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oil pan 4 09-06-2018 05:18 AM

Wind turbines
 
So what’s the carbon foot print of a wind turbine with 45 tons of rebar & 625 yards of concrete?
Its carbon footprint is massive – try 241.85 tons of CO2.
Here’s the breakdown of the CO2 numbers.
To create a 1,000 Kg of pig iron, you start with 1,800 Kg of iron ore, 900 Kg of coking coal 450 Kg of limestone. The blast furnace consumes 4,500 Kg of air. The temperature at the core of the blast furnace reaches nearly 1,600 degrees C (about 3,000 degrees F).
The pig iron is then transferred to the basic oxygen furnace to make steel.
1,350 Kg of CO2 is emitted per 1,000 Kg pig iron produced.
A further 1,460 Kg CO2 is emitted per 1,000 Kg of Steel produced so all up 2,810 Kg CO2 is emitted.
45 tons of rebar (steel) are required so that equals 126.45 tons of CO2 are emitted.
To create a 1,000 Kg of Portland cement, calcium carbonate (60%), silicon (20%), aluminium (10%), iron (10%) and very small amounts of other ingredients are heated in a large kiln to over 1,500 degrees C to convert the raw materials into clinker. The clinker is then interground with other ingredients to produce the final cement product. When cement is mixed with water, sand and gravel forms the rock-like mass know as concrete.
An average of 927 Kg of CO2 is emitted per 1,000 Kg of Portland cement. On average, concrete has 10% cement, with the balance being gravel (41%), sand (25%), water (18%) and air (6%). One cubic metre of concrete weighs approx. 2,400 Kg so approx. 240 Kg of CO2 is emitted for every cubic metre.
481m3 of concrete are required so that equals 115.4 tons of CO2 are emitted.
Extra stats about wind turbines you may not know about:
All this stands on a concrete base constructed from 45,000 Kg of reinforcing rebar which also contains over 481 cubic metres of concrete (that’s over 481,000 litres of concrete – about 20% of the volume of an Olympic swimming pool).
Each turbine blade is made of glass fibre reinforced plastics, (GRP), i.e. glass fibre reinforced polyester or epoxy and on average each turbine blade weighs around 7,000 Kg each.
Each turbine has three blades so there’s 21,000 Kgs of GRP and each blade can be as long as 50 metres.
Each and every wind turbine has a magnet made of a metal called neodymium. There are 2,500 Kg of it in each turbine.
The mining and refining of neodymium is so dirty and toxic, involving repeated boiling in acid, with radioactive thorium as a byproduct.
China is saving all their byproduct thorium. This is why they are developing thorium nuclear reactors.

That doesn't include mining for the steel and concrete raw and finished product transportation, all the electrical infrastructure needed to connect them to the grid.

I like wind power.
Just don't give it a free pass and pretend like it never produced any pollution.

Frank Lee 09-06-2018 09:39 AM

I still say conservation is best but Duhmerica ain't having it.

Ecky 09-06-2018 10:22 AM

Other types of power plants also use concrete and steel. Maybe the ratio of concrete and steel to power production is a little better for coal or nuclear or hydro.

Frank Lee 09-06-2018 10:28 AM

Quote:

The Hoover dam weighs 6,600,000 tons. It took 3,250,000 cubic yards of concrete to build the dam itself.
.

RedDevil 09-06-2018 10:55 AM

Nobody believes the production of windmills goes without pollution.
Nor does the production of any other power generating device.

As for the steel, just today Tata Steel announced its HIsarna ironmaking plant has successfully reduced CO2 production by 50%.
The HIsarna process combines two stages in the reduction process in one and can run continuously.
Cheaper and cleaner steel. That may lead to a shift toward full iron and away from concrete construction.
It won't solve all the worlds problems at once, but it is a step in the right direction. It would shave several tons of CO2 off your equation.

roosterk0031 09-06-2018 11:06 AM

The concrete is in the foundation of the towers. They made a partial concrete tower here in Iowa a few years ago. Video of the construction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXN1UAv1anQ

One of my cousins used to service them, till a co-worker fell to his death.

NeilBlanchard 09-06-2018 12:44 PM

There is even more concrete and steel, and copper, and electronics, and water - used in nuclear power plants. It takes a lot of energy to mine and refine, and enrich, and transport nuclear fuel.

It takes 10-20 YEARS to build a nuclear power plant. The spent nuclear fuel has to sit in pools of water for a decade or more - and the water has to be pumped, and then processed afterward; because it is contaminated and radioactive.

