Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: ATT Microwave towers for wind power
- Article in today's WashPost:
*080920NY Tests Turbines to Produce Power**
*City Taps Current Of the East River
By Robin Shulman
NEW YORK -- On a recent morning, a crane sank a 16-foot rotor into the
waters of the East River and divers swam deep to bolt it to the bottom. By
early evening, as the northerly current sped up, the rotor began to spin, a
big thunk sounded in the control room, a green light went on, and
electricity began to pour into a nearby supermarket.
The scene represents an experiment in tidal power, using turbines that look
like underwater windmills, and it is the first of its kind nationwide and
one of only a few such pilot projects in the world.
"This is just the beginning of a project, but the project itself is
emblematic of a whole new industry," said Trey Taylor, the president of
Verdant Power, a small company that created the experiment and hopes to
expand it to commercial use with 300 turbines in the East River that could
power up to 10,000 homes in the city.
Engineers, policymakers and energy experts say projects like the East River
tidal turbines are already placing this city at the urban vanguard of energy
production. They say New York City is uniquely positioned to advance
sustainable energy projects because of the city's enormous need for power,
its high electricity costs, and the pressure for new sources created by its
unusual rule that 80 percent of energy must be generated within the city.
Mayor Michael R.
sought to make New York the cleanest and greenest major city in the
country. He has faced setbacks -- for example, when his congestion pricing
plan to reduce the number of cars in Manhattan was killed by the state
legislature. He was mocked when he spoke of placing windmills on bridges and
skyscrapers, and a few New York tabloids ran illustrations of wind turbines
on the Brooklyn
Still, he has asked private companies to submit ideas to develop wind, solar
and water energy projects. And for the past year, his administration has
supported the water turbines, a project many years in the making.
The idea is simple: As water flows, it spins the rotors and produces
electricity. The turbines run according to the tide charts, which are as
predictable as phases of the moon.
The idea was rejected for state funding in 2000, only to be accepted a few
The strength of the flows of the East River -- which is technically not a
river, but a tidal strait, whose current switches direction throughout the
day -- makes it an ideal spot for generating power. The strength of the
current also makes it hard on equipment. Swift-moving waters chewed up the
first two types of turbines, which Verdant, a small, private company,
installed in late 2006 and early 2007.
The first blades were fiberglass with a steel skeleton. Later, another set
of rotors was made from aluminum and magnesium.
"The water was very powerful, so it broke the rotors," Taylor said.
The newest blades are made from an aluminum alloy, attached to rotors whose
strength has been extensively tested. If all holds together, Taylor expects
to apply for permission to expand and launch a commercial operation.
But the capacity of the turbines is not the only stumbling block. There were
years of environmental testing on the site, including an investment of more
than $2 million to monitor the impact on fish and migratory birds. Both have
avoided the big, clunky turbines thus far, Taylor said, but regulations
require ongoing inspections.
The city needs new ways to generate energy because existing transmission
lines from upstate are inadequate and the city's needs are growing, said
James Gallagher, energy expert at the city's Economic Development Corp.
"We need generation within the city, and anything we can add in terms of
clean, efficient, new generation, has a value to it," he said.
He and other analysts say tidal power is a small piece of the city's energy
equation. In fact, New York is learning the rules of the game for its own
brand of urban sustainable energy production: The winds and waters of this
port city can be harnessed, but only in certain places. Tidal power is
reliable, but small-scale. Wind power is cheap but rare. Solar power is
unreliable, inconstant and expensive but easy to install.
Experts warn that before these alternatives are widely adopted, New York
will have to upgrade its antiquated grid system, which is currently
incapable of incorporating a great deal of power from multiple small
The city's peak energy consumption is 12,000 megawatts at any given moment,
said Stephen Hammer, the director of the Urban Energy Program at Columbia
"The question is, 'What's our goal? How much of that 12,000 megawatts total
do we want to try to achieve? What kind of cost burden do we want to bear to
achieve it?' "
So far, support has been relatively strong on Roosevelt Island, the quiet
community between Manhattan and
is the project's base. Developers began building that support in 2001,
long before any installation, beginning with neighborhood meetings.
