Wind power works

59 posts / 0 new
Last post
peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture
Wind power works

'

' & --> '

' & -->

With strong breezes blowing early Sunday afternoon in West Texas, wind-power generation hit a record 6,242 megawatts on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' grid, which serves most of the state.

The wind generation peaked at 12:54 p.m., representing an exceptionally high 22 percent of demand at that time, ERCOT spokeswoman Dottie Roark said Monday. Most of the wind facilities are in West Texas and the Panhandle.

Roy Blackshear, manager of the AEP Desert Sky Wind Farm near Iraan in Pecos County, a 107-turbine, 160.5-megawatt facility, said he was "really surprised" to see that wind's share of the power load hit 22 percent.

"It proves we're going to be able to use renewables effectively. ... It's huge," he said of the growing capability of generation from renewable energy sources such as wind and sola

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/03/01/2006741/west-texas-breezes-push-wind-power.html#ixzz0keYMu5aP

Issues Pages: 
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

City commits $250M to switch operations to wind power

 

excerpt:

 

The City of Calgary is spending $250 million over 25 years to have all of its operations run by green power starting in 2012.

Mayor Dave Bronconnier announced an agreement on Thursday with city-owned Enmax Energy under which municipal operations, from city hall to pools, will be powered by the wind.

"We will become the largest green power consumer of any municipal government in Canada," Bronconnier said. "This is a landmark agreement and demonstrates our global leadership in reducing the impact of electricity generation on the environment."

The switch from coal-fired power plants to renewable energy will cut the city's greenhouse gas emissions by about seven million tonnes over 10 years, said the city.

The city has a target to bring corporate greenhouse gas emissions down to 50 per cent of 1990 levels, which were about 460,000 tonnes, by 2012.

Calgary's C-Train system already runs entirely on power generated from the wind.

Pants-of-dog

Wind power works...

 

...if you have a large quantity of otherwise unused land, a  relativley small electrical load, and a fairly constant wind from a single direction.

 

The next question is how many communities fit that description. I would wager that only a small percentage do.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The wind here almost never stops, and I know Quebec Hydro has been investigating the possibility of windmills here, as they did in the Gaspe.

Pants-of-dog

Then you may be living in one of the few locations where wind is a viable solution.

Red_and_Black Red_and_Black's picture

Wind power is useful for peak capacity, but due to its low generating ability and intermittancy, it is unfeasible for base load. Hydro, nuclear, and fossil fuels are the only options for base load at the moment. I personally favour a combination of hydro and nuclear.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
6079_Smith_W

Funny that we don't hear the same criticism about location when it comes to hydro, even though many dams are much more remote than wind operations. 

 

Life, the unive...

That would be because the criticisms of neither have anything to do about distances, other than the urban proclivity for out of sight out of mind.  

All generation sources lose from line loss.  The farther they are away from the main users of the power the more the loss.  Basic physics having to do with the resistive capacity of electrical lines.  There is also lots of exess hydro capacity in the Ontario north, but instead of investing in a cheaper north-south grid we in Ontario are spending all kinds of money on an intermitent power producer that has to be backed up by conventional sources, and in Ontario's case the plan is to used fracked shale gas, causing the potential for increasing greenhouse gases.  It is greenwashing of the worse sort.  In our case we ended up rejecting wind for little more than a backup when we mostly went off grid.  Solar is a much more consistent alternative, even with the night problem.

I have though yet to see anyone specifically claim that the main problem with industrial wind is the distance from the end user, other than in a genralized sense to point out that the people who are the loudest proponents are the least likely to have them amongst them.  For instance one of the best spots for wind power in Ontario is the Lake Ontario shoreline along the Toronto waterfront.  When we see hundreds of turbines lining and taking over the shoreline will be the day pigs fly.

6079_Smith_W

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

I have though yet to see anyone specifically claim that the main problem with industrial wind is the distance from the end user, other than in a genralized sense to point out that the people who are the loudest proponents are the least likely to have them amongst them.

It just happened at #4, and that was what I responded to. As well, the criticism at #2 about specific direction isn't really valid, because many of those turbines are on a rotating turret that can be steered into the wind. 

But yes, we deal with that loss when it comes to hydro. It is even less of an issue WRT wind. 

