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Wind/Solar Combined

11/18/2017 7:47 AM

Would it make economical sense to put solar cells on wind both sides of some turbine blades?

With the storage and conversion equipment already installed,it would seem like a wind-win (pardon the pun) situation.

I realize it would not be as efficient as a ground based tracking solar farm application,but it would utilize an source of energy that is not being used;Speaking of which,what about the land surrounding the turbines?

I would think that the storage and conversion equipment is a large part of each technology,and by concentrating it,it would be more efficient.

I am sure it has been considered and rejected before for reasons that are not apparent to me because I do not know all of the costs vs returns involved.

Any comments?

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#1

Re: Wind/Solar combined

11/18/2017 8:08 AM

The amount of power depends on the area and orientation. Turbine blades don't have much area and probably would not be oriented toward the sun. You would also have the problem with slip rings and brushes to transfer power from the rotating blades. I don't think it would be worth the trouble when you can more easily mount the panels on the ground.

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#2

Re: Wind/Solar combined

11/18/2017 8:51 AM

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#91
In reply to #2

Re: Wind/Solar combined

11/28/2017 5:16 AM

Thanks for answering the question in a very direct and succinct manner,not ranging far and wide with a plethora of pro/cons that range from the sublime to the ridiculous,from the mountain to the molehill.

GA!

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#3

Re: Wind/Solar combined

11/18/2017 9:07 AM

Mount them right on the blades? Would that not wreck the aerodynamics of the blades?

I don't think this would be feasible.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Wind/Solar combined

11/18/2017 11:19 AM

laminate

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#10
In reply to #3

Re: Wind/Solar combined

11/19/2017 4:00 AM

OK, Mount the solar panels on the post [leg] of the wind turbine ?

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#4

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/18/2017 10:52 AM

Turbines follow the wind, not the sun as stated.

Much of the land surrounding wind farms is crop farm land.

Could you fit solar panels to wind turbine blades? | Science Focus

Scientists Develop Solar-Powered Wind Turbine for Ultimate Energy ...

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#6

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/18/2017 1:14 PM

No, there is no advantage in combining these two eco-friendly technologies. People here have already pointed out the disadvantage of attaching solar panels to moving blades, the problem is that there is no mitigating advantage. On second thought I can think of one trivial advantage, leaves and snow cannot cover turbine blades.

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#7

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/18/2017 11:21 PM

Well done, lateral thinking is what sets the best engineers above the also ran. Further developing your thoughts there may be potential to incorporate hybrid renewables in non invasive run-of-river hydro and ram pumps but I dont think you should limit your thoughts to e.g. only considering solar PV. Some renewable Gurus are seeing solar potential with the Stirling engine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_cycle. The Theory of Constraints (TOC) is a methodology for identifying the most important limiting factor (i.e. constraint) that stands in the way of achieving your goal and then systematically improving that constraint until it is no longer the limiting factor. The paradigm is now regarded in international best practice.

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#8
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Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/18/2017 11:49 PM

I agree that this is an "out of the box" effort worthy of applause for effort. Like most "out of the box" efforts it underestimates the many complications for a few specious rewards. But you, tony, are absolutely correct that progress only happens in "out of the box" efforts. But just being "out of the box" doesn't mean they they have to work.

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#9
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Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 12:21 AM

I agree, its not the idea I like as much as the thought process Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” C. S. Lewis. Now that we are finally rid of Mugabe here in Zimbabwe and economic growth is predicted to be phenomenal, I am hoping much of this will be green.

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#14
In reply to #9

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 8:46 AM

I wish you and your country all the best in the coming years. Just be careful during this transition time.

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#11

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 5:06 AM

It would certainly be more compact, but not more efficient. Either your turbines would lose aerodynamics or you will have panels shadowed by the turbines, both cases leading to poor performance.

If you need a compact solution, you would go with nuclear power, as Japan does.

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#37
In reply to #11

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 8:55 AM

Yea!Right!

That makes a lot of sense:Build a nuclear plant on a geological fault line,like Japan.

And they knew these facts before they built it.

How is that working out for them?

And likewise with the 3 Gorges dam;right on a fault line.

Just a matter of time before it fails catastrophically.

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#60
In reply to #37

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 7:35 PM

It's pretty tough to build anything without being in close proximity to a fault line. It also can have very little correlation to recent siesmic activity.

Take Florida for example. Very low siesmic activity in modern times. Now look at this map of faults in central Florida:

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#12

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 6:41 AM

I think it would make more sense to put solar cells on top of the gen housing to power the control mechanisms, to set up the turbine with the wind, just to get it started generating. After that, any excess could be siphoned off for other uses.

