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that above 3MW, you start bumping into incredible difficulties to transport the components on land (the blades are more than 50m long, and the nacelles gets to be above 100 tons).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 at 10:12:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So if we were to adopt the goal in Ohio of carpeting "our" part of Lake Erie with wind turbines, does that mean that the shores of Lake Erie would have a very strong geographical advantage in the construction of large components to go very directly onto ships for transport to the construction site?

{Quoting internal accompaniment: Say yes, please say yes, please say yes ...}

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 at 01:10:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, although more accurately yes, maybe.  somewhere in my disorganized inbox is a new study on offshore potential in Lake Erie.  it didn't seem large enough to justify turbine manufacture, but assembly, laydown and foundation/tower production could possibly fit.

the game changes if the canals allow shipping to other Great Lakes, because turbines will not come in through the St. Lawrence.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 at 03:17:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, so it makes a difference the size of vessel that can pass the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, which connect Erie to Huron.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 at 03:54:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I think the Detroit River is around 500m wide at its narrowest, so I get the impression that largish ships have no trouble between Erie, Huron, and Michigan. There are locks connecting Huron to Superior, which could act as a bottleneck similar to the St. Lawrence ... I don't know the capacity of the Soo Locks off the top of my head.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 at 04:02:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bruce,

Lake shipping is not a problem. Minimum depths are usually more than 26 feet in harbors/Welland Canal/and especially the Sault (Soo) Locks. The Sault locks were built for massive shipments of bulk commodities like iron ore, limestone, cement, coal and grain. Lake ore freights are typically over 1000 feet long, but some of the smaller 700 ft ones (Edmund Fitzgerald fame) also haul ore. There are even some smallish grain freighters only 500 ft in length.

Oswego is a small town in NY on lake Ontario. When Vestas was delivering the 198 V82 units for what eventually was named the Maple Ridge wind farm, they used that tiny port quite a lot - all major parts were delivered to Oswego by ship - towers, blades and nacelles (and probably a lot of concrete, too. The same goes for many of the turbines installed along the Lake Huron shoreline - ship delivery to either at Sarnia, Kincardine or especially Owen Sound. It's a natural.

Nb41

by nb41 on Sat Jan 24th, 2009 at 10:38:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tah, I didn't think it would be a challenge for channels that could cope with the iron ore boats Superior, but its well outside my area of experience, let alone expertise.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Jan 24th, 2009 at 10:45:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... they are not canals between Erie and Huron, they are rivers. And hydrologically, Huron and Michigan are one body of water. So Erie / Huron / Michigan are a single zone as far as shipping is concerned ... the canals are downstream of Erie, and between Huron and Superior.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Jan 24th, 2009 at 12:03:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Danke

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 24th, 2009 at 04:26:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are a few reports on Great lakes wind potentials. A recent one from the State of Michigan gave their offshore potential as 131 GW - but that involved the use of deep turbine foundations (spars, jack-up rigs), since Lake Michigan's average depth is about 200 to 300 meters.

Of course, the real answer is the wind potential is often a function of what price you can get for the electricity. Trying to compete with an old polluting coal burner like the one near Ludington is hopeless (less than 4 c/kw-hr production cost). That's a big hurdle to get over. States like Michigan are pretty hooked on supercheap coal based electricity. Besides, Michigan is over 180 meters above sealevel - raising ocean waters by 20 to 40 meters is not immediately their problem......

Anyway, another source of information on Great Lakes wind potential can be found at http://www.greengold.org/wind/engineer.html ---> "A Great Potential". For 0 to 20 meters, maximum potential is about 150 GW, and for the 0 to 40 meter depths, about 250 GW. It's definitely enough to power up the US North Coast/Canadian South Coast.

One of these days I should update it.

Nb41

by nb41 on Sat Jan 24th, 2009 at 10:51:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops, I forgot - Lake Superior averages 400 meters in depth, and it gets really deep really fast. The Lake Superior coastline is over 400 miles long (640 km), and the average distance to Canada is over 100 miles. Splitting the difference gets you a lot of area (over 30,000 square miles. Lake Superior winds are almost to North Sea scale, close to Baltic Sea (average about 8.5 to 9 m/s at 100 m heights. And, there is 31,820 mi^2 of area, and only 1 million people live around it (mostly near Duluth, Minn, the least windy zone). Or 82,400 km^2 - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Superior. And since most of that water away from shore is still directly drinkable...corrosion is not much of a problem. Thanks to Global Warming, not much ice anymore, either.

So, lets split the difference and say there is 30,000 km^2 of usable Michigan area for the Big Cold One. At 8 MW delivered per km^2 (Horns Rev value, adjusted for the lower wind speed). There's 240 GW of average output all by itself - or about 50% of the entire US demand. Of course, this is deep water foundations here (in some cases, over 400 meters), and it is cold and not very friendly waters (one (and perhaps 2) of Jacques Cousteau's sons died in these waters), so its is not a trivial matter like, say, Lake St Clair, which has lower winds but an average depth of 6 meters.

And the Michigan UP is a great place to store electricity via pumped water, especially in the Western part - lots of 500 to 1000 ft drops, and largely uninhabited. That same goes for a lot of the Wisconsin and Ontario coastal areas (maybe only 300 feet for Ontario, but that encompasses a LOT of area. The best storage site would probably be Northern Minnesota - the Mesabi Iron Range, for example.

These could easily store the peak supply for the Chicago-Milwaukee-Minneapolis-St Paul-Detroit and Cleveland regions. Just add HVDC and away you go, although it's best to distribute the pumped hydro in a more dispersed patter, But still, Lake Superior could be the battery for much of the Midwest US, pumped hydro speaking. And I bet it would require a lot of employment to do that...cool.

Nb41

by nb41 on Sat Jan 24th, 2009 at 11:13:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there was talk of offshore turbines being built up to 10 mw in the next few years. 450 meters and higher, if I recall. Am I remembering correctly?
by NBBooks on Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 at 10:56:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Certainly on the drawing boards.  I believe there will be test turbines (prototypes) built around 140m diameter (7.5 MW +-) within 2-3 years.  Whether they will ever be commercial entails a serious round of testing.  We've still got much to learn with 120m rotors.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 24th, 2009 at 04:30:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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