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According to a report this morning (no link I'm afraid) wind turbines in Scotland were operating at a record 66% last week.
With wind speeds of 102 and 106 recorded, one wonders what windspeed they need to get up to 100%!
I too would be interested to know how these machines can atchieve a 100% output, perhaps it was 60% because not all were operative.
That is because you need special wind to operate them. Wind turbines start generating at wind speeds of 4 to 5 metres per second and reach maximum power output at around 15 metres/second, around 33 miles per hour. As with any piece of rotating machinery they have a maximum centrifugal rotation speed at which they can operate safely, therefore at very high wind speeds, i.e. gale force winds, of around 50+ miles/hour)they have to be closed down.
I tend to find that it doesn't matter on what evidence you hear or see, there are always two camps that have totally different views on this subject.
Then there is the subject of various 'experimental turbines' being placed out at sea, and the worth of them, especially if they are being located in the 'wrong places' of or for 'natural beauty'.
I note that there are now experiments of obtaining core compressed gases from the earth's structure, in one or two locations in the UK. £Millions if not £billions will be spent on this venture, with both the public and commerce dividing the bill for this exploration.
Going back on the subject of wind turbines. One of our local school's have one installed (and a couple of mobile phone masts) so as to gain revenue for the school. The school is like Blackpool illuminations at night, with security lighting switched on nearly everywhere, and there isn't any need for it. But I suppose this is one way to get rid of the surplus energy.
The thing that I found rather alarming, when checking the figures for this school project, was when maintenance, original loan costs were paid, the actual event would take 10/20 years to pay for itself. Not taking into consideration that in 10 years time, the installation would require replacing anyway?.
Your explanation does not tally with the report where Scottish Renewables seem to say the doubling in output was because of the 100mph wind.
Wind turbines = waste of money
"Wind turbines = waste of money"
Many thanks for that incisive economic argument - you have totally convinced me!!
"As with any piece of rotating machinery they have a maximum centrifugal rotation speed at which they can operate safely, therefore at very high wind speeds, i.e. gale force winds, of around 50+ miles/hour)they have to be closed down."
In which case you would expect them to announce that output had been reduced to 66%, not blazon it as an increase to a record level!
I used to live about a mile away from Scout Moor wind farm, at the time this opened it was the largest onshore wind farm in the UK.
When it was officially opened they had a guided tour of the area, with question and answer sessions from National Grid, Peel Power & Nordex (the turbine manufacturer).
When the questions of efficiency and high winds the Nordex guy said that the turbines start to generate electricity at winds above 2 metres per sec (4.5mph), and operate at greatest efficiency at aroung 15m per sec (33mph).
Winds above 25m per sec (55mph) could cause dangerous over heating so the turbines blades are set in line with the wind and the hub locked.
The site had been surveyed for 5 years previously and the wind only exceeded 25m per sec for less than 2 % of the time and at no point reached the dangerous level of 45m per sec (100mph) which could cause structural damage to the turbines.
I should also mention that despite living 1 mile from the closest turbine for two years at no point did the noise from the turbines exceed the noise of the traffic...
Wind turbines can only produce a certain amount of electricity and they start to produce electricity at 5-10MPH the MAX produced is 60% for the energy put into it at roughly 33MPH constant wind speed, any thing above that speed can start to cause damage to the bearings and blades so they have to be slowed down or stopped. http://www.bwea.com/edu/extract.html
One thing that does bother me about wind turbines is the amount of deaths caused to birds and bats by these things plus they are blot on the landscape.
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