Wizard's Corner #67, 20 Dec 2012
We picked up an error in one of our count-of-days figures. Since commissioning, our two machines have a total day-count as follows:
HW 1 11 years less 7 days (three of them leap-years) 4,011 days
HW 2 6 years plus 230 days (two of them leap-years) 2,422 days
These figures have been corrected on the Homepage, and on the blogsite www.hullwind.com. The corrected values result in an improvement in the CF's of both machines, a fraction of a percentage point for HW1. For HW2 no correction was needed.
Do have a look at www.hullwind.com site, which includes some blogs from a wind-opponent. He appears to agree with the opinion that ISO and the grid do NOT need any new generation in the coming 10 years. And some of his colleagues play on words by putting WIND into the middle of the word sWINDle (i.e. why windpower does not work). This North Shore man also has said that he has changed from being a wind-advocate in Massachusetts. He comes forward now as a wind-opponent here, after (he says) studying the facts and figures of windpower, for example in Maine. If you agree with him, you might want to post something there, your arguments included.
Just today I noticed in the Town of Hull's annual report for 2010 (its p. 148) their muni light department reported $207,512. This does not take into account the approximately $415,000 of wholesale electricity at 7 cents -- electric energy and capacity that Hull's light company avoided buying because it was produced locally. Maybe a KWh grown locally doesn't taste that much better than one you import [contrast a homegrown tomato], but it sure has that special tang of local-pride.
You may get a flavor or local controversy from this Op-Ed piece by the Chairman of Hull's Light Board. He notes that the Town Manager, by charging his Light Dept a startlingly high "rent" for its small plot at the town lanfill (i.e. $200,000/yr for each of 3 successive years) -- has harvested something like 7 times the going-rate for rentals of this type. A negotiated settlement was reached after "months" of "frank expressions of views", Town Manager vs. Light Board. You, O Reacer, may well be able to write further chapters of this story all by yourself. Will this or the next Manager make another "raid" on his favorite "enterprise" department in the coming few years ? Of course your narrative will conscientiously abstain from thinking of any of Hull's citizens as unfair or greedy, or protective of our windpower profits, enterprisingly and fairly won, -- right ?
Here's a snippet from the Board's "Op-Ed" of 17 Feb 2012 :
Wizard's Corner #66, 8 Nov 2012
The election is over, and the man pushing for the ProductionTaxCredits to expire (for windpower)has been decisively defeated. American Wind Energy Association has put out a post-election press release expressing cautious optimism that the upcoming 'Lame Duck' congress will likely support an extension of these credits. One of their arguments -- and it is backed by some careful fact-checkers -- is that Bloomberg Energy News documents this following point about comparitive publlic-support mechanisms (i.e. public incentives). The point: fossil fuel interests out-score renewables by a ratio of 12:1 in this matter of public support and incentives to provide energy.
Hurricane 'Sandy' arrived in Hull, Scituate, Falmouth and Fairhaven at approximately the same hour of the same day. That was noon of 29 October, 2012. We are in process of creating graphs of the output of the various megawatt-scale windturbines in those towns. Meantime have a look at the graph for Scituate -- which sent the output from peak high in the forenoon directly to Zero as the excessive windspeeds shut the turbine down. Just as promptly at 8 PM, when the speeds of wind at hubheight moderated to less than 50 mph, the machine jumped from Zero right back up to peak power.
Have a look:
We are informed that the 10-turbine array near Hancock Mass. operated by MMWEC was ready to resume production as early as 6 PM that same storm day (the 29th), but that substation outages prevented the grid from accepting their output power. So they had to remain shut down some 24 hrs., while voltage was restored to the substations.
Hull and Scituate were more fortunate, in maintaining their local voltage and grid power. More fortunate both in the direction of the end-users (like ourselves at WizCrnr here in Hull and like the families of our colleages J.S. and J. H. of Scituate), -- and in the direction of our megawatt-rated wind turbines, which lost only a few hours of production. Similarly for Falmouth's Notus 1 and its Wastewater machine.
If we can get reports from Princeton Muni Light Dept, or from Ipswich -- or from other wind projects in the Commonwealth, and if we get permission to put these up on the web -- we surely will do this.
Wizard's Corner #65, 19 May 2012
1. Flash! This week's edition of Hull's weekly newspaper ('The Hull Times', Thurs, May 17, 2012) reported some remarks by a candidate for Hull Light Board. The election will happen 48 hours from now. Election Day is Monday, May 21st.
This candidate is reported (p. 5) as saying this about Hull Wind II: "[it] is down most of the time". If our local electorate prefers truth to error, -- and if they vote against candidates who fail to do fact-checking before making such false assertions -- that remark will likely lose him votes. The same candidate is also reported to be promising the public more "transparency" about the windmills, adding that he thinks that the public deserves regular reports, on a "monthly" basis. Such a candidate ! In recent years those familiar with the homepage of hullwind.org have become accustomed to reports much more frequent than that. And we're more free from factual errors too. But who knows, this candidate may get elected. If he does, this victory will get publicised in the Hull Times. Not here, however.
