Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Give up on Wind Farms they are useless Watch

    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Just because a generation source isn't carbon neutral doesn't mean it doesn't offer a reduced carbon intensity compared to other types of generation. Let's not forget that all generation sources will require a significant amount of energy (and therefore CO2 production) in their construction, but wind, unlike fossil fuels doesn't produce CO2 when generating. We are unlikely to be able to completely decarbonise generation, but we can reduce the amount of CO2 emitted per kWh.
    I was slightly hesitant when making the comment that lead to this one as it's been three years since I read the report (and I can't find it anywhere) but as I recall the implication was that some (very large) turbines contribute so much to emissions of CO2 that total emissions would be lower if the energy they produce had been produced by a fossil fuelled station, in which case there's clearly no benefit. However I don't have anything to back that up so please don't ask me to!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)

    Your question also seems to presuppose that we can always substitute one form of generation for another, which isn't always the case. Nuclear is not a peaking plant technology, it is a base-load technology and something that I see as essential for the UK's energy mix. Fossil and wind (when available with the right modifications) can be used as peaking plant and in that application you can't replace that with nuclear (ccs may actually stop fossil plant being able to bid in for the high flexibility markets).
    Wind turbines arent appropriate for peak power supply either as you cant guarantee there is wind at the same time as peak power demand, whereas nuclear power is clean enough to run in excess the majority of the time and with the construction of more pumped-storage hydro electric plants can deal with peak power needs as well without the problem of will there be wind when needed, not to mention there are no CO2 emissions from nuclear either, and the power stations are nowhere near as big a blot on the landscape as wind farms!
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    I was slightly hesitant when making the comment that lead to this one as it's been three years since I read the report (and I can't find it anywhere) but as I recall the implication was that some (very large) turbines contribute so much to emissions of CO2 that total emissions would be lower if the energy they produce had been produced by a fossil fuelled station, in which case there's clearly no benefit. However I don't have anything to back that up so please don't ask me to!
    I can't really see how that's possible tbh unless someone is doing some cheating by just looking at very narrow boundary conditions on the fossil plant.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    I can't really see how that's possible tbh unless someone is doing some cheating by just looking at very narrow boundary conditions on the fossil plant.
    As I said, I was hesitant to mention it as I can't back it up and it's been a long while since I read the report. Thinking a little further it may have been relative to nuclear power production, rather than fossil fuelled, but the point was more that there is a substantial carbon cost to wind turbines so they're not the magic cure to carbon emissions some environmentalists seem to believe them to be, as I'm sure you realise.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by wn4)
    Wind turbines arent appropriate for peak power supply either as you cant guarantee there is wind at the same time as peak power demand, whereas nuclear power is clean enough to run in excess the majority of the time and with the construction of more pumped-storage hydro electric plants can deal with peak power needs as well without the problem of will there be wind when needed, not to mention there are no CO2 emissions from nuclear either, and the power stations are nowhere near as big a blot on the landscape as wind farms!
    Wind is used for peaking in most European countries including the UK. You are right in that it is not dependable, but when it is available it is usually much cheaper than rousing a CCGT.

    Where would you build all this pumped storage in the UK? Not to mention where you would site that large increase in nuclear power stations to provide over 100% of demand (compared to around 20% at the moment) and who would fund that level of investment (£4 billion per plant approx.).

    I'd say it's highly debatable whether the public would find an onshore nuclear power station less of an eyesore compared to an offshore wind farm.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    As I said, I was hesitant to mention it as I can't back it up and it's been a long while since I read the report. Thinking a little further it may have been relative to nuclear power production, rather than fossil fuelled, but the point was more that there is a substantial carbon cost to wind turbines so they're not the magic cure to carbon emissions some environmentalists seem to believe them to be, as I'm sure you realise.
    Absolutely, but they are one of a mix of technologies that can go towards reducing our carbon intensity in the UK. If there is one country that can maximise the potential of wind, it is the UK. We have a huge offshore wind resource and we have a demand profile that is highest in winter.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by littleshambles)
    Hey, you know what else kills birds?

