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A stationary wind turbine is generating no electricity  

Credit:  Cumberland Times-News, times-news.com 25 May 2011 ~~

Recently the Times-News ran a rebuttal (“Future of U.S. wind power is promising, May 20) from the president and CEO of German wind turbine manufacturer, Nordex, to a letter I had written pointing out some of the weaknesses with wind powered electrical production (“Wind turbines are silly and inefficient,” May 9).

I thank Chairman Sigrist for his interest in attempting to clear up the matter regarding the inefficiency of his Nordex wind turbines.

My comments referred to observations made while flying over the Roth Rock wind farm where one of the brand new turbines was idle while others were turning.

This opens the question of whether the turbine was down due to maintenance or malfunction. In either case it’s curious because the turbine began operation only recently.

In February this year, my wife and I shot video of the wind farm in Garrett, Pa., which consists of eight 11-year-old Nordex turbines, manufactured in Denmark. On that winter day, we were surprised to find that, out of eight, only three were turning.

Mr. Sigrist is quite correct in pointing out that turbines can’t turn when the wind doesn’t blow and that this is indeed the nature of wind energy.

Several of these turbines had long stains where oil or some other liquid had run down their towers which brings up the question of useful life. In this case, the 11-year-old turbines were only slightly over half of their expected 20-year life as mentioned by CEO Sigrist.

I’m no engineer, and I’m only reporting what I observed. But it is clear to this observer that a stationary turbine is generating zero power and certainly not the 97 percent claimed by Mr. Sigrist.

To put it simply, I equate generating utility grade electricity from a string of wind turbines to a wagon pulled by a string of mules. Each animal may or may not be able to pull its own weight just as each turbine might be able to generate electricity depending on its state of repair and wind conditions.

On the other side, I equate a conventional power plant, perhaps coal, gas, hydro or nuclear to a big diesel truck with a lot of power centrally located under the hood. If I had a large load to move, I have to think it makes more sense to use the truck than the mules.

John Terry

Montrose, W.Va.

Source:  Cumberland Times-News, times-news.com 25 May 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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