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Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/12/2015 5:32 PM

One of the largest kimberlite mines in the world is in Siberia,and the wind turbulence above it is so great that a no fly zone has been placed around it.

It seems to me that would be a good place for wind powered turbines.

The mine is no longer used,so turbines could be placed all along the sides as well as the top.

Cold air falling,hot air rising, you get power in both directions.

I am sure there are other sites just as suitable.

I understand the proximity to a power distribution system is a large part of site selection,but it looks very lucrative to me.

I am sure some Russian redneck has thought of this before and it got vetoed for some reason.

Any one care to speculate on the potential of this?

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#1

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/12/2015 5:47 PM
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#18
In reply to #1

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 7:21 AM

Imagine hundreds of turbines lining the sides from top to bottom,or at wherever the ideal wind speeds occur.

The "threaded" spiral roadways might even act to direct or enhance wind flow,or create a spiraling wind pattern.

Perhaps this is the reason why helicopters are banned from flying over it.

There is a significant down draft,and somewhere,the air must also rise,so it may be possible to utilize it in both directions.

I realize this would be a gargantuan task,but not impossible if the profit motive is there.

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#41
In reply to #18

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/14/2015 12:05 PM

"They all laughed at Christopher Columbus

When he sailed the ocean blue..."

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#2

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/12/2015 5:52 PM

"A wind turbine is designed to produce power over a range of wind speeds. All wind turbines are designed for a maximum wind speed, called the survival speed, above which they will be damaged. The survival speed of commercial wind turbines is in the range of 40 m/s(144 km/h, 89 MPH) to 72 m/s (259 km/h, 161 MPH)."

https://www.google.com/#q=wind+farm+maximum+wind+speed

It could be too turbulent. A steady wind speed is best for a wind farm. Varying wind speed and direction would put severe stresses on the windmills.

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#9
In reply to #2

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/12/2015 9:14 PM

The thought I had was that the cold air probably fell in from the sides,and the warm air would rise from the center,or vice versa.

The appropriate configuration to be determined by a site study of the wind dynamics.

There are more styles of wind turbines than just the propeller type ,and some that can harness wind power from any direction,configured like a squirrel cage fan of sorts.

There are also many ways to prevent over speed.

I saw some in Oklahoma that would turn away from the wind when it got too fast.

These were relatively small units and don't know if the system would upscale.

I also saw some of the "egg beater" barber pole types,so the design of wind turbines is a wide open field,ripe for some innovation.

I am sure noise would not be a factor in Siberia,but connection to a grid would probably be a major consideration.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/12/2015 9:22 PM

its a whacky concept, any wind project has to factor in transmission costs. Siberia could absorb some power but how are you going to transmit the rest elsewhere? the capitol costs to construct transmission lines and the line losses would be considerable.

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/12/2015 10:22 PM

As I stated,connection to a grid would be a major consideration in the cost,but line losses can be mitigated using high temp superconductors and high voltage DC.

Not saying this is doable,but on the surface,it looks worthy of a computer model or study.

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 5:52 AM

Is it cold enough in Siberia for superconductors?

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 7:01 AM
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#20
In reply to #17

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 9:36 AM

I would hope it is designed to fail gently if it loses it's cooling!

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#19
In reply to #12

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 8:50 AM

high voltage DC is wonderful for battery charging but if you recall the early Edison and Westinghouse days of electrification DC was used but it proved poor due to voltage drops over small distances, the solution was AC...we never looked back.

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 9:43 AM

I read somewhere about DC making a comeback for long-distance transmission. E.g. for a solar energy farm in the Sahara, power sent to Europe via DC. I can't remember all the pros and cons without googling, but one pro would be the locals wouldn't be able to wind a coil round it and steal some power.

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 9:57 AM

I've never heard that but I assume it would be inverted 1st and boosted along the way

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 10:13 AM

I expect so, it would have to be high voltage/low current for economy (same as AC).

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#24
In reply to #19

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 10:55 AM

We have looked back and due to advances in semiconductor and materials technology HVDC is being used for the transmission of bulk power within the commercial power grids. It actually has lower losses than the equivalent AC transmission lines.

