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Wind Powered Energy Generation

A topic to place all Wind Powered Energy Generation posts into. In some cases rather than disturb the flow of the original topic I have used quoting to catch the relevant information. I have also tried as much as possible to keep the date flowing in as much order as I could.

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Not actually in Victoria, but offshore. It seems they aren’t allowed to investigate the potential because there’s no regulatory framework for construction and operation.

Meanwhile, more broadly, the relevant authority confirms that yes, it is possible:


No problems however, if you want to start blasting for seismic testing for oil in the bight! :angry:


yeah but we probably have a policy for that :slight_smile: policies make everything right !! (yes, that was in my sarcastic typeface)


“no one has yet tried to analyse or predict the flow on impacts of wind or tidal generation as to the wider scale impacts on the environment.”

“There’s no reason to suppose that, for example, a wind turbine will have any more impact on the wind than will a tree (or a building). If there was going to be any substantial impact, then wouldn’t it have shown up through the millions of trees cleared over the centuries?”

The surface wind speed globally has been slowing down over recent decades, unrelated to wind turbines, which have only made a relatively recent appearance in any significant numbers. It’s called stilling.

I’d have thought that the recent addition of a relatively few turbines would have negligible global impact vs the billions of trees removed over the past 1000 years, for near- surface wind speeds.


" Something similar is true of wind farms.

Infrastructure accompanying wind farm development often proves operationally advantageous to the farming enterprise, particularly in emergencies such as fire.
More here:

Environmental impact of wind power

The environmental impact of wind power when compared to that of fossil fuel power, is relatively minor. Compared with other low carbon power sources, wind turbines have some of the lowest global warming potential per unit of electrical energy generated. According to the IPCC, in assessments of the life-cycle global warming potential of energy sources, wind turbines have a median value of between 15 and 11 (gCO2eq/kWh) depending on whether off- or onshore turbines are being assessed. Onshore wind…


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great photo of some smart sheep using the shadow of a wind turbine on a hot day


From the topic “RF pollution, radiation and cancer - smart meters, mobile phones and WiFI”


From the topic “Renewable Energy - Megathread”

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Plenty of anti wind farm activism in NSW too. I have to laugh at one sign I often see claiming wind farms are environmental vandalism… in the Hunter Valley, home of the most disgusting environmental mess of coal mines and coal-fired power stations! The main ones promoting this sort of nonsense in Australia have close ties with the fossil fuel industry.


Another way to reduce wholesale costs (that our government is keen to ignore):

Note that it doesn’t include floating wind turbines, another technology that’s rapidly maturing:


From the topic “Solar PV Inverters”

Some alternatives here, although intended for remote sites. Most everyday urban areas have a maximum building height limit - typically around a maximum of 8m. One other supplier for an open landscape actually preferred a 50’ (approx 16m tower height to get clean air and minimise terrain drag/turbulence. There are also vertical axis design wind turbines which may better suit an urban landscape, subject to council approval and having reliable clean air flow. As @gordon suggests, extremely unlikely.

The big consideration is wind energy increases or decreases with the cube of the wind speed.
IE A typical axial flow propeller like wind turbine will provided rated power at a wind speed of around 10m/s or approx 36kph. If the wind speed drops by half to 18kph (5m/s, 10knots), still a decent breeze, the turbine power will decrease by a factor of 8, (2cubed). Hence a 2kW rated turbine will only produce 250W if the wind speed simply halves.

Urban Australia is also not very windy most of the time. The BOM can help.


Indeed there are, but realistically they would be more a novelty item than anything else, since they are rather inefficient. There’s a good reason all the wind farms use horizontal axis turbines!


True, not cheap, and more an expensive novelty, but for a residential environment probably the more aesthetic and council friendly option. Based on the BOM wind speed here in our swamp the better options work out at around $2.00 per kWh generated over a ten year payback. Half that cost with a 25m tower for support, tower cost and property development application plus building permit excluded.

For anyone interested in some of the options, with a spare disused Southern Cross or old light house for a home it may just get over the line as part of an off grid solution.

Note the really low power performance at anything less than 8m/s wind speed (30kph approx).


So, more than 20 times the cost of spending the same amount on solar, and even then I suspect it’s a very optimistic hypothesis! :wink:

actual test results may differ due to various factors.

You can be 100% certain that what you see will be less than what you’d hope for.


I don’t know if you have seen these but perhaps interesting developments in Wind generated power (the statement of 10 X more power actually is about the number in a given area compared to the normal wind turbine footprints):
(There is an important correction to the one linked above that must be read as the results after correction are lower than originally stated)

Another study on Performance enhancement of downstream VAWTs (the conclusions are very interesting)


A fair bit of TL;DR there, and some of it was pretty technical, but in any case, the urban environment isn’t really suited to any sort of turbine, ie all of them, that works best in non-turbulent wind. :wink: [Edited by @grahroll to remove now non relevant topic reference]


Parks, Road verges and similar in the Urban landscape as envisaged in some of the situations for the surveys in the Public receptiveness study might however work. Particularly as they are not the large Horizontal Wind Turbine models. From the study “There might also be advantages to deploying vertical axis turbines at a smaller scale in urban or suburban areas and in places where the risk of bird damage is highest”

Click the image to see all three possibilities of placements:

Some areas create a sort of wind tunnel effect and in these places the placement of the Vertical Turbines (VAWT) may work very well. The use of VAWTs on top of high rise buildings in combination with Solar could also bring benefits to generation in the renewable sector. Complimentary production by using as much available space as possible?

Certainly is but I generally read the abstract and conclusions rather than meander through all the technical aspects of the studies. If something does pique my interest I go to that area to read a bit more in depth. The abstract is not really sufficient so I try to get the whole study to make sure the conclusions are included. So sorry about the length of them but I hope having the conclusions does help bring better understanding (:slight_smile: I hope my technique might offer a less intensive read).