Could anyone help me do a project by giving info on river valley projects of india?
location,power generated,states,irrigated areas
Windmill Farms answers:
1. OPTIONS FOR POWER DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA
Energy is critical in developing countries not only for economic growth but also for social development and human welfare. Even though over 4 billion people live in the developing countries which is more than three fourths of the world population; nevertheless they use less than one third of the world’s energy, with per capita levels one sixth that of the highly industrialist countries. Over two billion people are yet deprived of electrical energy. Driven by rising populations, expanding economies, energy intensive industries, urbanisation and a quest for modernisation and improved quality of life; energy use in the developing world has doubled in the last two decades and further expected to double again in an even shorter time span of the next fifteen years. Indian per capita consumption of electricity continues to be extremely low around 350 kwh per annum. Another striking fact remains that only one third electric supply is consumed in the rural areas despite three fourths of Indian population living in rural areas. While 86% of the villages have access to electricity only about 30% of the rural households are able to use electric power. About 80,000 villages remains yet to be electrified inspite of the highest priority given to rural electrification in India. Most of these villages are located in far flung and remote areas, with very low load densities requiring heavy investment in electrifying these villages. In rural areas energy for cooking, lighting, water pumping, agro and rural industry and other productive activities can be effectively provided through locally available renewable energy sources. In remote areas where transmission of grid power is totally uneconomical, off grid electrification can be undertaken through renewable energy systems such as small and medium hydro schemes besides solar photovoltaic. Appropriate electricity requirements can also be met by hybrid systems integrating two or more sources, in conjunction with storage. It is estimated that only another 8% of Indian villages can be electrified by extension of the grid thus leaving 35,000 or 6% of the villages yet to receive electric energy.
The detailed power planning studies carried by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) have convinced that the share of hydro power in the overall installed generated capacity in the country should be at least about 40% to ensure optimum utilisation of natural and financial resources for electric power generation. Thus the accelerated hydro power generation is unavoidable preposition when about 75% of the hydro potential of 84,000 MW still remains to be harnessed. The paper highlights that the integrated development of hydro projects and rural development with a focus on environmental management can be duly taken care of through the clearly laid down strategies and policies. Indian power development needs priority correction by substantial addition of hydro power generation capacity together with blending of the catchment area treatment, watershed development and water harvesting practices in the mountain and hilly terrains of the country.
India is endowed with primary energy resources in various forms – water, fossil fuels (coal, lignite, oil and natural gas)and nuclear fuel and will serve as major sources for power generation. Non-conventional and renewable sources of energy such as fuelwood, biomass, tidal, solar, wind and geothermal energy are also available but they are in preliminary stages of development. These resources are not evenly distributed over various regions/states in the country. Over the period of next fifteen years (upto 2006-07) it is estimated that hydro power as a renewable source and fossil fuels i.e. Coal and lignite will remain main sources for power generation in India duly supported by natural gas to some extent. Share of nuclear power is also expected to increase appreciably in future.
The economics of power generation through non renewable sources of power -fossil fuels- changes with the exploitations of every successive ounce of such fuels. Renewable sources -hydro, solar, wind, tidal etc in this background offer a lucrative option in long run. With the status of technologies developed for exploitations of these renewable sources of energy, so far, hydro power appears to offer major attraction and deserves to be given highest preference amongst various options available. It is the only renewable form of primary energy with substantial unexploited potential with number of other major technical and economic advantages by virtue of non polluting nature, high conversion efficiency, flexibility in operation, relatively lower cost of generation, operation and maintenance, longer life of equipment etc. At the same time it has to be appreciated that (a) bulk of the unexploited hydro resources are in difficult/inaccessible terrains in the Northern and North Eastern Regions and (b) hydro projects generally entail longer gestation periods. Central Electricity Authority has been consciously keeping these aspects in view while carrying out studies for evolving long term perspective National Power Plans.
