Wind turbines are going big, real big – latest one is the size of a 747 airplane

Right now wind is leading the renewable energy surge and records for the largest turbines are being set. Just how big is the largest one? Siemens is creating a single blade that is 225 feet long, basically as wide as a 747 airplane.

The manufacturing process is incredible, from Wired UK:

Siemens manufactures the mammoth B75 blades in one, smooth, streamlined piece — with no joints — using its IntegralBlade process. The technique — which requires glass fibre-reinforced epoxy resin and balsa wood to be cast in a mould — renders the blades steadfast and less likely to develop faults while being beaten with 181 tonnes of air energy every second, when wind speeds are ten metres per second (30 mph). The huge strain it is put under means no blade can leave the factory without being carefully inspected for even minor cracks.

 

The size of these things is almost unimaginable, like trying to picture three 747’s spinning around a massive pole. They will also have to shoot up into the sky several hundred meters.

According to Siemens, when fully constructed this mammoth would generate 6-megwatt’s, while another group is looking into 20-megawatt versions!

 

Continue reading Wind turbines are going big, real big – latest one is the size of a 747 airplane

Electric-car brakes last 3x longer than conventional – threatening auto mechanics

Not only do electric cars threaten all those gas stations on every corner, but also the auto-mechanics and car parts stores:

Mechanic worries that electric-car brakes will ruin his business

Joe Ferrer says that brakes are easily 35 to 40 percent of his total business. Replacing rotors, calipers, and pads keeps his shop humming.

But on hybrids, brake jobs aren’t needed every 15,000 miles as they are on conventional cars–more like 45,000 miles, he says.

 

Those regenerative braking systems reduce the impact when braking and extend the life of the brake pads.

Of course, this isn’t the only thing that will change, Jiffy Lube will also be hurt. Electric vehicles (EV’s) get rid of nearly all the liquid lube in cars, so that means no more oil changes.

What is going to happen to all that land currently used for gas stations, Jiffy Lubes, and mechanics shops?

 

Continue reading Electric-car brakes last 3x longer than conventional – threatening auto mechanics

Energy 101: Wind turbines, how those slow moving blades create electricity

“The same wind that used to pump water for cattle is now turning giant wind turbines to power cities and homes.”

“The blades only turn about 18 RPM, not nearly fast enough to create electricity, so the rotor shaft spins a series of gears that increase the rotation up to 1800 RPM. At that speed the generator can produce a lot of electricity.”