Hybrids - Toyota vs Honda

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notbob wrote:


Wind turbines are not free. Dead birds from turbines are a major issue. Solar cells are still costly to manufacture.
I'm all for development of alternative energy sources, but the problems are mostly technical and economic, not a matter of conspiracies.
Why don't you work on some of the real challenges instead of filling your mind with nonsense?
John
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wrote:

If I remmeber correctly, It takes more energy to produce a conventional solar cell, than the cell will produce in its lifetime. Its only reason is for portability and utility (use ambient light, rather than the added weight of a batery)

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wrote:

Excuse me, dead birds? Cites, please. (IOW, Prove It.)
I've gone by the Tehachapi wind farms several times, and there are a few local turbines in Palmdale, and there weren't workers out there sweeping up vast piles of dead birds at the base of the turbines - matter of fact, I've never seen a single one. If this is such a "Major Issue", where are they?
--<< Bruce >>--
--
Bruce L. Bergman, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles) CA - Desktop
Electrician for Westend Electric - CA726700
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     snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.invalid "Bruce L. Bergman" writes:

Not trying to be adversarial: around the Mojave/Tehachapi wind farms I'd expect the local coyotes and other predators to have discovered, long ago, that the Places With The Thrumming Trees are good spots at which to catch up stunned, dead or otherwise helpless meals: within hours, nothing to sweep up. ;-) Going by what I have seen of the admittedly often scrawny vegetation there over several visits, even a big bird could lie unseen by passing road travellers. But I am willing to learn otherwise.
One parallel is not exact but close: power lines commonly snag birds as they fly past. That's why you will see silvery balls strung on the lines, especially at valley mouths where flyways lead up into (and down from) hill country. Here in the UK the power company have cut local swan deaths by this precaution.
--
Andrew Stephenson


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On Sat, 12 Nov 2005 02:33:08 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@deltrak.demon.co.uk (Andrew Stephenson) wrote:

Sorry, but no. That's not the primary reason why the visibility balls are placed, or they would be installed on all power lines.
The power lines in selected locations tend to snag more METAL birds than live birds as they fly past, I.E. light airplanes and helicopters. Some power lines cross small valleys and rivers laterally from peak to peak, and the power transmission wires can be very high over the terrain below - where a pilot following visual flight rules would assume he has clear air. If the light is wrong, you can't see those wires till you are right on top of them.
All it takes is the local radio station's traffic reporting plane or the local police patrol helicopter flying too low in the wrong place, trying to spot a traffic tie-up or follow a pursuit. If they happen by at the same altitude as the power lines, it gets really messy.
The visibility balls on the static wire are there to show the wire location clearly, even in low visibility conditions where the pilots can't see the towers.
--<< Bruce >>--
--
Bruce L. Bergman, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles) CA - Desktop
Electrician for Westend Electric - CA726700
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     snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.invalid "Bruce L. Bergman" writes:

Thanks for the insights on the USian setup. However, our local power company here in the eastern UK did install such power line decorations to save swans/geese/etc from accidents, when flying around favoured grazing/landing sites. Maybe they saved the odd plane too -- dunno.
Back to the windmills: perhaps I ought to enquire as to rates of bird strike locally, now that more and more of the whirly things are being installed. Mind, some are offshore, by a mile or two, and I am guessing we can spare the odd seagull (breeding to pest numbers).
--
Andrew Stephenson


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Yes - here in the States the balls are orange, and are mandated by FAA regulations where lines cross open expanses that helicopters might want to cross. Interestingly, birds won't go near high tension lines (although they sometimes build nests on 69KV poles). The "induction" apparently bothers them as much as it bothers us. Lower voltages don't seem to affect birds much.
Interesting to use windmills for piecework production. They are poorly suited for public grids because they are too intermittent. Some think any windy spot is suitable, but the requirements are daunting. The site must have reasonably predictable winds mostly around the rated speed (presently about 12 m/s or around 25 mph). Since the power output changes with the cube of the wind speed, dropping the wind speed from 12 m/s to 10 m/s means a 40% drop in output - a real budget breaker when you are contracted to deliver so many MW. Here in the States many wind farms too often operate at a loss because of failure-to-deliver penalties, and proposed FERC rules relating to power hygiene (such as phase regulation... wind farms have been bad neighbors on the grids so far) could make that worse. But for producing hydrogen they could theoretically be made to pay off.
Mike
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bingo!
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wrote:

