Solar/Wind sabotaged by experimental advanced composites; not incompetence.

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posted on Oct, 29 2013 @ 07:13 PM
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Several alternative energy outfits have been in the news with investigations into unsound business practices. Heavily subsidized by the government and eligible for all kinds of state credits as well, their business models and execution have come under scrutiny because they are failing.

The usual suspects come to mind on a conspiracy website like this i.e. traditional energy suppliers trying to eliminate competition: we, the unwashed, not allowed to have what is essentially free energy in order to continue to line the pockets of traditional suppliers.

A quick look-see into what's what yields some unusual information.

Solar Industry Anxious Over Defective Panels


LOS ANGELES — The solar panels covering a vast warehouse roof in the sun-soaked Inland Empire region east of Los Angeles were only two years into their expected 25-year life span when they began to fail.



Coatings that protect the panels disintegrated while other defects caused two fires that took the system offline for two years, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.



It was not an isolated incident. Worldwide, testing labs, developers, financiers and insurers are reporting similar problems and say the $77 billion solar industry is facing a quality crisis just as solar panels are on the verge of widespread adoption.


This story goes on to say alot of things but here is the sentence for the focus of this thread:


The solar developer Dissigno has had significant solar panel failures at several of its projects, according to Dave Williams, chief executive of the San Francisco-based company. “I don’t want to be alarmist, but I think quality poses a long-term threat,” he said. “The quality across the board is harder to put your finger on now as materials in modules are changing every day and manufacturers are reluctant to share that information.”


There are many unknowns in the use of advanced composites. Spectacular failures can happen once the materials are out in the environment. Tiny, invisible, original manufacturing defects can also be the beginning of the end. These all get corrected, secretly, but not without leaving a wake of financial disaster. And not without moving on to the next set of problems with these experimental materials.


First Solar, one of the United States’ biggest manufacturers, has set aside $271.2 million to cover the costs of replacing defective modules it made in 2008 and 2009.


It is not the incompetence of the solar energy crew but, rather, the unknowns about the material they are working with. Never before in history has there been such a global investment in a technology which requires a global cover-up of the ongoing disasters associated with it.

These materials have been thrown into everything - there is little of infrastructure that doesn't contain some of this. Research is expensive but this research uses the global community as a test site and the global community pays when things don't work out.

Adding to this already complex problem are the secrets of one company to the next and one government to the next. Unlike the NSA, which seems to think that the entire world should share their secrets with them, in advanced composites etc., methods and substances used are closely guarded. Colluding in this effort are the governments who are heavily invested in this technology and do not want to see it fail. In fact, catastrophic failure of advanced composites is rarely given as a reason for anything.

NASA, of course, has something to say about advanced composite solar.

Nanotechnology Roadmap


For solar energy, nanomaterials can make solar cells more efficient and more affordable. The efficiency of solar energy conversion and of fuel cells is expected to double.


And this wonderful statement means little if that doubling of output lasts only 2 years for a system sold as good for 25 years. Then there's the cost of fires, explosions etc. when, at the end of 2 years, for instance, the system decides to degrade.

Wind experiences some of the same problems as solar when nano-composite materials are used.

So, in my view, there is a conspiracy here. The conspiracy is from the global elite (which for purposes here we'll define as our governments and corporations) to hush up true causes for failures so that the great experiment can continue unabated.




posted on Oct, 29 2013 @ 07:46 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 



Enron, joined by BP, invented the global warming industry. I know because I was in the room.
This was during my storied three-week or so stint as Director of Federal Government Relations for Enron in the spring of 1997, back when Enron was everyone’s darling in Washington. It proved to be an eye-opening experience that didn’t last much beyond my expressing concern about this agenda of using the state to rob Peter, paying Paul, drawing Paul’s enthusiastic support.

In fact, this case was not entirely uncommon in that the entire enterprise was Paul’s idea to begin with. Which left me as the guy on the street corner muttering about this evil company cooking up money-making charades, to nothing but rolled eyes until the, ah, unpleasantness and the opportunity it afforded to take a few gratuitous swings at George W. Bush....

The basic truth is that Enron, joined by other “rent-seeking” industries — making one’s fortune from policy favors from buddies in government, the cultivation of whom was a key business strategy — cobbled their business plan around “global warming.” Enron bought, on the cheap of course, the world’s largest windmill company (now GE Wind) and the world’s second-largest solar panel interest (now BP) to join Enron’s natural gas pipeline network, which was the second largest in the world. The former two can only make money under a system of massive mandates and subsidies (and taxes to pay for them); the latter would prosper spectacularly if the war on coal succeeded....


Looks like he was correct. As the EPA shuts down coal plants, natural gas is taking its place. Of course this means the ordinary Joe is getting the shaft from both ends.


The market-clearing price for new 2015 capacity – almost all natural gas – was $136 per megawatt. That’s eight times higher than the price for 2012, which was just $16 per megawatt. In the mid-Atlantic area covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and DC the new price is $167 per megawatt. For the northern Ohio territory served by FirstEnergy, the price is a shocking $357 per megawatt.... These are not computer models or projections or estimates. These are the actual prices that electric distributors have agreed to pay for new capacity. The costs will be passed on to consumers at the retail level.
LINK




The Energy Returned On Energy Invested for a typical solar panel installation is 0.48.

An EROEI rating of less than unity (ie: 1.00) means the alternative energy will never return more energy than went into its design, manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance, and decommisision.

