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September 10, 2007

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Comments

Green Assassin Brigade

As I understand it, this configuration usually suffers from high bearing wear in normal use and windshear can cause excessive bearing wear which is why vertical acess has never taken off.

How have the dealt with this problem?

The Anonymous Poster

I've never heard of excessive bearing wear being a major problem with VAWT's. My only problem is that this turbine is fairly close to the ground and shouldn't generate a lot of power. I'd rather have a shorter turbine mounted on a taller pole.

fjh

Is there any test data or evaluations as with Turby, windside,Vestas, Aerotecture, carbon concepts, Pacwind, or solwind?

Can they post the bearing design...this is a very tall closed veined turbine; I'm guessing subject to a lot of stress in moderate winds?

How is the rotational energy delivered to a generator...belt or is the bottom of the shaft wound and turning in a magnetic field?

...o.k. I've got a few reservations about this design; and other vendors can provide a 'ruggedized' marine version for off shore/island/ship use..see windsides tech. specifications for their off-shore product series.

greg

How would these work if you installed them on the sides of existing concrete posts along highways or other of millions of posts already existing, with top and bottom secured to power traffic lights, phones, cell antenas, and even supply power to the grid they support?
Also all the giant publicity signs should use wind power for lighting, they are made to withstand high winds already.
I definitely think vertical is the way to go for wind power, it solves the danger of blades cutting through the air and you can take advantage of lower wind speeds which are more the norm than high wind speeds.

Jeremy Stieglitz

I think that * in their data needs some validation. Or we may be facing yet again some outrageous VAWT claims not backed up by physics and math.

Wind power 101 says that addressable wind power is a function of wind speed (cubed) times wind swept area.

This pole-like turbine has a wind swept area of ~40 ft (20 feet by 2 feet) or slightly less than 4 square meters.

Sorry, but no turbine on a planet with earth's air will produce 1000 or 2000 watts of electical power from such a measly wind swept area. (maybe in water... :)

Mike

According to NREL, class 7 wind power at 21 mph is 1kw/m^2. As a wind turbine can capture up to 50% of the energy, those numbers seem feasible. Of course the average power would be much lower.

http://www.nrel.gov/gis/wind.html

bigTom

I suspect the KW requires the 25mph wind. For a more prevalenvt 12.5 the V**3 rule would mean only 125watts. I would also presume that wind customers would like the product to have a lifetime similar to PV. I suspect there aren't all that many places with high enough average wind speed, which also has a low enough probability of >100mph to make it worthwhile.

The vertical axis should generate a considerable horizontal torque, which would be difficult to isolate from the vertical axis.

I've always assumed wind doesn't scale down very well. There is a reason that commercial windfarm turbines are now being built in the megawatt range.

JohnBo

If you capture all available power produced, then payback is 21 years with grid power at $0.10/kWh using their 12mph numbers. With maintenance and other costs, payback could easily grow to 30 years. It will be totally worn out way before it pays for its own cost. And, this is the optimistic economics where all power from the unit is captured.

However, I doubt you can connect this as a utility-interactive distributed generator. Their UL 1741 approval is “pending” and it is not clear if they are seeking this specific utility rating covered in UL 1741. You would have to check with your power company but none I know of would allow it to be connected without the approved third party listing.

If you can’t connect it to the grid and “capture” all the power output into the system then it has very limited use. It could provide a small one-room cabin with lights if the wind is blowing. However, flash lights would be more dependable and cheaper. As far as putting them everywhere to add into the grid… forget it. The cost of this power is far too expensive compared to other sources of generation.

BILL HANNAHAN

The average U.S. lifestyle consumes 1,550 watts. Assuming it meets the extremely optimistic performance specifications the average windmill output is 215 watts. We need 7.22 windmills per person, 29 windmills for a family of four.

We will need to install 6,290,000 units to match the output of one 1,500 MW nuclear plant with a 90% capacity factor.

Assuming a $400 cost for land, foundation, wiring, labor etc. the cost to replace one nuclear plant is $25.1 billion. If you want a modest level of reliability add about $10 billion for batteries, chargers and inverters.

But I doubt a plastic windmill is going to last 60 years, maybe 10 -20, so multiply accordingly.

Angus

Based on these comments, where would they have obtained the money to even develop a prototype? Investors don't just pour money into a VAWT without some verification of the claims. Makes one wonder if this company is actually real.

JohnBo

Maybe they have a nitch market somewhere and decided to see if anyone else will buy one. Maybe they don't have an engineer. Who knows? Haha.

