Wind Energy's Manufacturing Crunch

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by kmguru, Sep 24, 2008.

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  1. kmguru Staff Member

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    Wind Energy's Manufacturing Crunch

    Wind turbine lead times are already measured in years not months
    Joseph Ogando, Senior Editor -- Design News, September 17, 2008
    In what has to be one of the biggest ironies surrounding alternative energy, many of the objections to wind energy focus on its effect on nature. Yet while the critics fret about the birds, the views and the noise, there's a much bigger barrier to wind on the horizon, one that many of its biggest proponents haven't yet taken into account. Wind energy, it seems, is starting to become a victim of its own success.

    "The worldwide demand for wind energy equipment is outstripping supply," says John Dunlop, senior technical services engineer for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The manufacturing base that produces the huge structural components, blades, generators and gearboxes that make up today's high-tech windmills simply can't keep up with the number of planned and ongoing installations. Dunlop points out wind turbines purchased today won't likely be delivered until 2011 or 2012. "That's the lead time right now," he says.

    Those lead times are confirmed by key components suppliers too. "It's more like 2012 in most cases," says Parthiv Amin, president of Winergy Drive Systems, a subsidiary of Siemens Energy & Automation and maker of the gearboxes and power transmission components used in wind machines.

    A sizeable chunk of this demand is coming from the U.S. AWEA figures put the annual growth rate of wind energy capacity in the U.S. at 29 percent for the five years ending in 2007. The association's projections show the U.S. installed capacity will increase from 17,000 MW at the end of 2007 to 25,000 MW by the end of this year. Germany, the current world leader in installed capacity, had 22,000 MW on line at the end of 2007. "As early as next year, we'll have once again taken the lead, which we had until 1997," Dunlop says.

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  3. OilIsMastery Banned Banned

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  5. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    What hasn't helped in regards to some windfarm's is the wear and tear on the components. I live on the coats where we have a windfarm located just offshore, currently they've had so many teething troubles that they have yet to balance the books in regards to the amount of Energy created outweighing the costs of it's implementation.

    Most issues could of been resolved if there has been better QA in the manufacturing of the components and this has obviously meant that manufacturers have had to replace components they previously made due to the flaws in their QA systems. (This basically is the main reason for manufacturer queues, not getting it right the first time round.)
     
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  7. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

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    Hello!
    Change of tack from OIM!?
    Bring it on, show your true colours. It'd be about fucking time!
     
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    How many manufacturers of wind turbines use wind energy to power the factory? ... and the metal ore refineries? ...and the construction equipment? None. That is why peak oil also means the end of wind energy on a vast scale. It means the end of most industrial activity on a vast scale, the sooner we realize that the better.
     
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