"I think it's a great thing," said Pia Doane, 63, speaking as she shopped
for fruit at the Gristede's supermarket the project powers. She said she'd
rather live in view of a turbine than a smokestack, such as those at the
massive power plant just across the water, which she calls Asthma Alley.
"This current has a big force," she said. "We should use it."
On Sat, Sep 20, 2008 at 2:14 AM, widebandit <widebandit@...> wrote:
> And veering back on topic (more or less)...
> Upon reading the article, it appears that Mr. Kropper wants to
> install his own 240' turbines either in addition to or in replacement
> of the AT&T towers - not on them. I doubt that existing PCS tenants
> would be willing to give up their tower for a turbine, and the study
> will have to address how existing PCS coverage would be affected by
> nearby windmills (let's call 'em what they are - 'turbine' is sooo
> politically correct).
> Mr. Kropper's working presumptionss are that adding a windmill at an
> existing AT&T/AT site won't be a problem for the FAA, the zoning
> board, or local environmentalists, and since the neighbors are
> already used to a quiet tower, they won't mind living next to an
> active windmill (er... turbine) or two, completely disregarding the
> fact that a number of AT&T microwave sites have been purchased for
> the express purpose of demolishing the 'eyesore' tower. The photo in
> the article shows Mr. Kropper standing by the Bear Mtn tower - Bear
> Mtn was one of the 1947 TDX, NY-to-Boston sites. The TDX repeater
> bldg is directly behind him.
> I'm also hearing that people living in close proximity to wind
> turbines are physiologically affected by the particular range of
> frequencies they emit - which may be a factor in future wind farm
> development. BTW, the wind farm concept is giving way to single
> installations - there's a number of (large) stand-alone windmills
> along I-80 in western Iowa.
> Don't get me wrong, I think windmills are great - the more we build
> the better the technology becomes, and pulling energy out of the air
> is better than pulling it out of the ground - but the nimbys (not in
> my back yard) are out there. A couple years ago I got permission to
> visit the Cameron, Ca. TD2 site, located smack in the middle of a
> huge wind farm in the Tehachapi Mts. But on the way out I got boxed
> in by some maintenance techs who thought I was an activist lookin for
> Many AT&T sites are completely unsuited for any other communications
> use. As route density increased, AT&T path engineers became
> increasingly clever at hiding towers in between hills and in passes
> such that a particular tower could only 'see' its own adjacent sites
> but not any nearby communities or highways. This is particularly
> evident in the West where some sites aren't visible until you are
> almost at the gate. These sites may be better candidates for wind
> power - providing that the cost of repairing/upgrading power lines is
> not prohibitive.
> As for the water wheel thing; there's a European firm installing
> under-water turbines that look like smaller versions of wind
> turbines. They're mounted on pylons in symmetrical pairs amd operate
> below the shipping but can be raised to the surface for maintenance.
> At 62 pounds per cubic foot, you can pull a heck of a lot more energy
> out of a steady 10-knot sea or river current than you can out of a
> fickle 20-knot breeze (but windmills won't barnacle-up on ya mate,
> and a runaway wind turbine looks way cool). Google SeaGen or go to:
> And since we're on the subject of energy. We ain't gonna become
> energy self-sufficient by fillin our cars up with corn whiskey (face
> it E-85 ain't nuttin more than de-natured 170-proof moonshine). The
> people doin the energy balance estimates ain't showin ya all the
> books. High-yield corn needs an awful lot of fertilizer - a quarter
> ton per acre - and fertilizer is a fossil fuel. The Haber process
> consumes 33,000 cu ft of natural gas to fix a ton of NH3 outa the air
> (Fritz Haber was a physicist who won the Nobel prize - in chemistry -
> for his process. He was also the driving force behind the German's
> development of gas werfare in WWI). At 300 gal/acre each gallon of
> ethanol uses 28 cu ft of natural gas just for fertilizer. Not to
> mention fuel for fermentation and distillation as well as disposing
> of tons of depleted corn mash. And I'd bet an alcohol tractor engine
> can't deliver the commodity most needed for large-scale cultivation -
> torque rise - the ability of a turbo-diesel engine to dramatically
> increase its power output as the load increases. We need to be smart
> enough to ask the right questions so we don't get sold a bill of
> goods along with the moonshine....WaW...