Hey, they gotta be good for something! :-) I have a brother who used to work for American Wind Power in California, but I don't think they are in business any more.
Seriously, uses that don't care much about the unpredictable nature of wind power are a lot more attractive than going live on the public grids. Even pumping water for gravity storage makes sense where the water and land are suitable. Land that has the required characteristics for real-time wind power is amazingly scarce and can become expensive if demand increases. Land that has a usable amount of wind enough of the time for production enterprises is far more common.
Whether hydrogen generation is going to have enough demand for wind or solar powered cracking to be practical remains to be seen, but I don't rule it out.
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

Indeed. Before electric power and motors became ubiquitous, windmills were commonly used to pump water out of wells for farms and ranches. Their unpredictability and relatively high maintenance and repair requirements compared to electric pumps all but eliminated wind power from it's historic water pumping roll.
John
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Michael Pardee wrote:

An excellent point you make sir! Wind power to add to energy storage, be that storage hydrogen or some form of battery, makes lots of sense. It is much harder to make wind generators put out the constant voltage, constant phase output the grid wants to see.
John
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On Sun, 13 Nov 2005 03:42:05 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@deltrak.demon.co.uk (Andrew Stephenson) wrote:

Sorry, they're for light aircraft in the UK too.
Documents and reports should be available at your local HSE office, go n and ask nicely. They should be able to find you the mountains of reports on it.

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Now this isn't to dismiss you totally - I'm sure there are some stupid or poor eyesight species of birds where the airplane visibility balls are a help, especially where the wires pass several hundred meters over a valley where they would expect to find clear air. But they were placed there primarily for airplanes.
But if the birds are there at that altitude too, that raises the problems of bird strikes on airplanes...
And when a Raptor (hawks, falcons, etc.) is following a pigeon and has his mind solely on Dinner!, he's going to follow the prey bird till one of them loses the chase. And a smart prey bird is gong to try to lose the predator however they can - and leading him right into the blades of a wind turbine, or the side of a building, or a cliff, is a great way to lose your pursuer. Permanently if possible, so they don't have to go through this whole chase scene all over again tomorrow.
Raptors like to light on top of power poles and zap themselves between the lines, too. Which led to them putting a bare crossarm at the top of certain favorite poles with no wires, solely to act as a perch. The transmission lines are on the next crossarm down.
But it's not done for the birds, it's for practical reasons - a bird gets zapped, and the flash-over trips the circuit breaker for that transmission line and shuts that line off for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
--
Bruce L. Bergman, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles) CA - Desktop
Electrician for Westend Electric - CA726700
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     snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.invalid "Bruce L. Bergman" writes:

Reminds me of a story my grandfather told me, of the early days of coal mines in the north of England.
It seems one mine used to generate 10,000 volts to run its gear, but did so several miles from the pit, which involved setting up power lines across open countryside... Okay, you've guessed the punchline; but ride with me for the scenery.
Now and then power would fail at the pit. A man would be sent to walk the lines. He never seemed to find a cause. When breakers were closed again, the system would run fine -- until next time.
One day someone was out on the moors (or whatever) and noticed a group of rooks (or similar gregarious, prone-to-squabbling birds) had roosted on the lines. As he watched he saw a rook, on one line, lean across to peck at a neighbour, on the other line--
The explanation for the failures came, as it were, in a flash.
(Okay, stupid line layout. Early days of HT power transmission.)
--
Andrew Stephenson


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On Mon, 14 Nov 2005 19:50:34 GMT, Bruce L. Bergman

and of course, common sense might also dictate that if they can't see the line without the balls, they can't see it WITH the balls, and just see the balls, and are as likely to go to either side as up. I don't recall seeing anywhere that someone has taught birds 'when you see the balls, there's powerlines and you got to go up over them' They don't know what the balls mean, just that they're balls.

yep, happens a fair bit, mainly with deaf birds, who don't hear the aircraft - noise plays a bit part of birds lives.

