Windpower Redux

I under stand from this weeks BIT, that there was a poll out there waiting to be taken regarding how local folks felt about the possibility of quite a few windmills mushrooming offshore between here and Montauk. I don't have the paper in front of me, but as I recall, 216 is the number of respondents participating in the survey. Out of that number, 74 were dead set against the possibility. I would venture to say that that particular group were the ones with the deepest pockets to whom(?) a $800-900 a month electric bill is chump change. I would further suggest that they are the ones who rail against ruining their "view-sheds". Now there is a yuppie word that I heartily detest!
The rest of we "poorer denizens" of BI would welcome a less greedy grab into our more shallow pockets at he expense of having to see a few (score?)WECS off to the southwest of the Island.

It has continued to amaze me that the majority of the people of this town, and the US as a whole, cannot see or WILL NOT see the writing on the wall as regards use of the good old fossil fuel for electricity. I am heartened to note that there are folks out there who continue to look for new ways of generating electricity. How about the one by a scientist trying to develop a way of delivering radioisotopes to cancer cells in order to save his wife's life, and accidentally separated ordinary sea water into it's two main component parts, Hydrogen and Oxygen? Then he funneled the resultant gas to a small Stirling steam engine and made it run and produce that greatest in demand of commodities, electricity!! The story is out there on the Internet with pictures and text. I wonder just which of the big oil companies have already bought the rights to that invention that we'll never see in production!!

So don't let anyone tell you that wind power is just a fad that will soon fade away. Not anytime soon! I have had a WECS, Wind Energy Conversion System, sitting in my yard and running virtually continuously for the last 26 YEARS! There have been short down times because of maintenance and blade replacement(2), and one major PREVENTATIVE event where it was sent back to the manufacturer for a good overhaul. In that time, it has generated according to my meter in the cellar, over 320 some K's of electricity! We have used most of that right here on the premises. We have NOT been attentive to the strict conservation of the juice, because it was being made far faster than we could use it! Even using all the electric appliances we had on particularly windy days. The excess went back into the grid to be used by others. BIPCO pays us a rather minuscule amount for what we put back, and then charges other users, and myself the exorbitant rates to buy it back when the wind, she no blow eh? Translate that 320+ K figure into dollars at the rates over the last 26 years and you can see where wind power is an absolutely viable commodity, as the people of Scandinavia and the Low countries of Europe have discovered a long time ago. They are so far ahead of us as to make our efforts to catch up look pitifully and painfully inadequate to say the least.

So come on all ye who are sick and tired of, and becoming more unable to pay the high rates for juice, break out your computers, typewriters?, pens, and pencils, and draft a letter of recommendation to the Town Council to go forward as fast as is possible with the implementation of the wave generators and the installation of as many WECS as possible! Get rid of the WECS ordinance as it is presently written because it benefits NO ONE except those aforementioned deep pocketed people who really don't give one good shit about YOU, or me!!!


Sam said...

I look forward to when the paper comes online. In the meantime, I can say that several large wind turbine projects to be located offshore failed, mainly because it was so expensive to put them in the water and do all the submarine cabling. Dry land installation proved to save about a third to half the costs.

I'm not sure if the Nantucket project is still on the approval track, but one thing I'd like to point out is that there is no guarantee that Nantucket would see that wind turbine power, simply because of the way power is regulated, distributed, and billed. Similarly, there is no guarantee that Block Island would get any power from wind turbines located off its coasts.

If Block island really wants to do the right thing, it would consider a plan construct two or more wind turbines, such as on dry land on conservation lands. That would ensure you get the power because Block Island is not connected to the power grid.

Beware any deals that seem to promise you electricity but cannot guarantee it. Outside 3 miles at sea these are federal sources regulated by the FERC and I would tend to think that most of the juice would flow to Long Island, without knowing the details. It's not like you can hook up a small extension cord to one wind turbine that was close by. It doesn't work that way. /sammie

Everett said...

