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THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 12:23:14

I have a different view of renewables. Both wind and solar are affordable and can be installed by rural and suburban customers, and now there are batteries like the Tesla Powerwall that can make these credible alternatives to grid power. Renewables need to be distributed, not large central power plants, and most of the power grid materials can eventually be recycled, saving even more energy.

Most people absolutely DON'T need to be locked into a business model where they spend money every month for power. A new home should be NZE (Net Zero Energy) or even NEP (Net Energy Plus) that can also charge your EV.

It makes more sense to go off the grid than to spend money on an extra bedroom, more conditioned space, or a swimming pool. You need to pay that home off as rapidly as possible, then after it's paid for, enhance it as you wish.

Get out of the habit of paying energy companies for something you can gather for zero fuel cost. Pay for the energy upgrade with your mortgage, it's all gravy from there on, and you will be ahead from the first year in terms of cash flow.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 13:27:48

KJ - I can see the obvious advantage of individuals going off grid. But it has not and will not happen to a significant degree anytime soon IMHO. Today 15% of Texas electricity comes from the alts daily and up to 40% during catastrophic short term ff sourced outages.

There are 27 million folks in Texas so it would have taken 4 million to individually go off grid to have the same net effect as our commercial wind growth. But would be no help to the grid when we run short of ff power in emergency situations. That growth would not have happened in the same time span as our wind power developed. And how do I know that? According to a big solar advocate, the Solar Energy Industry Association, in Texas the number of homes powered (including those just partially provided) by solar is 136,000. That's 1.5% of our total number of homes. And the % of the state’s total electricity from all solar installations: 0.24%.

Yes, IF there were a massive surge in individually deployed alternative energy. IF, IF, IF. In the meantime Texas has more the 35,000 GWh of installed alt energy capacity.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 14:52:00

Yes, Texas is second only to California in alternative energy. (Texas is #1 in Wind, California is #1 in solar PV.) But read this:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601221/texas-and-california-have-too-much-renewable-energy/

....and both Texas and California are embarrassed by Washington state, which uses hydropower for 60% of its total energy. Granted, the totals are lower than either large state, but 60% is an impressive number.

My power company PG&E buys alternative energy from Texas via a company called CALPINE. They also buy from me, because we have mandated net metering. But with taxes and fees I still owe a few bucks per month for electricity, and about $600 in natural gas every Winter.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 19:06:08

"...and both Texas and California are embarrassed by Washington state" Doesn't embarrass Texans at all. They built out the hydro for the same reason we built out our lignite burning plants: the cheapest way to go at the time. It sure as hell wasn't done to save the environment. That proof lies in the fact that Washington state is major supplier of fossil fuel products. Fossil fuel products made from oil shipped in from frac'd Bakken wells and from Alaska shipped by ships like the Exxon Valdez.

Nope, no embarrassment in Texas. LOL.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Synapsid » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 20:15:48

ROCKMAN,

You're just not giving Washington state credit.

Yes, the state produces products refined from fossil fuels; that's what all those world-class refineries are for in a state that produces no oil. And yes, some of the crude used is brought in from the Bakken by rail and barge--I don't know how much from Alaska these days, that's just my ignorance. But what you're missing is this:

Washington steals oil-sands crude and refines that as well! We tap TransMountain's pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, near Vancouver (the pipeline that TM wants to double); the deed is done at Sumas.

Credit where credit is due, please.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 22:15:33

Syn - I figured that post would flush you from the bushes. LOL.

Alaska and Canada provided the majority of crude supply to Washington State refineries, at 58 and 21.5 percent respectively. From the latest numbers from the EIA it looks like 130 million bbls of oil per year is shipped from Alaska thru those pristine waters to Washington and 50 million bbls per year of the "dirtiest oil on the planet" arrives in the state from Canada.

Thank goodness the state has so much hydro. If it didn't it would consume some of those climate destroying fossil fuels instead of letting the rest of us do it.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Synapsid » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 00:45:32

ROCKMAN,

"I figured that post would flush you from the bushes"

And I didn't want you to be disappointed.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 12:39:30

the problem with the idea that 'everyone should go off the grid' is everyone or at least the vast majority still want grid service when their home system is offline for any reason. The more people who depart the grid the less incentive the grid owners have to maintain a large stable system with excess capacity. At some point it tips over into the grid producers and distributors losing money by staying in business.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 12:48:50

No one really foes off-grid except a few remote marijuana farmers. And a few very very wealthy yuppies. It would be a difficult life style for most of us. Especially the storage component. Maintaining micro-hydro reservoirs, windmills and batteries can be very difficult and time consuming even for experts. Simple solar-panel glass needs to be kept clean of sticky pollen. It's way up there . . . high on the roof. Far away. Ropes, harness, and cojones are de rigeur for the tast lol
/sarc
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 13:03:58

Tanada wrote:the problem with the idea that 'everyone should go off the grid' is everyone or at least the vast majority still want grid service when their home system is offline for any reason. The more people who depart the grid the less incentive the grid owners have to maintain a large stable system with excess capacity. At some point it tips over into the grid producers and distributors losing money by staying in business.


