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Fri May 11, 2018, 12:47 AM

Total Energy Production, Capacity Utilization of Danish Wind Turbines Over 30 Years Old.

Recently in this space, by reference to the Master Register of Danish Wind Turbines and appeal to the 3,232 of them that had been decommissioned, I reported that the average life time of Danish Wind Turbines was 17 years and 240 days, a figure that has risen from 16 years and 310 I reported elsewhere by appeal to an earlier version of the same Register accessed back in mid July of 2015.

Average Lifetime of Danish Wind Turbines, as of February 2018.

Because the wind industry is inexplicably popular - inexplicably because after having more than a trillion dollars expended on it in the last decade alone it has done nothing to arrest climate change or even to slow the increases in the use of dangerous fossil fuels - I was met with the usual rhetoric showing that denial is not just a river in Egypt, and that's only the posts I could read.

(Some I couldn't actually read because of my increasingly active use of the "ignore" function here for the most appalling defenders of the so called "renewable energy" faith, faith because it emphasizes soothsaying over observation: The wind industry is mature, as mature as any industry involving trillion dollar sums, and its performance can be measured. Dogmatic ignorance renders me purely apoplectic for no good reason; I have too little time left on this once beautiful planet to focus on the ignorance that has destroyed it and is still destroying whatever is left. The "Ignore" function is a beautiful thing.)

GLOBAL TRENDS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENT 2017

To be fair however, I realized that there was a flaw in my argument inasmuch as I focused on the 3,232 wind turbines in Denmark that failed, and said nothing about the 6220 that still operate, all the operating wind turbines producing about as much electricity as two nuclear reactors produce in two comparatively small buildings in Virginia.

Well, perhaps the words "still operate" are too generous.

There are 96 commissioned wind turbines that are more than 30 years old, and combined with the 16 decommissioned wind turbines this means that 110 wind turbines out of the 9452 turbines (or, since renewable enthusiasts like "percent talk so much, 1.16%) lasted on the "commissioned" list for more than 30 years. It wouldn't however, be fair to state that being on the commissioned list is quite the same as being functional.

For example, the commissioned 18.5 kW wind turbine at Faxe, still on the commissioned list, suffered a rapid fall of in production in the year 2000, produced zero electricity in 2006, was briefly restored to produce roughly 40% it of its previous output, broke down again, and has not produced any electricity since 2009. A 22 kW unit at Bard hasn't produced electricity since 2002, but is still "commissioned." There are other examples of the same thing, including turbines that were out of service for years and then were finally repaired to service again. For example the 22 kW wind turbine at Bornholm produced no electricity between from 2004 to 2008, was repaired and produced electricity - albeit at nowhere near its capacity its earlier years of operation - until 2016, which was the last year it produced power.

One of the big lies told by the so called "renewable energy" industry to misrepresent its failure is to announce their facilities in terms of peak Watts, a "Watt" being a unit of power, not energy. If someone announces that the world has installed 4 "Gigawatts" of solar power, this is not equivalent to four 1000 MW nuclear plants, since the nuclear plants typically run at 90-100% of capacity utilization whereas the 4 GW of solar operate at 10%-20% of capacity utilization. Thus the "4 Gigawatts" of solar is, at best, the equivalent of a single small nuclear plant.

So if one wants to be honest about energy, a statement about peak power must include the percentage of time that the power was actually available.

One can easily calculate what the capacity utilization of the 94 commissioned turbines that have lasted for more than 30 years is, by multiplying the time it operated (in seconds) times the peak power to get the 100% capacity utilization figure in an energy unit (I use Joules in my calculations), and use it to divide the actual energy produced.

It turns out that the total capacity utilization of the Danish wind turbines that have operated for more than 30 years is 14.22%. Combined, these turbines have produced 0.7 petajoules over their >30 year lifetime combined, or about 1.3 one millionths of the energy production of the entire planet (576 exajoules as of 2016) in a single year. The rated (peak) power of these 96 turbines combined is 4782 kW or 4.782 MW meaning, that in view of their actual capacity utilization they are the equivalent 683 kw diesel powerplant.