2. POWER SECTOR PLANNING
The Indian growth in power availability has not been able to keep pace with the growth in power demand. Peaking Power deficit of the order of 28.3% and energy shortage aggregating to 9.2% were experienced during 1995-96. As per the projections made by the 15th Electric power survey, the requirement and peak demand requirement which stood at 3,89,721 MU and 60,981 MW during 1995-96 are likely to increase to 5,69,650 MU and 95,757 MW respectively by the end of the 9th Plan (2001-02). Indicative forecasts for energy requirements and peak power demand by the end of the 10th and 11th Plans are of 7,81,863 MU/1,30,944 MW and 10,58,440 MU /1,76,647 MW respectively. Thus the requirement for electrical energy and peaking power in the country is likely to go up by over 170% and over 190% respectively in the next 15 years.
The basic objective of the long term plan should be to meet the above mentioned rapid rise in power demand with reasonable levels of reliability and at the lowest possible cost to the consumer. In drawing up such a plan, the following factors merit special consideration:
Acceptable levels of reliability;
Options for power development including their technological, economic, environmental and ecological aspects as well as the global trend in fuel availability and pricing of fuel.
Demand and supply side management options; and
Policies of the Government.
The Central Electricity Authority estimates the growth in demand for power through Electric Power Survey Committee (EPS). So far 15 such EPS Committee have brought out their reports. The projections made by the 15th EPS are currently in use for various Power Planning Studies. The generating capacity requirements on long terms basis are worked out using sophisticated computer Models. Recently CEA has procured Electric Generation Expansion System (EGEAS) version 9 Model developed by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), USA and Integrated System Planning (ISPLAN) Model developed by M/s International Development and Energy Associates (IDEA) UK. So far CEA had brought out four National Power Plans using the various computer Models.
The immediate next Five Year Plan is prepared by the Government keeping in view the recommendations of the working group on Power set up for the plan under formation, Task Force Reports, Planning Commission Reports and Government Policies on Power Development. One of the key factors is financial resource available for power development in public sector and the private sector participation in creating additional facilities. So far CEA had brought out four National Power Plans. The first National Power Plan was issued in 1983 and exhaustive computer studies were made using WASP-III Electric Generating capacity Expansion Planning. This model was developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Vienna. In the first National Power Plan formulated by CEA in 1983, the desirable hydro thermal mix by the end of then 8th Plan (1994-95) was proposed as 40:60 taking into account the committed capacity, availability of new hydro schemes ripe for capacity addition, the other generation options available, the targeted system reliability level, pattern of power demand in various power regions of the country, etc. Prevailing at that time. The matter was again reviewed at the time of preparation of the second National Power Plan and taking note of the status including the difficulties being experienced then in putting through the hydel schemes,. It was proposed that an all India hydro thermal mix of 34:66 may be attempted by the end of then 9th Plan (1999-2000). The National Power Plan lays special emphasis on accelerated development of hydro power to include as many hydro candidate projects as possible in the Planning scenario without adversely affecting the utilisation of the non hydro facilities already in place or in pipe line.
Subsequent National Power Plans were prepared using EGEAS and ISPLAN computer Models. According to Fourth National Power Plan, the country would need addition of over 1,50,000 MW thereby raising the installed capacity in the country to about 2,38,000 MW to meet peak demand of 1,76,647 MW and energy requirement of 1058 Billion Units by the end of 11th Plan (2011-12). The impact of accelerating hydro power development examined in the report indicated that the accelerating the present pace of hydro development to add 58,000 MW over the next 15 years would result in a saving of 9,000 MW in terms of new thermal capacity. Studies had also revealed that to sustain the massive thermal power development, indigenous coal production has to be increased.
The report concludes that there is a need to accelerate nuclear power development programme to at least 10,000 MW capacity by the end of 11th Plan and to reduce transmission and distribution losses to a level of 15% from the present level of 21% and to continue renovation and modernisation programme of existing hydro and thermal generating units in future as well along with suitable life extension programme and to ensure formulation of National Power Grid by the end of 11th Plan to achieve tangible savings in additional capacity requirements besides benefits from non-conventional sources of energy to the extent possible to bridge the demand supply gap. This may be specially suitable in remote locations poorly connected to grid supply. The environmental and resettlement & rehabilitation issue should be addressed at the project formulation stage to reduce overall gestation period of the power projects. Strong centralised coordination in planning at the national and regional levels is required in order to ensure sustainable and optimal power development.The total installed capacity of hydro power plants at the end of 7th Plan(March 90) was around 18,300 MW-29% of the total capacity. Only 881 MW of hydro capacity was added during the two annual plans 1990-92.
