Newest target of copper thieves: wind turbines

IMG_20140524_195347[1]

Wind Turbines at Rio Vista, CA in May 2014 – Photo: Anthony Watts

From France24: A sophisticated network of metal thieves has targeted some 20 French wind turbines in a new looting trend, scaling the near 40-metre-high structures and stealing up to one tonne of metal from a single engine, Le Figaro reported Wednesday.

Citing an anonymous police source, the daily newspaper said the ring stole metal from wind farms in sparsely populated areas, where they had less chance of being caught.

“They cut the power to turn off the engine propeller motor,” the officer said, noting the thieves broke through the doors at the bottom of the turbines, before using the stairs to reach the engine which is located at the top – often as high as 40 metres off the ground. “By using bolt cutters and makeshift tools they then cut and ripped out the whole metal wiring, which is mostly made of copper,” he said.

The officer said a metal raid of a single wind turbine engine could amount to as much as one tonne of loot. One tonne of copper is estimated to be worth around 4,500 euros on the  market.

According to Le Figaro, at least 20 such incidents have been recorded recently. Two successful raids and one foiled attempt were reported in March alone.

http://www.france24.com/en/20140528-france-metal-organised-thefts-wind-turbines-copper/

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108 Responses to Newest target of copper thieves: wind turbines

  1. pat says:

    how funny. still, the copper price is better than ***below:

    29 May: SMH: Bloomberg: CO2 market hurt by Australian, Russian policy, World Bank says
    Efforts to put a value on greenhouse- gas emissions to contain global warming are being hurt as countries from Australia to Russia and Japan pull back from carbon-reduction commitments, according to the World Bank.
    “While some nations are taking concrete steps forward on carbon pricing, recent developments in others are a setback,” the World Bank said in its State & Trends of Carbon Pricing 2014 report published on Wednesday. Policy changes amount to “two steps forward, one step back,” it said…
    Russia said last month that the UN-endorsed goal of capping rising global temperatures shouldn’t dictate countries’ emission limits in a new climate treaty for 2020…
    Emissions trading programs worldwide were worth about $US30 billion ($32.5 billion) at the end of 2013, according to the bank, which excluded United Nations emissions credits created under the Kyoto Protocol. The value of global carbon markets, based on transaction volumes and including UN credits, fell 36 per cent last year to about $US56 billion, Bloomberg New Energy Finance data show.Costs between pricing programs “occupy a significant range,” the bank said.
    ***An emissions tax in Mexico is less than $US1 a metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, while Sweden’s carbon tax is $US168 a ton, according to the report.
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/co2-market-hurt-by-australian-russian-policy-world-bank-says-20140529-zrrcg.html

  2. pat says:

    btw the clearest signal yet from the Opposition that Australia’s carbon tax will go:

    28 May: Reuters: James Regan: UPDATE 1-Australia’s opposition leader concedes carbon, mining taxes to go
    Australia’s opposition Labor Party on Wednesday said two contentious taxes on mining and carbon emissions introduced during its years in power would likely be repealed this year…
    Greenpeace environment director Ben Pearson said he was disappointed that Shorten had “put out the white flag” so soon.
    “There was an opportunity to tell the world that an industrialised country like Australia was not headed backwards on the environment,” Pearson said. “That’s now been lost.”…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/28/australia-tax-opposition-idUSL3N0OE11620140528

  3. H.R. says:

    So the stolen copper will be recycled into windings for the wind turbines…

    Sounds a lot like economic perpetual motion to me.

  4. Eric Worrall says:

    “They cut the power to turn off the engine propeller motor” – LMFAO :-)

  5. Dena says:

    Two years ago I was house hunting and I found people would open the air conditioners for the copper (I am sure they didn’t correctly harvest the freon). They would steal the breakers and even pull the wire out of the wall. Combine that with missing appliances and just outright damage, some people will steal and damage most anything for very little reason. The builder my house was still building and set up flood lights and cameras to prevent damage to houses still under construction. Making over $6000 american for one day or night of work would be very tempting. On the other hand, the salvage yards should be watching out for anybody with a large pile of copper and they should report it to the police.

  6. ossqss says:

    How much do those turbines cost?

    Ya think they would at least install an alarm of some sort on them and the access to them.

    Instead of: Look, the wind stopped on FA432 , but not the others….

  7. Col Mosby says:

    Finally, crooks doing something for the benefit of mankind. How about awards for these
    wonderful thieves? Of necessity wind turbines are generally located in unpopulated areas.

  8. Colorado Wellington says:

    If Gaia cries as a wind turbine is robbed of its copper and no climatologist is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

  9. Louis says:

    “They cut the power to turn off the engine propeller motor”

    I thought the whole point of a windmill was to produce power from the wind. Why do they need a propeller motor? Does cutting the power cause the propeller to lock up so it stops turning? Or is there some other explanation?

  10. john karajas says:

    Serves them bloody well right! To get copper you have to mine it out of the ground which is an evil thing. I know this because the great Australian actress Toni Collette told us so.

  11. Gamecock says:

    Did the officer just reveal that they are all completely fake?

  12. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    Another reason to abandon windmills sooner rather than later.

  13. Louis says:

    Has the unprecedented increase in the theft of copper been added to the list of things caused by global warming?

  14. Gamecock says:

    Copper thieves around here will do $10,000 damage to get $50 worth of copper. I have a friend who builds steel cages to protect air conditioners. Rural churches are his best customers.

    Looks like the windmill thieves will do hundreds of thousands in damage.

  15. NikFromNYC says:

    Copper is one of the very few colored metals. These green energy guys might was well fill these remote towers with gold. Let’s claim these guys as civil disobedient “monkey wrench” activists, on our Quixotic skeptical side, out saving the world from power grid instability, a bit misguided and overly enthusiastic, but their hearts in the right place.

  16. R Taylor says:

    Eric Worrall says:
    May 28, 2014 at 6:16 pm
    “They cut the power to turn off the engine propeller motor” – LMFAO :-)
    ———————————————————————–
    Likely not true in this case because there was no-one to impress, but a friend of mine who worked for a major utility in the 1990s told me they would run current to the generator to make the demonstration windmill turn whenever VIPs, etc., were visiting.

  17. jones says:

    Maybe they stole the copper out of necessity and pay their energy bills?

  18. dbstealey says:

    Gamecock says:

    Copper thieves around here will do $10,000 damage to get $50 worth of copper.

    True dat. I had a shopping center about 8 years ago when the price of copper went sky high. Thieves stole all the copper A/C drain pipes off the roof. It would have cost around $20,000 to replace them with copper, and that’s what the building code required. But I used PVC. Cost about one-tenth as much.

  19. Jon Alldritt says:

    Let the drug heads of the world know is all that I can say. Then let them out on probation when they get cought. Great solution to a sick solution.

  20. rogerknights says:

    At minimum, a law should be passed requiring salvage yards to photograph, fingerprint, and photocopy the ID of anyone selling scrap copper.

