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Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

Posted February 26, 2013 3:34 PM

From Science 2.0:

Activists love wind power the way they once loved ethanol and natural gas - it is good until scientists show them it is not.

Claims that there is no upper bound for wind power, that it is scalable because gusts and breezes don't seem likely to "run out" on a global scale, are not based on reality. And neither are claims that the generating capacity of large-scale wind farms is unlimited.

A paper on mesoscale atmospheric modeling in Environmental Research Letters instead found that each wind turbine creates behind it a "wind shadow" in which the air has been slowed down by drag on the turbine's blades. The ideal wind farm strikes a balance, packing as many turbines onto the land as possible, while also spacing them enough to reduce the impact of these wind shadows. But as wind farms grow larger, they start to interact, and the regional-scale wind patterns matter more.

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#1

Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/26/2013 6:15 PM

Brilliant! Just brillinat. "each wind turbine creates behind it a "wind shadow".

It took them 50 years to figure this out?

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/26/2013 10:10 PM

Well it took someone 50 years. Perhaps he should have actually talked with a wind farm engineer first.

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#6
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Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/27/2013 8:45 AM

Yeah, but only 'cos they didn't ask a sailor.
Give 'em another few years and they'll figure out why you can't put solar panels one behind the other.
Del
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#7
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Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/27/2013 11:05 AM

Another revelation presents itself on the same site.

Totally OT, but hey check it out. It seems that lying about how much we drink isn't just an American trait.

Alcohol Sales In England Far Higher Than Self-Reported Consumption

I wonder if clandestine kitty imbibing might account for some of the difference?

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#2

Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/26/2013 9:40 PM

As any good farmer knows don't plant only one crop and don't put all of your eggs in one basket.

Wind is just one of multiple energy sources and a the moment what I see in not an issue with what one single energy source should power the world but rather what combination fit which locations and environmental conditions.

Wind, Solar, Hydro Electric, Geothermal, Tidal, Pumped Storage, Bio fuels, and each represents it own positives and negatives and I don't feel that anyone should or will ever be the only power source.

Then add in the other stuff that the guys like me don't have any issue with such as Oil, Natural Gas, Coal, Nuclear, Garbage, Tires and so forth and there is plenty of energy to go around for everyone!

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#4

Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/27/2013 12:38 AM

The story is astroturf by fossil fuel trolls. Note there are no numbers, thus no way to compare needed energy with available energy, even if there are such losses due to wind shadow.

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#5
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Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/27/2013 8:29 AM

The story is astroturf by fossil fuel trolls.

Even one minute's worth of reading would have shown this opinion to be completely ludicrous. I guess you didn't like what was said - maybe it didn't fit your narrative on energy politics - so you decided to do some trolling yourself.

The research paper cited in the article was by UNC Charlotte's Amanda S. Adams and Harvard University's David W. Keith. Here is some info on both researchers from their websites.

David Keith has worked near the interface between climate science, energy technology and public policy for twenty years. He took first prize in Canada's national physics prize exam, won MIT's prize for excellence in experimental physics, and was listed as one of TIME magazine's Heroes of the Environment 2009. David's academic appointments are at Harvard where he serves as the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. David divides his time between Boston and Calgary where he serves as President of Carbon Engineering a start-up company developing industrial scale technologies for capture of CO2 from ambient air.

Adams, an assistant professor of Geography & Earth Sciences in College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at UNC Charlotte, is lead author on the paper. Adams also is a faculty fellow with UNC Charlotte's IDEAS (Infrastructure, Design, Environment & Sustainability) Center and is affiliated with the university's Energy Production & Infrastructure Center (EPIC.) She is a member of the American Meteorological Society's Energy Committee and a member of the Leadership Board of the Earth Science Women's Network. Adams' primary research interests focus on mesoscale phenomena, processes, and modeling with an emphasis on phenomena that involve boundary layer processes and/or topographic influences. In recent years, she and her research group at UNC Charlotte have focused on the link between small-scale processes and climate, particularly at the atmosphere and earth surface interface. Her research group concentrates primarily on question at the interface between energy, weather and climate.

(Bold emphasis mine.)

...and you called them 'fossil fuel trolls'.

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#8

Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/27/2013 3:00 PM

I am surprised this is news. The comment about asking a sailor is priceless.

A time honored tactic in sailboat racing is "stealing the wind" or taking the wind off of your opponents sail. This is talked about in every running of the America's cup at great length, and again during the Olympics so its hard for me to wrap my mind around this being "news" to supposedly educated people. Do they live under a rock? Is that why they have "only recently discovered" this phenomenon? Do we have a compartmentalization problem or what?

In any case, it is a highly effective tactic that can be used at a suprisingly long range. The "shadow" of a racing sail is a long one.

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#9
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Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/27/2013 4:57 PM

I have an opinion, based on what I've seen - but it's just an opinion: People who have been promoters of wind power (as with any kind of sales pitch) have tended to overlook some of the little details that make it less efficient than claimed by those Big Bold Numbers in their glossy brochures. Furthermore, they've been selling these systems to enthusiasts who want to believe those Big Bold Numbers.

Then after a while, disappointment sets in among the enthusiastic crowd, who begin to wonder why they aren't seeing the power outputs they were hoping for. That's when the scientists and engineers show up with the bad news. It's not news to the scientists and engineers, of course, but it's news to the enthusiasts. Reality, as they say, bites.

This is not a judgment upon the intelligence or honesty of any political group. A similar series of events occurred with the 'WMDs' during the Bush-43 administration. They wanted to believe Iraq had stockpiles of WMDs, and they listened to everyone in the US and other countries who supported that claim. The thought that Saddam Hussein was mostly bluffing never crossed their minds. (Only a few caches of stuff were ever found.)

