Skip to comments.Wind Power Fiasco: Call Your Congressman
Posted on 11/23/2012 9:53:19 AM PST by Sioux-san
Wind power is a joke. It makes no sense -- none, nada.
The wind power lobbyists say it creates jobs. Well I have a better way to make jobs based on the same principles: let's train dogs to walk on treadmills to generate electricity. Think of all the jobs for dog-trainers, dog food companies, and dog-walkers. Think of all the jobs at dog retirement homes for dogs too old to work. Think about all the do-gooders collecting a salary for looking out for the welfare of the dogs. Think about the attorneys employed in filing class action suits against dog-exploiters. Think about the jobs in organizations opposing the use of genetically modified dogs. Dogs on treadmills are much better than windmills for creating jobs.
Okay, windmills are not absolutely useless. If you have no alternative because you live 20 miles from the nearest power line, then feel free to get a windmill. Don't forget the banks of storage batteries to keep your TV running when the wind isn't blowing.
Windmills don't work when the wind isn't blowing. The wind power lobbyists don't emphasize that point. There are very few places where the wind always blows, and, not surprisingly, hardly anybody lives near those mostly unpleasant places.
Somehow, the environmentalist love of windmills is seemingly without limit. If you bother an eagle -- even pluck a feather from a dead eagle -- you are looking at hard time in the federal pen. But if you operate wind turbines that kill eagles on an industrial scale, you don't have to worry. Eagle-killing windmills are specifically exempted from liability. Windmills trump our national symbol. Just don't pick up the eagle feathers under the windmills.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
Try putting a oil well where some of these wind mills are?? Columbia River area???
Make everybody on public assistance walk a treadmill (5 miles worth?) to collect their benefits.
The 47% would suddenly become productive and important to society instead of a dead-weighted drag...
Hope they are the people that are fewer.
There are a whole lot of welfare recipients in this country and they are not just those living on food stamps and using Obama phones.
Love that first paragraph — excellent use of logical absurdity to make the point.
Congress critters don’t give a rats ass, the only thing that will change congress is term limits, and that will never happen unless the states do the bidding. No tax changes no nothing they are comfortable being ass holes.
I live near the Mojave Desert, which is becoming full of these windmills. Ruins the view, among the other ills. Where’s the view police? And they blink their red lights on top all night (interestingly they are all synchronized to blink at the same time). Doesn’t this waste some of the precious electricity?
About the hydroelectric dams. Talking with a long time controller for one of the dams on the Columbia; about 20 years ago he managed the water to get the most electricity from it. Now he has to waste it then the wind power is at a surplus. Makes me sick. Hard to puke when I’m already puked out from everything else.
Solution — Use the surplus wind power to run the dams’ turbines backwards to pump the water back upstream to store it behind the dams. Simple and straight forward.
Oops, don’t let a ‘greenie’ read this — they will try to do it.
You think you're joking. This is done in California now and has been for years.
They pump water uphill all winter, and use the water to produce power all summer. It would be interesting to see this done on the Columbia.
They been pumping into resevoir at Coulee
dam for 70 years.
The wind lobbyists don't have too because the Production Tax Credit helps to ensure projects that produce the most energy, where the wind blows the most often, are the ones that get built. Additionally the Production Tax Credit has incentivized the wind industry design much more efficient turbines that have average net capacity factors in the 40-50% range, and sometimes over 50%.
There are very few places where the wind always blows, and, not surprisingly, hardly anybody lives near those mostly unpleasant places.
Then it shouldn't matter to this author if those unpopulated "unpleasant places" are covered with wind farms, right?
Oops, dont let a greenie read this they will try to do it.
Too late, it's already being done. Well, not exactly like what you describe, but close to it. It works best with "low head turbines" coupled to motor/generators. A dam is built across the mouth of a bay, impounding a large storage volume. During times of low power demand, excess is used to drive the turbines as pumps, raising the volume of water behind the dam. As demand for power increases water is released back through the turbines, driving the generators and making more power available to the grid.
One advantage a "low head" system has is that if tidal forces coincide with the power demand cycle (high tide/low demand and vice versa) they may be used to add to the amount of water moved into and out of storage.
There have been "high head" systems tried as well but the greater the height of the storage reservoir above the source the lower the overall efficiency of the process.
That is, converting electric power (current x voltage) to mechanical power (torque x speed) involves losses due to electrical resistance, magnetic hysteresis, windage, and bearing drag. Converting mechanical power to hydrodynamic power (pressure differential x flow rate) involves losses due to pump slip and bearing drag. Delivering the hydrodynamic power to the storage reservoir involves wall friction which causes pressure drop. Each of these loss factors has a coefficient of performance, the overall efficiency is the product of all of the COP's of the various stages, divided by 2 since you lose power pumping water uphill and again when you let it flow back down.
A lot of processes are reversible but there are no free lunches. If you lose 25% of the input energy going from "A" to "B", you will lose another 25% coming back to "A". The only time something like this makes sense is when your electric grid is largely powered by large, central generating stations with steam powered turbines. It doesn't matter how the steam is generated, atomic energy, geothermal, coal, oil, or bio-mass. All large central stations run most efficiently at a constant load, unfortunately consumer demand varies on a 24 hour cycle.
In the final analysis, gas turbine driven generators are simple, efficient, quick to start and can be quickly "throttled" up and down to mach a varying load. It would seem to me at the ideal grid would have 75% of it full power requirement supplied by nuclear plants with the remaining 25% by gas turbines to handle "peaking" loads. Forget about wind, solar, and tidal as they cost more then thermal based generation and none of them is available 24/7. They can only compete when the Government shovels in tons of taxpayer money.
But "NUCLEAR" power is expensive you say...
The power isn't expensive, the investment in the infrastructure is and largely because of the long, dragged out licensing process. Every plant built has to start from ground zero, answering the same objections every time. The environmentalists have effectively stopped any development of nuclear power in this country.
What we need to do (if we had a DOE w/ balls) is design a modular plant utilizing best available technology. Nothing off the table, pebble bed reactors, thorium fuel cycle, &c, &c. Then revamp the licensing process to allow "type certification" which would permit private companies to build the modular plants where needed w/out years of fighting with the envirowheenies.
The follow on to my ‘smart remark’ is: Instead of pumping the Columbia back up itself, just stop it in place until needed. Saves the friction losses both ways. Get the one, or Al Gore to help, with a single spoken word.
Glad to see you mention thorium!
Of course your well thought out scheme will not get past the (offensive and crude, but true, descriptors ommited) industry-killing progressives.
But I love the simplicity of it!
I have a problem with these wind farms whether they are in unpopulated areas or not - if they’re all that and a bag of chips, then no taxpayer subsidies. I believe in developing the biggest bang for the buck. Scam is the shortest word that comes to mind to describe Wind Farms.