3. HYDRO POWER DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA
The total installed capacity of hydro power plants in the country at the end of 8th plan (March 97) was 21,516 MW out of total installed capacity of 84,904 MW. This shows that share of hydro capacity has declined from 29% at the end of 7th Plan to 25% at the end of 8th Plan. The hydro capacity addition during two Annual Plans between 7th and 8th Plans (90-92) were only 881 MW. The Task Force on 9th Plan has recommended capacity additions of 10,515 MW from the hydro projects during the 9th Plan period. Out of this 3,430 MW has been envisaged in the Central Sector, 6,295 MW in the State Sector and 790 MW in the Private Sector. The total additional capacity recommended for benefits during 9th Plan is 52310.2 MW. The efforts for the hydro electric development, during fifties and sixties had a meaningful support from surveys conducted from time to time of the hydro electric resources of the country. The first systematic survey was conducted in early fifties, which was based on evolving specifies schemes in the river basins; which were considered technically feasible and economically viable. For diverse reasons this discreet methodology has been chosen in preference to the general practice of estimating the exploitable potential from an assessment of theoretical potential. According to this survey, 260 possible schemes were identified on different rivers, corresponding to a capacity of about 42 million KW at 60% load factor. Certain river basins in the Himalayan river systems, specifically in the Upper reaches, were left out due to topographical reasons. The assessment had been revised in the recent survey conducted by the CEA taking into account the technologies and information in regard to the economic viability. The economics of power generation also has, in the recent past, undergone a marked change with the energy becoming more and more scarce and costly. Hence CEA undertook an exhaustive and comprehensive assessment exercise taking into account, the latest technological development and availability of much larger and reliable data etc. As a result of this study, the country is now assessed to possess hydro resources of the order of 85,000 MW at 60% load factor equivalent to an annual energy generation of 450 Twh.
It is well recognised that hydro power constitutes the cheapest source of power generation in India even after the recent enormous increases in the cost of the equipment and the implementation of civil works. The economic advantages of hydro power has been enhanced in the recent years with the steep increases in the energy costs from fossil fuel and the rapidly approaching limits to the exploitable resources of such fuels. While the importance of hydro electric development for economic and reliable supply of power is recognised, the dismal share of hydro electric plants in the overall installed generating capacity has been due to the following main factors:-
Uneven distribution of hydro electric resources, among the political divisions.
Concentration of hydro resources in the states, having neither demand for power nor capability for large hydro development.
Environmental constraints in terms of deforestation, submergence and rehabilitation.
Inter-state and inter-regional disputes.
Inadequate emphasis during investigation and initial states of planning.
Geological uncertainties leading to slowing down of the civil works.
Socio economic impediments due to far flungness of the sites from the urban centres.
Attitudinal impediments in terms of choices for shorter gestation schemes.
4. ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS AND HYDRO POWER DEVELOPMENT
The controversy concerning the large versus small dams, fear of earthquakes, silting of reservoirs, submergence of forests, extinction of “rare” flora and fauna, submergence of ancient cultural heritage, the prospect of outbreak of diseases like malaria and dislocation of population are often cited as reasons for abandoning the large hydro projects. These aspects have been briefly discussed in the following paragraphs. Basic facts on comparative evaporation, submergence of land, seismic effects and cost/benefit aspects of large-versus-small dams, based on significant rigorous studies, carried out by reputed agencies and experts in their respective fields; have been reported here.
