Archive for the ‘turbines’ Category


If the wind turbine noises don’t get you, there are the smoky biomass plants instead — or as well. Welcome to your clean green future?
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AMSTERDAM – The first Dutch climate refugees are a fact, says De Telegraaf (via the GWPF).

Not because of wet feet, but because citizens cannot cope with the noise of wind farms.

Residents close to biomass power stations also complain bitterly.

Are health and the environment in the Netherlands subordinate to our climate goals?

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The UK intends to have many more expensive wind turbines scattered all over the place, often in remote areas or offshore. How best to prevent, or deal with, fires is a question that can’t be swept under the carpet to maintain a false image.
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Why the wind industry cannot afford the financial and reputational damage that even a single turbine fire can bring.

The wind industry has underestimated fire risk for decades, says Angela Krcmar @ Power Engineering International.

Even now, statistics around fire losses are based on estimates and incomplete datasets.

For a time, the industry could get away with not fully managing fire risk, as the size and number of assets per owner were low enough for many to not experience a fire in their portfolio.

However, as turbines begin to scale up and wind takes on a greater share of national energy mixes across Europe and North America, the industry cannot afford the financial and reputational damage that even a single turbine fire can bring.

Wind turbines catch fire primarily due to electrical or mechanical faults leading to ignition which spreads to the surrounding plastics and fibreglass nacelle.

Turbine fires tend to originate in the nacelle at one of three points of ignition – converter and capacitor cabinets, transformer or the brake.

Converter and capacitor cabinets are necessary for the wind turbine to translate the variable frequency and amplitude of generated energy into a constant frequency and voltage that can be fed into the grid.

However, an electrical fault at these components can produce arc flashes or sparks, which can surround plastics in the cabinet and result in a fire. Transformers, which similarly convert energy into an appropriate voltage for the grid, can also be a point of ignition due to electrical faults.

Nacelle brakes are utilised in an emergency along with blades pitching to stop the turbine blades from spinning in seconds. This generates an enormous amount of friction and heat, and a mechanical fault at the nacelle brake can easily result in a fire.

Financial risk of fire

The rate of fires has remained consistent over the past decade according to available data – typically one in every 2000 turbines will burn down every year.

While technologies which are less susceptible to fire such as electric braking systems have been developed, many of the key ignition points are necessary for electricity generation and as such, cannot be designed out of the turbine.

While the frequency of fires has remained constant over the years, the financial risk of fire has increased with the size and complexity of turbines.

As turbines are getting increasingly bigger and therefore more expensive, a single fire can have a much greater impact.

Full article here.

Image credit: Equinor, Via GWPF

Guest reblog of a post written by Andrew Montford at the GWPF

Yesterday, I wrote about the financial travails of the Kincardine Floating Windfarm and the eye watering bill that is going to have to be paid for its construction. The cost of floating offshore wind power is, it seems, going to be high.

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Admitting the problem is a start, but not installing the turbines in the first place is obviously the most effective solution. Reducing deaths and injuries would hardly be a triumph.
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Painting one blade of a wind turbine black could cut wind farms’ fatal bird strikes by up to 70%, reports BBC News.

Painting one blade of a wind turbine black could cut bird strikes at wind farms by up to 70%, a study suggests.

Birds colliding with the structures has long been considered to be one of the main negative impacts of onshore wind farms, the authors observed.

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Enormous expense, twenty times more wind turbines, hydrogen production, much less meat eating, carbon capture, hard ‘lifestyle changes’ and so on. Maybe travel to work on a flying pig – and all for what?

It won’t be easy, but clean energy analyst Chris Goodall believes that the UK is entirely capable of becoming carbon neutral, says BBC Science.

Belatedly, the world has realised it has to eliminate greenhouse gases within a few decades.

The UK has promised ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050. Is this is an achievable aim? How much will it cost? In what ways will our lifestyles need to change?

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What happens to all the old wind turbines?

Posted: February 7, 2020 by oldbrew in Big Green, turbines, wind
Tags:

Recycled wind turbine tower [image credit: inhabitat.com]


Apart from becoming school playground novelty items, what else is there?
One process requires pyrolysis: ‘After first chopping up the blades, pyrolysis breaks up the composite fibres in ovens with an inert atmosphere, at about 450-700C.’
But: ‘The problem is significant amounts of energy are needed to activate the pyrolysis, which might limit its environmental usefulness.’
Indeed, if you’re obsessed with avoiding burning fuels.
Some newer turbine blades are now nearly 100m. long.

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Welcome to the wind turbine graveyard, says BBC News. It stretches a hundred metres from a bend in the North Platte River in Casper, Wyoming.

Between last September and this March, it will become the final resting place for 1,000 fibreglass turbine blades.

These blades, which have reached the end of their 25-year working lives, come from three wind farms in the north-western US state.