  21. rogerknights says:

    The turbine designers should have built in stronger security and alarm systems. Thieves’ eagerness to strop copper from structures has been well known for decades.

  22. rogerknights says:

    I’ve read that the reason for motors to turn the blades is mainly to prevent the bearings from developing flat spots during windless days.

  23. Katherine says:

    Typo in the headline. It should be “thieves”

    [Thanks, fixed. ~mod.]

  24. Richard Day says:

    If this happens on Earth Day, are they given pardons when caught?

  25. A.D. Everard says:

    Personally, I wish someone would take a bazooka to them. The windmills, that is, not the thieves.

  26. RACookPE1978 says:

    ossqss says:
    May 28, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    How much do those turbines cost?

    Ya think they would at least install an alarm of some sort on them and the access to them.

    The BUILDERS of the wind turbines don’t care => THEY make (er, made) THEIR money from the construction tax credits and the financing tax credits to the manufacturer (you can pay for a nice factory in a new city with wind turbine start up money if you don’t care about long term profits!) and from the installation tax credits and carbon credits/rebates on the POTENTIAL of the wind turbine output.

    All of those of course are “green energy” subsidies, so the politicians sending the money OUT get all of the glory and glamor.

    The SMALL amount of power actually produced does not ever come into play, and the maintenance and periodic repairs are very, very expensive for anything. Much less a small little itty bitty ( 1.5 to 0.5 Mwatt) power plant 300 feet up a tower 60 miles from the nearest supply store. So the maintenance won’t get done by the utility or company that bought the land from the developer/politician/green energy company. In 7 -10 years, less than 10% will be running. Look at the even smaller, easier to maintain turbines in California passes. The 10 and 15 year old turbines are NOT running, and those are in a perfect, near-ideal location!

    By the way, why worry about cutting power? Trip the output transformer for the field and steal it too! I’m surprised they haven’t begun blowing the towers down … makes it easier to get to the busted motors and cabling inside.

  27. Lewis P Buckingham says:

    R Taylor says:
    May 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Eric Worrall says:
    May 28, 2014 at 6:16 pm
    “They cut the power to turn off the engine propeller motor” – LMFAO :-)
    ———————————————————————–
    They need power to continue turning in no or low winds, otherwise the propeller blades buckle and collapse as the centrifugal force no longer supports them.
    One of the reasons wind power is inefficient.
    In remote areas a diesel generator is attached, but in this case it must have been wired to the grid anyway so it could draw power when the wind did not blow.
    Traveling outside of Adelaide in South Australia, I saw a collapsed blade on a mill, a sorry sight.
    One of the principal groups of metal thieves are illegal immigrants and those without work permits in Australia who are ‘Tourists’ or possibly refugees.
    Groups work at night often loudly arguing about their spoil of kerbside recycling or metal waste at mechanical workshops.
    The darker side pull out new copper underground cables and remove taps and piping from empty homes even when the water is connected.As said above air conditioners and copper downpipes are fair game.
    They need no skills , work permits or even language to do this.
    They show up at the local scrap dealer and get a cash payment for the material supplied and then drive off.
    No need for ID or police check.

  28. AussieBear says:

    It is the asinine statements like that from the Australian Greenpeace bloke, that I cancelled my donations to the organisation.

  29. RACookPE1978 says:

    rogerknights says:
    May 28, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    At minimum, a law should be passed requiring salvage yards to photograph, fingerprint, and photocopy the ID of anyone selling scrap copper.

    That is the law down here (red state, SE US): Yo don’t even get cash after passing over the ID and having your truck tag recorded. you get a check for aluminum, copper, brass, A/C coils, batteries … everything that pays for recycling. its a royal pain, and I’m not convinced it actually does prevent theft. Just penalizes everybody who is moral and ethical.

  30. Olaf Koenders says:

    I believe the motor’s in there to steer the blades into the wind, not to turn the blades.

  31. fromdownunder says:

    well, me think that stealing copper from the wind turbines are pretty safe compared to stealing wiring from a live coal power plant which might be several thousands time more.

  32. ossqss says:

    RA,

    I think you might also find this interesting. It goes beyond the cost of protecting millions of dollars worth of equipment from assault with an access control or alarm system that reports a status from a limited access area. The costs for such is trivial.

    These costs are not.

    http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/310631/more-realistic-cost-wind-energy

  33. Willhelm says:

    And why is this a bad thing?

  34. Andrew N says:

    john karajas (6:56pm) :

    Toni Collette only uses the finest organic free-range carbon-neutral ethical copper available to wire her house.

  35. Chris4692 says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    May 28, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    The BUILDERS of the wind turbines don’t care => THEY make (er, made) THEIR money from the construction tax credits and the financing tax credits to the manufacturer (you can pay for a nice factory in a new city with wind turbine start up money if you don’t care about long term profits!) and from the installation tax credits and carbon credits/rebates on the POTENTIAL of the wind turbine output.

    What grant or tax credit program gives construction or financing tax credits? The only Tax credit I am aware of in the US is a $0.023 tax credit per KW-hr generated for the first 10 years after construction, given to the energy producer not the manufacturer. See http://energy.gov/savings/renewable-electricity-production-tax-credit-ptc

    That would require the wind generator to function and actually produce for the tax credit to continue.

  36. RACookPE1978 says:

    Nice theory. But that ain’t how it works. The turbines finished construction (for example) on 31 December 2012 were eligible for the credit. Those which finished 2 days later (on Jany 2, 2013) were not eligible. Construction peaked (of course!) in late 2012, then immediately fell to 2% of the December levels when the money went away. Remember, RESALES of the finished turbine get the money to the builder, not the future owner who will be shafted by expensive maintenance while generating no power. And, by the way, the real expense maintenance is after 7 and 10 year point!)

    More money trails? (And state money is even more corrupt! ) Solyndra for example, made their billions FIRST, then fired the people and went bankrupt after two years.

    Following from http://www.newsmax.com/US/wind-power-tax-credit/2013/12/31/id/544617/

    Travis Fisher of the Institute for Energy Research said the wind tax credit “has artificially propped up the wind industry at the expense of taxpayers.”

    “It is inherently unfair because it is a very targeted tax credit that basically favors one particular energy source. Furthermore, the subsidy has not managed, as it was intended, to create a sustainable industry,” Fisher told Newsmax.

    “No one is breathing a sigh of relief because we do not know yet what Congress will do when it comes back in January.”

    If the extension were granted, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the annual cost in lost revenue would be $6.1 billion.

    Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/US/wind-power-tax-credit/2013/12/31/id/544617#ixzz334ixE2ml
    Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!


    When the PTC was introduced in 1992, it was meant to be a temporary measure designed to support emerging energy sources, primarily wind power.

