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By avh
Current wind turbines are EACH equipped with a generator and a gearbox. We know large generators (such as used in electricity power plants) are more efficient, would it make sense to connect an array of wind mills via driveshaft to one large generator on the ground.

1) high(er) efficiency generator
2) use only one big generator, not many small ones
3) big generator on the ground is easy to maintain (no climbing in towers)
4) individual wind mills can be cheaper (basically rotor, nacelle, tower and driveshaft)
5) total cost of such a wind energy cluster may be cheaper.

Obviously some energy is lost in transporting mechanical energy via driveshafts. But since wind itself is free and if the total cost per generated kW is cheaper in this configuration - it might bring down the price per kW in this cluster configuration.

Reward: I believe that any idea that can help our civilization to survive the inevitable fossil fuel energy crisis should be voluntary donated asap. If this proves to be one - please use it!
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By Steve
I've also heard that wind turbines can be fairly loud - maybe banning the generator to the ground would cut down on noise as well? (Or maybe the driveshafts would make it even louder, who knows? :-? )
By Daryl666
1 other problem is that if the wind speeds are different across the area even by 1mph the fastest 1 would lose a lot of its energy trying top haul all the other ones to its speed.
By avh
Thx fro the feedback.
Daryl666, that could be easily overcome by using differentials. Hard linking them is not a good idea indeed.
By Rishi
The cost of the online turbine is a small fr4action of the cost of the total system. Linking the energy, synchronising, and distribution is far more simple and efficient for electricity than for mechanoical energy. Usually wind farms cover a huge territory at different levels. It is difficult to link such systems mechanically without losing lot of power. It will be very expensive. It is much easier to shut down individual systems than a cluster that is mechanically linked.

The sound is mainly caused by the wind howling across the spinning blades. Very little is created by a well balanced generator.

By way of info: A USD 4.5 million project is coming up in the New York East River to generate 200 KW peak power using tidal currents to turn deep submerged turbines. The break even cost of energy is likely to be USD2/KWHr. Alternate energy is not cheap.

By Daryl666
i rather disagree of the price of the power to break even being high.

at the beginning the cost to power produced ratio is quite large but in a few years it has paid itself and is still running for a very long time after the fact.

Just look at B.C. in Canada where the largest portion of our power comes from Hydro-electric Dams I only pay 6.2 cents per KWH and that is thanks to the fact that after you build it the price to keep it running is a lot lower that any source that burns any of the pricey fuel. thus causing Thermal wear from the heat of the burning fuel. Then requiring all this maintence and twice people to run it as needed by a renewable energy source.
By Baker29
i rather disagree of the price of the power to break even being high.

Depends on the circumstances associated with alternate energy sources. Hydroelectric is the cheapest and most reliable renewable energy (particularly in the part of the world you cite), but don't forget the environmental costs associated with things such as destruction of salmon runs. And its not available everywhere (Florida for example is too flat to generate hydroelectric power). For alternate energy sources to be competitive, one must find the proper locations and take advantage of them.

However, another problem is that when these locations are found, its often opposed by the NIMBY crowd. For example, there are proposals here in New England to generate wind power off the coast of Cape Cod and all the feasibility studies indicate this clean renewable energy would be competetive with traditional fossil fuels. But its being opposed by many locals (and some local celebrities, such as Walter Cronkite, who otherwise always support these types of projects... except this one would be in his back yard) despite the clear advantages to the region. In my mind this is being selfish and shortsighted and foolish but they of course have the right to their opinion.
By Rockey
Ok call me crazzy but this might just work!!
I was thinking on day how could I make an energy resorce that would never run out..
Then it hit me..
Tell me if you think it would work but if you take two magnets N N what will happen?? WHeir as if you use N S what happens. This invisible pull is always their and will always be their due to the magentic plates.
NOw if you take a generatore and think about how it basically runs.
Preatty muck it is a series of gears, and weels that start turning due to the the fuel igniting and so on....
Well my idea is to copleatly eliminate the fuel and replace it with magnets. My idea is to stateigaclly place magnets on these weels so that pull of the magnetts cause the weels to turn their for not needing fuel.....
Sorry about the spelling let me know what yous think????
By Rishi
Very sorry. But there is no free lunch. The scheme violates the first law of thermodynamics. Energy cannot be created without a corresponding expenditure elsewhere. Moreover, the second law ensures that the produced energy is less than the expended.

The suggested scheme is a perpetual motion machine of the first kind and will not start.

By jacobpatrick
does any body know if the clever science folk have harnessed geo thermal energy yet.
we could place a small power plant on top of a small active volcano.
im sure there are pros cons and relative inviromental dangers
By Rishi
The technical feasibility of geo thermal power generation has been established a while back. It is the commercial viability and nearness to consumption points that have to be settled.

Most of the alternate technologies are usually much more expensive than the conventional ones. We may yet be driven to this source, which is environmentally clean if you use the hot springs and not active volcanoes.

By jacobpatrick
hey now that you mention it, i did hear of something being planted on a guiser.
can you explain nearness to consumption point thx.
By Rishi
Geothermal sources are generally located far from the madding crowd.
Distribution costs can become quite high. Of course, this is only a capitol cost and can be amortised over a long period. It is certainly a worthwhile option.

By nov8r
Why not only a few large turbines to one large generator?
By Rishi
jacobpatrick wrote:does any body know if the clever science folk have harnessed geo thermal energy yet.
we could place a small power plant on top of a small active volcano.
im sure there are pros cons and relative inviromental dangers

There seems to be an Australian commercial enterprise on doing just this.

The above url gives full details.

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