: Now this is the kind of "going green" I can be fond of.



I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-02-10, 09:08 AM
Giant wind turbines!

This is a brand new wind farm, located about 25 miles north of the Iowa border, and about 15 miles west of I-35. When I drove through this area about 2 weeks ago, they had one turbine assembled, then the next week it was about six turbines, now this week they're up to about 15. It's amazing how quick they can get them up in the air, especially considering they're height......397 feet from base to top of blade when it's completely vertical! They're HUGE! You can see them for miles away when you're coming down the highway, but seeing one with the blades assembled, but lying on the ground really makes you see the overall size we're dealing with here. Each blade is 131 feet long!

I grabbed some pictures, but I was cruising along this highway at 55 mph, so keep that in mind.

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/58a4481d.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/5f573d8f.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/e883ba10.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/9c591c45.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/cf142595.jpg

http://www.alliantenergy.com/Extras/023232

drewsdeville
09-02-10, 10:25 AM
Yeah, there's a few wind farms around here as well

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forward_Wind_Energy_Center

I'm not sure what I think of them. Yeah, it's clean energy, but it takes A LOT of real estate and it's appearance is less than pleasing - like you said, they're massive. Every time I drive by that wind farm I notice how ugly the whole area is with them goofy looking wind turbines littering the land (at least in this instance where there's over 100 of them over a few square miles).

EcSTSatic
09-02-10, 11:03 AM
I've seen them being hauled up I-35 in pairs. They are huge. It's a modest attempt at best in solving our future energy needs. As we go more to hybrids to reduce our oil dependency, the only solution I see is nuclear energy to supply our electricity demands.

drewsdeville
09-02-10, 11:05 AM
As we go more to hybrids to reduce our oil dependency, the only solution I see is nuclear energy to supply our electricity demands.

:thumbsup::yeah:

ga_etc
09-02-10, 12:53 PM
I thought this thread might be about
http://media-files.gather.com/images/d343/d361/d744/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

gdwriter
09-02-10, 02:46 PM
It depends on the landscape, but I think the wind turbines are pretty cool. We have a good number of them in Eastern Oregon. The huge wind farms through the San Gorgonio Pass near Palm Springs are pretty impressive:

http://www.happytellus.com/img/palm-springs/palm-springs-wind-farm_4017.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6f/San_Gorgonio_Pass_Wind_Farm_-_360%C2%B0_Panorama.jpg/1234px-San_Gorgonio_Pass_Wind_Farm_-_360%C2%B0_Panorama.jpg

OSU is doing a lot of research on alternative energy. One of the coolest would use buoys (http://oregonstate.edu/terra/2006spring/features/seapower.php) equipped with magnets; waves cause the magnet in the buoy to rise and fall, generating electricity. We've also got researchers working on economical, modular nuclear reactors (http://oregonstate.edu/terra/2009/spring/power-surge) with passive safety features. And there are a number of research projects (http://engr.oregonstate.edu/research/clusters/lse.html) on other alternative energy sources, which is a major initiative (http://engr.oregonstate.edu/news/SENERGI09.pdf) of the College of Engineering (I wrote this last piece). It's pretty cool to see what they're coming up with to make alternative energy more reliable and economically viable.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-02-10, 07:12 PM
I think giant wind farms are cool as heck. I've always had a passing interest in fans, so seeing what's essentially a giant desk fan is cool, especially when there are hundreds of them in a small area.

RippyPartsDept
09-02-10, 07:43 PM
and just remember people, 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'

orconn
09-02-10, 07:48 PM
While I don't think the wind farm causes any loss to the beauty of the San Gorgonio Pass, the noise is significant, but then so is the highway!

Sevillian273
09-02-10, 08:57 PM
I think giant wind farms are cool as heck. I've always had a passing interest in fans, so seeing what's essentially a giant desk fan is cool, especially when there are hundreds of them in a small area.

Heh, I too have always had a thing about fans... Something with the symmetry and dynamics of airflow. Cant quite put my finger on it but theres something interesting about them. Especially giant industrial fans in factories and such. I think the sight of a feild of 400 foot tall fans all spinning in unison is quite awesome. Far from being an eyesore.

I thought this thread was going to be about a certain form of glaucoma treatment....

ben.gators
09-02-10, 09:01 PM
That is an smart way to provide the country with clean sustainable energy... and do not forget the beauty it gives to the landscape. I always have loved to take a photo from my cars while there is a series of these giant turbines in background! :D

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-02-10, 09:27 PM
Oh yeah, what's funny about these is how quiet they are. Later on yesterday, I went to a different town in Southeastern MN, where there was a different wind farm, and although the turbines weren't as quite as large, I could get right up to them and they're very quiet....all you hear is a gentle woosh....woosh...woosh as the 65 foot long blades spin at 19-20 mph 50 feet above your head.

