How wind can power the world's mass transit

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How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby johnthefireman » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:54 am

How wind can power the world's mass transit

This year, Dutch commuters ditched fossil fuels to power their country's trains on 100% wind energy - and it's a grand idea that's catching on the world over.


For George!
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby george matthews » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:15 am

Thanks.

We can greatly increase the proportion of wind power, which does not increase the CO2 in the atmosphere. Whether we could power a whole electric rail system is more doubtful. Wind generators would have to be a component of a system with other supplies for when the wind dies down. One solution to calm weather in one area would be to make sure there are generators mounted in other areas where there may well be wind. Another possibility is to use part of the wind generated electricity to pump water to be used as a store of energy - not a solution easy to achieve in the Netherlands, almost entirely flat.
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby MCL1981 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:43 pm

LOL! Do you actually believe this? The whole thing is literally a lie. Or if you insist, it is a deceptive manipulation of numbers to sell headlines to gullible readers. The electrified portions of their rail system are powered mostly by coal and gas fired plants. Some nuclear too probably, since some power is imported from other surrounding counties. Not a single wind turbine in the Netherlands is connected to their rail system.

The railroad pays a wind generation company located elsewhere in the country, with no connection whatsoever to the railroad, to generate an equivalent amount of power which is used elsewhere for other things. And the notion that it has somehow reduced any other means of generating electricity is also a laughable lie. It isn't powering the railroad. And it isn't making up for power used to power the railroad. So this whole thing is basically a load of BS, pushed by politicians, to make something impractical and foolish sound wonderful.
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby george matthews » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:10 am

There are two major problems in the world, which need to be tackled urgently if we are to avoid catastrophic changes. One of these is the rise in the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere. I will leave it to you to think of the other - which is not affected by problems of rail transport.

The Netherlands is a flat country with few energy sources. Until the mid 20th century it relied mostly on imported coal and oil for its energy needs. In the last 60 years they discovered and employed natural gas and some oil. They also have a large nuclear sector. Most of their railways are powered by overhead electricity at two different power voltages.

Recently they have installed a large number of wind generators. You may not be aware that recent investigations have shown that wind energy is already cheaper overall than nuclear, and of course does not add to the CO2 problem - or the nuclear waste problem. Thus the overall electricity network has a growing proportion of wind power. Obviously the electric power needs of the rail system come from the power grid as whole. I assume that they have negotiated a price for the power they use. Can the rail company buy more wind power? That I don't know. However, if they had a separate electric grid supplied by the wind generators they could rely on that for power.

The problem there is that wind is not consistently the same all the time. What would they do on days when it is calm - BTW calm is not very common in the Netherlands (or Britain)? My guess is that in practice the rail company will be supplied from the grid as a whole and thus they will use wind power as it is available from the national electric system.

I don't think there is anything laughable about that.
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby george matthews » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:56 pm

The wind power I am interested in is in Kenya. There, as it is generated by a huge convection system powered by the sun, it is entirely predictable and thus suitable for many regular power needs.
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby David Benton » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:20 am

The railway system is connected to the national grid, so it is impossible to tell which power been used is coming from which source. What they mean is Netherland Railways has contracted to buy power from a company that produces that amount of power from wind turbines.
The beauty of a national grid is that it acts like a giant battery. The sheer number of different consumer and producers evens out the peaks and troughs of production and consumption. Wether the wind is blowing or not is less of a problem than it first seems because of this.
And wind is alot more predictable than it appears at first glance. We tend to judge wether it is a windy day or not , based on what is happening at ground level . Things are alot more constant at 12- 20 metres up in the air, where the turbine blades are.
And anything near to the coast will have wind at least twice a day. Because the earth and the sea warm and cool at different rates , you get a sea breeze in the morning , and in the evening.
The trains are not going to stop because the wind is not blowing.
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby george matthews » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:57 am

I think in Europe in general there is more activity in getting electricity from non-carbon emitting sources than, for example, in the USA. Yes, you are right that wind power will be transmitted by the general grid. Variations in availability will be balanced by other sources. For example, in Kenya the slack times of wind - entirely predictable - will be balanced by increased use of water. The increase in wind can be balanced by turning off the water turbines, and building up water in the reservoir to be released when wind declines.
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby MCL1981 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:25 pm

Wow. So ignore that this whole thing is a total lie, and just go on celebrating it as if it's real. Is it nice to wake up every morning literally delusional?
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby David Benton » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:17 pm

What part of it is a total lie?
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby george matthews » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:49 pm

The railway system is connected to the national grid, so it is impossible to tell which power been used is coming from which source. What they mean is Netherland Railways has contracted to buy power from a company that produces that amount of power from wind turbines.


