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Bob Wallace

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Wind Turbines
« on: June 01, 2017, 05:55:16 AM »
(I searched.  I didn't find the topic discussed.)

The common assumption seems to be that rare earth magnets are needed for wind turbines, or at least often used.  This leads to a lot of hand-wringing by "concerned" nuclear advocates looking for a reason why we can't have 100% renewable grids.

Turns out that REM magnets are used in only 2% of all US wind turbines.  And that the industry is turning to induction motors controlled by modern software and silicon.  That rare, rare material - sand.

Interesting read from Amory Lovins on the rare earth issue and why it largely is not an issue.  For wind turbines, EVs, and LEDs.

 
http://thebulletin.org/clean-energy-and-rare-earths-why-not-worry10785

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 04:06:40 PM »
I was sad to read this quote in this 2013 Smithsonian article on "How Many Birds Do Wind Turbines Really Kill?
Quote
In addition, it appears that there is a greater risk of fatal collisions with taller turbines. This is a real problem, as larger wind turbines may provide more efficient energy generation. Consequently, it is expected that new wind farms will contain even bigger turbines, which will result in even more bird deaths. Future developments therefore will have to give very careful consideration to potential wildlife impacts when planning the type of turbine to install.
I was hoping the newer giant turbines affected bird air space less.  (Maybe this is based on 'old' data, per the attached image from the IPCC [2012 - also old]:


Per Wikipedia
Quote
A Nordex 3.3 MW was installed in July 2016. It has a total height of 230m, and a hub height of 164m on 100m concrete tower bottom with steel tubes on top (hybrid tower).

Vestas V164 was the tallest wind turbine, standing in Østerild, Denmark, 220 meters tall, constructed in 2014. It has a steel tube tower.
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gerontocrat

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 04:12:54 PM »
With luck, birds will learn avoidance. We know that migrating birds learn to use new landmarks, urban foxes learn how to cross the road, kestrels and crows feast on carrion on our motorways and are very rarely squashed by traffic. "Life always finds a way" (Jurassic Park ?).
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

ritter

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 05:54:27 PM »
I was sad to read this quote in this 2013 Smithsonian article on "How Many Birds Do Wind Turbines Really Kill?
Quote
In addition, it appears that there is a greater risk of fatal collisions with taller turbines. This is a real problem, as larger wind turbines may provide more efficient energy generation. Consequently, it is expected that new wind farms will contain even bigger turbines, which will result in even more bird deaths. Future developments therefore will have to give very careful consideration to potential wildlife impacts when planning the type of turbine to install.
I was hoping the newer giant turbines affected bird air space less.  (Maybe this is based on 'old' data, per the attached image from the IPCC [2012 - also old]:


Per Wikipedia
Quote
A Nordex 3.3 MW was installed in July 2016. It has a total height of 230m, and a hub height of 164m on 100m concrete tower bottom with steel tubes on top (hybrid tower).

Vestas V164 was the tallest wind turbine, standing in Østerild, Denmark, 220 meters tall, constructed in 2014. It has a steel tube tower.

I strongly suspect (but have zero evidence) that wind turbines will kill less birds directly than the GHGs they offset will kill indirectly via disruption of the food web, migration/food availability patterns, habitat shifts, etc. It's just easier to quantify dead birds at the foot of a turbine, thus bogyman the technology. Thoughts?

rboyd

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 05:58:53 PM »
Counting wind turbine bird kills is one of the basic tricks of denialists - taking facts out of context. Also uses our built in cognitive bias to value more things that we can easily count (bird kills) than more amorphous things (GHG affects on overall bird population).

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2017, 06:49:30 PM »
Quote
I strongly suspect (but have zero evidence) that wind turbines will kill less birds directly than the GHGs they offset will kill indirectly via disruption of the food web, migration/food availability patterns, habitat shifts, etc. It's just easier to quantify dead birds at the foot of a turbine, thus bogyman the technology. Thoughts?
I think your first sentence is probably true, and the first half of your second one is obviously true.  I'm not certain this means "thus bogyman the technology," although certainly some do.

There are those who attempt to deny the problems associated with AGW, and those who attempt to deny the problems associated with potential or functional solutions (and turbines are certainly a functional solution to some CC issues).  In my ideal world, humans wouldn't be causing the deaths of 10s of thousands of birds with windmills, ACC or domesticated cats.  [Okay, back to being a hunter/gathering for me!  Woops: birds eggs: yum!]
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2017, 11:52:10 PM »
Quote
, it appears that there is a greater risk of fatal collisions with taller turbines

There's no way that turbines with 140 meter hub heights are as dangerous to birds as the old turbines mounted 50 meters off the ground.  The old rotors  turned at a much, much higher rpm and the blades were largely a blur. 