    The short-term investment tax credit has morphed into a long-term subsidy despite the continuing growth of wind power. As the American Wind Energy Association notes on its website, wind energy “growth was 30 percent on average for the past five years, helping the United States serve as a major market for wind energy globally.”

    Loris said: “Wind energy exists primarily as a consequence of the subsidy, and their business model is based on getting those subsidies. There is only one way to find out if the industry is sustainable, and that is to let the PTC expire and let wind energy stand on its own.”

    The PTC is not the only subsidy at the disposal of wind producers. Included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in 2009, wind producers were afforded the choice of receiving the Investment Tax Credit, which allows them to deduct 30 percent of the investment cost on their taxes, rather than the PTC.

    The Institute for Energy Research compared the subsidization of various energy sectors and calculated that subsidies for renewables grossly outmatched those for oil, gas, and nuclear.

    Loris advocates eliminating all subsidies, including those to the oil and gas industry, in favor of instituting broader tax reform, including an across-the-board lowering of tax rates.

    As in years past, outside groups are weighing in heavily on the PTC’s fate.

    The major supporter of the PTC extension and additional subsidies for renewable fuels is the AWEA. According to OpenSecrets.org, the group spent $2.4 million on lobbying efforts in 2012 and $1.5 million in 2011.

    In early December, the American Energy Alliance launched a comprehensive lobbying campaign against the extension, which included targeted advertising and background briefings for members of Congress and their staffs.

    “For decades, American taxpayers have bankrolled the wind industry, and the time has long passed to allow the PTC to run its course,” AEA President Thomas Pyle said. “This tax credit was always intended to be temporary, but Big Wind has grown addicted to taxpayer subsidies, spending millions year after year to extend and even expand this unnecessary and expensive taxpayer giveaway.”

  37. Chris4692 says:

    I am wondering if the reference to “motor” in the article actually refers to the generator. The article likely was written in French, by a non technical journalist, translated From French to English by a non technical translator and edited by non technical Editors at each end. There is lots of opportunity for error.

    It’s possible also that a generator, back-fed electricity could act as a motor and turn a windmill if it was needed for some reason. I question whether such a feature is actually needed as I have seen many windmills sitting in calm air without moving for hours-long time periods.

    If a separate motor was needed to rotate the blades to save the bearings, it would only need to be a very small motor of a few horsepower. The blades would be well balanced, the motor would not have to fight the wind, because in those conditions it would not be needed. That motor would not have anywhere near multiple thousands of dollars of copper in it’s windings.

  38. boondoggle9945 says:

    No they are just environmentalists trying to stop the mass slaughter of eagles, birds and bats

  39. u.k.(us) says:

    How much power runs thru these copper wires, it might seem the power/wind must be off to avoid the plasma wire shortage event.
    I’ve been close to a 85,000V wire laying on the ground/grounding.
    All I wanted to do was move farther away.
    I was ~100 feet away, the pressure waves went thru me like the bass drum at a rock concert.
    Be careful out there.

  40. RACookPE1978 says:

    Following from ossqss link above:
    May 28, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    These costs are not.

    http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/310631/more-realistic-cost-wind-energy

    GROSSLY EXCESSIVE WIND ENERGY SUBSIDIES

    Thus, the total levelized cost of wind energy averages $151/MWh with NG back-up/balancing and $192/MWh with coal back-up/balancing.

    Absent economically-viable, utility-scale, energy storage, variable/intermittent, non-dispatchable wind energy cannot exist on the grid, unless balanced by dispatchable coal, gas and hydro plants. For that reason, any levelized costs should be stated as a combination of:

    – wind energy balanced by coal energy

    – wind energy balanced by gas energy

    – wind energy balanced by hydro energy

    The Taylor/Tanton report may or may not overstate, but it certainly performs a useful purpose to attract attention to the heavily-subsidized, wind energy boondoggle, and the inane crowing about wind energy being at grid parity, and the inane crowing about it lowering grid electric rates (BTW, not the rates of rate payers), whereas, in fact, that is merely so, because of the various subsidies, such as:

    – accelerated depreciation to write off the entire project in 5 years, 50% in the first year, just for wind turbines, plus

    – the 2.3 c/kWh production tax credit, PTC, for 10 years, or

    – in lieu of the PTC, receive a 30% investment tax credit, ITC, or

    – in lieu of the ITC, receive a 30% CASH GRANT at commissioning of the project, in case the wind turbine owner claims he has no taxes due against which to apply the ITC; “1603c clause of ARRA”, plus other

    – government grants, low-cost loans, and loan guarantees, plus

    – the socializing, via rate schedules, of various other costs that are mostly hidden/not-easily-identified, as explained in detail in the ATI report by George Taylor, Ph.D. and Thomas Tanton, each with decades of experience analyzing the economics of energy systems.

    http://eelegal.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Hidden-Cost.pdf

    With enough money, even pigs can be made to fly, and even wind energy can be made to appear at grid parity, with much of the costs foisted off onto the public via the rate schedules, the tax code and government hand-outs..

    Hmmmn. Actual cost of “free” wind energy is 151.00 to 190.00 per Mwh, eh? Not $3.50?

  41. RACookPE1978 says:

    Chris4692 says:
    May 28, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    It’s possible also that a generator, back-fed electricity could act as a motor and turn a windmill if it was needed for some reason. I question whether such a feature is actually needed as I have seen many windmills sitting in calm air without moving for hours-long time periods.

    If a separate motor was needed to rotate the blades to save the bearings, it would only need to be a very small motor of a few horsepower. The blades would be well balanced, the motor would not have to fight the wind, because in those conditions it would not be needed. That motor would not have anywhere near multiple thousands of dollars of copper in it’s windings.

    Those motors are very, very large. (Heavier than your car. Turning blades “wings” larger than a 737’s wing, and heavier than a 707 wings. Remember, average capacity is only about 20%. But more than 1/2 of the time they are producing no energy at all. Not even that measly 20%. Some random hours and some random days, they DO produce 100% power. You can’t tell when. Nor where. Nor how long. Which is why Germany often (not always!) pays them to dump that exess, can’t be used energy to the dirt as heat.

    So, again, nope. From that same link above.

    NOTE: In synchronous (3,600 rpm) standby mode (high-speed idling, 24/7/365, no or minimal energy sent to the grid), the fuel consumption is 6 to 8 percent of rated fuel consumption.

    Extra balancing NG fuel adds $6.00/MWh, extra balancing coal fuel adds $9.00/MWh

    Transmission system investments to gather energy from the wind turbines and transmit it from less populated areas, via HVDC and HVAC lines, to population centers adds $27/MWh.

  42. RACookPE1978 says:

    Olaf Koenders says:
    May 28, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    I believe the motor’s in there to steer the blades into the wind, not to turn the blades.

    That is another large motor inside the nacelle. It also has to be continuously energized and controlled or the uncontrolled nacelle movement DOES crack the blades with excess stress.

    Add lubricating motors, oil cooling motors, regulator motors and all of the exciter regulator loads ….
    Not to mention that big red light on top!

