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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 NWMossBack » Sat 04 Nov 2017, 23:20:45

Kublikhan - As I said, it's just an engineering problem but using batteries and inverters or solar panels and inverters for frequency response is not proven technology at the scale that is needed - of course there are trade groups who will tout their ability to provide just about anything people are willing to spend money on. Also as your link noted, there is an inherent stability due to inertia with a large rotating machine that is not true of solid state devices. Something that supplies a service as an inherent characteristic will always have an advantage over a solution that does not. And don't forget the added complexity of the schemes being discussed in those links. Complexity should generally be considered a negative characteristic when evaluating reliability. And cost.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 07:47:28

NWMossBack wrote:Newfie - I don't know how the end of life work fits in to EROEI, but I would guess the scrap value is a positive number. There are rare earth elements as well as copper, electronics, aluminum, etc.


I wAs thinking more along the lines of the blades, towers and those zMASSIVE FOUNDATIONS. Or is it just assumed they will be abandoned in place.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby baha » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 09:03:22

There is no doubt that battery and PV inverters are more reliable and more controllable than a big hunk of rotating metal. I know old-school is more comfortable and proven but the last 20 years has shown solid state electronics and software control is superior. The whole reason for the complexity is to make it more reliable.

My Powerwall controls my grid interface. It reacts to my loads faster than the grid in order to supply the power before it does. With a few software changes it could react to the loads at other people's houses just as well. A system of distributed battery inverters would be more reactive than a central producer could ever be due to the distances involved. 60 Hz wave form changes propogate MUCH slower than information on the Internet. A frequency adjustment could be made before the wave gets to the central powerplant.

I hate the idea of abandoning anything, it's just wastful. When was the last time a nuclear plant admitted it was time to abandon the whole place? Windmills will be maintained and upgraded until the steel reinforced concrete base rots away.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 09:38:12

Even in salt water a reinforced concrete base built properly today should last about 100 years with minimal maintenance.During that time it could hold three or four towers that were each rehabbed a couple of times during their useful life. You can expect that everything of value as recycled material will be stripped from each turbine when they are removed from service.
I would also expect that most bases would also have a tide flow underwater turbine attached that would give a predictable addition to the total output.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 10:07:04

So 100 years maximum? If you say so, it over the years I’ve been involved in various project which had I deal with much younger foundations. A recent one is about 30 years old. And where in the contract requirements is it written they design 100 year foundations and how do you enforce that?

Then what, abandon in place?

For alternative energy to be SUSTAINABLE it needs to produce enough excess energy to replicate itself indefinitely. Are there any calculations that show this?
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby GHung » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 10:23:17

vtsnowedin wrote:Even in salt water a reinforced concrete base built properly today should last about 100 years with minimal maintenance.During that time it could hold three or four towers that were each rehabbed a couple of times during their useful life. You can expect that everything of value as recycled material will be stripped from each turbine when they are removed from service.
I would also expect that most bases would also have a tide flow underwater turbine attached that would give a predictable addition to the total output.


What is of ongoing value isn't the machine. It's the location (and any claims on that location), the wind there, and how much energy any machine at that location has produced, and can produce in the future..

With a family member, I had a small company that made good money transporting generators, turbines, and bearings from aging power plants to a GE plant near to where we lived to be refurbished and returned to service. Various power providers would pay a lot to expedite this process. I once asked a maintenance manager at a plant in Alabama, after he applauded me for getting the bearing back well ahead of schedule, why they were paying so much to transport these things. He pointed to the turbine as they began off-loading that huge bearing and said; "that turbine is losing $10,000 a minute while it's down". A smallish hydro plant near me has been in service since 1942. I hauled the generator and its bearings out of there, and back, in the late 80s and I expect that plant will be in service at least another 50 years.

