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Old Jun 27, 2008, 2:20 AM   #1
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This is another shot, in context, of the pylon I showed you yesterday, with an intriguing piece of additional scenery. I've been driving past this windmill tower for 25 years. I can't quite remember whether the derelict farm windpump remains were always on top of it, or whether it was alongside it, and it has been remounted. In the last year or two, the tower has been refurbished as a part of a rather upmarket dwelling.

I've never seen the blades rotating, so I fear it's just for show. I notice that it doesn't look very well affixed to the roof, with one leg, or the crankshaft unconnected. However, it would clearly be a prime location for a wind turbogenerator. Modest government subsidies are available here for domestic ones, but sadly we have no viable 'feed-in' tariff to sell the surplus energy, as they have in Germany, for example.

I expect the locals knew it was a good place for wind power hundreds of years ago. This is not as irrelevant as you think because....
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Old Jun 27, 2008, 2:25 AM   #2
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... this is the nearest I could legally get to the "The Railway Age", the museum I mentioned earlier. Though it's a messy shot, I like the green patina on the copper busbar along the top, and the patterns. (Many train delays here are due to 'signal failure', often caused by theft of copper signalling cable to meet escalating world demand for the metal.) In the museum yard a few elderly locomotives are visible.

The electrical relevance of this is that through the steelwork a wind turbine and its blades are visible on the right, gleaming white in the sunshine. It's in the carpark of the adjacent Tesco supermarket, and it's a promising, 20kW PR-gesture turbine (has more than one kind of spin). See http://www.tnei.co.uk/pages/case-studies.php. So it would take a modest 255 of these sizeable machines to power my family's single 5.1MW train from London out of the station onwards to Liverpool. When the wind is blowing nicely, that is.

This is a nice illustration of the prodigious challenge the world faces. We need everything in the way of low-CO[suB]2[/suB] generation, urgently. I detect little understanding of the magnitudeof the problem among the well-meaning, the worthy, and the influential.
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Old Jun 28, 2008, 12:53 AM   #3
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Very interesting pictures to illustrate your point. I agree completely about using everything we can to replace fossil fuel plants. Wish more people understood this. Here in the U.S. there are advocates for all the various technologies, but they all think their answer is the right one to the exclusion of all else, and are fighting so much that not much is actually being accomplished.

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Old Jun 28, 2008, 5:41 AM   #4
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nice shots Alan
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Old Jun 28, 2008, 7:12 AM   #5
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Iespecailly like the first one. The windmill and then beyond, the more up to date method.
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Old Jun 28, 2008, 9:46 AM   #6
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My grandmother had a windmill on her farm which drove a 32 volt DC generator. Inthe basement of her housewas a bank of 32 volt batteries and a gasoline generator to provide emergency power and charge the batteries when the wind was not blowing.

Later, my grandmother's farm was upgraded to 110 volts AC supplied by the REA electrical co-op. The windmill ceased to be used and I remember my dad and a couple of his farmhands dismantling the tower and salvaging the angle-iron for use on various farm projects.

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Old Jun 28, 2008, 12:47 PM   #7
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Very nice, Alan. I really like the first one.

I agree with Brian with the problems to be solved in our country. If they'd just all work together we could get so much done.

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