    Oil spills and deforestation! :awesome:
    I was going to say sparkling clean double glazed windows, but that works too.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dumachi)
    Geothermal Plants seem the best free energy, weakness is they aint cheap to setup
    Sorry if someone else has mentioned this, but you can only build geothermal plants in areas of active magma flow, usually constructive plate margins, so not the UK.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Wind is used for peaking in most European countries including the UK. You are right in that it is not dependable, but when it is available it is usually much cheaper than rousing a CCGT.
    Wind is really a sort of parasite on the rest of the grid. It doesn't increase total generation as such but rather allows some of the fossil grid to be intermittently displaced by carbon neutral generation. What the use of this will be when the baseload has to be made carbon neutral is unclear; the subsidy farmers do not much care, of course.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)

    Where would you build all this pumped storage in the UK? Not to mention where you would site that large increase in nuclear power stations to provide over 100% of demand (compared to around 20% at the moment) and who would fund that level of investment (£4 billion per plant approx.).
    You say the price at £4 billion, its actually £2.8, ~40 nuclear power plants would be needed to provide more power than the entire potential production the UK currently has, that is £112 billion, to provide build enough turbines with an equivalent power output would cost £240 billion, and nuclear power is also cheaper to produce by about 15-20% than wind power so cost isn't really a valid point in this.
    And nuclear power stations are easier to screen than wind farms as having lots of nearby trees isn't an issue, as for off shore, they are even more expensive to build and the electricity produced costs even more once they are made.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ----------)
    Sorry if someone else has mentioned this, but you can only build geothermal plants in areas of active magma flow, usually constructive plate margins, so not the UK.
    Better give Southampton council a ring and get them to shut down the geothermal plant that's been running there for 25 years then. Also you could save Cornwall a lot of money if you get them to cancel their geothermal projects!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Well, all energy systems are regulated based on a range of issues; cost, supply, environmental, etc. I don't really see ROCs and feed-in tariffs as any different to environmental permiting for coal and gas stations - they are a regulatory framework that makes more expensive, but more environmentally friendly generation economic.
    You use the term "more expensive" very freely... like a rich person who doesn't need to count the pennies.

    I detect an underlying current in your posts that you don't really see the need to reduce carbon intensity in our generation network - if you don't accept that then you won't accept any of the methods for achieving that.
    You're trying to change the subject. This discussion is about Wind Farms; specifically how useless they are at generating electricity for the grid. I'm pro- investment in technology.


    Do you want a serious debate or not?
    Your position that Wind Farms aren't useless deserves to be mocked... for the sake of all the poor children who go cold this winter, and in future winters.


    Whether wind farms are economical or not is dependent on the regulatory framework they operate in, as is the case for all generation technologies. Nuclear isn't really economic in the terms that governments have always had to cover risk for nuclear build in the UK in the past and the fact is that the government's statements on not doing that in the future has caused nuclear development to grind to a halt.
    Excuses, excuses. The fact is unless we get Goldilocks Weather, when the wind blows at just the right speed Wind Farms don't have a product.

    As for your strange link between government tax policy and feed-in tariffs I'm not sure what you want people to say? Do feed-in tariffs lead to a regressive tax system? No. Can you have feed-in tariffs and progessive taxation? Yes. Why bother raising that point?
    It was an observation that the phrase "feed-in tariffs" suggests the movement of £s from point A to point B; where point A is the purse of an old granny shivering in her living room next to ancient books she is burning for heat and point B is the pockets of rich landowners (among others whoprofit from the Wind Farm industry).


    As for energy prices - we have the lowest in Europe and prices are in real terms lower than they were during nationalisation.
    This thread is not about energy prices. What I will say is this: Wind Farms raise the price of energy. That you are not denying.

    People just aren't really aware of the massive imbalance that causes in the system. Energy companies can't invest in other generation technologies because they can't leverage capital and can't justify them in the current market. Stopping building wind won't mean that we build more of other technologies at all.
    They hire smart graduate students don't they? They'll think of something.