Ronald Brak

Isolated farms and communities can pay about $1.60 a kilowatt-hour using diesel generators, so there is a market for these small wind generators.

disgusted

The depth and breadth of the ignorance in some of these comments is breathtaking. I guess it's easier to invent a reason why something won't work rather than look into how it can work.

greg

I agree with "disgusted", at least there are people out there doing their best to make our world a better place. The easiest is to just wait for big business to feed us the energy we need. Im all for being inovative and persistent if you think you have a good idea.

Tony

The small wind turbine industry needs some serious competition. Four thousand dollars for a little 1kw wind generator? My God! Unfortunately, this sort of pricing is the norm. The U.S. government needs to greatly increase R&D spending and, ideally, to license the manufacture of good designs to low-income Americans. Otherwise, the only people who can save the world from global warming and high energy prices are the Chinese - with their willingness to make things for commodity prices, branding and intellectual property be damned.

Calamity

There are several misleading comments above. Here are just some rebuttals.

First, these windmills compete with retail electricity, not wholesale as coal and nuclear do. My peak rate is about 28 cents/kWh. And as Ronald Brak mentioned, this system will quickly pay itself for many who are off the grid, which is a decent enough market for this technology to commercialise.

Second, plant cost may or may not be correct however it is misleading as the market for wind is not baseload, thus such plants will not get built (at least not anytime soon). Wind has plenty of room to grow (and dropping in price) before intermittency becomes a serious problem; these hypothetical plants are not yet relevant, and may very well never be as other technologies can cover for baseload. When the wind blows you get wind power. When it doesn't, so what? No one here said we should go 100% wind. If wind is economical, why not add it in the mix? It's an ultra low emissions power source. Worried about bird crunching? Horizon pollution? Lesser evils most would say, and anyway there are simple solutions to these simple issues.

Third, plant cost is also not relevant to the consumer. Real LEC is far more important. Utility scale wind is currently a complementary power source, which has a LEC of 3-7 cents/kWh. Curiously, this is about the same as nuclear fission.

Fourth, wind is not a "mature technology" in absolute terms. This term has been invented to compare technologies to each other. As in "technology X is more mature than technology Y". But literally there is no such thing as mature technology. The learing curve for wind is actually quite good, about 20 percent IIRC. Which is important as there is much more room for growth before problems arise.

You don't have to believe me. Just look at the worldwide private investments being made in wind power. With such simple empirical evidence, some of the above claims can be easily dismissed as irrelevant and/or false. No need to be disgusted.

Nucbuddy

Calamity wrote: plant cost is also not relevant to the consumer. Real LEC is far more important. Utility scale wind [...] has a LEC of 3-7 cents/kWh.

Dong Energy says that 15-year levelized windpower currently costs 19 cents/kWh wholesale.

Dong had secured a fixed price of DKK 0.4999 per kilowatt-hour to produce what amounts to nearly 15 years' worth of electricity.

The price is nearly double the market price, but the company felt it needed a price guarantee of DKK 1 per kWh to make the investment worthwhile.

X-rates' currency conversion calculator says that DKK 1 = USD 0.187227.


Calamity wrote: Curiously, this is about the same as nuclear fission.

Assuming 60-year plant-lives, total levelized nuclear-energy costs are close to 2 cents/kWh.
world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html

Calamity

I see you're quoting that "independent" site again. Well at least they inventarised several studies which were more or less independent. The conclusion of which is 3.7 cents/kWh to 7.4 cents/kWh for nuclear.
Go with at least 10% discount rates as nuclear projects are proven historically to be financially risky.

For both wind and nuclear, it highly depends on what source you "shop for", as they all use different figures.

This one for the US:

http://www.awea.org/faq/cost.html

In the early 1980's, when the first utility-scale wind turbines were installed, wind-generated electricity cost as much as 30 cents per kilowatt-hour. Now, state-of-the-art wind power plants at excellent sites are generating electricity at less than 5 cents/kWh. Costs are continuing to decline as more and larger plants are built and advanced technology is introduced.

And also:

http://www.awea.org/windletter/wl_03may.html

In order to determine how much electricity a wind farm could produce, the first place to start is to get a good idea of the wind resource available. Since the energy in the wind is related to the cube of the wind speed [Power in the Wind (W/m2)= (wind speed)3 x ½(air density) x swept rotor area], small variations in the wind speed can lead to large changes in power output. For example, according to industry estimates from a couple of years ago, a wind farm at a site with wind speeds of 7.15 m/s (16 mph) would cost 4.8 cents per kWh, where one at a site with wind at 8.08 m/s (18.07) would cost 3.6 cents per kWh, a 25% reduction in cost.

