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World's Largest Wind Turbine

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the it's-a-chopper-baby dept.

Technology 445

PeteJones writes "'Construction work on the REpower 5M was successfully completed last night with the installation of the rotor. Thus the main work on the prototype of the 5-megawatt, world's largest wind turbine has finally been completed.' The pictures are quite impressive. With 3 18-ton rotor blades pumping out 5 MW I wonder if my neighbours would mind one in my backyard?"

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Wind Requirement (3, Interesting)

pmazer (813537) | about 10 years ago | (#10413755)

How much wind does that thing require to spin?

Re:Wind Requirement (1)

r2q2 (50527) | about 10 years ago | (#10413785)

Your question should be more specific. Any wind will spin it. I believe the question you should ask is how much wind does it require to get upto maximum spin. I wonder what would happen to a wind turbine in a hurricane?

Re:Wind Requirement (4, Insightful)

general_re (8883) | about 10 years ago | (#10413860)

Any wind will spin it.

Any wind? Not unless it's frictionless and massless, my friend - overcoming inertia is not a free lunch.

Re:Wind Requirement (1)

TykeClone (668449) | about 10 years ago | (#10413874)

But as big as it is, it has a larger surface area for a smaller wind to move against.

Re:Wind Requirement (2, Informative)

pmazer (813537) | about 10 years ago | (#10413882)

But as big as it is, it has even more mass for that wind to move

Re:Wind Requirement (1)

TykeClone (668449) | about 10 years ago | (#10413917)

Then make it even bigger for more of a surface area :)

Re:Wind Requirement (2, Informative)

Anonymous Luddite (808273) | about 10 years ago | (#10413863)


More significant than maximum spin is what the minimum is before it makes power.
Speed range quoted from their web site is: 6.9 - 12.1 1/min (+15%)
How much wind does it need to hit the minimum RPM I wonder?

also:Couldn't help but notice this line from the companies front page: "Proofen Technology in New Dimensions"

Should a company that can't use spell check be building something this big?

Re:Wind Requirement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413922)

No doubt you can advise them on their translation when you've mastered the German language?

Re:Wind Requirement (1)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | about 10 years ago | (#10414075)

At low wind, it may require a power-up boost before the turbines reach the single fixed speed at which power can be synchronized with local power grid.

So in low wind, connecting to the grid may be a negative power experience.

(Perhaps they have a geared transmission?)

I'd like to hear someone explain why a turbine which allows 98% of the air to escape between the blades is a good idea?

Perhaps it could emply a sail affair which could let out more sail for less wind and v/v ?

AIK
AIK

Re:Wind Requirement (2, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | about 10 years ago | (#10414020)

I wonder what would happen to a wind turbine in a hurricane?

It has been eons since I was into wind turbines, but there are 2 approachs. One is too simply feather the blades. That is lower the angle to the wind. The blades still turn, but present a much lower surface area to the wind.

The other is to feather the turbine itself. It has the problem that it decreases the speed, but it is easier since the blade attachment does not require special consideration.

Re:Wind Requirement (3, Interesting)

trip11 (160832) | about 10 years ago | (#10413803)

I belive I read that it will run with winds of between 3.5m/s and 25m/s. With a nominal wind of 13m/s. Convert to mph or your favorite units at will.

Re:Wind Requirement (5, Funny)

pmazer (813537) | about 10 years ago | (#10413834)

Convert to mph or your favorite units at will.

"I believe I read that it will run with winds of between 7.82927702 mph and 55.9234073 mph. With a nominal wind of 29.0801718 mph."

Re:Wind Requirement (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 10 years ago | (#10413915)

"I believe I read that it will run with winds of between 7.82927702 mph and 55.9234073 mph. With a nominal wind of 29.0801718 mph."
How can you calculate it so precisely? Or did you just convert it from metric????

Re:Wind Requirement (4, Funny)

Naffer (720686) | about 10 years ago | (#10414053)

I for one, hail our new significant-digit cognizant overlords.

