SpiroFlo looks at a potential breakthrough in wind power: the wind lens.
I’ll admit it: I’m not a big fan of wind power (oh, pun).
Like electric car batteries, it’s making progress, but thus far, fails in a) the ability to store a sufficient amount of energy; and b) returning enough energy value for the energy it takes to create it — the fancy term is EROEI: energy returned on energy invested — making it unreliable as anything more than a niche power source.
That said, I still like to keep track of the progression of green technologies, because the world is changing, and if it changes rapidly enough, some of these alternate energy sources could be sustainable long-term. Of course, this will likely require a dominant energy industry to crash — as need is a great developer of technology — so in the mean time, we get to enjoy the smaller developments along the way:
If you’ve driven through North Dakota, Texas or Wyoming, you’ve probably seen those giant three-pronged wind turbines up on a hill. Even though they’re placed in areas where they should catch the wind and spin, you’ve probably driven by them when they’re not turning. As a result of that, wind power technologies are looking for ways for turbines to spin more efficiently, while being safe and cost-effective.
Japan has invented a wind turbine that could triple the output of a standard wind turbine, potentially making it more cost-efficient than nuclear power ($80 per MWh for wind versus $90 per MWh for coal). As usual, I italicized the terms that highlight the difference between a success and a raging failure.
Looks like a Dyson bladeless fan -- uh, with the blades put back in
Speculators have determined that with a mere (whopping) 2,640,000 wind lenses, wind power could completely replace nuclear power. You know, if it actually works as planned, and if people somehow sign off on turning over a combined land mass area a quarter the size of Alaska. Minor details, especially considering wind turbines aren’t aesthetically pleasing enough for many environmentalists.
That’s one of those hypocritical standards that pops up in environmentalism: As wind power gets more mainstream — and therefore more visible and hopefully more reliable — the less it is embraced by the hardcore green crowd who initially champion just about any potentially green technology that could be more efficient than big oil or nuclear energy. In the end, green or not, there is no more inefficient energy resource than fantasy.
Wind power has some hefty price tags ahead, too — like the proposed multi-billion dollar TWE Carbon Valley project in Wyoming (note that ‘proposed’ is italicized, whereas ‘multi-billion dollar’ is not) — but at least it’s progressing in a way that even I might agree with one day.
More on the wind lens:
More innovative wind turbine designs: http://www.ecofriend.com/entry/7-innovative-wind-turbine-designs/
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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:
-SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).
-Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).
-Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).
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