Personally I think this one has good 2003 figures (which are better now in 2007, and they weren't even using the more economical larger turbines):

http://www.ewea.org/fileadmin/ewea_documents/documents/publications/factsheets/factsheet_economy2.pdf

The cost of electricity generated by wind power (2003 calculations) ranges from
approximately 4 - 5 €cents/kWh at sites with very good wind speeds to 6 - 8 €cents/kWh at sites with low wind speeds.

Power production costs of wind-generated electricity have fallen steadily as the technology has developed. The average cost for a coastal turbine has decreased from approximately 8.8 €cents/kWh (for a 95 kW turbine installed in the mid-1980s) to 4.1 €cents/kWh for a recent 1,000 kW machine A cost reduction of over 50% in the last 15 years has occurred for electricity from wind power. As a rule of thumb, manufacturers expect the production cost of wind power to decline 3-5% for each new generation of wind turbines they add to their product portfolio. Future cost reductions are a function of how the market grows. Looking forward, using analysis based on the “experience curve” method, it is anticipated that power production costs will continue to decrease. With a doubling of total installed capacity, the cost of production per kWh from new wind turbines will fall by between 9% and 17%.
Presently, the European market has doubled every three years. If, as Fig. 2 shows, the market takes 5, not 10 years to double, the cost would be 3.9-5.2 €cents/kWh instead of 4.4-5.6 €cents/ kWh. The EWEA target of 75GW installed in the EU by 2010 requires an annual growth rate of 16%, a doubling over 4.8 years.

The learning rate is less than I though but more than nuclear power. Independency is questionable as is the World Nuclear Site naturally. If you shuffle the figures around in a most optimistic (that is, unrealistic) way you'll get 3 cents LEC for present wind. (I've seen one with 2 cents LEC but I'm not even going to quote that one, that's how unrealistic it is). You also have to do that for present nuclear fission though, and ignore future value altogether.

Nucbuddy

Calamity,

Are you assuming 60-year operating lives for those windpower plants? If not, why not?

Calamity,wrote: You also have to [...] for present nuclear fission [...] ignore future value altogether.

Are you considering that, for most of its 60-year operating life, a nuclear powerplant would be generating power with zero capital-cost?

Calamity

Nucbuddy said: Are you assuming 60-year operating lives for those windpower plants? If not, why not?

No, because no windpower plant in existence has lasted 60 years. This is also true for the nuclear power plants you are promoting. Even if they would last 60 years technically, then consider that major refurbishment of some sort might be needed - which we don't know about - which would make the plant a "total loss" i.e. financially it may not last 60 years. Especially when you consider that a few decades from now, brand new nuclear fission plants will likely be cheaper, better, safer, more efficient etc, arguments that hold true for wind even more most likely.

The World Nuclear Association uses 40 years for nuclear power plants in some cases, seems more realistic to work with.

When no plant has lasted 60 years, can you really assume that it will? Only for well designed hydroelectric can such assumptions be used fairly accurately.

See this reference for an elaborate analysis of future wind power economics, including dealing with intermittency which they have concluded may be the one of the largest costs of wind power in the future. It uses 20 year windpower plant lifetime but rather optimistic cost targets:

http://www.ucalgary.ca/~keith/papers/65.Decarolis.2006.EconomicsOfWind.e.pdf

Nucbuddy said: Are you considering that, for most of its 60-year operating life, a nuclear powerplant would be generating power with zero capital-cost?

As mentioned above the 60 year operating life is speculative, and so is your statement as we do not yet know the required capital over the speculative 60 year operating life.

But that's not even my point. First, there's overnight capital cost, which discounting assumptions affect heavily. You are not seriously using 5% discounting figures for nukes are you now? Maybe in a state run socialist nuclear programme, such interest rates would be allowed. Are you assuming socialist power for the USA? 10% discounting would be reasonable, I seem to recall the nuclear industry standard 12% rate but I'm not sure. The overnight capital costs need to fall drastically for nuclear power.

And then, on the other hand, there's waste storage, which has future value implications. This is, of course, also speculative as the future development of waste disposal is not known.

Nucbuddy

Calamity wrote: The World Nuclear Association uses 40 years for nuclear power plants in some cases

Could you please show me where the World Nuclear Association says it assumes a 40-year nuclear plant life?

Calamity wrote: the nuclear power plants you are promoting.

