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THE Offshore Wind Thread (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Windpower prices fall as oil, gasoline prices double

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 25 Jul 2005, 07:14:11

While oil prices have more than doubled in the past two years, and gasoline prices have gone up with them, the cost of generating electricity by wind has fallen 80 percent in the past decade.
The two turbines cost $2.2 million and generate a megawatt, or 1 million kilowatt hours a year, which enough to supply more than 500 El Paso homes with power.
For $1.92 per 100 kilowatt hour plus their regular electric costs, El Paso Electric customers in Texas can effectively buy their power from the wind turbines.


For remainder of article see:

http://www.elpasotimes.com/apps/pbcs.dl ... 50324/1001
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Unread postby Caoimhan » Mon 25 Jul 2005, 12:05:35

One megawatt is one million kilowatt hours per year? Someone failed math class.

One megawatt is a thousand kilowatts, and a kilowatt is a thousand watts, and one megawatt is a million watts. Without the unit of time added to these measurements, it's an instantaneous power rating. A windmill rated at 1 MW puts out a theoretical peak of a thousand kilowatts at any given moment. It's a measurement of POWER output, not ENERGY production.

Most windmills do NOT operate at their peak for very long, considering that peak power output is usually rated at 28-29 mph wind speeds.

But, let's assume we had peak output for an hour's time, 1 MW x 1 hour = 1 Megawatt-hour.
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Unread postby The_Toecutter » Mon 25 Jul 2005, 18:22:32

Theoretically, if a 1 MW turbine was running at 100% power the entire year, it could generate near 9 million kWh.

24 hours/day * 1000 kW * 365 days/year = 8,760,000 kWh/year

However, wind turbines on average will produce between 10% and 30% of their maximum rated output over their lifetime depending on region, with fluctuations due to weather.

That means that 1 MW turbine is making between 876,000 and 2,628,000 kWh/year.

I once read another statistic that pegged the average as 16% of max output would be the average outout over the wind turbine's lifetime. So that would mean 1,401,600 kWh/year.

1 million kWh/year is a very conservative estimate. The article just didn't point out a little simple math involved, a few unit conversions needed, and left the reader ignorant of how that conclusion was reached.
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Unread postby Caoimhan » Mon 25 Jul 2005, 21:04:21

I thought of that, but I had a hard time believing that a reporter could phrase it so poorly.
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Unread postby EnergySpin » Mon 25 Jul 2005, 22:22:39

Food for thought.
Vestas released the material data sheet on their new 4.5MW offshore wind turbine.
Data: Hub height: 90 m*Tower: 220 t Nacelle: 145 t Rotor: 65 tTotal: 430 t
Cut-in wind speed: 4 m/sNominal wind speed (4.5 MW) according
to IEC: 12 m/sCut-out wind speed: 25 m/s
Link is here

Comparison with the V90-3MW turbine (deployed at Horns Rev)
Data: Hub height: 90 m*Tower: 205 t Nacelle: 68 t Rotor: 40 tTotal: 313 t
Cut-in wind speed: 4 m/s Nominal wind speed(3,000 kW): 15 m/s Cut-out wind speed: 25 m/s
Apparently there is a proprietary technology in the 4.5MW turbine called Optispeed(TM) that aims to improve (or at least not impact) stability of offshore grids (somehow this technology is not available in the US or Canada)
Since the gain in output is more than the gain in materials needed it is likely that these turbines will generate electricity cheaper than the 3 MW cousins (cost was covered in the Global Wind Energy Council Thread); might even be close to 2c/Kwh or less
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Hypocrites in Hyannis

Unread postby KingM » Tue 09 May 2006, 16:13:39

One of the bright spots in energy has been the rapid growth of wind power. Last year, over 2400 megawatts of installed capacity were added to the grid in the United States and this year over 3000 megawatts, over twenty-five percent more than last year. Because it has started from such a small base, wind still provides a minuscule portion of the country's electric production, but the trend is undeniably positive.

One major project that has been on the drawing boards for several years now is the Cape Wind project. With installed capacity of 420 megawatts produced by 130 turbines, the project would be located offshore on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. With average winds, the project would produce roughly three quarters of electricity for Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard, an area with over two hundred thousand people. Compared to other power options, the wind project would reduce emissions by a million pounds a year.

