Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wind Energy

TGIT Thermo Thursday Green Energy Explained Thank Gusts It's Thursday

yeah the wind is gusting to save us from being smothered in carbon dioxide cloud. I have opined on several occasions that wind farms to generate electricty are by far the best new technology for renewable energy. I am very glad to report that 2007 was a banner year for the wind energy business in the USA as well as worldwide. The department of entropy (USDOE) today reported that installation of wind turbines in the USA was up 45% in 2007 over 2006. The US now has 16,818 megawatts of installed wind turbines. Texas is always the bigger and better state and they lead the US by installing 1,618 megawatts of capacity during 2007. The entire US installed 5,244 megawatts of capacity over the same period. Texas, therefore, accounts for about 30% of the wind project in 2007. I say "go longhorns go".

The TECO Westinghouse Motor Company will develop a 10 megawatt turbine for offshore installation. This is quite amazing in size as it will peturb the wind flow for some 200 acres that surround the turbine as wind energy can be harvested at a rate of about 50 kilowatts per acre.

The single largest problem facing developers of wind farms is the problem of birds of prey and bats flying into the turbine blades. Bats can be diverted by sonar and birds should be warned by having LED lights embedded in the blades.

The word of the day is permeate or to pass through. We are all indeed fortunate that air can permeate through the turbine blades so we have wind energy.Permeate is from Latin permeare, "to go through, to pass through," from per-, "through" + meare, "to go, to pass."The Following was reported by the USDOE on 1/23/08

U.S. Wind Power Capacity Surged Up 45% in 2007
The U.S. wind energy industry installed 5,244 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity in 2007, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The rapid growth shatters all previous records and boosts the total U.S. wind power capacity by 45% in only one year. The growth even exceeded AWEA's expectations for 4,000 MW of new capacity, a prediction made just two months ago. In fact, wind power provided 30% of the new generating capacity installed in the United States in 2007. The total U.S. wind power capacity is now at 16,818 MW, with wind projects located in 34 states. AWEA estimates that in 2008, U.S. wind power facilities will generate 48 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, or about 1% of the nation's electricity needs. AWEA expects similar capacity growth in 2008, although factors such as the availability of new wind turbines could have an impact on growth. The trade association tallies 3,520 MW of new wind power capacity currently under construction.

Texas leads the states in terms of new wind power capacity installed in 2007, with 1,618 MW of new capacity, further cementing the state's lead in total installed wind power capacity. Among the largest projects built in 2007 are the 198-MW and 161.7-MW Twin Groves I and II wind plants in Illinois; the 264-MW Peetz Table and 300.5-MW Cedar Creek wind plants, both in Colorado; the 232.5-MW phase II of the Buffalo Gap wind plant in Texas; the 205.5-MW Fenton Wind Power Project in Minnesota; the 221.1-MW Klondike III wind plant in Oregon; and the 204.7-MW White Creek Wind Power Project in Washington. The Bluegrass Ridge wind farm is also noteworthy, as it's the first utility-scale wind facility in Missouri. AWEA also estimates that at least 14 new wind power manufacturing facilities either opened or were announced in 2007. See the AWEA press release and the accompanying market report (PDF 238 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

Wind turbines are also getting bigger, as the largest turbines employed in last year's wind projects was a 3-MW Vestas turbine, installed in California and Texas. Of the projects now under construction, one in California is employing a 4-MW Mitsubishi turbine. In October 2007, Clipper Windpower established the Centre of Excellence for Offshore Wind in the United Kingdom to develop a 7.5-MW offshore wind turbine, called the "Britannia Project." At about the same time, American Superconductor Corporation teamed up with TECO-Westinghouse Motor Company to develop a 10-MW generator for use in offshore wind turbines. See the press releases from Clipper Wind and American Superconductor.