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Why CAT is wrong  

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), Development Director’s letter “Powering a green grid for Wales” (Western Mail, April 4) must rank among the most technically naive comments ever to come out of a quango.

The notion that they can direct where and how grid power from each source is distributed is total nonsense. The distribution of power between generators connected to a synchronous grid is determined by the relevant phase angle of each generator, the ones that lead provide more, the ones that lag provide less or even nothing.

How much each leads or lags is proportional to how much turning force (torque) its turbine is delivering relative to all the other turbines. As the torque delivered from a wind turbine fluctuates with each gust – how much power it delivers follows the profile of the prevailing wind.

Unless CAT believes it can control the wind, wind power will remain too unstable to make any contribution to this country’s energy needs. It is hard to believe that this country once led the world in science and technology.

Brian Christley

Penlon, Abergele, Conwy

Ray Milland

Western Mail


8 April 2008

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