Windmills as a Source For Electricity

Discussion in 'Energy & Fuel' started by Pat Baker, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    As residents of this planet we need to be more mindful of how we are using the resources. One of the suggestions to help reduce the footprint we all are putting on this planet is to use more natural resources like water, wind and sun to power all of the many devices we have come to depend on to have a comfortable life.

    Putting up Windmills to harness the wind and use it to make electricity has always interested me. The use of windmills along the country side is not really pretty but we can not always have pretty. If I have to choose between what is pretty and not running out of power or the sky high bills that we see now I will take the windmills.

    A recent trip to my hometown I saw windmills along the main highways, it was the first time I saw windmills in a big city, I had only seen them in the country before that.

    Anyone here have windmills set up by their local government to help generate electricty?
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I suspect it's more of a feel-good thing than anything else, and a way to reward political donors. There are arguments pro and con, for sure, but I'm not so sure that the adverse effects, such as visual and noise pollution, the killing of birds, and the rape of what was often the most visually pleasing part of a community before they put the windmills in, is worth the small amount of power that they produce.
     
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  3. Ruth Belena

    Ruth Belena Active Member
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    Wind power generators have been subject to controversy in the UK. Not many people would want to see them in the countryside on a big scale, but there are already a number of wind farms in operation and the British government is commited to increasing renewable sources of energy. In future more wind turbines are going to be placed offshore around the coast, where the wind is always strong.

    I am concerned about birds being killed, but I believe this is only happens in certain weather conditions.

    I would much rather live close to a wind farm than near a nuclear power plant, or a coal-powered plant spewing out carbon emissions.
     
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  4. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    Ruth I agree with you I would not want to live near a nuclear power plant. When looking at houses to live in I always look at the power towers that you see lined up, it has been said that they cause cancer. I don't know if that is true but I do not live in close to those towers. I grew up in a steel mill city and know how dirty and smelly they can be also.
     
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  5. Adam Fields

    Adam Fields Member
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    I am always up for finding alternative ways for energy and fuel. Some of the ideas are more practical than others. I believe that windmills can be a good concept for powering smaller things in smaller cities but I'm not sure how well they would do on a much larger scale. I believe that solar energy would be more useful. Almost everywhere sees a good amount of the sun. Since we can't always see the sun, when the sun is scarce we can put our other alternative sources to use.
     
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  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    From what i have seen and read about the wind turbines, they actually do not kill a lot of birds.
    Sure, it can happen; but most birds are simply not going to fly right into a spining windmill. Windmills have been used by people to produce energy for probably 200 years, maybe a lot more than that; and it has never been a big issue with the windmills killing birds.
    Most of the forms of energy that we have are dangerous to some species, including people. Linemen run a risk of being electrocuted, and many birds, squirrels, and other wildlife have died due to powerline electricity.
    With all of the destruction that Fukushima has caused both to marine life, and plant life; certainly nuclear power plants are not the answer either.
    Dams kill a lot of fish, or prevent tham from getting to their spawning grounds.
    And we all remember that terrible coal mine accident a few years ago, when so many miners died.
    So, there just isn't any form of producing energy that is without its drawbacks.

    I think that solar power is one of the most viable that I have seen thus far. We are (hopefully) not going to run out of sunshine any time soon, and it is free for the taking. Solar panels are becoming cheaper, and more people are finding ways to live off-grid and produce their own power.
    Elon Musk of Tesla has come out with a new development that I really like.
    He has been setting up the charging stations for the electric cars, and making a network across the United States. The batteries for the chargers are powered by solar panels; so they can be set up anywhere, although they are going to be near truck stops and other areas where people can rest, or go have a meal while the car battery is charging.
    Now, he is making a stationary battery that can actually be used by people to power their homes. It would be perfect for someone who has off-grid property and wants power there.
    (We won't mention any names here....)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...er-your-home-and-maybe-the-electric-grid-too/
     
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  7. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    It has been very cold in my area requiring us to run small heaters in the rooms, use electric blankets and keep the heat temp up highter than usual. The resulting bill for the extreme use of electricity is going to be a royal nightmare and cause a hardship for many families.

    The ability to have a solar battery as a source of power would be appreciated by many. If the price is right I would purchase one of there batteries for my home.
     
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  8. John Donovan

    John Donovan Active Member
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    While I think windmills would be a great addition to my household, as they could really power up my things, if I would have a pick between environment friendly electricity sources, I would choose solar panels, as I think that would suit me best in my area. I also think that they are way more stable.
     
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  9. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    Ty Pennington, (spelling ?), did a show about helping financially strapped families get good livable homes. One of the episodes was about a young Indian boy that lived on a reservation. This young teenager had designed a solor planel out of stuff he had found in thier local rubbish dump.

    So now I wounder why the solar panels we see for sale are so expensive. If a boy can build a unit for no cost, why are the manufacturers charginging consumers so much?
     
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  10. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    We have windmills here in the northern part of the country called Ilocos Norte. In the town of Bagui, the windmills were built at the initiative of the Marcos children. That is the province of our former president Ferdinand Marcos. The windmills produce electricity for the entire province and the surplus is sold to the nearby electric cooperatives. However, when there is no wind, there is no electricity.

    Does anybody here know that the windmills of The Netherlands is not for electricity? I have read an article that those windmills of the Dutch are flour mills.
     
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  11. Val White

    Val White Active Member
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    Most Windmills that were used for pumping water out of the Lowlands and those few mills that still turn are on the verge of losing power: with buildings around them getting higher, so they can no longer catch the wind as they used to do..

    As the Dutch have long used windmills to harness wind energy a new concept proposed for city of Rotterdam is one of the most elaborate windmills ever conceived. The Dutch Windwheel is a huge circular wind energy converter that houses apartments, a hotel and a giant coaster ride.

     
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  12. Ruth Belena

    Ruth Belena Active Member
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    Windmills have been used for centuries in Europe for pumping water and for turning grinding stones to mill flour. There are several examples of cornmills powered in this way in England, and they are kept working as heritage sites. Although wind turbines are slightly different in providing electricity for domestic and industrial purposes, the principal is the same. Traditional windmills were desgined to harness the power of the wind and used it for commercial purposes.
     
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  13. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    One of the places I want to see is the Netherlands for their windmills. I am greatly amused to see what's inside those windmills, how they grind and what they grind. It's really fascinating to know of such mechanical heritage. Yes, the principle of the new windmills are the same as that of the olden times. Maybe in the near future, when the windmill power generators are perfected, our country will be the land of windmills since we have 7,100 island with an almost unlimited coastline that can provide us endless windpower.
     
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  14. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Very Well-Known Member
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    I lived on a sail boat for six years in that time we had a wind generator and also four solar panels it supplied enough power that we did not need to start the motor and could sit at anchor for weeks. We became very conservative of our power usage and wasted nothing. In my house now I still am very conservative with power in my house with a two bedroom apartment on top uses 100 watts of electricity for lighting all. All bulbs are led my water heater is solar. I only wish I had solar panels and wind generator now for my house.
     
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  15. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    My husband was dreaming the same - having a wind powered generator and solar panels. In fact, he was looking at the solar panels in the big hardware in the mall 2 weeks ago. He said that 1 KVA costs only $100 as if he wanted to buy just for trial. But with the warranty of 6 months, I don't think that is economical if it breaks down before 1 year of use. Besides, that 1 kva of power is not guaranteed and everything would depend on the battery. And we all know that batteries are not that reliable yet. With wind powered generators, I have no idea of how it looks although I am aware of the turbine concept.
     
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