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#13

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 8:15 AM

As anyone with common sense knows,the blades in a wind turbine do not track the sun.
Insofar as upsetting the aerodynamics of the wings,advances are being made in flexible solar cells that could conform to the shape and not interfere with their function.Not a perfect solution to be sure,but merely utilizing every available energy source.
With Hydrophobic coatings,they would be self cleaning.
Even though the land around the wind turbines is not used(they require a 10X rotor diameter of cleared land in all directions) the possible future use for solar is still possible.They normally flatten a mountain top to install a wind turbine,and if the geology is favorable,they could shape the terrain to direct the incoming wind toward the turbine,as well as use it to install land based solar;the key advantage being the availability of storage and conversion of the generated power and connection to the grid.
There are also turbines that capture wind energy regardless of wind direction,although I have not seen them used on very large scales.
I have seen solar farms,and there is no available farm land on them.They maximize the usable land area.
Is the present method of mounting a very heavy generator and gearbox at the top the best way to convert the energy?
Have other means been explored?
Perhaps hydraulics pumps on top with hydraulic motors driving the generators on the bottom?It certainly would lower the center of gravity and reduce the cost of the support structure.Some hydraulic pumps have over a 90% overall efficiency.
Another untapped energy source is the flat-topped roofs on all of the commercial buildings,a lot of which are vacant,like abandoned malls.
A perfect spot for solar,IMHO.The grid connection is already there,the surface is already there,and there might even be enough to run the entire building,or at least the lighting load.
I think all commercial buildings should be covered in solar cells.
There would be some engineering and code changes,certainly,but a lot of blacksmiths had to adapt with the advent of the automobile.
I think we are currently in the blacksmith era of energy capture and storage.

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#25
In reply to #13

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/20/2017 12:32 AM

Since you asked for my opinion here it comes:

everything is possible but what would you achieve other than a Solar-and Windpower combination generator that still will only provide intermittent power generation whereever way you turn the machine (into the sun or into the wind or both).

It will not get away with it being unreliable to provide a base load.

It does not add value to either from of generation.

Common sense dictates we need to use more reliable power sources and get away from the idea that Wind and Solar will save this world.

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/20/2017 1:20 AM

In a few years time, when better options for energy storage get discovered, this thread will be fairly pointless.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/20/2017 4:14 AM

In a few years time it is maybe too late!

Then there is this.

And then there still is the problem with the base load, the ability to restart the grid without a rotating mass and so on.

Storage is not the solution to the multitudes of problems associated with the intermittent power generation of these so called renewable energy sources solar and wind.

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#35
In reply to #27

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/20/2017 4:46 PM

".... Storage is not the solution to the multitudes of problems associated with the intermittent power generation of these so called renewable energy sources solar and wind. ..."

.

Okay, I'll bite. Why would cheap large scale storage not be the solution wind and solar require to become more usable sources of electricity? Also, are you implying that wind and solar are renewable in name only?

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#36
In reply to #35

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/21/2017 10:40 PM

Energy as such is not renewable. You of all know that. The power generation devices are, but so is every single one of them.

Oil and gas is "renewable" as well. Because the process that generates it, has not stopped or has it?

Anyway "renewable" is just a buzz word so lets leave that discussion, which throws us off in a tangent.

In your view does storage allow a grid restart or not?

In your view how much wind and solar installations are required to provide:

Baseload and load to recharge all storage systems. It has to do so simultaneously.

If you compare this to a conventional fuel power plant that delivers at its specs GigaWatt to GigaWatt can you explain why we would have to install multiple GigaWatt generators to still only obtain one GigaWatt?

Why on Earth would we overthrow a functional power generations system and replace it with one that does not even have all components ready to go?

We do not have cheap and reliable storage systems yet!

Will I change my mind when we do? Maybe, but not expecting anything in the near future.

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 9:05 AM

Henry Ford did not have all of the technology to build a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria,so I guess he should not have started at all.All progress is based on improvements on the technology from past experience,as is all learning.One must crawl before one walks.We may be in the crawling stage at this point in energy generation and storage,but we are taking baby steps forward,and eventually we will be able to walk and run.Fusion is a possibility,using Helium 3 mined from the moon.H3 is much more powerful than Hydrogen fusion,and does not emit as many neutrons,which tend to destroy the containment structure.Or even putting giant solar cells in orbit and beaming the energy to the Earth as microwaves.Far fetched,I know, but it has been considered by experts.I think the future is bright for clean energy,if we don't destroy ourselves first.

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#43
In reply to #38

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 11:50 AM

I understand that at least one consortium involving Japanese space industry has a plan to build a ring of PV on the moon, and transmit the energy (microwave power) back to earth. I can't wait until that dragon scorches the popcorn patch.

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#46
In reply to #43

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 11:54 AM

My understanding, (which is very limited,)of the process is thus:

It would consist of many low powered beams that would be combined terrestrially to harvest the energy.

A plane flying through a beam would be exposed only a very brief interval and would be unaffected.

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#51
In reply to #38

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 1:09 PM

Solar/wind combined is just a fuzzy idea, while Henry Ford had a vision.

Throwing in multiple other energy generation options confirms there is no vision.

Destruction can come many ways. Getting the clean energy wrong is one way!

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#54
In reply to #51

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 1:26 PM

Every idea started out fuzzy. And every idea can be refined. The real question is what benefit can it provide.

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#39
In reply to #36

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 9:14 AM

Actually, there is evidence that methane is constantly being made at the crust/mantle interface, and is working its way upward. Isn't that good news? It also means we will at some point be very good at carbon capture/recycling.

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#40
In reply to #36

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 9:28 AM

The term "renewable" is used to imply "replaceable in real time". Even if you burnt firewood for fuel, if you burnt a tree's worth in one winter, but it takes 10 years to replace that tree, it's not really renewable because you're using it fast than making it. Fossil fuels will never be considered renewable; once it's gone, it's gone.

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#41
In reply to #36

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 9:38 AM

IdeaSmith:

"Why on Earth would we overthrow a functional power generations system and replace it with one that does not even have all components ready to go?"