Life, the unive...

I think you should read for comphrension because that is not what #4 is about, nor #2 for that matter.  It is about the reality that wind is an intermittent producer and that few locations are actually viable to produce enough power to provide electricity consitently.  Hydro is the exact polar opposite, with the added capacity to store energy by moving water around.  And as someone with an actual wind turbine, even if a smallish one, the direction of the prevailing wind is indeed important.  Because while they swing with the wind, the generating capacity goes down if it isn't in the sweet spot.  

Why you think line loss is less for industrial wind turbines is beyond me.  Ohms law doesn't distinguish between energy production sources. It is about the resistance capacity of the line carrying the energy.  In a mass of illogic that one would still rise to the top.   

6079_Smith_W

It is less of an issue for wind not because of line loss, but because generally places which have abundant wind - whether on the coast or on the prairies - are usually a lot closer to the place where power is going to be used than, say, the Conawapa project, or Labrador's Churchill River.

I specifically mentioned distance. Distance is part of the equation when one figures out line loss, after all. Plus there is the cost of maintenance, and all that pricey copper.

And yes, I am aware of storage. Just because I don't lay out everything that is on my mind does not mean that I am not aware of something. But as it happens, my criticism of #4 and #2 had nothing to do with that. My points were pretty specific - distance and wind direction.

I don't think I said anything at all about Hydro not being a more reliable source. My point - as I stated quite clearly - was in relation to these criticisms of wind power. 

I have a solar panel, so I do understand the principle of maximum production when it turns to point directly at the source. The point is, that having one that can move is the best you are going to do.

 

 

Life, the unive...

In Ontario, there is almost no difference between energy production sources in terms of distance.  In fact hydro is often the closest for historic reasons.   Gas, coal and nuclear (at least Darlington) are also closer to large urban centres in relative terms than industrial wind production.  The vast majority is put out in the hinterlands, ie where I live.   It is no accident.  So once again your point is simply wrong on the face of it and in practical terms for the biggest population centre in Canada.   

And again, they don't put industrial wind turbines near populated areas.  They should, but it will never, ever happen in any meaningful numbers.  And because of the nature of the sine wave of wind produced electricity it actually does lose more in resistance over distances.  For the most part it is negible, but it is real.  There is also excess loss from the ups and downs of industrial wind production because it varies widely from moment to moment.  This intemitancy causes extra resistance in any conducting material compared to a constant flow through.

In Ontario's north there is excess hydro capacity, but in the absence of a north-south grid it basically bottlenecks around places like Sudbury.  So agian the distance point is moot.  

In the end you are simply wrong, but instead of lecturing us from a place of ignorance, perhaps you could climb down off your ego and learn a few things from some people with experience and technical backgrounds.   My job was to provide a consistent source of energy into a mine and keep it running.   You don't want to lose power down underground.   I have a wee bit more knowledge than the average lay person.

6079_Smith_W

LTE, 

Again, did I say anything about hydro and coal not being necessary sources of power? Seems to me your argument about me being wrong is based on an argument that I did not make.

And we are a little ways from hydro power here in central Saskatchewan. Gardiner and Coteau Creek aren't that big.  Fact is, you enjoy a location in Ontario which is better. Not all of us have that luxury, and there is a difference here.

Wind farms don't have to be at the edge of city limits to have an advantage. They can be a few hundred km away, and still be closer than a lot of hydro generators.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

Gas, coal and nuclear (at least Darlington) are also closer to large urban centres in relative terms than industrial wind production.  The vast majority is put out in the hinterlands, ie where I live.

And thus you can receive the power output from wind turbines with far less line loss than there would be if all your power had to come from the power plants in the large urban centres.

Life, the unive...

The amount of ignorance about how the grid works that your comment reveals is mind blowing.  The grid does not direct energy from a particular source to an end user unless there is a direct hook up.  Instead it is all fed into the grid and moves around.  Most energy from the grid will be hosed out where the most end users live.  My relative distance to industrial wind turbines, or Bruce Power, or the Walkerton Hydro Dam means diddly squat.

abnormal

Meanwhile, we find this:

Supreme irony: wind farms can cause atmospheric warming, finds a new study

While ironic that something designed to reduce CO2 emissions (and presumably warming)is actually producing warming around it, this isn't really any big surprise. Orchardists and vineyard operators in California have been using motor driven wind turbines to elevate local temperatures to save crops from frost for over half a century. What is different here is the scale of nighttime warming, large enough to be visible on MODIS satellite imagery thanks to large scale wind farms.

Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. and associates have been doing research along these lines for quite some time, and has this summary on some recent research.

From Louise Gray in the Telegraph:

Wind farms can cause climate change, according to new research, that shows for the first time the new technology is already pushing up temperatures.

Usually at night the air closer to the ground becomes colder when the sun goes down and the earth cools. But on huge wind farms the motion of the turbines mixes the air higher in the atmosphere that is warmer, pushing up the overall temperature.

Satellite data over a large area in Texas, that is now covered by four of the world's largest wind farms, found that over a decade the local temperature went up by almost 1C as more turbines are built. This could have long term effects on wildlife living in the immediate areas of larger wind farms. It could also affect regional weather patterns as warmer areas affect the formation of cloud and even wind speeds.

Full story here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9234715/Wind-farms-can-cause-climate-change-finds-new-study.html

 

Doug

I'll take local climate change over much larger global climate change any day.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

The amount of ignorance about how the grid works that your comment reveals is mind blowing.  The grid does not direct energy from a particular source to an end user unless there is a direct hook up.  Instead it is all fed into the grid and moves around.  Most energy from the grid will be hosed out where the most end users live.  My relative distance to industrial wind turbines, or Bruce Power, or the Walkerton Hydro Dam means diddly squat.

Educate me, then, O Enlightened One! Are you suggesting that maybe the power from the wind turbines goes to Toronto first before heading out to the "hinterland"?

And if the distance from the wind turbines to the ultimate users means "diddly squat", why do you see it as important that they be built close to urban areas?

6079_Smith_W

Indeed, that "climate change" story is absurd. I already know that the temperature in my back yard is going to be 4 or 5 degrees C higher than the Environment Canada report based on the weather station out at the airport.

For that matter, the weather over my back fence is probably a full zone different than the space under the trees near my house. That is now microclimates work.

 

Life, the unive...

M. Spector wrote:

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

The amount of ignorance about how the grid works that your comment reveals is mind blowing.  The grid does not direct energy from a particular source to an end user unless there is a direct hook up.  Instead it is all fed into the grid and moves around.  Most energy from the grid will be hosed out where the most end users live.  My relative distance to industrial wind turbines, or Bruce Power, or the Walkerton Hydro Dam means diddly squat.

Educate me, then, O Enlightened One! Are you suggesting that maybe the power from the wind turbines goes to Toronto first before heading out to the "hinterland"?

And if the distance from the wind turbines to the ultimate users means "diddly squat", why do you see it as important that they be built close to urban areas?

Because if you want the energy from them you can have them in your backyard, along with all the problems.   And actually there is a thing called the Bruce to Milton transmission line.  So the power is shipped to the city and then distributed through the grid from there.  But thanks for the personal attack.  You of course will never be called on it.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The actual personal attack was here:

Quote:
The amount of ignorance about how the grid works that your comment reveals is mind blowing.

In response, I called you "Enlightened". Sorry if you can't handle that.

And you didn't answer my last question.

 

Life, the unive...

It wasn't a personal attack, it was an observation that it is mind blowing how little presumably well-educated people can be about the practical side of electricity.  Don't worry you are sadly not alone.  

 

And yes I did.  Try reading to see what people say instead of where you can launch the next verbal assault on them.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fine. You're obviously incapable of defending your position against opposing viewpoints, so there's no point in questioning your ex cathedra pronouncements.

That's not a personal attack; it's an observation. 

Life, the unive...

Looking in the mirror when you write again I see.

abnormal

Doug wrote:

I'll take local climate change over much larger global climate change any day.

So you're saying that local climate change doesn't impact global change?  Guess that means the "local" coal fired plant doen't contribute to the global situation at all.  Nice to know.

Doug

It can't much given the tiny area occupied by wind farms compared to the surface of the earth. 