A lot of energy is used to decommission a nuclear power plant - and it will probably take another 10-20 years to do this. It will take a lot of energy and steel and concrete to build the dry casks - which last only 100 years. Rinse and repeat, for a very long time.

++++++++++++++++

Wind power uses no fuel. So, it has a much lower energy overhead, and the foundations can be reused.

RustyLugNut 09-06-2018 01:15 PM

The difference is in density of power produced.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 578222)
There is even more concrete and steel, and copper, and electronics, and water - used in nuclear power plants. It takes a lot of energy to mine and refine, and enrich, and transport nuclear fuel.

It takes 10-20 YEARS to build a nuclear power plant. The spent nuclear fuel has to sit in pools of water for a decade or more - and the water has to be pumped, and then processed afterward; because it is contaminated and radioactive.

A lot of energy is used to decommission a nuclear power plant - and it will probably take another 10-20 years to do this. It will take a lot of energy and steel and concrete to build the dry casks - which last only 100 years. Rinse and repeat, for a very long time.

++++++++++++++++

Wind power uses no fuel. So, it has a much lower energy overhead, and the foundations can be reused.

You are absolutely correct about the nuclear power plant costs. But those plants should run for 40+ years and produce Giga Watts of power near constantly. Wind turbines will not last 40 years and will need replacement well before that. Also, due to the dispersed nature of wind energy, you will need a large number of them dwarfing the mass of the nuclear power plant.

As I've pointed out in other posts, the sheer volume of renewables results in titanic bulk. Though low grade in pollution, the sheer mass of it all results in tremendous pollution that is distributed around the environment instead of concentrated.

And if people weren't so frightened of nuclear power, generating plants could be built in 7 year time-frames using modern designs and techniques. The same can be said for waste disposal as modern designs produce a small fraction of current designs. Modular molten salt reactors will be smaller and fast neutron reactors will be more thermally efficient. The fact that current plants will need waste stored on site is a good thing because, as Oil Pan4 pointed out, much of the old fuel waste can be burned in new Generation 4 reactors. Siting new reactors on old power generating facilities leverages the existing distribution network. That was the plan all along. Upgrades of nuclear cores doesn't have to be as upsetting as they are now. NIMBYs are killing any possibility of this happening economically.

NeilBlanchard 09-06-2018 01:34 PM

What pollution results from renewable energy?

Distributed energy generation is a BIG advantage.

redpoint5 09-06-2018 01:46 PM

Well, the whole first post in this thread discusses the pollution and impact of building a single wind turbine.

RustyLugNut 09-06-2018 02:14 PM

Wind, sun and hydro.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 578232)
What pollution results from renewable energy?

Distributed energy generation is a BIG advantage.

These are your idea of renewable energy. And I am a supporter of them.

I am a supporter of them. I just warn you that the clean running power has a dark side.

In another post, I mentioned that the majority of solar panels are made in Asian countries with almost no environmental regulations. They are also recycled or buried with no regulation. Much of the electronic waste in the US ends up being sent to bidders in Bangladesh and such places. A concerted plan needs to be enacted now to stop the pollution on the front and back end of solar power use or an environmental issue arises in the future.

The same for wind. The sheer volume of concrete, steel and electro-mechanical materials will become a problem as you must build renewables in a large number. A huge number. And they will never provide continuous power. So you over build. And build storage capacity. That will need to be huge and costly and will produce its own waste streams.

You naively assume just because renewables run clean, that they miraculously appear and disappear when their lives are done. They don't. And just like your computer, they cannot be just thrown in a dump. There are too many dangerous materials that can and will leach into the environment. And unlike your computer, the volume of tech-trash will be huge.

And your renewables will not meet the needs of the majority of people who now live in densely populated areas. If you have land and sky aplenty, you can work out a scheme to live on renewables. If you live in the middle of New York City, you need to generate a concentrated amount of energy and transmit it into the city. Diffuse energy at erratic amounts need to be base lined by constant stored power schemes.

I don't oppose renewables. I ask that you be pragmatic in its application. A balanced set of power sources base lined by nuclear power is a logical solution. A good plan to build and recycle our solar and wind devices is also needed now, not later. A way to store our excess renewable energy and transport it is a good thing. There will be no silver bullet.

The other argument is one Frank Lee keeps reminding us of. Reduce what we use. Economizing.

