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WINDMILLS II

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
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Just a little update for all who don't make it to these parts often (Laurel Highlands) They sure are throwing them up , since i last posted on this , there are dozens of new ones gone up along rt160 south into northern Maryland it looks like. There is also a new group now visible from rt30 , and what looks like a staging/storage facility also visible from rt30 , so far most of these seem to have been placed on what i think were old strip mines , to end i just , still don't see what all the fuss and protest is about. Oh yeah , there is another group of turbines near the town of Dunlo/Krayne also on old strip mines. What do y'all think?

Posted on: 2009/12/23 7:57


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2009/5/29 6:40
From harlansburg
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I've seen them along rt160, which happens to be a great motorcycle rd and my favorite way down into md/wv areas. I think they're kinda neat, and having them on strip mine land makes perfect sense, the land was already destroyed! I also went past a place where they must make the blades, it's just past kostas plaza near ebensburg, on the road that goes towards blue knob. the blades where lying packed up in the parking lot, they were HUGE!!
I kinda laugh when I hear the cry for migrating birds flying into them. these things don't spin very fast, people must think they turn like helicopter blades. while I'm no biologist, I think most birds would be able to see the blades and steer clear.
would I want one in my backyard? why not, as long as it's far enough away it wont fall on my house if it fails!
in my opinion, I'd rather have a windmill than a marcellus well in my yard! and I would still be able to drink my water!!

Posted on: 2009/12/23 9:18


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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I have nothing against coal nor do I ever see one pushing out the other. That is just an unrealistic thought. But the only down side to windmills I have ever heard is that they are unsightly. Frankly the choice between one or the other, aesthetically is a no brainer. But decide for yourself which one would you like to look across the river from your house and see?

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Posted on: 2009/12/23 10:53


Re: WINDMILLS II

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NIMBY for me.

Posted on: 2009/12/23 10:56
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Re: WINDMILLS II

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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I don't think they look bad, and I don't know much about birds. But keep in mind how many of those windmills are needed to equal just one coal plant. The average coal plant produces approximately 1.3 million megawatt hours/year. Your average industrial windmill does about 3,000 megawatt-hours/year. So you need roughly 430 of those windmills in that picture to equal the average coal plant, and that particular coal plant looks bigger than average.

That said, I love wind as a power source, it has considerably higher upside than solar does right now. Neither are going to be enough to take a bite out of coal, but they might be enough to prevent us from having to build more coal and gas plants. It's not the "answer", but its certainly a good thing!

Posted on: 2009/12/23 11:19


Re: WINDMILLS II

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the government give the utility companies 1.5 cents per kWh. so the more wind power they produce the more of our taxes they get so we end up paying more for the energy. also it costs about 5 cents per kWh to produce the power for a very efficient, constant, high wind area, unlike what we have here in the eastern USA. also the most wind is produces at night when power usage is lowest. so in reality if a wind farm is designed to produce 50 kWh of power, it's out put is more like 20 kWh. this in turn drives up costs which is charged back to the customer. the only reason utilities are building these is because the government is paying them to build it. if this were to happen in any other business, like banking or loans, there would be a great out cry of too much governemnt involvment.

Posted on: 2009/12/23 11:29


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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My previous post was incorrect (math-wise). Looking up some engineering sources says that its more like 4,000-6,000 windmills is equivalent to the typical coal fired plant, and more than that for nuclear. I musta been off by a power of ten for either the average coal plant or the average windmill's output.

Posted on: 2009/12/23 11:39


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2006/9/9 8:53
From York
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When you are looking at that coal plant--what do you think you see coming out of all those stacks?

Posted on: 2009/12/23 12:06


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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Quote:

fritz wrote:
When you are looking at that coal plant--what do you think you see coming out of all those stacks?


From the larger cooling towers its mostly just steam. From the actual incinerators it particulate matter.

Microscopic particles linked to asthma, heart disease and other health problems — along with acid rain-causing sulfur dioxide and smog-forming nitrogen oxides


Coal contains trace quantities of the naturally-occurring radionuclides uranium and thorium, as well as their radioactive decay products, and potassium-40. When coal is burned, minerals, including most of the radionuclides, do not burn and concentrate in the ash.

While most of the ash is captured, tiny solid particles known as "fly ash," including some radionuclides, escape from the boiler into the atmosphere

In Addition:

* People dying prematurely from problems associated with exposure to fine particle pollution, or soot, lost an average of 14 years.
* Power plant pollution is responsible for 38,200 nonfatal heart attacks and 554,000 asthma attacks each year.
* Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida had the highest overall mortality rates each year, and West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee — states with a large number of coal-fired plants — had the highest per capita mortality risk.

(by Harvard University in 1993 and the American Cancer Society in 1995)

Posted on: 2009/12/23 12:27


Re: WINDMILLS II

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coming out of the stacks is 99.99% watervapor.

as for land usage at typical 1150MW nuke plant has a fenced area of about 8 acres. i found this:

The Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center is the largest wind power facility in the nation with a total capacity of 735 MW. It is spread across approximately 47,000 acres (190 km2) in Taylor and Nolan County near Abilene.

so the total land needed to equal 1 nuke plant is 73,500 acres. nuke power accounts for 19% of the total electricity generated in the USA. the stated goal of wind power is 20% or about what nukes do now. so if there are 104 nuke plants to provide 19% then it would take about 8 million acres of wind mills to reach that goal. that's a lotta land, about half the size of west virginia or a quarter of PA.