Why would you burn two barrels of oil to find one barrel? This is the legacy of solar pv power.
Charles S. Opalek, PE


Charles S. Opalek is a Professional Engineer, author of the book WIND POWER FRAUD - WHY WIND WON'T WORK

This the book exposes the utter uselessness of wind power, including how:

* Wind turbines rarely produce their advertised full power. On average, wind turbines only produce about 20% of their nameplate rating.

* Wind power is unreliable and undispatchable. When it is needed most, it will likely be unavailable to provide any power when it is needed most.

* Wind power is not clean. It takes a lot of dirty energy to make the materials, manufacture and install a wind turbine facility.

* Wind turbines are not environmentally friendly. They are noisy, unsightly, kill bats and birds, interfere with radars, and have been shown to be responsible for a slew of health problems.

* Wind turbines consume electricity whether operating or not. Often this power is not even metered. Care to guess who is paying the bill for this power?

* In theory, if 20% of US electric generation was replaced by wind power, the decrease in CO2 emissions would be an unnoticeable 0.00948%.

* In reality, wind power doesn't reduce CO2 emissions at all, because backup fossil power plants have to cycle wildly and inefficiently trying to keep up with erratic wind power output.

* Wind power will not replace fossil fired power plants. Germany estimates that by 2020 up to 96% of its wind power capacity will need to be backed up by new coal fired power plants.

* Wind power will not reduce US dependency on foreign oil. If wind power replaced 20% of US electric generation, the resulting decrease in oil imports would be a measly 0.292%.

* Wind turbines have an embarrassingly low Energy Returned On Energy Invested value of 0.29. The manufacture, installation and operation of wind power facilities will consume more than 3 times the energy they will ever produce.

Wind Power is Big Business. The big winners will be developers, land owners, brokerage houses, banks, manufacturers, governments, the "green" movement, environmentalists, researchers, academia, and the news media. The big losers will be the taxpayers and electric bill payers.


But carry on defending the elite, banksters and International Energy Cartel. I am sure they appreciate it but don't expect them not to screw you out of your hard earned money.



posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 05:55 AM
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reply to post by crimvelvet
 



The market-clearing price for new 2015 capacity – almost all natural gas – was $136 per megawatt. That’s eight times higher than the price for 2012, which was just $16 per megawatt. In the mid-Atlantic area covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and DC the new price is $167 per megawatt. For the northern Ohio territory served by FirstEnergy, the price is a shocking $357 per megawatt.... These are not computer models or projections or estimates. These are the actual prices that electric distributors have agreed to pay for new capacity. The costs will be passed on to consumers at the retail level.

www.aipnews.com...


Your source is laughable.

$16 per megawatt is $0.000016 per watt and $136 per megawatt is equivalent to $0.000136 per watt. Natural Gas Capacity is actually one of the cheapest power stations to build and costs many, many, orders of magnitude higher than this.

So whoever writing the article made a mistake. Perhaps they are confusing megawatt (capacity) versus megawatt-hours (energy). Absolutely clueless.

You can find the real levelized cost of electricity from various energy sources here:

www.eia.gov...

I'm sure you will rant about the government being wrong and all that, but pretty much every study comes to similar results. New natural gas is much cheaper than new coal (and practically new anything else for that matter).

Find a better source. Might I suggest platts?
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posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 06:12 AM
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And more...:

reply to post by crimvelvet
 



* Wind turbines rarely produce their advertised full power. On average, wind turbines only produce about 20% of their nameplate rating.

Average capacity factor is closer to 32.5%, varying of course, with site.

www.eia.gov...

windfarmperformance.info...


* Wind power is unreliable and undispatchable. When it is needed most, it will likely be unavailable to provide any power when it is needed most.

This depends on the country and site. I recall that this is true in Texas. But not where I am from:

windfarmperformance.info...


* Wind power is not clean. It takes a lot of dirty energy to make the materials, manufacture and install a wind turbine facility.


This is rediculous since everything needs energy to produce.


* Wind turbines are not environmentally friendly. They are noisy, unsightly, kill bats and birds, interfere with radars, and have been shown to be responsible for a slew of health problems.

Yes, and other energy sources don't just annoy people, they evacuate or kill people.

en.wikipedia.org...

en.wikipedia.org...

www.externe.info...

en.wikipedia.org...

Really an arguement against wind is that it kills birds and gives people a headache? Whereas competitors literally kill people? Also half of this is an argument that there should merely be regulations that prevent wind turbines from being places near villiages - not against wind turbines.


* Wind turbines consume electricity whether operating or not. Often this power is not even metered. Care to guess who is paying the bill for this power?


I'd love to see how this was figured out.


* In theory, if 20% of US electric generation was replaced by wind power, the decrease in CO2 emissions would be an unnoticeable 0.00948%.


Ditto.


* In reality, wind power doesn't reduce CO2 emissions at all, because backup fossil power plants have to cycle wildly and inefficiently trying to keep up with erratic wind power output.


33% of GHG emissions in USA are from electricity. 20% of 33% is 7%. Although it could be more or less than that depending on the specifics of what exactly it's deplacing and/or replacing. The fact that wind turbines do not tend to the dispatchable and as such have very low capacity value, and tend to be variable, doesn't show that they don't reduce CO2 emissions at all.

