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Fri Aug 14, 2015, 08:12 AM

New technology could reduce wind energy costs

New technology could reduce wind energy costs
Phys Org

The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm is an 845 MW wind farm in the U.S. state of Oregon. Credit: Steve Wilson / Wikipedia.

Engineers from the University of Sheffield have developed a novel technique to predict when bearings inside wind turbines will fail which could make wind energy cheaper.

The method, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A and developed by Mechanical Engineering research student Wenqu Chen, uses ultrasonic waves to measure the load transmitted through a ball bearing in a wind turbine. The stress on wind turbine is recorded and then engineers can forecast its remaining service life.


...Professor Rob Dwyer-Joyce, co-author of the paper and Director of the Leonardo Centre for Tribology at the University of Sheffield says: "This technique can be used to prevent unexpected bearing failures, which are a common problem in wind turbines. By removing the risk of a loss of production and the need for unplanned maintenance, it can help to reduce the cost of wind energy and make it much more economically competitive."

The new technology has been validated in the lab and is currently being tested at the Barnesmore wind farm in Donegal, Ireland by the company, Ricardo. It is hoped it will be used in the future inside monitoring systems for other turbines.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-08-technology-energy.html#jCp

But even at present, wind energy is still a lower cost alternative (see below). Lots of advancements being made!!

US wind energy prices are at an all-time low

Microsoftís successful integration of wind power into its data center technology has shown that it can be done-and whatís more, it can be done efficiently and rather quickly. The low price has also created an increase in demand for wind energy from both individual commercial consumers and electric utility companies. And right on time, two new reports published this week by the Department of Energy find that one key renewable sector Ė wind Ė is booming.

Increased nameplate capacity, hub height, and rotor diameter have helped improve efficiency for large wind turbines, which contributes to dropping the price of wind energy downward to its current all-time low.

...But the U.S. still ranks below many European nations for the proportion of wind the country relies on for its total energy consumption. Wind projects built in 2014 had an average installed cost of $1,710/kW, down nearly $600/kW from the peak in 2009 and 2010.

Wind powerís decreasing cost makes it more competitive with other energy sources, especially on the Midwestern plains, where windy days are frequent and construction costs are often lower, said Ryan Wiser, co-author of the Energy Departmentís 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report.


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Reply New technology could reduce wind energy costs (Original post)
RiverLover Aug 2015 OP
Name removed Aug 2015 #1
kristopher Aug 2015 #2
Bill USA Aug 2015 #3

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 06:49 PM

2. New NREL Data Suggests Wind Could Replace Coal as Nationís Primary Generation Source

New NREL Data Suggests Wind Could Replace Coal as Nationís Primary Generation Source
The new report finds wind is poised to become a dominant and possibly the primary source of electricity in the U.S.

Clayton Handleman
August 13, 2015

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently released data showing that the capacity factor (CF) for wind power can reach 65 percent -- comparable to the CF of fossil-fuel-based generation.

While the headlines arenít as sexy as Teslaís "Ludicrous mode," the transformative implications for climate change dwarf Elon Muskís latest accomplishment. Increasing a generatorís CF can increase its value in a variety of ways, including: reduced cost of energy, improved transmission-line utilization, and often, reducing stress on the grid by providing more power at times of peak demand. It will also likely reduce the amount of storage and natural gas needed to manage the grid under scenarios of high renewables penetration. Implicitly, NRELís new report positions wind to become a dominant and possibly the primary source of electricity in the U.S.

Figure 1: Areas of the U.S. With Various Gross Capacity Factors for Differing Wind Technologies

Wind Potential Chart US 072015

Source: NREL

Note: The curve to the left shows the historical data, the middle (red) curve shows the data for state-of-the-art turbines, and the blue shows the anticipated performance of "near-future" turbines.

CF is the ratio of a generatorís average power output over a year to its nameplate rating. A CF of 100 percent would indicate that the generation source was always on and operating at its full rated power. Simply stated, a higher capacity factor means a generator of a given size will produce more energy over the year. CF sets a lower bound on the amount of time that a generator operates. If a generator is not operating at its full nameplate rating all the time, then it will produce power for a percentage of time that exceeds its CF.

With little fanfare, NREL released updated data showing that, with current technology, wind turbines could generate more than enough energy at 55 percent CF to power the entire U.S. However, the real stunner is that near-future turbine technology (i.e., 140-meter towers) could boost that to 65 percent CF. With the current national average wind CF (see page 34) at about 33 percent, this represents a near doubling. According to NREL, using current technology and siting it in prime locations, wind power CF can already exceed that of natural gas. Using "near-future" technology, wind powerís CF will exceed the CFs of both coal (61 percent) and natural gas (48 percent) achieved nationwide in recent years....


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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Tue Aug 18, 2015, 04:04 PM

3. excellent! recommended

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