Posted on: 2009/12/23 12:50


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2008/1/31 17:19
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Both are right, of course. Most of the visible "smoke" is actually steam. That picture has some color issues going on, those belches should be pretty dang white. Bad stuff does come out, but its next to invisible. On a clear day you can see a little yellow tinge above the tallest stacks, thats the bad stuff. In those pictures the stacks that don't have the billows of steam are the ones spewing the dangerous stuff. The fact that its nearly invisible doesn't make it any less dangerous.

The problem with particulate matter is not a necessary one, and a lot of progress has been made in that area, same with the sulfur dioxide. For those types of pollution, the question is simply how much are we willing to pay for better health and a better environment. We can take it to next to nothing, which makes it more similar to a natural gas plant, and still pay less than wind or solar. As for CO2, thats a tougher nut to crack, its prohibitively expensive to capture it with any of the fossil fuels. If CO2 is your primary issue, the options are nuclear and the renewables, with nuclear or increased hydro as the only one capable of carrying an appreciable percentage of the overall load. That doesn't mean solar and wind are useless, it just means they cannot form the foundation of power gen.

Riz, Horse Hollow is one of the most favorable places in the country for wind farms. Wind farms in PA would not generate nearly that much electricity per windmill or per acre. To reach 20% of the total, it's well more acreage than all of Pennsylvania. But you are forgetting about the oceans. Maximizing wind energy means using the oceans. Still, 20%, no way, not ever. The realistic numbers I've seen say solar + wind combined, with full commitment, could approach 10%. That's not the "answer" some think it is, but its nothing to scoff at either. 10% is an awful lot of energy, right now we're at fractions of a percent.

Posted on: 2009/12/23 13:27


Re: WINDMILLS II

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i would love to see better solutions to our problem of energy. but the solutions has to make economic sense. utilities will not invest in something that will loose them money. so currently that leaves out wind, solar and geo. the only other solutions are gas and nuke. but you don't hear the president touting either of them. even starting right now it will take 6 yrs to bring new plants on line and the long they dither the more behind we get. we can not wait for new technology to become marketable, we need to use what we have and as the technology advances, it gets intergrated in. as it sand right now all of our capabilities are being used. so without new plants we can not expanse our energy usage. no new factories, heavy industry, refineries etc. can be built which would help with jobs. we don't have the energy to power these sectors.

Posted on: 2009/12/23 13:53


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2006/11/2 8:50
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Does anyone know why they don't put turbines on some of the medium-sized dams/impoundments? For example Sayers Dam on Bald Eagle Creek. It's not huge, but it's not tiny either. I would think that it would generate more energy than a windmill.

And there are probably many other dams/impoundments of similar size around the state and the country that could generate electricity cleanly.

Any engineers in the house?

Posted on: 2009/12/23 14:45


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2006/9/9 19:37
From aliquippa
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i have both a nuke plant and a coal fired plant 6 miles from my house both are operated by first energy, there have been problems with particle fall out from the coal plant, leaving a black dust on the houses and cars, i worked temporarily at the nuke plant and talking to some of the engineers they mentioned about in the possibilty of nuke plants on a smaller scale ,ones that would`nt require large amounts of water to operate

Posted on: 2009/12/23 16:24
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Re: WINDMILLS II

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2006/9/9 8:53
From York
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I have to say--comparing the two pictures, I'll take the wind generators for looks. But if I wanna keep the beer cooler cold--I'll take the coal plant.

Looks like all water vapor to me--kinda hard to tell. If that is particulates issuing from the large chimney on the left, that's really bad. That stack though could be a chimney for a wet SO2 scrubber for one or more boilers. The small chimneys in the fore could be abandoned and their flue gases re-directed through the scubber. Wet scrubber chimneys issue water vapor with a temp of about 150F so the chimney is really a concrete shell with a fiberglass flue inside. Scrubbers usually remove up to 99% of the SO2. Costs are high--about 1.7 billion for 3100mws and take upwards of 30mws (maybe more) of power to operate.

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) can be removed several different ways. A popular method developed and installed in the early 90s was to retrofit boilers with overfire air burners which reduced NOx 45 to 55%. More thorough removal of NOx is with an SCR--selective catalytic converter--removes up to 99%. Capital costs for these are high as well but that's the deal. Clean air regs work. It just cost money which we will eventually pay.

I believe that the long term future of base load power lies with the nuke industry. Reactors have been developed (and ordered) that keep plants on line for longer periods of time and require shorter re-fueling outages. Coal plants are environmentally challenged--but many are much cleaner than they once were. And for now--they're necessary.

As far as the dams upstate--capital costs may outweigh the amount of mws they would produce. A bigger issue might be access to the grid--just guessing.

Posted on: 2009/12/23 16:36



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