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The impossibility of Windmills

October 6, 2022

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Phil O’Sophical

Food for thought!

 

 

30 Comments
  1. Philip Mulholland permalink
    October 6, 2022 6:59 pm

    The purpose of green energy is not to save the planet, its purpose is to destroy humanity.

  2. Nigel Sherratt permalink
    October 6, 2022 7:00 pm

    Excellent, for a few days I thought J R-M understood this and even wrote to him to thank him for restarting fracking. Then he started wittering on about Fusion. We are indeed doomed.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      October 6, 2022 7:46 pm

      Fusion is the answer …. if only we can crack it. I don’t think Jakey is quite as naive as he sometimes makes out! I’m pretty sure he does understand, actually!

      • Nigel Sherratt permalink
        October 6, 2022 8:04 pm

        Fusion remains 30 years in the future as it has for ever. SMR is the only nuclear technology that offers a chance.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        October 6, 2022 8:51 pm

        The new fusion power station at West Burton is due to start generating in the “2040s”. But the small print says depending on progress. So no real progress in the last 50 years.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        October 6, 2022 11:11 pm

        This sort of reactor (Anglo Canadian) is more the immediate future. Almost ready to go, stable (can’t melt down, no emergency power required) burns up the existing “waste” stockpile massively reducing its isolation time and can operate both as base and peaking load.
        https://www.moltexenergy.com/our-first-reactor/

      • HotScot permalink
        October 7, 2022 9:19 am

        @ Ray Sanders

        I guess they have to say it.

        “…cutting-edge technology with the potential to solve climate change”

        LOL

      • Malcolm permalink
        October 7, 2022 5:17 pm

        Until it is cracked it is not the answer. Like Carbon Capture.

        Let us stay with what has been proven – but keep intensively researching new options of course.

        Primarily that means getting back to nuclear fusion – – as fast as possible. Lots of little ones. I would like to see coal back too.

      • Janice Moore permalink
        October 7, 2022 5:57 pm

        Note: Malcom meant “fission” (see his comment below at 5:20pm today).

      • Dave Andrews permalink
        October 8, 2022 4:59 pm

        It is only an “aims to be built” by 2040 and is “not expected to be a commercially operating plant at this stage”

        Still the fusion pipe dream stumbles on !

  3. William George permalink
    October 6, 2022 7:19 pm

    And of course the eco zealots will be laughing when the power cuts kick in. And this government will still not pursue fracking.

  4. October 6, 2022 7:48 pm

    A seldom mentioned problem with wind power is that it can provide significant energy only in a small number of regions of the globe, such as the North Sea and Tasmania/South-Australia. What is the point of pursuing such an energy source? Yes, some small countries can meet their “targets”, and can claim “virtue”, but for what purpose?

    Wind power only makes sense for cold hard economic reasons (though that depends on the cost of alternatives), it can never lead to any significant change in the composition of the atmosphere.

    • Martin Brumby permalink
      October 6, 2022 9:37 pm

      Wind power makes sense when it is used to lift ground water into a tank or small reservoir, especially for irrigation or providing water for the steam locomotive.

      Think some scenes in classic Westerns.

      A good alternative when there is no mains electricity and when it doesn’t matter if the wind doesn’t blow for a few days.

      As a substitute for mains electricity it is a pathetic joke.

      Just look at El Hiero, the westernmost island in the Canaries. Pretty much the middle of the Atlantic. Quite windy.

      Billions spent on a showpiece Ruinable Energy set up. Massive turbines. A reservoir built at the top of a high cliff so that “excess” power from the turbines used for a pumped storage scheme.

      What could go wrong?

      They are still fetching diesel from Spain at great expense rather than sit in the dark.

  5. Janice Moore permalink
    October 6, 2022 7:57 pm

    “Unpayable and unfeasible” — and completely pointless.

    (except, of course, to stuff money into the pockets of the crooks pushing wind and solar and inadequate for the foreseeable future-technology batteries)

    Excellent video.

  6. Robin Guenier permalink
    October 6, 2022 8:51 pm

    Can anyone provide data that confirms Jan Smelik’s view about the space required between each wind turbine? His observations about the overall area required for a few thousand turbines are astonishing. But are they accurate?

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      October 6, 2022 9:30 pm

      I know from nothing about the physics of this, Robin, but I am told that the spacing between turbines can be critical and the further downwind you go the less efficient the units become. The general consensus seems to be that the distance between each pylon should be at least seven times the diameter of the blade but others say 10 times.

    • Janice Moore permalink
      October 6, 2022 9:56 pm

      Mr. Smelik assumes a 5 MW wind turbine.

      “… wind farms in the prevailing wind direction need a minimum distance of eight times the rotor diameter. The usual diameter of wind turbines is 50 m with an installed capacity of 1 MW and 126 m with a 5-MW wind turbine.”

      (Source: https://www.energ )y-fundamentals.org/15.htm )

      8 x 126m – 1008 m, ~ 1 km.