"We do not have cheap and reliable storage systems yet!"

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We actually do have cheap and reliable storage systems, they are often called fossil fuels. They are renewable as you observed but not at the prodigious rate at which they were originally deposited. We must slow our use rate to match the rate at which we currently deposit them or risk ultimate exhaustion of the buffer. The easiest way to slow our use rate is adaptive population limiting which will happen whether we do it explicitly or not. If we do not actively choose to do it then physical reality will, and physical reality does not care if that means profoundly unpleasant things(famines, plagues, wars, possibly extinction,...) Real time(as opposed to storage of solar from photosynthesis in fossil fuel) solar and wind(the best of the "renewables") are very low energy density relative to fossil fuels which are the same thing, just stored and compacted by stratigraphy.

The fact that we cannot handle nuclear in real time(3mi.Isle,Chernobyl,Fukushima) without long term and globally fouling our nest is prima facia evidence that we cannot begin to handle the nuclear waste problem with anything resembling our current nuclear technologies. Proof to the contrary IMHO will require extraordinary evidence prior to deployment or we are exhibiting not just a death wish but an humanity extinction wish. Anyone arguing the contrary should be sent with all their descendants to retrieve the melted fuel at Fukushima. Once all their offspring live on site(at Fukushima) to at least 75 on average, my offspring(and yes, I procreated at slightly under replacement rate) will be willing to listen to their arguments(still no rubber stamp) to reevaluate any revival of large scale power generation via nuclear. As far as I am concerned humanity has already been fooled thrice by nuclear advocates(Oh! that was the old nuclear technology) and if we do that again we probably deserve the species-wide Darwin award.

Now, back to energy storage and "renewable" sources. Any measurable offset of the amount of fossil fuel expended due to pumping power into the grid from renewable sources is "energy storage" until you start talking about 100% renewable(excluding fossil). A fully vibrant fossil fuel grid IS the energy storage technology. Renewable energy(non-fossil) has profound energy production density limitations. After all fossil fuels used the entire arable land surface of Earth to bank its energy in its heyday. Photosynthesis efficiency still puts PV to shame if you count resources required to produce and maintain PV equipment. The time spent banking photosynthesis fuels is massive compared to human history. Wind, at least, uses the entire earth surface to collect radiant energy from the sun. Unfortunately, we already see diminishing returns on secondary collection when we place one windmill behind another. Real time renewable energy density just does not have the magnitude required to support even the current world population.

There is but one sane course of action(see Paul Ehrlich ca 1960s). Do whatever works best to smoothly and gracefully reduce and then limit global human population to something way lower than what it is today. All this other gyrating is irrelevant and distracting. Hey Humanity, quit spitting into the wind if you do not want to be visited by your own fecundity blivet !

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#45
In reply to #41

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 11:52 AM

You and somebody will need to convince a lot of other countries to stop making babies so often. My prediction: The entire world will eventually speak Spanish. Just sayin'

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#55
In reply to #45

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 3:07 PM

Looking at long term demographics,(100 years) Europeans do not have enough offspring to sustain them .Neither does China.Their one-child program has gotten them in trouble and once a generation is gone,it cannot be made up.

The makeup of the human race in 100 years will be predominantly India Indian,Hispanic,African,and the dominant religion will be Muslim.

Nothing we can do about it.

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#57
In reply to #55

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 6:08 PM

European Caucasians have probably been the minority human race on this planet since humanity started to interbreed with Neanderthals. So how will European descendants maintain global socio-economic dominance; by the traditional tools of demonization of unbelieving heathens, economic slavery and proxy wars. History doesn't precisely repeat itself but it certainly does rhyme.

I hear your implied message and I'm disgusted.

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#58
In reply to #57

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 7:20 PM

I am not implying anything.I am simply stating the results of a demographic study.It is a fact that ANY SPECIES must have at least 3 offspring to simply break even.

If one of them dies due to accident or illness,the parents have only replaced themselves.

So 3 children per couple is the minimum required to sustain a species or a race of any type,and more increases the chances of species survival.

The facts do not imply anything,and neither do I.

My intent was not to insult or demean anyone,unlike your comment.

Facts are facts.

This is not bigotry,as you seem to imply,it is simply the facts based on current population and birth rates,and the current religious groups by number of members.

Children tend to inherit the religion of their parents,so the statistics speak for themselves.

It is not what you see,it is how you look at it.

I pity those that look for offense everywhere,because they will surely find it,and they will lead a miserable life,finding insults everywhere.

I am not implying,directly,bluntly,indirectly,nor obtusely,that you are such an individual,simply stating my opinion,lest you misinterpret my statement as being directed at you,or that there is some subtle innuendo in what I say.

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#63
In reply to #58

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/23/2017 4:33 AM

Restraining the solution to integers is needlessly coarse. So is ignoring the dynamics of the system.

2.1 or 2.2 babies per female can work to hold or even slowly grow population in developed countries.

Sometimes populations grow unsustainably large. Limiting children per female to less than 2 would be a more human way to get the population to sustainable size, instead of culling of mass starvation.

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/23/2017 7:21 AM

You missed the point:

The die is cast.The results are inevitable.

I do not like it myself, but sadly,facts ( like truth), are not a compromise.

