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Down Wind

Down Wind

We have written many times before about Obama’s obsession with wind power, despite the huge massacre of migratory bird populations, questionable technology, and doubtful economics.

Via Tim Blair (h/t Iowahawk) come this poinent video of a German windmill falling down, and a description of the techincally unrelated but still poignent plight of the Golden Eagle:

Meanwhile, in the US:

More than four decades ago the golden eagle was awarded the same protections under US law as the country’s national bird, the bald eagle. Even disturbing their nests is a criminal offence.

The raptor is not considered to be under threat but scientists are worried about a recent increase in the number of golden eagles killed by wind turbines. Eagles in flight tend to focus on the ground below as they look for prey, unaware of the fast-spinning blades in their paths until it’s too late.

The title of Tim’s post was “This is Beautiful.” Indeed.

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Comments

Oh, the wind turbine did not “fall” down.

It was PULLED down. Gravity is SUCH a wonderful friend.

“Falling down” ?? You mean being pulled down by the truck. Not sure I get it

    Ragspierre in reply to phaedruscj. | November 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    A HUGE number of turbines have been junked.

    Pulling them down is the economical way to go. Beats the hell out of using a crane to dismantle them.

Henry Hawkins | November 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm

No, the truck was trying to hold it up with a very long skinny pole. Remember, this is Europe.

Henry Hawkins | November 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Are others seeing the Shocking French Video! ad just above. Yikes! Homina.

The Germans are discovering that Wind Turbines are a major problem when the wind blows too hard. In midwinter they have wind coming off the ocean that causes their windmills to overproduce. The fluctuations of excess power wrecks havoc on their electrical grid. It degrades 20 year architecture to the point where it needs replacing after 8.

They have tried to dump the excess power on their neighbors to the East. Now, several are threatening to remove Germany from their grid.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Musson. | November 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I wonder why the Krauts haven’t tried feathering the blades so the units don’t run as fast or don’t run at all. I can tell you that the wind off the Baltic might be a lot colder, but it sure isn’t any stronger than the wind blowing down through the panhandle of Texas and eastern New Mexico in the winter and spring. Out on the high plains, I see windmills shut down all the time due to high wind dangers.

    I’m just waiting for the Endangered Species Act to face off against the wind-power industry and its greenie-weenie enablers.

      Ragspierre in reply to TrooperJohnSmith. | November 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      Coupla thangs…

      I am not an electrical or mechanical engineer…though I have held a rural electrician license and have designed, built, and used hydraulic, electrical, and mechanical devices, including a rather nifty roof-top crane, and understand (pretty much) selenium controlled rectifiers as used in diesel-electric drilling rigs.

      I cannot imagine a modern wind turbine that did not…

      1. feather its blades (even the old water pump wind mills had limiters on them)

      2. would allow “over production” (which implies over voltage, instead of over amperage [too much current]). A LOT of the exotic materials in these turbines is used for control and rectification of the power produced.

      For another thing, to not kill maintenance workers, turbines HAVE to have locking mechanisms for both the blades and the turbine head (so stuff isn’t slewing about in changing winds).

      That said, with critical airfoil design, feathering may not be totally effective. Dunno.

While I disagree with many Obama policies – my following comments are separate from that.

I am a huge proponent of solar and wind – but in the micro level.

I have 21 solar panels on my house – and have since become a huge advocate of solar. The only reason I would go against my usual free market thinking regarding solar is that the Chinese are using gov’t money to corner the market and destroy the U.S. solar industry.

As to wind – on the micro level, on people’s individual houses, I also think it’s great. At my location there is not enough wind to make it work – otherwise I’d get a turbine.

Now, that being said, the problem with turbines is that due to moving parts they require REGULAR MAINTAINENCE. If you are informed and count in that cost, and you decide to go that route, then you are an informed consumer and can make it work.

However, comma, the gov’t pays for these turbines (subsidies) and no one seems to realize the maintainence costs. It’s not unlike landlords who become slumlords and starve their building for rent, taking the money and not putting in the necessary cash for repairs and upkeep.

I support wind in the micro level – as homeowners have an individual incentive to keep the turbines working. On the macro level, as we see, it is simply (in SOME cases) not working.

    healthguyfsu in reply to LSBeene. | November 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    What you are talking about is night and day (and I think you said as much)

    I’m ALL for ingenuity to save money and energy. Actively embezzling US tax dollars to funnel into your cronies pockets is a different story (Solyndra…how convenient that we “got Bin Laden” right when that hit the fan).

