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October 24th, 2013 11:43 AM
Unregistered
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I was interested in the power output of the palm springs wind farm so I visited your site to find this information. There is a pretty huge typo in the paragraph about the wind farm. The website says:

"A wind turbine's cost can range upwards to $300,000 and can produce 300 kilowatts an hour - the amount of electricity used by a typical household in a month."

This statement is pretty stupid. A watt (or kilowatt) is a measure of rate, energy per time. Saying "300 kilowatts an hours" is meaningless in this context. Miles per hour is also a rate. Does "300 miles per hour an hour" sound correct? No? Well it's just as correct as saying "300 kilowatts an hour". Probably what you meant to say is just "300 kilowatts".

A watt is a joule per second. A joule is a little packet of energy. When you say "300 kilowatts" what you are really saying is "300 thousand joules per second". When you say "300 kilowatts per hour" you are saying "300 thousand joules per second per hour". The only context that this could make sense in is if you were talking about energy production acceleration, which you are clearly not in said paragraph.

If you were talking about a Corvette you might say that is was capable of speeds around "180 miles per hour", not "180 miles per hour an hour" which is just stupid.

This is an understandable mistake for the non-technical. But leaving it up on your website is making everyone who reads it a little more clueless.

Thanks for your attention to this matter.
Sounds very exciting.. I have never heard about this..I will ask my engineer friend about this and share some pratical information
April 5th, 2011 02:42 AM
Unregistered
Power and energy

I was curious to know what kind of yields the Palm Springs Wind Farms put out, and the first thing that comes up on Google is this old forum thread. Since it leaves off without a resolution, perhaps I can help clear up a couple of issues.

By the way, the web page with the output stating "A wind turbine's cost can range upwards to $300,000 and can produce 300 kilowatts - the amount of electricity used by a typical household in a month" is not exactly easy to find (http://www.palmsprings.com/services/wind.html).

Point 1) Power output. That's the number you give as 300kW, and the units are correct. Only problem is, who knows what wind speed range is needed to put out that 300kW and how often the winds actually blow in that range. After all, my car can go 155mph, but it rarely does. There are some other figures that would be interesting for a thoughtful evaluation of the site's output. As a starter, though, we need a number in kW-hrs; a monthly average would be a good start.

Point 2) Energy use. If you're going to make a comparison how about comparing two like values? A household on the average consumes (converts) a certain amount of kilowatt-hours of electrical energy in a month. OK, I'll forget about where that house is, in what climate it is sitting, whether or not it is using AC, gas heating, etc. and take your number, whatever it may be, at face value. Very informative for your readers might be the average consumption of a household in Palm Springs! We need a number in kW-hrs.

The comparison of the two figures (monthly average household consumption and monthly average farm energy yield) would be interesting as a thumbnail figure. However, it will still mislead the public as to the farm's usefulness in supplying usable electrical energy. That's because it will not address the key issues of electrical generating capacity: people need electricity in their homes at all hours of all days--on demand. The monthly average outputs and consumptions mask the fact that there is little matching of the demand and output on a minute-by-minute basis.

The only reason you don't worry about this mismatch in Palm Springs is that you are on a grid that includes a huge coal, nuclear and gas-fired baseload. Take away all of the conventional energy conversion sources and your wind farm becomes basically worthless; your houses all get hot really fast (or cold--what's your nighttime low temperature look like out there?) and you spend much of your night in the dark.

My curiosity remains: What is the real yield of your wind farm in average monthly kW-hrs (for each month, since it will likely be seasonal)? What is the number of turbines in that yield count? What is the average hourly farm output, seasonally? What is the average capital cost for each turbine? What is the average monthly downtime per turbine? How about the average monthly maintenance cost per turbine?

Even better: how much is the farm paid per kW-hr (what's you feed-in tariff)? And who pays for the difference between the cost per kW-hr generated and the price paid per kW-hr? Where did the initial investment funds come from?

Just curious.

Ciao,
John in Parma
October 23rd, 2009 06:36 PM
michael Robin.....They're calling your name......

I will email Robin and see if he will respond further.

Wonder if anyone else will chime in on this topic.

We here at PalmSprings.com, in our quest to provide relevent and accurate information, try to allow for all points of view...lol
October 23rd, 2009 06:32 PM
D. Simon Robin's comment is valid to a point. The discrepancy is that "the amount of electricity used by a typical household in a month" isn't measured in kilowatts or kilowatts an hour -- the correct unit is kilowatt-hours. The kilowatt-hour is a unit of energy (not an energy use rate), which would specify an amount of electricity used. A typical residential bill from the power company indicates kilowatt-hours (energy) used over the billing period.

In any case, the windmill generator farm is quite impressive. I hope this helps.
October 23rd, 2009 06:31 PM
michael This appears to be an ongoing topic. What is your take of Robin's understanding in the ealrier post?
October 23rd, 2009 06:29 PM
D. Simon The Palm Springs, CA windmill-generator farm looks awesome from I-10. I encountered it on my way to Sunnyvale, CA this past weekend. I do have a question about the information on your website. See details below.

Website information:
"A wind turbine's cost can range upwards to $300,000 and can produce 300 kilowatts - the amount of electricity used by a typical household in a month."

I understand kilowatt as a measure of energy rate (or unit of power) -- not an amount of energy, as it would be implied on you website. Do you mean 300 kilowatt-hours?

Thanks
October 23rd, 2009 06:28 PM
michael Sounds logical Robin, its been updated. Have a great weekend.
October 23rd, 2009 06:26 PM
Robin
The Power Output of the Palm Springs Wind Farm

I was interested in the power output of the palm springs wind farm so I visited your site to find this information. There is a pretty huge typo in the paragraph about the wind farm. The website says:

"A wind turbine's cost can range upwards to $300,000 and can produce 300 kilowatts an hour - the amount of electricity used by a typical household in a month."

This statement is pretty stupid. A watt (or kilowatt) is a measure of rate, energy per time. Saying "300 kilowatts an hours" is meaningless in this context. Miles per hour is also a rate. Does "300 miles per hour an hour" sound correct? No? Well it's just as correct as saying "300 kilowatts an hour". Probably what you meant to say is just "300 kilowatts".

A watt is a joule per second. A joule is a little packet of energy. When you say "300 kilowatts" what you are really saying is "300 thousand joules per second". When you say "300 kilowatts per hour" you are saying "300 thousand joules per second per hour". The only context that this could make sense in is if you were talking about energy production acceleration, which you are clearly not in said paragraph.

If you were talking about a Corvette you might say that is was capable of speeds around "180 miles per hour", not "180 miles per hour an hour" which is just stupid.

This is an understandable mistake for the non-technical. But leaving it up on your website is making everyone who reads it a little more clueless.

Thanks for your attention to this matter.

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