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#66
In reply to #64

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/23/2017 7:57 PM

Perhaps I have missed the point.

I would say that to maintain population (assuming roughly equal numbers of males and females) that the average number of children per female needs to be 2 plus a portion needed to make up for individuals who die before producing fertile offspring.

Unless a full third or more of total offspring do not reproduce viable offspring due to death, infertility, social/religious pressures, conscientious objection, or whatever reason, then that 'plus a portion' does not need to be a full 1 or more.

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#67
In reply to #66

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/23/2017 8:05 PM

I agree here, but I would use an average of 2 children per female. Some would have more, some would have none. But with an average of 2, not all would live to childbearing age, and the population would slowly decline.

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#61
In reply to #57

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/23/2017 4:22 AM

If you believe someone implied something you feel so strongly about, why post anonymously?

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#50
In reply to #41

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 12:33 PM

You should watch the movie "Idiocracy". I think that zero or negative population growth will never be achieved. People have a right to procreate as they will, irresponsible as that may be for many of them.

I believe that what the future holds will render the point moot.

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#59
In reply to #36

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 7:23 PM

Okay, i understand your point about the term renewable. Words are important.

I do favor cleaner/less poluting sources of energy, i.e. solar and nuclear over coal and oil.

I also agree with you that the tech for storage is definitely not advanced enough to allow economical wide spead adoption, yet. Solar and wind have been piggybacking on conventional fuels to the detriment of those power sources. I have hope that storage tech is rapidly advancing and that economical solutions aren't too far off.

As far as having to build excess capacity into the grid, that is going to be necessary whenever there will be variability in production and/or consumption....which means always in a real system. Storage offers the potential to generate power at rates of greatest efficiency vice rates dictated by the vissisitudes of the consumer hoard.

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#70
In reply to #59

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/23/2017 9:00 PM

We always will need storage systems. If they are good and reliable the better. We always will have to provide a base load. Doing this with intermittent power generators while we have continuous ones makes no sense.

The storage needs to be capable to provide the base load as well. Now you have a three times blown up system where one does do.

Coal is by far clean, but we missed about 30 years to make it cleaner. How many new clean power plants could we have had already if we would have started looking at the real problems?

If we were less inclined to produce weapon grade Uranium we could have advanced nuclear power for example Thorium reactors, that could provide a base load.

A solar/wind generator is a toy and we know that everybody loves toys. But thats about it.

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#73
In reply to #70

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/24/2017 6:21 PM

Just so you know, I did not rate you off topic.

I disagree that coal is 'by far clean'. The smallest size ash, the kind most ingestable inhalable is essentially free to spew and unregulate. The heavy metals and even silica are definitely a health negative, but the alpha emitters in the superfine particulate are the most concerning to me.

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#74
In reply to #73

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/24/2017 8:29 PM

Is it not true that the ash from coal burning contains tons of thorium and uranium per megawatt?

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#75
In reply to #74

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/24/2017 9:03 PM

No. Wrong units, wrong decimal point location.

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#77
In reply to #74

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/25/2017 12:33 AM

Coal ash from annual operation of a typical 1GW plant contains around 5 tons of uranium and 7 tons of thorium.....each having a long trail ofhigh energy alpha emitters...which isn't so much of a concern when it is in bulky form as we tend not to breath or swallow a whole bunch of gravel or pebble size rocks....and alpha radiation does a whole lot of damage in only a very limited range...so limited it won't usuallymake it througb your dead skin layer.

....but as a fine breathable ingestable particulate, and that short distance damage becomes problematic as the damage hits the same area and the body has to keep repairing and growing replacement and rebuilding and fixing and tumor and repairing and cancer and....

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#97
In reply to #74

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/04/2017 12:03 PM

There is about 1 ppm uranium in "average" coal in the U.S. If the ash content is exceedingly low, the uranium (oxide) in the ash may be quite high, and the ash markedly radioactive, compared to the average dinner plate.

Your figure estimation of the amount of tons (extensive property) compared to power (intensive property) is thoroughly useless and irrelevant. If you had stated 1 MW-hr, then we could further talk about this, and I would tell you that you are still wrong by many orders of magnitude in the ridiculous direction.

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#102
In reply to #97

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/04/2017 10:53 PM

See post #77 by truth is not a compromise. I messed up the power! 5 tons of uranium and 7 tons of thorium per 1000 MW annually. This is not irrelevant, because all this radioactivity is released to the environment. Just another reason to make the switch to fast nuclear.

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#104
In reply to #102

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/05/2017 10:47 AM

No, it is not all released to the environment, I call Bullshine on that, since the EPA closely regulates particulate emissions (of fly ash) from coal-fired establishments.

1000 MW running for one year: 8766 hours, 8766 GW-hr of energy, equivalent to approximately 500 tonnes per GW-hr as "average" coal. In the US, in 2008, reported coal use was about 1,042,335,000 tonnes (that is metric tonnes, not American tons).

Yes, there will be some release of thorium and uranium enhanced in the fly ash, but >99% of that is removed from exhaust gases before leaving the plant.

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#105
In reply to #104

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/06/2017 1:14 PM

1% which is the very smallest particulate is still a lot....and being the smallest it is the mkst dangerous, most easily inhaled/ingested.

