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re: selling us down the pipeline
25 apr 2001
m. simon  wrote:

>wind is $.03 to $.06 per kwh - the cost of new installations is
>declining 6% a year. which means that by 2010 the cost will be $.015
>to $.03 per kwh. i would expect the rate of decline decrease but
>continue for another 10 years...

sounds reasonable. 

>current generators consist of giant variable pitch propellers
>connected to large electrical motors atop tall steel tubes. with a few
>microprocessors for control and a gearbox to get the right speed to
>the motor/generator...

why do we need variable pitch props and "the right speed," with modern
electronics? why not suck all the power we can out of the wind with
a simpler machine and a 60.00000 hz inverter with a radio reference
like those $79.95 wwvb wristwatches?

>this is pretty much mature technology except for
>getting it all to work together as a system.

time to close the patent office? :-)

>basically the bigger the unit the lower the cost per kwh.

the gearbox (with higher stepup for larger blades) and tall steel tubes
seem expensive. why not go the other way? i'm intrigued by the "tethered
helicopters" from prof roberts at u.w. sydney, but they could be simpler
and fly lower. say we attach a 13 pound air 403 to a box or tetra kite
and suspend it from a short "launch tower" with a winch that allows it
to take off by itself and reels it in on calm days, and furl it with
a larger electrical load vs noisy blade tips for greater efficiency...


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