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/c9c702cb.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/7aeff342.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/67cc80f6.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/4dc7e96b.jpg

77CDV
09-03-10, 12:15 AM
You would think this would be a welcome thing, but the eco-nuts get all up in arms about the birds getting caught in them and how they alter migratory patterns. I truely don't think that lot will ever be happy about anything.

iowasevillests
09-03-10, 12:49 AM
My problem with them is they don't make sense when you put pencil and paper together. They are incredibly expensive to build in terms of dollars per watt when compared to a modern, clean coal plant, are rarely able to generate electricity for more than about 30-40% of their life, and then the electricity has to actually get to people that need it. The vast majority of wind farms are a substantial distance from population centers, requiring expensive high voltage transmission lines in order to actually use the juice. And to top it off they're a maintenance nightmare, its a fairly complex and rather demanding application, then with the nacelle being around 275 foot in the air just adds another level of fun to the mix. The only reason they exist is because of tax credits, without them and neglecting maintenance costs they have payoffs longer then 15 years in most cases which is ridiculous.

Now I'm not against being more environmentally friendly or tax credits for emerging technologies in order to bring major players into the mix, but when tax credits are the only way they make money something isn't working with the system. To me the future of renewable energy is in nuclear, solar(assuming a breakthrough in making photo-voltaic cells more efficient happens, it will happen, just a matter of when) and good ole fashioned clean coal/nat gas/liquified coal etc to vastly reduce emissions.

Bro-Ham
09-03-10, 02:37 AM
Looks fancy, nukes are far, far cheaper. Chad, did you ever pay attention to your high school literature course about Don Quixoite? These big fans will never be the measure of anything but feeling good about something imaginary. :) Tilt away as you admire these big ugly things. :)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-03-10, 08:31 AM
I believe the future is in Nuclear power plants......


.....Or cold fusion..... They did that in Sim City 3000, why not in real life?

ga_etc
09-03-10, 01:19 PM
I think with wind and solar power we could harvest a large amount of energy from the environment and cut way down on fossil fuels.

gdwriter
09-03-10, 02:48 PM
I think with wind and solar power we could harvest a large amount of energy from the environment and cut way down on fossil fuels.It's going to take a combination of technologies. I interviewed a College of Engineering professor (http://poweredbyorange.com/2009/09/18/on-the-bright-side-improving-solar-energy/) who started Azuray Technologies (http://www.azuraytech.com/), a solar energy company that has developed new solar panel technologies to make solar energy more productive, reliable and cost-effective. Every little bit of energy produced from renewable energy can make a difference, but when you do it collectively, it starts to make a big impact.

hueterm
09-03-10, 03:57 PM
If they made a solar collector that didn't have to take up your whole roof, and a wind turbine that wasn't as big as a B-29 Propeller -- and didn't cost as much as your house....then it would be feasible for those to supplement homes from pulling all their power off of the electric grid.

Something like that combined w/a natural gas/propane uninterrupted power supply generator would be REALLY cool.....

gdwriter
09-03-10, 04:48 PM
If they made a solar collector that didn't have to take up your whole roof, and a wind turbine that wasn't as big as a B-29 Propeller -- and didn't cost as much as your house....then it would be feasible for those to supplement homes from pulling all their power off of the electric grid.Done (http://engr.oregonstate.edu/news/story/1988).

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-03-10, 08:05 PM
What about solar panels ON the wind turbines??

hueterm
09-03-10, 10:48 PM
If someone figured out how to make a reasonably priced "hybrid" generator for a home, then I'd buy one. Say it cut your electric bill by 25% -- mine was $200 last month. Your home was powered first by the solar battery, then when it ran out, it kicked in the electric grid. If it was in the middle of an ice storm and power was out for a week, then either the solar/wind thing would power it, or natural gas would kick in like a standby home generator. I could get a backup generator that would fully run my house w/natural gas for appx. $5000. I'd pay another $1000 for the solar/wind thing...

Come on greenies -- my Amex is waiting!

ga_etc
09-04-10, 12:14 AM
It's going to take a combination of technologies. I interviewed a College of Engineering professor (http://poweredbyorange.com/2009/09/18/on-the-bright-side-improving-solar-energy/) who started Azuray Technologies (http://www.azuraytech.com/), a solar energy company that has developed new solar panel technologies to make solar energy more productive, reliable and cost-effective. Every little bit of energy produced from renewable energy can make a difference, but when you do it collectively, it starts to make a big impact.

