Re: when windmills don't spin
- From: "Jerry Okamura" <okamuraj005@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 6 Feb 2010 14:59:56 -1000
I was thinking along the same lines. But my thoughts were about these hybrid cars that depend on battery power. Batteries don't like the cold, and definitely don't like it when it is really really cold. I do not know what the answer is, but I am willing to bet, not a whole lot of people living in cold country, especially where it gets really really cold like Alaska or Siberia, would even think of getting a hybrid car.
But back to wind power. In order for these things to work, they need a minimum wind velocity. Not enough, or no wind, no electricity. But you need electricity, whether the wind is blowing or not blowing. So, it does not seem to me, that wind will ever be the solution to our energy problems. It will help, but it will not solve the energy problem. Ditto with solar power.
"arthur wouk" <awouk@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:1265486720.200577@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
when we moved to edmonton in 1972, we brought two used vars with
us from chicago, and it took a while to get them accustomed
to the cold weather. people adjust faster than mechanical things.
anyway, windmills form california are having problems in minnesota!
When Windmills Don't Spin, People Expect Some Answers
By MONICA DAVEY
For those who suspect residents in places like Minnesota of
embellishment when it comes to their tales of bitterly cold
winter weather, consider this: even some wind turbines, it
seems, cannot bear it.
Turbines, more than 100 feet tall, were installed last year in 11
Minnesota cities to provide power, and also to serve as
educational symbols in a state that has mandated that a quarter
of its electricity come from renewable resources by 2025.
One problem, though: The windmills, supposed to go online this
winter, mostly just sat still, people in cities like North St.
Paul and Chaska said, rarely if ever budging. Residents took
note. Schoolchildren asked questions. Complaints accumulated.
"If people see a water tower, they expect it to stand still,"
said Wally Wysopal, the city manager of North St. Paul. "If
there's a turbine, they want it to turn."
No one knows for sure why these turbines do not. Officials
believe there may be several reasons, but weather is the focus of
much speculation. It is not as though turbines cannot function in
cold places; thousands of them work perfectly well throughout
Minnesota and the Midwest, the American Wind Energy Association
is quick to note.
But the 12 turbines in question, each 20 years old, spent their
earlier years twirling in California.
"If you were to move a car from California to Minnesota, say, you
would need to change the fluids," said Derick O. Dahlen,
president of Avant Energy, which manages the windmills for the
Minnesota Municipal Power Agency.
Mr. Dahlen said workers were busy testing the turbines and, among
other things, expected to add warming elements to gear boxes, oil
and computers. In a month, he predicted, the turbines will be
A possible setback: Mark Tresidder, another Avant official, said
the state's latest forecast included talk of sinking
temperatures, an ice storm, maybe snow.
"Given Minnesota weather," Mr. Tresidder said, "there may be days
when people can't work out there."
Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
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