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RE: [hreg] Re: Cool turbine video

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  • Kevin Conlin
    Please see my replies below.. Kevin Conlin Solarcraft, Inc. 4007-C Greenbriar Drive Stafford, TX 77477 Local (281) 340-1224 Toll Free (877) 340-1224 Fax (281)
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 5, 2009
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      Please see my replies below….


      Kevin Conlin

      Solarcraft, Inc.

      4007-C Greenbriar Drive

      Stafford, TX 77477

      Local (281) 340-1224

      Toll Free (877) 340-1224

      Fax (281) 340-1230

      Cell (281) 960-8979




      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jay Ring
      Sent: Monday, January 05, 2009 4:21 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [hreg] Re: Cool turbine video


      You agree? With what? The cowl looks smaller and the structure is
      self-aligning so drag should be a non-issue. Did I miss something? I agree with Gary ’s comments, the video did not address the key issues of scaling the technology.  It addressed the alleged shortcomings of current turbine designs, but not the potential pitfalls of theirs.  Try putting a cowl around a 5MW turbine, which is the current generation.

      I don't know if you can get more skeptical than I am; I embrace the
      term with pride! That is my intellectual starting point. Good for you.

      However - "curmudgeon" , as you no doubt know, means old, stubborn, and
      set in their ways. Therefore, all progress, technological or
      otherwise, depends on ignoring them! :) That’s your interpretation. The humorous label is mine because I’ve been around the solar industry for over 30 years, and 95% of the supposed technological advances I have seen promoted for both wind and solar did not come to pass for practical reasons. Considering my company introduced several new products last year that I designed that were very successful, and I have several patents pending, I don’t think it’s accurate to label me as ignoring or opposing advancing technology. You may also review the article I wrote that was just published in Remote magazine, and maybe download the paper I presented last year at the Entelec conference before you jump to that conclusion. Why don’t you peruse my website and let me know what solar company does a better job of packaging industrial, stand alone systems than we do. www.solarcraft.net

      I don't see any problem commercializing them, other than incurring
      another round of start up costs (drawings, fixtures, molds, tooling).
      Nothing in the design (that I can see) is difficult to fabricate. I don’t agree.

      I could be wrong, but I imagine the cowl will be constructed on the
      ground and then hoisted onto the support, as opposed to constructed in
      mid air.

      I am not sure what makes you think there will be a huge cost for extra
      hardware. The massive tower you are worried about is required for any
      wind turbine. They already build them and they are pretty good at it. No, the design that was proposed has a much greater mass than just turbine blades, and if it is in fact capturing more wind, then the dynamic loads on the structure will be greater as well. The aperture of the cowl still has to capture the same amount of wind or more. It has two stage vanes as well as a multi bladed turbine and all the other ancillary hardware inside, and a 5MW generator will still require all of it’s ancillary hardware, power conditioning electronics, etc…those costs stay the same.  The computer graphics totally ignored the actual mechanical structures that would be required to structurally support such a large system.

      Component count wise, it may have more sub-components, but they are
      smaller and should be easier to fabricate without a custom fabrication
      facility. I doubt either of us can give a really accurate per-unit
      cost on either one. However, I would guess the cost would be within a
      factor of three. Those cowl and vane designs are hugely custom, and anyone who thinks they can be easily fabricated in any metal shop will be proven wrong. 3X the number of parts for a lower cost? Don’t think so.

      Current technology isn't that bad, I don't think the tone of the video
      was that at all. I strongly disagree on that point, the limitations of current technology were overstated and exaggerated. That certainly doesn't mean it can't be improved
      though. What we have now is certainly not the best that is possible.
      Turbines are more efficient than propellers. That is why we use them
      on virtually every other fluid-flow design (water, steam, rocket). I
      imagine this will eventually work it's way into wind, even if this
      exact project is not the one to develop it. What works at a small scale and high speed isn’t necessarily easy to scale up, and multiple small turbines are necessarily cheaper than one big one. The opposite is true because your fixed costs, such as high voltage infrastructure, are still the same.

      It’s a sure thing that turbine technology will continue to improve, and a set of turbines was recently erected in Dubai that uses a wedge shaped building to help direct the wind into the turbines, but it remains to be seen if the improved performance justified the extra costs. The concept would be better adapted to tidal and river flow power generation in my opinion.

      Have a good one!

      --- In hreg@yahoogroups. com, "Kevin Conlin" <kconlin@... > wrote:

      > I agree. After viewing the video, many of the "facts" they
      > I don't see any practical way the concept can be commercialized.
      The video
      > sounds as if the current technology is hopelessly outdated, when in
      fact it
      > works quite well and is cost competitive with conventional power
      > For example, the reason current turbines are located away from populated
      > areas isn't because the turbines explode as depicted, but simply that's
      > where the best wind is.
      > Given that renewables are "hot" right now, there is never a
      shortage of
      > people trying to raise funding with often misleading "information" .
      Gary is
      > right, they ignore the huge cost of their extra hardware, or the massive
      > tower that would be required to support it. They also ignore that
      > transportation of the blades is not really a big deal, but they
      would have
      > you believe it is near impossible, and it is much cheaper to assemble a
      > complex shroud in mid air than it is to hang a turbine blade.
      > As the group curmudgeon, I don't believe the design is practical on
      a large
      > scale.
      > Kevin Conlin
      > Solarcraft, Inc.
      > 4007-C Greenbriar Drive
      > Stafford ,
      w:st="on">TX 77477
      > Local (281) 340-1224
      > Toll Free (877) 340-1224
      > Fax (281) 340-1230
      > Cell (281) 960-8979
      > kconlin@...
      > www.solarcraft. net
      > _____
      > From: hreg@yahoogroups. com
      [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf
      Of Gary
      > Beck
      > Sent: Monday, January 05, 2009 11:38 AM
      > To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
      > Subject: RE: [hreg] Cool turbine video
      > if this is intended for the blade diameter of a 2 MW wind turbine, the
      > cowling would need to be just huge. It would add weight plus big
      > drag and lateral wind loads to the support structure.
      > From: hreg@yahoogroups. com
      [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf
      Of Jay
      > Ring
      > Sent: Friday, January 02, 2009 8:03 PM
      > To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
      > Subject: [hreg] Cool turbine video
      > I hope this hasn't already been posted :) The video is neat.
      > Turbine based design seems a lot better to me , although I think there
      > is still a lot more they can do with this. I think it will follow the
      > evolution of the airplane as the industry matures.
      > http://www.autoblog
      <http://www.autoblog green.com/ 2008/12/31/ new-wind- turbine-could- dramatically
      > -increase-generatio n-efficien/ >
      green.com/2008/ 12/31/new- wind-turbine- could-dramatical ly-increase- generation
      > -efficien/

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