I grew up on a pacific island riding a water buffalo and carrying water up to our tin roofed house to cook our food on charcoal made from the trees that surrounded our ranch. We grew all our own food and traded our excess down in the town. My wife on the other hand? Her family is from Texas. All yall better know that her idea of simple living is a condo by the beach, a house in the mountains and a Fiat 500 turbo for the beach condo and a 4x4 for the mountain house and a Mercedes to drive between. I argue for a simpler lifestyle but she's way too cute to win an argument with.

The average American will not settle for a simpler life. The rest of the world wants to live like Americans. How do we prevent this wish from happening? You can't. So we must power this wish. With clean renewable power base lined by nuclear, geothermal, hydro or what ever baseline source makes sense.

oil pan 4 09-06-2018 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 578222)
There is even more concrete and steel, and copper, and electronics, and water - used in nuclear power plants. It takes a lot of energy to mine and refine, and enrich, and transport nuclear fuel.

It takes 10-20 YEARS to build a nuclear power plant. The spent nuclear fuel has to sit in pools of water for a decade or more - and the water has to be pumped, and then processed afterward; because it is contaminated and radioactive.

A lot of energy is used to decommission a nuclear power plant - and it will probably take another 10-20 years to do this. It will take a lot of energy and steel and concrete to build the dry casks - which last only 100 years. Rinse and repeat, for a very long time.

++++++++++++++++

Wind power uses no fuel. So, it has a much lower energy overhead, and the foundations can be reused.

Nuclear waste sitting around for decades is a flaw of our stupid and useless government. It is not a flaw of the nuclear fuel cycle. The fuel demands for nuclear power plants can be predicted with about 99% certainty.
We know when they will need new fuel, to within a few months, precisely how much fuel they will need, what the waste is and it's what it's made up of.
The nuclear waste pools are far more dangerous than the reactor it's self.
If the clueless ignorant nuclear haters really had a clue they would be burning down Washington DC demanding nuclear fuel be recycled.
But no, they just want to be obstructionists and take a minor technical issue and turn it into a disaster looking for a time to happen.

oil pan 4 09-06-2018 08:33 PM

The difference between the hoover damn and a wind turbine is hoover has been producing power for 70 something years?
And will continue to provide power for probably another 100.

Ecky 09-06-2018 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 578273)
The difference between the hoover damn and a wind turbine is hoover has been producing power for 70 something years?
And will continue to provide power for probably another 100.

Cannot a wind turbine base and tower be reused with another generator, once the original fails? I'm sure the dam isn't still on it's first set of turbines.

oil pan 4 09-06-2018 10:59 PM

Yes.
The land leases for the wind company are almost always made for 50 to 99 years.
It would be a waste to only use them for 20 to 25 years.
After 20 years the electrical infrastructure to tie in the wind farm to the grid is still going to be like new.
The steel monopole and concrete base would probably only be 10% used up or less after 25 years.
When I went to wind power school no one had yet stripped down one kind of turbine and rebuild it as a completely different wind turbine. So far they are still being repaired with replacement parts, rebuild parts and upgrade parts.

redpoint5 09-06-2018 11:21 PM

That was my next question; even if the concrete base and pole are useful, do they ever replace the nacelle and blades with updated ones?

The trend has been to build 'em ever bigger, so I doubt there is much use in reusing much of the infrastructure built in previous decades.

oil pan 4 09-07-2018 12:35 AM

As far as I know there have not been any turbines rebuilt completely with next generation parts.
If a wind turbine has blades damaged they get replaced with reproduction parts or slightly improved design blades.
As far as required building a warn out wind farm with new stuff from the nacell pad up, I just have not heard of it being done. But there doesn't appear to be any reason that it can't be done.
For now it's cheaper to keep rebuild them out of like parts or suitable sub parts.
Once you get your land and grid tie in right of ways that can be up to half the cost of the wind farm.

RedDevil 09-07-2018 03:54 AM

They replace older windmills with bigger more efficient ones over here even if they are not end of life or damaged.
It is hard to get a concession to build a new wind farm, so replacing the mills in existing farms makes economical sense.

oil pan 4 09-07-2018 04:15 AM

United States loves building new wind farms.
One of the largest ones in the united states was built just far enough away that I can just barely see it at night.
There are so many new ones and expansions going up I don't even keep up with them any more.