Re:Wind Requirement (1)

name773 (696972) | about 10 years ago | (#10413995)

correct sig figs: winds between 7.8 and 56 mph, nominal wind of 29mph

Re:Wind Requirement (4, Interesting)

kentmartin (244833) | about 10 years ago | (#10413835)

Wind required to spin is probably very little, ie, it would have to be very nicely balanced, and, once you got it moving (remember there is a total of 54 tonnes of blades here!!!) the rotational momentum must be incredible.

What would be interesting to know is, how much wind is needed to produce 5MW!? Someone feel like doing the physics to work out how much wind would be required to hit a disk 1/2rd of this size (roughly - aviation theory, it is why you feather dead props, windmilling a dead prop produces the drag of a disk about 1/2 it's size) of that size would be required (at 1013Hpa sea level of course) to produce 5MW at 100% efficiency.

Also, if you want to see prettier pictures, I advise you to wait a couple of days, then come back and take another look - they have already changed them to smaller different ones in the "brace yourself Shiela, it is pissing slashdotters" frame of mind.

Re:Wind Requirement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413933)

According to the press kit attached to the article, the 5M is designed to work between 3 and 30 meters/second, with a "rated" speed of 13 m/s. This translates to a range of about 8 mph to 67.5 mph, with a rated speed of about 29 mph.

So, assuming the "rated" power is what's generated at the "rated" wind speed, you need 29 mph winds to produce 5MW. Which seems kind of high for my neck of the woods. However, the 5M is reported designed primarily for offshore applications, so this doesn't seem outside the range of possibility in certain locations.

Torque conversion (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 10 years ago | (#10414017)

Ya, it's all about torque. They all have transmissions inside to convert it optimal RPM to power load.

Re:Wind Requirement (2, Interesting)

guamman (527778) | about 10 years ago | (#10414112)

The webpage says it has to spin between 6.9 and 12.1 times a minute to generate 5 megawatts +/- 15%. I know this doesn't answer the required wind speed question, but it seems relavent.

HAHA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413757)

wow it must really have to blow to gget tthat to work HAHA

Re:HAHA (0, Redundant)

Bin_jammin (684517) | about 10 years ago | (#10413776)

well, I for one am totally blown away!

New from Ronco. (2, Funny)

Moby Cock (771358) | about 10 years ago | (#10413758)

It slices! It dices! It makes julienne fries!

Re:New from Ronco. (5, Funny)

MouseR (3264) | about 10 years ago | (#10413793)

Yeah... I bet the bird collector down at the bottom is quite large.

Birds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413817)

Birds shouldn't be hitting this since they can see it from miles away. Plus the fact that it's moving should scare them away. It's not like glass where they often can't see it and try to fly through it.

Re:Birds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10414069)

Yes, except that wind turbines can and do kill thousands of birds a year anyway. Some "environmentalism".

Re:New from Ronco. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413945)

Just as well turkeys don't fly. Appart from the frozen ones GM use;-)

Re:New from Ronco. (1)

TheGavster (774657) | about 10 years ago | (#10414085)

I'm not thinking that it actually gets up to food-processor speeds. Birds fly quick enough that unless they actually flew into a blade head on, they stand little chance of being hit (though a hit would probably be a kill, given the mass behind the blades ...)

Pictures linked from the front page? (0)

irokitt (663593) | about 10 years ago | (#10413759)

Slashdotting in 3...2...2...

Re:Pictures linked from the front page? (1)

davidle (663312) | about 10 years ago | (#10413928)

Thanks for the obligatory Monty Python quote.

Now if they attach a heater (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413767)

...they could create a politician and run for public office. The amount of hot air produced would give it an insurmountable advantage.

Wind power efficiency (2, Insightful)

TheReckoning (638253) | about 10 years ago | (#10413770)

Does this sort of über-large wind power machine generate more energy than it takes to create, install, and maintain it? I remember reading that the smaller machines required more energy over their lifetimes than they were able to generate.

If that's becoming less true, I think this is a great thing. I worry a little about the environmental effects of "taking energy out of the wind", but I haven't read about anyone important who shares my worry, so it's probably unfounded.

Taking power from the wind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413801)

Trees, houses, mountains, and skyscrapers also take energy from the wind, they just don't harness it and use it. Instead, it's bled off as friction and turbulence, which inevitably is dissipated as heat.

