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Wind Power Is Getting Big

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Charles Murray
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Re: Why use expensive wind?
Charles Murray   5/5/2014 6:25:52 PM
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Cadcoke5, your question, "Why use expensive wind?" was succinctly answered this past weekend by wind energy investor, Warren Buffett. Speaking to investors, he said this: "I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire's tax rate. For example, on wind energy, we get tax breaks if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit." 

See the link below from today's Wall Street Journal.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304831304579541782064848174?mg=reno64-wsj

patb2009
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Re: Off Shore VS Breathable air
patb2009   5/5/2014 2:05:04 AM
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it's distance.

 

If you have any serious distance go DC.

bdcst
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Re: Off Shore VS Breathable air
bdcst   5/4/2014 9:34:33 PM
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Large off shore power cable systems are mostly DC today, in part to permit interconnection of differing AC systems.  This has been achieveable only in recent times with the advent of solid state DC to AC converter stations.  But most submarine power cables, the smaller links to islands in the harbor such as ligthhouses etc., are still AC.

patb2009
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Re: Off Shore VS Breathable air
patb2009   5/4/2014 6:59:57 PM
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Most offshore and underwater electrical power cables are DC.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_power_cable#Direct_current_cables

 

 

bdcst
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Re: Off Shore VS Breathable air
bdcst   5/4/2014 10:01:58 AM
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Underwater cables require two conductors per phase due to the need to provide a metallic shield to maintain a constant impedance and for safety.  That means a lot more cost per meter of line strung.  These lines also require serious insulation properties.  With an AC system you will also suffer higher dielectric losses than that of air itself.  And an AC system suffers higher I*R losses than a DC system due to skin effect.

As for wind power remaining economical, like other forms of electrical power generation, including fossil fuel and nuclear, future projects tend to require upscaling to keep up with the rising cost of manufacture and construction.  Wind farms built 20 years ago used much smaller turbines than those being built today.  Earlier units were well under 200 feet tall from ground to blade tip.  Today's machines require air safety hazard lighting!  Bigger does not make them better neighbors.  What may have been hardley noticable on a distant mountain ridge or on the horizon from shore, become eyesores with today's sizing.

I didn't mention the accelerated interest in PV technology here in Northern New England.  Due in part to govenment incentives and state based public utility regulations, large solar power farms are being built with shares being sold to anyone who buys local utility power.  Thus homeowners and businesses who may not be in a good position to house solar panels can still take advantage of net metering.  Also, economy of scale kicks in making the cost to build and maintain much lower than going it alone.  That said, ROI will still take over a decade.  Those who champion green energy should be aware that many of these solar farms are being built on fertile farmland in river valleys.  Ironically, PV is stealing both the soil and the sunlight that could have been used to fuel our biological energy needs.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Why use expensive wind?
Cabe Atwell   5/4/2014 12:25:16 AM
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Too bad the ROI is a few decaded.

C

fm
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Re: Why use expensive wind?
fm   5/3/2014 11:46:58 PM
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@BrainiacV, i think it can be pretty hilarious when politicians make up stuff and pretend to be scientists. Do you suppose he's run computer simulations on his theory and may have some numbers to back up this claim?

Yeah, i don't either.

I don't know him at all, but i'm going to guess that he denies that mankind could in any way cause global climate change after 150 years of the Industrial Revolution. Then in the next breath, he turns around and asserts the idea that wind turbines could cause ... global climate change. Consistency - what a concept!

fm
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Re: Off Shore VS Breathable air
fm   5/3/2014 11:33:51 PM
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@bdcst, The hurricane study i referenced was a study done by Stanford University, and has a short video on NASA Tech Briefs, "Tech Briefs TV":

http://video.techbriefs.com/video/Computer-Simulations-Show-Offsh;Software,

I daily link interesting renewable energy stories from my LinkedIn company page, and i just posted this one last week so it was fresh in mind! Granted, this study used a fairly large offshore array, but it does have some interesting results.

As for transmission losses, much of that is related to resistive heating (i assume the operators can control the reactive part of the transmission line!). Hotter lines mean more resistive losses. High-tension lines in the air are at the same temperature as the air around them - cold in winter & hot in summer - thus the I*R losses in overhead lines are greatest during the summer. Underwater cables, on the other hand, are in a relatively cool environment year-round, and i would expect them to enjoy, if not lower losses overall, then a more consistent loss profile.

Consider that overhead lines present a changing impedance over the course of a year (that pesky hot/cold cycle) that i'm guessing has to be actively managed. Cables that are underwater (or underground, for that matter) stay within a small temperature range year-round. I'm no power transmission line operator, but i would think that underwater lines would be an easier control problem to manage than overhead lines.

While i don't know about the install cost comparisons, i will say that laying underwater cables wouldn't bring up the same sometimes-expensive territory fights that stringing up high-tension lines does!

patb2009
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Gold
Re: Why use expensive wind?
patb2009   5/2/2014 10:55:06 PM
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CadCoke

 

Your commentary isn't based upon facts.

 

http://gallery.mailchimp.com/ce17780900c3d223633ecfa59/files/Lazard_Levelized_Cost_of_Energy_v7.0.1.pdf

 

if you look at Lazard/Frere's numbers, then you see wind is cheaper then anything

 

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

 

if you look at the EIA numbers you also see that.

It's also why wind installs are growing like crazy.

 

wind is popular because it runs for free.

patb2009
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Gold
Re: Worlds biggest 15 milliwatt generator
patb2009   5/2/2014 10:45:30 PM
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"world's largest 15 milliwatt Wind Turbine "

 

Yeah, I think Rob totally mis typed Megawatts

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