Read the rest
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Re: Hypocrites in Hyannis

Unread postby coyote » Tue 09 May 2006, 17:31:49

They will regret it...
Lord, here comes the flood
We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent in any still alive
It'll be those who gave their island to survive...
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Re: Hypocrites in Hyannis

Unread postby Dan1195 » Tue 09 May 2006, 20:45:35

I am from Eastern Mass (not the cape though). This is an example how BANANA'ism has gotten out of control. Unfortunately, politicans care more about whatever personal agenda they have (Sen. Kennedy doesnt want this anywhere near the Kennedy compound) then matters such as the long term energy security of this country.

Its incredible to me how people around here dont want LNG terminals, wind farms, etc. yet complain how the cost of energy is so high. The Democrats beat the drum about Republican ties to big energy, yet Kennedy is trying to pull the rug from under a plan that would allow some of his own electorate to worry less about big energy when it coms to their energy needs.

If this project gets sabotaged, it will have a determental effect to anyone else attempting to invest in any similar projects. Giving local/state level leaders control over energy decisions such as the veto-power being proposed) is counter to the need to have a comprehensive energy policy in this country.
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Re: Hypocrites in Hyannis

Unread postby UIUCstudent01 » Wed 10 May 2006, 02:47:50

Dan1195 wrote:Giving local/state level leaders control over energy decisions such as the veto-power being proposed) is counter to the need to have a comprehensive energy policy in this country.


This statement is questionable. Local governments can decide on the best energy option for themselves at a local level. This will probably lead to a rise in nuclear power, rather than wind and solar. LNG is bad for a local economy if it has dollars being sent to Kuwait. And considering that the dollar will continue to be devalued, it is likely that the dollar won't be able to buy as much LNG from Kuwait. A local government could easily decide that local power is a good thing for its economy by simple rationalization.

And if you're hoping for a radical national energy policy based on wind is not something on the agenda right now because it isn't very profitable for Congress to vote on it or the President's stock. :)

Nor will it be likely that any large measureable changes will be done until we get shortages... (hope'n for this summer, lol)
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Re: Hypocrites in Hyannis

Unread postby WisJim » Wed 10 May 2006, 12:38:53

In Wisconsin, a new power line has been approved that will run across the norther part of the state, through wetlands and private property, to provide the more urban Souteastern part of the state with cheap electricity from hydroelectric plants in Canada. People living in the suburbs in southeastern Wisconsin, who will benefit from this new transmission line, have been opposing windfarms in their area. Another case of "not in my backyard".
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THE Offshore Wind Thread (merged)

Unread postby skiptamali » Wed 20 Aug 2008, 17:20:52

I checked out this article about offshore wind farms. Although brief, it had one very important point that has stuck with me: wind 15+ miles off US coastlines could produce over 900,000 megawatts of electricity. According to the DOE and this article, that's equivalent to all current U.S. power sources combined.

Let's check out the feasibility of this type of power production. Does anyone here have extensive experience in wind turbines? An expert quoted in the article says we could see these projects as soon as 2012-2015.

Is anyone familiar with the environmental impact of offshore wind farms? All I know is that several European countries are ahead of us here, with projects in progress.

It seems to me that if we can drill offshore, we can install a wind mill... but how secure is energy transmission back to the coastline?

I'd think that coastal utilities would be absolutely salivating over this opportunity, as it has potential for high public support. If we don't see the turbines every day, and most of us aren't inconvenienced by their presence, will Americans do anything but demand them? Their installation and maintenance could produce green collar jobs.
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Re: How 'bout offshore wind instead of offshore drilling?

Unread postby vampyregirl » Wed 20 Aug 2008, 17:30:23

Egmond aan Zee, offshore Netherlands has a 108 megawatt capacity. Enough to power about 100k Dutch homes. It is Shell WindEnergy's first major offshore wind park to date. hope this helps.
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Re: How 'bout offshore wind instead of offshore drilling?

Unread postby joeltrout » Wed 20 Aug 2008, 17:51:21

Thunderhorse is expected to produce 250,000 barrels of oil per day and 200 million cubic feet of natural gas a day.

How much energy per day is in 250,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet?

How many windmills will it take to get the same amount of energy that Thunderhorse produces in 1 day?

If the argument against offshore drilling is view obstruction then windmills is a very bad idea.

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Re: How 'bout offshore wind instead of offshore drilling?