  43. Chris4692 says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    May 28, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Nice theory. But that ain’t how it works. The turbines finished construction (for example) on 31 December 2012 were eligible for the credit. Those which finished 2 days later (on Jany 2, 2013) were not eligible. Construction peaked (of course!) in late 2012, then immediately fell to 2% of the December levels when the money went away. Remember, RESALES of the finished turbine get the money to the builder, not the future owner who will be shafted by expensive maintenance while generating no power. And, by the way, the real expense maintenance is after 7 and 10 year point!)

    You apparently did not read the link I provided to the US Energy Department Description of the Production Tax Credit. In order to be eligible for the tax credit for the next 10 years under the program the Energy Producer had to have the facility installed before the program expired on Dec 31, 2012. So not knowing if the program would be extended, the Producers had strong incentive to get them installed before the program expired, and the manufacturers would want the sale and would rush the production, and the installers would hurry the installation.

    Your extensive quote says nothing about who receives the credit. Your quote says nothing about a program to subsidize construction. The link I provided is the only tax credit I am aware of that applies to wind energy: it is a production tax credit to the producer, when the energy is produced. This is the program that expired at the end of 2012 and was later extended.

    If you know of a construction or manufacturer tax credit, provide an authoritative link.

  44. Awesum!!!.. Good luck to the theives..

    [No. Hope they are not killed by their own acts. .mod]

  45. Chris4692 says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    May 28, 2014 at 9:42 pm
    In response to my comment at 9:24

    Those motors are very, very large. (Heavier than your car. Turning blades “wings” larger than a 737′s wing, and heavier than a 707 wings. Remember, average capacity is only about 20%. But more than 1/2 of the time they are producing no energy at all. Not even that measly 20%. Some random hours and some random days, they DO produce 100% power. You can’t tell when. Nor where. Nor how long. Which is why Germany often (not always!) pays them to dump that exess, can’t be used energy to the dirt as heat.

    Of course the amount of energy produced by the generator or its frequency of use has nothing to do with the amount of power needed to turn a set of blades to protect the bearings, or the size of a motor needed to turn the assembly, which is the issue at hand.

    The mass of the blades is not that important either. The mass of some of them is going down while the mass of others is going up. They are balanced. Have you ever seen a Corliss Engine? They have a massive flywheel driving a belt. Absent that belt the 12 ft diameter flywheel can be pushed by one hand, not fast, but speed is not needed in this case. There would be inertia to overcome, but if the purpose was to turn the rotors in the absence of wind to protect the bearings, there would be no hurry so there would be little acceleration involved. The bearings may need to be moved to prevent flattening of one side, but it seems to me more likely that the shaft supporting the blades and driving the generator would be more likely to need to be turned to prevent setting a bend in the shaft.

    The whole unit could be turned into the wind with a large gear attached to rotate the assembly, a worm gear, and a small motor. Achieving the objective via leverage rather than horsepower.

  46. John F. Hultquist says:

    Louis says:
    May 28, 2014 at 6:40 pm
    “They cut the power to turn off the engine propeller motor”

    I thought the whole point of a windmill was to produce power from the wind. Why do they need a propeller motor?

    The words used seem a little odd but here is a guess. The blades need to be positioned to the wind so as to get optimal performance. If the turbine is not producing enough power to accomplish the task then power is brought in from an outside source – sort of a search mode to find the wind. The thieves would, I think, pick a night with no wind so there isn’t any power coming out of the tower (and nothing to set off an alarm). Still, the searching mode would have to be stopped and that would require cutting the power. [The towers I can see from my home have turbines that can produce electricity at wind speeds as low as 9 mph. They reach their peak of production at 31 mph and shut down at constant wind speeds above 56 mph.]
    http://www.pse.com/inyourcommunity/kittitas/Pages/Wild-Horse.aspx

  47. Chris4692 says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    May 28, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Not to mention that big red light on top!

    I will apply the /sarc

  48. Greg says:

    Louis says:

    “They cut the power to turn off the engine propeller motor”

    I thought the whole point of a windmill was to produce power from the wind. Why do they need a propeller motor? Does cutting the power cause the propeller to lock up so it stops turning? Or is there some other explanation?

    ===

    Explanation? Journalists have no idea of the subject they are reporting and don’t bother checking basic facts. But we knew that already.

  49. Chris4692 says:

    John F. Hultquist says:
    May 28, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Louis says:
    May 28, 2014 at 6:40 pm
    “They cut the power to turn off the engine propeller motor”

    I thought the whole point of a windmill was to produce power from the wind. Why do they need a propeller motor?

    The words used seem a little odd but here is a guess. The blades need to be positioned to the wind so as to get optimal performance. If the turbine is not producing enough power to accomplish the task then power is brought in from an outside source – sort of a search mode to find the wind.

    Here’s my guess. Any accessories: electrical controls, sensors, aiming motors, other accessory motors, and lights would normally be powered from the grid, not from this particular windmill. The voltages would be from 110v to 480v, (not matching the windmill voltage output) and the accessories would be needed whether this windmill is producing or not. These support requirements would never be met directly from the windmill itself.

  50. Greg says:

    Dena: “On the other hand, the salvage yards should be watching out for anybody with a large pile of copper and they should report it to the police.”

    In France you cannot sell scrap to a scrap yard without presenting ID which is noted for later inspection in the case of police enquiry.

    If you roll up in a van with a ton of cut windings you are going to get spotted very quickly. I guess the thieves must have another route. Higher up the chain maybe.

  51. Generally speaking, there are several strategically placed big red “emergency stop buttons” so that the technicians can do maintenance work without killing themselves.

  52. rogerthesurf says:

    Maybe the thieves think they have discovered a sustainable supply of copper.

    Haha

    Roger

    http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.wordpress.com

  53. richardscourtney says:

    Louis:

    At May 28, 2014 at 6:40 pm you ask

    “They cut the power to turn off the engine propeller motor”

    I thought the whole point of a windmill was to produce power from the wind. Why do they need a propeller motor? Does cutting the power cause the propeller to lock up so it stops turning? Or is there some other explanation?

    Several people have given the correct reply that a special motor is rarely installed but the generator is used in reverse so it acts as a motor.

    And several have correctly said the turbine rotor needs to be intermittently turned to avoid bearings from seizing: the turbine blades, rotor and shaft are heavy and their weight squeezes lubricant from load points to create ‘dry’ zones in the bearings. This alone is sufficient to require occasional turning of the turbine because starting a turbine with a ‘dry’ bearing would cause high wear of the bearing and shaft.

    But there has been no mention of the main reason for turning the turbine when the wind does not turn it for long periods. The weight of the turbine loads the shaft at one end. The shaft could settle in one orientation with resulting significant creep distortion, and this is avoided by occasional turning of the turbine. This creep distortion must be prevented or the distortion would provide catastrophic vibration of the operating turbine.