I'm well aware. I know it is absolutely possible though.

EChas3
09-04-10, 12:23 AM
My problem with them is they don't make sense when you put pencil and paper together. They are incredibly expensive to build in terms of dollars per watt when compared to a modern, clean coal plant, are rarely able to generate electricity for more than about 30-40% of their life, and then the electricity has to actually get to people that need it. The vast majority of wind farms are a substantial distance from population centers, requiring expensive high voltage transmission lines in order to actually use the juice. And to top it off they're a maintenance nightmare, its a fairly complex and rather demanding application, then with the nacelle being around 275 foot in the air just adds another level of fun to the mix. The only reason they exist is because of tax credits, without them and neglecting maintenance costs they have payoffs longer then 15 years in most cases which is ridiculous.

Now I'm not against being more environmentally friendly or tax credits for emerging technologies in order to bring major players into the mix, but when tax credits are the only way they make money something isn't working with the system. To me the future of renewable energy is in nuclear, solar(assuming a breakthrough in making photo-voltaic cells more efficient happens, it will happen, just a matter of when) and good ole fashioned clean coal/nat gas/liquified coal etc to vastly reduce emissions.

There is no shortage of oil and 'alternative energy sources' cost a lot more. Don't stand near a windmill for long or you'll be washing bird guts out of everything. Ugly, smelly eyesores that steal tax dollars.

Aron9000
09-04-10, 05:15 PM
If we can figure out how to make roof-top solar panels less expensive, I think that would be the future in certain sunny parts of the country like So-Cal, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, parts of Texas, etc.

If they could just get the solar panel technology cheap enough to pay for itself in 3 to 5 years with electricity savings, a lot more people would be on board with it.

Also, we should make regular old fashioned light bulbs flat out illegal IMO. The compact florecents cost 3 times as much, but they last at least 3 times longer, so you can't hate on them for being more expensive IMO. Even if it only cut our energy consumption by 1%, that would still be a huge stride forward.

hueterm
09-04-10, 06:16 PM
If you want those ugly CFLs all over your house, then you buy them. I think they are the suck.

I buy them for certain circumstances (high ceiling, opaque glass fixtures that are a bitch to change -- or areas where I leave the lights on all the time) -- but for general lighting, NO way.

I am stockpiling good old 60 and 40 watt Thomas Edison incandescent light bulbs, and plan to have enough for years to come. When I'm dead or blind my executor or nurse can put the rest on eBay.

Just more meddling in our personal freedoms by Nannybama and his minions....

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-04-10, 07:33 PM
This nanny state is driving me insane.

orconn
09-04-10, 10:52 PM
Is being affected by the "nany state" in your life real or imagined?

hueterm
09-04-10, 11:09 PM
I call it...predicted...

Aron9000
09-04-10, 11:10 PM
If you want those ugly CFLs all over your house, then you buy them. I think they are the suck.

I buy them for certain circumstances (high ceiling, opaque glass fixtures that are a bitch to change -- or areas where I leave the lights on all the time) -- but for general lighting, NO way.

I am stockpiling good old 60 and 40 watt Thomas Edison incandescent light bulbs, and plan to have enough for years to come. When I'm dead or blind my executor or nurse can put the rest on eBay.

Just more meddling in our personal freedoms by Nannybama and his minions....

They make CFL's in the shape of chandelier bulbs now that aren't ugly, along with bulbs shaped for spotlight type fixtures that look like the regular incadesent bulbs.

I love CFL's because I can run a 26 watt CFL that puts out the same light as a 100 watt regular bulb. Most of the fixtures in my house are only rated for 60 watt.

hueterm
09-04-10, 11:17 PM
The globe ones I leave in my bathroom do have one good feature......when you turn them on in the middle of the night, their slowness to brighten up is less shocking.....I still think they look weird...

MacMuse
09-07-10, 03:31 PM
Central Illinois is getting covered with wind turbines. The view of hundreds of synchronized blinking red lights is a little disconcerting as you drive by these things at night, but I appreciate the effort and research they represent as we seek less desctructive energy sources.

Near O'Hare airport a local restauranter sunk $300K of his own money and 1 parking space to install his own wind turbine. It completely powers his restaurant, and several nearby homes when the restaurant is closed. Yes, it'll take years to recover the investment in electrical savings, but I applaud his initiative.

http://swansturbineservices.com/ - This company did the work and this is the only decent image I could find of the restaurant. But they only have a large 4MB version of the image, so I didn't link it in here directly to avoid slowing everyone's access to our own site.

gdwriter
09-07-10, 03:53 PM
If you want those ugly CFLs all over your house, then you buy them. I think they are the suck.