Well, that's democracy for you. As a prominent Soviet statesman once said about democracy: the trouble with it is that you don't know who is going to win a given election until Election Day is passed.
Ask us someday what is meant here a WizCrnr by our home-made akronym SIPx . Hint: the second letter stands for Ignorance.
2. On a sweeter, more positive note now, the recently developing story of windpower in Scituate, Mass. [it's 20 May now] Scituate did a full-scale dedication ceremony of their new windmill, at the town's landfill site. This dedication was deliberately scheduled to coincide with this year's Earth Day -- on Sunday Apr. 22nd. Their superb planning earned high praises at the dedication. Praises from Rick Sullivan, Governor Patrick's "Energy Czar" and from the chief of the State's DOER, from Senator Robert Hedlund and from others.
This Scituate turbine is exactly like the one commissioned October 14, 2011 in Charlestown for the MWRA. These in turn are identical in both make and model to what are now planned for commissioning in Fairhaven Mass. later this year. Including the MWRA unit in Charlestown, there are to be a total of four (4) Sinovel 1.5MW units in operation by the end of 2012 in Massachusetts. We were able to take a reading at Town of Scituate's (admirably 'transparent') output meter. It is there in plain view at their landfill. Our crew took readings both days -- i.e. 22 April (noon) and today 20 May (also noon). A 28 day total, therefore. Here are ourtwo readings:
Apr 22 198,872 KWh
May 20 436,771 KWh diff.=237,899 KWh
This production can reasonably be put into the formula 237,899/28/24/1500 to yield their CF. It calculates to 23.6%, somewhat better than we did here at HW2 in that same period. Later this summer the work on reinforcing the MWRA machine's foundation is to be completed, and we can run parallel calculations for them. During that same 28 days Notus1 in Falmouth maintained its admirably high CF. In this past 28 days Notus1 showed a CF slightly over 31%. Ask Dan Webb of NotusCleanEnergy if we've miscalculated his numbers. We're pretty sure his past four weeks scored 30% or better. Bravo Falmouth ! Bravo Dan Webb !
As in all such work, where you are measuring and calculating, you are better off double-checking, cross-checking and reviewing your comparisons. Here at WizCrnr we have come across cases of meter-A not agreeing precisely with meter-B, but both claiming to measure the same thing. That has meant some serious re-calibrations and re-calculations were required. One such case involved a hydro plant in the Catskill Mountain region in New York many years back. We had direct access to the critical information there. In that case the utility company had to re-calculate. Somehow the utility-calibrated meter had resulted in their (the utility's) under-paying its bill to an independent producer of renewable energy.
Wizard's Corner #64, 16 May 2012
1. Just last week we got fuller info on what's behind our major flow of 'visitors' from Poland. Have a look at this newly published reporting"
SALZBERGEN, GERMANY—May 8, 2012—GE (NYSE: GE) will supply 38 wind turbines for four wind projects in construction in Northern Poland. When operational, these projects, referred to collectively as Darlowo Wind Energy Center—Phase Two (Darlowo—Phase Two), will mark the first use of GE’s 2.5-megawatt class wind turbines that feature 103-meter rotors for high productivity in Poland.
Invenergy Wind LLC (Invenergy) and Polish development company Enerco sp. z o.o. (Enerco) are collaborating to develop nine wind energy generation projects in the region in and around Darlowo, near the Baltic Sea. GE provided 32 wind turbines for Darlowo—Phase One, which was fully commissioned in March 2011 and today produces 80 megawatts of power. Darlowo—Phase One is comprised of the Weikowice, Jezyce and Dobieslaw projects.
Darlowo—Phase Two, comprised of the Boryszewo, Krupy, Stary Jaroslaw and Nowy Jaroslaw facilities, will bring the total installed capacity of wind energy in the Darlowo area to 175 megawatts.
Darlowo—Phase Three will consist of two additional projects—Gorzyca and Pekanino—which currently are under contract. These sites will boost the aggregate output of the nine Darlowo projects to 250 megawatts.
Name of Invenergy's President ? Michael Polsky. We're betting that, if he looks at Wizards Corner #53, of 10 Dec 2010, Mr. Polsky will see why we have a special warmth for our friends in Poland -- before, during and after their new collaboration with our U.S.A. company General Electric. He is even likely to be able to read the Polish in that letter of 1945. Perhaps he will even know of one or more of the highly honored military men who signed that letter in 1945 ? Do let us know, Mr. Polsky, if you read these messages. . .
2. Happy 6th birthday to Hull Wind 2, which turned 6 years old on 4 May 2012 -- having harvested 22,602,890 KWh's in those 6 years.
