Re: [TdC] Renewable Energy
- I have been considering this for some time.
Tristan already pays a significant premium for oil landed at the dock, the source of electricity, heat (AFAIK), hot water and transportation.
As the price of oil climbs, Tristan's economic self sufficiency is threatened, and a prolonged delay in new oil shipments, for any reason, threatens their way of life.
My suggestions, in brief, are two (for redundancy) small hydroelectric projects that work off stored water. A good source of design expertise is MHyLab of Switzerland that has designed hydroelectric generators from 100 to 1 million watts.
An unusual power plant of theirs was delivered by helicopter to a bottom of a ravine in the Swiss Alps and generates up to 200,000 watts (from my memory) from the treated sewage outfall from a Swiss village. The power plant is covered by snow for almost half the year and is serviced once a year.
These two hydropower plants would allow generation to follow demand, and can absorb "shocks" to the grid. Once this base was built, additional power can come from wind turbines (I would suggest looking at those used in Antarctica, see links below), hydroelectric that simply takes water as it comes and/or geothermal with an oil back-up.
Hydroelectric is the longest lasting (overhaul every 50-60 years), lowest maintenance and most reliable option to generate electricity.
Solar water heating (with renewable electric back-up) MIGHT make sense despite the cloudy days and latitude.
For some (not all) land transportation, an electric car and truck could be used. Perhaps from the docks to the village and to the Potato Patches.
*IF* a cheap surplus of renewable electricity can be generated (say from geothermal), synthesizing methanol (or ammonia) is possible on a small scale and either can be used for the fishing boats and the more difficult land transportation.
The most difficult (IMHO) part of building a hydroelectric project would be the penstock (the tube that carries water under pressure to the turbine & generator).
An example. There is, say, a small pond on the side of the mountain. Either a pipe is drilled into it or a small pump lifts water over the edge to the start of the penstock. The Penstock at the top is, say, 20 cm thick walled plastic pipe. After a drop of 25 m, the water pressure exceeds what plastic can handle and either a power plant is built there or the penstock switches to steel (using used oil field drilling pipe) for a power plant lower down (the higher the head the more power that is generated for a given volume of water).
Man handling even short sections of steel pipe up a mountain will be difficult. The best site should have 4WD access to the top and a winch or truck mounted crane can help lower sections of pipe into place.
Other civil engineering options exist.
Does anyone know the peak electrical demand and the annual demand on Tristan ?
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- The wind turbine that failed was a very, very early design and was simply not designed for the peak wind conditions on Tristan.
Many Antarctic bases have winds more extreme than on Tristan, and they must also be low maintenance and durable. Wind turbines today have hundreds of thousands of times more experience, and better engineering, than the one that failed on Tristan a couple of decades ago.
One comparable example is that a 1916 Ford Model T was tried on the German autobahn and it failed miserably. So no Ford car should ever be driven on the autobahn ?
To quote the article I linked:
"They have also produced electricity in the highest wind speeds -- 150mph in the Shetland Islands -- a useful pedigree given Antarctica's average 53 mph wind speeds in winter with gusts up to 200 mph".
No average or "normal" wind turbine will work on Tristan, but speciality designed and built units should work well. An AVERAGE wind speed of 53 mph !
---------- Original Message ----------
From: "Paul & Mel Young" <paul.young@...>
Subject: RE: [TdC] Renewable Energy
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 16:02:59 -0000
Please don't anybody suggest Wind Power for Tristan
It was tried and the wind mill blew away
All that was left was a stump and some cables
I have a photo I think
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of bobconrich
Sent: 12 November 2009 15:31
Subject: [TdC] Renewable Energy
House of Lords
Written answers and statements, 10 November 2009
Lord Jones of Cheltenham (Liberal Democrat)
To ask Her Majesty's Government what research, plans or projects (a) have
been completed, (b) are ongoing, or (c) are planned to mitigate the impact
of climate change in (1) St Helena, (2) Ascension Island, (3) Tristan da
Cunha, and (4) the Falkland Islands.
* Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 10 November 2009, c131W)
Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth
Responsibility for mitigating climate change lies with the Territories'
(1) St Helena is taking steps towards reducing their carbon footprint
through introducing wind power programmes.
(2) In 2010 Ascension Island will be looking to reduce their carbon
footprint through wind power and gradually installing solar units in its
housing. It also plans to install a carbon emission-monitoring facility.
(3) Tristan da Cunha plans to investigate renewable energy as an option for
(4) There are a number of projects in the Falkland Islands looking at the
impacts of climate change, focusing on sea level, vegetation and
biodiversity. Plans are in place to continue such work. The Falkland Islands
will continue their ambitious work on wind power programmes.
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This is the Tristan da Cunha list, a list set up by the St Helena Institute at http://www.st-helena.org
For information about Tristan da Cunha, please see the official Tristan web page at http://www.tristan-da-cunha.com
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