Re:Wind power efficiency (2, Insightful)

Lust (14189) | about 10 years ago | (#10413807)

negligible energy withdrawn compared to total power of atmosphere. may as well worry about effect of high-rises on wind patterns. Far more important things to focus on...

Re:Wind power efficiency (4, Insightful)

jeti (105266) | about 10 years ago | (#10413820)

If that's becoming less true, I think this is a great thing. I worry a little about the environmental effects of "taking energy out of the wind", but I haven't read about anyone important who shares my worry, so it's probably unfounded.

The whole of Europe was once covered with forests. Now most of it is covered by farmland and urban areas, which offer less resistence to wind. If anything, those windmills will bring back more "natural" conditions.

Re:Wind power efficiency (3, Funny)

Whyte (65556) | about 10 years ago | (#10414068)

If anything, those windmills will bring back more "natural" conditions.

Minus the part with whirling steel blades that regularly vivisect birds and flying mammals you mean?

Re:Wind power efficiency (5, Interesting)

drwho (4190) | about 10 years ago | (#10413839)

Does this sort of über-large wind power machine generate more energy than it takes to create, install, and maintain it? I remember reading that the smaller machines required more energy over their lifetimes than they were able to generate.

Sounds like typical anti-wind propaganda. Its funny, every time this argument is brought forth for wind or solar, someone says 'I just read it somewhere' - I have never seen hard figures to support such a critique of the economics of alternative energy. I am sure it could be done for a specific installation that was poorly design, or used outdated techniques (like those horrible inefficient copper photovoltaic cells).

If that's becoming less true, I think this is a great thing. I worry a little about the environmental effects of "taking energy out of the wind", but I haven't read about anyone important who shares my worry, so it's probably unfounded.

If only we could slow down some of those winds, I am sure a lot of people who just suffered from hurricanes would be rushing to install wind turbines! But no, the amount of wind taken by even the largest turbines is so infinitesmal as to not matter. It would be like fretting about contributing to global warming each time you farted, to worry about these machines causing environmental damage by calming a windy area.

Re:Wind power efficiency (2, Informative)

HermanAB (661181) | about 10 years ago | (#10413968)

Well, how about the IEEE Canadian Review magazine?

The latest copy (number 48, page 24) states that it takes 2 to 4 years to recoup the electricity required to produce photovoltaic cells. Fortunately, they do on average last about 20 years, so you do get an 'energy gain'.

You can safely assume that the same is true for wind power which is also a 'low energy density' device that will take a long time to pay itself off.

Re:Wind power efficiency (1)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | about 10 years ago | (#10414117)

Those damn lazy Dutch, spent all that energy building those windmills when for half the effort they could have strapped their asses to the grinding wheel and sweated out a few tonnes of grain.

Re:Wind power efficiency (1)

vespazzari (141683) | about 10 years ago | (#10413885)

I was actually wondering about the possible enviromental effects while checking out the pictures myself. My guess is that any effect would be negligable at best. Not to mention that the alternative method of producing this much power would be much more harmful. I guess if you think about it though, I cannot imagine that this alone, or even a field of these turbines would even come close to the effect that even a small city would have on wind. I don't have any real knowledge of this sort of thing so I am not really one to talk.
After a quick seach on google I came up with this [awea.org] basically, from what that says the effects seem to be minimal.

Well, (3, Informative)

autopr0n (534291) | about 10 years ago | (#10413936)

I know that for smaller windmills, say the 1-5kw models you can buy online would pay for themselves in saved electrical bill cost in about 5 years.

And thats the cost to buy the thing. Meaning materials, employees, as well as power in production. I don't see how you can say the power required to make it would be more then the power generated. I mean, unless the manufacturer were getting power for free, which is pretty unlikely.

Windmills are simpler then most other kinds of power plants too.

Now, i've heard that solar cells have this problem, though.

Re:Well, (1)

Stalke (20083) | about 10 years ago | (#10414122)

Do you have any weblinks to these. I would be curious as too what their actual cost is specifically.

Re:Wind power efficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413954)

Does this sort of über-large wind power machine generate more energy than it takes to create, install, and maintain it? I remember reading that the smaller machines required more energy over their lifetimes than they were able to generate.

vestas claims here [vestas.com] that their mills has an energy balance og 7.7 to 9 months, and an expected lifetime of 20 years. so i don't know where you read that.