Please stop raping me.

Nuclear energy is neither any specific nuclear industry nor nuclear regulatory environment.

Clee

Nucbuddy refers to
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html
It does say that fuel and operation and maintenance costs are about 2 cents/KWH for nuclear. However, a chart further down, that includes capital costs shows for the EU at 10% discount rate:
Nuclear: EUR 4.0 - 5.5 c/kWh = US 5.4 - 7.4 c/kWh
Wind onshore: EUR 3.5-11.0 c/kWh = US 4.7-14.8 c/kWh

So while on average wind is more expensive than nuclear, in individual cases wind could be a little cheaper or twice as expensive.

For me, this Windspire turbine is useless, since we get very little wind at our residence. But let's see, at Calamity's peak rate of 28 cents/kWh, and assuming a production of 1900 kWh/year at 12mph average wind speed, it would take 7.5 years to pay for itself, or 1.5x the warranty period. Can't say I find that appealing. I suppose there's a niche market (probably off-grid) that it would appeal to.

BILL HANNAHAN

In 1979 the government of Denmark initiated a 30% subsidy for the cost of building windmills. In 1999 they guaranteed wind power producers 85% of retail, 9 cents per kWh, for all the power they could make. They imposed a tax on fossil fuel to provide an additional 3.8 cents per kWh to wind producers.

Compare that with the cost to make electricity in the U.S. in 2005; hydroelectric 0.9 cents per kWh, coal 2.8 cents per kWh, natural gas turbine 5.9 cents per kWh, nuclear 1.8 cents per kWh.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epat8p2.html

Denmark has the, ideal combination of optimum factors for wind.

• A population committed to wind power
• A government committed to wind power
• High energy prices
• Low energy consumption
• Large price guarantees
• Large government subsidies
• A small country with short transmission distances, each person lives within 50 miles of a shoreline
• Surrounding water creates mild winters and summers
• Excellent wind conditions for land and sea based wind farms year-round
• Mature in country wind turbine industry

In 2005 wind accounted for 18.5 % of the 751 watts per person Denmark used, only 139 watts of wind power per person.


Denmark’s huge wind subsidies have resulted in the highest electricity prices in the world, 29.5 cents per kWh, vs. 9.5 cents per kWh in the U.S.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/elecprih.html


Denmark also imports substantial amounts of nuclear power.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf99.html


The US completed about 5 reactors per year from 1970 to 1990 and they have been producing about 300 watts per person since then.

The primitive first generation nuclear power plants ramped up to 300 watts per person in 20 years, vs. Denmark’s 140 watts per person of wind in 30 years while the nuclear plants were charging less than one fourth the rate per kWh that the windmills received, and the nuclear plants were not given price and purchase guarantees.

The nuclear plants do not need backup energy storage service or voltage and frequency conditioning provided to the windmills free of charge by conventional power plants resulting in the emission of CO2 not attributed to the windmills, as it should be.

Windmill technology is highly advanced and they already operate near theoretical maximum efficiency. There is not a lot of room for improvement.

Many promising approaches to fission have yet to be explored.

http://thoriumenergy.blogspot.com/2006/04/welcome-and-introduction.html


If we had tens of thousands of sites around the world where the wind blows at a steady 30 MPH, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, wind would be our salvation. But those sites do not exist. Wind mills are like hula hoops, a fad we are going through. 100 years from now there will be a few windmills, but they will never be abundant or inexpensive. Nuclear power can be both.

Nucbuddy

Clee,

Because of the NIBMY factor, there is no such thing as onshore wind. Even the residents of Denmark refuse to accept onshore wind.

cphpost.dk/get/102943.html

Residents may reap windmill compensation 02.08.2007 [Aug. 2, 2007]

Stalled plans to build new high-efficiency wind turbines could get a jump start thanks to a government plan to pay residents for decreased property values.

Property owner resistance over plans to replace the country’s 5000 existing wind turbines with fewer high-efficiency models has the government suggesting that homeowners living in the shadow of the 150-metre giants be compensated for lost property value.

Most politicians and citizens are in agreement that wind power is the way to a cleaner, more environmentally friendly future, but many also believe rows of wind turbines are an eyesore and destroy the harmony of the nation’s gentle landscape.

The new initiative to compensate property owners comes on the heels of a report from a special commission created by parliament to determine the most aesthetic means of erecting new wind turbines across the country.
[...]
But citizens’ groups concerned about the effects the new wind turbines have on the landscape have managed to stall the process. Connie Hedegaard, the environment minister, believes the new initiative will help get it back underway.