4.1 Seismic Impacts
It is to be pointed out that the dams designed by modern techniques and built according to the latest specifications have considerable reserve strength to withstand severe earthquakes. Because of the application of such advanced techniques in both the design and execution, large dams have larger earthquake resistance capability. On the other hand, the small or medium-size hydraulic structures constructed without the state- of-art techniques remain susceptible to much smaller seismic intensity. There is very little proof that can be gathered on the statement that impounding of water in large reservoirs induces seismicity. The fact remains, and this has been adequately documented, that even when such seismic shocks occur, such shocks are much less to the natural tectonic intensity which the dams are designed to withstand. Such large dams as Tarbela, Bhakra, Ramganga and Pandoh are located in the Himalayan region and there is little to prove that these dams have caused RIS or any increase in seismic activity in the area following their construction. As demonstrated elaborately by Dr. Jai Krishna, President International Society of Earthquake Engg. (ISEE), tall dams in seismic environments are found much more resistant to earthquakes and they are significantly economical as opposed to the dams of lesser height in same areas. Director of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Prof. Vikram C. Thakur, has concluded from his studies that the construction of large dams in the outer Himalayan zone does not pose seismic problems and serious flaws exist in the seismic-gap theory. Prof Thakur points out that the basic geological data, now available for all major parts of the Himalayas, shows that large structures can be safely planned and constructed through delineation of active faults. Present design of dams undergo a detailed and extensive process of field investigations, analytical and laboratory studies, testing of construction materials. Such processes are undertaken in association with an established and wide network of seismological observatories. At every step, adequate care is taken to maintain the desired quality control. Procedures are followed meticulously in the areas of field investigation, design and construction by qualified personnel and reputed independent technical advisory committee of experts.
4.2 Effects On Wildlife, Monuments And Forests
The most-frequented tourist and scenic places in India such as the Brindaban and Shalimar gardens, Ukai and Periyar wildlife resorts, Dhyaneshwar and Ramganga udyans, Kalindi- Kunj, Matatila Lake etc. Are direct by-products of various river valley projects. Rare species of birds flock to these sanctuaries which have further helped to diversify wildlife significantly. This is most visible in and around Rihand, Matatila and Ramganaga dams where the availability of water all-year round has flourished and diversified the bird species. Historical and cultural monuments have been successfully relocated from various dam sites giving these a greater lease of life. Such efforts met with great success in Nagarjunsagar, Bargi and Srisailam projects in India. Jyotirling temple has been preserved in the planning of the Omkareshwar dam and expenses incurred in improving the approach roads and bridges to the aforesaid temple are a necessary and integral part of the project. One other point worth making and that is the loss of forests due to felling of trees to meet the fuelwood requirement of the poor, particularly during the harsh winter days in the mountains. A small amount of hydropower, if made available to the hill people, would reduce such losses significantly. Of the reported 3 % loss of the forest area due to river valley projects ( Forest Survey of India Report 1991), much of it occur in areas which are often described as forests but do not have the required forest cover and therefore, cannot be described as forest land.
The physical, emotional and financial sufferings of displaced persons caused by the construction of river valley projects cannot be overstated and should be a prime concern for all. Present day trend is to provide liberal compensation, adequate amenities, land and employment to the displaced population. This has been exhibited in the Sardar Sarovar Project, Tehri Dam and such large water projects. Moreover, attractive provisions made in the National Rehabilitation Policy for water resources projects (approved by the National Water Board) should be implemented in toto. Environmental, social and voluntary agencies should make efforts to come up with models of rehabilitation pattern and also cooperate in the healthy execution of viable and highly beneficial multipurpose projects. These agencies must keep in mind the thirst, hunger and employment needs of millions of our countrymen who should be best served through these large water management projects. Successful execution of river valley projects would remove the perpetual economic, educational and primary health-related backwardness prevalent among the tribals, hill people and those residing in the underdeveloped regions of the country. The issue of rehabilitating the displaced people and providing them with long-term meaningful employment out of large water projects is crucial for setting up industrial facilities and power generation stations, building houses for the mass and other vital activities. A planned approach must be adopted to rehabilitate displaced people, no matter what sectoral activities caused such displacements rather than indulging in furious battles with the sole purpose of shutting down the hydropower projects only. In addition, the employment aspect in choosing the mode of construction should be looked into. Choice of masonry dams over concrete dams lead to larger employment at the construction site. Setting up industrial training institutes and commercial trade training centres; use of donkeys, mules, elephants and bullock carts in the handling of bulky construction materials; developing skilled technicians and project workers engaged in large water projects are some of the healthy practices often adopted in India. The added advantage of adopting such practices is that it helps to bring the tribal and poor rural folks to the national mainstream.