The taller rotors turn much slower.  While blade tip speed is very high the entire blade is very visible.

"somewhere between 140,000 and 328,000 birds die each year from collisions with wind turbines".

At the end of 2016 there were 341,320 wind turbines in operation.  Using the top end number of 328,00 birds that's less than one bird kill per turbine per year.  Which is consistent with actual counts by ecologists at wind farms.

Now, to put that into context with other ways to generate electricity....

Based on bird kills per gigawatt hour of electricity produced.
 
Wind farms kill roughly 0.27 birds per GWh.
 
Fossil-fueled power stations kill about 9.4 birds per GWh. (34.8x wind)
 
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2198024


And to put the total bird kill into perspective...

Domestic cats in the United States kill up to 3.7 billion birds each year. (6,457x wind)
http://phys.org/news/2013-01-cats-billions-birds-mammals.html#jCp
 
Collisions with buildings kill 976 million birds each year. (1,703x wind)
http://www.fws.gov/birds/mortality-fact-sheet.pdf
 
Collisions with vehicles kill  380 million birds each year.  (663x wind)
http://www.abcbirds.org/conservationissues/threats/energyproduction/index.html
 
Collisions with communication towers kill 174 million each year. (304x wind)
http://www.fws.gov/birds/mortality-fact-sheet.pdf
 
Poisoning kills 72 million bird each year. (126x wind)
http://www.fws.gov/birds/mortality-fact-sheet.pdf
 
Managed annual waterfowl hunt kills about 15 million birds a year
http://www.sibleyguides.com/conservation/causes-of-bird-mortality/
 
The Exxon Valdez spill killed almost a half million birds.
http://www.evostc.state.ak.us/Projects/ProjectInfo.cfm?project_id=826
 


Tor Bejnar

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2017, 12:18:38 AM »
Thanks, Bob, for some context.
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sidd

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2017, 12:49:28 AM »
Wind turbine siting takes account of bird migration pathways. And bats at night. And a bunch of other avian related things.

To amplify on Mr. Wallace's comment about slower rotation speed, this has indeed helped a great deal. The tip is still moving very fast indeed, limited by material strength, but way up there, though still subsonic. Most bird kills by turbines these days seem to be evisceration by pressure imbalance as the bird collides with the trailing vortex behind the aerofoil and not the blade itself.

sidd

Sigmetnow

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2017, 02:53:39 AM »
From the 2014 State of Birds report:
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

numerobis

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2017, 11:29:06 PM »
From the 2014 State of Birds report:

When we get to 100x the number of wind turbines as back in 2014 (which, order of magnitude, is where we're headed), that means we expect about as many bird kills as power line kills.

Good argument for burying the power lines!

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2017, 02:52:50 AM »
Then all we'll have to do is get rid of domesticated cats and building windows.  (I once moved into a house that didn't have windows for the first 4 months.  the large and plentiful double paned windows reduced the light so much I felt I was in a cave!)
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numerobis

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2017, 06:17:02 PM »
Then all we'll have to do is get rid of domesticated cats and building windows.  (I once moved into a house that didn't have windows for the first 4 months.  the large and plentiful double paned windows reduced the light so much I felt I was in a cave!)

In keeping with first worrying about the low end, let's work on cars before buildings. Put people in trains instead -- you can carry a couple thousand people with the same surface area as two cars.

*Then* we can start dealing with cats and windows.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2017, 07:34:49 PM »
Then all we'll have to do is get rid of domesticated cats and building windows.  (I once moved into a house that didn't have windows for the first 4 months.  the large and plentiful double paned windows reduced the light so much I felt I was in a cave!)

In keeping with first worrying about the low end, let's work on cars before buildings. Put people in trains instead -- you can carry a couple thousand people with the same surface area as two cars.

*Then* we can start dealing with cats and windows.

Let's just keep replacing coal with wind power.  Coal kills about 36x as many birds as do wind turbines - based on GWh of electricity produced.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2017, 10:34:19 PM »
There is an incredible increase in potential locations where wind turbines make sense when turbines get taller, according to these US Dept. of Energy maps.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2017, 01:00:37 AM »
Quote
There is an incredible increase in potential locations where wind turbines make sense when turbines get taller,

Yes, and the DOE has identified 2,000,000 km2 where we should expect to get capacity factors of 60% or better using 140 meter hub heights.  Some of the area should give us 75% CFs.

That's usable land, outside urban/suburban areas, parks, etc.

