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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #31  
Old 18th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

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Originally Posted by DanH56 View Post
Ugly, expensive, inefficient, and a complete waste of time.
Out of interest, do you believe in global warming or do you (as a sizeable number people do, I can't deny that) think it's not a man made phenomenon?

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  #32  
Old 18th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

This is actually, a very VERY interesting debate Many interesting facts are being "thrown into the pot" and I for one appreciate the information

I do rather feel that we each, prefer one or another alternative power source and its a little like Politics or Religion - so WAR could break out ... thus I am off

But I shall still have an ear to the ground ... sts
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  #33  
Old 18th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post

Would you rather see the whole of the world's beautiful land become choked by pollution and global warming because we don't do anything?
No, I'd rather we targeted our resources at things that will work. And the most effective of those which has low CO2 emissions and produces meaningful amounts of power is, like it or not, nuclear.

It has also been claimed that if all the money currently being spent on wind farms was instead directed at domestic energy saving measures, eg. bringing the housing stock up to Scandinavian standards of insulation and energy efficiency, then the CO2 savings would be far greater than windpower could ever provide, and our power bills would also be much lower too. But then of course politicians wouldn't have a big sexy engineering project that they could point to and claim as their own, so don't expect it to happen.
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  #34  
Old 18th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

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No, I'd rather we targeted our resources at things that will work. And the most effective of those which has low CO2 emissions and produces meaningful amounts of power is, like it or not, nuclear.

It has also been claimed that if all the money currently being spent on wind farms was instead directed at domestic energy saving measures, eg. bringing the housing stock up to Scandinavian standards of insulation and energy efficiency, then the CO2 savings would be far greater than windpower could ever provide, and our power bills would also be much lower too. But then of course politicians wouldn't have a big sexy engineering project that they could point to and claim as their own, so don't expect it to happen.
Obviously, an alternative balancing energy source to wind power that is cleaner (and not dependent on volume supplies from foreign sources) than coal or gas is the ideal scenario and I agree 100% with you that high on the list has to be nuclear. We also need to develop technologies to scale up the efficient storage and release of electrical energy. Electricity is the future - including cars, which are fundamentally dirty and and a high CO2 source.

Maybe in 50 years ago fusion energy will be perfected and then we can dismantle all those wind turbines.

But until then, as demand goes up and supplies fail to keep up, fossil fuels will continue to rise in price faster than inflation and the cost-effectiveness of renewable energy will simply improve and improve.

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  #35  
Old 18th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

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Originally Posted by alfbranch View Post
We buy a lot of power from them most of which is produced by nuclear
I agree. At work we use a very sizeable amount of electricity, all of which is bought from EDF. They also sell a lot to Germany since they started decommissioning their nuclear sites.

I still don't agree with electric cars for wholescale consumption, they are only green at point of use and for limited periods. The material cost and effort in producing their engines that are as good as useless after 100k miles isn't good for the environment. We need to weigh up the clean at point of use with the clean at point of manufacture and electricity generation. Nuclear has a big psrt to play in that for me.
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  #36  
Old 18th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

I can claim some insider knowledge about this, as I spent about a year (20 years ago) as construction manager for a windfarm developer.

During that time I was responsible for three windfarms in Wales and one each in Cornwall, West Yorkshire and Cumbria.

They were mostly on hill top sites and the farmers loved them. The land was only able to be used for sheep and they were unaffected by the turbines. The income from the turbines was very useful on this very unproductive land.

We knew we were pioneering and turbines had to grow much bigger. The ones we were installing in 1992 were 33metre diameter rotor on a 30 metre tower and produced 330kW.

Here is one of “my” turbines at Chelker reservoir near Skipton.



Current state of the art has turbines to 8MW but being installed hereabouts, most seem to be 80metre diameter rotors on 60m towers producing 2MW each.

Here is one of 27 such turbines being installed offshore Redcar:



And some of a similar size offshore at Scroby Sands Great Yarmouth:



We have an onshore development at Seamer just south of Middlesbrough with five 2MW machines:



On the horizon you may just see another wind farm near Sedgefield.

Coming into the wind power business from the oil industry I was surprised at so much time money and effort produced so little power, but things have improved now but even so massive subsidies are needed to make the economically viable.

I am surprised that technological development and economies of scale over the last 23 years have not done more to remove the need for these massive subsidies.
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  #37  
Old 18th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

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Originally Posted by al_kaholik View Post
I agree. At work we use a very sizeable amount of electricity, all of which is bought from EDF. They also sell a lot to Germany since they started decommissioning their nuclear sites.