How are productive wind energy installations any different?
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 10:40:48

To contract a 100 year life span you specify stainless steel rebar and 5000 minimum psi concrete. Then hire good inspectors and testing firms and double check that they have not been corrupted. A base that failed in thirty years was built to a much lower standard.
The problem with wind towers is the strength of materials used for the tower and the blades. Carbon fiber construction is the innovation that has let them reach the size and efficiency they are at today. I suspect their limiting factor today is how many storm cycles that stress the blades to their limits before cracks appear or how many months of sunlight it takes to degrade the resins that coat the blades. I would expect research to continue and each successive tower and turbine to be more durable then the one it replaces.
If a base finally fails you would remove it in total and replace it with a new one also state of the art at the time. Your still going to still need the energy from the wind at that site so will only abandon a site if it has proven to be too calm a location and therefore unprofitable.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby GHung » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 10:42:27

Newfie wrote:So 100 years maximum? If you say so, it over the years I’ve been involved in various project which had I deal with much younger foundations. A recent one is about 30 years old. And where in the contract requirements is it written they design 100 year foundations and how do you enforce that?

Then what, abandon in place?

For alternative energy to be SUSTAINABLE it needs to produce enough excess energy to replicate itself indefinitely. Are there any calculations that show this?


Hydro plants are constructed of concrete and are subject to the same, if not more extreme, environmental assaults. Hoover damn has been in use 80 years and its primary problem is enough water to power its generators.
Why, pray tell, are you people holding other renewables to a different standard? I see it all the time with PV and wind, and it makes no sense at all.

A new study by the Energy Information Administration indicates hydropower plants account for 99 percent of all currently operating capacity built before 1930.

The average hydroelectric facility has been operating for 64 years, and the 50 oldest electric generating plants are all hydroelectric and have been in service since 1908.

http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2017/ ... e-u-s.html


Again, how is a modern wind farm different than these 100 year old hydro plants?
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 10:52:20

GHung wrote:
Again, how is a modern wind farm different than these 100 year old hydro plants?

Well for one thing a turbine inside the power house at hoover dam is never exposed to the weather and the water running through it falls from the same height all the time and passes through the blades at a constant speed always entering the turbine from the same ideal direction. The wind turbine has to be turned into the wind which is constantly changing in both direction and speed and often approaches the strength limits of the materials used . Also the wind blows a lot faster at the top of a 300 foot rotor then it does at the bottom so each blade undergoes changes in the load it is under on each and every revolution.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby NWMossBack » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:04:29

Wind turbines are maintenance nightmares. After about 15 years the cost of maintaining them is not worth it. There is a new study that just confirmed the results of this one, but I could not find it on line.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/e ... study.html

I am an electrical engineer for GE Renewable Energy, and I've worked in the hydro controls industry for 28 years so I am asked this question all the time: "Will this system last as long as the 50 year old system you are replacing?" The answer is always an unqualified "No way". A bearing or a generator stator frame may last as long as the old school stuff, but the control system components are just not designed to last anywhere near that long. Some of that is planned obsolescence - you just can't get one obscure widget anymore so you replace the whole system. There are still plants running with controllers that were used when I was a young engineer, but I see fewer and fewer of them.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby GHung » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:07:48

vtsnowedin wrote:
GHung wrote:
Again, how is a modern wind farm different than these 100 year old hydro plants?

Well for one thing a turbine inside the power house at hoover dam is never exposed to the weather and the water running through it falls from the same height all the time and passes through the blades at a constant speed always entering the turbine from the same ideal direction. The wind turbine has to be turned into the wind which is constantly changing in both direction and speed and often approaches the strength limits of the materials used . Also the wind blows a lot faster at the top of a 300 foot rotor then it does at the bottom so each blade undergoes changes in the load it is under on each and every revolution.


.... and these wind turbines can be pulled from service and refurbished much easier than the components of a hydro plant. A wind farm is made up of many smaller/distributed components which can be cycled in and out of service. Hydro plant components are massive and require days/weeks to disassemble, transport, and refurbish (been there, done that). Indeed, with a few spare wind turbines in the loop, a wind turbine can be swapped out in a few days while the other 85% (?) are still producing energy and revenue.

Again, not sure why you guys are want posit lack of solutions where problems don't exist. Virtually all forms of energy production involve ongoing maintenance, and I've seen no evidence that modern wind turbines can't be productive because they fall into some special category. They clearly don't, as their increasing global utilization proves. Maybe you are smart and they aren't?

