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Author Topic: How effective are wind farms?  (Read 7720 times)

remlapwc

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How effective are wind farms?
« on: 05/10/2008 00:06:22 »
I used to be in favor of wind farms but after observing several wind farms on many occasions in the north west on land and off the coast I have concluded that they must be expensively useless.
I have never seen a full set of turbines turning in any wind conditions, 50% at best in any wind farm and more usually 20% to 30% and quite often none at all. They do not supply constant power as they usually stop and start several times an hour as the wind changes, how can they be factored in to the national grid when the power they supply is so unreliable. I have heard that if lots of turbines are turning it is because they are not actually generating at that time so have no load on them.
« Last Edit: 13/10/2008 07:52:17 by chris »

ukmicky

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Re: How effective are wind farms?
« Reply #1 on: 05/10/2008 14:31:05 »

Electricity is hard and not a very cost effective form of energy to store. Wind farm energy  cant be relied upon and therefore nuclear and coal powered stations have to always be running supplying power and so supply our day to day needs. 

 Wind farms only supplement the power of the UK and the energy they can supply is used only during times of high demand .
« Last Edit: 05/10/2008 15:23:29 by ukmicky »

that mad man

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Re: How effective are wind farms?
« Reply #2 on: 05/10/2008 17:25:55 »
Many remote places still don't have mains electricity wired up so having a wind turbine in that situation would be very cost effective. Much cheaper than laying mains cables or putting up long stretches of pylons.

A mix of energy generation would be a better approach I think, wind + solar panels and batteries for storage.


techmind

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Re: How effective are wind farms?
« Reply #3 on: 05/10/2008 22:07:01 »
Many remote places still don't have mains electricity wired up so having a wind turbine in that situation would be very cost effective.
Much cheaper than laying mains cables or putting up long stretches of pylons.
I don't think there's that many places in the UK without mains electricity, and the unreliability of the wind would hardly make it a practical sole source of electricity.

A mix of energy generation would be a better approach I think, wind + solar panels and batteries for storage.

Unfortunately, apart from very small schemes, batteries just don't have the energy density to make significant storage for electricity at the rate we use it. That's why they built a few hydro-electric schemes: they have two reservoirs, one at the top of a hill and one at the bottom. When there's surplus energy in the grid they pump the water up to the top of the hill, and when there's a sudden demand they let it back down again through turbines and generators. Dinorwig in North Wales is the largest such scheme in this country. It's a major engineering project - but still more practical than batteries!

remlapwc

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Re: How effective are wind farms?
« Reply #4 on: 07/10/2008 22:10:48 »
I have been on the tour inside Dinorwig, it is very impressive and supplies instant reliable generation on demand, several more of these hydro schemes would surely be a more effective long term power supply solution especialy in these wet islands.  I think wind farms are probably a result of gesture politics and some incredible lobbying.

DoctorBeaver

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Re: How effective are wind farms?
« Reply #5 on: 08/10/2008 07:25:35 »
I think wind farms are probably a result of gesture politics and some incredible lobbying.

And some officially-unsanctioned payments to certain people

blakestyger

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Re: How effective are wind farms?
« Reply #6 on: 08/10/2008 18:40:31 »
We've got 40-odd lovely wind turbines in the Wash near where I live and they look fabulous on a sunny day.

Wind power is back to stay - and I believe that historians of the future will look back and see that the twentieth-century is the only one where wind power was not significant.

remlapwc

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Re: How effective are wind farms?
« Reply #7 on: 08/10/2008 22:25:20 »
But how often are they all turning, and for how long.

 

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