    (Creep is permanent deformation under load.
    For example, the weight of a chair on a floor covering provides elastic deformation of the covering which recovers when the chair is moved. But if the chair is not moved for a long time then the covering creeps so when the chair is moved then depressions can be seen where the chair legs were.)

    Richard

  54. RESnape says:

    It appears that large wind turbines do require a large amount of energy to operate. The information regarding this consumption has been assimilated here:

    http://www.aweo.org/windconsumption.html

    Much of this information comes from a Swedish graduate student specializing in hydrogen and wind power, as posted in a Yes2Wind discussion. Also see the Danish Wind Industry Association’s guide to the technology. The rest comes from personal correspondence between experts and from industry spec sheets.

    This may not be a definitive study but nevertheless makes interesting reading.

  55. Truthseeker says:

    Recycling in action …

  56. Sensorman says:

    Slightly OT, but can anyone comment on a Q I heard many years ago and couldn’t answer: why are the blades “leading” (in front of pivot, upwind) rather than “trailing” (behind pivot, downwind)?

  57. martin456789 says:

    …can anyone comment on a Q I heard many years ago and couldn’t answer: why are the blades “leading” (in front of pivot, upwind) rather than “trailing” (behind pivot, downwind)?

    I think it is because turbines work better in smoothly flowing air and behind the pivot, downwind, there is more turbulence, due to nonstreamlined flow around the the mast.

    Martin A

  58. Johan M says:

    Sensorman:

    The reason most turbines are upwind design is that you avoid having the blades travel in the shadow of the tower. Less air flow behind the tower would cause the rotation to be less smooth.

  59. richardscourtney says:

    Sensorman:

    You ask at May 29, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Slightly OT, but can anyone comment on a Q I heard many years ago and couldn’t answer: why are the blades “leading” (in front of pivot, upwind) rather than “trailing” (behind pivot, downwind)?

    The support structure for the turbine provides turbulence in the wind. Upwind turbines (in front of the support) do not sample this turbulent wind while downwind turbines (behind the support) do.

    Despite this, some very small turbines (e.g. mounted on buildings) do sample downwind.

    Richard

  60. Berényi Péter says:

    I am devastated to learn that one of the most important books of the horrible 20th century, The Life & Opinions of Zacharias Lichter by Matei Călinescu (original title: Viaţa şi opiniile lui Zacharias Lichter) was never translated to English.

    It was published in Bucharest, 1969, swiftly translated to Hungarian and published under the title “Zacharias Lichter élete és nézetei” in 1971. However, in 1973 the author got a Fulbright grant and defected to the US, where he became a professor of comparative literature at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana until his death in 2009. Following this move on direct orders from Nicolae Ceaușescu all copies of his book were scraped from libraries all over Romania and his name was deleted from catalogues.

    Zacharias Lichter, a homeless Jewish prophet preaches an ideal society of thieves and beggars, where thieves steal from beggars while beggars live on scraps offered by thieves, closing the economic cycle. At that time we read it as a perfect allegory of Communist society, where thieves were in charge. However, history seems to have a wonderful capacity for innovation, because corporations living on subsidies are nothing but high profile beggars, presumably financed by taxes collected on sales of stolen goods to fences. Therefore copper thieves and salvage yards have an important role to play in keeping the wind business running smoothly, providing much needed environmentally friendly recycled metal and handsomely contributing to its financial assets.

  61. stan stendera says:

    I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about wind energy but I had no clue there was a ton of copper in a turbine. Upthread some doubts are expressed of this seemingly exorbitant weight. It doesn’t really matter. If thieves get the notion there is a ton of copper in a wind turbine they WILL be blowing the turbine towers to get at the copper even if its not there. The publication of this in the French newspaper and here and other places will alert I wonder how many thieves?
    As I despise wind power and the people who advocate its use I must admit to mixed feelings about thieves destroying wind turbines AKA bird choppers. Is it a crime or civil disobedience?

  62. Richard says:

    Sorry couldn’t just send the link form my mini iPad , it never opens for some reason.

    They cut the power to the ……….

    Trident Energy releases White Paper on auxiliary power for offshore wind farms
    New Approaches to Providing Offshore Power – Reducing Risk, Reducing Cost

    Want to learn how to reduce the risks and costs of providing offshore power? Read on…

    Trident Energy has spotted an opportunity to reduce the risks and costs of providing offshore power. Offshore wind farms are being built in ever deeper, harsher waters. Diesel generators are used to provide power when these are without grid connection – but access for refuelling in this challenging environment is increasingly uncertain. Turbines without power are not an option. Turbine warranties are invalidated, with major implications for insurance and financing. Diesel refuelling costs are very high because of the costs of getting the fuel to the wind farm. The solution is to use the sea to provide the power. A small wave device attached to the wind turbine provides the primary source of power backed up by a diesel generator. This gives a diverse source of auxiliary power to protect turbine warranties and reduces refuelling costs.

    A future where our power stations are offshore

    Imagine thousands of wind turbines far out at sea. Small, lonely power stations generating clean electricity for our busy lives back on land. Like power stations, each wind turbine needs to be well looked after. Unlike today’s power stations, they are difficult and costly to access. The equivalent of the man in a white van becomes a logistics challenge involving ports, boats, fuel, crew and long journeys in heavy seas. Get there and the waves may be too high to transfer personnel from the boat onto the wind turbine. New solutions are being considered, from helicopters, to offshore accommodation blocks and motherships. All are complex and costly. Ingenious solutions are required to make offshore wind turbines more autonomous, reducing cost and making a vital contribution to this new, low carbon, offshore industry.

    Most offshore wind turbines are installed with an on-board diesel generator to provide auxiliary power

    One of the basic needs of a wind turbine is the provision of auxiliary power, especially before it is connected to the onshore electricity grid. Power is required for cranes mounted on foundations. Once the wind turbine is installed, further power is needed to provide lighting, heating, clean air systems and to turn over sensitive equipment. Typically, this power is provided by small diesel generators; the London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, had a diesel generator located on each of its 175 turbines. If the connection to the onshore electricity grid is delayed then the diesels may need to provide continuous power for many months. The Riffgat wind farm off the German coast is fully installed apart from the grid connection, delayed for at least 2 years due to the discovery of munitions on the sea bed. This had led to unhelpful headlines such as “Windpark to nowhere … 22,000 litres of diesel burned each month to keep windpark from rusting away”.

    Auxiliary power key to risk management and warranty protection for operational wind farms

    A robust source of auxiliary power is also required to manage risk in operational wind farms. Wind turbine warranties can be voided if the turbine is without power for more than a few days, radically altering the risk profile and hence insurance requirements of the wind farm. This is reinforced by increasing regulatory pressure – the German regulator requires auxiliary power to be supplied within 12 hours of disconnection from the grid.