Re:Wind power efficiency (1)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | about 10 years ago | (#10414018)

The other solution is Kites - they require less power, and can be raised into the jetstream.

The Kite is made to oscillate and the power pulses converted to rotational energy on the ground. (My Design)

there are other more complicated Kite systems, but in terms of power out V. cost and enegy in - a kite is a self erecting tower, minimal risk to birds, an elegant almost artistic symbol for a city, and can scale nicely with multiple kits on a shared cable.

However, Oddly, the energy delta may not matter.

Hydro plants create tons of power in the spring, when people don't need airconditioning, and as a consequence, there is plenty of power available for lifecycle consumption. The real question is whether or not wind power is available when you need heat or AC.

Re:Wind power efficiency (1)

Naffer (720686) | about 10 years ago | (#10414070)

Taking energy out of the wind? Someone's been reading too much of the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson

Re:Wind power efficiency (4, Funny)

gnalle (125916) | about 10 years ago | (#10414078)

The large windmills are effective because there is more wind at higher altitudes [windpower.org] . The windspeed v(z) as function of height z is given by

v(z) = v0 ln(z/z0 )/ln(z1 /z0 )

Here v0, z0 and z1 are constants. Here is a nice site [windpower.org] about windmill engineering.

Wow. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413775)

Wow that's big!

Huh! (-1, Redundant)

Skiron (735617) | about 10 years ago | (#10413781)

Well I'm blowed...

Re:Huh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413961)

I hope your mother brushes her teeth afterwards ;-)

IN the middle of an election year (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413787)

It should get plenty of hot air to spin it,

I hope it doesn't break (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413795)

That'd reall blow.

Neighbors (1)

bsartist (550317) | about 10 years ago | (#10413797)

They'd mind it a lot less when you told them it means free electricity for the whole block.

Re:Neighbors (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 10 years ago | (#10413993)

And even less when they actually get paid from profits created by running the things.

e.g.
http://www.baywind.co.uk/pages/Westmill2.h tm

Re:Neighbors (1)

TheGavster (774657) | about 10 years ago | (#10414114)

Free, once you pay of the mortgage used to build the thing, and find some alternative method of acquiring spare parts for when it breaks ...

Cluster! (0, Redundant)

MarcoPon (689115) | about 10 years ago | (#10413800)

Now, imagine a Beowulf cluster of turbines...

Bye!

I hope the noise isn't too bad (5, Interesting)

wfmcwalter (124904) | about 10 years ago | (#10413809)

A while ago (with a previous generation of wind turbine technology, for sure) someone built a particularly large wind turbine on one of the windier islands of Scotland's west coast, hoping to replace (or lessen) expensive shipments of fuel oil. Power production was fine, but the locals were driven to distraction by the noise the thing produced, particularly when the windspeed was high. I believe it produced a very loud "whump" every second or so, loud enough that no-one could sleep. I believe the conclusion to which the developers came was that very large turbines were prone to this problem.

Still, that was a while ago (maybe a decade) so I'd imagine the developers of this new megaturbine will have engineered out the "whump" issue.

Re:I hope the noise isn't too bad (4, Informative)

drwho (4190) | about 10 years ago | (#10413894)

The noise you mention is a problem. It is caused by the blade passing close to the tower supporting the turbine. There are a few solutions to this, each with its complications. One that I have thought of is to make the tower streamlined, with the sharp ends at a right angle to the rotation of the rotors. What others have done is to move the blades further 'out' from the support structure. A third alternative is to use one of the so-called 'egg-beater' designs, which have no need for a support structure.

In the end, my idea is probably the easiest. But it won't be 100% effective. It is best to locate large-scale turbines away from areas where sound will be a problem.

Re:I hope the noise isn't too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413964)

We can erect shields around the turbine, to cut off the sound. No, wait...

Re:I hope the noise isn't too bad (1)

clarkie.mg (216696) | about 10 years ago | (#10413927)

I wonder if it's possible to design silent ones like silent fans for computers cooling exist (not 100% silent, of course).

Maybe the tradoff would be less energy but it could be interesting for home electricity.