Alsp, saying that the remaining 99% is closely regulated suggests a level of supervision and containment that really isn't there. The ash collected is usually dumped into open beds not protected from rain and often without so much as a liner. Accidental release of large amounts occurs occasionally and steady release of leached toxins happens continuously.

This stuff has concentrated levels of mercury, thallium, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and lead, as well as some more valuable metals (that aren't quite as bad, but not really good for you either).

The EPA has been cajoled into not even classifying this stuff as hazardous waste. This allows it to be used not only for reasonably safe things like as a component of some building materials, but also for much less idea uses such as a soil amendment when it can easily contaminate food.

The point is we should be building nuclear reactors.

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#106
In reply to #105

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/06/2017 1:36 PM

I agree with your statements, especially the last sentence to the fullest extent.

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#78
In reply to #73

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/25/2017 12:55 AM

I agree you to disagree, because I did not mean it is clean, I meant to say it is by far not clean. Hence I suggested that we failed to make it cleaner. No need to clean something, that you intend to bring to the rubbish tip. Right?

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#52
In reply to #35

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 1:10 PM

One more answer:

because it is not sustainable!

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/22/2017 1:21 PM

Does that mean that water reservoirs are not a solution to anything? It doesn't rain all the time. But, we use water all the time. That's not "sustainable" either. If it doesn't rain again, it will go dry. But, that doesn't mean they're worthless.

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#79
In reply to #53

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/25/2017 1:01 AM

No it does not mean that.

If you can capture the wind and use it later you might have a point here. Else I think its just mind play.

Of course if you mean to run the turbines with solar power to make wind if there is none, then its a fools errand.

If you want to make the point with your water reservoirs (which btw is storage) then compare them to a seawater desalination plant. If you had the choice to wait for rain or have water available when you need it, what would you do? Both get stored in your reservoir!

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#81
In reply to #79

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/25/2017 7:27 AM

I meant that if you produce electricity from wind/solar when you could, and stored that energy for the time when wind/solar was not available, that would make it more functional/practical. What's so hard to understand about that?

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#82
In reply to #81

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/25/2017 10:30 AM

I think you need to go back and read my arguments again. Maybe my English is plain wrong but I understand exactly what it means. I thought that was clear!

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#83
In reply to #82

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/25/2017 10:49 AM

Okay. Maybe I did misunderstand you. But I would like to address this:

"....the ability to restart the grid without a rotating mass and so on." Why wouldn't stored solar/wind energy provide that solution? That could start a mass rotating, or start what whatever else needs to be started. You don't have to rely on 100% solar/wind. But, it sure would be useful for a lot of things.

"Storage is not the solution to the multitudes of problems associated with the intermittent power generation of these so called renewable energy sources solar and wind." Why not? What problems are you talking about? I'm a fan of renewable energy. And, I'd like to work out the bugs.

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#84
In reply to #83

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/26/2017 7:21 AM

Lets look at the logic:

You have a black out, you need to restart the grid, you want to use electricity to start rotating the mass that provides you with your basic sin wave, but you have a black out! See where this is going?

Now you want to use the energy storage that you drain while you have the black out to feed the net. So you have to keep batteries out of the grid that you need to rotate your mass once you are ready to restart the grid.

To give you a perspective of storage capacities, try to calculate how many car batteries it takes to keep your home running for a 2 hour blackout.

Or just find out how many minutes the biggest Tesla battery ever, keeps the South Australia grid running in case things go pear-shaped. Will it be able to deal with this one?

Calculate how much the tax payers there, have to shell out, to get two hours worth of power storage plus grid restart security.

If you ever want to be successful with Wind and Solar to reduce base load needs, you best look at island solutions run by your solar, wind backed up with batteries that do not upset the major grids and if the storage is empty does not cause major concerns.

There is ample options to do this, but running industries, cooling your food, keeping this world turning you will need continuous, reliable, sustainable and affordable energy. Solar and wind does not fit!

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#85
In reply to #84

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/26/2017 8:38 AM

Well, I totally agree that solar/wind by itself is inadequate. But that doesn't mean it's totally useless. There's a big need for it in a lot of places. You might as well use it for something else, too, since it's going to be available anyway.

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#88
In reply to #85

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/26/2017 10:29 PM

Sure it is available and everything has its place. But if you look carefully there is an attempt to make solar and wind the main power source of this planet.

Of course it makes sense and even in some bigger schemes where it complements existing energy production options. But its is the least favourable choice to build an entire network from.

I know of island solutions where the only other option to produce electricity is diesel. The transport costs alone make you scream for help. This is where solar is perfect if you have sun in abundance.

Again I am not saying its useless, I am saying that it is not the form of energy generation that we should use to supply our base load.

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#86
In reply to #84

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/26/2017 10:46 AM

You are presenting a completely unfair bias against an ecologically friendly power source.

  • No single fossil fuel plant can alone provide all of the power of any interconnected grid.
  • No single fossil fuel plant is perfectly reliable. Entropy still rules the universe. (Translation: Everything fails.)
  • No fossil fuel plant is self sustaining. By definition, they require fuel to be imported for consumption.
  • The economic cost of fossil fuel power is presently low only because of the present abundance of fuel to consume. The perceived affordability is illusory, for the environmental costs are rarely included in financial decisions.

In short, no single power source fits all of your our requirements. Singling out any one source as not fitting everywhere to imply failure is unfair.

