UK Needs New Wind Turbines

Repowering UK’s Onshore Wind Farms Is “Vital” In Face Of Looming Energy Gap

"The report also lays out the case for potentially upgrading turbines which are already operating before their proposed end-of-use date, or allowing existing projects to operate beyond their originally envisaged end-of-use dates."

 Not sure the bold part is particularly wise. Also not sure if its implications are positive for the renewables industry.

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3 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

"The report also lays out the case for potentially upgrading turbines which are already operating before their proposed end-of-use date, or allowing existing projects to operate beyond their originally envisaged end-of-use dates."

 Not sure the bold part is particularly wise. Also not sure if its implications are positive for the renewables industry.

Operating past their "originally envisaged end-of-use dates" doesn't exactly strike me as "renewable".

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Well, the wind is renewable... When it blows.

I have a new word for you (and me, since I've got a list now): US banks: financing climate extentiction. It's not used jokingly. I think the author sincerely believes that's the correct spelling. He's also written a book titled The Joy of Tax...

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43 minutes ago, Marina Schwarz said:

Well, the wind is renewable... When it blows.

I have a new word for you (and me, since I've got a list now): US banks: financing climate extentiction. It's not used jokingly. I think the author sincerely believes that's the correct spelling. He's also written a book titled The Joy of Tax...

 

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That's so much better, Tom, thanks!

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4 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Operating past their "originally envisaged end-of-use dates" doesn't exactly strike me as "renewable".

I don't think anyone envisaged the turbines would last forever. 

Repowering existing sites makes sense as it helps bypass the normal planning processes. A typical repowering project might involve taking down 12 300KW turbines and replacing them with 4 2 MW turbines which increases the output and the capacity factor as the new turbines are much taller. 

Often the old turbines can be sold on the second hand market for redeployment at industrial sites. My wifes firm has a turbine  like this. They don't export any power - what it produces just offsets imports.  

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On 4/29/2019 at 11:37 AM, Tom Kirkman said:

Operating past their "originally envisaged end-of-use dates" doesn't exactly strike me as "renewable".

Tom,

You probably know better than anybody how often offshore platforms life is extended. Is there an engineering difference between extending an O&G offshore platform and a windturbine? Serious question. 

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On 4/29/2019 at 8:00 AM, Marina Schwarz said:

Repowering UK’s Onshore Wind Farms Is “Vital” In Face Of Looming Energy Gap

"The report also lays out the case for potentially upgrading turbines which are already operating before their proposed end-of-use date, or allowing existing projects to operate beyond their originally envisaged end-of-use dates."

 Not sure the bold part is particularly wise. Also not sure if its implications are positive for the renewables industry.

If you are able to re-use site infrastructure you cut the CAPEX for the next project. The end-of-use date was factored into the original investment  plan. This article to me just point out that the UK power infrastructure needs to be future-proofed. 

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2 minutes ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

Tom,

You probably know better than anybody how often offshore platforms life is extended. Is there an engineering difference between extending an O&G offshore platform and a windturbine? Serious question. 

Valid point and nope, not really an engineering difference.

I was mostly just poking some good natured fun at the irony of extending the engineering shelf life of "green" wind turbines and calling it "renewable".  Still makes me chuckle a bit, but I'm easily amused these days : )

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12 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

Tom,

You probably know better than anybody how often offshore platforms life is extended. Is there an engineering difference between extending an O&G offshore platform and a windturbine? Serious question. 

I believe the towers have a life span of 2-3 turbine lifetimes so at some point (20-30 years) along comes the operator, removes old turbine and replaces with a new one with blades. A cost involved but nowhere near the the initial cost of putting the tower in. 

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(edited)

On 4/29/2019 at 12:00 AM, Marina Schwarz said:

Repowering UK’s Onshore Wind Farms Is “Vital” In Face Of Looming Energy Gap

"The report also lays out the case for potentially upgrading turbines which are already operating before their proposed end-of-use date, or allowing existing projects to operate beyond their originally envisaged end-of-use dates."

 Not sure the bold part is particularly wise. Also not sure if its implications are positive for the renewables industry.

UK announced recently only electric vehicles by 2040.  Next day their electrical engineers, who understand their overall grid, announced that another nuke plant was needed.

The most efficient new turbines may not be able to use existing foundations "as is" if the "overturning moments" at the bases are larger or the attachment bolting pattern is different.  Some rework of the foundation and/or by the turbine manufacturer would be needed.

Any green project should be evaluated based on "life cycle cost analysis".  That includes possible reclamation of abandened sites such as is required of oilsands projects.  I have seen articles that Germany and France electric costs are rising due to their greening programs.

More uplifting, one Netflix show and a series, "Search for the Super Battery" and "Islands of the Future" were awe inspiring.

One episode of "Islands" shows how an island off the Danish coast became totally self sufficient with renewable wind.  Another was about  the Orkney islands.  Other islands.  A common theme was that imported energy was a lot more expensive for the islands.  Also, the locals took action to solve their unique situations, not big government.