I found this with google : http://www.renewabledevices.com/swift.htm/ [renewabledevices.com]

Re:I hope the noise isn't too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413997)

From Belgium, homeland of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Georges Pire

... and Marc Dutroux.

Re:I hope the noise isn't too bad (1)

HermanAB (661181) | about 10 years ago | (#10413986)

At Pincher Creek in southern Alberta the noise has been described as 'having a helicopter in your back yard'.

Images mirrorred in anticipation.. (4, Informative)

BigglesZX (734765) | about 10 years ago | (#10413810)

A really good blowjob (0)

FrenchyinCT (733872) | about 10 years ago | (#10413813)

Holy crap, those things are huge. Much bigger than the first ones I saw when I was visiting my cousin in California. But they look awfully alien - are we entirely certain they're not actually being used to contact hostile intergalactic forces?!?!?

Uhm.. NO! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413815)

With 3 18-ton rotor blades pumping out 5 MW I wonder if my neighbours would mind one in my backyard?

This is Joe from down the street.
Please.. just please, stay in your mother's basement, you creep.

Uhm.. YES! (1)

Tactical Skyrider (249625) | about 10 years ago | (#10414100)

What the hell are you talkin about?

If someone wanted to build that monstrocity in my neighborhood i'd be all about it... assuming we all get free juice out of the deal. (and assuming they figured out that thump thump thump thing mentioned above.)

CPU cooler (0, Offtopic)

rts008 (812749) | about 10 years ago | (#10413829)

Now, how do I get one of them in my box to cool cpu for MASSIVE overclock?.....mmmmm

Cost? (1)

trip11 (160832) | about 10 years ago | (#10413830)

Does any one know how much they spend researching, designing, and building this? Alternativly does anyone know the price tag if I wanted to have another one built? At 5MW it should provide power to between 4 and 5 thousand people and I'm just curious how it compares to other power plants in cost, wind or otherwise. Sure is impressive though.

Re:Cost? (1)

danharan (714822) | about 10 years ago | (#10414049)

Does any one know how much they spend researching, designing, and building this?
I've seen amounts of about $1 million/MW. Adjust the currencies, and these two [saveenergy.co.uk] sites [canren.gc.ca] give roughly similar estimates.

Design costs go down with economies of scale, just as research and financing. For more background info, I suggest the Earth Institute's briefing [earth-policy.org] . Their data sheet [earth-policy.org] is quite interesting- it really illustrates how fast costs have been going down.

There should be no doubt that this will be an important source of energy in the future.

Smaller! (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | about 10 years ago | (#10413843)

If they can make it a bit smaller, it would make a wondeful vacuum cleaner! I mean, a REAL vacuum cleaner.

Re:Smaller! (1)

Skiron (735617) | about 10 years ago | (#10414094)

As we all know, real vacuum cleaners really, really suck.

World's Largest Wind Turbine (5, Interesting)

demon_2k (586844) | about 10 years ago | (#10413847)

How big would a Wind Turbine have to be to power a house? Some people already have solar panels on their roofs, why not a small Wind Turbine?

Re:World's Largest Wind Turbine (3, Informative)

whizkid042 (515649) | about 10 years ago | (#10413906)

The average house that has solar pannels on the roof produces something on the order of 10^4 watts. The problem for an off-grid is not generating the power, but storing it. Typically to have an off-grid system one would need a medium-sized shed full of batteries and intervters. However, if you are hooked into the grid you can sell your excess power back to the power company when you have a surplus and consume from the grid when you do not.

Re:World's Largest Wind Turbine (1)

demon_2k (586844) | about 10 years ago | (#10413934)

If you have both, solar panels and a wind turbine. That would cover the caps a bit more thus you shouldn't need as many batteries, should you?

At the very least, the power company would output less thus producing less pollution.

Re:World's Largest Wind Turbine (2, Interesting)

danharan (714822) | about 10 years ago | (#10413951)

It wouldn't have to be very big. I saw some 20 years ago, but they tended to spin very fast, so it makes lots of noise and is more harmful for birds. The economies of scale also work against you.