Think we established elsewhere 9certainly on one of my emergency services groups) that the line breakers nowadays reset themselves 3-4 times, before breaking perminantly, just for that reason. Seen plenty of warning notifications that say 'even if the hot stick says the lines off, don't assume it is, because of the breakers. Wait for grid controller confirmation before entering the vicinity of the jump-zone'
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I've read articles that said that birds occasionally flew into the blades of the propeller-type horizontal-axis turbines. I've seen a private one near Reno, NV close up and have driven by the ones at Tehachapi many times in the past and have not noticed any dead birds either, but I suppose that the occasional bird does get chopped. Even though turbine RPM may be relatively low, the speed of the tip is pretty high due to the diameter of the blades so a bird that is flying to a particular space which is clear one moment has a blade coming around the next. Because of this, planners try to place wind farms out of the path of flocks of birds.
I just happened to read about a company that is developing a vertical axis wind turbine http://www.tmawind.com/index.htm
They are trying to develop a turbine that is more bird-friendly and does not develop magnetic resonance that can interfere with aircraft navigation. Their site had pictures of their turbine but I couldn't find one today. The turbine was almost as tall as the prop-type but instead of blades, the vanes looked like long tubes that were cut in half along the long axis, spinning like a washing machine agitator between fixed vanes that direct the wind into the moving vanes.
The wind-turbine-powered house I saw was built in the high desert near Reno over 20 years ago. It had 2 turbines and a room about the size of a one-car garage filled with lead-acid batteries. The house had 2 sets of wiring, 12 volt for lighting and 110 volt for appliances. I suppose the technology has advanced quite a bit by now, but it was kind of irritating to watch the picture on the TV shrink and expand, and the lights fluctuate in intensity.
--
Ray O
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Bruce L. Bergman wrote:

USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-01-04-windmills-usat_x.htm
Google is your friend.
John
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wrote:

Yeah, it is - and here's the top two hits I got, which coincidentally enough show the other side:
http://www.homepower.com/files/birds.pdf
They have a sound theory that may explain the few places that bird strikes are concentrated in, namely the Altamont Pass near San Francisco - agricultural pesticides are used on rodents, raptors eat the rodents, and are drugging the raptors so stupid they're flying into the generators - even when they are not turning at the time.
A bird flying into a stationary tower or a stationary wind turbine blade is not the fault of the tower. It's the bird's responsibility to spot and navigate around fixed obstacles. They have eyes. Too bad they're connected to a brain the size of a pea.
And the other - http://www.awea.org/faq/sagrillo/swbirds.html
Wow - all those birds running into lighted and checkerboard-painted radio towers, and the sides of fixed buildings....
To conclude: It's tough to be a bird.
--<< Bruce >>--
--
Bruce L. Bergman, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles) CA - Desktop
Electrician for Westend Electric - CA726700
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"Bruce L. Bergman" wrote:

www.sfgate.com
San Francisco Chronicle 12/19/04 Jane Kay, Chronicle Environmental Writer
Taming the Deadly Wind Farm Key Source of Renewable Energy Often Lethal For Birds
If environmentalists and state officials have their way, the towering windmills that dot the Altamont Pass will be replaced and moved to prevent the killing of thousands of birds annually, including species protected under federal and state laws. ... With 5,000 windmills in a 50 square mile area, the Altamont Pass is the world's largest windfarm, producing electricity to power 200,000 households annually. But it is also the worst in the country for slaughtering birds.
Altamont Pass is a prime hunting ground for golden eagles and other raptors, and scientists estimate _conservatively_ that the turbines kill some 4,700 birds every year. ...
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notbob wrote:

they're not in their infancy - the energy is just very "un-dense" and that makes it apita to use.

excuse me - what pressures do you think it's transported at? and how does that compare with the pressure necessary to store sufficient to run a car 300 miles at a reasonable volume? do the math.

there's several problems with hydrogen:
1. it typically takes more enery to produce than you get back out - not really a good idea is you want to quote green credentials as a reason for use.
2. it's extremely dangerous. that may not bother you, but it bothers me.
3. it's extremely hard to use. have you ever heard of diffusion? how about hydrogen cracking?
no, hydrogen is great political propaganda, but it ain't no practical solution.

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