlands to France/Belgium and other countries.

(http://www.wind-energy-the-facts.org/images/2-8.jpg)

What can be seen is peaks and troughs occur in the same places. What you are suggesting is that on average, wind will almost always be blowing stronger somewhere to make up for low winds elsewhere.  I'm not entirely convinced it is looking at this.

So, I am still very much in favour of having wind power and solar power, where appropriate, contribute to the grid. But they need to be supplemented by suitable base load. For me that means nuclear. Of course if/when fusion gets off the ground I would drop fission in a heartbeat. But for now, it's still a research project.

And, distributed grids are great but a country needs as much energy independence as possible, or it gives bigger countries too much control. Just look at Ukraine and Russia gas/coal situation.

Some additional info from E.ON regarding wind power:
http://www.aweo.org/windEon2004.html (http://www.aweo.org/windEon2004.html)

Interesting: wind power shed 10MW per 10 minutes (losing 3.6GW  in just 6 hours) - must be fun to build a grid to handle such rapid changes in demand created by supply shortfall.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: mtdoc on January 05, 2015, 11:16:32 pm
This post (http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/12/wind-fights-solar/) from physicist Tom Murphy's excellent blog gives some good fact based insight into the potential for solar and wind.

Wind and Solar can and should be significantly expanded to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. 

They won't be able to completely replace fossil fuels - nothing can. And that is a good thing since infinite growth on a finite planet is not possible...
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: tom66 on January 05, 2015, 11:19:56 pm
I like the idea of space based solar power but am concerned by a 100MW beam of microwave radiation becoming misaligned.  That would make for some quick-cooked cattle. If the beam is spread over 50m^2 area, that's 2MW/m^2 which is about 2,000x more powerful than sunlight. Like ants under a magnifying glass, they wouldn't stand a chance. They'd be vaporised immediately. Forget about beef steak...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-based_solar_power (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-based_solar_power)
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: TerraHertz on January 06, 2015, 02:05:31 am
Which explains why solar PV is actually a massive win for EROEI. So I'm not sure what your point is here... Your own links dispute what you are saying, and in fact say the exact opposite. Did you think no-one would read them?

Those were just a few random articles thrown in to illustrate other points. The EROEI of photovoltaics has a wide range of values from various sources, because it's hard to calculate, factors vary a lot depending on production methods, there's a lot of subsidies that are hard to compensate for, the technology advances, and the whole industry of mass production is quite new. Also subject to boom-crash cycles as subsidies are granted then removed.
That '15 years to return the energy used in manufacture' came from somewhere else, and I can't remember where. Of course that number can (hopefully) improve with the technology. It's just something to bear in mind, when claiming solar photovoltaics are a wonder cure for energy shortages. You *must* work out the 'energy repayment' and operating lifespan times, before making such claims.

Consider that solar panels are made of silicon, glass, aluminum, and silicone rubber. All have high energy costs of manufacture. Silicon and the finished cells in particular. How much energy did the entire silicon refining and wafer foundry cost to build and operate, compared to how much electricity the cells made there will produce over their lifetime? If building and running that factory depended on cheap electricity from a coal-fired plant, long ago amortized, then that is a form of hidden subsidy.
Ditto if the panels are made overseas in a country with near-slave labor and a high ratio exchange rate that hides the true energy cost of manufacture. Likewise with solar panel plants constructed using politically motivated government grants (which later go broke - google Solyndra.)

Don't misunderstand me - I think it's great that solar panels can currently be bought so cheaply in dollar cost. Unfortunately my home isn't suitable for solar power (too much shade, wrong roof face directions) otherwise I'd have taken the biggest solar installation I could, while the subsidies were good.)
But in a wider context, they are not currently able to replace a significant amount of fossil fuel energy supply. As for vast solar arrays in deserts - ha ha. The secret word is 'sandstorm'.  Also 'shifting dunes' for the booby prize.

None of the 'renewables' are viable replacements for fossil fuel, though hydroelectric and geothermal make invaluable contributions where the geography suits.

Large scale wind power though, can be seriously misapplied. Both problems with reliability and maintenance, and very severe negative impacts on those living nearby, plus on large endangered bird species. In remote areas with good wind strength averages, and assuming the EROEI has been honestly evaluated, it's a good thing. But governments and corporations are rarely wise enough to know when to say no. Short term financial profit to a few, is no guarantee of long term energy profit viability or social acceptability.

