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The Masked Tulip

Wind Turbine At Swansea Docks Has Generated 'enough Power For Just 19 Kettles'

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There is this big wind turbine situated at the entrance to Swansea Docks - you can see it from virtually every part of the bay as you walk or run or cycle around.

It is there turning in the breeze and I have often wondered how much power it is generating. Now I know.

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/news/Turbine-brings-power-19-kettles/article-2850987-detail/article.html

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Wow. Wind power not doing a lot. There's a surprise. I'm amazed that last winter didn't kill off any remaining naivety about wind power - all that very cold weather and very little wind. I just can't understand environmentalists who want to reduce coal / gas / oil / nuclear and replace it with nothing (fair enough, I suppose; if they were on about merely cutting usage then at least they're being consistent) but also build a load of pointless towers that do very little at all.

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Current wind turbines aren't great but the technology is sure to improve in the future. Apart from the fact the current ones only run at 100% output a fraction of the time, they also dont have a long life span. IIRC planning consents for these wind farms uisually last approximately 20 years which is the lifespan of these turbines. After that time the energy providers will have to renew the consent and erect new turbines or remediate the land on which they were situated, both of which are costly.

Im not sure if its still the case but a few years ago the fat govt subsidies for wind energy were the only things that made the projects commercially viable in the first place.

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I bet the kettles were all made in China.

how many months or years of energy production would it take for this wind turbine to create the same energy used in shipping those kettles to the UK? :lol:

nuclear is the future

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It does sound poor, but that's 19 kettles running 24/7 for 41 months and kettles are power hungry - typically at least 1KW. Just saying '19 kettles' deliberately makes is sounds less than it is.

Not trying to argue that this wind turbine is a good investment or productive, just saying this story is guilty of the usual mainstream press over-simplification of technical numbers. It doesn't help anyone and this thread will probably descend into the usual tedious wind generation arguments.

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the 43-metre turbine has generated 1,216 megawatt hours of electricity in the 41 months up to 2010.

That is roughly 40kW average which is indeed about 20 kettles.

The problem with wind power apart from the fact that it is a lot more costly than fossil fuels is that it is very very difficult to have more than 20-30% of the power of our grid derived from it. No big country will be able to derive more than 40% of its grid from wind and no more than 20% of its total power usage.

The solution for at least the next 20-30 years will be to continue using fossil fuels. What looks likely worldwide is more efficiency and more gas/coal usage.

The only technology that can make a dent in fossil fuel consumption is solar if it gets 80% cheaper, nuclear if there is a worldwide push, or strongly mandated efficiency (eg the rich countries all ban new cars over 100g/km)

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It does sound poor, but that's 19 kettles running 24/7 for 41 months and kettles are power hungry - typically at least 1KW. Just saying '19 kettles' deliberately makes is sounds less than it is.

Not trying to argue that this wind turbine is a good investment or productive, just saying this story is guilty of the usual mainstream press over-simplification of technical numbers. It doesn't help anyone and this thread will probably descend into the usual tedious wind generation arguments.

Its like saying leaving your standby light on your hifi costs the nation 5 nuclear power stations.

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It does sound poor, but that's 19 kettles running 24/7 for 41 months and kettles are power hungry - typically at least 1KW. Just saying '19 kettles' deliberately makes is sounds less than it is.

Not trying to argue that this wind turbine is a good investment or productive, just saying this story is guilty of the usual mainstream press over-simplification of technical numbers. It doesn't help anyone and this thread will probably descend into the usual tedious wind generation arguments.

I agree, the headline or more specifically the quote is designed to make it sound like nothing but I suggest anybody thinking it is nothing turn on their kettle for a full 7 days and see if they think their electricity bill is insignificant at the end of it.

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The turbine in question is a small unit of early 1990's vintage and rated at 250KW. By contrast modern units are 8-12 times more powerful and 2-3 times taller.

I would agree its performance is not that great but then it is not typical of what the industry has been installing for the last 10 years. I suspect this is second hand unit lifted from another site.

