Renewable Energy Solution of the Month: Wind – Part 2

May 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

To help support Climate Denial Crock of the Week Go to climatecrocks.com If the first wind video is blocked in your area, try here www.greenmanstudio.com I couldn’t fit nearly enough into my first wind video, and many of the unused clips address questions that viewers have since asked. Interconnecting wind farms www.wind-works.org Denmark number one www.forbes.com www.forbes.com No impact on property values green.blogs.nytimes.com eetd.lbl.gov US DOE Wind 20% by 2030 www1.eere.energy.gov Mitigating Bat impacts www.treehugger.com Renewables in Colorado www.washingtonpost.com climateprogress.org

Fatal Attraction: Birds and Wind Turbines – KQED QUEST

May 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

With California’s ambitious renewable energy goal, the state needs wind power. But California’s largest wind farm cluster at Altamont Pass unintentionally kills golden eagles, burrowing owls and other threatened birds. Now, wind companies, scientists and environmentalists are working to bird-proof these massive wind farms.

A Look at Floating Wind Farms: Harnessing Offshore Energy

May 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

Complete Premium video at: fora.tv Habib Dagher, Structural Engineering Professor at the University of Maine, describes the concept of offshore wind turbines that float in deep water. Currently, the only fully operational floating wind turbine in the world is located in Norway and serves as a model for a planned offshore wind farm in Maine. Ironically, engineers borrowed the design from floating oil and gas rigs. —– Habib Dagher, the Bath Iron Works Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Maine, is the founding director of the AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center. Established by the National Science Foundation in 1996, the interdisciplinary AEWC Center is a world leader in the development of cost-effective, high performance hybrid composite materials for construction applications. The center recently received million in funding from the Department of Energy for the development of offshore wind energy off Maine’s coast. – Chautauqua Institution Dr. Habib Dagher is Professor of Civil/Structural Engineering at the University of Maine, Bath Iron Works Professor of Structural Engineering, and founding Director of the AEWC Advanced Structures & Composites Center.

Puget Sound Energy’s Wind Power

May 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

Clean, renewable energy is becoming a core part of Puget Sound Energy’s power supply. PSE’s goal is to meet up to 10 percent of its customers’ total electricity need with cost-effective renewable resources by 2013. A major step in that direction is PSE’s ownership and operation of two large wind farms in Washington state. More info located at: www.pse.com

Wind turbines and health problems

May 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

Windmills may be an environmentally friendly alternative energy source but they also cause debilitating health problems, say people who live near them. Wind turbines are popping up in rural communities around the world, including Canada, in the hope that they will reduce reliance on coal and other sources for power. Currently, there are about 1500 turbines across Canada and there are plans to build another 1000 to 1500 in the next year. But some residents who live near wind farms complain the turbines cause a number of adverse health effects, such as crippling headaches, nose bleeds and a constant ringing in the ears. Helen and Bill Fraser initially supported the nearby wind farm in Melancthon, Ont. One turbine sat close to the Fraser’s kitchen window. “We thought, more green energy, this is great,” Helen told CTV News.However, Helen says she developed headaches, body aches and she had trouble sleeping. The dog began wetting the floor at night. www.windaction.org

Energy 101: Wind Turbines

April 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

See how wind turbines generate clean electricity from the power of the wind. Highlighted are the various parts and mechanisms of a modern wind turbine.

New Wind Turbine Design Good for Rural, Urban Environment

April 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

Wind power is one of the fastest growing forms of alternative energy in the world. More and more, wind power mills are seen in the countryside, in large wind farms and for the most part, away from city life. But a new form of wind power is now designed to work in an urban environment. VOA producer Zulima Palacio has the story. Mill Arcega narrates.

Individual Wind Turbines

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy Info

Wherever they may be located, wind farms are now being seen as the modern equivalent to the old coal power plant. Scores of wind turbines all working in unison can now be seen both on and offshore throughout the world, but a wind turbine does not need a friend to be useful.

Wind farms are incredibly productive, as anything that combines a singular might will be. However, there is still a place for the individual wind turbine being used to power a specific area. One wind turbine alone can generate a lot of electricity. For example, a singular wind turbine in Reading, England generates enough power to satisfy the electricity demands of 1,000 homes nearby.

Individual wind turbines also have an advantage over wind farms in that they do not require a lot of space. Numerous wind turbines combined to create a wind farm will require acres of land on which to erect the turbines and their electricity generators; just one wind turbine obviously only needs a fraction of this space. For this reason, individual wind turbines are being considered a viable solution for urban areas, where there is not enough floor space to erect anything more than a singular turbine.

While it is unlikely the future includes the idea of every street having its own wind turbine generating close-by electricity, the idea of individual wind turbines is growing. We could well see a day when town planning includes the usual wind turbine to generate electricity, and from an environmental point of view alone, this is wonderful progress.

The Forgotten Environmental Effect of Wind Turbines

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Wind And Solar Energy Info

When people talk of the environmental effect of wind turbines and wind power, they often forget to mention the problems wind turbines cause to local wildlife. Birds are an obvious problem to wind turbines; as many turbines are erected at cruising level for birds, many ecological campaigners were convinced bird fatalities would increase due to intereference from turbines.

Wind turbines are usually painted white, so they seemingly blend with surrounding cloud. This, however, is what makes them such hazards to birds; who may not notice the turbines until they are fatally close to the revolving blades.

Statistics show that the effect wind turbines have on birds is negligible. That is, wind energy from turbines is no more costly to bird welfare than other forms of renewable energy production (such as nuclear power) and is actually 20 times less dangerous than traditional fossil fuel production plants.

While birds are safe, it is becoming apparent that bats are not. Nocturnal and blind, winged bats are becoming the silent victims of wind turbines as their usual navigational tools which help them avoid collisions are interupted by the rotating blades.

As well as collisions, bats have to deal with the low pressure caused by wind turbine tips. If they are lucky enough to avoid colliding with the tips themselves, the low pressure generated can cause a condition known as barotrauma. Bats lungs are damaged by exposure to this low pressure, and it can be fatal. Birds have more robust lungs and are not effected by this condition.

So while birds are doing well with wind farms, further research is required on the effects on the bat population. The most obvious solution is placing radar transmitters on top of turbines; bats avoid these, as they trigger their sonar navigational systems.

Wind Turbines and ‘Shadow Flicker’

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Wind And Solar Energy Tips

If you do not live near a wind turbine, it is unlikely you will have ever heard the term ‘shadow flicker’ in everyday usage. The problem however is being discussed fervently by those who reside near onshore wind farms, and the matter is having to be settled by the courts in some cases.

Like all large structures, wind turbines cast a shadow. If one lives near enough to an active wind farm, this shadow may fall on your home at various points of the day. To many homeowners, this in itself is annoying, particularly if they live in rural areas and did not expect to have to deal with shadows falling on their property.

However, this is not the sole concern of those living near an active wind turbine. Unlike almost every other type of structure, wind turbines have three rotating blades. In the case of shadows cast on to a house, these blades themselves cast a shadow. However, the blades are in motion, so the shadow is a constantly moving menace that is extremely disturbing to witness. The constant passing of this shadow can occur for hours per day, and if residents are at home during that time, there is no escape.

Many energy companies refuse to exist shadow flicker is a problem, which has lead to many residents forming action groups. The solution is actually very simple, as shadow flicker will not occur if a turbine is placed 3,000 feet away from the nearest home. However, some energy companies have placed certain turbines as close to residences as 1,100 feet. Many anticipate changes in the law will prevent this from happening again, based on the evidence presented by annoyed existing residents who have to live with shadow flicker.

Next Page »