‘If you live near a new wind turbine, you should be able to receive compensation from the state,’ she told Weekendavisen newspaper. ‘But note that it is only if one can document that they’ve suffered a financial loss from the placement - in the same way as those who live close to a new motorway.’

Hedegaard has called together the mayors of 22 cities to discuss the issue in August and to work out the details of such a plan. The opposition, however, is pushing her to bypass the meetings and use her authority to dictate where the wind turbines should be placed, putting up as many of the new wind turbines as necessary to meet the country’s targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
[...]
When wind turbines began to sprout up in earnest at the beginning of the decade Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, the former leader of the prime minister’s Liberal Party, expressed the feelings of many when he called wind turbines ‘politically correct, economically questionable and ugly’.


cphpost.dk/get/102200.html

Denmark’s dominant energy symbol, the wind turbine, has suffered under the current government, with the country losing 19 turbines last year - 28 were junked while only nine new ones were raised. The total wind energy produced nationwide was only 11 megawatts in 2006 compared with 600 megawatts in 2000.

Yet around 16 percent of the nation’s total energy production comes from sustainable sources, which puts Denmark near the top of that category amongst EU countries. But that figure dropped in 2006 for the first time in several years.

Lars Lilleholt said the Liberal party will likely vote to increase contributions to sustainable energy, but added the lack of space for new wind turbines presented a problem.

‘We have to find a balance between securing continued development and not sending consumers a huge energy bill,’ he said, pointing out that more spending on sustainable energy sources would result in higher utility prices.


cphpost.dk/get/101575.html

Windmills in my back yard 03.05.2007 [May 3, 2007]

The prospect of living in the shadow of a 150-metre windmill has not scared a majority of Danes from extending their support to the government’s plan to replace the country’s 5000 small wind turbines with fewer, highly efficient giants.

A Berlingske Tidende/Gallup poll finds that two-thirds of the population are in favour of the plan. Slightly fewer said they would support the plan even if it meant a wind turbine being built in the respondents’ own towns.

Despite complaints that wind turbines mar the landscape and irritation over their constant drone, the most positive reactions came from people already living next to one or more windmills.

In addition, 44 percent of those responding said they were willing to support the construction of more wind turbines, even if it meant a ten percent increase in the price of electricity.

Detractors maintained that theoretically positive attitudes were likely to change as soon as the first of the new wind turbines were built and people realised how large the new wind turbines actually were. They suggest limiting the height of land-based wind turbines to 100 metres.

Representatives from the wind power industry agreed that support was likely to soften once concrete plans to build the new wind turbines were introduced


cphpost.dk/get/98582.html

Wind power wanted, but not in my backyard 19.10.2006 [Oct. 19, 2006]

Strict zoning codes have virtually halted the construction of new wind turbines in Denmark, according to Marianne Bender, the chairperson of the Organisation for Sustainable Energy.

While 748 turbines were put into operation in 2000, that number has fallen to a mere 6 in 2006.

‘Protests from citizens and lobby organisations have hindered the building of wind turbines many places in the country,’ she said ‘At the same time, one of the government’s first actions was to remove subsidies.’ The country’s position as a leader in wind technology is now threatened unless local authorities ease building restrictions, warned, the minister of the environment, Connie Hedegaard.

‘We cannot be the world’s leader in wind technology if we don’t make room for turbines ourselves. Municipalities have a huge responsibility to ensure that the development of wind turbines succeeds,’ she said.

In a slightly hidden admonishment, Hedegaard added that a national directive could be instituted if local governments failed to ease codes on their own.




The more-acceptable alternative is offshore wind. However, that is more expensive.

http://www.cphpost.dk/get/101573.html

03.05.2007 [May 3, 2007] [...] The energy minister, Flemming Hansen, emphasised that the offshore sites provided wind energy’s environmentally friendly benefits without the zoning conflicts that often arise with land-based projects.

‘I feel that offshore parks are the future of wind energy,’ Hansen told Berlingske Tidende newspaper. ‘Even though they are more expensive than land-based turbines, we should prioritise them out of consideration for local populations.’

Despite having some 7000 km of shoreline available, the expert panel that combed Denmark’s waters for offshore sites was hard-pressed to find suitable locations.

The panel found, for example, that building the sites in 40 metres of water was four times more expensive than building them in 10 metres of water.

Other obstacles such as nature preserves, shipping routes and fishing grounds also had to be avoided.
[...]
‘The report shows that offshore wind power’s potential is enormous,’ said Hansen. ‘The more turbines we can build offshore, the fewer we will need on land.’


