Where wind power rules...

This_person

Well-Known Member
:notworthy I would not have though even an island nation could generate tens of GW from off-shore wind. I admit to being wrong in my assumption, and impressed.

Now, that 20 GW "capacity" - how often is it actually achieved, I wonder.
 
Last edited:

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
Now, that 20 GW "capacity" - how often is it actually achieved, I wonder.
Average capacity factor varies between 30 and 40% on a seasonal basis. So 100% is rare and, sometimes, even newsworthy. I recall when one large grid - I think it was a German one - exceeded 110% for a period.

The natural variations in wind speed are smoothed out a great deal by the sheer magnitude of the wind power grid and how widely dispersed it is. The days where "the wind ain't blowing" caused major disruption are largely a thing of the past for places like the UK and Germany, and both have dramatically reduced the capacity of standby power generation facilities...something that is controlled by government oversight and legislation.

The offshore wind industry just getting off the ground in the US won't have too much effect on overall power distribution. Even when fully developed, it will represent a tiny fraction of overall power consumed.

A key enabling technology for wind and solar is storage...and that is where a lot of R&D is being focused right now, with some pretty darned large storage banks - glorified batteries - already delivered in some places.

The Us is lagging way, way behind in all of this but that's a blessing...we get to reap the benefits of mature technology without the cost of developing it.
 

This_person

Well-Known Member
Average capacity factor varies between 30 and 40% on a seasonal basis. So 100% is rare and, sometimes, even newsworthy.
This is my point. It's great to say you've got 20MW "capability", but it's mostly theoretical and not actual.

A key enabling technology for wind and solar is storage...and that is where a lot of R&D is being focused right now, with some pretty darned large storage banks - glorified batteries - already delivered in some places.

The Us is lagging way, way behind in all of this but that's a blessing...we get to reap the benefits of mature technology without the cost of developing it.
The Australians have some GREAT batteries they're using for their submarines. Perhaps we could purchase That technology.

I fully agree that the problem is storage, because storage capacity should handle the lags when "the wind ain't blowing". Off-shore should have few and far between when the wind ain't blowing, but it of course happens.

This is why I call these great back-up generators - the batteries that can handle the few and far between times when you really need to support the "real" generation capability. I think these are great things to put on one's house - especially a farmer or someone long separated from a stable supply of electricity. You can do a lot, and use the heat generated by the batteries charging to help warm your home, not to mention probably power a great deal of your home a great deal of the time (maybe most of the time). Especially if you combine wind and power.

But, as a supply from a utility company to keep the factories running and office buildings cool and connected, it just ain't gonna work. I am absolutely for Congress funding, IAW Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution, the "useful arts" (universities, R&D facilities) to help learn the science to make this become a useful power supply for large scale. But, today, it is just simply not capable of doing that.
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
This is my point. It's great to say you've got 20MW "capability", but it's mostly theoretical and not actual.
The point is...that they are achieving the kinds of numbers they are, as a percentage of total power, fully taking the capacity factors in to account. Same thing thing in Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, etc. Our current new "hot" development area is Taiwan.

But, as a supply from a utility company to keep the factories running and office buildings cool and connected, it just ain't gonna work.
Except that, over there, they are making it work. Except for that. ;-)
 

This_person

Well-Known Member
The point is...that they are achieving the kinds of numbers they are, as a percentage of total power, fully taking the capacity factors in to account. Same thing thing in Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, etc. Our current new "hot" development area is Taiwan.



Except that, over there, they are making it work. Except for that. ;-)
The total power required for those countries isn't enough to power two of our major cities. The small wattage required to be a significant percentage there might handle North Dakota here. Maybe. But, last I checked, North Dakota has no "off-shore" areas to make it feasible to get 40% capacity out of a 20MW windmill and have that be a reasonable source of energy. Even in a farm of 20 MW windmills. It would take pretty much all of the land in the state to generate the electricity required for the state.

I'll bet if we tried in for just Rhode Island, it would be a meaningful percentage of what they need from their off-shore capabilities. But, nobody wants it off their shore, so.....
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
I'll bet if we tried in for just Rhode Island, it would be a meaningful percentage of what they need from their off-shore capabilities. But, nobody wants it off their shore, so.....
. Actually..huge offshore farms are going to be built off Rhode Island..and NY..and Mass...and NJ..and CT....
 

