Windmills

4/18/14 @ 9:27 PM
ORIGINAL POST
One shot one kill
One shot one kill
MEMBER since 8/12/02
Does anyone have a reason of why a windmill would not be used ? While driving past Erin today I saw one of the two windmills on the east side of Hwy 45 was not moving . The vanes were feathered which I could understand if it was broken in some way . But I cannot remember the last time I saw it spin . I understand they are not as productive as the larger ones on the west side , but there is an investment there and every bit produced is that much less gas or coal being burned . Since it is paid for I would think you would let it spin whenever it can .
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5/21/14 @ 8:32 PM
ifishwi
ifishwi
USER since 1/12/05
Just for the record, when I drove thru there last Thursday, both on the east side of the highway were spinning like crazy, but EVERY one of them that I could see on the west side were stopped. Go figure.

My theory is maybe they only allow them to go when there is demand for it?

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4/26/14 @ 7:26 AM
river_chaser
river_chaser
USER since 10/3/12
Going by memory which is always subject to question, those 2 turbines on the east side of HWY 41 were built 25-30 years ago. The one that is not turning has been out of commish over 10 years, have to assume it is defunct and not worth the investment of repairing/maintaining. All machines have a inevitable point of obsolescence whether through improved technology or being just plain worn out.

What we see along hwy 41 brings up another point of wind power that is often ignored. Once a trubine becomes obsolete through technological displacement or mechanical insufficiency there follows another cost of teardown, transport and disposal. The alternative to teardown is just leaving the turbine there as nothing more than an eye blot upon the landscape.

So long as we understand that the idea of free energy from the wind or sun should not be part of our pop culture mythology.

Edited on 4/26/14 7:44 AM
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4/23/14 @ 1:51 PM
prop-buster
prop-buster
USER since 6/14/05
good discussion, I'm not going to "muddy it up" with my comments.

my father always told me there are three sides to every discussion, he was correct more times than not.

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4/23/14 @ 11:38 AM
SJB
SJB
USER since 7/16/01
Took at look at the spreadsheet Golden - very extensive and I am sure a lot of good data can be obtained from this. A few comments. There is a 30% federal incentive. Again, going back to my first point - don't like the gov (taxpayers) picking winners and losers. The spreadsheet is assuming a 25 year life on these units. The ones we were looking at realistically had between a 10-15 year life. There is a line item for maintenance, but noting given - assuming the homeowner should guess on this? I know when we looked at this, again, the costs were very height (TCO). This spreadsheet appears to be pretty rosy to me on the assumptions, but I could be wrong.

If it is working for you, I am glad.

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4/23/14 @ 9:59 AM
SJB
SJB
USER since 7/16/01
Hey Golden - I hope you understand, I by no means am trying to pick a fight on this subject - have much bigger things to worry about that this, but will address your questions.

"Secondary question, why would a "large" company be interested in small wind turbine projects? Doesn't make sense to me?"

We are always looking for "green" projects. It is good story for the shareholders, media and overall a good corporate citizen (even though the main stream media is out the say every large company is just in it for the high profits). We are constantly looking at ways to improve our lighting, heating/cooling cost and energy - that is where wind turbines came into play. Generally speaking, ANY project that has a 30-35% IRR is funded in our company. "Green" projects only need a 10% IRR and the turbine project did not even reach that hurdle. Again, a few years back, so maybe the technology has improved.

Your second question/point: "I installed a small vertical axis wind turbine on my property with a grant. It has paid itself back three fold in five years. Most here know me as fairly conservative. You certainly can believe what you wish. "

Do I believe you have a turbine that has paid for itself - sure. But if you did not pay out of pocket full expenses, that is not a fair comparison. From what you stated, you received a "grant". I am assuming from the government, ie, taxpayers. From my experience, wind technology does not stand on its own from a payback standpoint. If someone, or a company would like to put their OWN money into this technology, I could care less. My issue is the tax dollars that go into it. If I could not see the payback on the project I was working and I have my doubts that any of these projects pay out on their own without subsidies, but could be wrong.

I am always a data guy, so if there is data to back it up great. Not saying there isn't, I just have not seen it with my own eyes.

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4/21/14 @ 2:58 PM
Prop
Prop
USER since 4/9/03
Our township turned these ridiculous things down couple years ago. They were suppose to be straight out our front door about half mile away. It was a long fight and ended with a clean sweep of people on the board who were against them. Amazing how you can have people on both sides who can be so completely misinformed. When this all went down we were part of the township but were ways away from it. Now they would have been just outside our door. I was against them before now am glad many others were too.

I know some small factory's out in the country who have put a couple small ones up. It has worked out real well for them.

Edited on 4/21/14 3:07 PM
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4/21/14 @ 2:35 PM
prop-buster
prop-buster
USER since 6/14/05
thank you SJB, I feel very negative about these unsightly things and some of the research I did told me the same thing. Total waste of money.

seems it is s'pose to be a feel good thing, that accomplishes nothing, again

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4/21/14 @ 12:40 PM
SJB
SJB
USER since 7/16/01
I am a project manager for a large company and will leave it at that, but we did a study a few years back and windmills (the small turbines you see at schools and company roofs) did not even have positive payback. Because they were a green project, we required at least a 10% IRR, and it was a negative return, once you consider the TCO (total cost of ownership). Meaning, for every one you put up, at the end, would cost more than if you did nothing.

Yet, on the public dollar (aka, taxpayers) we are funding these things left and right. Just does not make sense.

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4/21/14 @ 12:23 PM
One shot one kill
One shot one kill
MEMBER since 8/12/02
Once again Dave , that makes sense .

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4/21/14 @ 10:24 AM
One shot one kill
One shot one kill
MEMBER since 8/12/02
Since Dave Golden has the most concise answer with out politics . Dave the wind speed was moderate and all the others were churning . The two separate ones are the oldest ones there and they are Vestas .I do not think it is always the same one not going ? I was just of the thought that you would let them spin any time they can .I figured that any time they are spinning is a fossil fueled turbine not spinning . Now I will have to remember which one it is to see if it is consistent .Perhaps it is a breakdown ?

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