I'm curious what your experience is with power generation and distribution, beyond hauling your Honda from house to house.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby GHung » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:10:55

NWMossBack wrote:Wind turbines are maintenance nightmares. After about 15 years the cost of maintaining them is not worth it. There is a new study that just confirmed the results of this one, but I could not find it on line.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/e ... study.html

I am an electrical engineer for GE Renewable Energy, and I've worked in the hydro controls industry for 28 years so I am asked this question all the time: "Will this system last as long as the 50 year old system you are replacing?" The answer is always an unqualified "No way". A bearing or a generator stator frame may last as long as the old school stuff, but the control system components are just not designed to last anywhere near that long. Some of that is planned obsolescence - you just can't get one obscure widget anymore so you replace the whole system. There are still plants running with controllers that were used when I was a young engineer, but I see fewer and fewer of them.


Entirely solvable. And many of these studies are criticizing early generation wind systems. Linking to a 6 year old study of 20 year old early generation industrial-scale wind turbines isn't very useful, IMO.
Last edited by GHung on Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:15:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby NWMossBack » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:12:05

It's no mystery why wind turbine components (bearings, gearbox, blades) do not last as long as similar hydro components: weight. A hydro bearing is massive - it weighs more than an entire wind turbine assembly. If there was a need to make hydro bearings 90% lighter they would not last long either.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:23:57

GHung wrote:
.... and these wind turbines can be pulled from service and refurbished much easier than the components of a hydro plant.

Yah sure a crane with 250 feet of stick on a barge ten miles at sea. Piece of cake.

Again, not sure why you guys are want posit lack of solutions where problems don't exist. Virtually all forms of energy production involve ongoing maintenance, and I've seen no evidence that modern wind turbines can't be productive because they fall into some special category. They clearly don't, as their increasing global utilization proves. Maybe you are smart and they aren't?

I'm curious what your experience is with power generation and distribution, beyond hauling your Honda from house to house.
[/quote]
I helped tear down fifty wind turbines off 100 ft. towers in the Dakotas and Montana in 1975. Wrote a paper in college about the wind power as it then stood.Conclusion was that it was not practical with the materials then available,also 1975. Forty years of waiting for line crews to move their poles and lines so the prime contractor could build the road or bridge I was inspecting the work on. Beyond that nothing.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby GHung » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:25:02

NWMossBack wrote:It's no mystery why wind turbine components (bearings, gearbox, blades) do not last as long as similar hydro components: weight. A hydro bearing is massive - it weighs more than an entire wind turbine assembly. If there was a need to make hydro bearings 90% lighter they would not last long either.


.... and your link, above?; "The report, published last week by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a think tank that has campaigned against wind farms..."

Really? It says; "...The study also looked at onshore turbines in Denmark and discovered that their decline was much less dramatic even though its wind farms tended to be older. "... sort of buried in the article, that. I'm not claiming that wind energy is perfect; just that most of the criticisms of wind turbines has used cherry-picked examples and holds this technology to a higher standard. A number of hydro plants have failed in the past. That makes hydro power inviable, eh?
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby GHung » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:34:33

VT said;
"I helped tear down fifty wind turbines off 100 ft. towers in the Dakotas and Montana in 1975. Wrote a paper in college about the wind power as it then stood.Conclusion was that it was not practical with the materials then available,also 1975. Forty years of waiting for line crews to move their poles and lines so the prime contractor could build the road or bridge I was inspecting the work on. Beyond that nothing.


Yeah. I read a paper in the early 80s that said that personal computers were junk and would never amount to anything. As for; " Forty years of waiting for line crews to move their poles and lines...", that's a failure of regulation and enforcement. Suppose oil companies in Texas didn't clean up their sites after they were shut down? Ask Rockman. Retired coal plants? Don't see you complaining about them. Improperly plugged oil/gas wells? Thousands of those needing cleanup, and they pose a much bigger problem than some power poles in the middle of nowhere.

