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Friday, 20 February 2009

Tilting at Windmills

Offshore wind turbines.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't profess to be an expert in this field, but I do have a few thoughts on the subject.

I've spent my whole career spent in the harsh environment that these edifices will have to be able to withstand. So I'm going to ask the proponents of these super duper energy saving devices, to convince me that they are cost effective.

Question 1

What are you going to build them on? If you are going to build them off the Thames estuary, which is mainly made up of sand, have you thought about the foundations that will be needed?

Question 2 (linked to Q1)

Given the weather in the North sea, how long will it take you to put in those foundations?

Question 3

What materials are you going to use in the construction of these turbines, given the harsh environment that they will be subjected to?

Question 4

If you have built them, how much is it going to cost to maintain them? Have you factored in the cost of surveying them, changing the turbine bearings, probably every 4 years, insulation resistance, etc. These costs have to be factored in to make the concept viable.

Question 5

What voltage are they going to produce? Anything less than 6.6kV would be inneficient. We go back to environment issues here. 6.6kV hates a sea water environment. The slightest touch of salt water, into the internal workings will destroy the generator. (Anyone near by is extremely dead as well)

Question 6

Given that they only produce energy for 30% of the time. How are they justified?

Question 6. No, a demand

All you green, turbine wankers must be forced to have a 200 ft wind turbine built in your back garden. And yes, this means you, George Monbiot, and Jonathan Porritt. Don't hide from your responsibilty. Apart from the fact that they are a complete eyesore and a blot on the landscape, and they kill off the birdlife, how can you refuse? Put your money where your political mouth is.

If you had any sense, you would have seen through this idiocy, and opted for nuclear. But then you wish to take us back to the middle ages.

Question 7 Am I being to stupid?

You tell me

And as an aside. I live in the real world of marine engineering. If you fuck up, you drown.

Flying squirrels

Old movie, but still amusing

I suppose I will now be on the animals' rights hit list. Oh well.