    THere’s also the energy credits scam that is costing us a lot of money. The government buys up good old fuel and coal energy rights and plans to repay them later with energy from renewable sources when (IF) they become more efficient and sustainable for society’s energy demands. So what happens when the government goes to call in these credits and it costs more money due to a lack of these advances? Yep, more tax dollars down the drain.

    Archer in reply to LSBeene. | November 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I think you were saying this, but…

    On a micro-level, there’s nothing wrong with an individual household making the informed decision to invest in solar and/or wind power for their property only. That’s capitalism in action; as long as there’s a market for it, the solar and wind generator companies will find and fill the niche at a market-appropriate cost and quality.

    This Administration’s statement that by such-and-such year, x% (I want to say 20% or 25% was the goal) of U.S. power will be solar- or wind-sourced removes the micro-market in favor of an excessively-regulated macro-market. Communism in action, which historically never works for very long, or for very large groups (like countries).

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Archer. | November 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      Indeed, the whole Obama thing about killing coal till electricity rate skyrocket has little to do with ecological concerns (though they shamelessly take that credit). Their purpose is to pick a winner, subsidize green energy. Since the current state of green energy tech is no where near large scale competitiveness in the open market, that is, since they can’t get the cost of green low enough to compete, they’ll simply force up the cost of other forms of energy till green is competitive. Voila! Progressive central planning at its stupidest.

If that was a freshly fertilized field, would this be a case of the fan hitting the s….

Well, you get the joke.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | November 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Only in a progressive utopian fantasyland can the ruling class confiscate your money to subsidize a technology that’s been obsolete for about a century and call it “progress”. It’s almost as bad as forcing you to give up good insurance that you can afford and forcing you to buy crappy expensive health insurance and telling you that is progress.

I keep hoping this is all a bad dream and when I wake up I will return to a sane reality.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | November 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Why not? These same pie-in-the-sky Utopians believe in power crystals, Harmonic Convergence, astrology, unicorns that sh!t rainbows and living like a hobbit in a freaking hole in the ground. So, why not ancient technology? To the Lefty Utopians, the freakin’ wheel is controversial, except as a Tibetan Prayer wheel.

The problems with this and solar are the batteries. No one seems to understand that concept. Both these “green” energies require massive batteries. Batteries are far more toxic than fossil fuels. That is key problem, yet the one thing everyone ignores.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to david7134. | November 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Also, to get the same amount of electrical power from Obama’s ubiquitous “wind and solar”, we would need incredible numbers of both. Remember, that the redundancies to assure a supply everywhere, taking into account variable weather patterns, will make the current redundancies in fossil-fuel power seem minuscule by comparison.

    A few years ago, a Texas A&M doctoral candidate published a paper describing a “green power network” and the incredible problems it poses in both scope and sustainability. He reasons that to achieve fossil-fuel parity, including redundancies, we would require 18-26 million wind turbines spread around the country. I would also require solar arrays covering a cumulative area 25% larger than the state of Wyoming, mainly in the west. The maintenance of this green grid alone would require 30-36 times the number of people currently working in the power industry. Resources consumed would endanger the entire economy on a scale three times larger than the demand placed on manufacturing and manpower by WWII. Also, this was based on 2008 power requirements.

    His conclusion was that this is essentially a pipe-dream.

    “If you like your lifestyle, you can keep that too!” says Teh Won.

      Phillep Harding in reply to TrooperJohnSmith. | November 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      See if you can find old, old copies of “Popular Mechanics” or “Popular Science”. They had a couple of issues related to alternative energy back when it was first being pushed.

      Conclusion was that the “environmentalists” would shut them down, even if they worked, and they were not likely to work.

They have hundreds of these things in Tehachapi, California and everyone is always bitching about the wind.

I told them if they don’t like the wind turn those damn fans off.

In my area, we have had individual wind turbines lose their clutches/brakes and spin at high enough speeds to fracture their internal spindles,
In other words, they broke…
Not sure what happens if they spin , break and also break apart, sounds like it could be nasty….

This video answers that question…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqEccgR0q-o

Henry Hawkins | November 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm

What we need to do, see, is dump money into research to produce a time machine so we can go back a couple hundred years and ask the farmers how they built these damn things.

————-

Also, there’s an Obama, wind mills and Don Quixote joke in here somewhere……

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