Fidel

I think scientists have said that concentrations of smog and CO2 located over heavily industrialized zones may be protecting those areas of the earth from harmful UV rays and even slowing rates at which the ice melts in Antarctica. And so apparently the answer is to step-up smog production to a frenzied pace in order to somewhat delay climate disaster and with the emphasis on somewhat.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Japanese breakthrough will make wind power cheaper than nuclear  

 

And think of the millions upon millions of jobs that would be created building a 21st century energy distribution system free of the shackles of ever-diminishing fossil fuel supplies. 

(yes, wind is free, but a national grid is not...)

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Wind power was Spain's top source of electricity in 2013

Surge in wind power and hydropower drives emissions down by more than 23%, reports BusinessGreen

Remarkable new figures from Spain's grid operator have revealed that greenhouse gas emissions from the country's power sector are likely to have fallen 23.1% last year, as power generation from wind farms and hydroelectric plants soared.

Red Eléctrica de España (REE) released a preliminary report on the country's power system late last month, revealing that for "the first time ever, [wind power] contributed most to the annual electricity demand coverage". According to the figures, wind turbines met 21.1% of electricity demand on the Spanish peninsular, narrowly beating the region's fleet of nuclear reactors, which provided 21% of power.

In total, wind farms are estimated to have generated 53,926 gigawatt hours of electricity, up 12% on 2012, while high levels of rainfall meant hydroelectric power output was 16% higher than the historical average, climbing to 32,205GWh....

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/06/wind-power-spain-elec...

quote:

The study follows news last year that Portugal had successfully generated over 70% of its power from renewables during the first quarter of the year, driven by a surge in wind and hydro power output.

Caissa

Prince Charles has called people who deny human-made climate change a "headless chicken brigade" who are ignoring overwhelming scientific evidence.

The heir to the British throne, a dedicated environmentalist, accused "powerful groups of deniers" of mounting "a barrage of sheer intimidation" against opponents.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/prince-charles-finds-climate-change-denial-most-unbecoming-1.2518727

Brachina

http://www.gizmag.com/vortex-engine-tornadoes-electricity/25508/

 Creating energy from artificially created tornadoes. That's what I call WIND POWER! 

 

 And yes its safe it can't go on a ramapage because it can't move away from the heat source that generated it.

 0.03$ per kwh. And its clean. Plus come on its really cool ;D

  And with wind turbine technology constantly improving all the time, if its works as planned it will only get better, cheaper and more efficiant. 

 I wonder if the Japanese wind lens idea would work with it.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Monster Wind Farm Planned In S. Dakota

Well blow us over, Mount Rushmore State! Scores of landowners in South Dakota are banding together in an attempt to build a one-gigawatt wind farm, which would be spread over thousands of acres of farmland.

South Dakota is already a leader when it comes to harnessing wind energy. Nearly 500 large turbines spin over the state’s windswept landscapes, with a collective capacity of 784 megawatts of power. The Watertown Public Opinion reports on an attempt to more than double that capacity:

With over 80 landowners ready to dedicate nearly 20,000 acres to one of South Dakota’s largest wind projects, Dakota Power Community Wind is ready to begin the research phase of the operation.

“Our board has approved the purchase of [a meteorological] tower to kick off the research collection phase,” said Paul Shubeck, Dakota Power Community Wind board chairman. “We need to collect two to three years of data before construction can begin.” …

The 20,000 acres of farmland currently signed up for the project are sufficient to support a 300-megawatt windfarm, according to company officials. That would still be the largest single windfarm in South Dakota and would add nearly 50% to the state’s wind production....

http://grist.org/news/monster-wind-farm-planned-in-south-dakota/

MegB

The problem with wind farms is that the owners plant them in rural regions where farmers are economically struggling. That's the criteria for wind farms - not so much where they would best be, but where the local population is perceived as powerless and struggling economically. For Toronto, put them on the Lake. Yeah, it'll take longer to recoup the costs and the condo owners will throw a hissyfit, but really, who gives a shit about them?

Doug Woodard

Rebecca West wrote:

The problem with wind farms is that the owners plant them in rural regions where farmers are economically struggling. That's the criteria for wind farms - not so much where they would best be, but where the local population is perceived as powerless and struggling economically. For Toronto, put them on the Lake. Yeah, it'll take longer to recoup the costs and the condo owners will throw a hissyfit, but really, who gives a shit about them?