Each is about 90m (300ft) long, and will be cut into three, then the pieces will be stacked and buried.

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H/T The GWPF
Same old story, but numbers keep getting bigger. This just reinforces the point that large-scale surplus electricity can’t be stored. But nobody pays non-renewable sources for switching off or reducing output when wind and/or solar are operating at or near their capacity.
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Wind farms were paid up to £3 million per day to switch off their turbines and not produce electricity last week, The Telegraph can disclose.

Energy firms were handed more than £12 million in compensation following a fault with a major power line carrying electricity to England from turbines in Scotland.

The payouts, which will ultimately be added onto consumer bills, were between 25 per cent and 80 per cent more than the firms, which own giant wind farms in Scotland, would have received had they been producing electricity, according to an analysis of official figures.

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How Do You Throw Away A Dead Wind Turbine?

Posted: September 21, 2019 by oldbrew in Big Green, turbines, wind

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With difficulty — seems to be the answer. And as wind turbines get bigger, their massive concrete bases are not re-usable either.

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

Contrary to popular opinion, the life cycle of a modern wind turbine is no more than 20 to 25 years. Since turbine blades cannot be burned and are not recyclable, the recommended option is landfill disposal. But not every landfill can even accept these massive structures, even after they are broken into their parts.

According to Pu Liu and Claire Barlow (Waste Management, April 2017), there will be 43 million metric tons of blade waste worldwide by 2050, with China possessing 40% of the waste, Europe 25%, the United States 16%, and the rest of the world 19%. The problem of blade disposal, they conclude, is just beginning to emerge as a significant factor for the future.

A 2017 report from researchers Katerin Ramirez-Tejeda, David A. Turcotte, and Sarah Pike (New Solutions) asserts that “the environmental consequences and health risks are so adverse that…

View original post 712 more words

Windfarm objection in Galloway


Let’s hope this helps to put wind farm developers off the idea of ruining scenery for profit, as they may end up just wasting a lot of time, effort and money on pointless proposals and court battles.

A wind farm appeal has been refused amid concerns it would spoil the enjoyment of a stretch of a popular south of Scotland walking route, reports BBC News.

Developer Energiekontor wanted to build 11 turbines at Cornharrow east of Carsphairn in
Dumfries and Galloway.

It appealed to the Scottish government over the local authority’s failure to give a decision on the plans.

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Feldheim village near Berlin, Germany.


H/T The GWPF

Consider the uproar that greets most kinds of environment-related proposals that even might have a negative impact on any sort of wildlife. Then wonder at what the wind industry has so far been allowed to get away with. Does the pushback stand a chance in the face of current climate change mythology?

The ban on killing endangered species is turning into an ‘absolute obstacle to planning’ new wind farms in Germany, says Die Welt.

Now, the wind lobby wants to water down conservation laws protecting endangered species. The wind power industry can hardly erect any new turbines because of a flood of complaints.
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The ban on killing endangered wildlife is turning into an ‘absolute obstacle to planning’ – extrapolated death figures show that tens of thousands of birds are affected.

When the wind power industry presented its interim results at the end of July, the shock waves went far beyond the eco-electricity scene: in the first six months of the year, only 35 new wind turbines were added in Germany.

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Scottish offshore wind project [image credit : urbanrealm.com]


This is an updated version of an article that’s appeared before, but as it covers quite a lot of ground is worth airing.

TRYING to pin down the arguments of wind promoters is a bit like trying to grab a greased balloon, writes John Droz, Jr. .

Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, it morphs into a different story and escapes your grasp. Let’s take a quick highlight review of how things have evolved with merchandising industrial wind energy.

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Image credit: BBC


The report says ‘local media reports suggested the turbine was struck by lightning’. A case of nature’s electricity killing man’s electricity?

A Gamesa G80 wind turbine has caught fire at the 10MW Ransonmoor wind farm in Cambridgeshire in eastern England, reports RE News.

The incident occurred in the early hours of 30 May, with firefighters called to the scene at 7.50am.

Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service said crews arrived to find the 89-metre turbine “well alight, with debris falling to the ground”.

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German wind farm


Good luck dismantling and trying to recycle redundant end-of-life wind turbines and their massive concrete bases.

New academic research on whether to repower or extend the lifetime of an obsolescent wind farm in Europe reveals that without new subsidies for repowered sites, low cost lifetime extensions focused on maximising return before decommissioning are more probable, with a potential to affect about half the wind turbine fleet in Germany, Spain and Denmark.

In the absence of new subsidies, we could be looking at the beginning of the end for the wind industry in Europe, says The GWPF’s energy editor.

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Recycling renewables

Posted: April 9, 2018 by oldbrew in Big Green, turbines
Tags: ,

Recycled wind turbine tower [image credit: inhabitat.com]


Like it or not, there are already industrial quantities of renewable installations and their hardware in many places around the world. Sooner or later the problem of what to do with hordes of obsolete wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and suchlike ‘green’ paraphernalia has to be addressed to prevent a massive pile-up of industrial waste.