A minority of Danes admit that windpower, relative to the nuclear power -- and the other alternatives -- that Denmark relies heavily upon, is absurd.

cphpost.dk/get/91348.html

04.10.2005 [Oct. 4, 2005]

Despite the government's pledge to prioritise sustainable energy sources, Minister of Transport and Energy Flemming Hansen said on Monday that due to 'significant levels of overcapacity', there were no plans to make use of more sustainable energy.

Hansen said offshore wind turbines [...] were currently unneeded.

'For me, it is quite clear that there is no need for increased subsidies or to give permits for creating more offshore wind turbines or similar projects right now,' said Hansen.

Clee

Nucbuddy writes:
"A minority of Danes admit that windpower, relative to the nuclear power ... that Denmark relies heavily upon, is absurd."

The article you referenced doesn't mention nuclear power at all. I interpret the article as saying that because of overcapacity, they don't need any new power plants right now, wind, biomass, nuclear or other.

"The total wind energy produced nationwide was only 11 megawatts in 2006 compared with 600 megawatts in 2000."

I suppose they mean only 11 MW of new rated capacity was added nationwide in 2006 compared with 600 MW added in 2000. After all, they generated 6,108 GWh of wind power in 2006. At 11 MW, that would be an impossible capacity factor of 6638%

I have no problem with a technology expanding quickly into its niche and then slowing down. So it seems wind has hit that point in Denmark, but onshore wind is still growing in the US and other countries. Apparently wind energy generation grew 45% last year in the US and 25% the year before.
www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/solar.renewables/page/prelim_trends/table1.pdf

"Clee, Because of the NIBMY factor, there is no such thing as onshore wind. "

There is, as yet, no offshore wind in the US, so that double digit growth in wind last year must have been onshore. Every type of power plant has NIMBYs against them.

Calamity

Nucbuddy said: Please stop raping me.

Nuclear energy is neither any specific nuclear industry nor nuclear regulatory environment.

You are not against nuclear power, you are also not indifferent to it or appear unsure. The only other option is advocacy.

Where did I say, or even imply, that nuclear energy is a specific nuclear industry or nuclear regulatory environment? I said you were promoting nuclear power plants. That's it.

Does your comment here imply that you are in favour of nuclear fission energy, but against building new nuclear fission power plants? Now that would be an awkward position, right?

Please stop raping me, and more generally please stop practicing your lawyer science, so I don't have to reply to it with more lawyer science defence.

Calamity

Bill Hannahan said: Windmill technology is highly advanced and they already operate near theoretical maximum efficiency. There is not a lot of room for improvement.

Before you go about with bold statements like that, try reading the comments above, like this one. You might even try to read this site, among others.

Bill Hannahan said: Compare that with the cost to make electricity in the U.S. in 2005; hydroelectric 0.9 cents per kWh, coal 2.8 cents per kWh, natural gas turbine 5.9 cents per kWh, nuclear 1.8 cents per kWh.

There are exactly zero nuclear power plants that are producing electricity with a REAL LEC of 1.8 cents per kWh.

Perhaps you are only considering the operating costs of nukes, or using near zero discounting rates?

If the former is the case, solar PV would cost 0.5 cents per kWh, and if it's the latter, wind would cost 2 cents per kWh.

Bill Hannahan said: Windmill technology is highly advanced and they already operate near theoretical maximum efficiency. There is not a lot of room for improvement.

Bill Hannahan said: Compare that with the cost to make electricity in the U.S. in 2005; hydroelectric 0.9 cents per kWh, coal 2.8 cents per kWh, natural gas turbine 5.9 cents per kWh, nuclear 1.8 cents per kWh.

There are exactly 0 nuclear power plants that are producing electricity with a REAL LEC of 1.8 cents per kWh.

Perhaps you are only considering the operating costs of nukes, or using near zero discounting rates?

If the former is the case, solar PV would cost 0.5 cents per kWh, and if it's the latter, wind would cost 2 cents per kWh.

Take another look at this reference as well for a more detailed macro analysis for wind in the USA.

Calamity

Clee said: Every type of power plant has NIMBYs against them.

Maybe not. CST in certain parts of deserts might not have any NIMBY whatsoever. Strictly speaking, for NIMBY to apply, there must actually be backyards around.

Calamity

Nucbuddy said: Because of the NIBMY factor, there is no such thing as onshore wind

Do you realise that this is almost as absurd as saying "because of the NIMBY factor, there is no such thing as onshore nuclear"?