Rebecca, urban areas generally are not suited for wind turbines because buildings and other obstructions slow the wind (power in the wind varies as the cube of the speed) and make it more turbulent (increasing wear).

To see how energy in the wind varies (including for Toronto and other parts of southern Ontario), see

http://www.windatlas.ca 

MegB

Doug Woodard wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:

The problem with wind farms is that the owners plant them in rural regions where farmers are economically struggling. That's the criteria for wind farms - not so much where they would best be, but where the local population is perceived as powerless and struggling economically. For Toronto, put them on the Lake. Yeah, it'll take longer to recoup the costs and the condo owners will throw a hissyfit, but really, who gives a shit about them?

Rebecca, urban areas generally are not suited for wind turbines because buildings and other obstructions slow the wind (power in the wind varies as the cube of the speed) and make it more turbulent (increasing wear).

To see how energy in the wind varies (including for Toronto and other parts of southern Ontario), see

http://www.windatlas.ca 

Doug, lake shores are ideal for wind turbines. Your argument would only work if the proposal was to put them IN cities, which is obviously not my point.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..post removed

Doug Woodard

Rebecca West wrote:

Doug, lake shores are ideal for wind turbines. Your argument would only work if the proposal was to put them IN cities, which is obviously not my point.

Rebecca, while it is true that the shores of large lakes are generally good places for wind turbines, due to the "lake breeze effect" and the unobstructed wind path from some directions, the Toronto lakeshore is a relatively poor site. Note that urban lakeshores are not likely to meet the criteria for setbacks from inhabited buildings. Also:

For various roughly positioned lakeshore sites (with one exception as noted), using the location information and the wind turbine formula at

http://www.windatlas.ca 

and assuming (based on a wind turbine with a rotor diametre of 100 metres), a cut-in windspeed of 3.5 metres per second, a rotor hub height of 80 metres, and a rated power of 3000 kilowatts at 13 m/s (26 knots, 30 mph, 48 kph) and above, we get for the annual average power in kilowatts

Toronto Island.......................................916 kilowatts

Grimsby Beach......................................1072

Long Point (base of)..............................1270

Trenton................................................1286

Between Goderich and Kincardine.............1425

Huronia shore.......................................1278

Wainfleet.............................................1178

Pelee Island, middle of..........................1559

 

The reasons for building wind turbines in places other than the shoreline of Toronto are based on energy and revenue and not on relative political power.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Dutch trains to be wind-powered from 2018

In the largest green energy contract of its kind, the Netherlands will power its entire electric rail network using wind energy under a sweeping plan to make train travel climate-neutral by 2018.

Under a deal struck between the rail operators and renewable energy firm Eneco starting from next year, 50 per cent of the system’s energy will be provided by wind farms, rising to 70 per cent in 2016 and 95 per cent in 2017.

The commitment to public transport requires a massive 1.4TWh of electricity, or enough energy to power Amsterdam for a year.

Under the deal agreed with Vivens, the rail operators’ energy procurement joint venture, by 2018, all of the 1.4TWh of energy used to power the country’s trains would be sourced from wind projects....

http://econews.com.au/news-to-sustain-our-world/wind-to-power-hollands-e...

Pondering

What a great thread. I had no idea wind power was spreading this well. I find the arguments against wind power very weak. That it isn't a solution for all applications doesn't mean it isn't a significant avenue to replacing fossil fuels. Oil and nuclear certainly aren't perfect solutions. Why should anything else have to be. Geothermal, wind, solar, hydro and I am sure stuff I don't know about are all renewable sources of energy that can contribute greatly to a reduction in the use of fossil fuels. 

Something that never seems to get factored in is the enormous improvement in air quality that will come from switching to wind powered electricity. It will make the cities much more liveable. Clean air and water are quality of life issues. 

Aristotleded24

[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2emooY3WuA]How to deal with corporate wind farming[/url]

Doug Woodard

Wind power generated 140% of Denmark's electricity demand momentarily on 10 July:

http://gu.com/p/4ah6p/sbl

Also see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Denmark

In 2014 wind power produced 40.9% of Denmark's electricity supply and 38.6% of domestic consumption; the difference being exports.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Charles said it was "baffling ... that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything — until, that is, it comes to climate science."

