Ragman
 
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 10:04 am
T. Boone Pickens had been planning on building the world's largest wind farm in the Texas panhandle, but cancelled. (In fact, he's looking for a home for 687 giant wind turbines.) This thread is presented here for the purpose of discussing this and wind farms and the effects on environment:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090707/ap_on_bi_ge/us_pickens_wind_energy

"Renewable energy provides a small fraction of electricity used today, but the wind and solar sectors are the fastest growing in the U.S. In 2008, the U.S. became the world's leading provider of wind power."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 7 • Views: 7,237 • Replies: 61
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mismi
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 10:14 am
@Ragman,
Oh Ragman...I live in a house with 4 guys...the term Wind Farm brings up an entirely different meaning for me. So sorry. Wink

What are the effects on the environment? I have not read up on this much. But it seems to me - other than taking up quite a bit of area for the turbines that there wouldn't be much impact would there? I don't know exactly how it works so I will have to research a bit.

This is interesting to me.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 10:40 am
@mismi,
mismi: firstly, thanks for responding. I admire your curiosdity and welcome your research. Also, I welcome any and all comments (though it seems to be somewhat of an uncommon for regulars to do on my topics). Please check out the whole article as it does go into some detail.

BTW, you made me snarf about the breaking of wind and your 'guy farm'.

One of the environmental issues behind large wind farm (supplying juice to 1 million homes) is Pickens' couldn't work out details of how the massive connection to the rest of the power grid would be implemented. There is a massive impact when you try to hook up such a large wind farm to the rest of the grid.

I'll wait to comment more so as to allow others to supply their input.
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 11:18 am
@mismi,
mismi wrote:

Oh Ragman...I live in a house with 4 guys...the term Wind Farm brings up an entirely different meaning for me. So sorry. Wink

Laughing Laughing Laughing Good one!
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 05:58 pm
I find it fascinating ..once again..how few people respond here.
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 10:13 am
@Ragman,
You are welcome Ragman. It seems to me that this would be a great idea. From what I have found it seems that birds are a major concern...loss of habitat due to expanding the turbines infrastructure and their collision with the turbines...Seems to be a small percentage though.

I found this, which I thought was interesting...
On the first one -Whale Power - I can't find whether they are going to try to use the technology for energy purposes...though I will admit I have not taken the time to really look as I should. I will put it here so I can come back to it though.

They are all amazingly quiet - so that's good.

10 wind turbines that push the limits of design.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4324331.html?page=1

I find #4 to be particularly intriguing...a helium balloon that can go up to 1000 feet

hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 10:33 am
@mismi,
german energy companies are planning to build a huge windfarm in africa .
much of the electricity will be exported to europe via huge underground power cables .

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jun/16/solar-power-europe-africa

cows seem to co-exist quite peacefully with windfarms ( we saw it in denmark , but can't find a picture online ) .

but here is a video clip from a texas cattle/windranch


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8076301.stm

mismi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 10:41 am
@hamburgboy,
Those are great links...thanks hamburgboy...

So they are a little noisy it seems.
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 10:59 am
@mismi,
Quote:
So they are a little noisy it seems.


just like a highway - everybody wants to use it - but not many want to live right next to one - let somone else live there .

btw we've been very close to germean and danish windfarms and could not detect any noise .

i grew up very close to the railroad tracks and ships moving around the harbour blowing their whistles day and night .
missed it when we moved away after 20 years - seems strange to me now .
0 Replies
 
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 11:12 am
@mismi,
i read that new superturbines from maglev will outperform the current rotor-turbines at a ratio of 1 : 1,000 .

http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/11/26/super-powered-magnetic-wind-turbine-maglev/

one of these new turbines is expected to produce enough electricity for a city
of 300,000 to 400,000 people .

just like when railways ( and other inventions ) were developed first , new engines replaced old ones quite quickly .
current windturbines might be outdated - and ready for a museum - in less than 20 years .
time and technology have a habit of not wanting to stay still .
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 11:18 am
@mismi,
Here's one PBS program on Wind Turbines ,"The Big Energy Gamble"

http://www.iptv.org/video/detail.cfm/3262/nova_20090113_big_energy_gamble
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 11:26 am
Also, here's more on Wind Energy development:


U.S. WIND ENERGY INDUSTRY WELCOMES RENEWABLE ENERGY GRANT GUIDANCE ISSUED BY TREASURY


" . . . Obama Administration that it will soon begin accepting applications for the renewable energy grants enacted by Congress in the economic recovery package earlier this year."
. . .
". . . The grants are designed to temporarily replace the production tax credit (PTC) that has been a major factor in the continued growth in wind and other renewable energy projects. The recession and the freeze in the credit markets that began late last year rendered the PTC much less useful as an investment incentive. "

Today’s announcement provides guidance on how the grant process will work. Companies should be able to begin submitting applications later this month.

The U.S. wind industry accounted for 42 percent of new electricity generation installed nationwide in 2008, and created 35,000 jobs that year, bringing the number of people employed in wind power to 85,000. Figures for 2009 suggest a slowdown in new wind projects due to economic conditions. In addition to the grants, AWEA has been advocating for a strong national renewable electricity standard (RES) as a way to send a clear signal to financial markets about the U.S. commitment to renewable energy. "

http://www.awea.org/newsroom/releases/Grant_Guidance_Issued_by_Treasury_070909.html
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 11:40 am
Wind Power Comes up to the Bat

"Research team probes wind turbines effect on bat population"

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_593702.html

Informative excerpt about the current status of the US wind eenrgy industry and an environemtnal impact on local bat population:

"SUMMIT -- One of the world's largest wind power owner-operators is making history here on one of the numerous ridges that comprise the Allegheny Mountains.

