Windmill Economics 101...

Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 02:01 am
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 02:52 am
I guess the propagandists didn't want anyone to see the whole paragraph::
Thomas Homer-Dixon wrote:
The concept of net energy must be applied to renewable sources of energy, such as windmills and photovoltaics. A two-megawatt windmill contains 260 tonnes of steel requiring 170 tonnes of coking coal and 300 tonnes of iron ore, all mined, transported and produced by hydrocarbons. The question is: how long must a windmill generate energy before it creates more energy than it took to build it? At a good wind site, the energy payback day could be in three years or less; in a poor location, energy payback may be never. That is, a windmill could spin until it falls apart and never generate as much energy as was invested in building it.

Clearly, the concept of net energy is crucial if we want to find a policy that will see us through the Energy Sustainability Dilemma.”
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Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 03:51 am
One minor problem, people generally don't live in places where the fricking wind blows at 50 mph all the time.....

Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 03:53 am
I mean, I occasionally drive past all those hideous windmills in North Texas, mile after mile after mile of the stinking things and God help any bird that ever has to fly through all of that, and it's hard to believe that one thorium reactor wouldn't produce more electricity than all of them.
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 04:31 am
Those are wind turbines.

This is a windmill:
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 04:34 am
One minor problem, people generally don't live in places where the fricking wind blows at 50 mph all the time.....

That's why they have distribution systems. People don't need to live next to a wind turbine to obtain electric power from it.
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Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 06:48 am
A thorium reactor or one of these new fusion devices which Lockheed/Martin has just now received patents for could be put right where it was needed. It wouldn't need distribution systems, it would be vastly more efficient than any sort of a windmill or "wind-turbine(TM)" and you wouldn't need fifty miles worth of them to kill all the hawks and eagles in the territory.
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Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 06:50 am
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 09:43 am
In earlier centuries, grain and oil windmills were needed to meet the basic food requirements throughout the Münsterland region, where my ancestors had a farm since 1287.


So, im the 18th century, they decided (but mainly due to inheritance problems) to sell the farm and built a windmill. After some successful business, they moved to the next larger town and built a new windmill, opened a trade in grain as well ... in the town centre (about 3,000 inhabitants in those days).
From about 1900, the windmill was only used as an auxiliary mill.

Wind turbines were first installed here in 1970's; since the 1980's we've got wind farms.

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Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 11:25 pm
gungasnake wrote:
I mean, I occasionally drive past all those hideous windmills in North Texas, mile after mile after mile of the stinking things and God help any bird that ever has to fly through all of that,

I saw a lot of windmills in Minnesota when I went out west for the eclipse.

Although what really struck me was the speed limit change between Minnesota and South Dakota. Wow.

Minnesota the speed limit was 70, and everybody went 75.

South Dakota the speed limit was 80, and most people went 90, with a handful weaving in and out of traffic at 100.

Crossing the state line felt like jumping to light speed in the Millennium Falcon.

But anyway, Minnesota has a lot of windmills.
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2018 11:43 pm
Gunga is apparently unaware that the winds are more constant and blow at higher speeds, the higher above the ground. This principle was understood by and essentially to the efficient use of sailing vessels in the days before steam power and diesel engines. The builders of cathedrals in Europe understood the principle, too. The upper walls were built so that they leaned outward to compensate for the more constant and forceful winds. Flying buttresses were used to assure that the walls did not collapse outward on those rare occasions when the constant winds lessened.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2018 12:18 am
People actually knew since ages how to use the wind, and where it was best to construct windmills.

Prenzlauer Berg ("Prenzlau Mountain") is nowadays a portion of the Pankow district in northeast Berlin.
In the 17th century, it was a Prussian royal estate, more or less just used for farming. And windmills.

(view of 1780)

When this part of Berlin became more urbinised, two windmills were converted into ... breweries
(view 1880)

Today, they've got a wind turbine just some hundret meters away from where the wind mills had been.
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2018 03:37 am
@Walter Hinteler,
The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) producs wind energy maps of the US at elevations of 30, 80. 100 m. The wind resource at these elevations helps the design of wind turbines. Usually a pre design study of wind is required for public projects. Around us e have some ridge tops in NE Pa that are being developed for turbines at 100m ellevations.
Also, theres big development of turbines off shore at 120m. The turbines have become pretty good fishing sites too.

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