To give a sense of scale the subject always missing in the grandiose discussions of so called "renewable energy," here is a photograph of a 600 kW natural gas generator on the bed of a truck:



I hope you have a pleasant Friday.

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Reply Total Energy Production, Capacity Utilization of Danish Wind Turbines Over 30 Years Old. (Original post)
NNadir May 2018 OP
Eko May 2018 #1
NeoGreen May 2018 #2
mountain grammy May 2018 #5
Eko May 2018 #6
NNadir May 2018 #3
Finishline42 May 2018 #4
hunter May 2018 #7
Finishline42 May 2018 #8
hunter May 2018 #9

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2018, 01:14 AM

1. U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Already Closed or Closing

https://www.power-eng.com/articles/slideshow/2016/08/u-s-nuclear-power-plants-already-closed-or-closing.html

As I said, "One could argue that Nuclear is good or bad, I am not doing that. The reality of the situation is that Nuclear plants cant compete in today's energy marketplace without massive taxpayer bailouts."

I am sure I am on "ignore", who cares, I certainly don't. Im not saying green energy is the only solution, I just cant understand how someone on a Democratic site is allowed to continually bash green energy all of the time while whitewashing nuclear energy. Baffles me. One would expect these types of posts from a nuclear industry pr person.

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Response to Eko (Reply #1)

Fri May 11, 2018, 05:12 AM

2. An excellent question...

...I wish I could rec your post.

I just cant understand how someone on a Democratic site is allowed to continually bash green energy all of the time while whitewashing nuclear energy. Baffles me. One would expect these types of posts from a nuclear industry pr person. 


How do we know they aren't just spewing paid industry pr?

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Response to Eko (Reply #1)

Mon May 14, 2018, 11:20 AM

5. I'm not ignoring you.

and I agree with you.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #5)

Mon May 14, 2018, 03:56 PM

6. Thanks!

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2018, 11:24 AM

3. A minor error in the calculation caused the capacity utilization to be too high for these turbines.

The error arose from inadvertently including both the sum of the energy production in 2018 and the monthly data.

I came across this error while calculating the overall capacity utilization of all the wind turbines built in that offshore oil and gas drilling hellhole, Denmark, because the calculation included recently constructed turbines. Those turbines seemed - until the correction - to have unusually high capacity utilization based on my review of this subject over the years.

Thus the capacity utilization of the 30 or more year old turbines is 14.12%, not 14.22%. The thirty or more year life time made the error insignificant for long lived turbines even though it was comparatively large for new turbines.

It's a trivial correction to the poor performance of this trivial form of energy which is largely window dressing for the unsustainable gas industry, an industry in which the Danes are very actively involved.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun May 13, 2018, 05:09 PM

4. Looking at 30 yr old windmills to make your case is like looking at the Model T to make a case for h

Looking at 30 yr old windmills to make your case is like looking at the history of the Model T 30 years later to make a case for horse drawn buggies.

It was the beginning of the industry, evidenced by how much bigger the current models are. As your post on the Danish database a week ago (you have to thank the Danes for starting and keeping such data which is the basis for improvements) your have no information on why any of the windmills were decommissioned. Windmills present an engineering problem that companies deal with on a constant basis - wear of bearings, loads on shafts, effects of the environment on the blades, all kinds of problems that are dealt with innovation and improvements in parts.

Additionally, an issue that is unknown - did the windmills decommissioned break even and make money? Did they produce enough electricity to pay for the cost to produce, install and operate? It seems that your post assumes that they did not.

Again the #1 reason windmills are suited mainly to utility scale windfarms is that as the swept diameter of the blades double their output is cubed. It would be also the reason to replace a functional smaller one with one many times the output thus a strong economic reason for the replacement, not as your post implies due to being worn out.

Wind and solar are being implemented every year in greater amounts than any other form of energy producer. And every volt being used reduces the amount from coal, natgas and nuclear making those plants less economical. Batteries and long distance transmission lines also help get power from where it's abundant to where it's needed.

Wind and solar also share a principle advantage - they don't have to deal with energy manipulators for their fuel.