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#87
In reply to #86

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/26/2017 10:23 PM

You are funny. I am presenting an unfair bias...

Hahaha!

If anything is unfair here then it is the reality that gets over the wishes of the fans of "renewable" energy.

You lost me at "no single". Who ever told you so, it was not me.

You will change your mind on last point once you see what the secondary mining boom for resources to build the renewable energy network will do to this planet.

I never said a single power source will fit everything. I am saying that building a sustainable, reliable, load bearing net work with intermittent power sources such as wind and solar cannot be done.

If it is unfair to make that point then it is dishonest to say the opposite.

I'd say my stance is hard but fair!

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#89
In reply to #87

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/26/2017 11:47 PM

I think that we are actually all in agreement but disagree basically on the unstated assumptions each of us hold. I am not advocating that fossil fuel plants should be immediately torn down for windmills and solar cells. But to say renewable power cannot produce large amounts of electricity ignores the multi-gigawatts of Grand Coulee and Hoover dams. I am also well aware that many hydroelectric power designs have been poorly implemented, for instance many of the TVA small dam projects wreaked far more environmental damage than an equivalent coal powered plant.

I strongly disagree that it is impossible for a power grid to be predominantly run by renewable sources, the Isle of Eigg is doing this now. This is a very small grid, with diesel backups so it is not without any fossil fuel power. However these diesels run only after a day's worth of battery backup has drained away. At the same time your "island" caveat is exactly what this Scottish Isle exemplifies. (I wonder if they've investigated a bio-diesel supplier?)

I am also saddened by your dismissal of wishes. While wishes often delude, they also are the only way progress starts. I, for one, do not want humanity to stagnate on old technology just because it works today. Nor do I want us to choke ourselves from the waste of that technology. I recognize the advantages and improvements we have gained along the way from using the old technologies. This is what progress is all about. Let us continue to progress.

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#90
In reply to #89

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/28/2017 12:25 AM

Redfred, I never said that "renewables" cannot do so. I said that intermittent power sources and in particular wind and solar, are not the choice to provide a base load.

And then you talk about diesel back up. Diesel to my knowledge is the most expensive way to generate your power compared to any other fuels sources. How we sell this as affordable is anyones guess.

Have a look at this interesting combination: Hydro power backed up by diesel.

Read the headline?

I cannot see any benefit this world being run by deluded wishes, I'd rather have it run towards an achievable and sustainable goal.

Running ahead without a plan is not progress, knowing where you need to be before you advance is.

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#98
In reply to #86

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/04/2017 12:08 PM

This is a good answer, and some very great engineers over time have agreed. Thus we have some of all the above, and will continue to do so, in the foreseeable horizon of time.

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#99
In reply to #94

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/04/2017 12:13 PM

So is that battery of Tesla's (Elon Musk) worth 100 MW (for an indefinite period of time, no mean feat), or 100 MW-hr (another milestone accomplishment), or 100 Mw-min, or 100 MW-s?

I would like to stand back (cleverly) and watch that operate from safe distance.

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#109
In reply to #99

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/07/2017 10:52 PM

I think its about 6 minutes support for the network. It will need much more than that to call it a viable backup for a small state like South Australia is.

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#95
In reply to #53

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/04/2017 11:53 AM

Water management and the Khmer_Empire

Start with the Khmer Empire, and then see what happens when erosion lowers the courses of their river feeding to the main city and the temple at Angkor Wat.

This is clear, the people managed to produce abundance of rice, and buy all the iron they needed from neighbors (at Iron Mountain). The water ran out, and they all got weak, and the Siamese conquered them. The rest, as we say, is history.

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#101
In reply to #95

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/04/2017 8:31 PM

You present a very interesting example. However if one has to go back more than seven centuries to claim a nearly seven century old empire fell from reservoir misuse then water management by the use of reservoirs sounds easier to accomplish than to screw up. (Also the proffered Wikipedia link states that the ecological breakdown is just a recent theory to explain this empire's collapse.)

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#103
In reply to #101

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/05/2017 10:37 AM

It truly did not collapse on its own, just got weak enough the Siamese Empire could take them over. Then it was back to jungle for the once sprawling metropolis and the temple grounds.

I am not sure the Khmer Empire mismanaged the water resource at all, rather than over several centuries (longer than we Americans have been managing water by far), they thrived, and slowly some erosion took place that resulted in loss of control, and without irrigation in the dry season, they fell back to having only one, or none rice crops due to possible flooding also, then starved down in the fifteenth Century to the point the Siamese could over run them.

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#107
In reply to #26

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/06/2017 11:46 PM

Oh, one thing I failed to see.

If we are going to have better options for energy storage, will we not be better of using them together with permanent generation to offset the peaks?
This would still be more efficient than juggling demand and unreliable production.

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#108
In reply to #107

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/07/2017 8:58 AM

I think eventually we will catch on to the idea that molten silicon (and anything else thermal like it) will have the ultimately highest energy density (and compactness of energy storage in a totally safe package), with the means to extract and inject energy with no moving parts. It will truly be a revolution in energy when we finally master the thermal photovoltaic aspects of energy extraction from molten silicon. Many MW-hr with minimal acreage consumed, no moving parts (except maybe a contactor??).

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#110
In reply to #108

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/08/2017 5:19 AM

That would be something, or the illusive Thorium reactor, with radioactive waste that last less than what comes from the current nuclear power plants.

