Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:tried this in NC (Score 1) 255

Climate gives an average wind speed that varies from place to place around the world.

Scotland/UK has really good resources for example.

A main factor as to how well suited the climate of a place is for wind power is how well jet streams line up, the UK gets a jet stream over it a lot of the time. Some of this energy filters down to lower in the atmosphere and can be captured, but Denmark is further North. There's also several other weather factors that also make the UK particularly good, and Denmark just not as good; but you'd have to talk to a meteorologist about that.

The bottom line is that Denmark is nothing special.

The real reason Denmark is using wind power is because of Norway; they can use Norway's hydroelectricity to buffer the variations in wind power. On average they use none of Norway's power, but at any given time they can be either borrowing or repaying the energy, or selling spare energy on to other countries to reduce their fossil fuel use. It works really well, and they're expanding its use, but the actual wind resources aren't considered to be very special.

Comment: Re:tried this in NC (Score 1) 255

That's not what the consumer pays. The consumer pays the lower figure I gave. The point of feed-in tariffs is to give people a reason to build these systems, so as to displace carbon producing generators, which cause very bad problems.

As well, many other generators also have historically been given these kinds of incentives in very many places. Note that peaker plants pretty much always got those kinds of costs anyway.

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 1) 255

Power lines and links certainly have power capacities, and these can and do certainly limit renewables, but, as others have pointed out, electricity travels at a large fraction of the speed of light. In any real sense with respect to weather and wind power systems, electricity does not take time to move.

Comment: Re:Idiots (Score 1) 220

Microwave and fibre repeaters do the forwarding without waiting for the whole packet. They typically work bit-by-bit.

There may well be a little latency, but only a few bits at most, which at these speeds is inconsequential. There's no point in buffering when you're in the middle of a point-to-point link; that's only done when you may make routing decisions, but in a point-to-point link there's no decisions to be made.

Comment: Re:Tornados? (Score 1) 255

Yes, stuff like that can happen. That's partly why they don't put wind turbines close to residential areas; also they are somewhat noisy in high winds at close range.

But if you mean, the tornado could carry the blades for miles, well yeah, but a tornado that big is going to fuck up so much other shit than the wind turbines that that's the least of your troubles.

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 1) 255

> The other issue with wind power is that it can vary uncontrollably minute by minute. This is the kind of instability that needs to be leveled out by more storage.

You are wrong.

While wind power in any individual turbine can do that, the total power generated across a reasonably large grid, cannot. The power variations average out.

What happens is that the weather systems move across the grid, and this massively smooths out the changes at the short time scales (minutes). At the longer time scales, like hours-days - this doesn't help, but the kinds of instabilities you're referring to, these disappear.

The hours-days variations are usually proposed to be dealt with by using a mix of power sources,such as using solar and other renewables, particularly, if available, some hydroelectricity and (perhaps) batteries for any remaining.

Comment: Re:Navy? Warships? (Score 1) 101

I don't agree, aluminium is not easy to ignite at all in any kind of sustained way, unless you melt it and turn it into a spray, or you powder it (but then a lot of powders are pretty damn flammable), or you use high oxygen partial pressures.

Whereas, magnesium is not that hard to ignite, and it self sustains at normal atmospheric oxygen partial pressures.

The Universe is populated by stable things. -- Richard Dawkins