That is the main point. In the Netherlands, and in the rest of Europe, electricity for railways comes from the same grid as everything else. The Netherlands has a very successful wind sector which is providing power to the general grid. The electricity industry will adjust the different power generators to meet the various changes in both supply and demand. Thus if the wind reduces in strength other sources can be powered up, and battery power can be called on. In Britain the same central controls work. And in Britain the Welsh pumped storage system can be called on to provide extra power when needed and be topped up when there is a surplus of generation.

That is how wind can help power railways. But I doubt if there is any example anywhere in the world where a railway is powered solely by the wind. I don't believe there is any inhabited place where wind blows all the time. Even Antarctica has, fairly rarely, quiet days. Reports from there actually mention days with no wind as a surprise.
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby george matthews » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:09 pm

David Benton wrote:What part of it is a total lie?

I wonder if MCL1981 is a pseudonym for a certain spectacularly ignorant president?
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby johnthefireman » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:18 am

As others have explained, it is normal for companies to claim to be carbon-free because they are paying for an amount of renewable energy equivalent to the amount of energy that they use. We all know that the electricity all goes into the same grid and all comes out of the same grid, but the point is that the more companies put money into increasing renewable generating capacity, the greater the percentage of that energy will be within the whole grid. There's no lie involved.

Again as others have said, MCL1981 may be underestimating the amount of renewable energy already installed in Europe and the potential for more. Massive offshore wind farms are now operational. UK, with it's history of coal power, has recently had periods of 24 hours or more when there was no coal-powered electricity being used at all, and even on an average day it is now a tiny percentage. Natural gas is still a significant source of electricity, but the potential to increase renewable sources is huge. There's another thread somewhere which has some statistics on the percentages.
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby MCL1981 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:28 am

Wind accounts for approx 7% of the total electrical generation in the Netherlands. 7%. So please spare me the "underestimating" non-sense. That's about that meaningful as swallowing seawater and claiming you're helping prevent the rise of sea levels. The railroad is NOT powered by wind. It's a lie to make you all feel better in your echo chamber.
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby johnthefireman » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:13 am

A couple of quotes from another thread (viewtopic.php?f=149&t=165284)

1. UK achieves solar power record as temperatures soar

A record amount of solar power was generated on Friday as Britain basked in sunshine and temperatures of up to 28C...

8.7 gigawatts (GW) had been generated at lunchtime, representing 24.3% of total generation across the UK...

Alongside the contribution from solar, 23% of power came from nuclear sources, 30% from natural gas and just 1.4% from coal.

Wind, hydro power and biomass were also used...

In April, Britain went a full day without using coal to generate electricity for the first time since the 1880s.

The government hopes to close all coal-fired power plants by 2025 and coal accounted for just 9% of electricity generation in 2016 - down from 23% the year before...

2. The coal truth: how a major energy source lost its power in Britain

Only five years ago, the fuel was generating more than 40% of the UK’s electricity, but new analysis by Imperial College London reveals coal supplied just 2% of power in the first half of 2017...
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Re: How wind can power the world's mass transit

Postby george matthews » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:43 am

MCL1981 wrote:Wind accounts for approx 7% of the total electrical generation in the Netherlands. 7%. So please spare me the "underestimating" non-sense. That's about that meaningful as swallowing seawater and claiming you're helping prevent the rise of sea levels. The railroad is NOT powered by wind. It's a lie to make you all feel better in your echo chamber.

You seem rather angry. Why is that? What are you advocating? Do you have American coal shares? No-one, certainly not myself, is claiming that wind can be the only power for railways. But wind is a component of the electrical supply in several countries. Moreover that component is increasing. There was a time when people disregarded wind and thought it belonged to a time when picturesque windmills were used to grind corn into flour. But like all technology it has moved on. And we are all now aware of some of the bad effects of formerly "conventional" technology. CO2 is a serious threat to us all. Wind does not add to that problem.

Over twenty years ago I remember seeing reports of the California wind farms. I think they have flourished since then and increased. At that time I was interested in the similar wind systems found in Kenya, powered by the convection system round Lake Victoria. I have no doubt that that system will have an important role in the future - already begun.

BTW, in a modern industrialised country 7% is quite a large amount. As we say in Britain: not to be sniffed at.
Last edited by george matthews on Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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