Actually thats largely going to be depending on how variable the rest of the supply is, whether demand side management has been implemented, and whether storage has been implemented. Spreading wind turbines out over a large geographical area also has the effect of smoothing fluctuations in individual wind turbines which massively lowers this effect:

windfarmperformance.info...

Newer CCNG power stations are designed specifically for this purpose and have efficiencies up to 60%.


* Wind power will not replace fossil fired power plants. Germany estimates that by 2020 up to 96% of its wind power capacity will need to be backed up by new coal fired power plants.

Usually it's not best to cherry pick a small (incorrect) fact about a foreign countries affairs without delving into the specific context of that nation.


* Wind power will not reduce US dependency on foreign oil. If wind power replaced 20% of US electric generation, the resulting decrease in oil imports would be a measly 0.292%.

Right because electricity generation isn't done with oil.


* Wind turbines have an embarrassingly low Energy Returned On Energy Invested value of 0.29. The manufacture, installation and operation of wind power facilities will consume more than 3 times the energy they will ever produce.

I like how you bolded it when it's nonsense.

Meta-analysis:


This analysis reviews and synthesizes the literature on the net energy return for electric power generation by wind turbines. Energy return on investment (EROI) is the ratio of energy delivered to energy costs. We examine 119 wind turbines from 50 different analyses, ranging in publication date from 1977 to 2007. We extend on previous work by including additional and more recent analyses, distinguishing between important assumptions about system boundaries and methodological approaches, and viewing the EROI as function of power rating. Our survey shows an average EROI for all studies (operational and conceptual) of 25.2 (n = 114; std. dev = 22.3). The average EROI for just the operational studies is 19.8 (n = 60; std. dev = 13.7). This places wind in a favorable position relative to fossil fuels, nuclear, and solar power generation technologies in terms of EROI.


www.sciencedirect.com...


Wind Power is Big Business. The big winners will be developers, land owners, brokerage houses, banks, manufacturers, governments, the "green" movement, environmentalists, researchers, academia, and the news media. The big losers will be the taxpayers and electric bill payers.


The environment will also be another winner, as will energy stability.

Also yes it is more expensive than natural gas.

All energy is big business.

Sounds like a hell of a lot of winners.


The Energy Returned On Energy Invested for a typical solar panel installation is 0.48.

An EROEI rating of less than unity (ie: 1.00) means the alternative energy will never return more energy than went into its design, manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance, and decommisision.

Why would you burn two barrels of oil to find one barrel? This is the legacy of solar pv power.
Charles S. Opalek, PE



The energy return on energy investment (EROI) of photovoltaics: Methodology and comparisons with fossil fuel life cycles


A high energy return on energy investment (EROI) of an energy production process is crucial to its long-term viability. The EROI of conventional thermal electricity from fossil fuels has been viewed as being much higher than those of renewable energy life-cycles, and specifically of photovoltaics (PVs). We show that this is largely a misconception fostered by the use of outdated data and, often, a lack of consistency among calculation methods. We hereby present a thorough review of the methodology, discuss methodological variations and present updated EROI values for a range of modern PV systems, in comparison to conventional fossil-fuel based electricity life-cycles.

Highlights:
If compared consistently, PV sits squarely in the same range of EROI as conventional fossil fuel life cycles.


www.sciencedirect.com...
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posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 07:18 AM
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reply to post by C0bzz


* Wind power is not clean. It takes a lot of dirty energy to make the materials, manufacture and install a wind turbine facility.


This is rediculous since everything needs energy to produce.

 


That's why they calculate EROI but also attach a cost basis to it, and environmental impact.



Really an arguement against wind is that it kills birds and gives people a headache? Whereas competitors literally kill people? Also half of this is an argument that there should merely be regulations that prevent wind turbines from being places near villiages - not against wind turbines.


Take into consideration REMs. Needed in large quantities for wind, and since China holds most of them, it makes sense why it's not more popular. Invading Afghanistan is one thing, China another.

US producers hate China and their rare earth's. They have formed organizations that lobby against them, and lobby against using them. I imagine that is where the main driving force behind wind suppression is.

One could argue all the points about birds, pollution (radioactive rems) etc, but we all know lots of things are terrible for the world yet are still done.



posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 07:27 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Why does wind need rare earth metals?



posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 09:29 AM
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C0bzz
reply to post by boncho
 


Why does wind need rare earth metals?


From Wind Power Engineering Development Rare earths, minerals used in windpower technology, could fall into short supply

According to a new IHS Chemical global market research report, a growing global dependence upon a multitude of diverse technologies – from lighting systems to windpower turbines – has left manufacturers and countries vulnerable to the availability and uninterrupted supply (largely from China) of some key elements used to produce these technologies called rare earths....

In the report, the IHS Chemical CEH Rare Earth Minerals and Products Report, production and consumption of these industrial minerals in 2012 was more than 100 thousand metric tons (KMT). During the study period of 2012 to 2017, IHS estimates average global demand for rare earth products will grow by 7.6% annually...

China alone accounted for more than 85% of world rare earth production in 2012...

Wietlisbach said. “New markets are strong and growing for individual, specialized and high-purity rare earths, particularly for neodymium, which is used in high-performance magnets (permanent magnet motors or PMs) for hybrid vehicles, offshore turbines and defense guidance systems. While the markets for mixed rare earth oxides (REOs), which formerly constituted the bulk of the business, show stagnant demand.”