Unread postby baha » Wed 20 Aug 2008, 21:54:52

Accourding to http://www.jwiwood.com/faq/conversion.html

1 kilowatt-hour of electricity = 3,413 Btu or 1 Megawatt-hour = 3,413,000 Btu
1 cubic foot of natural gas ... 1,008 to 1,034 Btu
1 barrel of crude oil ... 5,800,000 Btu

Therefore...turn the crank...

250,000 barrels of crude = 1,450,000,000,000 Btu or 1.45 Trillion Btu per day
200,000,000 cubic ft of natural gas = 201,600,000,000 or 201.6 Billion Btu per day
(I used the smaller of the two numbers above)...Murphy's law...

Add it up = 1,651,600,000,000 or 1.6516 Trillion Btu

900,000 megawatts electricity = 3,071,700,000,000 or 3.0717 Trillion Btu * 24 hours = 73.7208 Trillion Btu per day (if operating at 100% efficiency)

So covering all the coasts with windmills will produce 73.7208/1.6516 or 44.636 as much energy as one oil well !!!!

Call it 45 times as much as ONE oil well. I'm sure someone on this forum knows how many oil wells there are in the Gulf of Mexico alone??

Which is why we are a carbon fueled society and why when TSHTF we are going to really be hurting.

OK, so I was bored.... :lol:

Someone want to check my work??
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Re: How 'bout offshore wind instead of offshore drilling?

Unread postby Tyler_JC » Wed 20 Aug 2008, 22:23:20

The conversation of crude oil into usable energy is NOT 1:1.

There's your error.
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Re: How 'bout offshore wind instead of offshore drilling?

Unread postby skeptik » Wed 20 Aug 2008, 23:54:35

"Instead"? Why not both? They're not mutually exclusive. Plenty of free space off Americas East & West coasts as far as I can see.

...do the geophys. (which should have been done years ago) reserve the best prospects for exploratory drilling, put the turbines somewhere else.
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Re: How 'bout offshore wind instead of offshore drilling?

Unread postby mos6507 » Thu 21 Aug 2008, 02:37:08

skeptik wrote:Plenty of free space off Americas East & West coasts as far as I can see.


And thanks to the rapidly increasing dead zones, not a lot of environmental conerns either.
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Re: How 'bout offshore wind instead of offshore drilling?

Unread postby Dezakin » Thu 21 Aug 2008, 04:07:30

baha wrote:Which is why we are a carbon fueled society and why when TSHTF we are going to really be hurting.

OK, so I was bored.... :lol:

Someone want to check my work??

Well fortunately nuclear power is a little more energetic. You would only need about 15-20 reactors to make up the size of this very large oil well.

250000 bpd is quite a lot for a single site as far as I understand.
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Re: How 'bout offshore wind instead of offshore drilling?

Unread postby baha » Thu 21 Aug 2008, 08:11:49

I got to thinking about it last night. If we use 20 Mbarrels per day of crude then that is 80 Thunderhorse wells. So all the windmills produce more than half of our current liquid energy usage.

Of course windmills produce electricity and oil is a liquid fuel so this is really apples to oranges. According to the article, the windmills can replace our electric powerplants. They weren't talking about oil wells. But there is no doubt that we could replace it all with windmills. It would take alot but it could be done.

I just personally don't think it will be done. At least in time to prevent the crash. That is why I am hoping for a fast crash. If we realize SOON that we have to get off our asses and start building alternatives before the price is too high we might yet survive.

And the sooner the sheople realize that the free lunch is over, the sooner we can prioritize our energy usage to support those things that are really important.
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Re: How 'bout offshore wind instead of offshore drilling?

Unread postby mommy22 » Thu 21 Aug 2008, 08:22:48

I thnk that they should put windmills on the platforms of offshore oil rigs as soon as they are done pumping up whatever is there to be pumped.
If we are going to have electric cars in our future, we need as many electric sources as possible.
We were on vacation in Cape Cod, and it was kind of funny...those who lived away from the beaches had signs in front of their houses pro-wind farms, and those houses on the beachfronts had signs opposing wind farms off the coast.
Also, is there any effort to make small (individual house size) windmills? Where I live (NEOhio) it's either windy or sunny almost all the time...if there was a combo unit solar/windmill that would sit on my roof, I'd buy it!
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