Disqualified: Wind Developers' Claim of 100% Clean Energy

As Governor LePage's technical adviser and energy expert, Jim LaBrecque, confirmed on July 27 as a guest on WVOM, wind turbines consume electricity from the grid and this outside electricity is sometimes used to turn the blades.

Whenever such outside electricity is used in the process of generating power with wind turbines, it is patently false for a wind developer or its paid off environmental group shills to use the label 100% clean energy. It's outright false advertising. In fact, electrons made from wind or hydro or natural gas are the same and cannot be labeled as clean or dirty. They simply are what they are. Rather, it is the PROCESS of their generation that can be labeled clean or dirty. 

Because the process of making electricity from wind turbines includes a sub-process of other generation types such as natural gas which do create, e.g., some CO2 emissions, it is mathematically incorrect to define the operations of a wind plant as "100% clean".

The "parasitic draw" of wind projects in Maine is not insignificant. In fact, the following post from a few years ago documents that, at least at the time, wind "farms" operated as First Wind LLC's, represented three of the ten largest retail electricity consumers in 2012 based on electricity bought from Bangor Hydro, as communicated in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC). And this of course does not include the extraordinary amounts of fossil fuels used in the manufacture, deployment and eventual disposal of wind turbines and their requisite transmission. So if 100% clean energy is false advertising, should the wind developers and their environmental group shills not have to state the correct percentage, whatever that would be? If dark chocolate can be clearly labeled as 65% cacao or 72% cacao, why not wind power which is funded by taxpayers and coerced ratepayers?

It is nowhere near 100% - that is certain.

Here's a repost of that old post::

So Called Wind Farms Dominate List of Bangor Hydro's Top Electricity CONSUMERS

Please see the following letter to FERC, which makes this very clear. (Where wind "farms" as a class are more dominant than any other class on the list in the letter)

20130124-5017%20-%20Bangor%20Hydro%20Letter%20to%20FERC.pdf

While dominating the Top Ten is somewhat surprising, we have heard before that wind plants are large users of electricity from the outside grid. That alone renders inaccurate that wind turbines do not put carbon in the air. If they are using this much electricity from the grid, unless it's all been generated from hydro, the so called wind farms are burning up lots of carbon, to say nothing of all the carbon that gets used in their manufacture, transport, site clearing, road construction and invariably required transmission build.

What a mess. What a sham. What a shame.

From AWEO.ORG:

Energy consumption in wind facilities 

Large wind turbines require a large amount of energy to operate. Other electricity plants generally use their own electricity, and the difference between the amount they generate and the amount delivered to the grid is readily determined. Wind plants, however, use electricity from the grid, which does not appear to be accounted for in their output figures. At the facility in Searsburg, Vermont, for example, it is apparently not even metered and is completely unknown [click here].* The manufacturers of large turbines -- for example, Vestas, GE, and NEG Micon -- do not include electricity consumption in the specifications they provide. 

Among the wind turbine functions that use electricity are the following:†
  • yaw mechanism (to keep the blade assembly perpendicular to the wind; also to untwist the electrical cables in the tower when necessary) -- the nacelle (turbine housing) and blades together weigh 92 tons on a GE 1.5-MW turbine
  • blade-pitch control (to keep the rotors spinning at a regular rate)
  • lights, controllers, communication, sensors, metering, data collection, etc.
  • heating the blades -- this may require 10%-20% of the turbine's nominal (rated) power
  • heating and dehumidifying the nacelle -- according to Danish manufacturer Vestas, "power consumption for heating and dehumidification of the nacelle must be expected during periods with increased humidity, low temperatures and low wind speeds"
  • oil heater, pump, cooler, and filtering system in gearbox
  • hydraulic brake (to lock the blades in very high wind)
  • thyristors (to graduate the connection and disconnection between generator and grid) -- 1%-2% of the energy passing through is lost
  • magnetizing the stator -- the induction generators used in most large grid-connected turbines require a "large" amount of continuous electricity from the grid to actively power the magnetic coils around the asynchronous "cage rotor" that encloses the generator shaft; at the rated wind speeds, it helps keep the rotor speed constant, and as the wind starts blowing it helps start the rotor turning (see next item); in the rated wind speeds, the stator may use power equal to 10% of the turbine's rated capacity, in slower winds possibly much more
  • using the generator as a motor (to help the blades start to turn when the wind speed is low or, as many suspect, to maintain the illusion that the facility is producing electricity when it is not,‡ particularly during important site tours) -- it seems possible that the grid-magnetized stator must work to help keep the 40-ton blade assembly spinning, along with the gears that increase the blade rpm some 50 times for the generator, not just at cut-in (or for show in even less wind) but at least some of the way up towards the full rated wind speed; it may also be spinning the blades and rotor shaft to prevent warping when there is no wind§
Could it be that at times each turbine consumes more than 50% of its rated capacity in its own operation?! If so, the plant as a whole -- which may produce only 25% of its rated capacity annually -- would be using (for free!) twice as much electricity as it produces and sells. An unlikely situation perhaps, but the industry doesn't publicize any data that proves otherwise; incoming power is apparently not normally recorded. 

Is there some vast conspiracy spanning the worldwide industry from manufacturers and developers to utilities and operators? There doesn't have to be, if engineers all share an assumption that wind turbines don't use a significant amount of power compared to their output and thus it is not worth noting, much less metering. Such an assumption could be based on the experience decades ago with small DC-generating turbines, simply carried over to AC generators that continue to metastasize. However errant such an assumption might now be, it stands as long as no one questions it. No conspiracy is necessary -- self-serving laziness is enough. 