Hi Sam, Sometimes my mind, what's left of it, gets going way faster than my fingers can type. I am absolutely SURE that we on BI would get zero power from any offshore windmills! In that regard I was talking about just plain old less dependence on foreign oil for juice for the whole USA. As for BI, Yes, it would work to a large degree. And a hell of a lot of folks on BI would benefit it they had their own Wecs. Like I said on the post, after having been an owner/operator of one for 26 years, no-one will ever convince me that they don't or won't work! But like any other piece of machinery, you have to maintain it. You can't just throw it up a and forget it! There was a study just completed by some governmental entity that said if every home in the country located wherever, had a 1 to 5 kwh wind generator attached to it, we would be needing none of that black gold from the Arabs!
Oh yeah, about that that "seawater to electricity" item I mentioned. I think I caught the tail end of a blurb about it being discussed on one of the national news morning programs this AM! Not sure if it is Lauer or Harry Smith. I am going to TIVO both of them and watch the third one on a different TV. I have the old tivo and can't do three!

Sam said...

Me? What mind? LOL.

The nice thing about turbines is that while they are tall, they spin slowly and don't mess with the birds like the "salad shooter" effect. Yes, some birds will crash into the pylon if weakened in a storm, just as they might hit your house or any high structure like the TV/microwave tower on the Island. Point taken that the Island could use some alternative sources of power other than a bunch of Caterpillar diesel engines.

As to the crazy-water stories, I've heard a bunch but have seen no commercial applications. One guy subjected water to intense radio waves and it burned with a flame just like gasoline ... but I don't think you can buy one. Sounds fun though ... hey kids, WATCH THIS!

The Evil One said...

I think that this is the link for the salt water burning deal


The Evil One said...

These are a few video links about the salt water burning deal





Sam said...

A bunch of my blog readers went over here to read this and were concerned about the "burning water" thing. Next thing I'm getting emails saying "you know how much energy it takes to burn water?" I had to laugh ... I even got one from a noted physicist!

But I'd be interested in that wave machine, which I heard was being seriously considered off the coast of Oregon. The only thing I'd be worried about is how to tether them to the sea floor so they don't end up on your beaches in a Northeaster or tailing hurricane.

It would be great for fishing, though ... structures like that are known as fish attractors. /sammie

The Evil One said...

The underwater tidal turbines are in place in a few areas I think Ireland is going to have a 1.2 magawatt one up by 2009. On The Discovery Channel, I saw that they put a 25kw generator in the Hudson River to power a supermarket. Can't find the link but ill look around

The Evil One said...

Here is the link

Sam said...

Wave turbines and tide turbines are a little different but good point, Evil One. The East River near NY is great for a tide turbine because the water goes so fast there - a reason why it's called Hell's Gate. Sounds evil enough, huh?

Anyway, water is about 900 times more dense than air, which is why hydro power is so effective.

Sam said...

Hey Everett, seems a little stale here but I have another one of those "brain fart" ideas.

You know if you try to allow wind turbines or whatever you call them, a huge fight will break out on the Island. I mean huge!

Why not just get an old but nice deck barge and anchor it real good, and put up a medium-sized wind turbine on it?

Oh no, not a huge 200 or 400 foot tall tower, something smaller and very tastefully done with a racing blue color hull instead of that dirty black.

Seems like all you need it a submarine wire (an underwater extension cord) and a small substation to plug it in.

If a big storm came along, just tow it somewhere safe. You can unplug it and plug it back real easy.

Now I'm looking forward to when you look out on the horizon, it would be a source of civic pride to say "Hey look, Old Whirly sure is doing pretty good out there today."

Everett said...

That's an idea to look at, but I can see a couple problems right off the bat. Now we have to have a tug to pull it in and out of port, and it would spend most of it's time docked in the winter. Ocean is just too nasty most of the time.

So how did you fare with the "sneak attack" of the instant hurricane? Or was it too far north of you guys? Hope all is well.

Sam said...

Guess you're right but a 200-foot deck barge ought to be able to handle any gales you have, if moored properly. Still, few would like such a monstrosity out there - look at the fight over Cape Wind on Nantucket!

Thanks for asking about Humberto but it was about 400 clicks north of us, and a small storm at that. It was hot and dry here, no wind, and mosquitoes everywhere...