    Reducing diesel usage reduces the high costs of offshore refuelling and reduces HSE risk

    Diesel generators are reliable, proven technology and a trusted solution to the provision of offshore auxiliary power. However, the logistic costs of refuelling and maintaining the diesels are high. This opex cost can account for over 90% of the cost of providing auxiliary power. Limited space on the wind turbine means that fuel tanks are small and refuelling frequent. The equivalent cost of diesel for an offshore wind turbine can be more than five times what it is onshore. Offshore refuelling also carries the risk of an accident when personnel transfer from boat to turbine, or a fuel spill during refuelling. It is clear that new solutions that reduce diesel usage can significantly cut costs and minimise HSE risks associated with refuelling.

    Diverse sources of auxiliary power reduce asset risk and protect turbine warranties

    If a wind turbine is disconnected from the grid, it becomes reliant on its auxiliary power supply to protect the asset and its warranty. Poor weather can make access for refuelling impossible, leading to the risk of running out of fuel and hence a failure of auxiliary power supplies. Diverse sources of auxiliary power can reduce this risk. In particular, renewable solutions offer diversity as they are not dependent on refuelling and the associated access constraints.

    The costs and risks associated with auxiliary power increase as development moves further offshore

    The costs and risks associated with auxiliary power increase as development moves further offshore. The London Array is around 20kms from shore, whereas North Sea projects due for development over the next decade are up to 290kms from shore. Transit times from the shore-side logistics base will increase, greatly increasing the costs of existing refuelling solutions, or requiring the adoption of higher cost logistic solutions such as helicopters or motherships. Wave conditions will be more onerous, reducing the weather windows during which access for refuelling is possible and increasing the risk of running out of fuel and losing auxiliary power.

    Diesel / renewable hybrid solutions – the future of offshore auxiliary power?

    So what does a solution look like? The developers of offshore wind farms are creating amazing projects in a challenging environment and are understandably risk adverse. Diesel generators are proven technology. It is inevitable that diesel generators will continue to be deployed to provide auxiliary power. Rather, solutions should focus on reducing the costs and risks associated with refuelling and maintaining the diesels. In particular, the adoption of hybrid diesel / renewable solutions provides increased diversity and autonomy to the provision of auxiliary power. The renewable technology minimises the cost and risks of refuelling logistics, whilst the diesel remains to back-up the renewable technology and ease adoption amongst project developers.

    The advantages of co-located wave generation

    Co-located wave generation – a small wave device attached to the wind turbine – offers specific advantages. In particular, during periods of stormy weather when wave height precludes access for refuelling the diesel, the wave device will be producing most power. This minimises the risk of losing auxiliary power, voiding warranties and exposing the asset to damaging conditions. Such solutions need to be tested now so that the lonely, far offshore wind farms that will be developed over the next decade can be more autonomous, reducing the risk and cost of their development and operation.

    Trident Energy’s linear generator technology

    Trident Energy is developing such an auxiliary power solution, using its proven direct drive linear generator technology. This coverts the up-down motion of waves directly into electricity without the need for intermediate systems such as gearboxes or hydraulics. This makes it simple and reliable. Results from Trident Energy’s recent test programme have also demonstrated the capability to control the generator in real-time, opening the way for energy extraction to be optimised for each individual wave. This low cost, high performance generator enables cost effective autonomous offshore power solutions, reducing the risks and costs of the next decade of offshore wind farm development.

    This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 at 9:20 am and is filed under Press Releases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  63. ozspeaksup says:

    they missed the huge amount of Rare Earth minerals in the magnets…someone oughta tell em to be more thorough!

  64. RESnape says:

    A study submitted by an Ian Keith Falconer submitted to the University of Exeter, titled “Metals Required for the UK’s Low Carbon Energy System: The case of copper usage in wind farms”, found here.

    https://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/schoolofgeography/pdfs/epsdissertations/Ian_Falconer.pdf

    Has determined that the copper use breakdown for Wind Turbines was as follows:

    Generator 0.360 tonnes/MW
    Transformer 1.000 tonnes/MW
    Cabling within the turbine and tower 0.306 tonnes/MW
    Gearbox 0.079 tonnes/MW

    Not definitive but a reasonable guideline to provide some indication as the mass of copper used in each turbine.

    R E Snape

  65. wayne Job says:

    Don Qioxote, had the things pegged, monsters that need to be jousted with. Show me the common law contract that makes the owners of these things, remove them and re-habilitate the land after they are de-commissioned. They get a free ride from almost all regulations that apply to everyone else. Make them comply to the rules applied to everyone else, remove the subsidies and within six months they will all be derelict and we can salvage the copper.

  66. Harry Passfield says:

    phillipbratby says:
    May 28, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    “Generally speaking, there are several strategically placed big red “emergency stop buttons” so that the technicians can do maintenance work without killing themselves.”

    Philip, I remember in the early ’80s being part of a team looking after a huge 24×7 data centre (legacy water-cooled systems etc!) and we had EPO buttons all over the site. One day, a load of VIPs were being shown around the data centre computer rooms and one of them pointed to one of the big red buttons and asked the guide what they did. “Oh,” says he, “they shut the site down in an emergency – like this.” And he pressed the button!! Ooops.

  67. DirkH says:

    1 ton of copper, 40 meter height, that’s 25 kg per meter or 25 gram per millimeter.
    Density is about 9 gram per cubic centimeter. So, about 3 cubic centimeter of copper per millimeter of tower height – equivalent to 30 square centimeters cross section or 5 times 6 centimeter; to transmit a top power of, say 2.5 MW.

    That’s not unrealistic. They don’t use very high voltages so you have quite a bit of current, so you need a bit of copper.

  68. rogerknights says:
    May 28, 2014 at 7:37 pm
    The turbine designers should have built in stronger security and alarm systems. Thieves’ eagerness to strop copper from structures has been well known for decades.

    Reminds me of a visit to the ancient city of Ephesos, where it was explained to us that the holes in the walls of some ancient building had been left by thieves who stole the bronze claws that had been holding the marble tiles in place. Seems it has been going on for millennia …

  69. Gary Pearse says:

    Mere copper! There is 350kg of rare earths, mainly Neodymium, per 1.5MW turbine
    http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/print/volume-12/issue-5/features/recycling-rarely-so-critical.html

    and this stuff in a presently depressed market is about $100/kg. It is in the field magnets.

  70. Copper was stolen from the Invenergy Orangeville, NY wind project last year, too:

    http://www.mywnynews.com/arcade_warsaw/news/top_stories/article_d2c90c0a-1bc0-11e3-adf9-0019bb2963f4.html

    I’m with “A.D. Everard,” who says:

    “Personally, I wish someone would take a bazooka to them. The windmills, that is, not the thieves.”

  71. This sounds like a case of ‘Ethical Crime’ to me. I find myself strangely on the side of these criminals who are, like Robin Hood, robbing the Rich to protect the Poor from Robber Barons of CAGW. These criminals deserve some recognition or an award. I hope that they jam the blades as they leave to protect the birds and bats too!!