Tanada, the grid only deserves to exist in areas where distributed alternative energies can't be gathered and used. The whole idea with NZE and NEP is to abandon the least efficient part of the grid, which is the last mile to the consumer. People would of course be free to live in a neighborhood served by the grid, in urban or select high-density suburban areas, or in multi-family dwellings. But having a single farm with a single transformer at the end of two miles of wires never made any sense. We should salvage the wire and the transformer, or let that single consumer pay the actual cost of his electrical service.

The "public utilities" scam should never have included the energy suppliers IMHO, as it has never made sense. Nobody should own their own water purification and sewage treatment, or build and maintain the public street adjacent to their property. But those that CAN generate power and heat without spewing carbon SHOULD do so, given our current solar/wind tech. We should then recycle all the grid materials, the copper and steel and transformers that serve such consumers - else we can never wean ourselves off FF's.

Maintenance is no longer an issue either. Lithium batteries require only monitoring and intelligent charging. Elon Musk does that for you - the Powerwall has a microprocessor charger, it "phones home" and Tesla manages and updates the charger firmware for you. Modern alternative energy systems are not DIY designs, and are not maintenance intensive.

As for who WANTS this sort of power, everybody should - as it frees them from monthly power charges, frees the atmosphere from carbon-spewing power plants, and will give gainful employment to many.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 13:15:19

Are you are marijuana growner KJ? I don't see how anyone else can justifiy a lithium-ion storage.

The average US homes uses 30 kWh per day, would require 3) 10 kWh Powerwall units. They cost $3,500 each, and would have to be replaced every two-three years. (expected life of a lithium ion battery, even if they are sitting on a shelf unused.) $11,000 every two years is excessive. More than the grid.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 13:31:48

No, I'm somebody planning an all-electric and very energy-efficient off-grid rural home. Nor am I advocating that we "pass a law", invade the ME and take their oil, or anything else dramatic.

The PassivHaus or even LEED Platinum would require 3kWh per day, not 30. The Lithium batteries in the Powerwall are not the same as in your cell phone, and are managed by an intelligent charger. They are warrantied for 10 years, and expected to last 20 years before replacement. Nor will they be $3500 each after the GigaFactory gets going, they are $3500 using imported Panasonic Lithium cells.

The power grid in it's present form is obsolete, as are our energy-hog residences. We need to quit sheltering people from bad decisions, such as buying Building Code compliant homes, which when you think about it, are the very worst lowest quality homes that can legally be sold. Then we need to require that every existing structure meet the energy consumption goal every 50 years, or be torn down.

But the most obsolete thing of all is those who believe things never change. The power grid was a good thing in 1930, but it's a bloated and very bad idea in 2017.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 15:19:09

KJ, you must remember the Last Great Housing Boom. We used the last of our inexpensive petroleum to build out the idiotic American Suburban Nightmare. Houses sited to the street rather than solar south, so-called Great Rooms (that's where you heat the roof instead of the room lol), granite countertops, forced air heating, and other idiocies.

It's no coincidence that the Dumb Bubble ended in 2005, just when inexpensive conventional oil peaked/plateaued. The last chance for a sustainable US infrastructure. No money now to build out a suburban replacement. Your pretty LEEDS home will stand as a Castle among slums.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 16:10:02

It's not like cheap houses last forever. Here in trendy Silly Valley, homes get refurbed about every 16 years, and even in economically depressed Wisconsin, about every 27 years between remodels.

Frankly, we can't afford not to. Do you think those "bubble" homes you mention should be preserved, or bulldozed? Do you think anybody would even want to live in one when the rent is $500 per month and the heating bill is $2500 per month? Gas and grid electricity will eventually get expensive and never get cheap again - the NZE or NEP home will soon be the only kind a thinking person would even want. Think about living in your home without any HVAC you can afford, and no wood to burn either.

The newly constructed PassivHaus will cost 30% more to build than simple code compliance, and the energy bill will be 10% of the average if you make the effort to conserve. The Passivhaus standards for retrofits are a bit more lax, call it 15% of the energy budget of the average home. The proposal that every existing home comply with the energy consumption standard every 50 years is a modest one, that's about as long as cheap houses last anyway. A contractor should not be able to "flip" a property with cosmetic changes alone, he must bring it up to the then-current energy consumption standard or flatten the structure and start over.