"Super Battery" starts a bit simple for general audiences then continues to cover new technologies for energy storage being built and applied today.  Not lithium ion batteries, they wear out and have waste challenges.  New storage technologies are in operation now with very long lives.  However, as a percentage of our total energy needs, renewables are not enough.  Back to population growth and our human desire to want more and better.

 

Edited by WayneMechEng
Changed Dutch to Danish coast.
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These are two very interesting recommendations. Thank you!

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5 hours ago, WayneMechEng said:

The most efficient new turbines may not be able to use existing foundations "as is" if the "overturning moments" at the bases are larger or the attachment bolting pattern is different.  Some rework of the foundation and/or by the turbine manufacturer would be needed.

Wayne, I do not see how a 2 MW machine located "up higher" can fit onto an extended tower on the same concrete block. of a 500 KW machine. The torque arm forces on that base are going to be considerably greater.  For a large machine like that, the local use here is a base some 16 feet thick, with dimensions over 30 feet square.  It becomes one massive block of concrete.  And there is no plan to ever remove it.  That block of concrete ends up like those big German WWII bunkers built along the Atlantic Wall, or at the submarine pens at La Rochelle. 

As for those smaller blocks scattered about, they too will remain, forever, now part of the landscape.  Which is fine as long as you are good with it. 

Unfortunately, everything else on that site will also have to be replaced.  Power cables capable of carrying the current from a 500 KW unit will be unable to handle a 2 MW flow.  And you will need a new rotational condenser to absorb current flow variations. You really are not going to be salvaging much -  except perhaps the paperwork needed to approve and install a wind farm in the first place.  On a strictly personal note, reflecting my own prejudices, you are likely better off with that new nuke plant.  Cha·cun à son goût!

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On 5/4/2019 at 10:26 PM, Jan van Eck said:

Wayne, I do not see how a 2 MW machine located "up higher" can fit onto an extended tower on the same concrete block. of a 500 KW machine. The torque arm forces on that base are going to be considerably greater.  For a large machine like that, the local use here is a base some 16 feet thick, with dimensions over 30 feet square.  It becomes one massive block of concrete.  And there is no plan to ever remove it.  That block of concrete ends up like those big German WWII bunkers built along the Atlantic Wall, or at the submarine pens at La Rochelle. 

As for those smaller blocks scattered about, they too will remain, forever, now part of the landscape.  Which is fine as long as you are good with it. 

Unfortunately, everything else on that site will also have to be replaced.  Power cables capable of carrying the current from a 500 KW unit will be unable to handle a 2 MW flow.  And you will need a new rotational condenser to absorb current flow variations. You really are not going to be salvaging much -  except perhaps the paperwork needed to approve and install a wind farm in the first place.  On a strictly personal note, reflecting my own prejudices, you are likely better off with that new nuke plant.  Cha·cun à son goût!

Thanks for the in depth facts.  As a retired piping stress engineer I always had to check with experts in the other disciplines.  I could add that the new turbine foundation would need to avoid resonance with variable speed blade rotation.  As you said, lots of mass (concrete) needed.  So replacing old turbines wih newer large turbines doesn't mean big cost savings

(I was also a field engineer for 2 1/2 years so picked up some non-expert knowledge.)

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On 4/29/2019 at 2:37 AM, Tom Kirkman said:

Operating past their "originally envisaged end-of-use dates" doesn't exactly strike me as "renewable".

Uh, that is the EPITOME of renewable. 

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On 5/4/2019 at 9:26 PM, Jan van Eck said:

Wayne, I do not see how a 2 MW machine located "up higher" can fit onto an extended tower on the same concrete block. of a 500 KW machine. The torque arm forces on that base are going to be considerably greater.  For a large machine like that, the local use here is a base some 16 feet thick, with dimensions over 30 feet square.  It becomes one massive block of concrete.  And there is no plan to ever remove it.  That block of concrete ends up like those big German WWII bunkers built along the Atlantic Wall, or at the submarine pens at La Rochelle. 

As for those smaller blocks scattered about, they too will remain, forever, now part of the landscape.  Which is fine as long as you are good with it. 

Unfortunately, everything else on that site will also have to be replaced.  Power cables capable of carrying the current from a 500 KW unit will be unable to handle a 2 MW flow.  And you will need a new rotational condenser to absorb current flow variations. You really are not going to be salvaging much -  except perhaps the paperwork needed to approve and install a wind farm in the first place.  On a strictly personal note, reflecting my own prejudices, you are likely better off with that new nuke plant.  Cha·cun à son goût!

The block itself is not the problem.  Diamond core drills allow one to tie new rebar into a larger base.  The problem is the tower base connection point.  You cannot simply dump a larger tower on it, nor can you place new bolts into the concrete base.  Now is that the ONLY solution?  No.  But complexity increases.  You could always go with a larger new base on top of existing base(done often) and then connecting the new steel base rods to the old base rods and drilled holes for new rebar.    

As for the power cables?  No big deal.  You increase the voltage or to the layman, observing, all of the newer turbines are going there anyways as the LOWER RPM demands MANY more poles and to obtain higher efficiency with more poles requires higher voltage.

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