Renewable energy has been hailed as the great salve for the world’s climate change woes, says Chemical & Engineering News.

Building massive infrastructure for solar and wind energy, and introducing electric vehicles, will help citizens in developing countries live the lifestyles they desire without the need to burn dirty fossil fuels.

But though these technologies have existed for decades, there’s no plan to make sure they remain green to the end.

Experts forecast hundreds of thousands of tons of old wind turbine blades, batteries, and solar modules will need to be disposed of or recycled in the next decade—and millions of tons by 2050.

Read on about the technologies evolving around the world to handle this unusual waste stream – here.

Hazelwood power station, Australia – closed in 2017 [image credit: Simpsons fan 66 at English Wikipedia]


How much enforced variability in electricity generation can a country’s power system tolerate? A close look at the numbers for Australia is not encouraging, to say the least.

How often have you heard that Wind power is intermittent, but has anyone ever explained that to you, or shown just how it actually is intermittent, and what it means, asks TonyfromOz.

What if you need a dedicated amount of power all the time? Can wind power be relied on to generate that dedicated amount of power?

Over the last Month, I have been detailing the closure of the 53 year old Hazelwood brown coal fired power plant in the State of Victoria here in Australia, and comparing that plant’s power generation with wind power across the whole of Australia, and that Post is at this link.

The main comparison was with all the wind plants across the whole of Australia, but I was also including the data for just the wind plants in the same State that the Hazelwood plant was in, Victoria.

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Wind turbines towering over the landscape


This doesn’t seem to tie in with alarmist claims that warming will make hurricanes worse. Note there are several contentious assertions and assumptions about present and future climate in this report, i.e. it’s aimed squarely at man-made global warming believers. But it’s not too hard to see through their spin.

Warming is causing wind farms to get less efficient in the amount of power they can generate and it is bound to get worse, says the IB Times.

Climate change will cause wind farms to eventually get less efficient because the warming planet is changing the way wind currents move around the globe. Winds that traverse the northern hemisphere are more likely to be affected by this, and it is only going to get worse, according to two studies.

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Kirkby Moor [image credit: Stephen Dawson / Wikipedia]


Let’s hope other scenic but corrupted areas take up the baton to get more of these ridiculous industrial eyesores removed from our natural environment.

A dozen 140ft wind turbines on the edge of the Lake District are due to be dismantled next summer after a decision which could result in many more being removed to restore views, reports the GWPF (from The Times).

The wind farm on Kirkby Moor on the Furness peninsula in Cumbria would be the first large one to be taken down since they began appearing around Britain in 1991.

South Lakeland district council refused an application by the wind farm operator to keep the turbines operating for another ten years until 2027.

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Scottish offshore wind project [image credit : urbanrealm.com]


No mention here of the huge cost of putting yet more hundreds or thousands of wind turbines miles offshore, or of what is supposed to happen when it’s not windy enough to generate any, or much of, the required electricity – other than vague reference to ‘storage and demand response’, and interconnectivity.

EUROPE: A total offshore wind capacity of at least 230GW is needed in northern Europe by 2045 to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement, according to newly published research, writes Craig Richard at Windpower Offshore.

This increased capacity in the North Sea, Irish Sea, Channel, Baltic Sea, and Atlantic Ocean would require between 50GW and 80GW of new interconnectivity to ensure reliable operation, energy and climate consultancy Ecofys found.

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The Murmansk wind park that collapsed

Posted: November 8, 2017 by oldbrew in News, turbines, wind
Tags: , ,

Murmansk harbour [image credit: Martin Lie / Wikipedia]


Too much wind for these wind turbines near the north Russian coast to cope with. The solar panels at the same site also face technical problems. Back to diesel again.

It was an innovative project which was to power several local villages with green energy. Two years after it opened, the strong Arctic winds have knocked down the turbines, says The Barents Observer.

It was cheering and rejoice in Chavanga and Chapoma, the villages on the coast of the White Sea, as a unique small-scale power generating complex was officially opened in late summer 2015.

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The head of a turbine is lying on the ground at Australia’s Mawson Antarctic base [image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard]


Flying turbines ahoy! Fossil fuel to the rescue as usual.

The blades of a wind turbine at an Australian Antarctic base broke off and narrowly missed a storage building as they crashed to the ground, reports Phys.org, forcing the icy outpost to switch to backup power.

The head of the turbine, one of two at Mawson station, plunged 30 metres (100 feet) on Tuesday evening, despite there being only moderate gusts of wind at the time.

All 13 members of the expedition at the station are safe, and were inside their living quarters at the time, said Rob Wooding, general manager of support and operations at the base.

The second turbine was deactivated as a precaution, with the base switching to its diesel generators.

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