4.4. Climatic Changes
The micro-climatic changes caused by the construction of large reservoirs are insignificant. However, moderating changes take place in temperature and humidity which are mostly beneficial. For instance, intense heat wave conditions that used to prevail in the Rajasthan deserts and Rihand dam areas have subsided significantly following the construction of IGNP and Rihand dam.
5. MAJOR, MEDIUM AND SMALL RIVER VALLEY PROJECTS
It has been established that shallow storage causes proportionately greater loss of land area due to submergence. Shallower storage also means greater evaporation as per studies conducted in many river valleys by reputed scientific agencies. In addition, it is difficult to find large number of alternative sites for medium projects even if such an alternative is preferred over deeper storage. Moreover, small and medium projects have to be constructed generally in the upper reaches of hills, which cause substantial loss of valuable forests. Construction of large dams, on the other hand, in the foothills involves submergence of large areas of cultivated lands per unit of storage. This shortcoming, however, is compensated many ways in multi-purpose projects such as through use of canals. For this reason small and medium hydel projects are not only costlier than the large projects but they also submerge larger land areas for the equal amount of storage and in addition, they have increased evaporation losses. Steep gradients in the river beds, large rolling boulders and sedimentation problems further limit the efficacy of small and medium hydel projects. This became particularly evident in case of Ichhari and Maneri Bhali dams (60 metres and 39 metres height respectively), both being run of the river projects. These were filled up to crest by sedimentation during construction itself as planned. It is evident therefore that large water storage projects are surely better alternatives wherever the parameters such as the volume of water flow, geological and topographical considerations and regional requirements can be satisfied and it can be established that such projects would integrate the environmental, socio-economic and engineering aspects as well. It is also known from historical records that the dynamic nature of environmental effects, which seem adverse to the environment at the time of construction, generally tend to stabilise and become less unfavourable. This has become evident from case studies made for the Aswan, Ramganga, Indira Nehar Project, BSL, Bhakra and Hirakud, among other projects.
6. SUGGESTIONS FOR ACCELERATED HYDRO DEVELOPMENT
The progress of most of the projects has been slow mainly due to low priority accorded to the projects, by the states due to inadequacy of funds year after year, delays in land acquisition, getting forest and environment clearances, identification of non forest land for compensatory afforestation and resettlement & rehabilitation problems etc. Since many hydro power projects could not be commissioned within the projected time frame in the past, it sent erroneous signals to the affect that hydro power stations take very long time for completion. This perception further discouraged allocation of funds to hydro projects and most of the states preferred to take up the thermal or gas/liquid fuel based projects with comparatively lower gestation periods to secure benefits in the shorter time frame to meet the rapidly increasing demand for power. This is despite the fact that the development of thermal power plants, in turn, puts added pressure and burden with related additional costs on development of coal mines and rail transportation infrastructure not directly reflected in the project costs, If these costs on development of connected infrastructure are also taken into account, the economic of hydro power may further improve. It is therefore necessary that apprehensions that hydro projects involve higher investments need to be properly dispelled.
Although over 245 proposals aggregating to over 93,000 MW capacity for various types of power projects are reported to have been received from private investors, very few serious proposals have been received for taking up hydel schemes. Perhaps investment and time involved in making a precise estimate of costs, based on not so thorough investigations made so far for these projects, prolonged time taken for acquisition of land, forest and environment clearances, resettlement problems etc. Could be some of the factors discouraging the private entrepreneurs from investing in hydel projects in a big way. In a number of instances, inadequate investigations of the project formulation had resulted in geological surprises leading to long delays in completion of the projects and the resultant cost over runs. Private investors cannot afford to take such risks. Sometime ago it was felt that with the further liberalisation of government guidelines, more entrepreneurs would show interest, but this has not happened so far despite further liberalisation of incentives on hydro projects.
The State Govts. Should also help the project authorities by themselves getting all requisite clearances, acquiring the land and building infrastructure, as a part of their contribution to the development of hydel resources. This would enable the private investors to take up the construction of the project without much loss of time. The cost incurred could be debited to the cost of the project and recovered from the private promoter. In order to tap the vast hydel resources in North Eastern Region, a special incentive by way of additional return on Equity could also be considered.
