Monday, 25 May 2009

Windy City

Either a very small man has escaped from the circus and found himself on the Renfrewshire moors near Glasgow, or these beasts are even bigger than I thought.

This is not photoshopped. Those chaps over at The First Post always do a kosher snap for Pic of the Day.

I agree that the Renfrewshire Moors are not exactly paradise, but they are on the doorstep of Glasgow, and I would have thought that the last thing you want to be encircled by is a turbine city of this magnitude.

Perhaps I'd think differently if the combined kilowattage of these erections could heat and light the city below them, but they can barely keep a dozen deep fat fryers going.


Thud said...

you just have to keep those deep fried mars bars coming...go nuclear!

lilith said...

Those are particularly huge. I have been right up to the ones on the bottom left of Portugal and thought them rather beautiful. However, they probably only power the cafe coffee machine as you say.

Bill Quango MP said...

The unofficial measurement of power is "A Household"

A household is defined as 6 light bulbs. So the wind lobby often use the term "Enough capacity to power 6o households."

If you were to include the real electrical consumption of items such as refrigerators, TVs, radio, cookers, tumble dryers, CD players, mobile phone chargers, Ipod connections, computers, lap tops, printers, sound systems, microwaves, coffee machines, kettles, magi mix, speakers, baby monitors, Games consoles, fireplaces, towel rails, razors, trimmers, waxers, curlers and hair dryers etc I would guess that equates to 3 houses.

idle said...

1. Under the same rules as lining up a row of spades and asking Paddy to take his pick, thud, you can sympathise with a green climate change moonbat and suggest that nuclear is the answer....

2. "the bottom left of Portugal"

Give that girl a map, and let her do the navigation! Go, lil.

3. Quite a lot of concurrent activity going on in the Quango household.

rvi said...

OUCH!! That Hertz...

Philipa said...

Well if they only power coffee machines then why the official support? Because those in Westminster, or indeed most government, don't think. NONE OF THEM BLOODY WELL THINK! I know this because I used to work in local government. When I suggested using OEM memory that was significantly cheaper, or indeed shopping around for better prices for our clients (as they were all government depts so we were using our own money here, duh!) it was like trying to introduce the theory of super heated steam to these people. It had always been done this or that way and new ideas were monumental. So if you had a new idea that wasn't so great but promoted and it was about time for a new idea maybe so accepted. The chances of another new idea so soon is nil.

And two new ideas at once? Forget it.

So anything that requires ongoing intelligence that can't be written in a manual is very very tricky. Take the concept of being carbon neutral - great idea. Works. But can't be easily standardised see?

But bird blenders are great. They make people feel worthy, can be erected within some budget and then forgot about. After all they don't do much but who cares? It's only tax payers money and spending it made me, the politician/councillor, look great/caring/worthy and definitely worth voting for. Yes?

OK I'll stop ranting now.

Tuscan Tony said...

The Tuscan's useless brother is a wind turbine engineer, plying his trade in the North Sea. He gave me 4 interesting factoids last time we met:

1. The things are at sea because the blades are too big to transport on the road, and for no other reason.

2. His company makes their blades in Denmark, at a factory 5 miles from the seaport. There is a specially built road from the plant to the port - dead straight all the way.

3. The next generation of wind turbines will have blades 75 metres (250 feet) long; the total span of the prop thus being around 500 feet across.

4. Contrary to popular opinion he claims that they are dead silent when turning.

Tuscan Tony said...

Oh, and the next generation version will put out 20 Megawatts each. I also asked what happens when the wind doesn't blow - the answer is they work on the hydroelectric power principle - used to pump water up mountains in times of windy conditions, the water being released to turn turbines in times of need.

Scrobs... said...

The turbines on Romney Marsh look a bit of a mess unfortunately.

Just enough electricity to power the hair curlers in Pontins...

electro-kevin said...

I was wondering how much of the dodgy MP expenses claims went on solar power and wind generation devices for their homes.

Or did it all go on Earth depleting bling while they exhort that this is the answer to the energy crisis ?

Anonymous said...

Tuscan Tony, you've been reading the Telegraph again.

The next generation of subsidy-turbines will not "put out" 20 Mw each; that will be their "rated capacity". Onshore wind runs at about 20% load factor, on average, so their real output will be somewhere around 4Mw, on average - and only when the wind blows, of course.

As for pumped storage, nice idea, but we have almost none in the UK, and what we do have is already fully committed to smoothing out peaks and troughs in demand. There is no capacity left for smoothing out peaks and troughs in supply. We just don't have enough big mountains - which is why we can't effectively do hydro either.

No, these things are pretty (to some), very profitable (to a few large foreign firms), give a good "something must be done" feeling to those who don't think about the physics or engineering too closely, and are largely useless.

If we don't get on with building more coal and more nuclear, the lights will be going out.

Tuscan Tony said...

Read wot I rote, anon - not the ToryBerkley but me bro, the man on the turbine mast with the oily rag in his back pocket and a pack of cheese and onion sarnies in his toolbag.

And for the record, I think they're largely a waste of time and a contrivance too: going nuclear like the Frogs seems to me to be the only viable option.