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 Wind Energy

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PostSubject: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:18 am

Global Wind Energy Council - 240 GW installed globally by 2012
http://www.gwec.net/

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

ISET - Institute for Alternative Technologies

LIST of wind energy associations worldwide

Eirgrid

Commission for Energy Regulation

http://www.thewindpower.net/index_en.php


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:45 pm; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : added 7th link)
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:37 am

Very keen on wind wave and water energy, but I don't have the answers to all the stuff about grid compatibility and so on. All information (idiots guide leve) is appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:46 am

I'll try to build up a bit of info on it as I don't really understand a lot of the stuff about limits on the grid that get mentioned either. I came across the above site - global wind energy council - from browsing a thread in the Environment section on www.politicsforumpoliticalworld.com. A lot of the posts by someone called "Slartibartfas". No relation of ours I suppose...
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:53 am

I got distracted by the site aesthetics... a bit like a 1950s jukebox.
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:24 am

This is a great topic. When I get time I will read up more on the 2 turbines in Hull with 4 more to be built at sea. The wind energy in Ireland is far greater than here. The energy situation in Ireland is very exciting. I saw a headline today saying the ESB was investing I think 22 billion over some time frame. I must read that piece. They of course will want to keep their monopoly. I don't have figures but I suspect that a lot of energy is wasted through resistance while pushing electricity over long distances. This might be stone-age thinking. If each parish had a few turbines the distances would be short and the voltage lower I presume. There is also the effect on one's health from living near these high voltage crosscountry lines.
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:36 am

The two types of current AC and DC are suitable for different reasons (a turbine should be able to produce either) - AC is used mainly because it is easy to step-down from large voltages to lower household-usable and safe currents.

DC is not so easy to step-down but there is very little resistance over long distances as far as I know. Apparently it's part of what's known as the 'current wars' where Edison and Nikolai Tesla were both plugging the different currents about a century ago and Tesla (now also an all-electric car) won with AC - alternating current as opposed to direct current.

Engineers for Airtricity are starting to look at the possiblility of using Direct Current over long distances now as it has the appropriate application in terms of resistance...
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:10 am

I thought Tesla was the dc man and he lost. A t the risk of sounding more conspiratorial than usual he was screwed by Rockefeller. Much more to come after I refresh my memory
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:13 am

Mechanical Universe - Tesla, Edison, Westinghouse - Alternating v. Direct Current



Last edited by Auditor #9 on Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:13 am

On the subject of AC/DC(no, not the band!), didn't Edison try to show that AC was dangerous by electrocuting an elephant with it? A sick man that would do a thing like that deserves to lose a format war.


Last edited by Ard-Taoiseach on Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:14 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling was fawlty!)
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:30 am

Well they do say an elephant never forgets
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:51 am

youngdan wrote:
Well they do say an elephant never forgets

That's it, and I bet it would have fecked up Edison's expansion hopes into India as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:26 am

Audi, where did you get this stuff ? There's a few truths and a few clangers.

Auditor #9 wrote:
The two types of current AC and DC are suitable for
different reasons (a turbine should be able to produce either) - AC is
used mainly because it is easy to step-down from large voltages to
lower household-usable and safe currents.

A turbine only produces AC. It can be subsequently converted to DC, but
this is very expensive and introduces huge inefficiencies.

The resistance of a cable is a function of the cable, not the format of
power being transmitted across it. i.e. the resistance is independent
of AC or DC transmission.

Quote :
DC is not so easy to step-down but there is very little resistance over long distances as far as I know.

DC cannot be stepped down. Well it can , but requires electronic based
switching techniques to simulate AC, which again introduces cost and
power loss. AC has the magical natural property of being able to
produce alternating magnetic fields, which is the basis of transformers.

Quote :
Apparently it's part of what's known as the 'current wars' where
Edison and Nikolai Tesla were both plugging the different currents
about a century ago and Tesla (now also an all-electric car) won with
AC - alternating current as opposed to direct current.

I never heard that before. But one reason why AC won is because of it's suitability for power distribution.
The national grid in Ireland operates at 110,000 Volts. I think it's
440,000 V in the US. Electrical power is transmitted across the country
at this voltage to substations which step it down locally to 38,000V or
10,000V, and then further to 220V for domestic use or 380V 3 phase for
industrial use.

The reason the initial transmission voltage is so massively high is to reduce power loss. See Ohm's law. But I can explain this more if you want.


Quote :
Engineers for Airtricity are starting to look at the
possiblility of using Direct Current over long distances now as it has
the appropriate application in terms of resistance...

Link ? That sounds like pyjamas to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:40 am

cactus flower wrote:
Very keen on wind wave and water energy, but I don't have the answers to all the stuff about grid compatibility and so on. All information (idiots guide leve) is appreciated.