    You need a lot of energy to make any large-scale generation asset, it can't be used as a reason to bash wind alone. The simple fact is that wind is going to come a hell of a lot closer to carbon neutrality than coal or gas ever will. We have to take advantage of that benefit in a balanced generation mix.
    This thread is not about carbon neutrality. It is about whether Wind Farms are useless or not.

    The comparisons with solar are valid and important in this discussion. To be honest it is really telling of your lack of understanding of how a regulated market works that you seem to think that wind is something special when it is just the last technology that is given government support in order to promote its use (after mineral oil, nuclear, etc. etc.).
    Why? They don't produce electricity when the wind doesn't blow and they kill rare birds. Wind Farms are useless. Surely the Landowners, Bankers, Engineers and Industrialists have had enough money from us for this scam.

    Like I've said before, wind can be a part of a lower carbon energy mix for the UK. We need to ensure that we have the right balance so that we can maximise on the benefits of wind whilst not suffering too much from the disadvantages (i.e. intermittancy and the need for back-up generation). I've seen a range of business models that can achieve this in the future, however none of them have anywhere near the very large 38% renewables target that the UK has obligated itself to within the EU.
    I have got the impression you are sold on this and have all the statistics to support your case at your fingertips. Yet none of them explains how Wind Farms produce electricity when there is no wind.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by wn4)
    nuclear power is also cheaper to produce by about 15-20% than wind power so cost isn't really a valid point in this.
    Quite optimistic for wind here, since those figures ignore intermittency mitigation.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hilux)
    Quite optimistic for wind here, since those figures ignore intermittency mitigation.
    As December 2010 showed, the "intermittency" can last up to four weeks - historically, 3 months. In the meantime the coal, gas and nuclear power stations would have to take the strain. What, therefore, is the point of Wind Farms? When Wind Farms are needed, they are nowhere. Bonkers.

    Their one big effect is killing the poor who can no longer afford to heat their homes because the price of energy has gone up because the industry has to subsidise Wind Farms.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by twl)
    You use the term "more expensive" very freely... like a rich person who doesn't need to count the pennies.
    I'm not particularly pro wind farms, but you devalue valid arguments by spouting such utter crap at other times. Wind farms are capable of providing electricity to the grid, and over a range of wind speeds (by the way, a little earlier you said gusts of wind could come from any direction - utter rubbish). Whether they're an efficient and cost effective way of doing so is certainly debatable, but most of your comments have shown an ignorance of how turbines work and an inability to debate the matter rationally.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    I'm not particularly pro wind farms, but you devalue valid arguments by spouting such utter crap at other times. Wind farms are capable of providing electricity to the grid, and over a range of wind speeds
    The frequency of visible light has a narrow range on the electromagnetic spectrum.

    (by the way, a little earlier you said gusts of wind could come from any direction - utter rubbish).
    Not simultaneously! Just quicker than the fan can adjust. For example, water spouts, gust fronts, microbursts, not to mention damaging effects of ice storms and polar lows on the structures.

    These are natural weather phenomena that do not just occur in North America and nowhere else.



    An ice storm could fell an entire Turbine Forest in a single swoop.

    Ice storms are rare in the UK, but the worst incident was in January 1940, during the Second World War. It was the coldest winter for a century when, on January 27, a savage ice storm swept much of southern Britain. The landscape seemed to be encased in glass, trees looked like frozen waterfalls, and the ice weighed them down until they broke and smashed to the ground. “Beech trees could be heard crashing down all night,” reported one witness in Hampshire. “The splintering of the ice casing made even more noise than the rending of the wood, like broken glass.” The iced leaves of evergreen shrubs made a noise like castanets as they rattled in the wind. Birds fell from the air, their wings iced over in mid-flight, and frozen pheasants and rabbits could be caught by hand.