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#111
In reply to #110

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/08/2017 9:45 AM

Thorium cycle does have an advantage in producing much less transuranic waste, but transuranics none the less cqn be expected to be produced in significant quantities.

It doesn't last any less time, but there is appreciably less of long lived radionuclides.

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#112
In reply to #111

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/08/2017 10:01 AM

My understanding has been that the waste does last a much shorter time as well as being much less volume, because the highly radioactive and long-lived transuranics have been burned (actually fissioned) by the fast spectrum of neutrons to produce more energy.

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#113
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Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/08/2017 10:17 AM

Transuranics do occur far less often. For thorium there need to be five neutron captures with no resulting fission each at a small probability compared to likelihood of fissioning to yield transuranics likely to have some remain as waste. U238 requires just one such capture without fission and it is a larger probability relative to thorium.

If the fuel is solid, burnup will not be complete with any current tech of which I am aware.

If on the other hand, continual processing with separation is being done on. liquid fueled system, that is another game all together. Making something workable and affordable for continual processing extraction isotope separation under high gamma flux is going to be quite an impressive feat. When that is ready it could offer the possibility of reinserting all transuranics for burning.

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#114
In reply to #113

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/10/2017 11:23 PM

Well there is some grands needed for research and development.

If talking about clean energy, maybe there is a way in a new direction.

Should be promoted more.

Thorium is lower atomic number than Uranium and Plutonium. Are you suggesting that there is some sort of fusion going on in a Thorium reactor? Or in a nuclear reactor at all? I thought it was all fission?
I guess time to read up on it!

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#115
In reply to #114

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/11/2017 3:57 AM

"... Are you suggesting that there is some sort of fusion going on in a Thorium reactor ...."

Absolutely!

Neutron capture isn't typically what one thinks about for 'fusion', but for the purposes of yielding elements of higher atomic number (with the assistance of beta decay, typically β- ) starting from elements of lower atomic number and a neutron flux, then it definitely fits the bill.

Mind you this reaction isn't what is being depended upon for the heat in a Thorium reactor, but it is absolutely essential for currently modeled thorium reactors. Thorium itself is not fissile. It is fertile. So in a neutron flux, fertile Thorium becomes (not one step) Uranium 233 which is fissile and as you note also has a higher atomic number.

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#117
In reply to #115

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/12/2017 12:47 AM

Interesting, thanks!

Read up on the basics of it. Will have to do more reading, seems if we tackle this bit we will not have to talk much about wind and solar anymore.

But some good storage would be good to have!

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#116
In reply to #110

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/11/2017 2:30 PM

The idea is to get to a fission reactor where all the waste fuel, so-called spent fuel that is only fractionally spent is burned up, and many of the "hot" by-products as well.

The fuel refinery by-pass loop of these molten salt reactors is there to clean up gases like Xe out of the cycle, but other isotopes that have value added can also be removed and put to work for the benefit of mankind.

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#118
In reply to #116

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

12/13/2017 10:04 PM

Just removing xenon from the fuel would improve burn up tremendously. Being a gas, that is low hanging fruit for a liquid fueled reactor.

The other refinements are going to be challenging from the radiation aspect alone. I do hope someone comes up with a clever solution soon, but not holding my breath.

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#33
In reply to #25

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/20/2017 1:31 PM

Common sense dictates we need to use more reliable power sources and get away from the idea that Wind and Solar will save this world.

Ditto. I'm in favor of fast nuclear as a lot of you know. It can produce continuously, and it is about 100 times better than thermal nuclear.

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#31
In reply to #13

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/20/2017 9:59 AM

How about we attack the problem this way (also out of the box)?

  1. The airfoil must be efficient if the system will work well when winds are sufficient.
  2. There used to be wind turbines (for wind mills that pumped water) known as eclipse wind mills, that had radial slats mounted on a horizontal axis rotor. Not the highest torque efficiency, but also not bad in the middle to lower wind speed range.
  3. PV now exists (at least in researchville) in many forms including "paint on". Paint the rotor slats of an eclipse turbine. Good luck with those pesky connections.
  4. Mount the turbine on a gymbal system so that the item will self-power its orientation to solar normal (for the slats, not the turbine rotor disk plane), or near it, only when wind power is not available (and the sun is above 10 degrees in the sky).

Maybe if you instead used VAWT (Savonius rotor), and paint the convex sides of the drums with PV paint. OR consider having a system that basically unfurls the solar panels only when wind is dead, then orients the plane of the turbine to intercept sun's rays. As wind is incident, the system would furl the solar panels and get underway within minutes.

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#15

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 9:11 AM

Well, it seems it's not so far fetched.

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#19
In reply to #15

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 3:47 PM

Um, this was a 2013 April fools day joke.

From the article

However the team has faced problems. Early computer simulations found that the turbine mounted solar panels would cause blinding beams of light to shoot out across the surrounding area. There was a real concern that the turbines could potentially blind aircraft pilots as well as anyone living in the vicinity.

Not just that, but on a particularly hot day the turbines would generate ‘lethal’ solar rays that could set buildings on fire if concentrated

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#34
In reply to #15

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/20/2017 2:03 PM

Really? From a Dr. Joe King, get it?

