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Wind Farm Construction

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  • #39600
    Participant
    Bob Williams
    @bullstuff2

    Next month the new WF begins construction at Tritton Knoll here in lovely Lincs. This is the sub station:

    http://tinyurl.com/raczl5h

    Follow this Local News link and scroll down to find the report. Check out the massive first stages of each turbine in the photos, courtesy of the BBC. We can go down the coast to watch all this happening, it makes a change of activity from the Netherlands company re-nourishing the beaches: they had to start earlier this year. Dredging, pumping, grading, levelling and scraping the beaches was all done in time for the WF’s to begin.

    http://tinyurl.com/raonrp6

    If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?

    What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.

    If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.
    --- Robin Williams

Viewing 20 replies - 1 through 20 (of 35 total)
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  • #39619
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 13,425

    What I find of most interest are the facilities that have been installed in order to facilitate maintenance, because these suckers WILL need regular maintenance. In many cases for older land-based installations this often involves very cursory facilities to get at the turbine/gear box with no provision for hard standing or even a ‘green’ road for heavy equipment. Off-shore obviously has other very different issues, but I guess an on-call floating crane and perhaps off-shore servicing rig might be needed.

    Reliability HAS improved, but for the oldest installations about 20-30% were regularly out of commission requiring maintenance. I believe that figure is now a more acceptable 3-5% unscheduled downtime.

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    #39620
    Participant
    blacklion1725
    @blacklion1725
    Forumite Points: 3,234

    Aside from my (probably unfounded) fear that green energy is going to do more harm than good – surely there must be a better way of harnessing wind power than these big, ugly b@stard things? Maybe something more static that had a bigger tolerance for min/max wind speed and were less of an eyesore? Like a natural jet engine? I just don’t buy the wind farms. and they have ruined the view at Skeggy.

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    #39622
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 13,425

    There are nicer designs than windmills, but cost and location become prime concerns. Just search on alternatives to wind turbines. link

    I recollect seeing one design that was like a low-rise horizontal conch shell. It looked really nice but only worked if the prevailing wind was fairy constant – maybe a shore-line installation. However, as Richard said earlier – winds are stronger at higher altitudes so you give up quite a lot for aesthetics.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Ed P.
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    #39624
    Participant
    keith with the teef
    @thinktank
    Forumite Points: 2,336

    When I look back to recent family history and carbon foot frint. Its prety much the last 60 years when CO2 out put jumped.

    When i look at my grandfathers life. Low carbon foot print. My Parents carbon foot print = Not much less than me.

    Just look at the carbon foot print of yer fruit bowl. 🙂

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    #39625
    Participant
    Mark Turner
    @turner74
    Forumite Points: 374

    Blacklion in some cases the green energy from the turbines is doing harm they are killing more birds than humans do. But they are no where near as bad as domestic cats when it comes to killing birds. I saw a program once about the turbines and birds there where a few videos showing some birds of prey meeting the reaper not nice to see these where land based farms so the sea based ones must be doing their fair share as well.

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    #39629
    Participant
    JayCeeDee
    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 4,063

    ………..so the sea based ones must be doing their fair share as well.

    Yes – a very good job of culling the numbers of seagulls!!! No bad thing there!!!

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    #39652
    Participant
    Richard
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 6,239

    There are upside and downsides to everything, hot or warm water outfalls from power stations do modify local micro climates causing some plant and animal life to flourish and some to reduce. The effluent from coal-fired stations had no health benefits and tried to lay forests waste along with animal, other plant, insect and bird life. As I said earlier, marine windmills do require extensive artificial mini reefs and within short periods they are colonised by plant and then fish life and used as spawning grounds as the spinning disks keep some flying predators away and the underwater weed provides protection and food.

    I was surprised to see the extent of windmill deployment in rural USA, their wide open largely flat if slightly undulating plains appear to provide ideal wind areas, they change views but can appear relatively restful and with suitable design not too intrusive.

    Ed is right, early examples did have a habit of expensive and sometimes catastrophic failure and I share his understanding that gearbox designs have had to be improved. Youtube had some November the 5th worthy examples of costly failures when systems ran out of control and self-destructed. I also understand that some sites were later found to be sub-optimal as adjacent buildings, hills, valleys or other features caused excessive vortexes. Blade failures were another earlier feature of some design. I believe this may have been coupled with the gearbox and variable blade alignment issues.

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    #39655
    Participant
    Wheels-Of-Fire
    @grahamdearsley
    Forumite Points: 5,140

    Speaking of gear boxes, I have an idea for an infinatley variable hydrolic gear box an I can’t see why it won’t work.

    I have a design for a pump with an easily variable capacity that would be linked to a fixed capacity hydrolic motor.

    In principle it just changes the capacity of the driving cylinder which would increase the gear ratio.

    Can’t see why it wouldn’t work.