Calamity

Wait... Nucbuddy, are you seriously quoting the Copenhagen Post? That site is very positive about the future of hydrogen powered cars.

'Nuff said.

David B. Benson

Patagonia comes very close to offering 30+ mph winds, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Maybe that's the part of the world which ought to look to wind power?

Dan

Stability is not a problem with vertical axis wind turbines . If a multiple number of turbines are arranged in a triangular pattern then the tops of the turbines be connected with some sort of bracing . The larger the number of turbines connected together , the taller the turbines can become , the structure becomes stronger , so the structure can be made of lighter materials reducing the cost .

Missy

I do not understand why wind companies do not have smaller turbines. Europe is way ahead us. There is a company in Finland that is building some very attractive ones. I hope the price will be under $2,000 to install it on your roof.

Check it out at: http://www.windside.com/

Jim K

Has anyone reviewed www.windside.com? I want to build my own. I have talked to this company and say they do not market to residential. Anyone know anything on this design, or have plans to build on for a home?
Thanks
Jim K

Stefan Mueller

Look at:
www.energy-age-wind.de

natschultz

This looks nice, but the pacwind 2KW vertical axis turbine costs the same and kicks in at 8mph.
Regarding wind power in Denmark - the reason people have gone all NIMBY is that the government has decided to let the big corporate elitists build them, put them where they want and then charge the people for the power. The reason Denmark was so far ahead of everyone else in wind power was that the original turbines were purchased by local ordinary Danes who got together and formed co-ops to purchase and install the turbines, so the people themselves made the decisions and benefited from the power generation. The problem now is that the big corporations have realized the demand for clean power and they have the money to monopolize the industry and make it financially impossible for small businesses and local groups of people to buy the turbines and set them up in their communities and then sell the power to the grid. Denmark's government decommissioned older models in order to make room for giant new ones that only giant multi-national corporations will profit from. Do you blame the Danes for objecting?
In a truly free market the "little people" (small businesses, local citizens who band together) would have the same access to the technology as the big corporations and, as happened back in the 1970's, the Danish people would be much more open to having the shadows of wind turbines in their yards, because their fellow Danes would be providing them a needed source of energy. They are not objecting to the huge turbines; they are objecting to the government and corporations who have ripped their free market liberties right out from underneath them.
Hopefully the Danish government will wake up. Sadly, I believe the government is betting that the Danish people will become as complacent about where the products they purchase come from as Americans have. Just like most Americans will purchase poisoned toys and food from Walmart rather than support a local small farmer or toymaker, the Danish government hopes the Danish people will be willing to outsource their natural wind resources to foreign corporations who do not provide the local economy with the jobs that the original locally-owned turbines did.

http://www.nrdc.org/onearth/07sum/windfarm5.asp?gclid=CMLapt%5F9l44CFQM1PwodU25wXQ
In sharp contrast to Maple Ridge and other big U.S. wind farms, of the 5,600 turbines in Denmark, only about 20 percent are owned by utility companies. Twenty-three percent belong to cooperatives and almost 60 percent to small, local companies or to individuals, including farmers. This has been the key to public acceptance. As one Danish study concluded: "People who own shares in a turbine are significantly more positive about wind power than people having no economic interest in the subject. Members of wind cooperatives are more willing to accept that their neighbor erect [sic] a turbine." Other experts say that local ownership makes wind power more economical, since expenses are lower and companies more competitive, with cheaper connection to the grid than big utilities would offer and faster, less bureaucratic decision-making.
But now that grassroots-owned technology has turned into big business, not all is well in the state of Denmark. A conservative government has changed the rules of the game: Subsidies for wind-generated electricity have been reduced and planning rules for new turbines tightened. As a consequence, the flourishing market is stalling. In 2006, Denmark installed only 11 megawatts of new turbines, compared with the 2,200 megawatts installed in its big southern neighbor, Germany.
This slowdown suggests that wind power in Denmark may be heading for "a real crisis," says Preben Maegaard of the Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy. "The big utilities are moving in because they see the chance to make a lot of money with offshore wind parks." Indeed, the two large parks currently being built in Denmark will both be run by big energy corporations. In a business that plans multimillion-dollar investments, "the general trend is to have more utilities and fewer cooperative owners," says Christian Kjaer, director of the European Wind Energy Association.
Maegaard fears that these changes will erode public support for wind and, in the name of free-market principles, jeopardize the healthy market that community ownership has encouraged. Already there have been local protests against new turbines being installed by the giant utilities. As the Danish Wind Industry Association has warned, citing a 1996 University of Amsterdam study, "Public resistance to wind projects is not so much against the turbines themselves, but also against the people who want to build [them]."


natschultz

Here are 2 rooftop turbines that are similar to the Finnish Windside one:
http://www.mag-wind.com (USA)
http://www.platek.com/wind/verticals.html (Canada)
They are both metal, not the cool fabric like the Finnish one that lifts up in the wind. I think that I had read a story stating that the Finish one, or one just like it, doesn't actually work. It was a long time ago, so I can't say for sure, but I remember loving the concept and then being disappointed after reading reviews.