3. Please notice that Poland remains one of our top-10 sources of visitors, by nation. Interesting that Vietnam and Cambodia are now rising in the ranks, in this same list:
Wizard's Corner #63, 02 Mar 2012
There is an Energy Club, it seems, at Tufts. Bravo Tufts. Let's see how much of a bump-in-voltage this can give us here at WizCrnr -- perhaps allowing us to do some mirroring/echoing of this and that specimen of powerdash.com realtime output info. Which this ? Which that ? Well for starters, how about Notus 1 ? How about Bread & Roses solar ? Perhaps MWRA's Sinovel 1.5 too ? We'll see. Our Commonwealth should be so wealthy, and so willing to make the info-wealth common property. So say Wiz1 and Wiz2.
It is affirmatively a sadness to us here at WizCrnr, but yet in all it deserves to be reported: HW2 has been idled for over 14 days now -- a period during which HW2 has scored Zero, whilst HW1 had put out more than 70,000 KWh's. (In August, this discrepancy would not likely be so great, of course.) The trouble is with HW2's generator. The precise nature of the trouble is still under the careful monitoring of the Vestas warranty-&-maintenance people. They have so far narrowed the problem down to (a) something local to the output terminals or (b) something alas, deeper within the generator itself. Either way, more work will be needed in the coming week to complete the diagnosis and move ahead on remedies.
Those of you who are like us her in Hull in being able to see HW2's blades, and observe their idleness, may find it a relief to have an expected time-of-renewed-operation. Our prognosis, based on a report from late in the morning on 2 March -- is as follows. HW2 is expected to return to service sometime shortly before St. Patrick's day, March 17th.
Not a bad day for celebrating, St. Pat's Day (a.k.a Evacuation Day). One Hull family is even growing some shamrocks, purchased at a local market in Hull. After all it's only a short distance across the Atlantic, from Hull's shores -- either to Kilrush or Doonbeg in County Clare, -- or to Arklow on Ireland's far coast Arklow is where the world is learning ever more new things about windpower. Learning the sweeter on account of the many shamrocks looking on, feeling the beneficent breezes alongside.
Wizard's Corner #62, 18 Feb 2012
Please exercise your wizardry (the exegetic side of this) on the following pair of texts, Dear E-Reader:
(1) e-published in late 2011 and echoed in Wizcrnr #61: "[businesses and cities have dutifully reported to] Carbon Disclosure Project in 2011, perhaps swayed by CDP's 551 investor members, who use the information in deciding where to place more than $71 trillion in investment capital.
(2) e-published 17 Feb 2012 : [Jeff Zelkowitz] " Chief financial officers and investor relations officers. . .[need to learn about] tracking and communicating [their company's] sustainability, so that it can be effectively digested by financial constituencies and reflected in the market’s opinion of the stock."
This particular analyst clearly holds that 'ESG factors' (Environmental, Social and Governance) will repay the CFO's time and effort to move towards sustainability. Even if this particular CFO's time and effort may command a high price.
[please see the WizCrnr # 67, for 20 Dec 2012 -- with a flashback to Feb 17, 2012 and the "famous raid on Hull Light's treasury". How much money was "lifted" ? Answer: in one way of looking at it, $600,000. In another way (an impecunious uncle robbing a rich nephew), $0.]
Wizard's Corner #61, 19 Jan 2012
Today's posting of new data lets us look back on the full 10-years of production at HW1, 15,571,884 KWh's net of electricity consumed at the turbine site itself. Yearly average of 1,572,000, approximately, less than half a percentage point away from the 1,565,000 predicted by Roger Bacon and Mike Lynch of MMWEC 11 years ago now. Roger and Mike aren't about to cry over that very minor difference being on the favorable-to-MMWEC side, either. They always like to estimate on the conservative side. Here they turned out to be just one-household on the conservative side in their estimates. Nor are we about to cry here in Hull. We overproduced by enough energy to light the streetlights along Nantasket Avenue (at no cost to the town), for 10 years -- that's just the overage.
Our production numbers didn't show that much year-on-year variation either. Nice, stable flow, in other words, of a commodity (emissionfree energy) that is compound marketable. Compound in this sense: under prevailing laws in our Commonwealth this past 10 years, we in Hull have been able to market both the 'underlying commodity', i.e. the electrical energy measured in MWh's, and also something else. We can market (a sheer addition to our revenues) the 'attribute' or quality of its mode of production. What is now fashionable to call its 'greenness'. In a metaphorical sense, we are able to sell both the 'colorless' energy [ask soon about marketing that other colorless commodity, 'capacity-credits', OK?], -- and also compound our revenue flow by selling its 'greenness'. Color coding like this is now widely recognised. Much more widely than back in 2000 when Roger and Mike and Hull were doing our early estimating.