Piotrsko 09-07-2018 09:32 AM

Wind river and a couple of others in Tehachapi were repurposed with newer turbines. Bigger, yes. Newer, smaller, more efficient? No. Not a lot of re use. Mitsubishi recycled some towers in cold water canyon but not all.

Same for Altamont

oil pan 4 09-07-2018 10:45 AM

Yeah Mitsubishi wind turbines are by far the worst.
If anything was going to be stripped down and rebuilt it would be Mitsubishis.

seifrob 09-08-2018 04:54 PM

What do you think about SkySails power application? (https://www.skysails.info/en/power/skysails-power/). Basically it is a kite on a generator-motor winch.

They seem to use much fewer resources than traditional wind turbines. Too pity they obviously did not make it past prototype stage.

oil pan 4 09-08-2018 06:23 PM

Those are being used on large ships.
Transocean commerce started with wind power, went to coal and now oil. Eventually it will probably go back to coal eventually and then wind.

Piotrsko 09-10-2018 11:32 AM

I can see them doing wind, but coal in enclosed metal areas is explosively scarey not to mention radioactive

oil pan 4 09-10-2018 11:57 AM

When oil is going for $20 to $30 per million BTUs and coal is still less than $3 per million BTU expect to see a return to coal.
I would burn coal if I could find it.

Piotrsko 09-10-2018 12:10 PM

You can buy coal. Just difficult to get it delivered cheaply. I can buy it from the local fuel place, but it isn't $3 a megbtu. I think it is $100 a ton on my doorstep

NeilBlanchard 09-10-2018 12:48 PM

Here's a twist on wind power:

https://x.company/makani/

A tether instead of a tower. An aircraft instead of a nacelle. Multiple small turbines at a very high elevation instead of one massive set of blades.

oil pan 4 09-10-2018 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Piotrsko (Post 578584)
You can buy coal. Just difficult to get it delivered cheaply. I can buy it from the local fuel place, but it isn't $3 a megbtu. I think it is $100 a ton on my doorstep

If coal is 12,000BTU per pound then 1 ton is 24 million BTU, or about $4 per million BTU, which is cheaper than natural gas.

I was thinking coal might be a little cheaper if delivered by the train load to a ship yard.

seifrob 09-11-2018 12:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 578483)
Those are being used on large ships.
Transocean commerce started with wind power, went to coal and now oil. Eventually it will probably go back to coal eventually and then wind.

Actually, the kite system I referred is wind power generator. They use wind force to unwind a rope and generate electricity, then reel the kite in and start again. I think it is elegant solution.

There is an animation that explains it better than I can.

solarguy 09-11-2018 09:05 AM

The great equalizer is EROEI.

Wiki has a not-too-bad overview. EROEI is better for fossil fuels, but the numbers steadily get worse.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy...nergy_invested

And if you drill down for very specific numbers from any particular industry, you have to look at the methodology. I am particularly suspicious of the nuke industry ignoring or discounting the very long storage requirement for the waste. And for those who say just recycle and re-use, that loop absolutely must produce plutonium, which raises the risk for production of very efficient nukes. Also, France's experiment with recycling fuels turned out to be dirty and expensive.

Piotrsko 09-11-2018 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 578604)
If coal is 12,000BTU per pound then 1 ton is 24 million BTU, or about $4 per million BTU, which is cheaper than natural gas.

I was thinking coal might be a little cheaper if delivered by the train load to a ship yard.

Delivery is much cheaper by the hopper, but who has space for 100 tons, then you have to move it from the yard unless you also have a dedicated pit siding to drop into waiting delivery system. The cement plant I used to live by could offload 16 railcars before they ran out of storage.

Handling and storage are your main problems raising cost.

NeilBlanchard 09-11-2018 12:35 PM

Coal - How is This Still a Thing?
 
Coal - How is This Still a Thing?

We blow up mountains. Which poisons the water.
We pay other human beings to go down deep underground to dig it out of the ground. We rent their lungs and their backs.
We ship it. Which spreads dust all over.
We "wash" it. Which requires chemicals. Which poisons the water. Ooops - we spilled it!
We burn it. Which changes the climate. Which produces mercury pollution. Which produces deadly pollutants, and acid rain. Which produces fly ash. Which has spilled. Which poisons the water.

Coal ruins the land.
Coal ruins the air.
Coal ruins the water.
Coal causes climate change.
Coal kills miners.

Coal kills.

redpoint5 09-11-2018 02:14 PM

Well, the fellas above just discussed how coal is still a thing. Everything has trade-offs.

