Jun 23, 2014
@WayneLilly997, thank you for the proposal. It would be good to see more details regarding your proposal, how it would complement existing efforts by governments and private sector companies in this regard, and what you would plan to do differently? Given the scale and resources required to implement such a proposal, who would you need to partner with to make it happen. There is certainly a lot of development in this area (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_offshore_wind_farms), but not much in the US thus far. Perhaps examining the literature on the barriers to this deployment and how to overcome them; and then integrating that into your proposal would be useful?
Jun 24, 2014
Maintenance: You said minimum maintenance. I heard in a class for engineers that the gear box to get from rotor speed to generator speed was the weak spot; that is, too many gear box failures. Teacher said they were working on a low speed generator to generate power at rotor speeds, but this was a couple of years ago. What is the status of that?
Jun 24, 2014
@timwelder, One solution is gearless wind turbines. For instance, here's one example from a few years ago: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/415425/ge-grabs-gearless-wind-turbines/
Jun 25, 2014
This sounds like a great idea for the most part, but one thing in particular concerns me. Even though the wind farm itself may be contained in itself, how would we go about creating a power connection back to the mainland without a devastating impact on the surrounding ocean's ecosystem, especially if this wind farm is far enough away to be out of sight?
Jun 25, 2014
Thanks for all of your comments!!! jstraus, creating a power connection back to mainland would be structured by connecting the windmills to a transmission line, the transmission line would run along the ocean floor, as it approaches land it would tunnel into a substation on land and sent to the existing distribution grid. The impact on the ecosystem would be minimal, the lines running from the farms to land can be designed eco-friendly. The farms need to be anchored, I imagine an impact similar to piers used for bridges. Unlike oil lines, the transmission lines will not pollute if breached. timwelder, my experience in the power industry tells me that if a power company has a problem with a type of gear, they will find something that works. They have near-unlimited resources to find solutions. With thousands of windmills, there would be cost-effective procedures to maintain the farms. jharti, thank you for your feedback! I think the connection between the gov't and the large power producers needs to be explored, that's the key to get it started. Because with wind power, there is ZERO FUEL COST! It has a huge advantage over oil and gas, the only possible disadvantage is the start-up costs, which is why the gov't needs to be a partner. But the moment the blades start spinning the windmill is all clean, atmosphere-saving profit.
Jul 4, 2014
Hello - good effort and write-ups. Gearless turbine URL interesting. Noticed that you have another effort on cooling the ocean. Please tell us more about this herculean task. Thank you. Mark
Aug 13, 2014
We would love to see this resubmitted into next year's contest with more details and ideas on where to put the proposed wind farms (specific locations, wind maps, turbine costs, etc.). Since offshore wind farms are already in use in a wide number of countries (as partnerships between utilities and governments), there should be a lot of readily available information to supplement and improve your proposal. A starting point can be a hypothetical case study based on the average energy output of a turbine, proximity of current windfarms to energy demand, and current project specific measures including tax credits, financing structures, accelerated depreciation, etc. Once you create a base model, then it can be used to scale a national proposal.
Apr 11, 2017