by Crazy Horse
Fri Dec 2nd, 2011 at 04:20:29 PM EST
CH knows he's supposed to preparing for his next birthday, but he's had so many already that they tend to blur. So he goes back to how he began in wind. 1974, met the man who became one of my mentors, who introduced me right then to the idea of floating wind.
The Captain is no longer with us, but he would be amazed that it's finally beginning, and amazed that it's taken this sick civilization so long.
EdP has installed a normal Vestas machine on a floating tripod, just in time to make a splash at Offshore 2011. Read it here
The austerity mongers might miss the significance, but here's a big step for a Portugal which used to rule the waves. And this tripod floater design was first diagramed for me at a backroom beer fest of the Netherlands contingent at the very first EWEA Offshore event, Brussels 2002. It's reality now. (I still have the placemat, unless i gave it to the Captain.)
His were different, but the thought was the same. Here's the cover of an early National Geographic.
Captain Wm. Heronemus, USN ret., and founder of the first PhD. engineering program for wind at UMass Amherst, would have taken this breakthrough as just the first. Partly because he had different ideas, like using cheap, strong offshore winds and semi-submersible structures to produce hydrogen fuel, or ammonia, or right down the list.
As the chief designer of the Nautilus Class of nuclear submarines, the very first in the world, he would have wanted to use the ocean as the yaw bearing, because it already exits and you don't have to pay for it. But he'd still be pleased that we're making progress.
The winds offshore are the most consistent, and least turbulent globally. (Turbulence is the enemy of wind turbines.) But the rest of the world is not gifted with the underwater pool table cartographers call the North Sea, with thousands of square km <45m depth. So floating will be very important for the world.
So this diary, in honor of a milestone in floating windpower, is dedicated to my mentor, the man who began it all.
(he didn't have a computer back then, but he did have a visionary brain.)
This is also a diary to discuss what happened at EWEA Offshore 2011. I took not one photo, so hopefully there's some help out there. (J and kranky karsten, i'm looking at you.)
At Brussels in 2002, there were perhaps 150 people, if you count me. This year, over 8,200. Now we get serious.
(Yo Bill, you watching?)
This is also a diary for staff at the ECB, the EIB, and those who haven't swallowed the austerity kool-aid. This is where we go. Your children will thank you.