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    #39659
    Participant
    Richard
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 6,239

    Over 50 years ago I visited a Vickers plant near Southampton where they manufactured and then serviced the Vickers VSG units. VSG stood for variable speed gear or gears. In essence, it was a series of small pistons that ran in a plate that not only rotated but could be tilted. In the neutral position the piston did not go in or out relative to the plate so nothing was pumped. As it was tilted so the travel of the pistons increased and with suitable valves so the pumping action increased or decreased. The oil was piped to a similar setup where the pressure drove the unit. Both ends were capable to altering their angle of attack of their swash plates so very fine speed  and power transfer control was possible.  They said that some units were returned for service after 60(?) or more years of use with no signs of wear. Perhaps, because the moving parts were submerged in and constantly lubricated by oil. As I understood their presentation many units were quite heavy and were intended for marine use. I agree that a less heavy version does sound suited to such use as the management system for a windmill, subject to licensing and development considerations. No doubt Not Invented Here syndrome might have been an issue. There are other variable and constant speed device designs available. You might need to consider cooling the oil as it is likely that it would be worked very hard during strong wind conditions.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Richard.
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    #39665
    Participant
    JayCeeDee
    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 4,063

    I was surprised to see the extent of windmill deployment in rural USA, their wide open largely flat if slightly undulating plains appear to provide ideal wind areas, they change views but can appear relatively restful and with suitable design not too intrusive.

    Travelling from Palm Springs ( 100m east of Los Angeles ) for a long weekend in Las Vegas, in the mid to late 1990’s was my first visual introduction to Wind Turbines, they lined the roadside for most of the journey. At that time, they weren’t Wind Farms as such, just intermittent roadside objects.

    They were oddly graceful and somewhat mesmerising. You had to look away to keep safe!!😀

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    #39666
    Participant
    Wheels-Of-Fire
    @grahamdearsley
    Forumite Points: 5,140

    Interestingly, information on the Vickers VSG seems to be restricted.

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    #39667
    Participant
    Wheels-Of-Fire
    @grahamdearsley
    Forumite Points: 5,140

    <p style=”text-align: justify;”>Without giving too much away, my design of variable pump is of the rotor type as used in BL’s A series engine for the oil pump. There are 3 capacities available and the only difference is the thickness of the pump and hence the with of the rotor. My design uses a sliding sleeve to vary the width of the rotor.</p>

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    #39668
    Participant
    Richard
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 6,239

    I suspect that the information is generally available, but that one site wanted you to sign in so that they could track who was interested. I am going from memory now, I saw the factory back in about 1963/4. The units I remember seeing were larger than those referenced on the illustration. However, be warned in the same trip I also saw some torpedo milling lathes and boy were those big beasts. They could turn things that were up to perhaps 2 or 3 feet in diameter and maybe over 20 feet long. They were not for amateurs!

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    #39672
    Participant
    Mark Turner
    @turner74
    Forumite Points: 374

    ………..so the sea based ones must be doing their fair share as well.

    Yes – a very good job of culling the numbers of seagulls!!! No bad thing there!!!

    I’m with you on the seagulls they are a bloody menace I should have been a bit clearer I still meant birds of prey but the big ass ones white tail eagles up north. I’m going to see if I can find the program or details about it. One of the fishing tackle shops I used a few years ago in Rhos on Sea had a live camera under the wind farms off the Rhos coast (that whole coastline is full of them) the marine life lots of it was amazing to see. As Richard said the under sea side of them is doing a lot for the marine life

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    #39685
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 13,425

    Actually Richard coal fire effluent did have one very small positive impact. The large amount of sulfur that was emitted pretty much eradicated rose black-spot fungus. When the Clean Air Act came in, black spot came back with a bang.

    It also probably resulted in some global cooling through cloud formation.

    However the downsides on health and acid rain were intolerable downsides and it had to change.

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    #39688
    Participant
    Richard
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 6,239

    Ed, I’ll grant you that one advantage, though the downsides included all the miners with black lung and other worse complications. On balance, it was probably about a 1% upside and 99% downside. The point I was trying to make was that overall, even the most terrible downside of well sited windmills are probably close to the other way round. Poorly sited land based and even poorly sited marine installations are a  different bowl of poison. Some barely generated enough output to run their services while creating noise and many other disturbances. They gave the installations a bad name.

    Several tall buildings had wind generators embedded in the building at higher levels with the idea of generating power to at least keep essential service working. I have yet to hear of any such bright idea installs generating anything of value, most had been decommissioned due to their damaging side effects and negligible output.

    It is the old story, a good idea done well is fine, even the brightest idea done badly fails.

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    #39738
    Participant
    Bob Williams
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 11,936

    Well I started something here! Pro and Cons regarding wind farms, interesting debate.

