Thursday, August 4, 2016

A hunk o' burnin' environmental love

Note the patterns made by the smoke as it's distributed by the still-spinning blades.

For the technically minded among us, Wired has a fascinating series of calculations to explain the effect.  Complicated, but fun for the math-motivated.



JohninMd.(HELP?!??) said...

Interesting...can't understand the commentary (Indonesian?) But what lit them up? TWO units burning, on the ends of a llne of four...

Anonymous said...

Chinese cheep crap machines.
Plus the guy can NOT keep the camera still.
Best example why green energy is more dangerous than oil and coal and hydro.

Inconsiderate Bastard said...

It's been established, beyond the reasonable doubt of anyone not addicted to leftist kool-aid, that wind turbines are not a useful source of energy capable of replacing the filthy, horrible, gaia-hating, disgusting - but, unfortunately for lefties, highly functional and efficient - large coal-fired, nuclear and hydroelectric generation facilities.

I wonder if, beyond the obvious and perpetual shortcomings of mass produced wind power attempts, anyone has totaled up the entire cost of wind farms, eg., the costs of:

Obtaining the raw materials for manufacturing wind turbines
Transporting same
Engineering and development
The manufacturing process itself
Transporting the finished project
Erecting X number of wind turbines
Installation of cabling, transformers, etc. to utilize the electricity
Ongoing maintenance and repairs
Replacing the ones that break or catch fire
Tearing down the turbines when the money runs out
Hauling, recycling, etc. the remains
The opportunity cost of wind farm projects
Maintaining backup generation capability for when the wind doesn't blow.

I'm leaving out the cost of the dead birds because that'll just start endless arguments over their value between the kool-aid drinkers and sane people.

I'm also not interested in the costs associated with individual privately-owned turbines because they do have some value for generating electricity in remote and very remote locations where grid connection costs make that prohibitive.

Take a look at the last item on my list: opportunity costs. I don't think I've ever seen anyone bring that up, on either side of the discussion. It means that the dollar spent on a wind farm cannot be spent twice, specifically on other sources of energy such as hydro, coal- or gas-fired or nuclear generation, or on consumption reduction techniques such as more insulation, and/or air infiltration improvements and better design of structures and vehicles (not to mention societal changes such as telecommuting, which may be just a cost-shifter rather than a cost-saver).

The lefties' wet dream is wind and solar farms powering Priuses and commuter rail, but so far they've gotten away with selling their dream to taxpayers without havng to justify the costs.

Inconsiderate Bastard said...

Well, next to last item on my list. I added maintaining backup generation capacity at the last minute. Should have re-ordered the list before hitting "publish." Oops.

Steve Sky said...

To comment further on your "Obtaining the raw materials for manufacturing wind turbines", a number of the rare earths required for the permanent magnets have quite a large environmental & energy cost, both in mining and refining same. I've heard it expressed as, "Will a wind turbine in its' lifetime, ever generate enough electrical energy to go above the energy used to produce it in the first place?"

If the answer is 'no', then the wind turbines are subtracting power and using them is only a form of virtue signaling. And using them is costing us.

Kristophr said...

So this is a coal fired windmill?

Stu tgarfath. Sydney, OZ. said...

Here in Australia, wind turbines are wrapped in controversy.

EVERY wind turbine in Australia is by overseas companies.
EVERY wind turbine in Australia is heavily subsidised by State and Federal funds.
Every wind turbine in Australia is 'protected' by State and Federal laws and legislation.
NO Australian citizen can lawfully hinder or STOP the placement of wind turbines on their property, after a fair value compensation payment has been decided upon BY THE AUTHORITIES.
Basically, they can walk roughshod all over you and your property.

SiGraybeard said...

One disadvantage nobody mentions is that wind farms interfere with NOAA weather radar, and end up potentially messing up forecasts. These are large, rotating structures that change the dynamics of large amounts of air. You've got to know it shows up, and both the Canadian weather service and US NOAA have webpages up about the issue
( is the NOAA page). Given enough of them in an area, I can see them messing up something like critical tornado movement forecasts.

Kristophr said...

One major disadvantage is that these windmills produce dirty power, full of spikes and surges.

They cause a lot of damage to other equipment on the grid, including generators. Inductance and capacitance on the grid must be balanced, and unbalanced loads and power inputs are intolerable.