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19 kettles permanently

... but who boils a kettle 24/7? IMHO this is equiv electricity needed to power 60 electric cars to do a daily commute, or the power needed to create hot water and heat 100 homes? someone correct me on the exact figures

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Not a bad idea. Ok, so take the Nissan Leaf as an example of an all-electric car: wikipedia link

24KWh battery capacity

100 miles per charge (being a bit generous, but it's a nice round number)

1,216MWh power generated (= 1,216,000KWh)

1,216,000 / 24 = 50,666 full-charges

50,666 x 100 = 5,066,600 miles travelled in the car. Round down to 5,000,000 to make it a nice number.

Which sounds better, 19 toasters or 5 million miles?

...

Estimate a fairly basic diesel car doing 50mpg driving the same distance.

5,000,000 / 50 = 100,000 gallons of diesel.

100,000 gallons = 454,609.188 litres

Say roughly £1.15/litre gives a price of £525,100 in diesel for the same mileage.

Seems a bit high to me, have I missed something out somewhere? I know I haven't taken into account transmission losses between the wind turbine and your house, but for simplicity's sake I'm assuming that would be the same for the 19 toasters.

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FYI, this is located across the bay from Mumbles Head, nothing in the way, which has some of the strongest winds in the UK. Gusts of 90mph plus are regularly reported there.

Reading between the lines in that report it suggests maintenance issues in the early days. It's a 250kw machine installed 4 years ago. I suspect this is a second hand unit - probably from Holland where they have been replacing all their 20 year old diddy machines with big multy MW units.

in 90mph winds any WT would shut down to avoid damage - as thats Hurricane force. Howver what WT best utlise are winds up to about 30mph rather than gusts.

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19 kettles permanently

... but who boils a kettle 24/7? IMHO this is equiv electricity needed to power 60 electric cars to do a daily commute, or the power needed to create hot water and heat 100 homes? someone correct me on the exact figures

19 kettles continuous equates to the average usage of approximately 42 UK homes.

If this WT ran flat out all the time it would only boil '125 kettles'. It is a small wind turbine. If it were running at typical performance figures it would run '35 kettles'

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19 kettles continuous equates to the average usage of approximately 42 UK homes.

If this WT ran flat out all the time it would only boil '125 kettles'. It is a small wind turbine. If it were running at typical performance figures it would run '35 kettles'

I thought the article meant that the wind turbine in question had generated enough power in the last decade to boil 19 kettles once.

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how many months or years of energy production would it take for this wind turbine to create the same energy used in shipping those kettles to the UK? :lol:

nuclear is the future

Precisely,....and has been the glaringly obvious future for decades.

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It does sound poor, but that's 19 kettles running 24/7 for 41 months and kettles are power hungry - typically at least 1KW. Just saying '19 kettles' deliberately makes is sounds less than it is.

Not trying to argue that this wind turbine is a good investment or productive, just saying this story is guilty of the usual mainstream press over-simplification of technical numbers. It doesn't help anyone and this thread will probably descend into the usual tedious wind generation arguments.

Heard and understood but,....it's 19 kettles....19 kettles man. By whatever method the press manages to get it down to the figure of 19 ketteles (and by god they do have their methods) it's still 19 ketteles which is pretty pathetic, when all said and done.

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Its like saying leaving your standby light on your hifi costs the nation 5 nuclear power stations.

Has anyone actually said that though?

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Heard and understood but,....it's 19 kettles....19 kettles man. By whatever method the press manages to get it down to the figure of 19 ketteles (and by god they do have their methods) it's still 19 ketteles which is pretty pathetic, when all said and done.

19 kettles... or 5 million miles in an electric car (see my earlier post). The choice of kettles is deliberately misleading as it's not obvious they are actually really power hungry.

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I thought the article meant that the wind turbine in question had generated enough power in the last decade to boil 19 kettles once.

From the article:

Ioan Richard quoted statistics which showed that the 43-metre turbine has generated 1,216 megawatt hours of electricity in the 41 months up to 2010.

Mr Richard said this was enough to power 19 standard kettles on a continuous basis.

The headline only says 19 kettles, which is misleading - you seem to have fallen for it. What the article actually says is very different.

Edit: What the hell is a 'standard kettle' anyway? Is there some EU regulation defining what it is that I'm not aware of?

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  • 261 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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