Whatever the actual amount of consumption, it could seriously diminish any claim of providing a significant amount of energy. Instead, it looks like industrial wind power could turn out to be a laundering scheme: "Dirty" energy goes in, "clean" energy comes out. That would explain why developers demand legislation to create a market for "green credits" -- tokens of "clean" energy like the indulgences sold by the medieval church. Ego te absolvo. 

(One need only ask utilities to show how much less "dirty" electricity they purchase because of wind-generated power to see that something is amiss in the wind industry's claims. If wind worked and were not mere window dressing, the industry would trot out some real numbers. But they don't. One begins to suspect that they can't.) 

*Wayne Gulden has analyzed the daily production reports of a Vestas V82 1.65-MW wind turbine at the University of Minnesota, Morris, from 2006 to 2008. Those records include negative production, i.e., net consumption, as well as daily average wind speeds. The data suggest that the turbine consumes at a minimum rate of about 50 kW, or 8.3% of its reported production over those years (and which declined 2-4% each year). 

There is also the matter of reactive power (VAR). As wind facilities are typically built in remote areas, they are often called upon to provide VAR to maintain line voltage. Thus much of their production may go to providing only this "energy-less" power. 

Much of this information comes from a Swedish graduate student specializing in hydrogen and wind power, as posted in a Yes2Wind discussion. Also see the Danish Wind Industry Association's guide to the technology. The rest comes from personal correspondence with other experts and from industry spec sheets. 

An observer in Toronto, Ontario, points out that the blades of the turbines installed at the Pickering nuclear plant and Exhibition Place turn 90% of the time, even when there is barely a breeze and when the blades are not properly pitched -- in a region acknowledged to have low wind resource. 

§'In large rotating power trains such as this, if allowed to stand motionless for any period of time, the unit will experience "bowing" of shafts and rotors under the tremendous weight. Therefore, frequent rotating of the unit is necessary to prevent this. As an example, even in port Navy ships keep their propeller shafts and turbine power trains slowly rotating. It is referred to as "jacking the shaft" to prevent any tendency to bow. Any bowing would throw the whole train out of balance with potentially very serious damage when bringing the power train back on line. 
    'In addition to just protecting the gear box and generator shafts and bearings, the blades on a large wind turbine would offer a special challenge with respect to preventing warping and bowing when not in use. For example, on a sunny, windless day, idle wind turbine blades would experience uneven heating from the sun, something that would certainly cause bowing and warping. The only way to prevent this would be to keep the blades moving to even out the sun exposure to all parts of the blade. 
    'So, the point that major amounts of incoming electrical power is used to turn the power train and blades when the wind is not blowing is very accurate, and it is not something the operators of large wind turbines can avoid. 
    '[Also, there is] the likely need for a hefty, forced-feed lubricating system for the shaft and turbine blade assembly bearings. This would be a major hotel load. I can't imagine passive lubrication (as for the wheel bearings on your car) for an application like this. Maybe so, but I would be very surprised. Assuming they have to have a forced-feed lubrication system, given the weight on those bearings (40 tons on the bearing for the rotor and blades alone) a very robust (energy-sucking) lubricating oil system would be required. It would also have to include cooling for the oil and an energy-sucking lube oil purification system too.' 
    --Lawrence E. Miller, Gerrardstown, WV, an engineer with over 40 years of professional experience with large power train machinery associated with Navy ships.

 

http://www.aweo.org/windconsumption.html

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/so-called-wind-farms-dominate-list-of-bangor-hydro-s-top-electric

Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Views: 130

Comment

You need to be a member of Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine to add comments!

Join Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine

Comment by Brad Blake on August 3, 2018 at 10:54pm

I see this parasitic draw often in the winter.  I ski at Sunday River and sadly there are a number of views of Spruce Mt. Wind project in Woodstock as I travel north on Rte 26.  Many mornings it is still and my outside temp reading on my car says it is below zero F.  Typical Maine, but I love skiing in sharp, cold weather.  I note two things:  the curls of wood smoke from the many homes using wood for heat is going straight up, evidence of no breeze, yet the blades of the wind turbines are spinning, to keep them from freezing.
After the start of my ski day, I want to double check on those still spinning turbines.  I ski over to Whitecap, the peak at Sunday River that is across the river from Spruce Mt. and similar elevation.  It is also an open area so if there is wind up at elevation to turn the turbine blades, it will be on often windswept Whitecap.  I take my ski helmet off.  Brrrr!!! It is damned cold, but I notice no wind or wind so slight it isn't turning the blades.  Definitely sucking juice off the grid to keep the nacelle from freezing.  I f you are a native of northern New England, you know how frequently that dead still cold occurs every winter.

First Prize

NE Book Festival

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?"  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

Not yet a member?

Sign up today and lend your voice and presence to the steadily rising tide that will soon sweep the scourge of useless and wretched turbines from our beloved Maine countryside. For many of us, our little pieces of paradise have been hard won. Did the carpetbaggers think they could simply steal them from us?

We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

 -- Mahatma Gandhi

"It's not whether you get knocked down: it's whether you get up."
Vince Lombardi 

Task Force membership is free. Please sign up today!

© 2018   Created by Eben Thurston.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service