Jump to content

why arent these all over?


trailertrash
 Share

Recommended Posts

I love windmills! Everyone here complains about them, but I think they're totally cool.

In Pincher Creek and the Crowsnest Pass in Alberta here there's probably over a hundred of them, all up on the ridgelines spinning in the wind... I could watch them for hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mtn is offering a free lift ticket if you sign up here.

I'm not against renewable energy and all that stuff... I enjoy living amongst nature on my 20 acres. But still. Lots of this stuff is just a gimmick. Do it cause you're saving money... Fine... Do it cause people like seeing that kind of stuff... Whatever. But doing that kind of stuff under the guise of "saving the planet" is a bunch of bs.

Take carbon credits for example. Algore goes and flys around the country in his private jet to one of multiple houses, all with heated pools and junk... Then he goes out and buys carbon credits to make up for it. Is he saving the world? No, he's paying extra to do what he was gonna do anyways. Instead, why doesn't he fly commercially, keep one house, lower the temp in the pool a couple degrees... He can still live comfortably, he'd just have to share first class with a couple other people and stay at an upscale hotel :eek:*GASP*

Anyways, sorry about the tangent. I actually think windmills are really cool and it's cool that they actually built one. I'd imagine they'd be able to save a fair amount of money with it. Hopefully there'd actually be a trickle down effect to the customers (ie, cheaper tickets, more benefits...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only other thing that fails to get mentioned is that with this sort of power you need batteries for storage, right?

BIG batteries that wear out eventually and have to be thrown away.

Im not against the idea, not at all as I have no idea if the used storage media are better or worse "for the planet" than emissions.

anyone know?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only other thing that fails to get mentioned is that with <b>this sort of power</b> you need batteries for storage, right?

BIG batteries that wear out eventually and have to be thrown away.

Im not against the idea, not at all as I have no idea if the used storage media are better or worse "for the planet" than emissions.

anyone know?

<i>"This sort of power"</i> - Power is power. I don't know exactly to what you are referring (gas/electricity hybrid cars have lots of batteries that are bad to create and bad to throw away; maybe that is what you are thinking about), but I don't see why wind generated electrical power would require any different kind of energy grid storage system than power from any other kind of plant that generates surplus power.

Grid Energy Storage

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it works like this. When the windmill is making electricity, it is used by the household, whatever the windmill is making in excess of the household usage is backfed into the power grid. There are special meters that measure feed and backfeed for these systems. In the end, if the windmill is in the right location for operation, the homeowner will receive payments from the power utility. If the windmill does not make excess power, the homeowner only pays what he uses over and above the amount the windmill makes. You only need batteries to store energy in off grid locations.

The reason there isn't more of these is the cost of installation is quite large and the fact that people don't seem to like looking at them (eyesore). I for one would rather look at a field full of windmills than a coal plant belching smoke.

I actually think they look impressive and pretty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing is, every form of energy has an impact on the environment. Every one. Field full of windmills? There's an impact to build and maintain those machines, and the ecology of the field is of course affected. Solar power? Same as the windmills, only more so, and those panels can have some nasty chemicals inside them.

The issues are always presented so black and white - wind is free, sun is free, blah blah. BS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

all true, Neil -

but I think that the key is that they are renewable sources of energy, which others are not. the costs and environmental impacts of building coal plants and nuclear facilities, are similar to the costs of windmills, etc, however, the source of the enery in solar wind is non exhaustable, unlike coal, oil, or even nuclear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's interesting how the tradeoffs are always skewed by the detractors to suggest that if there is any inconvenience or negative at all the idea is bs.Without a doubt air pollution is the most ecologically pressing matter in the world right now.Water is just as important and is polluted by the status quo as well.As long as special interests of the established big industries are served at the expense of of the environment,progress toward meaningful stewardship rather than conspicuous consumption will be very slow and won't come in time to have a meaningful effect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Windmills have about a zillion moving parts. Maintenance is a big headache. Costs are very high. If you can spread the cost over a huge windmill farm like you see in California or Nevada, it makes sense. For a single windmill, payback is long given the fact that electricity really is quite cheap in North America.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other BIG hurdle for windfarms is Migratory birds. Yeah, the wind blows in location X ALL the time - GREAT for a windfarm, GREAT for floatin' on the current during a long flight. Have you ever been hit by a ceiling fan blade? Ouch. And you're likley a 160#+ mid-sized critter. Imagine a ceiling fan 300 feet across, and you're a 3# tiny critter. Big Ouch and subsequent splat.

Just another one of the drawbacks of wind power. OTOH, it's cheap, 100% renewable, and if executed properly, an absolute marvel to look at. My favorite energy source is still geothermal, but that probally contributes to cooling the earth's core or something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an engineer, just about all the energy sources are flippin awesome. I mean, the torque that can be generated by a waterwheel... The windmills are freakin awesome.

I'm probably gonna be hated by quite a few for this, but personally I think that nuclear power is one of the best sources of energy. Is it infallable? Of course not, just like any other source of energy, but the amount of energy that you can get out of a nuclear power plant vs. what the waste. It's pretty powerful stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an engineer, just about all the energy sources are flippin awesome. I mean, the torque that can be generated by a waterwheel... The windmills are freakin awesome.

I'm probably gonna be hated by quite a few for this, but personally I think that nuclear power is one of the best sources of energy. Is it infallable? Of course not, just like any other source of energy, but the amount of energy that you can get out of a nuclear power plant vs. what the waste. It's pretty powerful stuff.

You're right on about nuclear energy. The only challenge - what to do with the waste. Still, I think spending money on solving that challenge makes a lot more sense than spending it on ethanol, hydrogen or other half-assed measures.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're right on about nuclear energy. The only challenge - what to do with the waste. Still, I think spending money on solving that challenge makes a lot more sense than spending it on ethanol, hydrogen or other half-assed measures.

Nuclear energy is amazing. The amount of energy from the amount of input is just mind boggling. Nuclear Fission - awesome energy, but what the hell do we do with the waste? Oh, ok, let's bury it at Yucca Mountain, and in 10000 years we'll have a SUPER rich Pb deposit. Nuclear Fusion - Awesome energy, nothing in the way of toxic waste, but they need to figure out a way to start up a sustainable reaction, which is well on it's way. I'm all for nuclear energy, but lets make finding something to do with the waste a bigger priority.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would think if we had a few more scientists/engineers working on the waste issue that we could have a feasible solution in not long. I mean, we're not under any threat of having too much nuclear waste quite yet. It will be a problem, but I think that if we concentrated on that we'd be able to have a solution before it's a big problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

they already know what to do with the waste... at least from a toplevel viewpoint. the main issue with nuclear power plants is safety.

i don't see why looking at alternative energies would be considered half-assed. there is considerable amount of effort and money being put into those types of technologies. and for good reason. the simplest solutions are not often the best long term solutions.

solar energy would be the ultimate method to collect energy (since sunlight is the only energy input to the earth... ~1.5kW/m^2). no waste, low maintenance, $/kW-hr are lowering.

alas, we will be using coal for a long time because we have such an abundance of it... and we already have the infrastructure (another reason oil won't be going out anytime soon).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...