I'd love to see some organization start creating these high hub height maps for other countries.  If you look at wind resources in places like India or Indonesia all that seems to be available is 80 meter data, and there's a lot less wind down low. 

One commonly hears that there's little onshore wind in India.  That's what we used to hear about the US Southeast, but look at the 140 meter map that Tor posted.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2017, 07:59:02 PM »
Five Statoil floating wind towers are ready to have their turbines installed and to be towed into place.

They will be anchored in the Buchan Deep, 15 miles off Peterhead, Scotland.  And should start producing electricity later this year.

The Statoil design is very interesting, very simple.  The tower floats itself and has room for ballast in its bottom.  Easy to construct on land and tow to the installation site.
 


And Statoil is an oil company that is, apparently, transitioning away from oil.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2018, 07:45:23 PM »

Maine Gov. Claims Wind Turbines Hurt State Tourism, But He Supports Offshore Drilling Expansion


Gov. Paul R. LePage, who once called wind power a "boutique energy source," has placed a moratorium on permits for most new wind energy projects in Maine, saying it could harm the state's tourism.

As it happens, LePage, a Republican, is the sole Atlantic Coast governor who favors the Trump administration's proposal to open nearly all of America's coastal waters to offshore oil and gas drilling.

Ironically, the Trump administration exempted Florida from the offshore drilling expansion for practically the same reason that LePage wants to ban new wind turbines—that it could drive tourists away.

Gov. Rick Scott warned that a spill from drilling operations would devastate Florida's tourism industry. "For Florida, we have to remember we are a tourism state. One out of every six jobs in our state is tied to tourism. So, I oppose offshore drilling," the Republican told Fox News.

Sure, tourism is big in Florida, accounting for about 12 percent of the state's gross domestic product. But tourism is also big in Maine, making up about 10 percent of the state's economy, as Reuters pointed out. Tourism also employs one out of every six jobs in Maine.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2018, 07:51:41 PM »
Blade strike may have caused turbine collapse, says engineer
Wind Concerns Ontario worried about aging wind turbines following collapse

Quote
As the investigation into last week's wind turbine collapse in Chatham-Kent continues, some theories into what happened are emerging.

Vern Martin, a mechanical engineer and vice-president of Flowcare Engineering consulting company in Cambridge, Ont., believes a blade may have malfunctioned and struck the column, causing it to buckle.

"That ... has actually been recorded as occurring before in some of these other failures," explained Martin, pointing to a website called Caithness Windfarm Information Forum from the UK, which tracks wind turbine accidents around the world.

Martin said the two main causes of wind turbine failures are fires in the gear box and blade failures. According to the website, a blade failure caused by high winds was recorded in Sault Ste. Marie in January 2008.

There are also documented cases of the blades throwing ice several hundred metres, including one incident in Orangeville in 2009.
...
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2018, 05:52:44 AM »
cross post:
“According to Ørsted, an 8MW turbine – the MH1 by Vestas – generates enough electricity in one revolution of the turbine blades to power a house for 29 hours. If proportional, then that means these 7MW units will generate 25 hours of electricity with a single rotation.”

Hornsea Project One, located 74.5 miles off the coast of Yorkshire, UK.

World’s largest offshore wind farm starts construction
https://electrek.co/2018/01/30/worlds-largest-offshore-wind-farm/
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NevB

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2018, 01:52:39 PM »
These magnificent birds obviously haven't heard the anti wind lobby's exaggerations about bird deaths.

http://renews.biz/110510/raptors-revel-in-enercon-nest/

Quote
Peregrine falcons have used a nest box attached to an Enercon turbine at a wind farm in Germany to raise three young birds.

Enercon said the unnamed project owner had mounted the nest box to an E-70 machine at Gutersloh in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The company said the birds had not been disturbed by the turbine's rotors.

It added that kestrels had successfully raised young at the site in previous years.


Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2019, 02:30:34 AM »
Bernhardt may decide future of wind power:
https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060871301
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vox_mundi

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2019, 05:04:42 PM »
Wind Power Prices Now Lower Than Cost of Natural Gas
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/08/wind-power-prices-now-lower-than-the-cost-of-natural-gas/

In the US, it's cheaper to build and operate wind farms than buy fossil fuels.

This week, the US Department of Energy released a report that looks back on the state of wind power in the US by running the numbers on 2018. The analysis shows that wind hardware prices are dropping, even as new turbine designs are increasing the typical power generated by each turbine. As a result, recent wind farms have gotten so cheap that you can build and operate them for less than the expected cost of buying fuel for an equivalent natural gas plant.

Wind is even cheaper at the moment because of a tax credit given to renewable energy generation. But that credit is in the process of fading out, leading to long term uncertainty in a power market where demand is generally stable or dropping.


