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Old 12-17-2008, 04:50 PM
 
Location: across the street
33 posts, read 67,650 times
Reputation: 23

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Not long ago, I read an article, which I believe was in the NY Times, about people coming into the mid western states (MT, WY), paying land owners to lease their right of way property, putting up windmill electrical generating operations, and evenutally charging the land owners for the reduced electicity.
The article went on to say that land owner were getting together and doing this between themselves, with no middle man. That is a smart thing.
The question now is this: even though you get a good bit of sunshine, the dark winter days would not be good for the solar. On the other hand, it looks to me like you get enough wind (even in blizzard conditions) to generate a lot of electricity.
Do many people use the wind and/or solar up there? I know there are wind maps people can use to see average wind. It might help charge some batteries in homes and might not hear as many stories of power outages.
It was the story about the guy whose power came on at 4am, and him drinking a beer, that reminded me of the solar/wind story.
I hope the landowners get the news and form conglomerates, and keep their money.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:16 PM
 
Location: In an alternate universe according to some, AKA Aspergers
10,767 posts, read 11,963,614 times
Reputation: 5427
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewLtDad View Post
Not long ago, I read an article, which I believe was in the NY Times, about people coming into the mid western states (MT, WY), paying land owners to lease their right of way property, putting up windmill electrical generating operations, and evenutally charging the land owners for the reduced electicity.
The article went on to say that land owner were getting together and doing this between themselves, with no middle man. That is a smart thing.
The question now is this: even though you get a good bit of sunshine, the dark winter days would not be good for the solar. On the other hand, it looks to me like you get enough wind (even in blizzard conditions) to generate a lot of electricity.
Do many people use the wind and/or solar up there? I know there are wind maps people can use to see average wind. It might help charge some batteries in homes and might not hear as many stories of power outages.
It was the story about the guy whose power came on at 4am, and him drinking a beer, that reminded me of the solar/wind story.
I hope the landowners get the news and form conglomerates, and keep their money.
Solar isn't big here due to lack of sunshine, wind generation generally doesn't work well here except east of the divide where there's actually reliable wind but again not much has been done here with it.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:02 PM
 
Location: SW Montana
352 posts, read 713,484 times
Reputation: 226
Not to be picky, jimj, but solar works very well in areas that receive a good cloudless to semi-cloudless sun input most days. It's just that the media has concentrated on *active* solar energy which works much less efficiently in winter and/or more cloudy areas. A house designed to work with passive solar energy does very well most areas, even those with very marginal degree-day insolation. There are many and varied passive designs keyed towards a number of different areas. To have active design work towards being a primary source requires much better methods of storage.

I have several acquaintences and friends with all manner of solar homes here, and there are two just a half mile north of me. Both families spend next to nothing on heat, both homes are dug into the sidehill and of a earth-bermed passive solar design. The sun heats the concrete mass through big southerly windows all day and slowly releases at night. They have a small woodstove as backup, but rarely if ever use it, even on these stretches we go -20F for several days running.

Active solar and wind generation are very much picky about the amount and intensity of sunshine/wind during the day (though most windchargers are designed to run fairly efficiently on as little as a 7 mph wind). As it stands now, both are good supplements for a home but technology has a ways to go before they can be called a primary source most areas. Passive solar, on the other hand, has a number of very positive attributes including utterly complete reliability and no emissions. I have friends north of Livingston who built a very smartly designed home into a hillside. Even on bitterly cold stretches with marginal sunshine it stays 70F in there with only a very occasional and brief firing of a small woodstove. And they have a greenhouse, two stories to the tune of about 2500 sq. ft, and large workshop in back.

To the OP, we have several areas in the state that have near ideal conditions for wind generation. The company I work for just got through with a project outside of Shelby this summer, and we have another in the works for the southwest part of the state next June. The trick is finding a good transmission pipeline in the erection area and bucking the 'viewshed' problem. I guess my thoughts are, "What would you rather see - windchargers, dams on the rivers, cooling towers, or coal plant smokestacks?"

