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)
These are interesting questions, Old_Curmudgeon. As for fracking, the procedure is being used for both oil and gas. And I've also heard about the old oil wells replenishing. In looking at the stories on this, nobody seems to know why old wells have replenished.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.