How about we just paint a hydrogen balloon with solar panels, and turn it loose up there? Oh snap, the expansion problem. Oh snap, the panels only work on the side pointed at the sun. Oh snap, maybe they weigh the thing down too much.

Oh snap, how to connect it.

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#16

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 12:19 PM

No, it wouldn't make economical sense. That's why no-one is doing it.

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#17

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 3:02 PM

"....With the storage and conversion equipment already installed, ...."

Not sure what exactly you are imaging here, but there isn't much that fits that bill which might be shared between solar and wind power.

Moreover, even if there were 'storage amd conversion equipment' already installed, it would be sized to meet the needs of the existing power production. There wouldn't likely be much if any excess capacity of which to take advantage.

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#18

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 3:06 PM

As in other comments, I like your lateral thinking--keep it up. But, as others have said, it isn't very practical. Among other things, adding solar cells to the blades would increase their weight, thus the design load on the tower. Solar cells on the blades would prevent the cells from being aimed at the sun, thus cutting their efficiency drastically.

Another post mentioned putting the heavy electricity generator at the bottom, with a hydraulic pump at the top. Interesting, but a question: In the design of the tower, what load controls the design? The weight of the generator and gearing, assuming it is balanced above the tower, will cause no moment load on the tower--until deflection happens, then there will be PΔ moment. I suspect, without experience in such things, the lateral load on the blades will predominate in the design. Can others verify this? There would also be seismic lateral loads to consider.

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#20

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 4:10 PM

Unfortunately not practical in this case.

There are plenty of reasons why but one of the biggest is the blades need to flex, rotate and are carefully designed, constructed and balanced to ensure optimal efficiency, safe operation in high wind and ice build up conditions and lowest possible noise.

The blades are incredibly sophisticated for what they are and if you stand next to a wind turbine under low high and no wind load you can literally see the blades change shape along its length and flex backwards.

Even adding thin film solar panels would effect the blades and blade noise to an extent that would render any potential energy harvesting gains and would likely break due to the flexing they experience under normal operating conditions.

I had pics from an actual site showing this but they won't upload sadly.

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#32
In reply to #20

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/20/2017 1:16 PM

Yes, I can now post those photos from site - no air flow over turbine blades compared to moderate airflow through blades.

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#21

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 6:43 PM

You could make a giant scoop that gathered wind and forced it vertically to turn a flat pivotally mounted fan that tracked the sun, with the entire assembly able to rotate to catch the wind from any direction....then you could cover the blades with photovoltaic panels....

Oh,,,it's been done....whatya know....

..."Dr. King said, “While we are no strangers to windy weather here in the UK, it can be intermittent in other regions. Solar panels may only be useful here during our ten days of summer or an occasional heatwave, but in countries such as Morocco, Italy and Spain they could make a real difference.”

However the team has faced problems. Early computer simulations found that the turbine mounted solar panels would cause blinding beams of light to shoot out across the surrounding area. There was a real concern that the turbines could potentially blind aircraft pilots as well as anyone living in the vicinity. Not just that, but on a particularly hot day the turbines would generate ‘lethal’ solar rays that could set buildings on fire if concentrated.

“The last thing we want is for our turbines to cause plane crashes and fires, so we’ve devised a ‘tinted’ solar panel that doesn’t reflect sun beams. Our early prototype looked like a massive disco ball when it is was operational, but our solution now prevents that.”

The team is now deciding where to install their prototype solar wind turbine. “Due to the poor amount of sunlight in the UK, we’re definitely looking abroad,” Dr. King said. “Personally I believe an ideal place would be Ireland. It’s close by, has strong winds, wonderful summers, plus my family live there so I can go visit!” Expect the solar wind turbine, dubbed the “Heat Waver”, to be set for a summer installation in a few months. “We still have several tests to run,” Dr. King said, “but we are confident we can transform the world’s renewable energy needs. Just think what our turbines could do in countries like Australia.”"...

https://inhabitat.com/scientists-develop-solar-powered-wind-turbine/

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 8:20 PM

Again, see post #19 - this was a 2013 April fools day joke.

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#23
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Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 9:19 PM

Fake news, Yeah they say it's an April Fools day post......just poking around anyway you never know when you might hit something useful...

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/19/2017 9:29 PM

Admittedly the photo and article tag has the words "April Fools", so its hardly hiding the fact.

Besides, you expect April 1st to have some fake news, just not the rest of the year.

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#28
In reply to #21

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/20/2017 4:57 AM

I looked up the patent number on the Envelox,and it is registered to Theodor Seuss Geisel.

(Dr Seuss). Registered date 4/1/41.

I thought it looked familiar!

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/20/2017 8:45 AM

Biomimicry

Prairie dogs beat the Envelox in both date of initial deployment and in value of practical application(subterranean home ventilation and dehumidification.) Cover these with solar cells and prairie dog towns could enjoy some additional electrical appliance conveniences(FLIR coyote alarm?,...) @ !

thewildΩtter PS: The @ is an abalone.

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#30

Re: Wind/Solar Combined

11/20/2017 9:43 AM

Yes, there are comments. No, there is no advantage to be gained by this whatsoever.

Spinning PV around just makes the panels dizzy.

Complicated connection scheme. It is just a waste of time and money.

Better spend the turbine aerofoil money on structural integrity of the blades.

Put the PV on the ground near the wind turbine if you must, but it is safer to place it elsewhere, in case the tower or a blade fails.

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