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Floating Wind Turbines Could Revolutionize Wind Power

The first large-scale ocean-based wind power project is set for beginning research.

StatoilHydro announced plans to tramadol delivered cod test offshore wind turbines, starting with a 2.3-megawatt turbine measuring 65 meters high, buoyed and tied down by three anchors. While not the only ocean-bound wind turbine project in the works, this new project, called Hywind, will launch in 2009 off the coast of Norway and is particularly unique because of cialis paypal how far off shore the turbines can be placed. Because they float instead of being tied to the ocean floor, they’re operable in depths up to a whopping 700 meters. And when the average ocean depth off Norway is about 1,450 meters, this means they can go way, way off-shore.

Issues to be analyzed include the next day viagra cost of getting the power generated back to landlubber users, its efficiency at generating power while being knocked around in waves and storms, and the ability to safely perform maintenance on the units. This research will take a good chunk of time before offshore wind farms are a reality, or even practical. Not mentioned in the article but also important to research is any impact on marine life, especially sea birds, that not only a single unit but an entire fleet of wind turbines may have.

This is an interesting alternative to land-based wind farms, which seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Ocean-based wind farms will take out some of the ugly factor, though they present more obvious technical issues than land-based turbines. Yet, they may be more practical for large-scale power creation for big cities than flying wind power generators, depending on how the testing goes.

The undertaking is huge, but I am optimistic that utilizing our vast ocean space for generating sustainable power is in the near future. It may even be possible to combine water-generated power with the wind-generated power, maximizing efficiency of the resources invested in creating the turbines.

Meanwhile, I would love to see bright painted letters donning the first turbine "Ishmael".

Via cnet

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Comments (32)Add Comment
Geeks should think about this
written by Maffu, May 29, 2008
I've mentioned this on a few websites and nobody seems to understand this - wind power is dangerous. We have *no* idea what will happen when we withdraw the power of cod tramadol fedex online the wind from our climate. Wind carries seeds, allows animals to migrate, and distributes heat. We don't know what else it may do.

Building a few windmills will have little impact. But if we keep building these huge windmill farms and pull out all of this wind energy without knowing or attempting to understand the effects, we are potentially causing a larger climate problem than the one we have now.

Solar is the only climate-neutral energy source.
Is Maffu serious?
written by Ron Holmes, May 30, 2008

You do realise that the wind compresses, but then continues it's flow once past the blades?
Dangers of wind power
written by Eric Pearsons, May 30, 2008
Very good point Maffu. Each time the wind passes through a generator, energy is removed from the wind. This means less wind energy is available to others downstream of the generator.

Who knows what effects large numbers of wind generators will have on our environment.

We all know how a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon caused a tornado in the USA. I say it is time to call a halt to large scale wind farms.
written by haichen, May 30, 2008
@maffu. You are not serious. There are so much buildings having much more impact on wind. If I only try to think about this: The climate changing will bring us much energy into the air by heating. So we take energy out of the overheated climate we will help to avoid storms etc. But because its so little energy we earn from wind this is all nonsense.
Sorry for my bad english.
written by Ken Roberts, May 30, 2008
Taking energy from the wind will not have a large impact. There would have to be billions of such windmills to really sap the energy from the wind. You have to remember that most of the wind's energy is at high altitudes anyway, and trees also serve as a buffer.
written by cmaceachen, May 30, 2008
Also, it should be noted, that by the same reasoning the same is true of solar. Energy cannot be created. Some of the energy of sunlight which would otherwise be converted into heat or reflected back out into space is converted into electricity. Is it reasonable to say that this will have some net effect on the temperature of the earth? Surely the canada viagra no prescription area of the earth covered by solar panels would have to be massive. The same is true of wind power.
written by bob, May 30, 2008
I don't suppose they've looked into the impact that the low frequency noise will have on marine life?
I know that the noise is currently a growing concern with land based wind farms.
Water carries sound even better than air. I'd imagine that these turbines will conduct sound into the water and it would get quite irritating to have a low frequency hum going 24/7.
written by cmaceachen, May 30, 2008
Good point. Considering the story below about sonar causing whale beachings, it seem entirely possible that noise from submarine turbines could have detrimental effects.
written by Jordan, May 30, 2008
Wow, who payed the oil cronies to come and non generic cialis online post negative comments here?