    Ed your comment regarding improved reliability proves that whatever humans invent, manufacture and put into use, certainly will be improved, usually on grounds of unit cost. BL that’s why other designs do not make it into production: when something is found to work and is put into high volumes of production, the companies involved become wealthy by producing and installing the product. There is no further incentive for R&D, especially when shareholders are taken into account. Incidentally, IMO the view of the North Sea is improved by the mass of turbines, breaking up what is just usually a flat seascape. It has also brought thousands of jobs into an area of poor employment, prevented any more onshore turbines being built and allowed much larger, more powerful and productive offshore turbines to be deployed. Onshore turbines are the REAL view spoilers and both Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire County Councils fought to stop them.

    Mark this is what you refer to I believe:   http://tinyurl.com/y4ryckz7

    Research from the London School of Economics (LSE) estimated in 2014 that by 2020 there could be anywhere between 9,600 and 106,000 bird deaths a year from wind energy in the UK – in other words, we’re not sure. ” (my bolding)

    They are “not sure” with a huge discrepancy in their estimate, which means a proper study has not been carried out.

    Think about bird vision: http://tinyurl.com/ychkshol

    Not only is a bird’s eyesight far superior to ours, it is stereoscopic, sees through a very wide angle and picks up fast movement very, very quickly. Spotting a rotating object is no problem, especially for seagulls that can spot potential food from high altitude, whether that is a shoal of fish under the waves, or you eating your chips. We might be helping them evolve actually: any bird that might be struck by a blade and killed, will not pass on its genes! Incidentally, around Lincolnshire beaches we have the quietest seagulls anywhere, rarely do they vocalise, unlike at most resorts, where the racket gets annoying. And here they don’t steal your chips! Every day at about 4 pm, hundreds fly from the beaches inland, bound for where I do not know, over our village, flying west. There was a huge field over the road from our bungalows where they used to stop and feed from good grassland, but a new development of “executive homes” has been built there. The gulls are confused, they circle now for at least 20 minutes before flying on. I love to see them, a real spectacle there are so many. They fly back before dawn.

    I took some photos on Sunday from a spot between Chapel St. Leonards North Sea Observatory and Skegness, which may give you some idea of the extent of the current windfarm, which will eventually be twice as big.

    The second photo is a continuation of the first. A bit washed-out, it was a sunny day with glare of the sea.

    If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?

    What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.

    If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.
    --- Robin Williams

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    #39747
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 13,425

    I must admit I join the chorus of those who hate the flying white sea rats.

    They were not same problem when I was a small child, as 17-18 year old youths used to abseil down the nearby cliffs and take gulls eggs to supplement our war-time rations. I will however admit that their taste was not great, but at least it was protein!

    A cull would be a good thing.

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    #39748
    Participant
    Richard
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 6,239

    Bob, those photographs go some way toward recording the wide open and essentially flat nature of the area. In fact many would suggest it has so few features that the windmills lift the aspect by providing some height and improved depth. Be that as it may, I suspect that it also makes the area well suited to marine windmills. The absence of other geological or building structures minimises wind deflection and, I understand that the sea depth is not great. I do not know the range of wind speeds that are encountered, nor the number of still languid days.

    Based on the limited performance of early terrestrial installations, excess hyperbole and the general ignorance of many at the time I never expected wind installations to achieve much. I was wrong, huge advances have been made and the contributions can be both large and beneficial. Seasonal factors are being worked through, coupling this with improvements in the efficiency of power consumption I see the prospects of their value continuing to grow. Perhaps not at the speed that some might desire, but at a pace that might be physically and economically achievable. Diversifying the range of sites is still desirable, but geological and climatic demands limit which areas can be utilised. Managing slack output times remains an issue, so some form or forms of energy storage are vital. I remain sceptical that stored water will be more than a fractional possibility in the UK, batteries in forms that are currently emerging or might be yet to emerge are an exciting prospect. Hydrogen, has ever been the bridesmaid never the bride to date, people say its time is coming, perhaps it will. If power production cost continue to reduce along the current trend lines its production would be cost manageable and its ability to provide a range of utilisation options appeal. However, I see it as an industrial option not a widespread deployment into many consumer level choices. Even this could change Toyota are very gung-ho for it and their fuel cell, I am happy to be proved wrong.

    I have some limited experience of silting, said to be the major issue with many plans for tidal and river barrages. I can therefore understand the position of those technical experts who suggest such scheme might have very short life spans due to the effects of site. Then there are their possible impacts of local ecology and in some cases trade and industry. No one can afford nor wants more white elephants.

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    #39749
    Moderator
    The Duke
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 10,858

    I’d love a way to quietly get rid of the herren gills we have on th North Wales coast.

    They never bothered me at my house, a few miles in, but now I work almost on the beach, and shit a lover my car all day every day, I’d love to cull the lot.

    Also they make a real racket on the roofs in the early hours.

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