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#10
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Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/27/2013 5:23 PM

Of course the one hysterical / historical caveat to the WMD debacle was the only WMD's they found were the ones Reagan sold Saddam to use on the Iranians.

Ah, but there's that pesky reality thing again eh? ROFL!

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#19
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Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

03/03/2013 3:17 AM

'....the Bush-43 administration........ wanted to believe .........and they listened to everyone in the US and other countries....... The thought that Saddam Hussein was mostly bluffing never crossed their minds....'

.

ROFLMFAO!

Stop! STOP! I can't breathe! You are killing me with this.

WHeeeew!

OK, I'm better. Just warn me next time you are going to make seemingly serious statements about Bush-43 'listening' or 'wanting to believe'.

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#11

Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/27/2013 6:28 PM

I pay $.09 USD/kWh in Hendricks Minn. for electricity. (Even though I'm never there to enjoy it)

Hendricks is located 3 miles north of Buffalo Ridge wind farm.

I have to think that the wind farm helps lower my electric bills.

I'm paying a little over a penny here in the desert, but much of my electricity comes from Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station 90 miles away.

In Arkansas, where we get our electricity from hydro, I pay a cent and a half.

Go figure.

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#12

Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/27/2013 6:55 PM

Oh, I am willing to bet the family farm, and my neighbourly wind farm too, that the builders were in full possession of ALL RELEVANT DATA, before the first or the fifth mill went up. But, if the starry eyed idiot er investor of other people's money does not want to know? Hey, why should a selfrespecting salesman push bad news? Let the, er, investors have fun, while they can.

The activist sheeple complains about their heads ierked this way and that way, and a third way? Why? Are they really, really that mindless?

This site at least has some ornery characters with their own head screwed on solid. Normally they are wrong IMHO, and frequently out of their gourds. But at least their opinion is theirs. And at times they are right, and entertaining to boot.

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#13

Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

02/28/2013 9:27 AM

I worked on this project for a bit at Boeing Aerospace. We built it, broke all kinds of records, dismantled it. Overall evaluation by the team (at that time) was that it would not be cost effective over a 20 year span.

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#14
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Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

03/01/2013 3:29 AM

it would not be cost effective over a 20 year span.
That sounds like accountant speak...
Heck the damn thing's up... use it. It's more cost effective to take it down???
Ok. I know it was just built there for experimental purposes... but with some forward planning it could have gone some where useable...
IMO we are ruled far too much by funny money and bonkers accounting.
Del

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#15
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Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

03/01/2013 8:36 AM

gone some where useable..
AFAIK its sitting in boxes in a warehouse in Renton Wa.

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#16
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Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

03/01/2013 9:06 AM

Down the 101st aisle, turn left just past the Arc of the Covenant?
Del

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Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

03/01/2013 9:13 AM
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#18
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Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

03/01/2013 3:35 PM

No it was dismantled in 1987 and sold for scrap....

"During the early 1970s, Boeing Engineering and Construction Co. took a world leadership role in the design and development of large wind energy systems.

The federal wind energy system was initiated in 1973 by the National Science Foundation and absorbed in 1977 into the Department of Energy (DOE). Its goal was to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of wind power.

The same year Boeing won the NASA and DOE contract for design, fabrication, construction, installation and testing of 2500-kilowatt wind turbine systems. The first four of these, designated MOD-2, went into action during the early 1980's. Three were started up during a dedication ceremony April 17, 1980, at Goodnoe Hills, about 13 miles east of Goldendale, Wash. Sept. 2, 1982, a fourth began operating at Medicine Bow, Wyo.

The Bonneville Power Administration bought output of the Goodnoe Hills machines and integrated it into the regional power grid through lines owned by Klickitat County Public Utility District. By May 1981, the three machines working together at the Goodnoe Hills site became the first "wind farm" in the world.

In April 1982 Boeing completed its first wind turbine for a commercial customer, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. of San Francisco, and erected it in Solano County, northern California.

The Goodnoe Hills site was primarily a research project for Boeing, Bonneville Power Administration, NASA and Battelle Northwest Laboratories. The Solar Energy Research Institute also evaluated the suitability of megawatt-size wind turbines as a source of electricity.

The MOD-2 wind turbines of Goodnoe Hills were running through 1986 and then dismantled. In 1985, the last full year of operation, the combined electrical output of the three turbines was 8,251 megawatt-hours -- enough to power about 1,000 average Northwest homes for a year. Project manager Peter Goldman called the five-year, $55 million research project "an absolute success." The Medicine Bow MOD-2 wind turbine was sold for scrap metal in 1987 and dynamited over."

https://www.boeing.com/history/products/mod-2-mod-5b-wind-turbine.page

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#20
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Re: Rethinking Wind Power As The Latest, Greatest Thing

03/04/2013 9:14 AM

I just helped build it. As in many projects there when the initial work is done and you have completed your assignments , you move on to the next project.

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#21
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AUG 2013 $$$ Wind Power As MGWH per 10000's of dollars

08/21/2013 10:29 AM

AUG 2013 $$$ Wind Power As MGWH per 1,000's of dollars ?

if I take the $ 150,000 quoted as the denominator and 100 MWH claimed for 11-12 mph areas, Northern States in the 'air' however wind is averaged per year (they have some tracking)

I get 2/3 or .67 Yrly-MWH / $1,000.oo .

8300 MWH / $55,000 of thousands of dollars (55 million)

a .15 MWH/$1,000 's - respectively, annually per the post.

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