Often the specialist term 'sustainability' is substituted for this idea of greenness. That term 'sustainability' is one launched by Lester Brown's 1970's book "Building a Sustainable Society". Try this experiment. Try to find a college program with 'sustainable' in its title in the late 1970s. Like the 'Sustainability' Masters degree at Harvard today. Or try to find publications with that specialist word in their titles, back then, 30 years ago (when Earthday was still new). Then do a Google search for titles from year-2011. You'll probably a 100-fold increase since Lester B's day, in the use of Lester's term of art 'sustainable'.
This attribute has become far more widely recognised just in these past ten years.
Do you doubt there are truly forces out there working in favor of this kind of sustainability ? Consider this: A published report in December of 2011 "Four Sustainability Trends that will shape 2012", this strong point came out. A group set up to monitor (The Carbon Disclosure Project) reported that over 80% of Global 500 firms, voluntarily reported on their climate change policies. The article used the famous 'understatement' device when it wrote "perhaps these decisions were swayed by the CDP's 551 investor members, who use the info in deciding where to place more than $71 trillion in investment capital". Further, this same CDP asked 58 cities worldwide to report on their sustainability progress. [yes, hullwind thinks worldwide, or why do we keep getting hits from Ukraine, or Netherlands, or Romania or Spain or the Czech Republic?] How many cities responded ? 42 of them did, and 38 of these 42 "made their responses public". We know what that means, don't we, dear E-Reader ? Transparency is our middle name here at WizardsCorner. We preach it here. We practice it too.
Imagine yourself in the position of "Mr. CDP" or "Mr. WXY", and you have $71 trillion in your pocket. Will you get the attention of corporations ? Will they want to listen to your lectures on sustainability ? Enough said.
At the same time that Hull Muni Light sold each MWh of the colorless commodity (electric energy) it got further credit for an additional colorless item, (electric capacity). This latter is an item often left out of account in the analyses of these matters. Call this commodity colorless2, where the Energy was colorless1. It is helpful to the transmission grid (even if it is a grid your Municipality itself owns) to avoid the costs of putting up new or fatter wires, to accommodate the 'traffic flow' of the Amps and Watts demanded by us end-users. As we put our energy up onto this grid "at the near end" of it, we are being helpful to the grid, and measurably so. We're letting the system benefit from something negative, something avoided. A form of Nega-watts (capacity or demand). This is the same as the "room needed by the grid's wires", -- for distributing the power in the more standard ways of distribution. That is, running it for medium to large distances along high-voltage lines ('transmission' voltage, it's called), then stepping it down in voltage when it gets nearer to our local town. You're a "distributed" generator from the point of view of those CentralUnits, the big generating plants twenty to fifty to a hundred miles away. Your being "out near the end" of their lines allows these big guys to "shed load", or avoid the need to generate and distribute for distant customers. We can hold back from details about 'locational marginal pricing', but you can lilkely imagine what is involved there. That's the system, giving $$ compensation to those in favorable locations, by favoring them in turn in the regulated pricing schemes. Make sense ?
There is a multi-megawatt powerplant just 40 miles or so from Hull, to our south. It's in Plymouth, Mass., where the famous Rock also is. It's called "Pilgrim", and runs on nuclear power. Just recently there has been a citizen group, "Pilgrim Alliance", calling on the Entergy Company of New Orleans (they own the Pilgrim plant) about taking care of some safety issues. It's a classic central-generating unit, megawatts by the thousand, all 'radiating' (so to speak) out along transmission and distribution lines from the center point near Plymouth, Mass. It has come up for re-licensing. Can it keep doing business as usual for another 20 years ? No, say some residents in the nearby town, or not without some safety conditions needing to be imposed. So here comes a set of concerned, -- even at times irate, -- citizens. Call us DistributedEnergy people, call us 99% people, call us Occupy people, call us anything you want, but don't call us slackers when it comes to helping our fellow-citizens make our grids more responsible, transparent, and safe. Bay State here, Bayou State there, Hull, Hingham and Scituate love* you one and all.
It's amazing, by the way how much fits inside our little Plymouth County over and beyond Plymouth Rock: Kingston Mass., Scituate Mass. Duxbury Mass., Marshfield, Mass., Hull Mass. -- all places where windpower is making progress. This group of citizen activists calls itself "Pilgrim Alliance", and it has begun to press a further question, alongside those about safety. "Why not install a sizeable array (or 'flock') of wind-turbines on the outskirts of that nuclear plant itself ? Naturally, such an array would be able to take advantage of Entergy's "switchgear", or substation capacity, likely not saturated even as much as 10% of the time. There's lots of secrecy about Pilgrim's total capacity and production history. But satellite imagery lets us know that there are certainly a hundred acres or so that could be dedicated to a wind-and-solar project. The local winds are not at all bad, on a par with those in Marshfield, Duxbury and Kingston. Don't quote us, but WizCrnr will shoot-from-the-hip and say "at hub-height of 80 m, Pilgrim's windspeeds won't be more than 1 m/s below Hull's speeds, or Dan Webb's slightly higher speeds. Dan is at Technology Park in Falmouth."