Honestly, do you really think that wind turbines could effect weather patterns etc? With all the air that is in our atmosphere, the wind flows that turbines tap into probably don't even account for .01% of all of earths winds. This is because their reach is so small compared to how many miles of flowing air we have above us.

A little common sense would be nice.
" Solar is the only climate-neutral ener
written by KirkH, May 30, 2008
Maffu, you do know that wind is caused by differences in heat right? And that 100% efficient solar panels would probably be cool to the touch right? And large swathes of the desert suddenly cool to the touch would affect wind patterns...
to Maffu...
written by doug, May 30, 2008
It is inevitable that man will change his environment, often unintentionally. But I think you worry about the wrong thing.

(1) Which slows windspeed more-- Windmill blades that move with the wind, or stationary high-rise buildings that block wind completely?
(2) Which kills more birds-- Windmill blades, or glass windows in all our buildings?
(3) Which interferes more in heat distribution-- Windmills, or concrete buildings and city asphalt?
(4) Those are three examples of what we do, just with ordinary buildings. A more relevant comparison would be to other POWER sources, not just buildings. If you want to know how terrible coal is, Google "Mountaintop Removal" and also research mercury emissions. Wind is a godsend in comparison.
written by patrick, May 31, 2008

(1) "stationary buildings block wind completely?"

Go learn physics.
WHy ugly
written by Alan Denman, May 31, 2008
I keep seeing the word ugly in reference to wind turbines.
As a hill walker I find turbines both inspiring and picturesque.
At the top of any hill you then reach something called 'hope'.

Has anyone asked the public as a whole whether they find them ugly? I very much doubt it.
Lord God
written by Clueless, May 31, 2008
Great, now we're going to deplete all the wind in the world. First the look here buy viagra low price oil, then the wind and I guess we'll burn the sun out next. ;)
"Energy cannot be created"
written by caribou, May 31, 2008
Actually, energy can be created. E=mc2. While nuclear has a variety of negatives associated with it, it actually IS creating energy.
Wind Energy
written by John thomas, May 31, 2008
Outstanding! Wind generators are economical and provide the most power. I lived on a sailboat for years and relied on a wind generator to keep my batteries fresh. Much better than inefficient solar power.

Haha redux
written by Unregistered Coward, May 31, 2008
written by patrick , May 30, 2008

(1) "stationary buildings block wind completely?"

Go learn physics.

Actually, they do. Wind can't go through the building, it's forced to go around it.

Learn to use you brain.

Power of the Wind
written by richard, May 31, 2008
I seriously doubt that putting a windfarm in say, the wildest regions of Scotland where winds regularly go faster than 50mph, is going to remove much energy or prevent seeds from being spread...

As for heat, have you been to some of these far off, hard-to-reach places around the world? Norway isn't exactly hot, you know.
written by Visitor, May 31, 2008
Wind and solar both have an effect on the climate, by absorbing energy from the winds or the sun. But the effects of things like deforestation, cities, and paved surfaces are much greater. Look at Google Earth and canada cheap viagra see what a drastic change we've caused by covering huge portions of the Earth's surface with homes and roads. Taking energy out of the wind would probably be a good thing, reducing the energy available to tropical storms, like trees did before we cut them all down.

Solar and wind ARE dangerous, but not for the reasons you think. They produce very small amounts of energy for the cost (currently wind can't even provide 1% of the Earth's energy usage, and solar is more like 0.1%), but they kill a proportionally large number of workers in accidents. Nuclear is a hundred times safer when you consider the amount of power produced.
written by Godwhacker, May 31, 2008
Maffu - You can't be serious. Either you're joking or just an agent working for oil companies. Environmentalist act rationally to protect the Earth. Radical environmentalists won't be happy until humanity is back living in caves chewing on bark for dinner. Oh, I forgot, chewing bark is harmful to trees. How thoughtless of me.
written by Delpen, May 31, 2008
Nonsens. That's like building coal plants on the Sun. Why use wind as a powersource in the middle of the ocean, where you can draw power from the waves? Wave power is the answer. That and solar cells covering the Sahara desert.
Wind Power is Harmful Phooey
written by Bob, May 31, 2008
How can people really believe that taking a few gigawatts of power out of the atmosphere will be harmful, but that covering hundreds of square miles of Earth's surface with dark-colored panels which create heat and block solar radiation from reaching the ground will not be harmful? Instead of having knee-jerk reactions to things based on your own speculation and very limited understanding of the laws of physics, why bother to learn and make some of the calculations yourself?

