New York Times, 17 January 1974 “Wind power is in a class by itself as the greatest terrestrial medium forharvesting, harnessing and conserving solar energy. The water and air waves circulating around our planet are unsurpassed energy accumulators whosecaptured energy may be used to generate electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic power systems.” Buckminster Fuller New York Times, 17, January, 1974
20,000 MW Installed Capacity • Producing enough electricity to serve 5.3 million American homes or power a fleet of more than 1 million plug-in hybrid vehicles. Source: AWEA / Photography: Iberdrola Renewable Energies USA/PPL Corp.
Major Challenges:“Investment in the nation’s transmission system so the power generated is delivered to urban centers that need the increasing supply. Continued reduction in wind capital cost and improvement in turbine performance through technology advancement and improved manufacturing capabilities.” DOE 20% Wind Energy by 2030 May 2008
Risk Management Strategies • Predictive and Preventive Maintenance Program • Corrective Maintenance Response Program • Diagnosis / Failure Detection System • Turbine Locking System • Fire Extinguishing System
Liability Chart Negligible Liability. Considerably less than the cost of the wind energy investment. Limited Liability. Up to the cost of the wind energy investment. Unlimited Liability. From the cost of the wind energy investment to unlimited liability.
Lebost Wind Turbine“This report details the results of an experimental field test/evaluation of a 20-foot diameter Lebost turbine. One conclusion of the study is that the turbine lends itself rather well to urban applications, as well as other applications.” “Lebost wind turbine experimental program” New York Univ., NY (USA). Dept. of Applied Science May 1, 1980 Photograph: Jon Naar
Travis Price &The Wind Farmers of East 11th Street, NYC Photograph: Jon Naar / The New York TimesPhotograph: D. Gorton/The New York Times, 1977
“The energy commission essentially said to Con Ed, ‘You’ve got to buy their power’,” Mr. Norris said. “That was huge.” By Josh Weil Published: August 3, 2008 The New York TimesPhotograph: Jon Naar
“But the turbine never worked well enough to provide power for the entire building, which, by 1977 or so, was home to 25 or 30 people. Either wind speeds were too low to generate to get a charge from Con Ed, the windmill provided insufficient power. Still, until 1985, when a blade was blown off during a hurricane, the windmill produced enough power to light communal areas and heat water. For the next twodecades or so, its remnants jutted into the sky until, sometime in the last few years, the tower was dismantled. sufficient power or turbulence from gusts produced a deafening noise from the windmill and caused the building to shake. Moreover,during the major blackout in 1977, unable to get a charge from Con Ed the windmill provided insufficient power.” By Josh Weil Published: August 3, 2008 The New York Times Photograph: Jon Naar
The 00’s Energy & Environmental Crisis /Global Warming and Energy Security
My Conclusions: 1. Capital Cost of small wind turbines must reduce dramatically if they are to provide good economic returns. 2. Technical challenges exist but none that can not be conquered. Good design and risk management strategies are a must. 3. Real energy benefits can be achieved by mass installations in combination with resource management schemes. 4. Overboard fancy engineering / building integration costs can kill the benefits of BIWT.