About a week ago, Andrew Montford published a short but interesting piece in Net Zero Watch about the deterioration of wind turbines. Worth a look.
Big wind turbines wearing out faster
Windfarms deteriorate over their lifetimes, and capacity factors fall.
It’s therefore interesting to look at the analysis below. This divides the offshore fleet into cohorts by turbine size and then looks at how the capacity factor for each cohort changes over time. The pattern is striking. Small turbines – the longer traces – start low, but deteriorate slowly, if at all. Then, for each step up of turbine size, you get a higher starting point, but a faster rate of deterioration.
We might end up with millions of the little ones. I'm waiting for my letter from the government stating that meteorological data suggests my house is a suitable site...
Sam - you may have to install little ones on the roof and all over the garden. Church spires may have to be turned into wind turbines too.
Long ago I knew a chap whose interest was wave power. His starting point was that wind power was a demonstrably hopeless idea. Waves are much more reliable than wind, being the result of winds averaged over huge areas of ocean and lengthy times. The energy density is also far higher.
Alas, one result of his work was the realisation that the high energy density led to great problems with keeping his devices safe and in working order. This shows the problem with undertaking engineering research with intellectual seriousness: you might conclude that your lovely idea is not The Answer after all. Much easier to con everyone with windmills.
dearieme - long ago I remember reading about research into wave power. At the time, it was one of those ideas which capture the imagination. I was quite disappointed when it turned out to be less practical than it first appeared. I remember the device being called a duck so I've just looked it up - Salter's duck.
I spent a little time beside Stephen's wave tank watching his early experiments. I admired his fertile mind.
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