I guess I'm a little militant about this subject; maybe I should go into the business...
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:56 AM
 
305 posts, read 580,897 times
Reputation: 206
Looks like they have about 140 turbines built or being constructed outside of Shelby with another 200 to be built if the company decides to. Here are some links of pictures of the wind turbines going up and a news article about the project:

http://commerce.mt.gov/energy/Includes/NewsArticles/2008Articles/071808_Giant_Shelby-Area_Wind_Farm_Gears_Up.pdf (broken link)

Untitled

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Old 12-18-2008, 07:07 AM
 
Location: In an alternate universe according to some, AKA Aspergers
10,767 posts, read 11,963,614 times
Reputation: 5427
Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerider View Post
Not to be picky, jimj, but solar works very well in areas that receive a good cloudless to semi-cloudless sun input most days. It's just that the media has concentrated on *active* solar energy which works much less efficiently in winter and/or more cloudy areas. A house designed to work with passive solar energy does very well most areas, even those with very marginal degree-day insolation. There are many and varied passive designs keyed towards a number of different areas. To have active design work towards being a primary source requires much better methods of storage.

I have several acquaintences and friends with all manner of solar homes here, and there are two just a half mile north of me. Both families spend next to nothing on heat, both homes are dug into the sidehill and of a earth-bermed passive solar design. The sun heats the concrete mass through big southerly windows all day and slowly releases at night. They have a small woodstove as backup, but rarely if ever use it, even on these stretches we go -20F for several days running.

Active solar and wind generation are very much picky about the amount and intensity of sunshine/wind during the day (though most windchargers are designed to run fairly efficiently on as little as a 7 mph wind). As it stands now, both are good supplements for a home but technology has a ways to go before they can be called a primary source most areas. Passive solar, on the other hand, has a number of very positive attributes including utterly complete reliability and no emissions. I have friends north of Livingston who built a very smartly designed home into a hillside. Even on bitterly cold stretches with marginal sunshine it stays 70F in there with only a very occasional and brief firing of a small woodstove. And they have a greenhouse, two stories to the tune of about 2500 sq. ft, and large workshop in back.

To the OP, we have several areas in the state that have near ideal conditions for wind generation. The company I work for just got through with a project outside of Shelby this summer, and we have another in the works for the southwest part of the state next June. The trick is finding a good transmission pipeline in the erection area and bucking the 'viewshed' problem. I guess my thoughts are, "What would you rather see - windchargers, dams on the rivers, cooling towers, or coal plant smokestacks?"

I guess I'm a little militant about this subject; maybe I should go into the business...
No argument Rangerider I guess I should have qualified what I said to the west side of the divide where we're lucky to see the sun every few weeks.
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:24 AM
 
Location: SW Montana
352 posts, read 713,484 times
Reputation: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimj View Post
No argument Rangerider I guess I should have qualified what I said to the west side of the divide where we're lucky to see the sun every few weeks.
Even at that you'd be surprised how much heat can come in through a properly set up glazing system on a well insulated/earth bermed house. I'll see if I can't dig up some examples in the coming days.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:14 AM
 
Location: state of enlightenment
2,275 posts, read 3,195,367 times
Reputation: 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerider View Post
Even at that you'd be surprised how much heat can come in through a properly set up glazing system on a well insulated/earth bermed house. I'll see if I can't dig up some examples in the coming days.
There's a lot of info on making cheap solar heat. KP

If you have some more info on the earth home I'd really be interested. Is there a website?
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:24 AM
 
Location: SW Montana
352 posts, read 713,484 times
Reputation: 226
Yeah, there's actually quite a few sources and book. I'm in the middle of working and getting ready to leave for a few days but once I light back at the in-laws I'll be looking and try and get things posted up here.

If it wasn't and wasn't going to be way below zero here for the foreseeable future I'd be done by now. Winter's a b**** when you have to be gone from critters and the homestead for a few days.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:00 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,259 posts, read 8,708,513 times
Reputation: 3336
Hey maybe start a new thread cause I almost did not look at this one and it is really interesting
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:02 PM
 
Location: across the street
33 posts, read 67,650 times
Reputation: 23
I know someone who has professional knowledge about this subject. When I read about companies taking advantage of the citizens, it made me start the thread. I know of one person who has a bunch of info about do it yourself systems, but you might have to contact me on a private email. I do not want to violate any provisions of City Data.
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