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 11:03 AM

I think George Westinghouse just rolled over in his grave! I'm surprised

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 11:07 AM

Or Edison?

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#31
In reply to #25

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 2:29 PM

Westinghouse? Bah! He made his millions by conning Tesla out of his royalties.

Only about 1 penny per HP on all ac motors.

Edison? Bah! He screwed Tesla out of an agreement when Tesla improved on his DC motor design.

Tesla has probably rolled over many times as he realized the full impact of his genius on the world.

Without Tesla,we would be at least 100 years behind where we are now in technology.

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#38
In reply to #31

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/14/2015 9:12 AM

"Westinghouse? Bah! He made his millions by conning Tesla out of his royalties."

"Edison? Bah! He screwed Tesla out of an agreement when Tesla improved on his DC motor design."

"Tesla has probably rolled over many times as he realized the full impact of his genius on the world."

Yeah, if they ever did a rap battle about Tesla, they'd probably insinuate that he was gay because he let so many guys screw him over.

Oh, wait, Some guys *DID* do a rap battle about Tesla, and it /ROCKS!/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ1Mz7kGVf0

"Epic Rap Battles of History!"

"Thomas Edison!"

"Versus!"

"Nikola Tesla!!!..."

"BEGIN!"

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#33
In reply to #19

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/13/2015 6:07 PM

It was the lack of DC transformers that killed DC...not line loss due to transmission...couldn't get the voltage high enough to reduce the copper lines to a workable size for any distance.....this would have meant a generator facility every mile, and massive copper wires....The AC transformers allowed increasing the voltage for transport over smaller wires for longer distances, saving money and offering cheaper service...

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#37
In reply to #19

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/14/2015 6:03 AM

True. However at least into the 1980s Con Ed maintained at least one generating station feeding the west side of Manhattan in the 80s (street #s) because there were buildings including a library that refused to convert to AC. I don't know if it is still that way, I haven't been around there in years.

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#49
In reply to #37

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/15/2015 3:21 PM

It's not, the DC is gone as is the 25Hz supply for the subway system, though ConEd still supplies steam to local buildings for domestic use.

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#46
In reply to #19

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/15/2015 2:07 PM

I could be wrong (again) but the losses on a 235kV AC line are the same as the losses on a 235kV DC line. I^2 R losses would be roughly the same on both. Difference is making the 235kV to start with. Back in the day if you wanted high voltage the only option was a transformer. There may be a bonus for DC, no phase shift so no power factor correction needed.

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#47
In reply to #46

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/15/2015 3:10 PM

I'm fairly sure the consensus is that DC is more economical for long-distance, that's why it's being reconsidered after being on the back burner for decades. AC gives some radiative losses, but whether that's significant and the reason DC is favoured I wouldn't know. Maybe somebody on the site does.

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#48
In reply to #46

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/15/2015 3:10 PM

Not exactly: each conductor has it's capacitance, using 50/60Hz this capacitance has to be "loaded and unloaded" thus: a current has to go in and out. In theory this current is shifted 90°, so consumes no energy.

But each conductor has a resistance, so the capacitive current will have a resistance to overcome to maintain the AC on the network.

We are talking huge lengths of conductors with huge peak to peak voltages = decent current to simply maintain the AC on an high voltage line, through long lines = quite some losses.

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#50
In reply to #46

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/15/2015 3:47 PM

The losses are lower in DC for a few major reasons; no reactive current to carry, no skin effect so the entire cross section of the conductor is utilized, similarly for a given wire size a higher ampacity, elimination of losses in the transformers required at both ends.

The high cost of the DC terminal/conversion equipment means that there is a minimum economic distance below which AC is cheaper, but the the fact that you can "violate" the rules of synchronization has resulted in short lines being used to connect two transmission networks that are out of phase, with mismatched voltages, and/or different speeds quite easily. Other bonuses include ease of control of terminal power factor and real power flow quantity and direction, all because of sophisticated high power electronics and control systems.

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#52
In reply to #50

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/15/2015 5:27 PM

The Canadian and US grid are connected via High Temp Superconductors,carrying DC.