This citizen initiative is asking that the owner's company, Entergy, have its renewed license DELAYED, until certain safety issues linked to the Fukushima reactor's meltdown have been dealt with in more than a superficial and "iffy" manner. "Iffy and whenny", one might say this. Imagine a little encampment there in Plymouth, promising to de-camp if-and-when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission encodes some safety conditions. Enforceable conditions, that is. 'Enforceable' matters, does it not ? We have kindly asked Jon Corzine and the MF Global company he led to limit his stealing (within any given 5-year period at least) "to sums less than $1 billion dollars". Our Obama Administration's Justice Dept. seems to think imposing such laws on a kindly man like Jon Corzine excessive government interference. Too rule-of-law. So their current stance appears to be: unless political pressures force us to take notice, we will treat petty thefts like a billion $$ or so over a 5 year period as not worth criminalising or penalising." Bro. Holder's attorneys may soon wake up and think they have a stake in this matter. Even a sworn duty to do something about it. Stay tuned.
Coming back to our topic, the 'colorless2 factor' : to get another view of this and its market value, try this. Work backwards from what appears on your bill, or anyhow on the bill of the supermarket you shop at, or at some other large commercial user, such as a hockey rink. Work backwards from the item called "Demand Charges". What service is the bill-paying consumer being charged for, under the name of 'Demand' ? Well this is nothing other than Capacity-when-thought-of-backwards. The grid's capacity has to be upgraded or increased if your hockey rink's Demand increases. So the managers of the grid charge the rink managers money for this. [we know somebody like this; she calls herself Michelle, or 'rinkrat' for short. she's a demanding rat, and likely wouldn't mind our saying so].
Helping the grid system to Not-Need to do these upgrades, or even helping them delay making such upgrades is managing things smart, from their point of view. Demand Side Management it's sometimes called. Smart-and-valuable in that the whole system is Managing its Demand smarter, thus limiting its need for Capacity upgrades. Those of us out here near the end of their lines, -- call us "distributed" producers -- deserve a credit (in $$). Not just not just praise and other forms of intangible benefits (rinkrat likes us, which is gratifying). Market prices of such capacity credits vary widely, of course. But one figure we've come across recently is $4/KW-month, or $48/KW-year. If HW1 continues with its established Watt-Bar performance, 175 KW, this 'room on the wires' colorless commodity would be worth $8,400 per year.
More of this colorless commodity is available from Younger Brother. Call HW1 'Apollo' and call the younger brother 'Hermes'. This very youngster got quite the abusive treatment in the early chapters of Plato's Laws, Bk XII. Call Plato 'son of Apollo'; call Younger Socrates 'Philip, or son of Hermes'. Hermes is the Mercurial younger brother of Apollo; he's the merchandiser and messenger. He's also god of under-the-radar revenue production. The god of crooks. The Telecoms immunity god. (Glenn Greenwald might be writing about Him in his 2011 book "With Liberty and justice for SOME ", especially the chapter on under-the-radar politics, "Immunity for sale, Telecoms buying", pp. 82-93.) In any case, between the two of these extra credits, often kept on the outside of financial analyses, from colorless commodity #2, one can pay maintenance on the Apollo machine, as the market now sets these costs. That's apart from any sales of the big underlying commodity, the colorless MWh's themselves. Which are way up there in monetary value. More than double the value of those bonuses.
What about those other marketable commodities, which make us at Hull Light compound marketers ? Well let's simplify by leaving aside the Federal credits (just now expiring for HW1, but still due to us for another 5 years for HW2). What about the 'green-certificates', or 'RenewableEnergyCertificates' ? This is the so-called 'voluntary' REC market. Well here too you have market variability. In its first 10 years HW1 was able to market, on top of the pair of underlying commodities, this 'greenness', at a market rate at or above $30/MWh. HW1 therefore harvested 'green' or 'sustainability' revenues of approximately 15 thousand (MWh's) times $30, or $450,000.
This 'bonus' money [if you feel that these bonuses are fragile, don't forget, our friend Mr. CDP is out there proving that "yes, Hull deserves the bonuses that we multi-trillionaires believe in, they really do !"] will have roughly paid us back something near the initial purchase price of the machine. And do recall, the bonus we're talking about here costs the taxpayer nothing. It's the 'voluntary' market. It's good guys rewarding us for being nice guys -- not bad guys like Government and the TaxMan [we're for the sake of argument assuming the really odd idea, the Anti-Occupy idea, that Government is necessarily a Bad Guy. untrue, but many people, even out here among us 99%, believe it].