Go here for links to all kinds of turbines:
http://www.ecobusinesslinks.com/vertical_axis_wind_turbines.htm

My favorite for large-scale production is the TMA wind turbine because it seems to actually work and it is bird friendly. I love wind power, but I love birds too, so I am totally against the traditional horizontal axis turbines since a study in CA proved that the bird death count was much worse than anyone had assumed. http://www.tmawind.com

joe

What happen if these wind Turbine installed in area where lots of trees? Will those leaves clog and damage the system? I know the platek system do have such problem and require maintainance.

Jonathan

Firstly i'm doing a project on wind turbines and i'm a (how shall I say it) noob....

The axle looks a ver flimsy and the tension caused on it by the wind could very well break it if strong enough wind comes. But on the other hand if the axle is very strong it is probably very heavy and that means that it probably can't produce a lot of electricty. Not to mention the blades don't have a very large wing span which, though reduceing stress on the axle, won't produce much energy. This wouldn't be a very good wind generator.

Though i'm not against Wind power as an alternative energy to coal power. I just believe that all Wind power generators have their advantages and disadvantages and that we should still keep researching different types of power to create better generators. I would probably stick to a HAWT because they have about the same chance of breaking and produce more power.

In the end though if we truely want to change from coal energy to renewable energies we need to use different energy sources for different environments. If you want to power a town next to the sea then use tidal power, If you want power next to a volcano use the heat from the volcano, etc.

Jonathan

By the way the reason VAWT are still used is because they are a lot cheaper to build and maintain even though they give out less electricity.

Yaroslav Yefymets

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Aaron Dalton

Wow. Very detailed discussion. Not sure that my review adds much, but here's a link if you're interested - http://1greenproduct.com/2008/08/outdoor-home-windspire-wind-turbine.html

FYI, it looks like Windspire has gone up in price since it was originally featured on this blog...

- Aaron Dalton, 1GreenProduct.com

Martin in Thailand

We have seen what happens to nuclear power plants, and no, we won't do that neither to us, nor our kids, nor any future generation.

These 1 kW Vertical Axis Wind Turbines are what we need here in Thailand, and there are many here, who'd love to have one of those.

Rather than some nuc propaganda I would prefer to hear about practical hands on experience with these wind turbines. Anyone here who really tested them?

Martin in Thailand

@Aaron Dalton: Your review is almost what I meant, It would be nice though to have some feedback from a real installation, to see how it is performing, if there are any issues, etc.

mark coleman

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Ron Bell

Ronald Brak and Tony - I agree with your comments. I have spent over $15,000 on PV panels, batteries and inverters. I want to add wind (the PV panels don't produce a lot at night or when covered in snow). We're not doing it to see the 'payback' in x number of years. We are doing it because it is the right thing to do, and is actually kind of fun. We are looking to grid-tie and sell the excess back to our utility to offset what we have to buy when there is insufficient wind or solar. We did have solar thermal to preheat our domestic hot water, but have replaced our tank with an on'demand heater. Sorry, got a little off track there. We are looking at a VAWT as the wind in our location is quite turbulent. To that end I am researching the Windspire. Does anyone have actual consumer installed data? Since it has built in monitoring I am hoping someone has some data they would like to share, as opposed to the manufacturer's data. Thanks / Ron
tinkntig@gmail.com

george

I have designed a vertical turbine made using one sheet of 1/4 " plywood to make a 3 blade turbine. One sheet of tin is used for the shroud. Two automobile spindles with their rims provide the bearings. One rim is for the turbine rotor and one rim for the shroud rotor. The automobile alternator is mounted on top. The wind blows on one side of the turbine creating a high pressure side, while the shroud turns into the wind creating a low pressure side sucking the rotor up into the shroud.

george

If you have any comments or interest in the design submitted where the shroud turns into the wind creating a low pressure for the returning blade. I'm at georgesvillage@yahoo.com.

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