Wednesday, April 30, 2014

About those Turbines (and stuff)


In my last post I promised pictures of turbine spares and a wrecked turbine blade but, before we get to them, here are some pretty flowers to be going on with.

 
Here next is my route past the last of the turbines before I turn and head towards the small village of Handras. This is a walk I’ve taken many times now and without diversions (like one I took recently to try and get a look at an array of solar panels) totals 6.5 miles. The number of occasions when I haven’t gone for a long walk each day since arriving here I can count on one hand. I am also eating little in the way of carbs and the effect has been gratifying. Since that time I stepped on the scales just after Christmas and saw I had edged over 14 stone I’ve lost over 20 pounds. I am in fact just a pound or so away from the supposed upper limit of my BMI, which is ridiculous, because I can hardly be classified as overweight when I need a belt to stop 32 inch waist jeans from falling round my ankles.

 
Here’s the spare parts store for the wind turbines. You can probably see why it reminded me of a NASA museum, though the turbine blades look like a row of high-tech canoes.


 
 
And here is that wrecked turbine blade.



 
Of course those knowing my opinions on some matters might expect me to rant about these ‘bird-shredding blots on the landscape’ but sorry to disappoint. I think they’re beautiful and impressive. What I object to how they are only profitable if subsidized, how they are proposed as a solution to our energy problems when you would need so many of them that if you could supply power in reverse to spin them up Great Britain could probably achieve orbit (Cities in Flight by James Blish now drops into my mind). I object to the fact that they supply no power when the wind isn’t blowing or is blowing too hard. I object to the fact that many of the ‘usual suspects’ are making shitloads of money out of siting these things on their land etc etc. However, if an efficient way can be found to store their output then a lot of my objections would melt away.
 

That they are often sited in beautiful countryside I have no objection to at all. I guess my thoughts about spin dizzies and James Blish are relevant here. Being a long-time reader of science fiction I’m quite attracted to the idea of chunks of high-tech machinery sitting in wilderness. I don’t see the wilderness as being destroyed, rather enhanced by the contrast.

3 comments:

Neil said...

What surprises me, is how goddam big they are now getting.

Some of the models on trail now for sea deployment are huge.

http://www.4coffshore.com/windfarms/turbines.aspx

dlw said...

I'm not concerned about birds, but the only ones I've ever actually been near to were in New Mexico, and they were OBNOXIOUSLY LOUD. As in "near a hovering helicopter" loud. And they were probably a quarter of a mile away.

Neal Asher said...

I guess the ones here are the smaller version, Neil. Still, they are impressive.

dlw, these are loud too, but you need to have a fair degree of fitness to get close enough to them to hear ... unless you take a 4x4 up the mountain.