Also, though no one says it, the moment a wind farm pisses off some nearby resident enough to start taking pot shots with a high powered rifle (or applying an oxy-cutter to the tower base, or just cutting the grid connection cables for that matter) all estimates of economic viability go down the drain. Are the generators, gear boxes, pitch motors and inverters bullet proof? Did the profit feasibility study include the cost of 24/7 guarding? I doubt it.
And I question the sanity of planners who didn't take such things into consideration when siting wind farms.

Ocean wind farms make me laugh. In a salt spray environment, the lifetime of these complex electrical machines is what? I bet it won't be near as long as the investment plan claimed. For a really good laugh, search for diagrams of the cable lays among groups of ocean anchored wind turbines. Ho ho ho ho...
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Zero999 on January 06, 2015, 10:39:46 am
Ocean wind farms make me laugh. In a salt spray environment, the lifetime of these complex electrical machines is what? I bet it won't be near as long as the investment plan claimed. For a really good laugh, search for diagrams of the cable lays among groups of ocean anchored wind turbines. Ho ho ho ho...
If oil rigs and other large structures can be built off shore and last a reasonable length of time, then I don't see why the same can't be true for wind turbine. With proper design and maintenance, there's no reason why a wind turbine shouldn't last as long as any other off shore structure.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: coppice on January 06, 2015, 10:48:41 am
Ocean wind farms make me laugh. In a salt spray environment, the lifetime of these complex electrical machines is what? I bet it won't be near as long as the investment plan claimed. For a really good laugh, search for diagrams of the cable lays among groups of ocean anchored wind turbines. Ho ho ho ho...
If oil rigs and other large structures can be built off shore and last a reasonable length of time, then I don't see why the same can't be true for wind turbine. With proper design and maintenance, there's no reason why a wind turbine shouldn't last as long as any other off shore structure.
Have you seen the levels of corrosion large structures at sea have to tolerate? You've probably seen a few ships close up, and how corroded they get. I wonder if the wind turbines for installation at sea are the same as the ones they sell for land use? From my experience adapting other things for maritime use, I imagine a lot of additional cost goes into making wind turbines salt tolerant.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: SeanB on January 06, 2015, 07:28:48 pm
Easy to make steelwork that will do a century in the sea ( they had to demolish a submarine barrier here a few years ago, and had to blast it with explosives to get chunks off. They found the reinforcing was not steel bar, which was in short supply, but was made from reclaimed rail instead. Pretty good for something built in weeks during a war) but it tends to get big and expensive fast. As well consider the best places for wind tend to be the places furtherest from comfortable living ( Chicago excluded, along with PE and The Mother City) places, for the simple reasons of building in wind. Long power lines, that have to be rated for the peak nameplate capacity, but which spend most of the time running at 10% or less, is a pretty poor cost/benefit.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Red Squirrel on January 06, 2015, 11:04:28 pm
Funny thing is a lot of people are against turbines for reasons such as these failures or the "eye sore".

They suddenly forget about all the oil spills and other issues brought on by fossil fuels.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: dannyf on January 06, 2015, 11:08:43 pm
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They suddenly forget about all the oil spills

You probably don't get oil spills near your house every day. You do live near those eye sores every day.

Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: electrophiliate on January 07, 2015, 02:22:35 am
Obviously any comparison of subsidies for and impact of fossil fuels versus renewable energy must take into account the net energy produced and the materials which went into the technology, but it starts getting more complicated when considering the wider economic, environmental and human costs of using those technologies. The estimation of the current and future costs of climate change are variable and somewhat arbitrary. The annual estimates are in the range of hundreds of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives, millions of years of life lived with disability, etc. I imagine that precise figures are debatable and people are going to argue over what proportion of these costs are directly due to the impact of human activities on climate change.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: zapta on January 07, 2015, 03:52:29 am
The annual estimates are in the range of hundreds of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives, millions of years of life lived with disability, etc. I imagine that precise figures are debatable and people are going to argue over what proportion of these costs are directly due to the impact of human activities on climate change.


You must be kidding, we live longer than ever in human history and it's all driven by energy from fossil fuel.

Enough with the ungrateful whining.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Lightages on January 07, 2015, 04:05:43 am
I am a big fan of getting off oil, but I think proponents of wind power are not seeing a potentially big problem.

Wind power is the act of extracting power from the wind. What does that do to the wind? It slows it down. Do this on a small scale and there are probably no major side effects. Do this on a large scale and maybe we start changing weather patterns. This is not a "green" solution. Rather this is another experiment that us arrogant humans are running on the world again.