Also where the EAST-West Grid meet,the AC has to be converted to DC,then reconverted to AC to match phases between the grids.

All long transmission lines have this requirement,so since you have to convert,reconvert anyway, it is cheaper to transmit it in DC.

You don't have phase-matching problems with DC,no matter how long the lines and no XL or XC losses,or self heating losses.

The advent of High Temp Superconductors,near zero resistance, made long distance DC possible.

It is also used for high current short lines,such as to islands.

One off the coast of Japan,and many others.

The savings and advantages are greater than the cost of the refrigeration and special cables.

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/12/2015 9:27 PM

I'm pretty sure wind turbines are designed to harvest horizontal winds.

I remember a crazy posty here that proposed a tunnel dug from the top of a mountain to the bottom with a horizontal shaft driving a huge fan at the outlet.

Who knows? Not I for sure.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/12/2015 10:26 PM

There are cage-type wind turbines on some buildings in Chicago and elsewhere.

The orientation of them is irrelevant.

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#3

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/12/2015 6:53 PM

- At very high wind speeds, typically between 45 and 80 mph, most wind turbines cease power generation and shut down. The wind speed at which shut down occurs is called the cut-out speed. so you need a Goldie-locks spot

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Kimberlite mines and wind power

10/12/2015 7:23 PM

Here we get a lot of those shut down days due to excessive winds and they have been my #1 problem for my small experimental units with trying to use off the shelf blades I have found online.

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#5

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/12/2015 7:42 PM

Power in both directions? That's a novel idea.

All of your justifications for this folly certainly prove that it's an unfeasible non-starter.

Today, I'm just a few miles from a wind farm and the wind is blowing at 30 MPH.

Far faster than needed for optimal power production.

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#39
In reply to #5

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/14/2015 9:26 AM

It may not be feasible to do power generation there due to the transmission distance today.

It may not be possible to make turbines that can survive the wind speeds over that open mine with our current design and building techniques.

But one cannot sit there, looking at this raw, uncontrolled display of sheer POWER and not dream of harnessing it.

'Impossible' is just a code word for 'We're not sure how to do it yet.' We'll, test, experiment, and learn from our mistakes; and one day, what people called 'impossible' will be commonplace. We used to think that this world was so huge that nobody could see it all, even Alexander the Great, who 'Conquered the world' only took over the lands surrounding the Mediterranean. Now, at a moments notice, we can talk to and collaborate with people on the other side of the globe, and have even taken the Ultimate Selfie: every single human being, living or past on, in frame on one photo. Even if we're kind of crowded into the shot so it all looks like a Pale Blue Dot.

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#6

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/12/2015 7:59 PM

I know next to nothing about wind turbines,but I know a little about controls.

It would seem that a variable magnetic clutch on the blade shaft to limit the speed input

to the alternator would solve the problem.

Allow it to "slip" above a preset speed.

Or how about automatic feathering of the blades,like in some aircraft?

Would this work?

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/12/2015 8:45 PM

I think most all commercial wind turbine blades have automatic blade pitch design...

Here's a little one...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgYXZ2R7uMY

It seems you could make an automatically adjusting pitch mechanism with a centrifugal weight system....

http://www.windgreenergy.com/product_info.asp?pid=23

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#14
In reply to #6

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/13/2015 3:53 AM

I may be wrong, but I always assumed the problem with high wind was over-speed of the blades, not the alternator.

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#28
In reply to #14

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/13/2015 12:23 PM

Correct. Most commercial wind turbines are designed to shutdown in high winds by feathering the blades and pointing into the wind, but like any other physically realizable system, there is an economic/material limit beyond which something is going to break. It might be the blades, the shaft, the tower itself, but it is impossible to design a system that will withstand every possible condition and not be prohibitively expensive to build/operate.

It is impossible to have a variable speed clutch/transmission that will accept any input speed and limit the output speed because it would have to dissipate all the excess work/energy as heat, brakes fail for the same reason.

Turbulence is the nemesis of good air turbine design whether its axis is horizontal or vertical; the destructive mechanical forces are lowest, and energy conversion efficiency highest, when the direction of the wind is normal to the aperture of the swept area.