My baby brother works for the esb and gave me the low down. In his view - as far as I recall, it's almost more expensive to channel the power from wind turbines offshore than the energy produced is worth; something to do with the cable and the fact that there has to be power going to the turbines and there has to be some way to balance up when there is reduced power coming from the turbines in calm weather. I'll check with him again over the weekend but that's the general gist, as far as my non-science brain can recall.
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:49 am

Kate P wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Very keen on wind wave and water energy, but I don't have the answers to all the stuff about grid compatibility and so on. All information (idiots guide leve) is appreciated.


My baby brother works for the esb and gave me the low down. In his view - as far as I recall, it's almost more expensive to channel the power from wind turbines offshore than the energy produced is worth; something to do with the cable and the fact that there has to be power going to the turbines and there has to be some way to balance up when there is reduced power coming from the turbines in calm weather. I'll check with him again over the weekend but that's the general gist, as far as my non-science brain can recall.

Yeh. Check again Kate, and what's all this non science brain stuff ? Everyone has a science brain.
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:08 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Kate P wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Very keen on wind wave and water energy, but I don't have the answers to all the stuff about grid compatibility and so on. All information (idiots guide leve) is appreciated.


My baby brother works for the esb and gave me the low down. In his view - as far as I recall, it's almost more expensive to channel the power from wind turbines offshore than the energy produced is worth; something to do with the cable and the fact that there has to be power going to the turbines and there has to be some way to balance up when there is reduced power coming from the turbines in calm weather. I'll check with him again over the weekend but that's the general gist, as far as my non-science brain can recall.

Yeh. Check again Kate, and what's all this non science brain stuff ? Everyone has a science brain.

Think of Benjamin Franklin for inspiration
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:02 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Audi, where did you get this stuff ? There's a few truths and a few clangers.

Quote :
Engineers for Airtricity are starting to look at the
possiblility of using Direct Current over long distances now as it has
the appropriate application in terms of resistance...

Link ? That sounds like pyjamas to me.

Ah, somebody who actually knows what they are talking about ! I wrote it all from memory of reading the below article which I came across not in Worldwide Wind Energy Weekly but The Economist

http://www.economist.com/science/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=9539765

Also, the youtube video I posted above there explained a fair bit to me too. And it wasn't Airtricity's engineers who are looking at the potential of DC current but some researcher called Jurgen Schmidt of ISET an Alternative Energy Institute in Kassel, Germany.

If you want to explain anything I'll soak it up like a sponge. There is a lot of jargon to absorb around electricity - ohms, amps, watts, volts etc. but it's coming together gradually in my brain. I'm also thinking of putting together a real-life project on solar power if anyone is interested! If you have any ideas of that I'd be all ears too but that's for a month or two on.
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:08 pm

Kate P wrote:
My baby brother works for the esb and gave me the low
down. In his view - as far as I recall, it's almost more expensive to
channel the power from wind turbines offshore than the energy produced
is worth; something to do with the cable and the fact that there has to
be power going to the turbines and there has to be some way to balance
up when there is reduced power coming from the turbines in calm
weather. I'll check with him again over the weekend but that's the
general gist, as far as my non-science brain can recall.

Has he got a computer and access to the internet and time?

This could be to do with AC current - there is (apparently) a big loss through heat so DC current is being explored. And I never thought of it before but you need a certain amount of current always going to the turbine too for control and readings etc. It's rare but the odd day there is no wind to turn the turbine so does it still use a little electricity?
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:37 pm

Auditor #9 wrote
Quote :
This could be to do with AC current - there is (apparently) a big loss through heat so DC current is being explored. And I never thought of it before but you need a certain amount of current always going to the turbine too for control and readings etc. It's rare but the odd day there is no wind to turn the turbine so does it still use a little electricity?

I checked this out today - and surprise, surprise, my non-science brain hasn't let me down too badly.

In order for turbines to be a realistic source of power for the ESB, they would need to have them in far greater bulk. Small groupings - especially those offshore are very expensive to run.

There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly the cable is extremely expensive - far more expensive than the equivalent cable used onshore. Secondly there always has to be power running to the turbines to keep the cable charged - so even when the turbines aren't producing energy, the cables are consuming it. They need, he says, a lot of power for this.

Also 1/3 of the power produced is lost through the cables - because most are 10kv.

And there are very few places where there is constant wind enough to make it viable.

Basically wind power is "not of massive benefit except when ESB is finding it hard to meet demand."
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:56 am

Kate P wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote
Quote :
This could be to do with AC current - there is (apparently) a big loss through heat so DC current is being explored. And I never thought of it before but you need a certain amount of current always going to the turbine too for control and readings etc. It's rare but the odd day there is no wind to turn the turbine so does it still use a little electricity?

