Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
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Composites World wrote:When we total the mass of the 43,777 wind turbine blades made during 2007, using the above guidelines, wind turbine manufacturers produced approximately 441 million lb or slightly more than 200,000 metric tonnes of finished blade structures last year — making wind turbine blade manufacturing one of the largest single applications of engineered composites in the world. Incredibly, 2007’s staggering volume is almost 38 percent higher than 2006 and almost double the 2005 figure.
The total breaks down, approximately, as follows:
• Glass fiber – 221 million lb (100,240 metric tonnes)
• Carbon fiber – 4.6 million lb (2,090 metric tonnes)
• Thermoset resins (primarily epoxy and vinyl ester) – 182 million lb (82,550 metric tonnes)
• Core (balsa and foam) – 18 million lb (8,160 metric tonnes)
• Metal (fittings and bolts) – 15 million lb (6,800 metric tonnes)
But there's the rub. I don't get into the debates over the economics of wind farms. Many more smart folks around here to handle that. I make a simplistic assumtion: if the economic value were there (under current cost basis) they would be building them as fast as possible. But, in general, we're not.
rockdoc123 wrote:I saw a calculation made on one of the really huge wind turbines installed in the North Sea. Basically took more barrels of oil to make all the constituent parts and transport it to site, commission etc. than it could yield in energy equivalent over its expected lifetime. Can't remember what the numbers actually were but I found it interesting. The calculation was based on Brent at $80 flat. Would obviously change at higher oil prices but remains to be seen at what price it would make sense. The main reason these are being installed now is they make some economic sense in terms of supplying offshore power to oil facilities.
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