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Wind Energy News
Wind turbines do not erode human health, Canadian doctor announces
Written by Chrs Rose, blog.ewea.org
Friday, 09 December 2011 22:19
Wind energy do not erode human health, Canadian doctor announces. Proponents of wind power in Canada got a huge boost of confidence recently when Dr. W. David Colby, the acting medical officer of the Ontario municipality of Chatham-Kent, announced there is no scientific evidence of a link between wind farm sound exposure and health problems.
Colby, who is also an associate professor at the University of Western Ontario’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, said that the topic of wind farm noise has become complicated because of a huge misinformation campaign.
“Wind turbines do not produce unique sounds in terms of intensity or characteristics,” Colby said in an article published last week in IPPSO FACTO, a magazine of the Association of Power Producers of Ontario. “The sound intensity is virtually the same as what is found in normal urban environments.”
He said in the article that while wind farm opponents make claims about sickness caused by wind turbines, 10 reviews, including investigations by Ontario’s chief medical health officer, the Australian government, the Sierra Club and McMaster University, have confirmed there is no direct adverse health effects from wind turbines when sited to comply with Ontario’s noise regulations.
A new power supply has been developed to charge the latest super-capacitors used to power wind turbine pitch control systems. Super-capacitors (electrical double-layer capacitors) are rapidly replacing lead acid batteries previously used for pitch drives. Pitch control systems are housed within the spinner of the turbine and rotate at around 30 RPM, so using lead acid batteries can risk acid spillage and poor reliability, says PULS UK, the company responsible for the new power supply.
PULS says its PAS395 delivers a high-charging current – a two-Farad capacitor will be fully charged in five minutes. Once charging is complete the charger has been designed to automatically switch to energy saving mode. The company says the unit can operate in temperatures between -40°C and +65°C and at up to 6000 metres, and comes with remote monitoring and control as standard features.
A new report from Pike Research confirms what the United States, Europe and even Google are banking on: offshore wind is going to be huge. The cleantech market intelligence firm predicts that revenue from offshore wind power production will reach $104 billion by 2017, representing a 53 percent annual growth rate over the next six years. If growth is even more aggressive, offshore wind power revenues could reach $130.5 billion.
Wind power developers have long known that some of the world’s best wind resources are offshore, and many of the best locations for land-based wind farms have already been developed. However, the challenges of building offshore wind power plants are very different from those of land-based projects. Pike Research’s report, “Offshore Wind Power,” provides an analysis of global opportunities in the offshore wind power market, as well as key challenges facing the industry through 2017.
According to the report, roughly 70 percent of the cost of developing an offshore wind project is embodied not in the wind turbine, but other infrastructure, installation and maintenance costs. According to Pike, the the cost of offshore wind generation can be two or three times higher than that for onshore wind.
The report profiles key industry players, including the United States, U.K. and Germany, and the emerging market in China. The largest markets for offshore wind will remain in Europe, which as a region will account for 75 percent of global installed capacity in 2017. Key technological innovations influencing the future direction of the market include a move toward larger wind turbines, new innovations for less expensive operations and maintenance, and a focus on high-voltage direct current transmission lines. An executive summary of the report is available here.
Source: Earth Techling
Smart Grid Denmark - the intelligent power grid of the future
Written by Vestas
Thursday, 03 November 2011 15:09
Wind blows cold on turbine plan
Written by Tom Hacker
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 22:40
Wind might someday be a viable alternative energy resource in Loveland, but not with current technology and not with the skepticism city councilors heaped on the concept Tuesday night. An hour-long discussion of code amendments that would permit homeowners to install wind energy systems in backyards or on rooftops led councilors to do ... nothing. "This is a feel-good measure," councilor Daryle Klassen said after city planner Brian Burson described the proposal. "The ROI (return on investment) is worse than pathetic. ... You'd be lucky if you could charge your watch."
Loveland, according to maps produced by U.S. Department of Energy wind power researchers, is one of the worst places to install wind power generating systems, rated in the lowest of five categories for wind power potential. And restrictions that the proposed code changes impose would make wind systems in the city even less efficient. The code change allowing wind systems now remains on the shelf after nearly 18 months of work by city planners, the Loveland Planning Commission and a special code commission. Some council members said deferring action on the proposal would at least allow for more information about evolving wind power technology. Burson described "a huge wave of improvement yet to come along in the technology" that could make wind power more efficient.
"I think we're ahead of the technology with this," Mayor Cecil Gutierrez said. "But I don't know that we want to throw all this effort away."
Also at issue in the wind power discussion were the unknown effects of a state statute that prohibits local governments from banning certain alternative energy projects. City Attorney John Duval said he would report later on the state law, with an opinion on whether a Loveland code change would be in conflict. Burson acknowledged that current technology, and height restrictions that the city proposes, would make wind power generating systems more a matter for "hobbyists" than those interested in a viable energy alternative.
"It seems highly impractical," councilor Kent Solt said. "It concerns me that it would be a 'hobbyist' sort of thing."