Wind Power Operating, Maintenance Costs Drop 38 Percent
The costs of wind power are falling, not only for turbine cost and performance, but also for operating and maintaining wind farms. Shown here, Siemens service engineers work in a wind turbine's gondola. (Source: Siemens)
bob from maine, thanks for your comments on the danger to aquifers. I live in a county with compromised aquifers: so far, no chemical poisoning, but definitely, ones with levels too low to sustain a growing population, and perhaps even to sustain a non-growing one. (Hence the discussions here about desalination). The point is, once we've messed them up, fahgeddaboutit for the future. I don't see how risking one's water supply is an "acceptable risk," in any sense of the term.
Thinking_J, thanks for the input about what's behind the previous separate price drops due to better turbine performance and design. FYI, the photo caption info was taken directly from Siemens, the providers of the photo and of the wind system. OLD_CURMIDGEON, the reason O&M costs dropped 38%was because the providers dropped their prices due to increased competition, as the article states.
There's another point to consider regarding the investing of "foreign" compounds into the soil to act as a detergent. One need look no further than the evidence that has been amassed regarding the trace levels of so many different patent medicines which have been identified in the public water supplies, lakes, rivers, underground aquefers, etc. Researchers have identified almost the full range of these products from aspirin to estrogen compounds.
We are constantly reminded by the "health" industry why it is important to drink several glass of water per day, yet in doing so, we may actually be precipitating some negative health condition in the future.
NOTHING that occurs on the face of this Earth, occurs in a "vacuum", and as such, it is imperative that people everywhere realize this! For every effect, there IS a cause! The challenge has always been to recognize & isolate those which ARE TRULY beneficial, and those which ARE TRULY harmful.
You are right that energy cannot be destroyed. However, friction is just one of many forms that decreases the amount of stored energy that can be removed from storage. And from what I have read there are not very efficient ways to store energy. Often when energy is stored a percentage of that energy is lost.
Good points, Old_Curmudgeon. Let the data tell the story. There has been some anecdotal stories of gas coming out of water pipes near fracking. Others say that's nonsense. Ultimately, data will tell the story.
IF you consider that it is always POSSIBLE for chemicals to seep from an ostensibally sealed pipe under thousands of pounds of pressure, through a seemingly geologically isolated strata and mix with an underground aquifer, and further that the possibility seems somehow proportional to the qualification and motivation of the PEOPLE doing the work, then yes, there is a possible hazard. The chemicals are not suitable for human consumption. The aquifer, once compromised cannot be either isolated or recovered in situ. We daily depend on research done by scientists and machinery and processes developed and implemented by engineers to protect us from serious and often fatal occurances. We rely on their judgement of what constitutes "acceptable risk" and most of us (but not all) are comfortable with that. There is no possibility of debate when using emotion to discuss scientific issues (thus speaks an ex politician). Yes, there is risk; No, most of us have no or limited concept of the science involved.
Be careful WHO you seek information from regarding fracking's (possibly negative)environmental impact. Just as in so many cases in the past 30 or so years, you'll find some very staunch opponents who base their convictions on alchemy, and will not be convinced even by acknowledged nonpartisan scientific experts. That's probably one main reason why I've always trusted instruments for accurate answers vs. human beings. Instruments & domestic animals share one IMPORTANT trait ..... they're incapable of Rationalization! Humans, NOT SO!
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.