The bottom line is that there is no such thing as free energy. Every form of energy will have some sort of environmental cost. You have to decide which costs are acceptable and order tramadol next day which are not.

Oddly, the 900 lb. gorrilla in the room is overpopulation. Nobody even talks about the reason we need so much damned energy, or why we need so much fresh water, or why we need so much arable land. We spend trillions on research to fix these issues when we really should just try to get more people to wear a condom or take a pill.
written by Delpen, May 31, 2008
Or start a war and kill half of Earth's population. That's the way we always did it, so why change our ways now? :P
But I agree with You, overpopulation is the real problem.
Anyway, no such thing as free energy? What about solar cells placed in space?
Don't worry about 'depleting' the wind
written by Dr. Grandmeir, May 31, 2008
There have been several comments concerning 'depleting or stopping wind' via power generating turbines. This is not a valid concern. Wind is generated by a variety of sources (earth's rotation, temp variances, heat reflection/absorption,etc.) You would need turbines large enough to create enough drag to stop the levitra online in usa earth's rotation and the effects of solar heating to 'stop the wind'. Please by all means build as many turbines as possible - we need them now.
For the energy geeks
written by Chuck, June 02, 2008
Ok I see that a lot of energy geeks are actively talking here. What do you guys know about HHO or Brown's gas? Is it a scam. Check out If it was a scam, it wouldn't have survived so long. Do a search on youtube to see all the people utilizing this technology. Well...Mafuu you might come out and say taking out all the energy in the water will have enormous adverse effects.Following Jordan's comments, is everybody that call water4gas a scam also oil cronies?
written by Blow this..., June 04, 2008
Sure norway isnt exactly hot, and the winds in scottland might be in excess of 50mph now, but if we suck all the energy out of the wind, norway might not get that nice cool breeze, heat up, and become a tropical paradise.. Imagine all the Swedes and Norwegians parading around in bikini's in the middle of winter! Im puttin up a wind farm tomorrow!!! If america cant beat the arabs outta the middle east, we'll reduce our demand on oil and let em enjoy their piles of sand!
written by tiffiney, June 05, 2008
we must stop making middle eastern counties rich by paying these high oil prices.
USA has the tech know-how. let's use it.
our standard of living is going down each year that we continue to send money out of the country.
Back to class with you!
written by A Power Engineer, June 09, 2008
1.It is physically impossible to “suck all the energy out of wind”. Back to class with you. NOW what IS possible, although un-proven at this time, is that wind patterns could potentially EMPHASIS ON POTENTIALLY... be altered enough to cause some damage. BUT get back into the realm of where we are now. Deforestation and the burning of unfiltered carbon based fuels have and cheepest generic viagra where to buy cialis us will continue to create more problems that wind or solar could ever possibly do.

2.Kudos to the people using their gray matter for something more than a cranial implosion prevention device. It's the “there is no box” thinking like this that will help move us along.

3.Over population, yes it is in fact a massive problem. Don't worry that will be taken care of soon enough. The next big issue that is far more important that energy production and distribution is water. Fresh clean water is becoming a rare commodity these days. We have managed to pollute it and deplete it quicker than the earth can replenish it. We need this water for hygiene, food, and hydration. With the climate changing the way it is around the globe, with droughts around the world becoming more and more common, with crops failing due to the weather changes and erratic weather patterns. Food and fresh water will become scarce.