If you want to be off grid or just more eco-friendly, your best return on investment is in efficiency. CFL/LED lighting, passive solar heating, solar hot water heating... anything that avoids investing too much in PV modules and batteries is probably a good bet.

There are more challenges for creative geeks in reducing our energy needs than just throwing money at the problem to buy more generation and storage. Best of luck! :)

Way to make safe for birds? (1)

Zathras26 (763537) | about 10 years ago | (#10414034)

I don't know much about this field, but is there any way to make windmills safer for birds? Perhaps have some kind of a large wire "cage" around the entire turbine, much like most household fans do to keep things away from the blades?

Re:Way to make safe for birds? (2, Informative)

imsabbel (611519) | about 10 years ago | (#10414062)

Hm. But it doesnt matter... For every bird that is killed by a windmill, 100.000 are killed you flying against houses, power-lines, radio-towers, ect.
The speed of the blades isnt what kills the birds, its their own speed they have while smashing into a steel tower.
If you want to save birds, ban cats....

Re:World's Largest Wind Turbine (3, Interesting)

Frambooz (555784) | about 10 years ago | (#10414103)

Some people already have solar panels on their roofs, why not a small Wind Turbine?

In Holland, some farmers up north have big turbines which power their house. Excess power is sold to the powercompanies, and distributed to the main grid.

If your backyard isn't big enough, just build a small one yourself [re-energy.ca] !

Coralized (2, Informative)

va3atc (715659) | about 10 years ago | (#10413868)

The Coral links of "The pictures [nyud.net] are quite [nyud.net] impressive [nyud.net] "

And somewhere..... (3, Funny)

ShatteredDream (636520) | about 10 years ago | (#10413877)

Some nerd is thinking, "where can I get THAT kind of power for my beanie....."

Great idea, wish the U.S. had more of it (5, Informative)

yog (19073) | about 10 years ago | (#10413881)

This is a great idea. Why aren't we fully exploiting the power of the wind?

This [saveoursound.org] is an example of the obstacles that American power generating windmills are facing. If ever there was a NIMBY group it's these people. Someone wants to build an offshore set of windmills to power [boston.com] about 3/4 of Cape Cod and surrounding areas in Massachusetts. Since Massachusetts is heavily dependent on important electricity and oil, this seems like a great solution.

Undoubtedly there are some ecological implications, but the NIMBY group clearly is magnifying these issues in order to shoot down the whole idea; they're fishing for excuses. They don't want to have to look at windmills. This is where some federal leadership may be required in order to get the U.S. off its foreign energy dependency.

Re:Great idea, wish the U.S. had more of it (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | about 10 years ago | (#10413950)

robert kennedy Junior mentioned this attack on him and his neighbors. the problem is that those waters are used for a lot of recreation for area residence. a wind farm would stop boating activity in the area. he said that this developer is just looking to save money by building it closer to shore rather than 5 miles out like his competitors already have.

Re:Great idea, wish the U.S. had more of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10414032)

interesting. i'm curious how much ELECTRICITY we get from FOREIGN sources.

oh wait. WE DONT.

source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epate s.html

try again.

Re:Great idea, wish the U.S. had more of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10414077)

Uhm, so all the energy exports from Quebec to the US was just a figment of my imagination? Oh, wait... yup, they're in that page you linked. Moron. Please don't try again.

Re:Great idea, wish the U.S. had more of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10414047)

yeah robert f kennedy, jr. describes putting wind turbines in the nantucket somewhat like putting oil wells in yellowstone.

sure we can produce energy that way, but why don't we explore other options [energy.gov] first?

Re:Great idea, wish the U.S. had more of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10414132)

This is a great idea. Why aren't we fully exploiting the power of the wind?

Well, for the US it might be a win, since you are so dependant on (domestic) coal for electricity production.

For us (Sweden) I'm not so sure since we're about fifty-fifty hydro and nuclear.

My main gripes with wind power is that it requires wind towers 'everywhere' to make even a dent in the output of a nuclear reactor (or hydro plant for that matter). These turbines are huge and yet at 5 MW rated it would take 240 of them to replace a single 1200 MW reactor.