Naturally, one doesn't do right to crow unreasonably or unseasonably about one's bonuses. It is unseemly. But recall well what Bloomberg Business News reported about a year ago: if you want a direct, no-nonsense answer to your question "so who gets more government subsidies, renewables or fossil fuel companies?", take our word for it,-- us here at Bloomberg Business News -- "you renewable good-guys are out-competed for public subsidies by your fossil fuel brethren by a ratio of about 12:1". Occupy Fossil Fuel lobbyist offices ! Level the playing field !
OK, so how has HW1 done during the first half of its expected 20-yr lifespan ? Well it has not only paid for itself (initial costs plus maintenance), but it's had leftover revenue to pay down the costs of its "younger brother" HW2. And as the older brother enters his 11th year, it still has a signed contract for 4 years into the future of 'green bonus' credits. We get a reduced rate, yes; but this is still a far cry from 10 years ago, when we lacked any contract at all. No predictability at all. And no Mr. CDP the multi-trillionaire on our side either.
We've heard the suggestion recently: why not put up a Third Turbine in Hull ? It might take Apollo and Hermes working together. But brothers sometimes do that. They aren't always quarreling with each other.
[Speaking of Love: ask Sage Radachowsky "what's Love got to do with it?". Tell him Wizard has been talking about him. Wizard says: Sage knows the deeper relations among these items: Love, Boston's Homeless people, Evolutionary Biology, Plymouth County's 'No Nuclear Fuel, LLC' 6MW windfarm, re-licensing of a nuclear power plant, Watt-Bar's of power, WJFF radio, OccupyBoston, www.OBR.FM, and JS Bach arranged for homemade guitar and Dewey Square]. Try clicking on 'OccupyBostonRadio', the link just one line up from here. And ask more about Sage R. He's an Occupier.
Still more visits from The Ukraine and The Czech Republic in recent weeks. Look how China has sunk lower -- except in bandwidth !
Wizard's Corner #60, 07 Dec 2011
Try out this calculation -- with just 20 days left till HW1's TENTH ANNIVERSARY:
to reach ten times our predicted annual-average production, our total 20 days from today should be 15,650,000.
So the target we must hit is 15,650,000 - 15478,006, that is: 171,994 KWh's.
It is unlikely we'll do quite that well in the coming 20 days, but remember two things: (1) even if we only produce half that number (I mean 86,000 KWh's), our 10-year expectation will be not a tenth of a percentage point away what we predicted (with Roger Bacon's help) 11 years ago now. That's what's called "Roger and Hull hit it right on the money". (2) some mid-Decembers in Hull are really quite windy. We might do better than that modest goal of 86,000 KWh's.
Right now OccupyBoston is talking about the 'American Spring' of 2012. Good winds in Hull now, good winds of change between now and 20 days from now. The Tar Sands pipeline may be in retreat by then, Jon Corzine may be headed for his indictment, and the various Occupy's should be advancing, thinking ahead to Spring. Like OWS and like AdBusters, these insurgents don't think small, and they don't think short-term only. In any case, be sure that China, the Netherlands, Russia and the Ukraine are watching us. They all think ahead. And they march too.
Wizard's Corner #59, 10 Nov 2011
Soon we will be reaching the end of year-10, ten years of production from Hull Wind 1. It was somewhat more than eleven years ago
(June of 2000) that Hull received a helpful estimate of what this Vestas V47 would likely produce on an annual basis. We remember the
crucial meeting -- it was in the large cafeteria room of the HighSchool. Well filled with interested citizens. Going forward meant our Town's committing funding, time from the schedules of various town officials, and -- this was a hard part -- involved our taking a chance. Would the figure we were estimating prove to be in error ? Would we produce, on average, considerably LESS than our predicted 1,565,000 KWh's a year, on average ? People in the room listened intently. Our Wizards Corner was there that evening in June 2000. Was our 'crystal ball' working effectively ?
Well in just a month and a half from now, -- the afternoon of 27 December 2011 -- we're at our 10th birthday. As of today, with a little over a month and a half left of that time, we are on track to hit within 1% of our predicted figure. Stay tuned !
Meantime the quality and quantity of our site's 'Visitors' has remained high. Surprisingly, China has just recently dropped back behind Holland in this present month. But if you judge by bandwidth, neither Holland nor the USA visits us more than China ! (The MWRA's new 'Sinovel' 1.5MW machine in Charlestown is now a quarter the way to its first million KWh's, we learned a few days ago). Have a look at these figures, comparing our various visitors from different countries. Does Czech Republic surprise you ?
