Windmills as a Source For Electricity

Discussion in 'Energy & Fuel' started by Pat Baker, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    The big deal is wind isn't 24/7. Cost per KWH produced is way high. I am totally against nuclear, but the massive wind farms producing unreliable electricity doesn't make sense for AC grid electricity. For small scale community or home use, a DC wind turbine with large battery storage is great, however solar is so much more efficient, with less maintenance and cause little environmental damage other than battery production. Hydro electric is dependable 24/7 which is necessary for feeding a massive grid. Nuclear is also 24/7 but we all know the dangers of that power. I think the work being done with the tides as generators is great. Hoping it won't cause any major issues with ocean warming or marine life of any significance. I was once an advocate of wind turbines, I even had a small one to charge batteries for my mountain cabin. However if the wind didn't blow for days and cloudy days didn't allow my solar cells (not very efficient at that time) to charge, then I had to fire up a gas generator as my creek driven waterwheel generator was steady but only a trickle charge.

    Other sources of generating steady AC electricity are natural gas turbines, coal fired generators, and diesel generators. Visit the Indian reservations of the western 4 corners area and it is easy to see why the coal fired power plants were built there. Hauling the coal was a minor issue, the real issue is no one wanted that horrible pollution near their city. Natural gas powered plants are used in the USA Virgin Islands. The gas is shipped in. Even with solar cells feeding the grid during daylight, they will never replace the gas powered plants because they are not a 24/7 efficient way of producing AC.

    The important point everyone must understand is, to feed our grid, we must have a source of 24/7 AC electricity with massive transformers to increase the voltage very high for low loss transmission over miles of wire. Humans have to control the source driving the generators. Neither wind or solar offer us this option.
     
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  2. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Most of us are aware that we need more than a single source of power so there’s no reason why windmills shouldn’t be a part of the system. There are three power grids in the continental US and I am much more concerned about a cyber attack on them than failure to produce enough electricity.
     
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  3. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Very Well-Known Member
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    Somebody must like wind power. In the last two weeks passing through Indiana,Kansas,Nebraska,Oklahoma,Eastern Colorado,and now South Dakota,we have seen literally thousands of them. We have been held up several times by overlength trucks carrying blades .maneuvering intersections. Oklahoma had area where pump jacks for oil and windmills occupied the same fields. Somebody is making big bucks, you don't invest billions in the hardware I have seen and make your money on write offs!
     
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Faye Fox
    The Western Infrastructure of Dams is controlled by the Bureau of Reclamation, which had it's first big challenge in managing the design and construction, and then the operation of Hoover Dam. The Northwestern Dams such as Grand Coulee came after that. I suspect there is little meddling there by the Washington wall-climbers.
    Frank
     
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  5. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Peter Renfro
    Good points! The locations of these "wind-farms" are carefully chosen by reviewing the stats of wind history as far back as records permit. They work, they produce power (when the wind blows). As far as safety is concerned, there is no physical difference between a generator being spun by the wind, or a generator being spun by a steam turbine, or a generator being spun by a water turbine, except maybe capacity. Each has it's drawbacks. Wind affects the landscape and wildlife, water is deeply affected by availability (drought), steam requires the expenditure of fossil fuels which produces air pollution, or the use of immense tracts of land for solar collection, which presents far reaching negatives as in the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System which is a concentrated solar thermal plant in the Mojave Desert. It is located at the base of Clark Mountain in California, across the state line from Primm, Nevada.

    The total plant heliostat reflecting surface results in 173,500 heliostats × 14.05 m2/heliostat = 2,437,144 m2. Each heliostat is about the size of a barn door. 173,000 is a BUNCH!

    The heliostats concentrate beams of sunlight on towers, three of them, heating them to about 1000 degrees F. Anything, bird, plane, bats, passing through the beams is incinerated quickly. The concentrated heat in the towers boils water to create steam which drives generators. Looks like this:

    upload_2019-9-23_18-19-19.jpeg

    My least liked green energy scheme! Frank
     
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  6. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Well-Known Member
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    I agree far as the power companies useing them in bulk.

    I know people hadthem for personal usse on farms and ranches but they didn't seem to hurt the wildlife like these wind farms do.

    Makes you wonder how humans got by for 1000s of years before electricity. Of course most of us are so use to controling out climate not sure we could survive without it now or at least some kind of alternaate source.
    I got a feeling we may soon find out,maybe not us so mich but the younger generation.
     
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  7. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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  8. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Well-Known Member
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