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X-Wind Envisions Wind-Powered Electric Railways

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Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Good idea
Elizabeth M   7/24/2013 9:02:42 AM
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I think this is a great idea if it's economically feasible and it works to develop and deploy these windmills to power infrastructure like trains that use so much electricity. I also think X-Wind's design vision is quite future forward in their care to eliminate noise and impact on the environment. Now if the subways could also be powered by renewables somehow, or perhaps even energy harvesting, that would be even better.

Battar
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Platinum
Green
Battar   7/24/2013 9:28:07 AM
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I have read articles by environmentalists campaigning against wind turbines ( kills birds, blocks the view, makes a noise). I have read articles by environmentalists campaigning against electric railways (ELF radiation, blocks the view). So the biggest hurdle is to get this technology past the "greens" - who, in my corner of the world, object first and ask questions afterwards.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Green
Nancy Golden   7/24/2013 11:37:38 AM
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That is amazing Battar. Are these environmentalists proposing an alternate effective solution? One often finds that people jump on a bandwagon without understanding the ramifications. A classic example is the closing of slaughterhouses in the United States. Celebrities and animal lovers across the country jumped on that bandwagon. However, none of them offered to take in the unwanted horses that would result. I am a life long horse lover and I find it heartbreaking that these animals who would have been slaughtered humanely are now being crammed in horrendous conditions in trailers and hauled across the border to be slaughtered where there is no regulations for humane treatment of animals, or the horses that are being slowly starved by people unable to afford to feed them. On the face of it, slaughterhouses sound horrible, but however unfortunate it is that there are unwanted horses in the world, slaughterhouses serve a real purpose. I know this seems off topic but not really - it frustrates me when people protest something with promise like using wind power, without thinking through all of the ramifications. Some people object first and don't even bother to ask questions and that is a shame.

tekochip
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Platinum
Re: Good idea
tekochip   7/24/2013 12:18:57 PM
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Certainly a great idea.  I wonder about the return on investment.  It looks like the article says they will need a turbine every 100m, so that's quite a few turbines on the average commuter rail.  Let us know how the five turbine trial goes.


Charles Murray
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Re: Good idea
Charles Murray   7/24/2013 7:31:42 PM
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What will they do if the wind's not blowing? I assume they will need some form of energy storage.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Good idea
Ann R. Thryft   7/24/2013 8:10:33 PM
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Thanks, Elizabeth--I think it's fascinating that the guy who designed this took inspiration from aeronomics and aircraft design. And I like the bird- and bat-friendly aspect, too.

TJ McDermott
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Wake turbulence
TJ McDermott   7/25/2013 1:39:19 AM
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The image with the article makes me think the designers want to harvest some of the wake turbulence of passing trains.

Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Re: Wake turbulence
Elizabeth M   7/25/2013 5:54:07 AM
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Interesting observation, TJ, I am sure there is potential for harvesting there, too.

Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Re: Good idea
Elizabeth M   7/25/2013 6:00:26 AM
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I agree, Ann, the aircraft-inspired design is quite cool, and makes perfect sense. I wonder if other wind-turbine designers are thinking this way as well? It is definitely a new level of innovation for this technology.

GTOlover
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Platinum
Re: Wake turbulence
GTOlover   7/25/2013 9:09:39 AM
TJ, I think the image is of a road and not a railway. This would imply that they need to harvest the wake turbulence of ICE vehicles. Being it is in Europe, probably deisel vehicles. If your observation is true, then for the energy requirement to be met for the train, carbon based fuel has to be used. Seems we cannot get away from this premise. Maybe we run deisel train engines instead?

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