Hey Morris - maybe you could use this in your marketing

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...as the alternative to your system. ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
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RicodJour said:

Now that was cool! I especially like the caption:
"A windmill in Hornslet near Aarhus broke its brakes and a storm made it break."
I wonder how far the blade shards traveled.
Greg G.
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On Sat, 14 Nov 2009 14:44:22 -0500, the infamous Greg

I thought they all had safeties in them, feathering the props in super high winds like that. Hmmm. Cool.
-- When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary. -- Thomas Paine
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Apparently it broke its brakes and a storm made it break. ;-)
If we could harness the power of a couple of class 4 hurricanes, without the broken bits, THAT would be cool.
How about the recent announcement by Minesto; which is a spinoff from the Swedish military and aircraft design firm Saab: 18 terawatthours of wave generated energy from a novel underwater kite design:
http://cleantechnica.com/2009/10/23/underwater-kite-harnesses-ocean-energy /
http://www.minesto.com /
Now that's cool!
Greg G.
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scrawled the following:

This indeed real cool, but a caveat may in the experiences of an underwater turbine generator in the East River of New York http://verdantpower.com I can't find the right cite, but believe that there were unanticipated problems with corrosion and/or damage by debris(??).
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Han
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On Sun, 15 Nov 2009 01:35:35 -0500, the infamous Greg

Well, if the Carbon Trust gave its consent, who am I to argue? <wink>

Yeah, interesting.
But I still think that our best, cheapest (if we can refrain from using either gov't or lawyers), bet is to increase our number of nuclear power plants worldwide, and stop burning coal. Now, how do you retrain a miner for nuke work? Maybe just retrain most for the construction, since they're used to heavy manual labor anyway, then send them around the USA/world installing? But the cleanup from the coal power plants will be a nightmare. There's more radiation coming from them than from nuke plants.
-- When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary. -- Thomas Paine
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Now that is sensible talk! Let's double tax the coal commercials ... sigh
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Han
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Han said:

Before Christmas last year I ventured out to downtown Atlanta to look for Sheilas, and was approached by a guy who started preaching, out of the blue, about how "clean coal" was the answer to all of our woes. When I mentioned stack scrubbers and a new experimental technique using algae to clean up exhaust emissions he went blank. Not a clue. Guess who was paying for his shilling? (Rhetorical question...)
Two days later, the huge ash spill at the TVA coal plant in Tennessee occurred. I found it rather ironic...
Greg G.
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So we have you to thank for the coal ash spill??? ;)
On another note, I remember the local gas works in Wageningen, Holland, long before natural gas came in vogue. They would use a very well-known process of heating coke (semipurified coal) with steam. C + H2O -> CO + H2. solid + liqid ielded nicely combustoble gases.
This was pumped at low pressures (much lower than natural gas) around town for cooking etc. Of course at that time our heating systems were stoves fed with anthracite coal. Remeber shoveling coal from the shed's coal bin as my chore during the winter.
I do wonder why the steam + coal system isn't used anymore to transmutate solid coal into usable pumpable gas.
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Han
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Han said:

LOL. Hardly... I have a microbiology professor friend who lives in that area and that's not the sort of devastation I would wish on anyone. Except, perhaps, parts of DC.

Expense of processing and the requirement of re-jetting the furnaces? You would think that if a viable solution that the plants themselves would use the material in-house to satisfy a portion of their energy needs. Not being in the energy business, can't answer that one. But it's probably because it's cheaper to burn it as is - with all the attendant problems ignored/put off till tomorrow. Profit is God.
Greg G.
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RicodJour wrote:

I like windmills - but like tools, it obviously pays to go for the quality product.
One of the guys here in Des Moines is working on a residential wind plant and sent me this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfIoV-1g2co

This will produce a lot less power, but probably won't suffer that kind of runaway rotation.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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otherwise they'd go wild, or worse catch fire. All the gearing was/is wooden ... And a straw/thatched roof.
see http://www.kinderdijk.com /
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Han
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Han wrote: ...

Ayup... :)
Not much worse than having to climb a windmill tower on which the brake wire broke in a stiff KS wind (DAMHIKT)...
Wasn't/isn't enough room on the platform to get away from the blades if the head rotated on you while you were up there.
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Hence the Dutch saying "Hij heeft een tik van de molen gehad" He received a slap from the windmill Meaning, "he is mentally a bit off" Actually, getting hit by a wing of a windmill is likely mostly fatal.
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Han
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There was a news item on our local news just recently about a similar concept which is mounted transversly. The idea being it could be extensively used in suburbia to backfeed the state electricity grid. Currently in pre-production trials. Having used wind power almost exclusively on the farm to pump water where we used large capacity storage to overcome the intermittent nature of the wind, I've wondered whether it would be feasible to have a wind/hydro generation system. e.g. Windmill pumps water into massive storage tank from borehole, lets say 200 ft deep. Second borehole on the same watersource, has a mini turbine at the bottom, also 200ft down. Any overflow from storage tank drives turbine and feeds grid. When winds are light, storage tank feeds turbine. (I'm guessing a 200 ft drop would provide considerable velocity.) The water tank, in effect, becomes a very large cost effective battery. Fluid, (water) is returned to source in a semi enclosed loop situation. I know nothing of turbines, but windmills were very low maintenance and had extremely low running costs. I wonder if it's feasible or has been tried?
diggerop
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diggerop wrote:

It's a great idea, although suburbia offers a few challenges. Can you imagine having neighbors with chronic bad bearings? :)

It's being done (Google for 'pumped hydro'), although I think most of the major sites are using solar, rather than wind. I expect that wind will catch up.

It sounds do-able, but you're talking really large boreholes here (as in kilometers, rather than meters) to produce any significant amount of power for a useful period of time.
I would guess that Australia might be ahead to pump water up a sea cliff to a large reservoir - where the water could then be used for hydro power and/or provide a well-pressurized flow to a desalinization plant.
As you can see at
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/Stirling/HydroPump.html
I share your interest in pumped storage for hydro power. :)
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Morris Dovey
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Thanks Morris. Interesting stuff.
diggerop
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On Sun, 15 Nov 2009 11:04:49 +0800, the infamous "Morris Dovey"

So, how much would it cost (and how large would the fluidyne system be) to provide hydroelectric power to run one house, say, a little one on the prairie?
-- When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary. -- Thomas Paine
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Larry Jaques wrote:

I've been keeping my focus on small-scale water pumping because that's currently the greatest need, and only recently came up with a single-piston design
see http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/Stirling/5mPump2.html
that /might/ be adequate to the task of direct power production if used to drive a small linear alternator for charging batteries for a "little house on the prairie". Cost (not price) of the engine and parabolic trough collector could be less than US$1K. I have no idea what cost a linear alternator, charge controller, battery bank, and inverter might add.
Using mechanical (water) storage for that little house would probably be prohibitively expensive. It'd need an elevated reservoir (think in terms like "water tower") to hold enough water. It'd need a turbine, valves, flow control system, alternator/generator, and also the charge controller, battery bank, and inverter as above.
I don't know _anything_ about electrical power generation (but I'm aware that there's more than one person here with in-depth knowledge of the field) but I'll guess that (on the prairie) the mechanical portion of a small-scale pumped hydro system would be expensive to implement and a monstrous PIA to maintain.
<laughing at self> Did I just find a really long way of saying "I don't know"?
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Does anyone make or use a ram pump anymore? If you have flowing water, it's about the cheapest and easiest way to raise it.
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Nonny

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