Wizard's Corner #58, 25 July 2011
We have not yet done the full retrospects to the heat-wave coming to an end just today all along the Eastern seaboard. Weather broadcasters continually inundated the public with "advisory" warnings, temperature readings "in triple digits [Fahrenheit]" and indexes of discomfort. Regulatory agencies such as the regional transmission organisations (New England ISO, New York ISO, PJM) warned of limits on peak loads -- and spoke of needing to bring down voltage levels so as to stay within limits of available power. Brownouts might be mandated.
Does New England ISO foresee the future ? For example does it see ahead 'one-day' ? Yes, and it publishes its forecasts. Jargon here is 'dartmwh', or day-ahead and real-time MWh's. Consider the hour ending at 16:00 EDT this past Friday. Hull's sub-region called 'Northeast Mass. and Boston' will be needing a peak of power, roughly 5,000 MW, rated on an instantaneous basis.
Does it help shave this peak to have Notus Clean Energy's Vestas V82 running at some 90% of its maximum power rating (of 1.65MW) ? Yes it does. Measurably, one might say. Let's try to set up a metric. Suppose we had a set of 5 machines running at a robust 70% CF during that late-July day's 15th hour, and each were rated at or near 1.5MW. This would not be far from the realities as they are taking shape in our subregion between 2006 and 2012. [Consider: Hull's V80 at 1.8MW, Notus1 at 1.65MW, Falmouth WasteWater's at 1.65MW, Town of Ipswich's at 1.5MW and MWRA's Sinovel at 1.5].
Not entirely unrealistic for us to suppose that these 5 machines might (say on 22 July 2011) peak at or above 70% of their entire rated power(s) of 7.5MW. Have a look at the robust figures for Notus1, now available as real-time actual output at that very hour of that very day. Then think of this as a peak-shaving of more than 1% of this heavy demand. A 'demanding' business, this one of finding enough supply to meet 5 GW of predicted (day-ahead) demand in our sub-region-- not so ?
Put yourself into the position of those regulative & controlling good people (Roger Bacon is one) at NE-ISO, so to speak "sweating it out" looking for either citizen willingness to trim their electric power requirements, or citizen willingness to suffer voltage-reductions (aka 'brownouts'). The good citizens in Ludlow (Lynch, deBlois, Boas) may be too public-spirited to complain. But we grouchy folk here in the greater Boston region often act out, misbehave in a way Philip of Opus used to call 'orgE kai antapodosis'. This is like 'blowing one's fuse', or 'manically suffering a SouthBoston fit of out-of-control Rageaholism'.
Philip taught his pupil Aristotle much of what he wrote on Anger, most likely. Both in Aristotle's Rhetoric and in his lost work 'p. orgEs'. This teacher thought of himself as "the philosopher more beneficial to humanity than even the best King, a kind of SocratEs Basileus". Someday within a year now the website www.theaetetus.net may be able to decode parts of these claims. Wm. of Ockham will help, Heytesbury may also help.
In any case, here is the data concerning Friday July 22, just 3 days ago now:
Another snapshot of our visitors -- again featuring our Iberdrola colleagues in Romania !
Wizard's Corner #57, 27 May 2011
You may think of bankers when you hear someone say "promissory note". Well wizards can say this too, and you just laid eyes on it, O e-Eyed reader. You are hereby wiz-promised an interim report on our "springing the trap". What trap? Well the one keeping a certain horde of datapoints stored ON HARDCOPY. Wiz-Kurzweil used to spring such traps when he exhibited a synthesised voice reading a book in well-pronounced anglo-american English, quite a while back now. His elegantly trained robotic voice was singing out texts then and there. Then=1979, there=midManhattan branch, NYPL. Yes, we hereby issue this wiz-promise: some interesting data on HW1 will be Kurzweil-sprung from its hardcopy trap, before Labor Day 2011. Hockey players rejoice !
Do you say our robot has misspellt "May" ? We answer, "It opts to write its 02 AM FAX's in Danish".
Wizard's Corner #56, 5 May 2011
Yesterday (4th of May) was the Fifth Birthday of Hull Wind 2. Its yearly production (average) in its first 5 years is just over 3,910,000 KWh's.
We Hull ratepayers today are paying (residential, retail) somewhat over 13.5 cents/KWh. Our average residentail retail rate has been somewhat less than 12.5 cents. To compute the approximate yearly revenue (all of it, net of the 1.5 cents/KWh maintenance and other overhead), we may fairly use a figure of 11 cents net.
A different calculation, of course, results if we start from the wholesale price of those same 19,560,000 KWh's, Hull's costs for that amount of electricity, IF we had bought them all from MMWEC. Let's keep to the simpler, straight-ahead calculation for the moment -- what the town in fact harvested from retail sales to our townspeople.
Thus the rough calculation of Hull Light's revenues from HW2 then comes down to this, for the past 5 years: $0.11 * 19,560,000 = $2,150,000. Federal and voluntary incentive payments have added to our revenues. These sum up to approximately 6.5 cents/KWh. Thus the gross total revenue from this machine will have been roughly $0.175 * 19,560,000, or a little over 3.4 million dollars. Essentially 100% of the capital costs of the machine and its installation.
