Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Wind power in hot water


In Sweden a helicopter sprays hot water on iced-up wind turbine blades. 

Glaciated rotor blades are the scourge of wind turbine owners in cold climates. Alpine Helicopter in Constance has developed a new way to kick-start production when the ice forces the turbines stop: a helicopter that sprays hot water.

It takes us about 1.5 hours to process a sharp occurrence of icing wind turbines, says CEO Mats Widgren.

The water is heated over night using a truck equipped with a 260 kW oil burner. When morning dawns are 44 cubic meters of the 60-degree water in the tanks, and the helicopter can start running in the shuttle to the icy wind turbine.


Sam Vega said...

And on days when there is no wind blowing, they can keep the turbine generating electricity by using giant oil-powered fans.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Great, a 260 kW oil burner.

And a helicopter, for God's sake. Using how much fuel?

44 tonnes of hot water equates to what, twenty round trips for the chopper?

And all this is part of a scheme intended to lower CO2 emissions?

We've all gone completely mad, haven't we.

wiggiatlarge said...

Fits in well with all the other "eco" measures being foisted on us in the name of 'saving the planet'.
Drax power station converted to wood pellets on the altar of CO2 emissions is found to save no emmisions after the 3800 mile transporting round trip from the USA is taken into account, the conversion of the power station cost £700 million and the wood pellets are 2-3 times more expensive than coal.

Now there is a movement in the states and Canada to stop the felling of trees for this purpose coming from the same eco loons, as Drax accounts for 60% of all pellets exported I would say they are hostages to fortune.

They will have us rubbing sticks together in the dark yet !

Demetrius said...

Why don't they just use an electric fire......oh, yes, I see.

Derek said...

Such huge wind turbines are the biggest mistake ever. They are cripplingly expensive to construct, cripplingly inefficient, and cripplingly destructive to the nations reliable power supply needing conventional power stations to back up their inefficiencies during storm and anti-cyclone. Did they not notice why we no longer ground corn into flour with windmills? Doubtless subsidy grabbers and vested interests were at the root, and sadly still are.

A K Haart said...

Sam - I think that's why they are installed in groups, on calm days they can be powered up to generate enough wind to keep everything going.

WY - yes we have gone mad. Technical matters seem to have been taken out of the hands of technical people with predictable consequences. It's sunbeams from cucumbers next.

Wiggia - the Drax power station scheme is so hopelessly bonkers that it isn't easy to know what to say.

Demetrius - or blades heated by the electricity they generate...

Derek - in my book it's a landowner's scam. In a genuine market wind farmers would also have to fund some kind of backup generation. Instead we fund it.

Derek said...

AKH, one of their several problems is that to de-ice the blades with electrically supplied heat, they need to be turning, and when not turning by wind power, they are turned by electric motors so as to prevent shaft sag and bearing indentation from being static too long. They are often consumers of electricity generated by other fuels.

The bmreports website shows all types of electricity generation by fuel types over 30 minute settlement periods. It makes for interesting reading. In the last 24hrs wind generation has produced 0.6% of that consumed by all fuel types in generation.

Derek said...

Errata: My last sentence should have read: "In the last 24hrs wind generated electrical power produced 0.6% of all power by all fuel types.

James Higham said...

And still they press on with it.

A K Haart said...

Derek - I've also heard that the gearboxes may wear more quickly than expected. Repairing them can't be a trivial job.

James - it's the subsidies we are forced to pay.

Derek said...

And gearbox components to be lifted over 300 feet in the air. As you say - subsidised from the public purse, with the 'green' credentials poisoning far off places:

It really is thoroughly sickening.

Geo T said...

Wind turbines are wedded to fossil fuels for rare earth mining, smelting, manufacturing, transport and installation, plus all the road building and logging required. This helicopter stunt is just another facet of the same dependency.

Not only are these machines ruining vast stretches of scenery, they are impractical in ways that the industry (and duped environmentalists) refuse to acknowledge. A smart species would focus on solar PV and preserve as many landscapes as possible. Let's not turn the world into an industrial park in a mostly futile effort to stop carbon.

A K Haart said...

Geo T - I can't see solar working well here in the UK because of our location. A major problem is the propaganda - it isn't easy to sort the possible from the improbable.