Originally Posted by Boatguy30
I find it hard to believe a wind generator
does not have a net positive impact after a few years.
In the cost metrics alone, they are losers. The roughly 17:1 gearbox
used to speed up the input speed to drive the generator
has a mean time to failure of 6 to 18 months after the warrantee period. It weighs 50,000 to 80,000 pounds and requires a massive crane to come on site for disassembly of the drive trane and swop-out for a rebuilt box. The turn around cost is greater than the value of the energy harvested between failures by a factor of 4 to 10 X. The Fed and other Fed subsidized agencies always ignore this as well as the original 50% subsidy on the installation
of the windmill. They amortize the cost of the original installation
only - over 30 years. Since the failure rate is 30 times that rate, the resulting claims are border on the biggest lies of al time. They also don't include the very significant line losses from sending power from Iowa to Chicago for instance. The true normalized cost is easy to approximate and amounts to dilluting the grid with energy at around 10 times the cost of the other 98% of the power that is there. The total is so small that the grid absorbs the insult without much impact. (don't forget the subsidy).
Now lets situate the towers offshore
- say the Great Lakes
. The cost to maintain over water
is generally published to be 3X shore installations. The infrastructure to do so does not exist. If any one of us drops any oil
in these waters it is a 5000 dollar fine. The gear
box and its extensive hydraulic processing system of pipes filters heat exchangers & pumps contains about 60 gallons of really nasty specially modified oil
. In addition, there will be barrels of it up-tower to refill (from losses). The service
vessels will further drool hydrocarbons. You need only check Youtube to find a plethora of towers falling over, catching fire. Consider this mess of hundreds of towers and the disturbance to thousands of acres of lake bottom - all to harvest wind power at an efficiency of less than 10%.
Lets assume that wind power was a screaming success. The utilities STILL NEED to have an installed, non operating infrastructure of conventional generation to account for non-production times (no wind). SO add to the massive cost of poorly producing towers, an idling, high efficiency generation station. NOW what is the cost per Kilowatt-hr? Your crappy 10 cents on the dollar is further reduced by the cost of the idled generators.
As I stated in my original post, the burried costs in energy for mining and smelting casting rolling forming transportation is not ever considered. This lost
petroleum amounts to way more potential energy than the tower will contribute.
I know this because we are in the business of building the testing equipment
used in the rebuilder's facilities for the monster gear
boxes. We know the metrics and that the published (by agencies with an agenda) data is BS. I feel guilty every time we take on one of these projects because I feel like it is stealing.
When you see this stuff bragging about how great it is, remember to run screaming. "I'm from the government
, and I'm hear to help you"