    Whether they're an efficient and cost effective way of doing so is certainly debatable, but most of your comments have shown an ignorance of how turbines work and an inability to debate the matter rationally.
    Your contribution was one paragraph in length. If you want to discuss further some of the irrational statements I have made and my incredible ignorance of Wind Farms, go right ahead. Suggested topics: Rare bird kills; Wind Farms require electricity from the grid; Wind Farms are disruptive to the grid; Wind Farms don't produce electricity when there is no wind.

    Enlighten me.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by twl)
    The frequency of visible light has a narrow range on the electromagnetic spectrum.
    And? Is that just meant to be irrelevant or some comment on wind ranges?


    Not simultaneously! Just quicker than the fan can adjust. For example, water spouts, gust fronts, microbursts, not to mention damaging effects of ice storms and polar lows on the structures.These are natural weather phenomena that do not just occur in North America and nowhere else.
    Incidence rate? You can't simply pick out rare events and use them to discredit an entire technology. I have spent thousands of hours sailing, inshore and offshore, and I've never, even in the most horrific locations for swirling gusts (London docklands - massive turbulence caused by warehouses), come across a change of wind direction so sudden a turbine wouldn't be able to cope with it. When significant windshifts do occur it's normally during the transition in dominant pressure systems, such as when a sea breeze kicks in, and normally are characterised by a drop in wind speed followed by several minutes calm then a build in strength from a new direction. Nothing that can't be coped with.




    An ice storm could fell an entire Turbine Forest in a single swoop.
    An earthquake could destroy an entire thermal power plant in a single swoop, but it doesn't mean it's likely to happen. Your example of an ice storm in the UK was 70 years ago. In any case, wind turbines do have deicing elements in them - it's one of the reasons you criticised them.

    Your contribution was one paragraph in length.
    Actually I've made a few posts.

    If you want to discuss further some of the irrational statements I have made and my incredible ignorance of Wind Farms, go right ahead. Suggested topics: Rare bird kills; Wind Farms require electricity from the grid; Wind Farms are disruptive to the grid; Wind Farms don't produce electricity when there is no wind.

    Enlighten me.
    OK then.
    Rare bird kills: solved by painting turbines a different colour. A study was recently conducted that concluded that insects are attracted to the colour of wind turbines, and birds then fly into the turbines whilst hunting the insects. Google purple wind turbines for more information.
    Wind Farms require electricity from the grid: Only when not generating. When generating they still draw power to energize the stator, and need to do so in order to maintain frequency synchronization with the grid as they use asynchronous generators, but the net power output is positive - if it wasn't the turbine is disconnected. Of course at transition speeds careful control needs to be exercised to ensure that the field of the rotor doesn't lag the stator.
    Wind Farms are disruptive to the grid: Elaborate. I didn't actually cover this in my studies, but bearing in mind that wind doesn't often appear or disappear unexpectedly, and that wind farms in different areas of the country are unlikely to change state at the same time, and power supply from them can be anticipated and managed. In any case it's a problem the energy industry appears to have coped with so far.
    Wind Farms don't produce electricity when there is no wind: No, but again this incidence is low. Just looking through my notes on availability shows that based on statistical analysis of wind speeds at a site a turbine with a PPO of 620kW will generate 17GWh of electricity in a year. Of course then there is also energy storage possibilities - pumped storage, flywheel etc.

    I'm not even particularly pro wind turbines, as I said before. I think there are plenty of valid arguments against them, but to simply state 'they're utterly useless' and similar doesn't strengthen those arguments at all.
    Personally I think an interesting avenue would be using wind turbines as pumps for hydroelectric systems, which would substantially buffer their output, and different turbines could also be optimised for different wind speeds so when it's blowing a hooley that vast amount of energy can be utilised.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Incidence rate? You can't simply pick out rare events and use them to discredit an entire technology. I have spent thousands of hours sailing, inshore and offshore, and I've never, even in the most horrific locations for swirling gusts (London docklands - massive turbulence caused by warehouses), come across a change of wind direction so sudden a turbine wouldn't be able to cope with it. When significant windshifts do occur it's normally during the transition in dominant pressure systems, such as when a sea breeze kicks in, and normally are characterised by a drop in wind speed followed by several minutes calm then a build in strength from a new direction. Nothing that can't be coped with.
    These structures are complex technology that are rooted to a particular position for, perhaps, 20 years. Rare events would be "normal" over a period of this length.