Availability of adequate financial resources is the foremost requirement for development of hydro resources. Way and means have to be found out to raise additional resources for hydro development. The states should take up construction of only such projects for which it would be able to provide full funds on a year to year basis till the commissioning of the projects. All other projects could be taken up with the assistance of private promoters. Adoption of new design and construction technologies and use of modern construction equipment available elsewhere in the world could help in reducing the construction period of hydro projects. If necessary, technical assistance of reputed and competent foreign companies could also be secured for this purpose. Leasing arrangements for high cost construction equipment could also be considered as it may not be feasible for project authorities to obtain such equipment individually.
As per Task Report on 9th Plan, there is a possibility of adding about 10,500 MW of hydro capacity out of 52,000 MW additional overall planned capacity. Only 800 MW of capacity is expected through private sector route. An investment of around Rs.50,000 to 60,000 crores may be required in central and state sectors for balance capacity addition. This kind of money would be difficult to comprehend from the Plan resources under the existing resources scenario. Some of the avenues that could be considered to raise the financial resources for hydro development are:-
Earmarking adequate plan funds for hydro development.
Joint ventures backed by financial institutions for construction of hydel projects.
World Bank & other International agencies assistance for hydro power projects.
There is no denial that electrical energy being the most preferred form of energy is needed by every country for improving the quality of life of its people. There is also no doubt that India should utilise the hydro power resources to the last drop of water. No doubt lessons learnt by others must be utilised in harnessing this resource but their decision to utilise water resources should not be influenced merely by demonstration effect. It is necessary that hydro power projects which involve large storages, interstate aspects, international river systems, pumped storage projects and multi-purpose projects should continue to be undertaken largely in the public sector. The central agencies should preferably be entrusted with the investigation, detailed planning, designs and execution of interstate hydro electric projects. Most of the untapped hydro potential remains in North Eastern and Northern Regions of India wherein the geological and engineering problems are to be faced due to young Himalayan ranges. India has initiated formulation of special development programme for the North Eastern Region including hydro development as its major component. To face the financial resource crunch, local financial institutions should be encouraged to finance hydro projects right from the stage of investigations together with earmarking most of the bilateral and multilateral funding for hydro projects. It becomes evident that the benefits accrued from large river valley projects are so immense that they substantially outweigh the costs of immediate human and environmental disruptions. On the other hand, long-term adverse effects of not utilising the water resources would be catastrophic due to recurrence of floods, droughts and the resulting unemployment will further the backwardness within the people.
physics project about Renewable energy resources?
I was given this project about renewable energy where i have to choose one the following energies: solar, wind, water or biomass. I was thinking that the most chosen will be the solar and wind and water so i decided to use biomass. Now i have to answer the following questions:
Where does the energu come from?
How is the energy captured or produced?
What technology (devices or machinery) is used? Briefly explain how it works.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the energy resources.
Can you please give me some information about each or at least just the most important points. Project must be about 4-6 pages and i m going to use powerpoint.
Windmill Farms answers:
Biomass is the excreta/dead remains of living things.
There are projects in some countries (notably India) called biogas plants. Dead remains and stools of animals are compressed in a machine by layering them on top of each other. Anaerobic thrive in them and methane is released through a pipeline, which can be used for household purposes.
The main and obvious advantage is that biomass is renewable. Also, after a one-time setup, the maintenance for this project is minimal. All you need to do is to add the wastes in to the system.
A disadvantage is that a single household does not generally produce enough waste to run an entire plant by itself. This problem is usually overcome by setting up community plants among 10-15 households. But again, this can give rise to management issues.
Also, this cannot be used in major cities and metropolises because their drainage system will need to be overhauled for this. But it is quite an effective system for rural areas, remote villages and ranches, where there is plenty of cattle waste, along with human excreta.
Wind turbine placement?
I live in a rural area and we have two blue Harvestor grain silos. One has a 25 foot diameter and is 90 feet tall and the other is 4 feet from it with a 20 foot diameter and is 70 feet tall. I was wondering if it would be possible to mount a wind turbine on top of the taller one. I don’t know much about turbulence though, if there would be too much? Or how high it would have to be off to clear the turbulence? this is my first try at it, I was going to try a treadmill motor, something small.