Solar power is also an experiment on local climates. Just like big cities that change their local climate by changing the heat distribution between day and night, so goes solar energy.

Nuclear power? Well thorium is probably our best short term bet. It is much cleaner and inherently safer than uranium breeders. The big joke on most people now is believing that electric cars are some magic to save the planet. Until we get off fossil fuel generation of electricity, where that is used, electric cars are worse  than fossil fuel cars, much worse.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: electrophiliate on January 07, 2015, 04:53:38 am
You must be kidding, we live longer than ever in human history and it's all driven by energy from fossil fuel.

Enough with the ungrateful whining.

I merely (generally) mentioned the costs of climate change estimated by the UN, WHO, and other organizations.

I never gave any opinion on how much of those costs are directly attributable to energy from fossil fuels or how they compared with the benefits.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: coppice on January 07, 2015, 05:03:42 am
I am a big fan of getting off oil, but I think proponents of wind power are not seeing a potentially big problem.

Wind power is the act of extracting power from the wind. What does that do to the wind? It slows it down. Do this on a small scale and there are probably no major side effects. Do this on a large scale and maybe we start changing weather patterns. This is not a "green" solution. Rather this is another experiment that us arrogant humans are running on the world again.
The amount of energy we would need to extract from the environment to run our entire civilisation is a very small part of the total, so any large scale effects of our actions are unlikely. For example, if we could just pull 0.1% of the energy out of the Atlantic gulf stream, that is all the energy that humanity currently uses. Allow for the entire world's population coming up to western standards of living and we wouldn't need more than about 0.5% of the gulf stream. The gulf stream may be one of nature's more spectacular energy flows, giving London an OK climate (yes, it is OK. Stop whining about it :-) ) at a latitude where polar bears live in Canada, but its a small part of the total available environmental energy.

Solar power is also an experiment on local climates. Just like big cities that change their local climate by changing the heat distribution between day and night, so goes solar energy.
Current cities are the experiment. Locally generated solar power actually takes us back to something closer to natural conditions. If you turn 19% of the energy falling on your roof into the electricity which runs your home, and then ends up as heat, your home would be energy neutral. Currently most electricity is produced hundreds of km away and just dissipated in the city.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Lightages on January 07, 2015, 05:15:47 am
Might, probably, the kinds of  words I am referring to. 0.5% of the energy available is if we are 100% efficient. Maybe we need to extract more like 2%? Who said that trees don't slow the winds? I am pretty sure though that trees don't grow in the ocean.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: coppice on January 07, 2015, 05:38:26 am
Might, probably, the kinds of  words I am referring to. 0.5% of the energy available is if we are 100% efficient. Maybe we need to extract more like 2%? Who said that trees don't slow the winds? I am pretty sure though that trees don't grow in the ocean.
When the Romans ruled Britain, they described it as an oak forest. Now British people buy oak furniture made of American oak. If wind turbines slow the wind, they actually help to restore the natural order of things.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: TerraHertz on January 07, 2015, 06:19:46 am
That '15 years to return the energy used in manufacture' came from somewhere else, and I can't remember where.

Someone's arse I presume.
Sigh. Why so hostile? If you actually googled you'd find that this is an issue with wide differences of opinion, and has been for a long time.
Apparently the low end accepted energy payback time for modern panels is much better than the 15 years I recalled, so I learn something. For eg http://www.clca.columbia.edu/236_PE_Magazine_Fthenakis_2_10_12.pdf (http://www.clca.columbia.edu/236_PE_Magazine_Fthenakis_2_10_12.pdf)
But it's *still* something people disagree about. Might have something to do with people's reasons for promoting (or not) solar, since it's easy to make choices in what you count among lifecycle energy inputs.




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Consider that nuclear plants are made of silicon, glass, aluminium, silicone rubber and various other materials besides. All have high energy costs of manufacture. That statement by itself is meaningless.
a. Nuclear plants are rather higher power output than solar panels.
b. Despite that, the lifecycle EROEI profitability of nuclear plants is still considered by many to be marginal or actually negative. It's NOT meaningless to remind that any source of energy can involve high energy production costs.
In this case I said it because most people don't even try to consider what it took to make a solar panel. Hey, they're just a big flat thing, weigh little, make electricity, must be a solution to all our energy problems, right?

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As for vast solar arrays in deserts - ha ha. The secret word is 'sandstorm'.  Also 'shifting dunes' for the booby prize.

They seem to do okay in the US. As for Africa and other more hostile places, I think you will find that not quite the entire continent is ravaged by sand storms and shifting dunes. I think there are even people living there.