      Thus, Smelik gets the right answer, but, he states the problem in terms of a 200m foot turbine HEIGHT x 5 = ~ 1km. I don’t know if Smelik is correct about that or mistaken and just coincidentally got the right answer. I bailed out on doing any more research. 😏

    • Carnot permalink
      October 7, 2022 2:29 pm

      Page 385 of a book titled Wind Energy Explained ISBN 0-471-49972-2 discusses this topic and provides a graph of power losses vs distance from each turbine in terms of crosswind /rotor diameter. Losses are typically less than 10% with 5 rotors diameters crosswind and less than 10% for downwind with a spacing of 10 rotor diameters. This is an extensive book on the subject and extends to over 570 pages of highly technical content. A pity our politicians have not read it, but then again they are far too thick to understand it. Generally a good simple meaure is the power density per square metre. The UK offshore is about 5 watts per square metre design, with an energy capture of about 2-2.5 watts per square metre. The wake turbulance is significant and causes high stresses on the downwind turbines, palacing particular load on the blades, pitch control mechanism and bearings. Building bigger does not enecessarily improve the energy capture.
      I am no fan of these things and I think that the video just about hits the nail on the head.

    • Cobden permalink
      October 7, 2022 3:09 pm

      Some recent research suggests that significant wake losses may extend over longer distances than previously thought…

      ‘Long-Range Wake Losses Offshore Much Greater Than Expected, New Study Shows’ [August 2022]:
      https://www.offshorewind.biz/2022/08/18/long-range-wake-losses-offshore-much-greater-than-expected-new-study-shows/

      Velocity deficits, as high as 1 m/s or 10 per cent, persist up to or greater than 100 kilometres downwind of large offshore arrays, leading to long-range energy deficits much greater than expected by most subject matter experts in the industry, ArcVera said.

    • John Brown permalink
      October 7, 2022 5:58 pm

      This Dutch report gives the optimum density for 15MW wind turbines as 5 MW per square kilometre :

      Click to access Optimal-wind-farm-power-density-analysis-for-future-offshore-wind-farms.pdf

      Using this power density I calculated that the UK would require half the North Sea if all our current energy requirement was supplied by wind turbines and hydrogen was used for storage.

  7. October 7, 2022 7:47 am

    Robin,

    further to Mike’s reply to you, like many engineering systems, variation in parameters alters performance and it is often a compromise between ultimate and practical which gives the optimum cost benefit result.
    Another factor I would assume is the wind speed, lower wind speeds would not require the longer distance so prevailing weather conditions come into consideration.

    • dave permalink
      October 7, 2022 10:17 am

      There is an odd psychological effect with situations that are completely absurd. People assume that ‘the experts’ simply cannot be that wrong, and therefore it is they (the people) who are are ‘missing something.’ The result is acceptance of the absurdity.

    • Carnot permalink
      October 7, 2022 3:41 pm

      Ever heards of the formula 1/2 mv2. The power in the wind is a function of the air density( mass) and the velocity squared. Lower speed much lower output. What is critical is the cut in and cut out speed, which is optimised to the local conditions. Offshore turbines are different to onshore.

      • dave permalink
        October 7, 2022 4:59 pm

        The obvious answer is to mount wind turbines on ships with powerful engines, and have them rush into still air so that relative motion occurs, and – when that v^2 really kicks in – use
        some of the power generated to make the ships go faster and…

        Incidentally, I hear that there is a new saying on Wall Street for silly corporate strategies:

        “Go Woke! Go Broke!”

  8. GaryC permalink
    October 7, 2022 11:23 am

    Another potential problem that rarely gets mentioned is that you can’t take Gigawatts of energy out of the atmosphere via wind turbines without it having some effect on wind patterns, rainfall, temperatures and the local climate generally.

  9. Malcolm permalink
    October 7, 2022 5:20 pm

    Shame shame – I wrote fusion when of course I meant FISSION.

    Don’t grow old, the brain crumbles.

    Sorry.

    • Janice Moore permalink
      October 7, 2022 6:09 pm

      Not that this will do much to console you, Malcom, but, I have been making mistakes like that since, well, since all my life. It is a sign, not of aging, but, of a distracted (likely by the many interesting things your brain is working on!) mind. Or fatigue. AGE IS JUST A NUMBER! 🙂

      And, if you find yourself forgetting where you parked, same. I remember one time in particular (I was about 24 years old) when I came out of a large shopping mall and……. 😳 could NOT remember which lot I parked my car in. Was it in front of Nordstrom? J.C. Penney’s? (those were the days…. *sigh* living at my parents’, spending lots of my earnings on clothes…..) And I thought:

      “I am going to remember this day. When I am in my 80’s, I will KNOW that I have always done this — it is NOT my ‘getting old.'” And I did. 🙂

      C. S. Lewis observed this phenomenon of age-attribution in a letter to an aquaintance. (quoting from memory) “When a young man leaves his hat behind, we say that he is distracted. When an old man does the same thing, we say, ‘Ah, he’s losing his memory.'”

      Take care.

      Your comments prove only one thing: that you are a well-informed, intelligent (and conscientious) man. Press on! 😊

  10. John Brown permalink
    October 7, 2022 6:07 pm

    I’m afraid the big mistake made by this film is the expectation that TPTB intend us to have as much ‘always available’ power as we do now as evidenced by the film showing that it is impossible with renewables. And TPTB are ignoing nuclear. In fact they are closing down nuclear. Their plan is to make us poorer by transitioning us to expensive and intermittent energy – hence no need for the hydrogen storage or any other form of energy storage.

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