    An earthquake could destroy an entire thermal power plant in a single swoop, but it doesn't mean it's likely to happen.
    Sounds like a good reason not to build them on fault lines.


    Your example of an ice storm in the UK was 70 years ago. In any case, wind turbines do have deicing elements in them - it's one of the reasons you criticised them.
    Rare event when they happen on a huge scale as in 1940 but localised freezing rain events happen most winters. There was a freezing rain event last January near Portsmouth.

    De-icing might not be enough cope with a large ice storm.

    The turbines require electricity from the grid to heat the blades. If the power-lines have been bought down by high winds/ice then the ice can build up.

    Rare bird kills: solved by painting turbines a different colour. A study was recently conducted that concluded that insects are attracted to the colour of wind turbines, and birds then fly into the turbines whilst hunting the insects. Google purple wind turbines for more information.
    Golden Eagles don't eat insects. It's not just the colour, it's the change in air pressure. Even if they changed the colour, that would merely reduce the death count from high to not quite so high.

    And what about the bats?

    Bats are at risk from wind turbines, researchers have found, because the rotating blades produce a change in air pressure that can kill the mammals.

    Wind Farms require electricity from the grid: Only when not generating. When generating they still draw power to energize the stator, and need to do so in order to maintain frequency synchronization with the grid as they use asynchronous generators, but the net power output is positive - if it wasn't the turbine is disconnected. Of course at transition speeds careful control needs to be exercised to ensure that the field of the rotor doesn't lag the stator.
    That sounds complicated. Too complicated.

    I have a post earlier which shows Wind Farms require electricity from the grid for at least eight parts, from heating blades down to a light on top. All these require grid electricity when the Wind Turbine itself is not producing electricity.

    You can also use grid electricity to spin the blades for fun. This provides the operator with a temptation to flick the switch to "on" just to give the impression the Turbine is producing electricity. (This isn't relevant for Wind Farms in rural locations).

    Wind Farms are disruptive to the grid: Elaborate. I didn't actually cover this in my studies, but bearing in mind that wind doesn't often appear or disappear unexpectedly, and that wind farms in different areas of the country are unlikely to change state at the same time, and power supply from them can be anticipated and managed. In any case it's a problem the energy industry appears to have coped with so far.
    In December the Wind Farms produced about 0.5% electricity the grid supplied... not hard to cope with that because it's nothing. That's the main problem.

    Firms paid to shut down Wind Farms when the wind is blowing.

    The National Grid fears that on breezy summer nights, wind farms could actually cause a surge in the electricity supply which is not met by demand from businesses and households.

    The electricity cannot be stored, so one solution – known as the ‘balancing mechanism’ – is to switch off or reduce the power supplied.

    ...

    Whereas coal and gas power stations often pay the National Grid £15 to £20 per megawatt hour they do not supply, Scottish Power was paid £180 per megawatt hour during the test to switch off its turbines.

    It raises the prospect of hugely profitable electricity suppliers receiving large sums of money from the National Grid just for switching off wind turbines.

    For letter word beginning with "s".


    Wind Farms don't produce electricity when there is no wind: No, but again this incidence is low. Just looking through my notes on availability shows that based on statistical analysis of wind speeds at a site a turbine with a PPO of 620kW will generate 17GWh of electricity in a year. Of course then there is also energy storage possibilities - pumped storage, flywheel etc.
    December 2010: 0.2%. Essentially Wind Farms were of no use when we needed heat and were sucking electricity from the grid a lot of the time to heat their blades.