Starvation will ensue as will riots, civil unrest as food shortages start to hit even the first world nations. War will break out and disease will explode as peoples immune systems are weakened due to lack of generic viagra effective food. History is filled with civilizations that have altered their environments to the very end I have just described. Learn history... back to class with you.

4.The solution to the energy problem is not to generate more electricity / power but to strike a balance between generated capacity and actual need. This is done by removing inefficient devices, or being proactive in turning power vampires off when not in use. This reduces the tramadol no prescription fedex load needed to maintain a society while not drastically having a negative impact on how that society operates.

Planning trips our, walking whenever possible or riding a bike. Using electric scooters that have a solar recharge station. Use energy efficient lights, and appliances. Wear a sweater or long sleeve shirt, use a small personal fan for cooling. De lamp were ever possible and viagra soft gel safe, utilize occupancy technology to control lighting. These are just some of the things we need to do as a race, not a nation but as a global community to reduce our power needs and yet still enjoy the comforts of the technology we have created

5.Back to energy production and depletion fears. Honestly people with the advent of the internet and the online publication of many excellent engineering books you think you would spend a little time and a small amount of effort to learn something about energy and the transformation of energy. First off we cannot create energy but only alter its state. You cannot create something for nothing.

Second every solution we come up with will have a cost associated with it. Be it financial or not, the cost is the conversion of energy from one state to another to transform a material or set of materials from one state to another to convert another form of energy from one state to another. By converting the fluid energy of wind or waves to heat energy (electricity is heat) there is a cost associated with it. The financial cost is created by man, but the cost in physics are created by the laws that govern this planet and how things work on it.

And to the rocket scientist that states E=mc2 is the creation of viagra online sales energy... back to class! E=mc2 is not the CREATION of energy but the CONVERSION of energy from one state to another. And that requires... energy to do. So there is a cost again that adheres to the laws of physics that dictate energy conversion. Everything on this planet, in the solar system has energy potential. It's there, the question is how do we tap that potential?

Back to class with you already! >:(
written by skyreader7, June 10, 2008
Our politicians have really let us down in this area. The public needs to get on the ball and vote out of office any politician that does not work to come up with sensible solutions to our energy problems. This is especially true of politicians who won't even admit we have a problem. The next president needs to address this issue vigorously. These status quo knuckleheads in Congress need to be made available to the private sector.
saving energy first before building new
written by hawaiianhealer, June 10, 2008
What I haven't heard from any politician or many people on this site is this: what about requiring energy star rated only equipment to be sold? washers, fridges, air conditioners, etc what about requiring all new homes or home additions to built to the energy star rating? Businesses to be built to the LEED's requirement? I have seen homes built in southern Utah where it can get to 110 being built like houses in new england with no overhangs and online order viagra the air conditioner compressior right out in the sun light and the air conditioner unit being the lowest rating available. Or the use of a radiant barrier which the University of Nevada studied and found that it lowered cooling costs by 25%. I have seen air conditioners what have a solar panel attached to help power the air conditioner that they say has a 21-2 SEER rating.

I hear alot of talk about making more energy, but not much about energy use improvements which can be completed faster and at less cost, and reduce energy use, before building floating wind turbines or solar panel farms.
Do I believe in producing our energy from other sources, very much so, wind, solar, wave, nuclear, water etc, but I have seen people in vermont complain of wind turbines that would not look "nice" on the top of the hills. or Senator's Kennedy and Kerry fighting the cape wind farm because they might have to look at it. Or people fighting micro dams in streams around the country.
Lets start with lowering our energy uses first while we then move toward other energy production.
Have a great day
written by Mike in DC, August 27, 2008
Nuclear? The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission knows that every powerplant will leak tritiated water at some time; and the U.S. Judiciary system has mandated that the US Environmental Protection Agency calculate the risk for 1,000,000 years for the Yucca Mountain high-level storage facility. And we know that any manufactured facility at some point, with economic restrictions, leak. It will. So, as soon as the world is willing to build dozens of storage facilities every generation for millions of years to store the waste, then Nuclear is an option... actually it's not. There's not that much Nuclear fuel.
you gotta be kidding
written by John williams, January 14, 2010
My turbines never stopped a wind storm geez

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