We have serious problems to solve and we need to get serious about solving them. The biggest problem is that we consume too much energy. But if I build (or refurb) a 3000 square foot NZE or NEP home, and I'm completely off grid, I have met the standard, haven't I? I'm not taking power from the grid or the gas main, and I'm allowed to set my own thermostat and if I'm 95 years old and want it at 75 degrees in my 3000 sq ft home, I can do that. Also I don't want anyone telling me I "must" live in 300 sq ft or 500 sq ft - I will decide, and I will live where I want to live, and how I want to live. If YOU want to live in town and pay for the power grid, I'll not oppose you - as long as you also have a home that only consumes 10% to 15% of the energy we use today.

I told you that I believed that we could keep very similar lifestyles to what we have while consuming 15% of the energy we consume today. I meant that. The PO.com members are fixated on energy sources, when their attention should be focussed on energy conservation, even when that means that they have to bring their home into code compliance once every 50 years. It's not intrusive and it's not extreme, and it is necessary that infrastructure - even personal residences, get renewed for the sake of energy efficiency.
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Re: Free Wind Energy Just Went Public Domain World Wide - US

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 07 Mar 2017, 09:25:37

Stumbled over this old thread which was mistakenly merged into a completely different topic. tracked down a couple of the images originally attached that got lost in the software upgrades and posted them below for those interested. I will point out that eight years later I haven't seen a wind power revolution based on this, but I find it interesting how people reacted none the less.

It seems the original link that was left out of the first post is still active,
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/4/21/722578/

Image

Image
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Re: Free Wind Energy Just Went Public Domain World Wide - US

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 07 Mar 2017, 10:16:37

T - Yes indeed: theoretical solutions to our energy problem are always interesting. All the more so when they are actually built and their utility is proven in the real world. Like this effort:

http://www.independent.co.uk/environmen ... 48576.html

"One of the world’s first commercial-scale, kite-driven power stations is set to be created near Stranraer in Scotland in what could be a major step towards finding the “magic solution” to humanity’s energy problems."

Interesting that the richest green energy advocate considers the project has a 90% chance of failing: "Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who is investing billions in green technology, has said he believes there is a 10 per cent chance that kite power is the “magic solution” to the world’s energy problems."
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:14:57

Article on ocean based turbines from gcaptain.

http://gcaptain.com/wind-power-blows-th ... op-at-sea/
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 10 Mar 2017, 11:18:35

Newfie - Yep, those cost factors in the link are interesting if correct;

"Across Europe, the price of building an offshore wind farm has fallen 46 percent in the last five years — 22 percent last year alone. Erecting turbines in the seabed now costs an average $126 for each megawatt-hour of capacity, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That’s below the $155 a megawatt-hour price for new nuclear developments in Europe and closing in on the $88 price tag on new coal plants, the London-based researcher estimates.".

Of course two important points: still a lot cheaper to build onshore...if you have the land. Of course we have plenty of suitable shore line in the US...just like there is around the North Sea. The problem remains NIMBYism. Except in Texas, of course. LOL.

Second they are comparing the offshore wind to building NEW sources from fossil fuels amd nukes. But if a country isn't expanding its electricity production capacity it's cheaper to maintain existing systems then replacing them. Again even though Texas had greatly expanded its wind power capapcity we haven't abandoned the fossil fuel sources...keeping them as backup and to handle the intermittency problem of wind and solar. That's a very different economic model the many countries face.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 10 Mar 2017, 18:14:42

ROCKMAN wrote:Newfie - Yep, those cost factors in the link are interesting if correct;

"Across Europe, the price of building an offshore wind farm has fallen 46 percent in the last five years — 22 percent last year alone. Erecting turbines in the seabed now costs an average $126 for each megawatt-hour of capacity, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That’s below the $155 a megawatt-hour price for new nuclear developments in Europe and closing in on the $88 price tag on new coal plants, the London-based researcher estimates.".

Of course two important points: still a lot cheaper to build onshore...if you have the land. Of course we have plenty of suitable shore line in the US...just like there is around the North Sea. The problem remains NIMBYism. Except in Texas, of course. LOL.

Second they are comparing the offshore wind to building NEW sources from fossil fuels amd nukes. But if a country isn't expanding its electricity production capacity it's cheaper to maintain existing systems then replacing them. Again even though Texas had greatly expanded its wind power capapcity we haven't abandoned the fossil fuel sources...keeping them as backup and to handle the intermittency problem of wind and solar. That's a very different economic model the many countries face.

Yes the intermittentcy problem is what will place a limit on how much we can build out wind farms on shore and off. I expect we will have reliability problems that are insurmountable if we get above 25 percent wind and solar. One thing I think they ought to explore is tethering a tidal turbine to each offshore wind tower foundation. It would use the same collection cables and have predicable production outputs and make the whole offshore wind farm less iffy.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Simon_R » Sat 11 Mar 2017, 03:57:08

Where I work in the EU the country has 27% wind penetration (and rising).

We are moments from disaster constantly ;)

however, this is managed by adjusting the wholesale market structure and selling Reliability Contracts and Having a balancing market, where there is a will, there is a way.
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