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Response to Finishline42 (Reply #4)

Mon May 14, 2018, 05:48 PM

7. Find your best example of a modern wind turbine...

... that's been running for at least a year or two and post its numbers here.

The 44 MW Eola wind farm in Nicaragua claimed a 60% capacity factor a few years ago, but I wasn't able to find recent numbers, possibly because I'm not fluent in Spanish.

A few exceptional wind farms claim capacity factors around 40%, most muddle along at one third or less of their nameplate capacity.

Nicaragua has abundant hydroelectric capacity they rely on when the wind is not blowing. Unfortunately hydroelectric power is not reliable either. Venezuela's electric grid is mostly hydroelectric. Extreme drought caused electric outages that put the nails in the coffin of Venezuela's already crippled economy.

Places like Denmark use fossil fuels when the wind is not blowing adequately, which is most of the time.

Wind and solar will always be supplemental energy sources in any kind of industrial economy capable of building large scale solar and wind installations.

A society powered entirely by "renewable" energy sources (no fossil fuels, no nuclear, no environmentally destructive large hydro projects) would look nothing like the fossil fueled society many affluent people in places like Denmark or California now enjoy.

The gas industry is not afraid of the solar or wind industry, solar and wind are in effect the bling they wear while pimping gas. The largest industrial projects on earth today are gas extraction and distribution. There are more than enough gas reserves to destroy the earth's natural environment as we know it.

Wind and solar will never displace fossil fuels simply because the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine.

Fossil fuel use is like smoking. You don't quit smoking by smoking "light" cigarettes. In terms of health, not smoking is overwhelmingly preferable to smoking. Hybrid wind-solar-gas power grids are the "light" cigarettes of the power industry.

The innumeracy and other sorts of denial expressed by wind and solar advocates is very similar to the denial of smokers. They become unwitting advocates of the gas industry, denying the impact of the fossil fuel or big hydro projects required to make their favorite "renewable" energy systems viable.




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Response to hunter (Reply #7)

Mon May 14, 2018, 10:05 PM

8. We are a long way from getting rid of natgas power plants but not so far from saying bye to coal and

We are a long way from getting rid of natgas power plants but not so far from saying bye to coal and maybe even nuclear as evidenced by the clowns in charge trying to find a way to get support payments to those plants.

NatGas is cheap today but every fuel goes thru a cycle from low to high and back again. Just like with gasoline - it goes down and gas hogs are the rage, it goes up and you can't give them away.

Not sure what the capacity factor in Venezuela has to do with the argument. As I said before, a lot of coal is being burnt just to keep standby plants ready to go. Batteries are starting to fill that need and saving millions. And every 6 minute interval that a coal plant has no buyer for their power increases their cost.

Iowa is getting over 33% of their electricity from wind and Texas over 10%. With regard to capacity factor I found this on Iowa wind farms >>>

The average capacity factor of Iowa wind farms has been estimated as 33.3% by a wind industry consultant.[21] For newer installations, higher capacity factors, approaching 40%, have been stated.[22] Production numbers for 2013, when wind capacity remained almost constant, showed a capacity factor over 34 percent.[23] Due to these better wind conditions, Iowa generated more electricity from wind power in 2013 than California, even though it had less wind power capacity installed.[24] And again in 2014 Iowa was number two in wind power generation behind only Texas.[25]

With the completion of some projects in 2016, only Texas has a higher amount of installed wind power capacity.[6] Several of the newer projects are the large 500 MW Highland Wind Energy Center and the O'Brien Wind Farm in O'Brien county, and the Ida Wind farm in Ida county. These were constructed in 2015 and 2016.[3][26]


Also completely being ignored is the flattening of the demand curve for electricity which was a major factor in the cancellation of the nuclear plants in South Carolina - the demand that they were being built for wasn't there. More efficient appliances, light bulbs and the like has cut into the utility companies dream - demand growth.

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Response to Finishline42 (Reply #8)

Mon May 14, 2018, 11:11 PM

9. In other words, two thirds fracked natural gas.

"Better than coal" won't save us.

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