...Lanthanum is used for rechargeable batteries in hybrid cars...Neodymium’s most important use is in high power magnets, which are found in hybrid vehicle motors, wind turbines, low voltage electric motors, ... Praseodymium is used widely in metallurgical applications, especially high-strength magnesium alloys used in aircraft engines....

“In 2012, there was an excess of cerium and dysprosium produced, but for lanthanum, praseodymium, neodymium and europium, demand exceeded supply. However, with that being said, the expected growth in demand for offshore wind turbines during the next five to 10 years means the amount of dysprosium and other less-abundant rare earths used to produce PM motors, are expected to be in short supply.”....


Consumer Reports: Taxpayer-Funded Solar Company Leaves Environmental, Financial Mess.


...Yet that’s exactly the case with miserable failure Abound Solar, which the president’s Department of Energy thought so much of, they awarded it a $400 million loan guarantee. That proposition quickly soured and the government halted payouts after about $70 million. The company went bankrupt in June 2012, leaving taxpayers out between $40 million and $60 million that was never recovered.


There was other collateral damage, not the least of which was a huge toxic mess from unused panels and abandoned chemicals at Abound’s former facilities. The environmental nightmare was discovered earlier this year, but this month – thanks to an investigation by the Northern Colorado Business Report – an estimate of the amount of damage was revealed. According to documents the publication obtained, cleanup at Abound’s Longmont location is expected to cost as much as $3.7 million because of the materials left behind.

....NCBR reported, “the building lies in disrepair, too contaminated to lease.”

In addition 2,000 of Abound’s panels that were “deemed unsellable” – and included among its toxic waste – have mysteriously disappeared.... The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment doesn’t know where they ended up, either. If a coal, oil or gas company pulled something like that the EPA would send out SWAT teams and the U.S. Marshals to track down the offenders, bankrupt or not.

... Among the contaminants is cancer-causing cadmium...

There is so much filth in the solar industry that its advocates – i.e., the big environmental pressure groups and government subsidy-seekers – don’t care to tell you about....

......


C0bzz


Your source is laughable.

My Source is a PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER! You are so scientifically challenged you haven't the foggiest idea of what that means. Not only does he have the training to accurately do the calculation he is LEGALLY required not to lie. He loses his license if he does so. Academics on the other hand can lie all day long and nothing happens.
A Primer on Engineering Licensure in the United States

10 Reasons to Become a PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER


A professional engineer (P.E) is a person who is licensed to practice engineering in a particular state or US territory after meeting all requirement of the law....

Legal Necessity..

ONLY a P.E. can sign and seal engineering documents that are submitted to a public authority or for public and private clients...

Licensure is the mark of a professional. Ethical standards, continuing education and professional competency are expected....


As I found out through a lawyer, an employer can force those with out a P.E. to LIE. Only a P.E. license protects you from being unethical/dishonest when forced. The other side of the issue is you lose your license if you do lie.

So not only do engineers have to deal with the real and not the 'Theoretical World' They have a much higher standard of honesty and integrity.

I have dealt with PhDs and Engineers for four decades. I will believe an engineer over a PhD any day of the week. I have caught the Phds in too many lies.



posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 10:53 AM
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reply to post by crimvelvet
 



From Wind Power Engineering Development Rare earths, minerals used in windpower technology, could fall into short supply


I asked why wind turbines need rare earth metals. It was a rhetorical question. Because in many ways wind turbines are not different to other power stations - they merely need to convert rotational energy from the turbine, into electrical energy. Of course, since wind turbines are typically variable speed, there are often special requirements to do this (i.e. power electronics).

In any case, there are plenty of designs which do not use rare earths.


Doubly fed electric machine

Doubly fed electric machines are electric motors or electric generators that have windings on both stationary and rotating parts, where both windings transfer significant power between shaft and electrical system. Usually the stator winding is directly connected to the three-phase grid and the three-phase rotor winding is fed from the grid through a rotating or static frequency converter.

Doubly fed machines are typically used in applications that require varying speed of the machine's shaft in a limited range around the synchronous speed, for example ± 30%, because the power rating of the frequency converter is reduced similarly. Today doubly fed drives are the most common variable speed wind turbine concept.

en.wikipedia.org...




Wind Turbine Design

Commercial size generators have a rotor carrying a field winding so that a rotating magnetic field is produced inside a set of windings called the stator. While the rotating field winding consumes a fraction of a percent of the generator output, adjustment of the field current allows good control over the generator output voltage. Enercon and EWT (Formerly known as Lagerwey) have produced gearless wind turbines with separately electrically excited generators for many years,[11] and Siemens produces a gearless "inverted generator" 3 MW model[12][13] while developing a 6 MW model.[14]

...

Gearless wind turbines are often heavier than gear based wind turbines. A study by the EU called www.reliawind.eu Reliawind based on the largest sample size of turbines, has shown that the reliability of gearboxes is not the main problem in wind turbines. The reliability of direct drive turbines offshore is still not known, since the sample size is so small.

Experts from Technical University of Denmark estimate that a geared generator with permanent magnets may use 25 kg/MW of the rare earth element Neodymium, while a gearless may use 250 kg/MW.[15]

en.wikipedia.org...



Discussion about neodymium – ENERCON does not use material

In recent weeks, media reports about the use of neodymium in wind energy converters gave rise to public discussions.

...

ENERCON wind energy converters generate environmentally-friendly power totally without neodymium. The gearless design on which all wind turbine types – from the E-33/330 kW to the E-126/7.5 MW – are based employs an annular generator with separate excitation. The magnetic fields required by the generator to produce electricity are created electrically. Due to this design, ENERCON turbines are built completely without permanent magnets.

www.enercon.de...


