Skip to comments.Taming Unruly Wind Power
Posted on 11/05/2011 1:22:31 PM PDT by neverdem
For decades, electric companies have swung into emergency mode when demand soars on blistering hot days, appealing to households to use less power. But with the rise of wind energy, utilities in the Pacific Northwest are sometimes dealing with the opposite: moments when there is too much electricity for the grid to soak up.
So in a novel pilot project, they have recruited consumers to draw in excess electricity when that happens, storing it in a basement water heater or a space heater outfitted by the utility. The effort is rooted in some brushes with danger.
In June 2010, for example, a violent storm in the Northwest caused a simultaneous surge in wind power and in traditional hydropower, creating an oversupply that threatened to overwhelm the grid and cause a blackout.
As a result, the Bonneville Power Administration, the wholesale supplier to a broad swath of the region, turned this year to a strategy common to regions with hot summers: adjusting volunteers home appliances by remote control to balance supply and demand...
While Bonneville pays for them now, Philip D. Lusk, the power resources manager for the utility department of the city of Port Angeles the Rothweilers retail supplier said the agency might have to find additional ways of compensating consumers to get the thousands of volunteers it will eventually need to make the system effective.
If the installations are judged to benefit everyone because they improve stability, the cost might be spread among all ratepayers. But if Bonneville decides that they mainly benefit the wind generators because they never have to unplug their turbines, the agency could try to charge that industry.
Either way, said Mr. Johnson, the Bonneville spokesman, the agency will have to come up with a solution to the cranky nature of wind.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Have altenatives charge battery arrays that can then be used at whatever level needed as stored energy.
What society needs is a way to store electrical energy,
we already know plenty of ways to produce it.
EASY FIX -—> Get super-huge one hundred foot diameter ELECTRIC fans and mount them on towers BEHIND those three-propeller wind turbins. Problem solved: propellers turn 24 hours a day, even when there is no wind, thus producing electricity.
“Time-shift” it, more than store it for long periods of time like chemical batteries are designed to do. For example, Wyoming has a great wind resource but has a small population, thus is in a great position to export power from wind generation. The state is also toward the eastern edge of the Mountain Time Zone, which means the wind tends to produce power at a different time of day than in power-hungry California. In this case the shift is favorable but that’s not always the case. Using wind to pump water into reservoirs that can run hydro generators is also being utilized.
I don’t know why otherwise intelligent FReepers exhibit Algore-like scientific tendencies whenever an article favorable to wind power is posted. As conservatives, we should be championing the application of science and engineering - in free markets - to address our energy needs. While there are subsidies today, wind has been moving rapidly toward self-sufficiency and that is the ultimate goal of the industry.
Even better, just blow up nuclear weapons behind the wind turbines whenever there is no wind. We could call it “nuclear power”.
I’ve got solar for incidentals (computer, weather transceiver, etc) Like much of the East I have no wind to utilize. I have no problem researching better ways to create power or implementing cost effective ones. I do have a problem making people pay through taxes or especially through electric rates for feel-good energy sources that don’t add up. I know people with $800 monthly bills in the winter, and I don’t want them suffering for no reason.
Our utility here, Georgia Power, has numerous hydro dams across the state.
Lake Oconee was built basically as a storage battery.
Water flows through turbines from Lake Oconee into Lake Sinclair during the day to help supply the base load demand.
At night, when excess power is available, water is pumped upstream from Lake Sinclair back into Lake Oconee, and that water power is used again the next day.
I guess that fits your “time shift” statement.
The problem is the huge government investment, using money taken from us (essentially) at the point of a gun.
What is needed is reliable, economical, power on-demand. Nuclear can do this if this country would just get its head out of its collective butt.
“Non dispatchable power” — solution: require consumers to install energy storage systems at their own expense without any compensation. What an effing stupid idea.
And wait until the hot water tempering valve fails and somebody gets a third-degree burn from the 190 degree water. Let the lawsuits begin!
Wind farm illness: Waubra Disease
Acoustic Vibration Disease Hat
66 percent of Tea Party members would agree with having wind turbines near their homes (Saint Consulting Group, poll of 1,000 in US, June, 2011). 73 percent of men agreed but far fewer women.
Environmentalists are against Wind power
Wind turbine syndrome news report
Wind Nimby Spanking
Wind Nimby Rant
John Stossel Wind Power and NIMBY
[Environmentalists against wind turbines.]
I'm all for people using solar panels to produce their own electricity. What a blessing that would be during an extended power outage. But solar and wind make no sense for centralized generation.
Makes no sense because most modern turbines can “feather” their blades so they are at a 90 degree angle to the wind and they stop turning. Did the writer do any research at all?
They can also disconnect the turbines from the grid and lock the blades in place.
As for batteries. There aren’t enough in the world. The large turbines can produce 1.5 to 5 million megawatts an hour each at peak production.
Just think how many nuke plants they could have built if they really wanted to jump start the economy with the $750 Billion in stimulus. They could have easily put up 100 plants, and displaced coal in the long term. All of the construction jobs, factories humming. No, we will spend it on the unions make work jobs and getting reelected.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.