Wind mills

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BJC

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.. I've heard a small transformer on a pole go off from a few hundred yards away. Really gets your attention! I don't think it caught fire, but sometimes they do....
What you heard (with nonfire) most likely was the transformer’s fuse blowing due to an overload. In those cases, the transformer is not damaged. Most pole mounted transformers are oil cooled, and burn if they fail internally.


BJC
 

lr27

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i think 5 or 10 kw would be more like it, depending on just how independent of the grid one felt like, or how big one's roof was. You weren't all THAT far off.
 

Turd Ferguson

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One of the largest solar power farms in the world is at the Indianapolis airport.

"Indianapolis Power & Light Co. buys the solar farm's power, which costs three to four times the price for which IPL can sell it, officials have said. The utility has subsidized the difference by raising rates to its customers. The increase in electric bills to subsidize the solar farm amounts to several cents a month on the average customer bill."

"The entire project was funded through private investors, ensuring no local or state taxpayer funds were used for the construction of the solar farm"
(a Taiwanese company, General Energy Solutions)

So we don't want to depend on foreign oil, but we will depend on and purchase foreign electric power at 4x the cost of what we can sell it. Then we will have other customers that don't even use it pay for the difference with a "tax" on their electric bill. Even with fuzzy math that doesn't make sense.

I'm just trying to figure how I will charge the batteries in my electric plane.....
 

BJC

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That behavior typically is driven by the state's public utility commission. To appease environmentalists, they issue a rule that the utilities that they regulate must provide X percentage of their energy from "renewable resources." Many do not consider hydroelectric a renewable resource; environmentalists groups advocate the removal of all dams on rivers. To do that, the utilities underwrite new renewable projects. And all of those projects increase the cost of energy. That increase is spread over all customers.

The more that one knows about government regulation (manipulation is a more descriptive term) of industry, the more dismayed one becomes. BTDT.


BJC
 

Pops

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In my area the Electric Company used to have crews cleaning the power line right of ways and did a good job and being in a heavy forest area the electric rarely went off during a storm with higher winds. But now the electric company contracts the right-of-way clearing and it is not done until there is a outage. So we have lots of outages and since we are in a area of low population density with 5805 people in the county, we are the last in line for repair of the grid. Lots of my neighbors have gas powered backup generators. There problem is when the grid is down they can't buy any gasoline and if they don't have enough stored to take them until the grid is back on line they lose all of there frozen food. Last time most of my neighbors spent over $400 worth of gasoline they had stored and still ran out and still lost all of there food in freezers.
I like my system better. I have solar panels that I use to power large DC freezers and also have a 1942 NG refrigerator. Power most of my hanger every day with solar and if the grid go's down I transfer the large 110/220 AC inverter over to the rest of the hanger and house. I can used everything in the house on solar except for the large central air conditioning unit. But it will run a 10K AC unit for our bedroom, master bath. Everything in our house are LED's for lighting. Now no problem when the grid is down for a couple of weeks. If the grid goes off, you can depend on at least 2-3 days or more until its back on line.
Remember when the grid is down, you credit cards are useless. Cash only.
My grid electric bill is usually about $30 a month. Before installing the solar system our electric bill was about $120/130 a month. At this time it has more than paid for itself.
 

FritzW

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Are you saying that wind turbines catch fire more often? I seriously doubt it! It's easy to find conventional power plant fire pics on the web.
What orifice did you pull that out of Lr27? I never said anything like that. Read my post, don't read into what I said.

The poster I quoted said there has only been ONE wind turbine that has ever caught on fire. I was showing, admittedly in a smartasstical way, that that was complete, politically motivated, nonsense. I was also illustrating that both sides of the issue have a B.S. problem with their propaganda.

I don't have a dog in the wind turbine fight. I live in the sweet spot of the solar map. We use **** few wind turbines out here, we use solar. I have a 5kw solar system on my roof. I'm a crazy electricity hog and I still pay for my airplane hobby with the proceeds from the excess power I generate.

My heart goes out to Joe, I'm praying that it all works out for him.
 

lr27

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FritzW:
You must have an awful lot more sun than we do, though I guess that's no surprise, given your location. How much sunscreen do you use in a year? ;-)
 

Aerowerx

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Several years ago I saw an article saying that the US Army was putting a 20 acre solar array in the desert somewhere in California, to provide power for one of their bases.

Just guessing from the picture in the article, but what is the environmental impact of removing 30% of the direct sunlight from a desert area?
 

lr27

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I think they should just put a bunch of solar panels on all artificial surfaces (except maybe athletic fields). We've got a lot of roofs, and people have studied putting solar panels into roads. Heck, in places where it snows, you could make roofs over the highways or something.
 

KAF

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Missouri
I read a couple weeks ago that the solar panel roads were spectacular failures.
I read that story. Apparently when solar roads are driven on they get dirty and quit making electricity, and they also break and quit making electricity. It's just the damnedest thing.

On the upside, it only cost the taxpayers a few million bucks to discover these fundamental flaws that no one could have foreseen ever.

Not addressed was what a snowplow does to a solar road.
 

Vigilant1

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Anyone who thinks a "solar road' is a good idea doesn't appreciate the engineering that goes into a road, the punishment they take. We've got plenty of space for solar panels without using road surfaces. And, while I'm on a roll, putting solar installations on individual residences is inefficient and dumb--about the most expensive, and dangerous, place to mount them and maintain them. If we want people to own solar panels, let them buy into a large installation that costs much less to install, tie into the grid, maintain, etc. If people want to pay their own money to put panels on their roof, that is fine, but taxpayer money/incentives would go a lot farther if they funded large installations. It could still be structured so individuals get the benefit, but we'd wind up with more solar capacity and a long-term plan to keep them online.
 
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lr27

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I prefer it so they don't cover over all the potential flying fields. (RC, but the same may apply to full scale.) Why are they dangerous on houses? Done right, we have to put up something there anyway, might as well make it pay. Solar shingles? Of course, it will be a long time before we cover the OTHER roofs with solar panels.

As far as roads, if you build OVER the road, you can save on snowplows. Maybe we don't have the materials and techniques now, but I suspect eventually we'll be able to have collectors that can take being driven and walked on. For instance, there's now a very scratch resistant material used for bullet resistant glass called aluminum oxynitride. If we could make that in bulk, the collectors might be feasible. It's supposed to be about at least as strong as regular aluminum, and much stronger in compression. I admit I don't know if it gets slick when wet, or what it would take to make it cheap, and it might take a long time, but never say never. In the near future, roofs are the more likely avenue.
 

Doggzilla

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That behavior typically is driven by the state's public utility commission. To appease environmentalists, they issue a rule that the utilities that they regulate must provide X percentage of their energy from "renewable resources." Many do not consider hydroelectric a renewable resource; environmentalists groups advocate the removal of all dams on rivers. To do that, the utilities underwrite new renewable projects. And all of those projects increase the cost of energy. That increase is spread over all customers.

The more that one knows about government regulation (manipulation is a more descriptive term) of industry, the more dismayed one becomes. BTDT.


BJC
Actually renewables are rarely owned by the utilities and have to compete on the open market like all other forms. They only exist because they are competitive.

California has so many windmills that the average cost is actually below fossil fuel power sources, and they often have to switch them off or else it produces excess power that they actually have to pay to get rid of.

Companies like Amazon have built entire fields of windmills in Texas because they are so affordable. It has nothing to do with the utilities.

It's not a political thing and everyone needs to stop trying to find conspiracy theories to baselessly bash one another constantly.
 
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