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Windmills


powerdesal

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The problem with wind generators is that they are dependent on a wind blowing. There are days when there is insufficient wind to produce any significant power. This can occur during high pressure cold snap in winter when the demand for electricity is very high. Perhaps the area that needs to be developed is generating using tidal flows. These are predictable and reliable so would justify the necessary investment for R and D to make this economic. Here in the UK we need to improve home insulation to reduce the amount of energy needed which would also contribute to a reduction in CO2 produced.
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"The problem with windmills is that there are days when the wind does not blow"

 

Just as the problem with coal fired, oil fired and particularly nuclear powered stations is that periodically there are technical problems that can take them off-line and in order to reduce these to a minimum there are extended periods of maintenance when they are taken off-line.

 

There is not (to my knowledge at least) any system of power or energy generation that guarantees 100% operation and this oft quoted failure of wind is at best ill-conceived and at worst is put around by vested interests.

 

To have a reliable power supply it is essential that there is polyvalence and putting all the eggs into wind power is as foolish as putting all the eggs into coal, or tidal.  (Even the tides stop for around 3-4 hours a day.)

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Another problem with wind is that you don't know what you're going to get and when you will get it so for load balancing a thermal station has to be running in less than maximum efficiency mode and fire up when the wind drops and throttle back when it's blowing so for that wonderful 0.8% contribution, how much do you knock off for the standby stations?

Also the power varies as the cube of the windspeed, or to put it another way, halve the windspeed, get one eighth the power

(somebody take my soap box away)

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I think it's all a big confidence trick; people think they are being green, but big companies are just raking in massive profits so that countries can try to meet their targets. I wish that the money the UK government has spent/is continuing to spend had been put into installing thick insulation for houses throughout the land ; less energy would now be needed and householders would be spending less money on their energy bills. I've wished this for years. Win/win situation to my mind.

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Not only are wind turbines dependent on having wind to operate, if there is too much wind, then they cannot operate either.

They will never satisfy energy requirements.

For the moment, nuclear is probably the best solution, although that of course has its own set of problems.

Over here in the states, I have seen some interesting solutions that contribute a little to easing the load. For example, i've seen solar panels on many lamps and traffic lights which would charge by day to be used at night. I imagine when they do run out of juice, the national grid system kicks in.

There's heaps as individuals we can do to lessen the energy demands, and that should be the first priority. Prevention is better than cure.

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PowerD, you wouldn't have a link to that UK National Grid page about the 0.8% would you?  Not that I disbelieve you for a moment but I've got into an argument of sorts about wind power and I'm blowed (pardon the pun) if I can find it.

To give an Idea of the level of argument I'm in, this numpty regards all things nuclear as the work of the devil and 'You just need to look at the station at Catternom (near the France/Lux border) to see all the radioactivity coming out!   Ummm that will be steam from the cooling towers then....... I'm sure you get the picture

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For those who know Bournemouth bay.  and the Jurassic Coast There is a plan to site just under 300 out at sea .   The cable is planned to come ashore at Barton on Sea . A trench will then be dug I imagine over the New Forest  and connect with the National Grid  at the  Mannington  sub station     A lot of unhappy people here ..

http://www.challengenavitus.org.uk/windfarm-animations.html    

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Green energy fail....

[img]http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/57235000/jpg/_57235827_57235415.jpg[/img]

There is no point worrying about being green IMO. Any environmental benefits produced in Europe are pissed away to insignificance compared to what goes on daily in China and India.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/06/china-flatten-mountain-lanzhou-new-area
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[quote user="Pierre ZFP"]PowerD, you wouldn't have a link to that UK National Grid page about the 0.8% would you?  Not that I disbelieve you for a moment but I've got into an argument of sorts about wind power and I'm blowed (pardon the pun) if I can find it.

To give an Idea of the level of argument I'm in, this numpty regards all things nuclear as the work of the devil and 'You just need to look at the station at Catternom (near the France/Lux border) to see all the radioactivity coming out!   Ummm that will be steam from the cooling towers then....... I'm sure you get the picture

[/quote]

http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

The number of people who consider that the steam from cooling towers is smoke / pollution is unreal, the press don't help of course, always showing a power station with steaming cooling towers under a banner of ''pollution this or pollution that''

edit: It's about 3.5% from wind at the moment, but the weather forecast is for high winds tonight.

As an aside, when our children were very small they always called cooling towers ''daddies milk bottles''
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I am sorry, but I cannot see how either wind or wave power will not affect the planet in a negative way.

Both methods take energy out of either the winds or waves. This surely must have an effect - wind power will be decreased causing a change. Similarly wave power and patterns will be changed. The result changes to wind and sea patterns. There is no such thing as a free lunch, nor free energy.

Paul

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I think any effects on wind and wave would be negligible. Certainly not as much as the pollution emitted via fossil fuels. I agree there's no such thing as a free lunch.

The climate is changing, anyone with any intelligence can see that, the question is how much of an impact is man made? Deforestation and more CO2 emmissions will help heat the planet up, there's no doubt about that, it's basic physics.

What we need is to open the window and let some of this CO2 out. Perhaps create one over the Antarctic...

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Of course the climate is changing, it's what the climate does and has done for millions of years, why should it stop now?

Equally it's basic biology that plants need CO2, it helps them grow. No CO2 = no plants = no food.

The planet has had warmer and colder periods in the past and will no doubt have warmer and colder periods in the future. To assume that mankind can radically affect that future is arrogance in the extreme.

The climate was warmer in the recorded past, even during Roman times and I don't seem to remember learning about Roman 4 x 4s and power stations being the cause of any problems.
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Many thanks for the link, it's good to have something to back up an argument but I think I will lose this one.  Apart from the radio activity coming out of cooling towers we now have 'The water in the Mosel is 2 deg warmer downstream of the nuclear station'  Yeah but that would be true if is was say a gas or coal power station.  'No, no, it's because it's a nuclear power station'  Doh!

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[quote user="PaulT"]

I am sorry, but I cannot see how either wind or wave power will not affect the planet in a negative way.

Both methods take energy out of either the winds or waves. This surely must have an effect - wind power will be decreased causing a change. Similarly wave power and patterns will be changed. The result changes to wind and sea patterns. There is no such thing as a free lunch, nor free energy.

Paul

[/quote]

Harnessing the tides will make the moon move further away.

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