This_person

Well-Known Member
. Actually..huge offshore farms are going to be built off Rhode Island..and NY..and Mass...and NJ..and CT....
I remember when they tried to do it off Mass, and the Kennedys said NIMBY.

It will, of course, eventually happen. It will, of course, supply energy. It will, due to science, not help enough to make an appreciable difference.

The smallest nuclear power generating station in the United States (Ginna) makes 582 MW. It is essentially not fiscally viable, being so small.

To make the same energy using 20 MW windmills, working at an optimistic 50% average capacity, you would need 58 in the farm.

According to the National Renewable Energy Lab, you need about 65-70 acres per megawatt generated total space. At 65 acres/MW X 582 MW X 2 (to take into account a 50% ((very optimistic)) average capacity factor), a total area of 75,660 acres is necessary.

All of my figures are scaled to be best for the use of the windmills. Using actual numbers would be far worse.

So, that's 118 square miles of land, or sea, devoted to the same thing that is handled by the smallest American nuclear power plant.

So, yeah, they're out there, and they make electricity (even in the GW range, totaled, I'm very impressed). They're unreliable, eye-sores, and produce very little energy for the space they take up; but, yeah, I'm sure they'll put them in to make people feel good. Again, I think they're great for very small, remote areas! I'd rather see them for that kind of use for sure!
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
The "modern" farms are huge..and sited almost always out of view of the shore. 60-80 turbines each is sort of typical of the farms we service over in the North sea, for example. The total number of trubines installed offshore throughout Europe and Scandinavia is in excess of 5000 now and that number continues to climb.

Once all the projects currently getting underway along the Atlantic seaboard are completed, there will be thousands of turbines in service offshore. The first construction of the large farms is scheduled to begin in 2020, off of New York, with a project off Mass. hot on their heels. Many other states, including MD, are a year or two farther behind..
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
The total power required for those countries isn't enough to power two of our major cities. .
Gross exaggeration. The UK requires about 1/12 of the power the US does. Significantly less than us, yes, but certainly FAR more than just a couple of our major cities. New York City, for example, has an average demand of .45-.50 GW, or a bit more than 1/10th of UK's total demand.

All that aside, the goals for the contribution of offshore wind to the energy portfolios of the states that are involved are very modest. It really is more of a "stunt" than a true solution. But I'm OK with that because a) LCOE for offshore wind has fallen so far that it's now viable without subsidies and b) we make money off the industry. :evil:
 
Last edited:

This_person

Well-Known Member
Gross exaggeration. The UK requires about 1/12 of the power the US does. Significantly less than us, yes, but certainly FAR more than just a couple of our major cities. New York City, for example, has an average demand of .45-.50 GW, or a bit more than 1/10th of UK's total demand.

All that aside, the goals for the contribution of offshore wind to the energy portfolios of the states that are involved are very modest. It really is more of a "stunt" than a true solution. But I'm OK with that because a) LCOE for offshore wind has fallen so far that it's now viable without subsidies and b) we make money off the industry. :evil:
if I seem to be pooh-poohing it as a part of the solution, I am not. I am categorically stating it is NOT a solution, but everything that supplies power is a part of the solution.

I'd rather see the underwater turbines that are about 20 times more efficient in terms of speed of prime mover to energy generated.
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
i

I'd rather see the underwater turbines that are about 20 times more efficient in terms of speed of prime mover to energy generated.
A good friend of mine has invested a lot of effort in developing viable underwater turbines and is finally seeing some return for his efforts. Just last month he attended an event in China that was focused on encouraging/facilitating financial investment emerging alternative power technologies like he's developed. The chief hydrodynamicist in our company did a lot of the blade design and near-field CFD work.

Check it out:

http://www.hydrokinetic-energy.com/
 
Last edited:

This_person

Well-Known Member
A good friend of mine has invested a lot of effort in developing viable underwater turbines and is finally seeing some return for his efforts. Just last month he attended an event in China that was focused on encouraging/facilitating financial investment emerging alternative power technologies like he's developed. The chief hydrodynamicist in our company did a lot of the blade design and near-field CFD work.

Check it out:

http://www.hydrokinetic-energy.com/
That looks like it has great potential as a larger-scale solution!

I saw some small stuff, too. 2 MPH currents generating in the smaller KW range (per turbine). Again, great for remote areas...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqxdTxl4CXc
 
Top