Now, permanant magnet generators do have their own set of advantages over more conventional DC exited synchronous generators, however they are not required for wind energy itself.


Consumer Reports: Taxpayer-Funded Solar Company Leaves Environmental, Financial Mess.

You haven't actually shown that this is systematic of the industry. And a whole 3.7 million dollars to clean up the environmental damage?


Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash slurry spill

As of June 2009, six months following the spill, only 3% of the spill had been cleaned and is now estimated to cost between $675 and $975 million to clean, according to the TVA.[6]

en.wikipedia.org...



Crystal River 3 Nuclear Power Plant

When workers began to cut the access hole for the steam generators, a crack formed.

In October 2012 an independent review estimated the repair cost at $1.5 billion, with a worst-case scenario of $3.4 billion.[9] In February 2013 Duke Energy announced that Crystal River would be permanently shut down and that they will recover $850 million in insurance claims

en.wikipedia.org...






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edit on 30/10/13 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 11:06 AM
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reply to post by crimvelvet
 



My Source is a PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER!

I called the website and article you were using laughable. I'm not sure how this wasn't clear since I called it laughable directly underneath a quoted section of the article.

It was laughable because it confused power with energy. And then you gobbled it up and posted it here.


You are so scientifically challenged

I can atleast understand Physics 101, namely the difference between power and energy.


My Source is a PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER! You are so scientifically challenged you haven't the foggiest idea of what that means.

I'm not sure what a professional engineer has to do with science?


Not only does he have the training to accurately do the calculation he is LEGALLY required not to lie.

Well given that pretty much everything he said was nonsense, he obviously doesn't have the knowledge to accurately make the calculation. Also people can well and truely think they are doing the right thing even if what they are saying is completely incorrect.


I have dealt with PhDs and Engineers for four decades. I will believe an engineer over a PhD any day of the week. I have caught the Phds in too many lies.

Thanks for the complement I guess?
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posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 04:07 PM
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reply to post by crimvelvet
 


In my view, solar/wind are marvelous alternative energy systems. I feel this way because I have personal experience with their installation and use and because they are a self-contained system requiring nothing but themselves to produce all the electricity a homeowner might require.

We installed a system like this some years back in a place that was 7 to 10 miles from the nearest electrical plug. We ordered components and installed them ourselves with the help of an electrician who had solar/wind experience.

These components were pre-advanced composites so we never had any defective anything to worry about. (No bubbling of panels; no fires; no explosions; no flying wind turbine blades.)

The system required regular maintenance and there was a manual and some involvement in addition to flipping a switch but it was not burdensome.

In the city, prior to this, we were paying $300 to $600 a month for water/power. These erratic cost differences were due, in part, to Enron and others like that. We were experiencing rolling brown-outs.

In our new place we didn't require central air because we were at 8000 feet so there would have been some cost savings there if there had been power available.

We paid about $14,000 for components plus another $500 or so which would have been labor (except we did it ourselves) and another $15,000 or so to the electrician. Thus for the price of a new Cadillac we were able, in the middle of nowhere, to run washer, dryer, water pump and heater, microwave, elaborate lighting, floodlights, security cameras, cable and internet over 3000 square feet through rain, shine and snow without interruption except when we ourselves turned the system off during outrageous lightning storms.

We consistently generated enough electricity to run another situation identical to ours if there had been one near enough. The expensive generator we had bought as a back-up sat, unused.

There was an original glitch in the system and our output was, initially, 50% less than spec. However, this turned out to be a misunderstanding of the way a system like this needed to be grounded. Correcting that, instantly, - all was well and the output went to spec.

Credits for solar/wind in the state where we put this up didn't become available until a year later so we didn't qualify for those but they would have given quite a savings.

(Also no birds ever got caught in the wind turbines although we had a family of blue birds in the eaves and there were plenty of migratory birds around that often sat right on the tops of the turbines.)

Comparing our experience to the current experience of exploding components is laughable. We would have been very discouraged if our panels had caught fire and our wind turbine blades had flown loose. Luckily, we had set up just prior to the nano-composite craze.

It is, therefore, easy for me to empathize with start-up solar/wind outfits and manufacturers of modules who experience catastrophic problems with the process itself because the mind-set is that these new processes and materials work when they do not. They are experimental and have major bugs which are being tested in the marketplace.



posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 05:11 PM
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reply to post by crimvelvet
 


Just a further note on experimental solar modules and their manufacture:

Space Systems/Loral: A Case Study in Ineffective Incident Investigation


Over nine years, three Space System/Loral (SS/L) satellites experienced solar array failures. Investigations followed each failure, and each investigation came up with an incorrect root cause – or no cause at all.



Space News reports that a final definitive root cause for the failures of the 2004 Estrela do Sul/Telstar, 2011 Sul-2/Telstar 14R, and 2012 Intelsat IS-19 has now been discovered. The satellites all experienced solar array damage that limited their operational lifespans. All three were due to a too-tight seal at the end of the solar panels that precluded necessary venting combined with incomplete bonding, resulting in pressure build up in the panel followed by explosive depressurization.



“I have asked myself many times: Why did it take three failures for us to resolve this?” Celli related in a January 4th interview. Celli says that part of the problem with earlier investigations is they just didn’t have the high tech forensic tools available today.