Just more meddling in our personal freedoms by Nannybama and his minions....I think they look kinda cool. But in both the lamp in my living room and on the nightstand in my bedroom, they're covered by the shade. And they do last; the one is my living room lamp have been in there for more than 2 1/2 years, and I have that lamp on most every night for several hours.

I also have them on the outside lights; those have been in there for more than two years, and during the winter, I leave them on all the time since I leave the house and get home in the dark.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs020.snc1/2642_59450793093_776743093_1424654_5492621_n.jpg

As for a nanny state mandating CF bulbs, and denying our freedom to buy whatever kind of light bulbs we want, I think that's a just a bit of an exaggeration. Frankly, I don't see Obama issuing orders to ban the sale of incandescent bulbs. He's got far bigger fish to fry.

Stingroo
09-07-10, 04:45 PM
They look a little weird, but really, does it matter that much? lol They're light bulbs.

iowasevillests
09-07-10, 11:56 PM
Central Illinois is getting covered with wind turbines. The view of hundreds of synchronized blinking red lights is a little disconcerting as you drive by these things at night, but I appreciate the effort and research they represent as we seek less desctructive energy sources.

Near O'Hare airport a local restauranter sunk $300K of his own money and 1 parking space to install his own wind turbine. It completely powers his restaurant, and several nearby homes when the restaurant is closed. Yes, it'll take years to recover the investment in electrical savings, but I applaud his initiative.

http://swansturbineservices.com/ - This company did the work and this is the only decent image I could find of the restaurant. But they only have a large 4MB version of the image, so I didn't link it in here directly to avoid slowing everyone's access to our own site.

I'm gonna say 10+ years...here's why:

According to the company that installed it thats a 108kw tower, so thats the max output. Figure the area and being an industrial customer around a 10 cents/kw elec bill from the provider. So if the tower is working at peak effeciency for an hour its $10.80 saved by generating your own, which adds up to $94.6k a year, sounds great....but thats in a perfect world.

If you figure an 80% transfer effeciency by the time the electricity actually arrives to the customer's service point and actually having sufficient wind to generate electricity 30% of the time(and making the analysis easier by assuming if its turning its generating 108kw which is a gross over statement but otherwise the justification just gets worse) you're now down to saving $22.7k a year in electricity, not so hot anymore considering you had to lighten up the bank by 300k to make it happen.

The plus side is that tax rebates and energy incentives help out substantially, as does the likely press that accompanied the new tower and the ability to claim "green restaurant status" or something of that nature. But at the end of the day by the time you figure startup costs, operating effeciency, maintenance etc you're still looking at 15+ year paybacks in most cases...I(and most for profit companies) have better things to do with my money then tie it up in some project that may pay off 15 years down the road.

EcSTSatic
09-08-10, 12:00 PM
I agree. More than likely maintenance and repairs are going to eat up any chance of an ROI. IMHO, solar and wind power only make sense if you live off of the grid or in some brown-out prone area.

RippyPartsDept
09-08-10, 01:50 PM
the maintenance of solar panels is costly??? are you sure about that?

OffThaHorseCEO
09-08-10, 02:12 PM
What about solar panels ON the wind turbines??what about wind turbines on the wind turbines...

Stingroo
09-08-10, 02:18 PM
what about wind turbines on the wind turbines...

Yo dawg, we heard you liked wind power so we put a turbine...
wait.

No.

Never mind. :D

iowasevillests
09-08-10, 02:32 PM
the maintenance of solar panels is costly??? are you sure about that?

Maintenance of wind turbines is rather expensive, the larger farms generally have several dedicated techs and the small to medium sized back yard size aren't maintenance free either, with one of the bigger problems being if anything even relatively major breaks you need a crane to get the nacelle and rotor assy down, so figure 500 bucks before you even get it off the post and onto the ground. Don't know much about solar panels, mostly have to keep them clean from what I've heard

OffThaHorseCEO
09-08-10, 02:38 PM
Yo dawg, we heard you liked wind power so we put a turbine...
wait.

No.

Never mind. :D

lol good one!

RippyPartsDept
09-08-10, 04:46 PM
iowasevillests, yeah there's very little maintenance needed (if any at all) on solar panels besides making sure they're not covered by leaves, dirt etc - depending on where they are it could mean virtually no maintenance besides a washing when they get dirty