Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wind Power: Best When It Produces Nothing

It was recently suggested to me that I should add some commentary to my blog, in case one day in the future I wanted to be a journalist. So, considering the person who suggested it is a journalist, this will be my first venture into blog-commentary. But, keeping it in line with the style of the blog, I'll hopefully be keeping the topics semi-technical and (when it overlaps) possibly slightly political. For some reason politicians think they know about science (in particular, energy) and that seems to create a lot of problems. I'll keep updating the blog with things I build as well, so hooray!

So I was handed this article at work, and it explains why exactly wind power isn't more prevalent than it "should be," at least, according to the common folk and/or politicians who don't try to understand more about the nature of the beast.


The article is a bit long-winded (har har) but explains very well why wind power is not good for electricity generation. The same principles can be applied to solar. In my opinion as an electrical engineer (albeit without my P.E.) it seems like a lot of the problems discussed in the article could be solved by pairing a wind farm with a specially-built natural gas turbine to even out the generation. Solar Thermal Arrays usually use the same sort of idea, which I will more than likely discuss later on.

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