The second incident in 2011 had somewhat more severe repercussions. SS/L was grounded for two months and spent $13 million on an investigation, only to conclude that a hook holding the solar array’s cabling came loose, allowing the cabling to break off. While this was true, the broken hook was actually the result of the solar array explosion, not its cause.


So the material itself was defective at manufacture but the technology needed to observe the defect was not available until some years later.

Here's an example: I want to make solar modules. I fund, including federal funding, a factory. I use the supposedly researched and sound principles for manufacture that have come out of space/military research and use. Unbeknownst to me, there have been catastrophes with this manufacturing process but these catastrophes have been attributed to nuts and bolts and operator error so I don't know that the process principles themselves are unsound. I carefully manufacture and sell modules.

Installation outfits carefully build. Time passes, or not, and these modules begin to explode, flame up and/or bubble/delaminate. Blame begins.



posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 07:01 PM
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C0bzz
reply to post by boncho
 


Why does wind need rare earth metals?


It didn't at one time not so long ago. Neodymium, used to make magnets for wind turbines since, according to the following article, 2005, is a rare earth mineral. Advanced carbon composite has also only relatively recently been used to make bearings in gearboxes. Failures with this composite led to neodymium use.

How Does The Use Of Permanent Magnets Make Wind Turbines More Reliable?


Until relatively recently, almost all commercial wind turbines had the same type of power train features. A typical configuration is shown in Figure 1. The rotor blades, typically made from fiber glass, are mounted to a cast-iron hub. The hub is mounted onto the drive shaft which passes into the nacelle via a rotor bearing, into a mechanical gearbox. The gearbox is then coupled to a doubly fed induction generator [a special electrical machine that uses two sets of electrically-excited windings to create magnetic fields as part of the mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion process]. It does not use permanent magnets.



Unfortunately – the bigger these gearboxes get, the more prone they seem to be to all kinds of mechanical problems. In recent years, there have been improvements in the design and manufacture of wind turbine gearboxes, but there are still a variety of issues to be overcome. According to a paper published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in 2007, the majority of gearbox failures originate in the bearings.


Rare earth mineral mining is one of the filthiest and least eco-friendly activities on the planet. If you've heard of Molycorp you'll know what I mean. It completely negates all the green there is to wind and is probably a good part of what skews the numbers when deciding what's clean and what's not.

This path would never have been taken, imo, if advanced composite bearings, with their unknowns and unpredictable failures had not been used.



posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 07:07 PM
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C0bzz
reply to post by boncho
 


Why does wind need rare earth metals?



Lanthanum is used for rechargeable batteries in hybrid cars, fluid catalytic cracking catalysts (FCC) used to produce gasoline efficiently, as a glass additive for camera, and telescope lenses, and in lasers and x-ray films to reduce the amount of radiation exposure for patients. Neodymium’s most important use is in high power magnets, which are found in hybrid vehicle motors, wind turbines, low voltage electric motors, but also mobile phones, microphones, speakers, and headphones. Yttrium is critical for television screens and monitors, as well as in fluorescent lights to produce brilliant white light. It is also used in microwave communications, in lasers, and as transmitters and transducers of acoustic energy. Praseodymium is used widely in metallurgical applications, especially high-strength magnesium alloys used in aircraft engines.

“There is a distinct imbalance between the consumption of some rare earth oxides compared to the amount produced,” Wietlisbach said. “In 2012, there was an excess of cerium and dysprosium produced, but for lanthanum, praseodymium, neodymium and europium, demand exceeded supply. However, with that being said, the expected growth in demand for offshore wind turbines during the next five to 10 years means the amount of dysprosium and other less-abundant rare earths used to produce PM motors, are expected to be in short supply.”


www.windpowerengineering.com...



posted on Oct, 31 2013 @ 05:40 AM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 



It didn't at one time not so long ago. Neodymium, used to make magnets for wind turbines since, according to the following article, 2005, is a rare earth mineral.


Wind turbines did not suddenly start to use rare earth materials in 2005, rather it is an industry trend because Permanant Magnet Synchronous Generators (PMSG) can allow for simplification of wind turbines for higher reliability and efficiency, either by eliminating large amounts of copper and steel, or by simplification or elimination of the gear box.

There are however other manufacturers that have taken a different approach, Enercon, as I have already mentioned, is one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world, and uses seperately excited machines - without the use of permanant magnets. These are not the same as doubly fed induction machines. Enercon wind turbines also tend to be direct-drive, without the use of a gearbox. The electricity generated by them is subsequently supplied to the grid via power electronic converters (inverters, cycloconverters, etc).

PMSGs are also used in wind turbines with conventional gearboxes. The largest wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, which has delivered 57 Gigawatts of capacity, enough (at 33% capacity factor) to power about tens of millions of people, solely uses this approach:


It is important to understand the difference between different types of turbine designs and how each design uses rare earths elements. There are two types of turbine drive train concepts using rare earth elements: conventional geared drive train and direct-drive (without a gearbox). The amount of rare earths elements used in direct-drive turbines is substantially higher – up to 10 times as much as a generator in a conventional drive train. Today, all Vestas turbines are based on conventional drive trains.

www.vestas.com...


Also any gearbox is going to be a largely complicated, mechanical device. Elimination of any gearbox is largely going to increase reliability, regardless of the materials that it is using. A large amount of research has been conducted on improving wind turbines, for example by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Its publications can be found online. Most notably they have a focus on Gearbox reliability - which has not found to be because of carbon composites failing, but due to other factors, such as oil starvation.

