Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Insight on Wind "Power"...

    Rightway writes:

    Mr. Rogers asserts that wind power is three times more expensive than that from an efficient fossil fueled power plant. While that has been demonstrably proven in many studies, it is only half the picture.

     Wind turbines, at best, only generate electricity about 1/3 of the time. Absence of wind, high winds/storms (when the turbine blades must be locked and secured), very cold weather (where the hydraulic oil freeze-up in the gearbox forces a shutdown), and maintenance outages all contribute to cause the wind turbines to be at best 30% available to produce power.

     That power not generated by the wind turbines needs to be replaced somehow or there will be power outages. Consequently, fossil fuel-based power generation must be available, and running on turn-down, standing by, and ready to make up the shortfall.

     Not only is that power more expensive because it is generated at inefficient turndown rates, but the grid price for spot/peak power to replace solar power can be 5-10 times more expensive than baseload power.

    Obviously that is necessary for the fossil fuel power generator to recoup his investment. The long and the short of it is, wind power is FIVE TIMES more expensive than conventional fossil fuel generation when everything is taken into account.

     Ed Brault writes: 

    I make that argument frequently, and include that here in Vermont, and the rest of the Northern Tier, each turbine has a diesel generator to run heaters and spin-up motors during cold and low-wind conditions. That usually get a response of "WHAT?, NO!  

    Ebonystone writes:
    "Wind turbines, at best, only generate electricity about 1/3 of the time." Wind turbines do not generate any power until the wind speed reaches 8 mph; then from 8 to 32 mph the generate gradually increasing fractions of their full rated power; from 32 to 56 mph they generate full power; and above 56 mph they shut down to avoid damage.

    So I started doing spot checks of my zip code on the weather page. Over a period of about 3 weeks, I noted 50 readings. Of these:

    28 ( 56%) were below 8 mph, so no power,

    22 (44%) were between 8 and 32, producing partial power,

    0 (0%) were over 32.

    So, they produced power less than half of the time, and never produced their full power. The highest speed I noted was 17 mph. producing about 38% of rated power.

    Thinking that perhaps I lived in a rather low-wind area, I started checking two other zip codes in distant parts of the country. I took 24 readings for each of these:

    18 (37.5%) were below 8 mph, so no power,

    30 (62.5%) were between 8 and 32, so partial power,

    0 (0%) were above 32, so never full power.

    The highest speed for either was 20 mph, producing 50% power. So much for wind power.

    * * *

    These insights were found in the Comment Section to this article at American Thinker. 


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