    I'm not even particularly pro wind turbines, as I said before. I think there are plenty of valid arguments against them, but to simply state 'they're utterly useless' and similar doesn't strengthen those arguments at all.
    I've made a distinction between Wind Turbines and Wind Farms. There could be applications for single Wind Turbines. Wind Farms are useless. They are state-subsidised pocket money to large land owners from the tax payer, business for industrialists, something for bankers to get involved in, and projects for engineers. They do not help the poor, the old and the students who would like funds to go into technology projects that have a long-term future with a realistic potential for expansion.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by twl)
    These structures are complex technology that are rooted to a particular position for, perhaps, 20 years. Rare events would be "normal" over a period of this length.
    No, they wouldn't.




    Sounds like a good reason not to build them on fault lines.
    Sounds like a good reason not to build them on fault lines where ice storms are common. Like the UK.



    Rare event when they happen on a huge scale as in 1940 but localised freezing rain events happen most winters. There was a freezing rain event last January near Portsmouth.
    And yet none of them have brought down a turbine. Freezing rain near Portsmouth? Must have been pretty damn localised as I lived 20 miles away from Portsmouth until recently and wasn't affected. Nor did any of my (many) friends living in Portsmouth mention it, and I didn't see evidence of it on the seven or eight times I was in Portsmouth that month.

    De-icing might not be enough cope with a large ice storm.

    The turbines require electricity from the grid to heat the blades. If the power-lines have been bought down by high winds/ice then the ice can build up.
    If, might, maybe. You've not presented any evidence of this. All these hypothetical scenarios you're suggesting which are both rare and haven't caused turbine failures to date.

    However, that's not to say that turbines are immune from failure. There have been several instances where blades have suffered catastrophic loss of structural integrity - the very first thing I wrote in this thread was a link to a turbine destroying itself due to brake failure. There's certainly been more than one occurrence of that. Fires occasionally break out in the turbine and due to their height above ground there is very little that can be done other than to let them burn themselves out.

    Golden Eagles don't eat insects.
    No, but they eat birds that do.
    It's not just the colour
    The colour doesn't have any effect on birds. It attracts insects, and they in turn attract birds. If the birds aren't attracted to the turbines they're not going to be affected by them, are they?
    it's the change in air pressure.
    The link you posted about bats said that isn't an issue for birds.
    Even if they changed the colour, that would merely reduce the death count from high to not quite so high.
    Your idle speculation.

    And what about the bats?
    That'd be the insects attracting them again.

    That sounds complicated. Too complicated.
    What sounds complicated? You're just showcasing your ignorance. There's nothing difficult about any of that.

    I have a post earlier which shows Wind Farms require electricity from the grid for at least eight parts, from heating blades down to a light on top. All these require grid electricity when the Wind Turbine itself is not producing electricity.
    It doesn't matter how many parts require electricity, it's the quantity of electricity required. There's 12,000 people using electricity in the town I live in, but one factory uses more power than all of them together. The important issue is whether the turbine produces more power on average than is required to run it, which they do. A 4 stroke engine saps power for 3 strokes, but the 1 power stroke more than makes up for that.

    You can also use grid electricity to spin the blades
    I mentioned this in my last post, and it's why the transition from sub-generating windspeed to production windspeeds needs to be carefully managed, to ensure that the wind is driving the rotor rather than slip. Or are you not familiar with the technology involved?
    This provides the operator with a temptation to flick the switch to "on" just to give the impression the Turbine is producing electricity.
    Yeah, I'm sure that a wind farm company is going to pay for the electricity to make turbines turn. :rolleyes: Not that I'm saying that a turning turbine is necessarily producing electricity, but you can simply de-energise the stator fields and thus massively reduce the drag on the rotor to make the blades turn. You don't need to use electricity.

    (This isn't relevant for Wind Farms in rural locations).
    Fixed

    In December the Wind Farms produced about 0.5% electricity the grid supplied...
    ... because at present there's limited installed capacity
    not hard to cope with that because it's nothing. That's the main problem.
    Ok then, what is the problem they present to the grid? The grid is already capable of dealing with transient loads and surges, and as I said they're not entirely unpredictable.

    For letter word beginning with "s".
    It's a problem with wind turbines. I've said at least twice I'm not particularly in favour of them.

    December 2010: 0.2%. Essentially Wind Farms were of no use when we needed heat and were sucking electricity from the grid a lot of the time to heat their blades.