  72. steverichards1984 says:

    All large rotating machines incorporate a ‘turning gear’.

    A small electrical motor that is engaged when the rotating device is not performing its prime function.

    In large ocean going vessels, it is used to prevent the crankshaft from developing a permanent bend……..

    Many ancillaries will be required to run as well: Oil pumps, cooling and heating systems.

    So that these can continue running in the event that the grid is lost, each wind generator is fitted with a small diesel generator system that auto starts upon grid loss!

    http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:632303/FULLTEXT01.pdf

    and
    http://www.tridentenergy.co.uk/press-releases/trident-energy-releases-white-paper-on-auxiliary-power-for-offshore-wind-farms/

  73. Admad says:

    That’s our taxes these thieves are helping themselves to.

  74. G. Karst says:

    Another name for a generator is an “inductive motor”. Whether it “generates” or “motors” depends only on direction of electrical flow. Rotor shafts have considerable mass, so are excellent uniform heat sinks while rotating. However, when stopped, heat rises from the bottom of the shaft to the top. This causes differential expansion or “hogging” – a slight bending of the shaft putting additional pressure on the bearings and increasing eccentricity induced vibration when the shaft is powered again.

    This is avoided by maintaining a slow rotation of the shaft (heat rises to all parts of shaft equally). Of course blades are feathered to reduced performed work and hence power requirement. Wind turbines make great fans otherwise. GK

  75. michael hart says:

    Near where my parents live, there was a single, rather pitiful, windmill on an expensive new housing development (on a flood-plain) that was backed by Prince Charles himself.

    Recently the windmill disappeared entirely.

    However I doubt that it was stolen. It was probably just becoming too much of a visible embarrassment. It typically seemed to spend a few weeks or months appearing operational, and then a few years not moving at all.

  76. Chris4692 says:

    richardscourtney says:
    May 28, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    But there has been no mention of the main reason for turning the turbine when the wind does not turn it for long periods. The weight of the turbine loads the shaft at one end. The shaft could settle in one orientation with resulting significant creep distortion, and this is avoided by occasional turning of the turbine. This creep distortion must be prevented or the distortion would provide catastrophic vibration of the operating turbine.

    Actually I mentioned it at 10:20, but it was a fleeting, brief mention at the end of a paragraph of drivel so you likely skipped right by it, deservedly so.

  77. Richard. says:

    When turbines are not turning they need auxiliary power to keep the turbines in tip top order, there are sensors, lights , lubrication, the turbines must move very , very slowly, cables get twisted so the ninety ton nacelle must turn to unwind .

    At sea they rely on diesel generators which must be topped up frequently by fossil fuelled ship. Off the german coast there are wind farms not connected to the grid, some farms are using 23,000 litres of diesel to keep these turbines in operational order, daft but true.

  78. Robertv says:

    Must be bird lovers.

  79. Richard says:

    23,000 litres per month.

  80. Tom J says:

    richardscourtney
    May 28, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Also, my understanding is that the wind, in and of itself, is never sufficient to begin rotating the huge mass of the blades, therefore the generator portion briefly acts as a motor (drawing current from the grid) to initiate the revolution of the blades when the wind first begins.

    Interesting word: revolution. Skyrocket the electrical rates enough and we just might see one.

    Best to you sir,
    Tom

  81. Steve P says:

    My Flickr photo “Whirligigs” showing rotating and static wind turbine blades in the massive San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/splinx/6996201104/

    I never saw all the turbines in action simultaneously. Commonly, many were not operating for one reason or another, and in a recent visit, at least one had a long streak of dirty fluid running down the pylon.
    ~
    Two wrongs still don’t make a right. These copper thieves do enormous damage to our infrastructure.

  82. Chris4692 says:

    RESnape says:
    May 28, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    It appears that large wind turbines do require a large amount of energy to operate. The information regarding this consumption has been assimilated here:

    Most of those seem to me to be small items, normally associated with any industrial activity. The larger ones, such as dehumidification, are apparently not continuous. I wouldn’t call that a large amount of energy being required to operate in comparison to the industrial activities I’ve been associated with.

  83. Steve P says:

    The Windmills of Your Mind

  84. beng says:

    When I worked for a utility, there were occasional aluminum-thieves cutting out struts on isolated major transmission towers. The towers were repaired quickly & none ever fell, but could’ve been a disaster.

    I urge the metal-thieves to leave transmission towers alone. OTOH, taking out pinwheels should improve grid-stability. And copper gets recycled.

  85. banjo says:

    I`m appalled that our continental cousins have already taken advantage of this wonderful recycling opportunity…..way ahead of we `rosbifs` across the channel.
    “Britains windmill rustlers,where are you? Your country needs you!”

  86. Kon Dealer says:

    Give these guys a medal (made from recycled windmills)!

  87. RusQ says:

    eish!
    over here in Africa (for a long time already), people in need has recycled “stuff” out of necessity!

    correct or not (not my call), as we speaking of peeps who face rising energy costs on a scale that that you may or may not comprehend, has been taking copper and overhead comms lines for many years now (as opposed to killing forests) – to feed some…

    only upshot I see, is wide implementation of fibre and wireless. which, somehow, leaves me with the impression that the current regime steals from the poor?

    best of luck to them also!

  88. richardscourtney says:

    Chris4692:

    re your post at May 29, 2014 at 6:53 am.

    I apologise that I missed you making that point and also if I ‘stole your thunder’. It was not my intention. Sorry.

    Richard

  89. Chris4692 says:

    richardscourtney says:
    May 29, 2014 at 9:47 am

    No problem with me, you had a more complete explanation, and as I said, my comment was largely drivel and very skippable.

  90. Gamecock says:

    rogerknights says:
    May 28, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    At minimum, a law should be passed requiring salvage yards to photograph, fingerprint, and photocopy the ID of anyone selling scrap copper.

    ===================

    Such laws don’t make the salvage yard operator care. He follows the law, then melts it down. Evidence gone.

  91. Jimbo says:

    If wind turbines were such a good idea you wouldn’t need environmentalists telling us they are a good idea. Big business knows a good thing that works and brings in a profit without help. ‘Free’ wind and huge profits, what’s not to like. I’m surprised they didn’t mushroom worldwide after July 1887, when Professor James Blyth created the world’s first electricity generating wind turbine.

    “The Faults, Fallacies and Failures of Wind Power”
    May 10, 2013
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/10/the-faults-fallacies-and-failures-of-wind-power/
    =======================

    2010
    Wind turbines fail in Minnesota’s cold weather
    … “This time of year, wind turbine blades ice up, biodiesel congeals in tanks and solar panels produce less power because there is not as much sun. And perhaps most irritating to the people who own them, the panels become covered with snow, rendering them useless even in bright winter sunshine.