Actually availability of wind turbines tends to be above 95%, so wind turbines tend to be, in general, mechanically sound. So any notion that wind turbines tend to have a poor availability factor due to any materials in them consistently breaking - is a false one. Note that I am talking about availability factor rather than capacity factor. The number of failures per wind turbine per year has been decreasing over time which is a long term trend as more experience is gained about how to design and operate wind turbines, despite greater use of advanced composites.

So there are six main points here:

1. Successful wind turbine manufacturers do not necessarily use PMSGs.
2. Direct-drive wind turbines do not necessarily have a PMSG.
3. Wind turbines with a conventional gearbox do not necessarily have a DFIG, instead they often have a PMSG.
4. Availability of wind turbines is typically well above 95%.
5. Gearbox failure does not tend to be from carbon composites failing.
6. Overall wind turbine reliability has been improving over time, even as advanced materials have been implemented.

Effectively every step in your arguement is incorrect which leads me to believe you are making it up as you go along, so long as blame is placed on carbon composites. I wonder what the real source of this behaviour is.


This path would never have been taken, imo, if advanced composite bearings, with their unknowns and unpredictable failures had not been used.

You believe everything is the fault of carbon composites, as you have shown here.

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posted on Oct, 31 2013 @ 09:14 AM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 





In my view, solar/wind are marvelous alternative energy systems. I feel this way because I have personal experience with their installation and use and because they are a self-contained system requiring nothing but themselves to produce all the electricity a homeowner might require....


Yeah, As long as the home owner doesn't mind not having electricity a lot of the time. There is a darn good reason WHY wind was abandoned over a century ago.

By the way explain to me HOW without a reliable energy source you are going to MANUFACTURE wind turbines or Solar panels??? You can forget solar panels completely and for wind mills you are back to hand made wood and canvas wind mills.

Oh and here is a comment from someone in the oil and natural gas business.




Here’s the funny part – I work in the oil and gas business, and oil producers worldwide are laughing and slapping each on the back over this one. Why? Coal is oil’s #1 competitor! Poor countries can’t afford to put in high-cost, low output systems like windmills or other nonsense – when they need energy, and they have to substitute for coal, they will have to burn oil and gas – no other realistic substitutes. Consequently, in spite of supplies threatening to rise (the so-called “Peak Oil” theory has now collapsed in ignominy), Oil demand (ie, PRICE) is now guaranteed to rise for the forseeable future – THANK YOU!

One other thing – mining, especially if its near the surface, is not nearly as demanding technically as oil and gas production is, and coal reserves are much more plentiful, also. This is why coal is the #1 choice for 3rd world economies trying to develop energy resources and pull themselves out of poverty.

Nope! No economic salvation for you! You’re going to pay whatever we tell you for your energy usage now on, and NONE of that money will go back into your local economies...



posted on Oct, 31 2013 @ 09:44 AM
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Wow! A lot of good information here. I'm against wind power except at a small individual scale. If a person wants a wind turbine for their house and it doesn't goes against local regs, I say let them have one. They are a eyesore in my opinion though. I've seen wind farms and they are ghastly to look at.

I do know, just in the production of the various components that make up the turbines, not only is standard energy used, but they also produce many toxins during the manufacture of them. Toxins that have to be put in barrels and stored.

I am not against alternate energy by any means but more research needs to be put into alternate energy rather than just throwing crap against the wall and see what sticks method they are using now.

Off to look at all those other sources of information that everybody posted. Thanks!



posted on Oct, 31 2013 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by TDawgRex
 





Wow! A lot of good information here. I'm against wind power except at a small individual scale. If a person wants a wind turbine for their house and it doesn't goes against local regs, I say let them have one.


Believe me, with my electric bill I looked into Solar, Wind and Geothermal very very closely. I was originally favoring Wind, My spouse preferred solar and then we switched to geothermal.

Unfortunately after much digging we came to the realization all three were utter crap. We are on the top of a hill and even thought of using two ponds as an energy storage solution to get around the obvious limitations.

Wind and solar are fine for niche markets where power lines are absent but for running a civilization on? Give me Thorium especially the micro mini contained nuclear reactors.

China's Thorium Reactor and Japan's targets 10 MW thorium miniFuji for 2016

Too bad the USA dropped the ball on that one. China is so gung ho their scientist are the most frequent visitors to Oak Ridge and they have gone as far as hacking the Oak ridge computers.



posted on Oct, 31 2013 @ 04:45 PM
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reply to post by crimvelvet
 




Consumer Reports: Taxpayer-Funded Solar Company Leaves Environmental, Financial Mess.


Abound Solar is a good example of the sabotage of solar/wind by advanced composites.

Taxpayer-backed solar firm under fire after bankruptcy, questions over defective panels


It's a stunning turnaround for a company that appeared to be on a roll. In December of 2010, Abound had just secured a $400 million federal loan guarantee. Like Solyndra's more than $500 million loan, it was part of President Obama's green energy stimulus program.



Eighteen months later, though, Abound was filing for bankruptcy protection after burning through $70 million from taxpayers. Company employees have since come forward saying Abound officials knew their solar panels were defective and sold them anyway in order to meet benchmarks, so the company could get the Department of Energy loan.



"We heard from one employee, a whistleblower employee, who made the statement; the solar panels worked fine as long as you didn't put them in the sun," said Republican Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner.