    No, that was at one instant in December. In any case, there's not much installed capacity. The first nuclear station would have carried very little of the load, but it doesn't mean they're useless.


    I've made a distinction between Wind Turbines and Wind Farms. There could be applications for single Wind Turbines. Wind Farms are useless. They are state-subsidised pocket money to large land owners from the tax payer, business for industrialists, something for bankers to get involved in, and projects for engineers. They do not help the poor, the old and the students who would like funds to go into technology projects that have a long-term future with a realistic potential for expansion.
    Thermal power is cheap because it's well understood. However, it's not sustainable (at least using fossil fuels) so R&D is taken into account when setting tariffs, as well as an incentive to change over. In any case I'm not out to defend wind turbines, but there are so many holes in many of your arguments that the good arguments suffer.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    And yet none of them have brought down a turbine. Freezing rain near Portsmouth? Must have been pretty damn localised as I lived 20 miles away from Portsmouth until recently and wasn't affected. Nor did any of my (many) friends living in Portsmouth mention it, and I didn't see evidence of it on the seven or eight times I was in Portsmouth that month.
    I saw it on a precipitation-type radar.

    If, might, maybe. You've not presented any evidence of this. All these hypothetical scenarios you're suggesting which are both rare and haven't caused turbine failures to date.
    These are reliability questions you don't ask about regular power-stations that actually produce electricity.

    However, that's not to say that turbines are immune from failure. There have been several instances where blades have suffered catastrophic loss of structural integrity - the very first thing I wrote in this thread was a link to a turbine destroying itself due to brake failure. There's certainly been more than one occurrence of that. Fires occasionally break out in the turbine and due to their height above ground there is very little that can be done other than to let them burn themselves out.
    Interesting that you mention the brake. The hydraulic brake requires electricity from the grid. It's a realistic scenario that seriously high winds that make the brake necessary - to stop the turbines spinning for their own safety - might also bring down power-lines and cause a power cut. The brakes would be released again and all the Wind Turbines would be at risk of spinning out of control.

    No, but they eat birds that do. The colour doesn't have any effect on birds. It attracts insects, and they in turn attract birds. If the birds aren't attracted to the turbines they're not going to be affected by them, are they?
    There is youtube video which shows a predatory bird getting killed. It has nothing to do with the colour of the turbine.

    The link you posted about bats said that isn't an issue for birds. Your idle speculation.
    It works in a different way for birds. The change in air pressure makes the air near the fast-spinning blade rough. The instability can draw birds toward the turbine.

    Watch this - no insects involved.



    Hear the crack? It happens thousands of times a year - multiple times a day. There's a bird genocide going on. It's got to stop.

    It doesn't matter how many parts require electricity, it's the quantity of electricity required. There's 12,000 people using electricity in the town I live in, but one factory uses more power than all of them together. The important issue is whether the turbine produces more power on average than is required to run it, which they do. A 4 stroke engine saps power for 3 strokes, but the 1 power stroke more than makes up for that.
    Wind Farms aren't suitable for providing power to a large number of customers because the demand is variable and the supply is variable. With regular power-stations the demand is variable but the supply is dependable.

    As I said... not arguing a specific use cannot be found for a Wind Turbine, just their use in Wind Farms is useless... nothing but a scam.


    ... because at present there's limited installed capacity
    Doesn't produce up to its installed capacity... the graphic I had showed 0.2% when there is capacity to provide 10%. "Capacity" is a headline figure that is not matched by actuality.

    It's a problem with wind turbines. I've said at least twice I'm not particularly in favour of them.
    Would you therefore agree Wind Farms are useless? We're not discussing individual turbines.

    In any case I'm not out to defend wind turbines, but there are so many holes in many of your arguments that the good arguments suffer.
    You've not shown my arguments are seriously flawed. At worst, it sounds like you are gold-plating the basics that I am laying down about the uselessness of Wind Farms.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Will you be richer or poorer than your parents?
    Useful resources

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.