I checked this out today - and surprise, surprise, my non-science brain hasn't let me down too badly.

In order for turbines to be a realistic source of power for the ESB, they would need to have them in far greater bulk. Small groupings - especially those offshore are very expensive to run.

There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly the cable is extremely expensive - far more expensive than the equivalent cable used onshore. Secondly there always has to be power running to the turbines to keep the cable charged - so even when the turbines aren't producing energy, the cables are consuming it. They need, he says, a lot of power for this.

Also 1/3 of the power produced is lost through the cables - because most are 10kv.

And there are very few places where there is constant wind enough to make it viable.

Basically wind power is "not of massive benefit except when ESB is finding it hard to meet demand."

This is interesting. The other thing the ESB says I think is that even when wind is going full belt the power stations have to be kept fired up because you cant just switch them on and off.

The next question is do we believe the ESB has got it right? For example, what fuel prices are they estimating when they say wind not viable? What is the % of fossil fuel likely to be saved by moving to wind as much as feasible? Surely they are not claiming that there is zero emission reduction from wind power?
Back to work, Kate!
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:29 am

He says - and this was really only in passing, and has promised me a copy of the next ESB magazine that comes out - that their plan is to be carbon neutral by 2020. He says wave energy will probably form the bulk of their production but that wind can work when there are enough turbines - he mentioned an island nation where all the power is from wind.

I haven't read anything much about the ESB's 22bn plan yet...
Will get more details.
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:39 am

I've opened a thread on the ESB plan on this site and they say they are going to install 1400 MW of wind power according to that plan. That's a quarter of our current electricity demand - not bad. (our current peak demand is just under 6000 MW)

They are going to use cleaner gas plants which will kick in when the wind isn't blowing and they didn't give a figure for wave/tidal but it could end up around 7% as they hinted that tidal now is what wind was 10 years ago so in ten years time...

They are also talking about a (new?) carbon-neutral coal-fired power station at Moneypoint which would use coal with the CO2 already taken out and stored but they haven't a clue how they are going to go about cleaning the coal first in itself a carbon-neutral way.
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:15 am

Just sticking in youngdan's find in treehugger god bless em all - a great statistic though I don't really understand it.. 30% a year growth that's spain getting half it's electricity from wind by the end of next year... Anda!

youngdan wrote:
More happy news New Record - Wind Now Powers 40% Of
Spain Wind power breaks records in
www.treehugger.com/files/2008/03/spain-wind-power-record-41-percent.php
- 65k - Cached - Similar pagesain
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Sat May 03, 2008 10:49 am

On the Eirgrid site you can see the electricity from wind generation in the country as a graph over the past few hours or for any day in the past. It's windy today!

Currently according to the IWEA there is over 1000MW of installed capacity in Ireland and our total need is 6000MW. http://www.iwea.com/index.cfm/page/news/newsid/16

The trainspotters window below shows that during the night the 1000MegaWatts of installed capacity were not blown but the wind did manage to produce nearly 600MW by 8 o'clock in the morning.

Here's my new television.
Wind Energy Window
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Sat May 03, 2008 12:11 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
On the Eirgrid site you can see the electricity from wind generation in the country as a graph over the past few hours or for any day in the past. It's windy today!

Currently according to the IWEA there is over 1000MW of installed capacity in Ireland and our total need is 6000MW. http://www.iwea.com/index.cfm/page/news/newsid/16

The trainspotters window below shows that during the night the 1000MegaWatts of installed capacity were not blown but the wind did manage to produce nearly 600MW by 8 o'clock in the morning.

Here's my new television.
Wind Energy Window

The big issue seems to be how do we fill the gap in supply when the wind drops - or is there any acceptable way of storing it?
The only thing appliance I can think of that works on irregular supply is an electric night storage heater. Batteries I think are not great as they are toxic, costly and have a big environmental footprint in production and disposal.
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PostSubject: Re: Wind Energy   Sat May 03, 2008 12:29 pm

Storage heaters would work over short periods of time but if you flick back over the past in that wind energy window (click the little calendar) you'll see the wild variation in wind energy - April 1st was a good day but March 14th was useless etc. The overall average should be about only 40%. What we may need is a way to store energy generated on windy days and keep it for quiet days but storage heaters might also contribute as batteries over short periods (they would replace oil heating too) but I think they might be prohibitively expensive for some people. I like them though as they are a good example of clean low-tech.

I'm not sure what happens at present if there is excess capacity at night but low demand - do the power stations turn themselves down that rapidly? Are they that responsive? I think they might be. Is gas more responsive than coal?

And can hydrogen play a part at all in this scheme? The wind could be splitting water into its constituents by night or during excessive windy periods. Who knows that liberated hydrogen won't be used to produce more kinetic or heat energy in the future than it does now because of advances in efficiency?
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