Some 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, in Somerset County, Iberdrola Renewables Inc. agreed to let an independent scientific team study the impact of turbines on the local bat population when the company's 10-month-old wind farm in Summit Township is temporarily shut down.

Believed to be a first by a wind farm owner, Iberdrola Renewables provided funding for the project, conducted by representatives of Bat Conservation International, an Austin, Texas, organization dedicated to bat conservation, education and research initiatives.

"Iberdrola deserves a great deal of credit to approve doing this controversial study," said Ed Arnett, Bat Conservation's chief wind scientist, speaking at Thursday's formal dedication of Iberdrola's Casselman Wind Power Project. "The research from this project will resonate worldwide."

"The natural reaction to stopping the turbines is that it prevents us from selling the wind mills' power," said Don Furman, senior vice president for development, transmission and policy for Portland, Ore.-based Iberdrola. "But then when you examine it, they want to shut down the turbines only for a few hours at dusk during the late summer-early fall, when the bats are most active, but also our natural slow period for producing power."

The more than $34 million Casselman project consists of 23 turbines generating 34.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to meet the needs of more than 10,000 homes, according to the American Wind Energy Association's calculations. Casselman is Pennsylvania's third-largest wind farm in terms of power generating capacity.

All the project's power is being purchased via a 23-year lease by Akron, Ohio-based First Energy Corp., which provides power to customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Pennsylvania has become a wind power hub east of the Mississippi River, with the state trailing only New York in terms of existing wind power capacity.

Total power capacity statewide is 293.53 megawatts, with an additional 272.2 megawatts under construction. One megawatt can power up to 1,000 homes."
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 11:44 am
Furthermore...from the same article:

"...Five of the state's 10 existing wind farms are situated in Southwest Pennsylvania, with four of those -- totalling nearly 84 megawatts of capacity -- in Somerset County. The others are near Somerset, Garrett and Meyersdale.

Furman said agreeing to and helping to sponsor the bat study also generates goodwill for Iberdrola from the bat community.

Bats, Arnett said, have gotten a bad rap, particularly from Hollywood via movies and television programs. He said they are vital to the health of the environment.

"They are primary predators of night-flying insects, like birds are during the day," Arnett said. "Some also are important plant pollinators and seed dispersers."

The Casselman project, which began generating electricity in February, already was host for more than two years to what Arnett said was the largest-ever study of acoustic monitoring at a wind farm site before construction commenced.

With the turbines now spinning, pre-construction and post-construction data will be analyzed and compared to determine what impact the turbines have on the local bat population. "
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 01:48 pm
Way back around 1970, a friend tried to get me interested in going into wind turbines. At the time, I considered the move at least premature and sidestepped it. Looks as though they are going to be used more and more.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 02:03 pm
@Ragman,
There was a recent article in the NY Times about wind turbines in the Colombia River Valley and the subsequent controversy there about whether or not some dams could be taken out. This is slightly off the topic question, but I found the article interesting:
As Wind Power Grows, a Push to Tear Down Dams
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 02:54 pm
@edgarblythe,
Yes, Edgar, the technology and engineering have improved immensely with usage of CAD engineering and lighter weight but stronger materials. The fact remains that despite these better materials, the building of larger, tall (over 50 foot or greater) efficient wind turbines is no cake walk. The sites they select are picked due to their higher avg wind speed. So at the start of construction of the proect (once the mounting tower or mast is raised), if the wind speed is greater than a SUSTAINED 25 mph, the crane has to stop and lower the component.

Recently I saw a typical large wind turbine project being constructed on a cable TV shows (like Discovery on "How They Build Things" or the like). I saw the building team struggling with erection of a large wind turbine that would supply more than 10,00o homes.

This required close concentration and communication with the expert crane operator, 2 men stationed in the mast tower, and the dozen or so rigging crew who were tethering the components on lines that the crane was lifting to the top.

I recall this had to occur over a 2-day-span., due to the winds and having bad weather. Once they did it, they were lucky they'd a lull in wind gusts where the avg sustained wind speed had "died down" to around 20 mph to give them a window of opportunity. The 2 men in the mast tower bolted down the turret/gear/direction changing housing so they then could secure the turbine blades.

All of this exemplifies a nightmare of possibilities of things that could go wrong, not to mention to cost more money. They accomplished this in the time frame and in budget, but damn, it was close.

Well, I could go on an on, but you see how it works from this example

Fascinating! If I can find the link to the show, it's worth renting or viewing.
0 Replies
 
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 03:32 pm
@ossobuco,
off topic too ...
george cruikshank commenting on the introduction of steam-powered coaches and railways in england ...
his caricature was meant to ridicule the fear of some english people about this "new and un-necessary conveyance " .

splendid - as always - imo .

 http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RAcruikRA.jpg
Ragman
 
  0  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 03:38 pm
@hamburgboy,
Perhaps I can interest you to create a thread about this. I find it quite interesting but deserving of it's own thread and not for this one.
0 Replies
 
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 03:39 pm
still off topic ...
i can waste all day looking at cruikshank's caricatures ...

 http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft8x0nb672/hi-res

rather than messing up this topic , i should probably start a cruikshank topic -
but i enjoy how he was able to depict the fear of much that was unknown to many at that time - i think he is timeless .
 

 
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