Again: Why do you guys hold wind energy to a higher standard?
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:55:29

GHung wrote:
Again: Why do you guys hold wind energy to a higher standard?

I'm not. Life cycle costs are life cycle costs and have to be computed over the realistic service life of the installation including all routine maintenance and periodic retrofits required to reach that life, balanced to the lifetime production. At present wind turbines especially off shore turbines have a much shorter service live then a fixed gravity dam water turbine setup.
You can't just declare that the wind turbine will last as long as the fixed installation without accounting for the likely cost to keep a unit running at that location for that long.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 12:08:09

Not trying to hold it to a higher standard, trying to evaluate if it is truly SUSTAINABLE.

SUSTAINABLE means that it needs to produce more energy in its lifetime than it costs to A build it and B replace it. (And of course to maintains it) If it can’t pay for its replacement then it’s not sustainable. Now an argument could be made that you could spread the replacement over a couple of cycles.

This is just taking a common sense approach. If it flies then fine, if not then it’s not sustainable.

To my mind NKNE of the current projects are held to this standard, thus they are NOT sustainable energy, they are green washing.

I would be very pleased to know I am wrong. Please show me.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby GHung » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 12:53:32

Newfie wrote:Not trying to hold it to a higher standard, trying to evaluate if it is truly SUSTAINABLE.

SUSTAINABLE means that it needs to produce more energy in its lifetime than it costs to A build it and B replace it. (And of course to maintains it) If it can’t pay for its replacement then it’s not sustainable. Now an argument could be made that you could spread the replacement over a couple of cycles.

This is just taking a common sense approach. If it flies then fine, if not then it’s not sustainable.

To my mind NKNE of the current projects are held to this standard, thus they are NOT sustainable energy, they are green washing.

I would be very pleased to know I am wrong. Please show me.


Comparative life cycle assessment of 2.0 MW wind turbines
by Karl R. Haapala; Preedanood Prempreeda
International Journal of Sustainable Manufacturing (IJSM), Vol. 3, No. 2, 2014


Abstract: Wind turbines produce energy with virtually no emissions, however, there are environmental impacts associated with their manufacture, installation, and end of life. The work presented examines life cycle environmental impacts of two 2.0 MW wind turbines. Manufacturing, transport, installation, maintenance, and end of life have been considered for both models and are compared using the ReCiPe 2008 impact assessment method. In addition, energy payback analysis was conducted based on the cumulative energy demand and the energy produced by the wind turbines over 20 years. Life cycle assessment revealed that environmental impacts are concentrated in the manufacturing stage, which accounts for 78% of impacts. The energy payback period for the two turbine models are found to be 5.2 and 6.4 months, respectively. Based on the assumptions made, the results of this study can be used to conduct an environmental analysis of a representative wind park to be located in the US Pacific Northwest.
http://www.inderscience.com/offer.php?id=62496

Online publication date: Mon, 09-Jun-2014


....and....

Energy and environmental payback of the blades is a few months:
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.10 ... 012032/pdf

Turns out that people HAVE analyzed many areas of the cumulative overhead costs of wind energy relative to payback - Search engines return many results - mostly positive, especially when one skips articles from Breitbart, etc.

Show me where they did this for Hoover Dam.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 13:12:41

Newfie wrote:Not trying to hold it to a higher standard, trying to evaluate if it is truly SUSTAINABLE.

SUSTAINABLE means that it needs to produce more energy in its lifetime than it costs to A build it and B replace it. (And of course to maintains it) If it can’t pay for its replacement then it’s not sustainable. Now an argument could be made that you could spread the replacement over a couple of cycles.

This is just taking a common sense approach. If it flies then fine, if not then it’s not sustainable.

To my mind NKNE of the current projects are held to this standard, thus they are NOT sustainable energy, they are green washing.

I would be very pleased to know I am wrong. Please show me.

No you go too far there. It is enough if it pays for itself. The replacement has to pay for itself. If the foundations can be reused their cost could be spread over the cost of both or however many it will serve for. But it would be better business to have it covered by the first one with the uncertainty of future conditions and prices.
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