More great uses for wind-generated power

Demand for electric power, thanks to the recession, has been almost flat for the last seven years and government forecasts for the next few years are not encouraging. Some of that lack of growth is attributed to improved efficiency. Not long ago, for instance, we replaced incandescent light bulbs around our house with CFLs and


Clever Brit proposes liquid air engine, and as another way to store surplus power

A clever Englishman and inventor, Peter Dearman, suggests running cars and trucks on a fuel limitless in supply: liquid air. Think about it. A liquid-air engine would have zero pollution and lack the complexities of a lithium battery or fuel cell. You might be surprised to learn that the idea is not new. Earliest reports

Estimating the effects of the PTC based on turbines not built, jobs not created and taxes not paid

Wally Lafferty and Paul Dvorak Editor’s note: Mr. Lafferty and I published an earlier version of this editorial in the April issue of Windpower Engineering & Development. We now have the benefit of a more thorough financial review which is reflected in the dollar values here. Critics of the Production Tax Credit cite a report

Paul Dvorak

Good news, Virginia residents: You don’t pay a penny more for benefits of wind power

Those rascally wind critics are at it again. This from Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, is not at all happy about wind’s success. He (mistakenly) says it comes through a series of tax subsidies that are giving wind a huge advantage at the expense of taxpayers. Here’s how he makes his case


Prysmian ship Cable Enterprise ready to raise anchor following upgrade works

Prysmian Group, a company in the energy and telecom cable systems industry, announced the official sail out of the newly upgraded vessel “Cable Enterprise” from a moored cable laying barge into a DP2 cable laying barge able to manoeuvre on her own propulsion system at a work site. Following major conversion works, the vessel can

Inspection revealed the HiPerCon metal fiber brushes exhibited immeasurable wear after a year of operation.

Metal fiber brushes could let slip rings last 20 years in wind turbines

DHi (Defense Holdings Inc.) of Manassas Park, Virg. and H&N Electric from Pasco, Washington, recently conducted an up-tower inspection of DHi’s revolutionary blade pitch control slip ring featuring HiPerCon Brand metal fiber brushes (electric brushes) after one year of slip ring operation at PacifiCorp, Inc.’s Leaning Juniper Site in Arlington, OR. The DHi slip ring had operated trouble- and

navigant for cloud paper

The energy cloud: Emerging opportunities on the decentralized grid

Editor’s note: This paper, authored by Navigant Senior Research Director Mackinnon Lawrence and Research Director Eric Woods, offers a perspective on the emerging energy cloud, describing its basic elements and examining its likely impact on the power utility sector. We present just the Executive Summary. The power sector is undergoing a fundamental transformation, shifting from

French T-1

Support for renewables is wider than you think

Editor’s note: The following article, by energy lawyer Patricia M. French, shows that the wind industry has support from across the political spectrum. Yet too often, conservatives are mislabeled as anti-renewable energy when just the opposite is true. This should be greeted as good news because wide support will be a valuable commodity for growing

A missing wedge has caused a coil failure.

Why wind generators die young and how to make them work longer

Wind turbine generators tend to have a relatively high rate of failure. Unfortunately, a rugged systems of analysis to determine a root cause of failure is stopped at system level, which is typically too early to identify possibilities to reduce or eliminate the problem. It does not have to be that way.   Howard W

The spider graphs plots the results of a typical capabilities assessment. The dark blue inner circle represents the low range (or a 0 to 3 scoring), the medium blue intermediate circle is from 4 to 7, indicating the mid-range. The light blue is the high range from 8 to 10. The red line plots the results for a typical company in each of the 10 categories. For example, all participants ranked themselves in the high range for Function Area 1, O&M Service (general), while some ranked themselves lower in Area 10, Financial Resources.

How can a company assess a wind industry service provider? DNV GL has ideas.

The U.S. has about 65 GW in its installed base of operating wind farms with a significant number of projects coming off warranty in 2014 and this year. It’s no surprise that quality O&M service has an impact on the bottom line of a project. And yet, there is no standardized systematic way to assess