Japanese breakthrough will make wind power cheaper than nuclear

Discussion in 'News from around the damp planet' started by Michaelangelica, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  2. PeterFD

    PeterFD Junior Member

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    Hi Michaelangelic. Many thanks for a reference to a brilliant article. I’ve got a couple of wind turbines running to power batteries for my lighting and electric fencing on my goat farm in the French Alpes. One of the greatest problems we face is that most of these innovative and practical ideas for clean energy never reach the public. We just endlessly hear about nuclear power etc., as our saviour. I’m going on a five-day course at the end of March to learn how to build wind turbines from the “motors to the rota’s “, so I’ll certainly take a copy of the article along. It would be interesting to see if the tripling effect exists in scaled-down versions.
     
  3. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Please make a few guides on how to make them as well please. Wind is both my friend and my curse currently here.
     
  4. PeterFD

    PeterFD Junior Member

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    Hi Pakanohida

    I’ll see what I can do! The course uses timber frame where possible and you get to wind your own coils and insert your own magnets. With a diameter of 4 metres (about 13 feet) blade-tip to blade-tip, sitting on a tower of 12 metres (about 40 feet), they’re not the biggest turbines, but certainly not the smallest! With an output of about 5kwh per day in moderate wind, they should prove useful.

    The Japanese turbines appear to have replaced the tower with a circular support ring. I suppose the big question is what role does the support ring fulfil in energy production. If you simply increased the length of the blades to almost the height of the tower (avoiding the blades touching the ground), would you get the same effect? Part of the course covers the theories and practices of aerodynamics so I may get an answer.

    I built my current turbines (which work very well) from pieces I bought – Motors, hubs, blades etc. However there’s no substitute for actually building the whole device!

    I’m hoping the skills and knowledge I again will allow me to cost effectively build turbines of almost any size to meet my needs – and possible sell something back to the grid.

    I must say my favourites are the old American windmills with multiple metal blades and the large metal tail-fin ........ much loved by riflemen and usually peppered with bullet holes!

    A couple of years ago I contacted Aermotor, the original manufacturers of these windmills (now located in Mexico) and they still make them. Originally designed to pump water, they’re now working on a model to produce electricity.

    There’re also a couple of companies in India working on adaptations of the large sailcloth windmills of yesteryear with reportedly some success.
     
  5. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    I want to make several small units of various sizes so that one or 2 maybe 3 can "fail" temporarily or get maintenance while the others work. Even right now, a storm just suddenly kicked up with 60 mph winds suddenly expected.
     
  6. PeterFD

    PeterFD Junior Member

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    Hi again Pakanohida.

    Multiple units of varying sizes and outputs is an excellent idea. One of the principle problems with wind power is the constant variation in output. I had thought of building a number of large units and a bank of small units, allowing the utilisation of both slight wind (small units) and moderate to high wind (large units). Certainly introducing a high degree of variation in size and output may have an “levelling-out” effect in terms of collective power output, and you get the added advantage of a certain amount of redundancy to cover for failure or maintenance of units. Definitely worth thinking about – thanks!
     

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