And that's asuming there's a wind to begin with. My friends in renewable energy research says that 10%-15% wind power is about what the current grid can handle, above that you'd have to start regulating the consumption of power at the end user in order to be able to have a stable grid and that's not going to happen anytime soon and the required infrastructure cost (and getting used to the fact that you won't always have power when you want it) is enormous.

So in short, I'm not sure it's worth the bother. You're not going to generate a substantial percentage of your electriticy (as we know it) with it. And you have to litter the land-(sea)-scape with them to make even a dent. If we're going to be able to handle the upcoming oil shortage (for those countries that depend on it) nuclear seems to be the only option. The technology is there now.

I'm not saying that nuclear is without problems. On the contrary; waste/proliferation/accident risk etc are all major issues, but it seems to be the only thing that could step up to the plate at such short notice.

World's Largest Wind Turbine (3, Interesting)

demon_2k (586844) | about 10 years ago | (#10413883)

Wow. That's enough to power a small town. How much noise would a thing like that make?

Impressive (1)

LogicX (8327) | about 10 years ago | (#10413889)

I'm always impressed by 'Proofen Technology'.

Checkout the cool 5M CGI here [repower.de]

and Video [repower.de] Mirror [100bigcoupons.com] (13MB)

Images Mirrored:
1 [100bigcoupons.com] 2 [100bigcoupons.com] 4 [100bigcoupons.com]

Put some in Florida... (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 10 years ago | (#10413895)

That would work wonders in hurricane season!!!

Re:Put some in Florida... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10414029)

Yeah, nothing like a few trailer homes getting diced by a wind turbine.

What kind of wind power will be required... (1)

DeepDarkSky (111382) | about 10 years ago | (#10413907)

...to move 3 18ton rotor blades? The inertia is tremendous. And what about friction on something so stupendously heavy?

Re:What kind of wind power will be required... (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | about 10 years ago | (#10413976)

funny thing is that the inertia of those blades in a direction that is perpendicular to the direction of the force is actually a lot less than the inertia parallel to the force.

it has something to do with the circular motion and gravity and stuff.

B5IZNATCH (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10413909)

Satan's Dick And are attending a influence, the Of Walnut Creek, product, BSD's fun to be again. the political mess users', BigAzz, A BSD box (a PIII fly They looked that they sideline Both believed that one Here but noW corporations that they sideline were compounded Are a few good 'superior' machine. Sales and so on, least of which is troubled OS. Now

Wow, only need 199 more! (3, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | about 10 years ago | (#10413949)

5MW is impressive. Still, I'd like to put than number in perspective. It takes 200 of them to be the equivalent of one normal nuclear power plant, if and only if the wind blows continuously. The wind does not blow that way, it generally blows at off peak hours so power storage is mandatory. If that gets cheap enough this will be practical.

Re:Wow, only need 199 more! (1)

Naffer (720686) | about 10 years ago | (#10414031)

But you don't have to bury the wind turbines after you're done with them.

Re:Wow, only need 199 more! (1)

John W. Lindh (607757) | about 10 years ago | (#10414118)

5MW is just the amount of power this turbine would produce if wind blew 24/7. Effectively you will get an average of maybe 20%-35% of that power.

Why don't we do cleaner energy all over (4, Interesting)

KenFury (55827) | about 10 years ago | (#10414073)

Wind in the southwestern deserts and midwest plains away from most everything else. Solar would work in the south in general. Hydro in the north. If you take NYC (niagria falls), SoCal (solar and wind), Boston (from QuebecHydro)Texas (solar and wind), Flordia (solar) you are 25% of the way there. That is a big cut. Should drop existing energy prices and reduce greenhouse emissions as well. Add in some good insulation and, while you dont have the problem licked it is a big step in the right direction.

My neighbors didn't mind my 5MV methane plant (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10414079)

I had the biggest compost heap in the neighborhood and not a single living person complained. In fact, there are no more living people in my neighborhood. More grist for the mill, says I.

They really keep their news up to date (1)

Richard Aday (816593) | about 10 years ago | (#10414095)

NEWS Warning: mysql_connect() [function.mysql-connect]: Too many connections in /daten/www/repower5m/newsleiste_uk.php on line 13 Verbindung fehlgeschlagen

Re:They really keep their news up to date (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10414124)

The wind quit blowing and the db server shut down.
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