Todd Shepherd, who works as an investigative reporter for the Independence Institute, a Libertarian think tank, has interviewed several former employees and concludes it was clear by the fall of 2010 that the panels had catastrophic defects, such as a tendency to catch fire and much lower output than promised.



"Either people at Abound knew they couldn't produce a good product and they misled the DOE," said Shepherd, "or the DOE knew how bad the product was and they were willing to overlook it simply because the politics of green energy is such a feel good political movement."


A breakthrough technology that produces a solar panel that can't be put in the sun without flaming up. Government subsidies available for start-ups willing to use that technology. Research costs to develop this technology already paid for by the government-military. Oh happy day.



posted on Oct, 31 2013 @ 06:55 PM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 


Thank you for your posts in this thread. Particularly for your easy explanation here:



There are however other manufacturers that have taken a different approach, Enercon, as I have already mentioned, is one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world, and uses seperately excited machines - without the use of permanant magnets. These are not the same as doubly fed induction machines. Enercon wind turbines also tend to be direct-drive, without the use of a gearbox. The electricity generated by them is subsequently supplied to the grid via power electronic converters (inverters, cycloconverters, etc).


My personal experience of wind turbines is sweet but limited and very limited when it comes to industrial strength turbines. Since I am a very great fan of solar/wind, it is extremely pleasant to read, in understandable fashion, about avenues other than the ones I have focused on.

And obviously my focus in this thread is on catastrophic failure of advanced composites and how this has sabotaged solar/wind perception rather than the causes splashed around in the mainstream news.

That said, from your link:

Gearbox Reliability Collaborative Gearbox 1 Failure Analysis Report


One of the gearboxes was installed in a turbine at the Ponnequin wind farm and put into unattended operation on September 14, 2009. The test was stopped on October 5, 2009 due to bearing temperature exceedances and reports of oil loss from the gearbox.



The root cause of the loss of oil is unknown and, therefore, not addressed in this report.


Rather then quote continually: the word "probably" is used liberally in determining cause. The gear teeth were misaligned putting stress on the remaining mechanism. How this misalignment occurred is vaguely addressed as assembly error. Lubricant starvation is given as a primary cause of failure but, again, why lubricant starvation occurred is not addressed.

The bearings heated to 400 degrees F and an O ring vaporized. Understandably the experiment was stopped prior to catastrophic failure (loss of components.)

Also:


Although the HS gearset, sun spline, and bearing A1 showed evidence of overheating due to lubricant starvation, there was no other evidence that the gearbox ran out of oil. Therefore, the gearbox may have leaked oil, but it did not run completely dry.


Assembly gets honorable mention in relationship to bearing D in item #6. And again assembly is slightly blamed in item #7.

Your statement:



Most notably they have a focus on Gearbox reliability - which has not found to be because of carbon composites failing, but due to other factors, such as oil starvation.


reminds of the previous link I put up on the catastrophic failure of solar arrays in satellites. There, the root cause, defect in materials, was not found until more sophisticated detecting equipment became available years later.






The number of failures per wind turbine per year has been decreasing over time which is a long term trend as more experience is gained about how to design and operate wind turbines, despite greater use of advanced composites.


Or: in spite of the use of advanced composites. This thread is not psychic. It does not claim that bugs with advanced composites will not eventually be worked out. Nor does it claim that they will. It simply claims that the marketplace is not an experimental lab and that materials, whose defects at manufacture, cannot even be seen with current equipment, should be handled with caution. It also urges honesty and transparency in reporting the causes of failures, regardless.




You believe everything is the fault of carbon composites, as you have shown here.


I appreciate how you might conclude this but no, I don't believe that. Advanced carbon composites are only a part of the problem. A situation exists wherein heavily government subsidized nanotech has found its' way into almost every facet of infrastructure. Whether this technology will prove boon or bane is a future conclusion.

There are a couple of questions. Does the technology really currently exist to manufacture these substances without flaw? Will the environment, the current polluted environment, allow these substances to exist without corruption?

So far, the answer to both of those questions is no. And it's, imho, a far louder no than colluders would have us believe.



posted on Oct, 31 2013 @ 08:19 PM
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reply to post by crimvelvet
 


Not sure what you're advocating in your posts. Campfires? Coal? Anarchy?

Gonna settle on coal. This OP is neither for nor against coal. It has really nothing to do with coal. The OP threader, me, is solidly behind solar/wind and possibly some other even more exotic systems.

The OP threader, me, has personal experience with solar/wind which directly refutes your statement:



Yeah, As long as the home owner doesn't mind not having electricity a lot of the time. There is a darn good reason WHY wind was abandoned over a century ago.


This homeowner was never without electricity while relying solely on solar/wind. This homeowner did not install wind a century ago.

If you're saying that an individual homeowner with a cottage garden energy system needs to abandon that in favor of a major supermarket brand as long as it somehow involves coal...??!! That's just not right.

I think you misunderstood the OP.



By the way explain to me HOW without a reliable energy source you are going to MANUFACTURE wind turbines or Solar panels??? You can forget solar panels completely and for wind mills you are back to hand made wood and canvas wind mills.


Not a boy scout but if you're advocating going back to the dawn of civilization with coal mining, I'm thinking there are some big problems with that. But, tell you what, I know a guy who worked growing the crystals for solar some 15 or so years ago. I'll ask him how feasible it is to grow these things in a campfire crucible.





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