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/13/2015 2:22 PM

Check out this turbine:

Imagine thousands of these lining the mine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5LPmoqvWL0

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#40
In reply to #6

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/14/2015 11:51 AM

Here in Indiana all of the wind farms we have here have a feathering system in place, and can also turn out of the wind if the wind speeds get too much for the blades. It usually is the blade speed that is the issue, the tip speed can get so fast that they will tear themselves apart with high winds. There are several different types of wind turbines that might work in the environment that you are looking at.

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#42
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Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/14/2015 3:29 PM

Would there be an advantage to shortening the blades,instead of feathering them to reduce wing-tip speed? (Probably not,buy I had to ask.)

I realize that this would be harder to manufacture and implement,and the blades would tend to turn at a faster rpm initially but should slow down eventually due to less power being harnessed by them.

A speed sensor array could be placed far ahead of the turbines to allow anticipation of wind speed increase or decrease.

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#44
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Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/14/2015 9:18 PM

You would lose torque with the shorter blades. Most of the wind generator blades can detect the wind from sensors on the top of the towers and react to those sensors very quickly. Also the taller blades mean a taller tower to get them up into clean air and not disrupted air from the surface. They also set them far enough apart so they don't also disrupt the air flow to each other.

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#45
In reply to #6

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/15/2015 8:54 AM

Actually, most commercial wind turbines already have means to both feather the blades and turn the head of the generator to either use the wind,or let it slip past the turbine. I've worked around them, but never worked ON them. Enormous blades!

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#7

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/12/2015 8:15 PM

Brilliant!

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#15

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/13/2015 4:33 AM

With the emerging battery storage systems you could keep the wind running the whole day. Just charge when the turbine is running and drive the propeller when there is no wind. I am sure a couple of Russians had this idea already.

The next step is to fill the hole with water and make a sailor club amusement park out of it. Never mind that this would spoil the wind generation. The cable was never going to be long enough!

Potential there? Seemingly none! Anywhere else? Just dig a hole and find enough diamonds to pay for it - Yes a potential revenue reaper!

Did I mention Vodka?

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#27
In reply to #15

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/13/2015 11:22 AM

I think they could make much more money letting tourists dig for diamonds....

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#29
In reply to #27

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/13/2015 12:23 PM

Like when they say there is a real gold nugget in the pile you just have to find it? Its still a lot of earth to move to make a wind funnel.

Ups what did I just say? Funny funnel!

Cheap workers these tourists paid by 1/4 carat diamonds to make a big hole. Yupp why not!

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#32

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/13/2015 3:21 PM

I'm sitting across the lake from many hundreds of wind turbines in SW Minn. It seems to me that there are many more economically viable sites much closer to the consumers that have not yet been exploited.

The debate of localized vs giant generating facilities still is to be carried out.Somewhere storage and battery technonogy enter into to the picture.

In Minn. we get our electricity from wind. In AZ we get it from Palo Verde Nuçlear facility.

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#34

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/13/2015 10:55 PM

what is the cross section,voltage and current carried by the supersonductor

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#35

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/14/2015 4:42 AM

Wouldn't industry migrate towards sources of low cost power?

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#36

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/14/2015 4:45 AM

Just on the side of the main topic: Did De Beers get a final answer on the high quantity of diamonts the mine supplied in the soviet era?

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#43
In reply to #36

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/14/2015 5:59 PM

I wondered if anyone was going to address the fact that this is called a Kimberlite mine. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am not aware of any applications for Kimberlite.

My understanding is that Kimberlite is mined to extract the diamonds it hopefully contains. I am under the impression that mine classifications are generally based upon the target product coming from the mine; unless, someone would prefer not let the uninitiated realize the real purpose of the mine.

Of course, if no Diamonds are extracted; then, I guess it is truly a Kimberlite mine.

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#51
In reply to #43

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/15/2015 4:11 PM

It's called Kimberlite because the particular geological formation that defines it was discovered near Kimberly in South Africa.

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#53

Re: Kimberlite Mines and Wind Power

10/15/2015 9:42 PM

No fly???

Huge mine shaft?

Military test/experimental zone, DUH!!!

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