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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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yea-who: Average household uses roughly double that figure you gave. You can't sustain a house on a single turbine, but you can certainly take a big bite out of your bill, and it can save you money in the long run.

Wind and solar make a lot of sense for a home. In the grand scheme, though, the home is not where the most energy is used. Industry and business use a boatload.

Wave Energy: Yes it exists. It's expensive to build plants, and the output is highly variable depending on location. But there's lots of room for expansion. Probably not going to touch the total demand curve but you will see it on a commercial scale like the other renewables.

Tides: Highly situational, but in some cases a great source of power. Need an inlet with fairly high surrounding elevation. You build a dam covering the inlet. The dam is opened when the tide comes in, and then closed at high tide, trapping water in a bay. Then you run the dam like a hydro plant on the outgoing tide. Only a few places worldwide where its feasible. In most places the bay would just break through another area and make a new inlet, sidestepping your dam. Plus the tides have to be severe in that location, the bay needs to be large to hold lots of water, and it can only have one inlet. China made a real big one, and it produces a ton of energy.

There are also tidal stream systems. Basically a turbine in the middle of the water. They can be used in many more places, and the power output is more predictable than wind. Infrastructure a lot cheaper than a huge dam. But the total energy output isn't much.

Heat from chimney: A lot of homes use chimney heat to partially preheat the water going into the hot water tank. Heat capture systems for industrial furnaces are being increasingly used.

Water through pipes: Well, yeah, but that water is typically pumped. Using it for energy means the pump has to work harder. As per the 2nd law of thermodynamics, you'd have to use more energy to increase the power of the pump than you would get out of the moving water. If the water is not pumped, say, gravity fed, well thats a different story, and we use it in very large amounts, its called hydroelectricity and is far and away the most used renewable power source.

Posted on: 2010/1/12 23:44


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
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pcray.........good post and good info , can tell you've put alot of thought into this , makes me think that maybe the approach is wrong , maybe the focus should have been to start from the bottom and work our way up , start with individual residence and try to become energy self sufficient and work our way up to large structures and eventually to industry.......does this make sense?

Posted on: 2010/1/13 7:08


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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Pinnacle will generate as much as 55 million watts of electricity, enough to service 14,000 homes. (with it new wind farm)

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitts ... ib/business/s_661857.html

Posted on: 2010/1/13 8:30


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2008/1/31 17:19
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Osprey,

I don't think you work bottom up or top down, you do everything you can, where and when you can. A lot of it is retrofit of existing equipment. Larger facilities simply have more capital to invest in larger projects, and they do it to lower energy costs. In the "quotes" thread, someone said environmentalism meant making it profitable to be clean, and this is a perfect example. For home use, well its available, but its hard to put policy into place. The best you can do is make it cheaper and advertise. Plus, there are other options other than energy generating devices which are perhaps more efficient and realistic for more people, such as geo-thermal heat pumps.

Tom, thats great (and I mean it, I'm pro-wind), but a few things to realize.

1. The article says it will generate "as much as" 55 MW of electricity, enough to power 14,000 homes. It's unclear to me whether thats an average or peak-rate. Most wind farms generate well under peak rate most of the time. It might be an average, the article just doesn't explain it well.

2. # of homes is a very poor measuring stick as it implies homes are the major energy user in America. In PA energy use is split roughly 1/3 commercial, 1/3 industrial, and 1/3 residential. Of course this doesn't include transportation, which puts them all to shame. PA's electricity use is about 150,000,000 Mw-hrs. If this farm produces an average of 55 MW (55,000,000 watts) for 365 days a year and it all goes to PA, this means it will produce about 0.3% of PA's energy needs. That is a very large windfarm and it is impressive. This is about 1/6 the output of the average coal plant.

Posted on: 2010/1/13 9:30


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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I thought it said much if it was going to the University of MD...

US Wind Force LLC is prepared to move forward with its long-planned, $131 million Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage as soon as a purchase agreement is signed with the University of Maryland, which will use the generated electricity.

You sure you read it?

Posted on: 2010/1/13 9:37


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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Sorry, I was adjusting, my calculations were off. It is actually fairly impressive.

Yeah, I read it, and understand its not going to PA. I'm just trying to put numbers into perspective. I think people tend to lose the concept that a large number can still be a tiny fraction of the total.

Posted on: 2010/1/13 9:42


Re: WINDMILLS II

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

pcray1231 wrote:


Yeah, I read it,


dude I was jest messin' with you with that line...


But I thought the number seemed high compared to other numbers you had mentioned in the past. I only know what I read and what you tell me.

But I know this. The more you use a technology, the better it gets. Where would we be with automobile or the airplane if we just stopped trying 100 years ago because it didn't fit into someone's political agenda or because the first few models didn't live up to expectations.

Posted on: 2010/1/13 9:55


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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The only number I had wrong was the .003%. I called it a percent and it was really a fraction, so thats 0.3%. Only off by a power of 100. :)

I wish these articles would use kW-hrs or MW-hrs instead of just watts. A watt is such a small unit, and they use it to make it sound more impressive. A "home" as I mentioned, is fairly meaningless. Most of us read that and say, well, thats a decent sized town it's powering. In reality, its a third of that, as we use electricity at work too. Too much sensationalism.

Like I said, thats an impressive wind plant if the average output is 55 MW, as my calculations assumed. If thats the peak, then the average is maybe 20% of that. That "as much as" phrase bugs me.

Posted on: 2010/1/13 10:00


Re: WINDMILLS II

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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You have remember who actually writes them in the end before you begin to analyze...You would be over qualified as a writer but a good interview.

Posted on: 2010/1/13 10:05


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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Yes, but these are the articles that drive public opinion. And that public opinion turns into policy.

Meaning that if the public is in the dark about the realities of the matter, then there isn't much hope for us to make good policy decisions.

Posted on: 2010/1/13 10:30


Re: WINDMILLS II

Joined:
2008/1/2 16:42
From Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Area
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Sorry Pcray for the error on avg. Household use. I got that figure by having 10 households in my neighborhood giving me the figure off there electric bill. Its basically an estimate they have only given me number for 9 months, and some months are estimated by the biller.

Posted on: 2010/1/14 11:08
_________________
To this day, I still cannot go fishing without flipping over at least one rock..........or two...........or till I find a buggy.


Re: WINDMILLS II

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13351
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Which 9 months? What form of heat?

That figure is the average home electricity use per the DOE. Of course, some homes use electricity for heat, and they will be considerably higher. Those that use another form of heat probably average lower.

Posted on: 2010/1/14 11:47


Re: WINDMILLS II

Joined:
2008/1/2 16:42
From Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Area
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Oil, gas, & two coal. 8 of the ten do use electric space heaters (sparcly) . Aprl 09 to the present. All of them are not in for january. All use some form of Air conditioning weather it be Central air duct or ductless, or window units. Some new (efficient) some old (not so efficent). 6 have electric water heater while the rest have steam heat so therefore the oil, gas, & one coal heat there water. All but two had Xmas lights outside. All have elecrtric stoves. Which makes no sense ? 3 have more than 1 refrigerator and one has 2 refrigerators plus a chest freezer. 2 had halloween light. One has a light pole outside. I have taken many factors into consideration.

Posted on: 2010/1/14 12:23
_________________
To this day, I still cannot go fishing without flipping over at least one rock..........or two...........or till I find a buggy.



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