> > Veering well off topic...
> > I recall seeing something about a hydro power project in NYC in the
> > East (?) River. I recall one unit was damaged during installation
> > the current picked up before it was fully anchored. Another unit
> > working. Does anyone have any current info on that project?
> > And now back to our highly UNscheduled broadcast...
> > Mike
> > At 02:16 PM 9/18/2008, you wrote:
> > >I concur with Paul, the size of each blade is usually about 30
> meters for a
> > >modern wind turbine (WT). I was interviewing with MOOG Corporation
> > >south of Buffalo, NY on a different matter but in my research I
> found out
> > >that they are working on VAWT pitch control to maximize the
> efficiency of
> > >each blade. Today most are HAWT which is on the horizontal axis
> and the
> > >towers tend to be about 100 meters in height with additional
> controllers on
> > >the blades themselves. In the near future look for VAWT or viable
> > >units at a wind farm in the news. MOOG purchased one of Germany's
> > >manufacturers (green something?) of wind turbines a few months
> ago. I have
> > >seen these in Germany, Spain and heading down Interstate 68 and
> 220S in
> > >Maryland and they are very large. A good idea is wind farms
> offshore on the
> > >coast but like Paul says if you have a bunch of multi-millionaires
> > >out from their beach estates located on the top of a bluff gazing
> out to the
> > >horizon they do not want to see these wind farms. The idea is a
> smart power
> > >company would couple the wind turbine with an underwater feature
> to capture
> > >additional power off of tidal flows. In the UK (Scotland) they
> have a
> > >floating surface device that rides the waves and generates a
> > >amount of power through the movement of articulated joints off of
> North Sea
> > >wave action. But that is way off subject.
> > >
> > >John Gillespie, Charles Town, WV.
> > >
> > >From:
> > ><mailto:coldwarcomms% <coldwarcomms%25>
> > >[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org <coldwarcomms%40yahoogroups.com>]
> > >Behalf Of paul rosa
> > >Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 3:33 PM
> > >To: <mailto:coldwarcomms% <coldwarcomms%25>
> > >Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] ATT Microwave towers for wind power
> > >
> > >Just off the top of my head, I would doubt an existing microwave
> > >would be suited to handling the weight and rotational forces
> > >with a contemporary wind turbine. I looked at some on trucks out
> > >recently as they rolled to their new homes and these things are
> big and
> > >heavy. As are the blades. An even bigger problem is that wind
> > >have to be able to plug into a nearby (almost adjacent) electric
> > >transmission grid to feed the electricity into the grid. Microwave
> > >towers tend to be isolated at distant high points. This, and the
> > >to cluster your maintenance personnel and roads, are why we have
> > >farms--so that the associated infrastructure efficiently services
> > >multiple units clustered at a single location. While working on
> > >site issues near Bar Harbor, Maine recently an industry told me
> > >the current windpower predicament in Maine. The sites with good
> > >potential and easy access to the transmission grid also happen to
> > >near the scenery so it is politically impossible to build there.
> > >sites in the state that have good wind potential and are far from
> > >political controversy are aldo far from the existing transmission
> > >And since the cost of building new transmission lines are quite
> > >the projects don't pencil out.
> > >
> > >Paul
> > >
> > >Ron wrote:
> > > >
> > > > An article in yesterdays Boston Globe states a gentleman wants
> to put
> > > > wind turbines on existing obsolete cold war era ATT towers. To
> > > > uneducated eye, they appear to be the wrong shape and not
> designed to
> > > > handle the forces that monopole wind turbine towers require.
> Plus the
> > > > turbine case would have to be really long to allow them to
> pivot and
> > > > allow the blades to miss the tower. But then, what do I know....
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic
hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.
There's also a negative side."
� Hunter S. Thompson
Without music, life would be a mistake.
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is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new
� Declaration of Independence
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