Windmill Farms answers:
Hi Matthew. I have actually seen two silos with turbines on top. The main concern about turbulence is not with the silo, it has more to do with the terrain around it. Are there any trees or other structures that extend above the top of the silo that are within 200 feet of the silo? If the top of the silo has good exposure to winds, then it is probably a good place for the turbine. The other question to answer is whether or not the silo is in good structural condition. A home sized turbine will not put much force on the silo when it is operating, but there will be some force, and vibration. If the silo is masonry, meaning made from stone and mortar, are most of the mortar joints still good, or are there lots of missing spaces between the bricks?
I don’t know where you live, but if you want to learn more about this, I would suggest two things first. First, get a subscription to Home Power Magazine, the only periodical that really gets into the nuts and bolts of this technology. It is only about $25 a year, but they have articles explaining wind turbines, solar panels, inverters, batteries, and so on. Some issues even take all he commercially made turbines and list them with all the specs and other features, making it easy to select the one you want. If you subscribe, you can go to their website online and use their search engine to look for articles in the past that might help you out. Also go to the websites below, and check out the library for books. I’ll list one, if you can’t find it, just look for other books by that author, or on that subject matter.
The second thing to do is get to one of the energy fairs listed in the calendar section of Home Power, they are held all over the globe. The best and biggest one is in Wisconsin each June, but almost every state hosts one each year now. We went to one 12 years ago, and now our home is completely powered by the wind and sun, it was very informative. Take care Matthew, Rudydoo
How much energy would I save if I bought a solar panel?
Windmill Farms answers:
If you live in urban areas, or on the grid in rural areas and are thinking of putting up panels the last time I got quotes they were for 15-watts a square foot of area. That means if you put up 1,000 sq.ft. You get 15-kilowatt-hours of power per hour of full sun.
If you count on full sun output for 2-3 hours a day, take your average daily use in kilowatt-hours from your electric bill and divide back to get how many square feet you need to supply your house in 2.5 hours. Then consider the lot location, latitude, climate and all to figure things from there.
Then double that to pay the bills if you can (how many square feet face the sun well enough to use, etc.). This means you make money after the initial capital expense is paid off which doesn’t take long. For where there are restrictions against large panels there are cells made in what looks like roofing tiles; 1,000 square feet of panel in Seattle paid off in about 7 years.
What this means is that overall you are turning your roof into a small electric generation station tied to the grid so it adds to the power available for where it’s needed.
Not only will you save all the energy you use, you’d make more for others to use most days. Most homes use > 50-kilowatt-hours a day, but consider other things as well so it’s all installed at the same time to keep costs down.
If millions of people used panels, the existing grid can handle surges better, so, less likely to have a blackout or brownout during the summer for example. Panels are hard to get immediately, worldwide demand is high, Europe and Asia are installing a lot of them.
Improving your home’s insulation pays, so does putting up barriers to cold winds, improving solar gain on rooms where you can. Keep thinking about how your home either gets too cold or too hot. Lattice screens and awnings reduce solar gain where it’s too hot from too much sun. Work with what you have to reduce power needs, doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference at most sites.
If wind turbines are to be the environmental cure all why are environmentalist opposed to them being built?
Windmill Farms answers:
It is not “all environmentalists” and it is not “all wind turbines” The story you linked actually gave a short summary of the beef Earth First has with that particular project.
Any energy source will have proponets and detractors. These groups will not always be split in predictable ways. Environmentalists are somewhat split on windpower just as they are on nuclear power. Likewise, many conservative soccer-moms would be split on turbines if they understood what they do for birds.
As we progress into new energy sources, new solutions will be developed for new problems. The problem at hand for wind turbines is damage to eco systems (and especially to birds if they are build in the birds’ flight paths). Many of the most infuential environmentalists — and many of the people most concerned with the eco system around Kibby Mountain are outdoorsmen and hunters, not the tree-hugging, smoke-pot-with-squirrells hippies that some people think of when they think of environmentalists.
To say all environmentalists are opposed to wind power is a bit like saying everyone who drives is in favor of gulf birds being covered in oil. Nothing is pure black and white. Environmentalism means living in a way that allows the environment that we love to continue to be something we love, to protect the outdoors. (and again, the people who get the most use of our protected wilderness areas are rural and suburban conservatives: hunters, Boy Scouts, etc).
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