If you've ever driven close to the huge wind turbine, I'm sure some of you have wondered how long it must take for the wind to start turning such large blades on some of these windmills and how they are stopped, when the wind gets too high for them to operate.
You won't hear anybody in the environmental movement or the renewable energy business tell you this, but as it turns out, all wind turbines use about the same amount of grid electricity as they produce. Large wind turbines require huge amounts of fossil fuel grid electricity to operate. Wind farms have to use electricity from the grid and of course, this large amount of grid electricity is never accounted for in relation to output figures.
Wind turbine functions that use fueled derived electricity are as follows:
•yaw mechanism (to keep the blade assembly perpendicular to the wind; also to untwist the electrical cables in the tower when necessary) -- the nacelle (turbine housing) and blades together, weigh 92 tons on a GE 1.5-MW turbine
•blade-pitch control (to keep the rotors spinning at a regular rate)
•lights, controllers, communication, sensors, metering, data collection, etc.
•heating the blades -- this may require 10%-20% of the turbine's nominal (rated) power
•heating and dehumidifying the nacelle -- according to Danish manufacturer Vestas, "power consumption for heating and dehumidification of the nacelle, must be expected during periods with increased humidity, low temperatures and low wind speeds"
•oil heater, pump, cooler, and filtering system in gearbox
•hydraulic brake (to lock the blades in very high wind)
•thyristors (to graduate the connection and disconnection between generator and grid) -- 1%-2% of the energy passing through is lost
•magnetizing the stator -- the induction generators used in most large grid-connected turbines require a "large" amount of continuous electricity from the grid to actively power the magnetic coils around the asynchronous "cage rotor" that encloses the generator shaft. At the rated wind speeds, it helps keep the rotor speed constant, and as the wind starts blowing it helps start the rotor turning (see next item); in the rated wind speeds, the stator may use power equal to 10% of the turbine's rated capacity in slower winds, possibly much more.
Using the generator as a motor (to help the blades start to turn when the wind speed is low or, as many suspect, to maintain the illusion that the facility is producing electricity when it is not, particularly during important site tours.) It surely seems possible that the grid-magnetized stator must work to help keep the 40-ton blade assembly spinning. Along with the gears which increase the blade rpm some 50 times for the generator, not just at cut-in (or for show in even less wind) but at least some of the way up towards the full rated wind speed; it may also be spinning the blades and rotor shaft to prevent warping when there is no wind.
What all this amounts to is, each wind turbine actually uses more than 60% of its rated capacity in its own operation. Thus, each wind farm as a whole, produces only less than 25% of its annual rated capacity. This means that wind farms use twice the amount of grid electricity for every amount of wind-generated electricity produced.
I'm sure this is news to most Americans, who thought and naturally assumed that wind turbines only produced electricity and it never occurred to a normal person that these devices would actually require Fossil Fueled electricity to operate. Since no records of electricity usage is ever kept at these wind farms, this alarming fact has never become public knowledge.
Since it is admitted by everyone that wind generated electricity only amounts to around 1% of our total produced electricity, these hidden facts bring that figure down to a negative percentage at best. Using more electricity than it produces, green electricity is the reason for Cap and Trade, since green credits can be bought and sold to the highest bidder.
Killing perhaps millions of endangered bird species per year, degrading human health in the same manner as is experienced with people living near high voltage power lines. Ruining many of the earth's most scenic spots, with these huge steel monstrosities and above all, doing nothing in alleviating any fossil fuel electricity usage is the reason these expensive and dangerous eyesores must go.
In today's economy, we cannot afford to spend billions of dollars on a Nigerian like fraud, such as the wind farm swindle.