I still don't agree with electric cars for wholescale consumption, they are only green at point of use and for limited periods. The material cost and effort in producing their engines that are as good as useless after 100k miles isn't good for the environment. We need to weigh up the clean at point of use with the clean at point of manufacture and electricity generation. Nuclear has a big psrt to play in that for me.
Why are electric motors useless after 100K miles or have I read this wrong?

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Re: Wind Farms

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Why are electric motors useless after 100K miles or have I read this wrong?

Ian
I understand that it is the batteries in electric cars that have limited life, not the motors....
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  #39  
Old 18th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

With the revelation this week that " Global Warming " is an urban myth, and that Nixon deliberately prolonged the war in Vietnam to win an election, should we, in fact, believe anything we read.

We have a friend who has had a Turbine fitted, only to find that EVERY figure quoted as " hard facts " at point of sale has now been changed to " advisory in ideal conditions " when she complained.
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  #40  
Old 18th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

Batteries is correct, me putting engines is misleading. I am interested to see what happens down the line to hybrids that fall into the average car owners maintenance regime and cost saving exercises. In terms of total CO2 output, its probably better to run around in an old car than buy a new hybrid if all other things are equal and you are going to do very high mileage over a number of years.

Back on wind turbines, presumably they use variable pitch on the rotors to account for wind conditions?
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Old 19th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

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Originally Posted by Imageryone View Post
With the revelation this week that " Global Warming " is an urban myth, and that Nixon deliberately prolonged the war in Vietnam to win an election, should we, in fact, believe anything we read.

We have a friend who has had a Turbine fitted, only to find that EVERY figure quoted as " hard facts " at point of sale has now been changed to " advisory in ideal conditions " when she complained.
If by " " Global Warming " is an urban myth" you mean the nonsense in last Sundays Mail newspaper, my interpretation of their graph was NOT that Global Warming had not increased since 1993, but that Global Warming had followed the lower bound of the predictions made in 1993.

Hardly surprising with depression in most countries reducing output below their predictions since 2008.

The timescale since 1993 is far too short to call it a myth. and if we have had no Global Warming since 1993, I wonder why the Arctic Ice is melting so fast?

Sorry your friend had a bad experience with a little wind turbine, but one thing I learnt when working in wind energy, was that small turbines for mounting on your house would only be economical in the most extremely windy locations.

I was most amused a few years back when David Cameron tried to boost his "green" credentials by having one fitted to his in Oxfordshire which is certainly not windy enough.
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Old 19th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

Since turbines only work when there is the right amount of wind (not too little, not too much) you need back up power anyway - so why bother with them in the first place.

With regards to the removal of them after their lifespan being easy - just exactly what do you do with 120m long metal tubes. May be they can be recycled? What about the hundreds of cubic metres of concrete that they sit on?
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Old 19th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

Maybe Cameron should have a turbine fitted in the house of commons, that surely is windy enough.
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Old 19th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

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Originally Posted by g9ern View Post
Since turbines only work when there is the right amount of wind (not too little, not too much) you need back up power anyway - so why bother with them in the first place.

With regards to the removal of them after their lifespan being easy - just exactly what do you do with 120m long metal tubes. May be they can be recycled? What about the hundreds of cubic metres of concrete that they sit on?
The turbines I worked with operated from wind 11mph to 55mph. The upper speed causing shut down obviously can happen but statistically not often. The reason for using them is to save fossil fuel and to reduce CO2 emmissions, but they are at present and expensive way of doing that.

The need for back-up power is important but wind power is not totally an addition because the more widespread they are the more likely that some will be working.

The metal towers are no problem to recycle, in my part of the country there is a good business in recycling offshore steel structures and ships. I would see the rotor blades, being composite materials, as harder to recycle.
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  #45  
Old 19th March 2013
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Re: Wind Farms

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Originally Posted by g9ern View Post
Since turbines only work when there is the right amount of wind (not too little, not too much) you need back up power anyway - so why bother with them in the first place.

With regards to the removal of them after their lifespan being easy - just exactly what do you do with 120m long metal tubes. May be they can be recycled? What about the hundreds of cubic metres of concrete that they sit on?
Why bother with them? Because for a fair percentage of the time they generate clean electricity. They reduce the amount of dirty electricity to be generated. Nobody is saying they are the solution to our needs on their own, but they are already contributing a valuable percentage of our electricity, reducing CO2 emissions, reducing pollution and reducing our reliance on foreign supplied polluting fuels that have a very volatile price.

As for removing them at end of life, the concrete foundations don't represent much of an above-ground encroachment, once the tower and turbine are removed the remaining concrete base will simply be covered over with earth. You would hardly know there were any turbines there. Compare that to de-commissioning a power station.

Ian
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