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Green Energy: Tidal generator goes online

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
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This is cool and I want to see this develop, we need to suck energy out of the oceans and thousands of these — uh — wouldn’t actually make a tiny dent. Never mind. But we should still push because tidal is predictable and consistent which is useful.

However at the moment this is a prototype effectively, it weighs 640 tonnes !!!! and makes 2 measly megawatts. A single modern wind turbine makes 12, and when offshore has around 60% capacity factor. They are going need at least two orders of magnitude improvement to be economically competitive.

But yes, cool that it exists.
 

DaveW

Space Monkey
Jul 2, 2001
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Karori, Poneke Te Ika-a-Maui
Ahh those fucking huge wind turbines just down the road from you at Makara are rated at 2.3mw peak mate..... about the same as the tidal generator.
By fucking huge I mean just the nacelle is slightly larger than the Metlink Buses trundling around town.
and those steel towers they sit on are 100m high and 15m across at the base....... the Base is then bolted to a 370 cubic meter concrete base that also has another 70 tons just in reinforcing steel.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
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They are some old ass tech then, a bit dispointing. Why does NZ keep doing that? A modern nacelle is nothing like the size of a bus, especially the direct drive ones. They are more like the size of a large bathroom. The total weight is about the same though, depending on the company who makes it; e.g. Siemens 75m blade = 13 tonnes, GE = 25. :shrug:
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
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This is an interesting article about wind turbines as it covers cost and scale quite well.


Still annoyed Makara wind turbines are so piddly. Are you sure only 2.3mw? FFS, what a dumb thing to do.

OK I just read up on the models they are using. They are 2004 models, yes they are 2.3mw only. Roughly 35m blades — old school AF. And yet the site was started in 2007 and opened in 2009. Siemens haven’t made blades that small since at least 2012 or so. What were the designers thinking? When I worked at Siemens we were delivering the latest blades direct to construction sites around the world. Are these some discount end of line crap?
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
13,239
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AK
I just thought those were giant fans to blow the smoke away.
 

DaveW

Space Monkey
Jul 2, 2001
9,429
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Karori, Poneke Te Ika-a-Maui
This is an interesting article about wind turbines as it covers cost and scale quite well.


Still annoyed Makara wind turbines are so piddly. Are you sure only 2.3mw? FFS, what a dumb thing to do.

OK I just read up on the models they are using. They are 2004 models, yes they are 2.3mw only. Roughly 35m blades — old school AF. And yet the site was started in 2007 and opened in 2009. Siemens haven’t made blades that small since at least 2012 or so. What were the designers thinking? When I worked at Siemens we were delivering the latest blades direct to construction sites around the world. Are these some discount end of line crap?

My brain being my brain got me snooping around.
So the most powerful wind generators in NZ are all around the 2MW territory.
There are planned 4MW turbines for one of Meridian's projects.... But not yet built.
Genesis just canned their approved 860MW wind farm which was getting 3MW turbines :wtf:
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
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Historically, we couldn’t have bigger ones because of our windy ass wind, but this isn’t the case anymore. Now it just seems like bad accounting/understanding. When it comes to wind turbines big is better in nearly every way, especially financially which is the most confusing…
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
11,711
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Genesis just canned their approved 860MW wind farm which was getting 3MW turbines :wtf:
Hmm. At the end of the article there is some stuff about transmission costs. Maybe this is code for ‘we fucked up our planning and actually [some aspect] of the assumptions turned out to be totally wrong’.
I talk to peeps from this sector a fair bit these days and my read is it does seem to be slightly reluctantly on for this 100% drive, even though there is some worry about economics. My hope is we get significant oversupply that drives down cost, close to 100% renewable, a few companies go bust and we are forced to renationalise with low power prices. Perfect victory.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
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In a van.... down by the river
Historically, we couldn’t have bigger ones because of our windy ass wind, but this isn’t the case anymore. Now it just seems like bad accounting/understanding. When it comes to wind turbines big is better in nearly every way, especially financially which is the most confusing…
Just be careful of the windmill cancer. :tinfoil:
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
44,810
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Historically, we couldn’t have bigger ones because of our windy ass wind, but this isn’t the case anymore. Now it just seems like bad accounting/understanding. When it comes to wind turbines big is better in nearly every way, especially financially which is the most confusing…
Casual observers usually know better than the people who executed it.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
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Casual observers usually know better than the people who executed it.
I generally agree with your implied point, but sometimes you gotta wonder. I am not entirely casual either… Our energy companies also have form with doing dumb shit, so… What you can never know, especially in NZ is the specific deals, maybe they are offered old stockpile at a great discount, or possibly in this case ‘single points’ of competence that have been involved. Often a point in a planning chain can in NZ be one person rather than a department, let’s say the site modeller (I know for a fact there are like three in all NZ), and as there is ‘no alternative’ they get listened to or taken as unquestioned gospel because no-one knows better. That’s one of the things in a small country; the kind of ‘not-invented-here’ idea of unconscious incompetence. No idea if this is the case but stuff that would never fly in say, Germany can easily happen here.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
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I would further defend my point by simply pointing at the broad wind market. The large players/farms will immediately go for the biggest latest turbines exactly because of what I said. Increased swept area = king. More efficient, quicker payoff, more profit.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
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Sleazattle
I generally agree with your implied point, but sometimes you gotta wonder. I am not entirely casual either… Our energy companies also have form with doing dumb shit, so… What you can never know, especially in NZ is the specific deals, maybe they are offered old stockpile at a great discount, or possibly in this case ‘single points’ of competence that have been involved. Often a point in a planning chain can in NZ be one person rather than a department, let’s say the site modeller (I know for a fact there are like three in all NZ), and as there is ‘no alternative’ they get listened to or taken as unquestioned gospel because no-one knows better. That’s one of the things in a small country; the kind of ‘not-invented-here’ idea of unconscious incompetence. No idea if this is the case but stuff that would never fly in say, Germany can easily happen here.
There is almost always a good reason why things are the way they are. Those reasons are often necessary but not obvious to an external observer. Hard to judge the results without knowing the reasons.

For example: At work my team got absolutely torn apart by operations because when we replaced their old tooling with new ones, everything was bigger and there was less room for people to work. They just assumed we didn't know what we were doing. The reality was that we now understand the area can suffer 9.0 earthquakes and we built the new stuff to meet modern seismic requirements and had to beef everything up. Everyone would have gotten squished like bugs if a decent size earthquake hit with the old stuff.

There are also plenty of examples of similar things happening because it meant a supplier had a larger profit margin.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
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I agree but sometimes the good reason is too local, good for ‘the company’ or ‘the finance department’s new way of calculating depreciation’ or something. When it comes to power generation it should be a ‘good for NZ and the planet’ that comes first.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
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I agree but sometimes the good reason is too local, good for ‘the company’ or ‘the finance department’s new way of calculating depreciation’ or something. When it comes to power generation it should be a ‘good for NZ and the planet’ that comes first.

I assume this was a public project?
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
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No, private unfortunately, or to be more precise, Genesis is a 51% government owned private company. However the government really won’t dabble in commercial decisions, they would be crucified if there was even a hint of that. It is run ‘for the shareholders’. They will be expected to ‘take on board government policy and then make independent decisions’ or something like that.