I could replace the word "coal" with "people" in every single thing you've said above, and it would still make sense.

Sometime in the future when we're all humming away on nuclear energy, we'll look back and wonder why that was so difficult.

oil pan 4 09-11-2018 02:33 PM

Coal burned for power generation uses bag houses to collect the fly ash. The fly ash gets used to make concrete.
Hopefully I will be using coal to heat my house when I can find a supply channel.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 578677)

We blow up mountains.
ruins the land.
ruins the air.
ruins the water.
climate change.
kills miners.

kills.

Just replace coal with "Chinese solar panels" and you get the same thing.

oil pan 4 09-11-2018 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 578683)
Well, the fellas above just discussed how coal is still a thing. Everything has trade-offs.

I could replace the word "coal" with "people" in every single thing you've said above, and it would still make sense.

Sometime in the future when we're all humming away on nuclear energy, we'll look back and wonder why that was so difficult.

When the power starts going out people will drop the fake outrage and forget about the over hyped dangers of nuclear power.
All the evil fly ash can supply thorium for next gen reactors and if the uranium price goes over and stays above $50 to $60 per pound it becomes economical to mine uranium from fly ash.

Piotrsko 09-12-2018 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 578677)
Coal - How is This Still a Thing?.

Idunno, perhaps you should ask The Donald

oil pan 4 09-12-2018 11:47 AM

A large portion of our power comes from coal.
0bama did nothing to stop coal fired power production, he closed the worst of the worst polluting plants.
If he really wanted to get rid of coal he would have restated the United States nuclear fuel recycling system, which he did and pushed nuclear power, which he quitely did but barely made any effort, if he would have made a real effort to push nuclear a good chunk of the oldest plants could have been closed around 2030.

NeilBlanchard 09-12-2018 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 578685)
Coal burned for power generation uses bag houses to collect the fly ash. The fly ash gets used to make concrete.
Hopefully I will be using coal to heat my house when I can find a supply channel.



Just replace coal with "Chinese solar panels" and you get the same thing.

How do solar panels blow up mountains, and give people black lung, and cause mercury poisoning?

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 578780)
A large portion of our power comes from coal.
0bama did nothing to stop coal fired power production, he closed the worst of the worst polluting plants.
If he really wanted to get rid of coal he would have restated the United States nuclear fuel recycling system, which he did and pushed nuclear power, which he quitely did but barely made any effort, if he would have made a real effort to push nuclear a good chunk of the oldest plants could have been closed around 2030.

We are closing coal plants all the time - it is too expensive. We are down to under 38%, last I heard. We are adding renewables more and more, and we will be much better off.

oil pan 4 09-12-2018 02:41 PM

First off about 70% of Chinese electricity is generated by coal and solar cell and solar panel production is an energy intensive process. Plus think of all the metals that go into solar panels, aluminum, copper, silver, the glass and all the rare earth stuff.
They don't just miracle them selves into existence with out any pollution or destruction.

If solar power is so cheap then why does china use mostly coal power to make panels that they sell to other countries?
"If solar was cheaper than coal" why don't they just use solar power for every thing since they make 70 or 80% of the world's solar panels?

RedDevil 09-12-2018 03:44 PM

It takes time, but they are under way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_China
Quote:

China is the world's largest market for both photovoltaics and solar thermal energy. Since 2013 China has been the world's leading installer of solar photovoltaics (PV). In 2015, China became the world's largest producer of photovoltaic power, narrowly surpassing Germany.[1][2][3] By the end of 2016, total PV capacity had increased to over 77.4 GW,[4] and in 2017 China was the first country to pass 100 GW of cumulative installed PV capacity.[5] As of May 2018, China holds the record for largest operational solar project in its 1,547-MW project at Tengger.[6] The contribution to the total electric energy production remains modest[7] as the average capacity factor of solar power plants is relatively low at 17% on average. Of the 6,412 TWh electricity produced in China in 2017,[8] 118.2 TWh was generated by solar power, equivalent to 1.84% of total electricity production.[9] The goal for 2050 is to reach 1,300 GW of solar capacity. If this goal is to be reached it would be the source with the largest installed capacity in China.[10]
More than anyone else. But still just a fraction of their total energy production. For now.

It takes energy to make solar panels, but it is just a fraction of the energy they produce.
It takes energy to build a coal plant too, but then pollution does not stop when the plant is ready.


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