I'm glad to see him put his name behind the idea of human-made climate change.

But I'm hoping he'll drop the other shoe with regard to all this other blind faith in science stuff.  Vaccinations?  Evolution?  Where are we all just saying "well, the Science Guy said..."?

iyraste1313

 Oil and nuclear certainly aren't perfect solutions. Why should anything else have to be?

The perfect solution of course is conservation...and most importantly, the reorganization of Society, its power structure and the cultural transformation away from globalization, megacity and reliance on fossil fuel trade to ecologic based regional autonomy and federation...

of course I recognize the potency of wind and solar (we are off the grid)...but the fundamental transformation, cultural economic and financial must be at the root of our discussions to eliminate fossil fuel consumption....

Pondering

nevermind

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

If wind farms kill birds, how can we expect vegans to use the power they generate??

Doug Woodard

Africa's largest windfarm set to connect remote Kenya to the grid:

http://gu.com/p/4dx5q/sbl

With double the productivity of a typical Ontario windfarm (and the highest I've ever heard of) paying for the road and transmission line should be feasible.

Doug Woodard

Dutch offshore wind project cheaper than British nuclear power:

http://realfeed-intariffs.blogspot.ca/2016/07/dutch-tencder-award-for-of...

 

Rev Pesky

Doug Woodard wrote:

Wind power generated 140% of Denmark's electricity demand momentarily on 10 July:

http://gu.com/p/4ah6p/sbl

Also see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Denmark

In 2014 wind power produced 40.9% of Denmark's electricity supply and 38.6% of domestic consumption; the difference being exports.

What was the least amount of power produced at any given moment?

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

Doug Woodard wrote:

Wind power generated 140% of Denmark's electricity demand momentarily on 10 July:

http://gu.com/p/4ah6p/sbl

Also see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Denmark

In 2014 wind power produced 40.9% of Denmark's electricity supply and 38.6% of domestic consumption; the difference being exports.

What was the least amount of power produced at any given moment?

It doesn't matter. It doesn't have to be a perfect solution in order to make a positive contribution. Over the next 30 to 40 years various alternatives to burning fossil fuels will continue to develop. Wind is only part of the mix. Geothermal and solar can also contribute. Nor do these have to collectively replace fossil fuels entirely. If all we succeeded in doing was replacing 50% of fossil fuels even that would be a huge step forward.

Why are you against the use of alternative energy sources?

Rev Pesky

Pondering wrote:

Rev Pesky wrote:

Doug Woodard wrote:

Wind power generated 140% of Denmark's electricity demand momentarily on 10 July:

http://gu.com/p/4ah6p/sbl

Also see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Denmark

In 2014 wind power produced 40.9% of Denmark's electricity supply and 38.6% of domestic consumption; the difference being exports.

What was the least amount of power produced at any given moment?

It doesn't matter...

Why are you against the use of alternative energy sources?

It does matter to the extent people want a reliable source of electricity. What I saw, and what you saw, was someone posting what the largest amount of power generated by wind. But the largest amount doesn't matter. What matters is the reliability of the source. That means the most important number is not the largest amount generated, but the smallest. (Actually the large number is important, but for a completely different reason.)

If you were familiar with electronics, you would know that almost all electronic devices run on DC, while almost all household electricity is AC. Those ubiquitous power supply bricks do the job of converting AC to DC. The standard equation for that conversion is 100 AC is equal to 70.7 DC. So perfect sine wave AC electricity produces about 70% of DC. Now, looking at the output graph for a wind farm what does one see. You see electrical generation that varies from a peak of maybe 45% of capacity to 0% of capacity. Now, how do you get on demand electricity out of that?

The easy answer is that you build fossil fuel electrical generation to backstop the variabble output of the wind generation. But that begs a question, is the cost of the backup fossil fuel generation included in the cost of wind power?

I tried to find a graph of daily output for a wind farm, but those are pretty hard to find. No one really wants to show wind farm generation on a daily basis because it shows clearly what the problem is. However, here's a graph of the monthly output of wind farms in South Australia :

Wind generation, South Australia

 

You ask why I'm against the use of alternative energy. The answer is I'm not. I am, however, in favour of realistic expectations. The reality is that wind generation cannot produce reliable power.

Pages