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Topic: Weather, Climate, and Environment

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MichiFan87

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #756 on: March 18, 2019, 09:31:51 PM »
I've been through the wind farms at Palm Springs CA once and the one just north of West Lafayette multiple times, which are two of the largest in the country if not the world. I've been past smaller ones as well. Some of the turbines weren't spinning but most of them were. The capacity factor for wind is generally 30-40% (meaning, it produces an average of 30-40% of its potential capacity over the course of a year. Eg. a 1 MW turbine produces 0.4*8760 hours = 3504 MWh / year).

That said, unlike solar incentives, wind turbines are incentivized only based on production (NOT when they're developed), so the developers have much more incentive to ensure that they are maintained and kept online. However, wind turbine technicians are the most in-demand job in the country right now, and many of them are in rural areas like the Great Plains so there is probably a shortage of them, which may explain why some of you have noticed when they're not spinning.

However, it is also true that newer turbines have much higher capacity than older ones (ie. the towers are taller and the blades are longer), which is why I can see that constructing newer turbines could be more cost-effective than maintaining existing ones. Sometimes these old turbines get "repowered" with longer blades to increase their capacity, too, though.

As for environmental impact, the amount of birds killed by wind turbines is negligible compared to tall buildings, air pollution, house cats / other predators, and other factors. Countless studies have shown this despite what the conservative media says.
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Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #757 on: March 19, 2019, 07:31:56 AM »
I noticed quite a few rusting and missing major parts, obviously not functioning for years, clearly derelict.

Others looked OK but were out of commission for whatever reason, probably just needing repairs.

I wonder what MTBF is for the newest ones might be.

It was a good location for them, strong steady winds blowing all the time through the pass it seemed.

Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #758 on: March 19, 2019, 07:33:07 AM »
So, what is the likely US energy mix (presuming EIA is too conservative) for 2030 and 2050?

Presume two scenarios, one is "as is" and the other is "with government help".

Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #759 on: March 19, 2019, 07:36:26 AM »
https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2018/03/16/how-much-do-renewables-actually-depend-on-tax-breaks/

The tax credits for renewables allow utility developers and homeowners to take 30 percent of the cost of a solar, wind or fuel cell project off their taxes. A 10 percent credit applies to other technologies such as geothermal and combined heat and power systems. Currently, most of the credits are scheduled to decrease and disappear by 2022.

Many states now require that a certain percentage of their electricity has to come from renewable sources, usually by a certain date. These “renewable portfolio standards” vary: New York and California aim for 50 percent by 2030; Vermont targets 75 percent by 2032. Thirteen states have no standard.

“The growth [in wind and solar energy] is going to continue,” said Jason Bordoff, founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia and a member of the Earth Institute faculty. “It’s going to continue despite policy changes this administration has put into place, because the market forces are pretty powerful.” But, he added: “Twenty years from now…they will still be a relatively small portion of the energy mix.”


847badgerfan

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #760 on: March 19, 2019, 08:13:11 AM »
I've been through the wind farms at Palm Springs CA once and the one just north of West Lafayette multiple times, which are two of the largest in the country if not the world. I've been past smaller ones as well. Some of the turbines weren't spinning but most of them were. The capacity factor for wind is generally 30-40% (meaning, it produces an average of 30-40% of its potential capacity over the course of a year. Eg. a 1 MW turbine produces 0.4*8760 hours = 3504 MWh / year).

That said, unlike solar incentives, wind turbines are incentivized only based on production (NOT when they're developed), so the developers have much more incentive to ensure that they are maintained and kept online. However, wind turbine technicians are the most in-demand job in the country right now, and many of them are in rural areas like the Great Plains so there is probably a shortage of them, which may explain why some of you have noticed when they're not spinning.

However, it is also true that newer turbines have much higher capacity than older ones (ie. the towers are taller and the blades are longer), which is why I can see that constructing newer turbines could be more cost-effective than maintaining existing ones. Sometimes these old turbines get "repowered" with longer blades to increase their capacity, too, though.

As for environmental impact, the amount of birds killed by wind turbines is negligible compared to tall buildings, air pollution, house cats / other predators, and other factors. Countless studies have shown this despite what the conservative media says.
That's one of the sites I worked on. All I could think while working on that was "wow, this is massive" and "man, this is gonna be ugly".
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MarqHusker

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #761 on: March 19, 2019, 08:28:25 AM »
It's overwhelming when you drive up on it particular from the north on I-65, especially at night with the slow pulsating red lights as far as the eye can see in every direction.   

Ever get behind one as it is being delivered? Talk about a wide load.   They struggle to make the cloverleaf turns on an interchange.

847badgerfan

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #762 on: March 19, 2019, 08:41:34 AM »
Yeah, part of the issue with constructing these wind farms is what you have to do to the surrounding roads. As they generally exist, there is no way you're getting even one of those monsters delivered. Intersections had to be widened to accommodate the turning radii of the delivery vehicles, for example. Another is the load capacity. Soil conditions. Blah blah blah.




Stuff people don't consider. You know, the stuff I do.




  :67:
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Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #763 on: March 19, 2019, 08:46:31 AM »
Soil is over rated.  You just drive and it will probably be fine.  Maybe.

847badgerfan

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #764 on: March 19, 2019, 08:49:23 AM »
Yep.


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Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #765 on: March 19, 2019, 08:58:31 AM »
Is that a typical pothole in Illinois these days?  

I've noticed the bad pavement around here is mostly due to its being dug up to run new whatevers and then poorly patched.  The freeway to the airport is concrete surfaced and original from whenever it was built, probably about 1966.  I don't know the cost differential for concrete vs asphalt, but it seems to last forever in this climate.

A few sections had been redone here and there.

The Downtown Connector here is asphalt, and it is pretty amazing to see from the 17th Street bridge.  This is what it was in about 1980:



Notice the lack of any acceleration ramps, and not much traffic.



This is the NB side today on a typical afternoon.  It is to be avoided.

Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #766 on: March 19, 2019, 09:00:43 AM »
Speaking of weather, sometimes it rains here, a lot:



847badgerfan

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #767 on: March 19, 2019, 09:07:49 AM »
I gave a presentation on dams and levees last week, to a group of local business leaders. I'm thinking my talk is gonna stay with them for a while now, given that a dam failed yesterday, and levees are being breached on a daily basis.
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Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #768 on: March 19, 2019, 09:14:19 AM »
Are you still saying humans can't effectively fight massive rivers with enormous drainage areas?

All we need is a huge wall on each bank, maybe 100 feet high, composed of carbon fiber reinforced plastic with a 1 foot foundation.

847badgerfan

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #769 on: March 19, 2019, 09:18:27 AM »
Sand bags, man. Sand bags!!



And don't forget to duct tape your windows.
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