Wind Power Cost

Sandy asks…

Can natural resources be saved by using more renewable energy sources?

If we use more renewable energy sources like solar and wind power then couldn’t we save natural resources like coal and natural gas?

Windmill Farms answers:

Yes solar and wind power save energy and save resources. We don’t as much because things that run on those types of power are expensive to create. For example the Prius is environmentally friendly and fuel efficient but expensive because of the money and research costs of finding a way to make it work.

Chris asks…

What do you think of high rise vertical farms?

Concepts and experiments world wide say this is the farming of the future. It can be done hydroponically and use solar panels and wind power to produce a fantastic amount of food in towers on minimal square footage of ground space. Would you invest in it?

Windmill Farms answers:

I would as it reduces energy consumption and localises the food bringing food costs down.
Some plans are being put in place to use direct sunlight to create create a greenhouse effect as opposed to solar panels.
This is much more economical and most likely the buildings will consist largely of clear glass.
So most likely high rise vertical farms will be something we will see in the future if it proves to be successful and economical and especially how our farming and agriculture industry will have to adopt to energy shortage crises, this method of farming will certainly reduce dependancy on oil.
I would invest in it, as this is a serious reality in the future and designs for them are already in place and they claim they will only need a couple of people to run the entire building/farm once it is in place (mainly just computer technician maybe engineer)……
Therefore vertical farms may be a closer reality than we think.

George asks…

How to connect a solar panel to an outlet?

I have a cabin in the woods and need more light. I do have enough sun but I was wondering how or where do I get a solar panel to lead to a power outlet? In a perfect world I would like to get a solar panel with a connecting wire to an outlet or something so I could power a small TV. I know its hard enough but can I get that pre-made? Or even lastly should I look at wind power consider I would like this to be under $500? Thank you for putting up with this bundle of questions.

Windmill Farms answers:

A typical solar panel will deliver 50 watts of power in the form of 24 volts DC. You need 120 volts AC. So here is what it takes:

Since you will need at least 200 watts to do a small TV, you need four solar panels, and a solar controller. Then you need a 24 volt solar type battery to load the output of the panels.

Next you need an inverter. This is a device that changes 24 volts DC into 120 volts AC, which you can wire to a standard outlet for the TV set.

Solar panels cost around $6 per watt of power. 200 X $6 = $1200
Solar Controller will cost around $150
The battery will cost around $100
The inverter will cost around $200

You could get by with less than 200 watts of solar panels if you just let it charge the battery all day and only use the TV for an hour or two in the evening with the TV running on the inverter which is powered by the battery.

The link is for a similar system ready to go.

Wind is not a viable option.

Steven asks…

What is the cost of 1 kWh of electrical energy generated by these energy sources?

here are the different energy sources: Coal, petroleum, nuclear energy, and wind power.

Windmill Farms answers:

Fossil-fuels: 30c/kWh
Wind: 22c/kWh
Nuclear: 18c/kWh
petroleum: This not an energy source but oil is, oil goes under fossil-fuels: oil, coal, gas.
Solar: 16c/kWh (still dropping!)

P.S I am not american but I could only find a way of calculating the cost by using cents.

Susan asks…

Advantages and disadvantages of different types of power generation?

Hey guys, what are (in your opinion) the advantages and disadvantages of any of the following types of hydro generation.
Fossil Fuel
Nuclear Power
Hydroelectric
Solar Power
Tidal Power
Wind Power
Thanks In advance!

Windmill Farms answers:

Fossil Fuel:
Advantages
* Depending on fuel, good availability
* Simple combustion process can directly heat or generate electricity
* Inexpensive
* Easily distributed
Disadvantages

* Probable contributor to global warming
* Questionable availibility of some fuels…major price swings based on politics of oil regions
* Cause of acid rain

Nuclear Power
Advantages
* Almost 0 emission (doesn’t emit green house gases). It produces electricity without pollution
* Does not consume fossil fuels which are getting scarcer and more expensive,
* They can be sited almost anywhere unlike oil which is mostly imported.

Disadvantages
* More expensive to build the plant,
* Waste products dangerous and need to be carefully stored for long time. If not contained can cause a lot of damage and spread (ie Chernobyl). The spent fuel is highly radioactive and has to be carefully stored for many years after use. This adds to the costs.

Hydroelectric
Advantages:
* Once a dam is constructed, electricity can be produced at a constant rate.
* If electricity is not needed, the sluice gates can be shut, stopping electricity generation. The water can be saved for use another time when electricity demand is high. The build up of water in the lake means that energy can be stored until needed, when the water is released to produce electricity.

Disadvantages:
* Dams are extremely expensive to build and must be built to a very high standard.
* The high cost of dam construction means that they must operate for many decades to become profitable.
* The flooding of large areas of land means that the natural environment is destroyed.

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