"Solar arrays IN DESERTS" comment made because of articles talking about putting vast solar arrays IN DESERTS. Specifically ones in which there are no people. If you apparently have never seen such articles, and are reading comprehension challenged, it's not my problem.
In general I'm sending up people who don't consider the environment in which they are proposing vast infrastructure projects. Wind blown dust dramatically cuts electrical output. Who's going to wipe down thousands of panels? And that's before the panels start getting sandblasted.
But it doesn't have to be desert. I've seen some amusing pics of a big solar panel farm (in Germany I think) where no one bothered to trim the tall plants that grew up between the rows. Heavily shading the panels.
See pic below of another example - in the Newington park in Sydney.

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Also, though no one says it, the moment a wind farm pisses off some nearby resident enough to start taking pot shots with a high powered rifle (or applying an oxy-cutter to the tower base, or just cutting the grid connection cables for that matter) all estimates of economic viability go down the drain. Are the generators, gear boxes, pitch motors and inverters bullet proof? Did the profit feasibility study include the cost of 24/7 guarding? I doubt it.

I... That's just do dumb, you should go and try it and see how it works out for you. If you aren't killed by the structure falling on you or electrocuted or otherwise maimed the CCTV footage of you doing it should be quite interesting. Yeah - they have CCTV on those things.
Ha ha.. you and the other guy having conniptions at the mere suggestion. And yet earlier in this thread and the original article, multiple people were talking about how having to put up with light strobing from turbine blades would cause them to 'lose it'. And they're right, it would be completely unacceptable. If you think 100% of people having that forced on them are going to say "Yup. It's unacceptable. I'll just sit here and keep saying that till the problem goes away" then you are a very naive person.

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And I question the sanity of planners who didn't take such things into consideration when siting wind farms.

Guns are not widely available in the UK, so maybe they did...

Ha ha ha! Oh wait, you're serious! Let me laugh more. HA HA HA HA!

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Ocean wind farms make me laugh. In a salt spray environment, the lifetime of these complex electrical machines is what? I bet it won't be near as long as the investment plan claimed.

True, things like oil rigs, piers, under-sea cable repeaters and the like rarely last more than a few months in that environment. I'm sure the marine engineers who design those things are all idiots and know far less than you do about it.
I've seen what happens to electronics in salt spray environments. I've seen corroded ships being repaired (I was helping with the repairs.) I've seen the insides of very large wind turbines (about 1MW each, in a factory in Sth China). They used heat exchanger cooling, with only the radiator exposed to direct exterior airflow. But that added a lot of complexity, and I'd be surprised if smaller systems do that too.
Maybe ocean wind turbines are hermetically airtight, but I bet they are not.

Also, when you degenerate to strawman arguments like "rarely last more than a few months" you're just making yourself look ridiculous. What did I say? I said "I bet it won't be near as long as the investment plan claimed."
So we'll see who's right, in about a decade or less. If the MTBF and/or working lifespan or uptime are significantly less than expected, that can kill the economics for large investments like that.

Btw, talking about wind turbines failing, it occurs to me if a turbine is acting up during even moderate wind, let alone a raging storm, NO ONE is going to climb up inside the tower and try doing maintenance. So they are kind of all or nothing failure modes.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: coppice on January 07, 2015, 06:30:52 am
Btw, talking about wind turbines failing, it occurs to me if a turbine is acting up during even moderate wind, let alone a raging storm, NO ONE is going to climb up inside the tower and try doing maintenance. So they are kind of all or nothing failure modes.
That's what I was thinking while looking at the videos of major failures. There seems to be no provision for emergency action if something goes wrong. People would have to be crazy to go anywhere near those turbines which are out of control. It looks like all they can do is wait it out, until either there is a very calm day or the thing rips itself apart.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: Red Squirrel on January 07, 2015, 07:13:44 am
I think they're normally suppose to shut themselves down in those situations, but clearly that one failed to do that. :P  Those are probably a couple million dollars a pop too.
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: oliver602 on January 07, 2015, 08:18:10 am
One in the first post was reported to be £500,000
Title: Re: Wind turbine destruction
Post by: dannyf on January 07, 2015, 11:41:39 am
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I merely (generally) mentioned the costs of climate change estimated by the UN, WHO, and other organizations.

You can probably quote equally flamboyant statements from those right-wing nuts type organizations that refute those UN/WHO statements on equally sound ground, :).

The point is unless we take a critical eye to all of those statements and see through the fog of war there, quoting them adds no value in a discussion.