Those black bars are the price of gas. Blue circles are wind, while yellow are solar.

These charts measure the "levelized cost of electricity," or LCOE. This metric calculates the lifetime cost of an electricity source, including the price of building it.

... Unless natural gas prices reverse the expected trend and get cheaper, wind and solar will remain the cheapest sources of new electricity in the US.

... even though more turbines are being built at sites without the best wind resources, we're generating more power per turbine. The capacity factor—the amount of power generated relative to the size of the generator—for projects built in the previous four years has now hit 42 percent, a figure that would once have required offshore wind. That's dragged the capacity factor of the entire US wind industry up to over 35 percent for the first time last year.

The economics of these low-wind designs are so good that 23 existing sites were "repowered," with new, larger rotors replacing older hardware on existing towers.

U.S.DoE: 2018 Wind Technologies Market Report
https://emp.lbl.gov/sites/default/files/wtmr_final_for_posting_8-9-19.pdf

--------------------------

As Wind and Solar Energy Grow, So Do Their Challenges
https://www.axios.com/wind-solar-energy-grow-challenges-6e07bb69-a291-4935-9458-beb4454678b1.html

... By the numbers, America’s electricity mix is mostly natural gas and coal (63%), nuclear (19%) and about 17% renewable, including:

6.5% = wind
2.3% = solar
7% = hydropower, which is considered renewable but is not projected to grow substantially in the coming decades.

...“In the next five to eight years, getting out post-2030 LCOE (levelized cost of electricity) is increasingly not the full story,” said Whaley. “A lot of these markets can handle 45%-50% [wind and solar] no problem. It’s when you get past that 50% mark that it gets trickier and more nuanced.”
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TerryM

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2019, 05:47:21 PM »
These magnificent birds obviously haven't heard the anti wind lobby's exaggerations about bird deaths.

http://renews.biz/110510/raptors-revel-in-enercon-nest/

Quote
Peregrine falcons have used a nest box attached to an Enercon turbine at a wind farm in Germany to raise three young birds.

Enercon said the unnamed project owner had mounted the nest box to an E-70 machine at Gutersloh in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The company said the birds had not been disturbed by the turbine's rotors.

It added that kestrels had successfully raised young at the site in previous years.


A little OT perhaps ::)


But a pair of bald eagles has taken over an osprey nest just down the highway this year. I didn't realize they'd nest that close to a road.
Terry

sidd

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2019, 10:55:58 PM »
Re: repowered wind

I saw some wind turbines being replaced by biger ones couple weeks ago. (with very large cranes, they had a little crane to put together a bigger crane that put together the giant crane to put up the windmill)

Illinois.

sidd

TerryM

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2019, 11:50:49 PM »
Re: repowered wind

I saw some wind turbines being replaced by biger ones couple weeks ago. (with very large cranes, they had a little crane to put together a bigger crane that put together the giant crane to put up the windmill)

Illinois.

sidd


Waiting for the next generation with some trepidation. :)
Terry

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2019, 05:42:43 PM »
Siphonaptera
 Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
 And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so, ad infinitum.
 And the great fleas, themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
 While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.

[woops, this isn't the poetry thread - sorry]
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2019, 09:36:56 PM »
CT offshore wind may face some rough seas
https://ctmirror.org/2019/08/27/ct-offshore-wind-may-face-some-rough-seas/?utm_source=Connecticut+Mirror+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=3a03e3f9d9-DAILY_BRIEFING_MORNING&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_571d22f8e4-3a03e3f9d9-68213281
Quote
s Connecticut races to get its first offshore wind projects on track for construction, a collision of factors appear to be working against them.

To start with, the timing couldn’t be worse.

The state and its offshore-wind-loving neighbors all face a year-end expiration of a federal tax credit that helps finance these projects – the first major attempts in the U.S. But in Connecticut some problems – including at least one self-inflicted one – could mean forgoing that money.

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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Wind Turbines
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2019, 12:44:10 AM »
German wind energy stalls amid public resistance and regulatory hurdles
https://www.dw.com/en/german-wind-energy-stalls-amid-public-resistance-and-regulatory-hurdles/a-50280676
Quote
Growing investor reluctance is already showing in the number of wind power projects tendered this year. Of the more than 1,350 MW offered by the government so far in 2019, only 746 MW materialized due to a lack of participation in the public auction rounds.

So, the German wind energy summit came at a critical moment for Europe's largest economy, which has committed itself to phasing out nuclear power by 2022 and coal power by 2038. That shift can only succeed if the country manages to expand its wind energy sector significantly.
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