    “So in regions where homeowners have long rolled their eyes at shoveling driveways, add another cold-weather chore: cleaning off the solar panels. ‘At least I can get to them with a long pole and a squeegee,’ said Alan Stankevitz, a homeowner in southeast Minnesota.”…

    This has been the biggest con ever perpetrated on homeowners. They are being milked by BIG wind and BIG solar for a crappy product.

    What happens to wind power when the diesel for their standby generators thickens? They draw on the coal / gas powered grid? What a joke.

  92. Jeff says:

    Gone with the wind, er, windings, something like that…
    I’ve heard of cases where folks went off on vacation, only to return to a flooded, cold, powerless house, where thieves had relieved them of the wiring, plumbing and whatever other metal could be scarfed before the authorities (or anyone else) showed up. Don’t know if they were dim enough to try to steal gas lines (auditioning for the darwin awards in that case), but such thievery is more often than not its own, er, reward. A month or so ago a few “copper liberators” decided to free a substation with disastrous results…

    Would be nice to see the turbines completely gone, but I suspect it’ll be just like in Altamont, a silent *cough* monument *cough* to the watermelon movement….

    Hmm…upward mobility for those just entering the country/job market/whatever….sad…

  93. Gunga Din says:

    At least somebody profited from those wind-thingees….

  94. Standing alone, tall and in the wild West Texas wind, that does not blow all that much.

  95. Standing beside the 3/4 ton Dodge Ram, on the run from the Border Patrol, the INS, and the Dallas Texas Sherriffs dept. over lots of copper wire theft charges. Viewing these lonely windmills 6 Mexican illegals on the hunt for better pickings and less viewers of the crime.

    Tilting at the windmills for the copper seems the Don Quiote thing to do notwithstanding the needs of the EPA Inspector General who does not have enough staff or money to check out Mike Mann’s easy to read fraud hockysticks.

  96. U.S. Goverment meeting itself out on the West Texas high plains.

    A “two’fer” of bad ideas joined now for a time.

  97. mosomoso says:

    All power supplies need lock-up security. Having walked across rural France and Spain in sight of thousands of these whirlygigs I couldn’t help asking myself how that can be achieved with wind power. It can’t. But what does security matter when you have a planet to save, right?

    I also couldn’t help asking other questions, as I grew accustomed to the sight of the things everywhere I turned, as well as their cabling (that cabling!).

    I wondered how long these towers with their moving parts would last in the real world. I mean, you can make a miracle no-fat pan or fabric protector work just great in a TV commercial…but try using such products long term in real life!

    I also wondered about replacement of old and busted stuff, and if Germany and others would be as keen to tip money into other people’s “renewables” as they were before la crise.

    I’m told that to take this medieval junk away is a mere 15 percent of original cost. But that doesn’t include wiring and concrete bases. If you want all that to disappear, well, the fossil fuel and heavy equipment required doesn’t come cheap. Our Green Betters have made sure of that.

  98. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Strange creatures, these big wind turbines. I used to photograph them years ago when film was used in the camera. Every time I looked at a photo, they were all stopped.
    Then we got digital imagery in the home camera, with ones like my present Nikon being able to take HD movies no less.
    At the same time, technology advanced on the windmills, so that when I take a movie some of them are indeed shown to be turning around in the wind. Not always many, but some.
    Ah, the wonders of the digital age.

  99. Dan in California says:

    I live within sight of hundreds of Tehachapi windmills. The nearest are about 3 miles away. I see them whenever I’m outside the house, I see them through my living room windows, I see them when driving to and from work. Some are Mitsubishi, some are NEC Micron, some are GE, and most of the newer ones are Vestas. Some are 1 year old, some are a few years old, and some are decades old. When the wind is calm, I have *never* seen any of them turning for whatever reason. Never. Maybe somebody makes a turbine somewhere that needs to be turned when the winds are calm, but none of them are installed here. I have seen every single one stopped dead and there is not a single one exercising its bearings.

  100. richardscourtney says:

    Dan in California:

    Thankyou for your interesting information in your post at May 30, 2014 at 12:50 am that says in total

    I live within sight of hundreds of Tehachapi windmills. The nearest are about 3 miles away. I see them whenever I’m outside the house, I see them through my living room windows, I see them when driving to and from work. Some are Mitsubishi, some are NEC Micron, some are GE, and most of the newer ones are Vestas. Some are 1 year old, some are a few years old, and some are decades old. When the wind is calm, I have *never* seen any of them turning for whatever reason. Never. Maybe somebody makes a turbine somewhere that needs to be turned when the winds are calm, but none of them are installed here. I have seen every single one stopped dead and there is not a single one exercising its bearings.

    I live in Cornwall, UK, which is also blighted by wind turbine subsidy farms, but all the turbines here are operated correctly.

    Are there no (or very few) periods of still air in your locality?
    Or
    Is there a regulatory or subsidy reason for shortening turbine lives by failing to turn them in periods of prolonged still air?

    Thanking you in anticipation of your answer(s)

    Richard

  101. Alex Garcia says:

    Wind Turbine Horror – ’nuff said

  102. IInsurance coverage cost. What new cost if the windmill no longer in service.
    Insurance fraud on who might just find the illegals and send them on the cause.
    Security Cost. Bank loan requirments due to this new copper problem.
    I am sure the Earth First and or Greenpeace law firms know all this too.

    Sub-department of the EPA,,,, “Homeland Security Windmill Division”
    Lots of new H2 Hummers to drive around checking on these non operating windwaste operations.

  103. Dan in California says:

    richardscourtney says:
    Are there no (or very few) periods of still air in your locality?
    Or Is there a regulatory or subsidy reason for shortening turbine lives by failing to turn them in periods of prolonged still air?
    Thanking you in anticipation of your answer(s)
    Richard
    ——————————————————————
    Tehachapi has a few percent better-than-average wind profile, and it’s far more random and gusty than most wind farms. At the moment the wind is 12 gusting to 18 Kt (relatively calm). I don’t have much inside information on how and why the turbines are managed, but it’s dead calm here for several hours at a time at most and they may just choose to wait rather than motor the turbines.

    The airport here is geographically large and there are 5 windsocks around the airport. I have occasionally seen them pointing in 5 different directions (this is NOT GOOD when you are flying a light plane in for landing). The turbines usually point the same direction as each other but I have seen some of them disagreeing by 30 degrees or so. I know it’s going to be a windy day when I leave the house in the morning and the wind is blowing but the turbines are all locked down. The different models have different maximum speeds, but when it hits 60 Kt, none are turning. And to answer the question you haven’t asked yet, the airspeed indicator at the airport stops at 100 Kt and about twice a year it exceeds that.

  104. Mike Borgelt says:

    “Is it a crime or civil disobedience?”
    It is a public service.

  105. richardscourtney says:

    Dan in California:

    Thankyou for your replies which you provide form me at May 30, 2014 at 2:17 pm.

    Richard

Comments are closed.