Looking backward on this same 5-year period there is another cheerful view. Why? Well by middle of 2006 -- which was HW2's Zero'th birthday -- Hull Wind 1 had essentially paid back its own capital cost. You will recall that it had been installed 27 December, 2001. So its own gross revenues (after maintenance and other overhead) will have added an extra half-million dollars to Hull's treasury.
Much of these past 5 years have seen severe reductions in our town's budgets (like others in our Commonwealth). And even after some preliminary signs of an upturn, there's plenty of interest in finding a bright spot with a 5-year history of staying bright. A member of the town Finance Committee said at Town Meeting on 2 May 2011 that he does not share the public's optimism about the town's financial future. He remarked "And in fact I work in the finance industry in downtown Boston". With full paybacks of both of our turbines already in hand, and neither of them nearing the end of their life-expectancies (20 years for each), windpower here is one of those bright spots.
Do you know why the most frequent search-phrase this month -- from visitors to Hullwind.org -- has been "Linear Responsibility Chart" ? Our guess here at Wizards Corner is this following. Rich Phelan at Mass. Maritime Academy, who led their institution to follow the example of HW1, can now look back on 5 years of solid performance from their MMA 1. Rich's machine is essentially paid off now. He followed his mariner's chart. His concept of Linear Responsibility got it built on time, on budget. With pride. Another bright spot. Try googling the phrase. You'll likely end up at Wikipedia. To plan is human, to implement divine. So wrote Prof. Charles Haar of Harvard Law.
Wizard's Corner #55, 24 Apr 2011
Just this morning (Easter morning) our small delegation betook ourselves to HW1, purposing to write down output data directly from its LED screen. These data were there, and are now written down for you to soak up and assimilate, and relay wherever you care to. We had intoned our 'hulleleuia' cry, just before noon:
net output since commissioning (net of the -22,736 KWh consumed): 14,817,246 KWh
total hours actual run-time (as % of total hrs of 'line OK') 79,984/81,106 : 98.6 %
You may want to try your hand, dear visitor, at helping us to run a calculation based on the online data from NotusEnergy's machine in E. Falmouth Mass. It is a 1650KW Vestas V82, commissioned 29 June 2010. Your data will differ slightly from ours (being more uptodate).
First off, have a look at this website: www.powerdash.com/systems/1000196 Look especially at its page 'equivalents' As of today (24 Apr '11), we have found this result:
FLOAT REALTY'S Notus Energy 1:
total days since commissioning (2010 = 185 ; 2011 =114): 299 days
total generation until today (24 Apr) 4,095,130 KWh (=4,095 MWh)
calculation of CapFactor 4,095/299/24/1.8 34.5 %
This is truly a strong performance, with its only 66 days left in its production year. It is very substantially stronger than our average for nearly 5 years (1814 days, 10 days short of its 5th Birthday). The two main factors likeliest to have caused this difference are (1) higher wind-velocities at a set hub-height in Falmouth than in Hull and (2) NotusEnergy's hub-height, its being 33% taller than HW2's (80m rather than 60m). However, it looks to us in Hull like a pair of substantial success stories in the making. (A) HW2 has achieved well over 50% pay-back of its capital outlay already [there are a few assumptions built into this conclusion -- we have been careful to avoid 'wishful-thinking' or self-serving presumptions here]. (B) NotusEnergy's machine is making bold strides toward full repayment of its capital costs also, and is a kind of beacon-light showing the way forward to fellow towns on Cape Cod, for their land-based proposals.
Here's an exercise in short-term forecasting (just the coming 66 days until NotusEnergy's machine completes its production year). Make three assumptions (High,Medium,Low) for a projected CF for the coming 66 days, as follows. High=26%, Medium=23%, Low=20%. Then compute the weighted average of the (known) first 299 days, plus the (estimated) final 66 days, on each of the three scenarios. You get these resulting forecasts:
High => 299/365*0.346 + 66/365*0.26 = 28.3% + 4.7% = 33.0 %
Medium => 299/365*0.346 +66/365*0.23 = 28.3% + 4.2% = 32.5%
Low => 299/365*0.346 + 66/365*0.20 = 28.3% + 3.6% = 31.9 %
We may compare these forecasts to those published by MMWEC 22 Dec 2010, for its 15MW 'Berkshire Wind Power Coop' [this includes Hull and 13 other muni light companies in the Commonwealth]. The BWPC is forecasting a 40% Capacity Factor for their 10-turbine project near Brodie Mtn in Town of Hancock (high up in altitude). The Coop is basing its forecasts on the higher wind velocities at those elevations (naturally, the air-density will be somewhat less than sea-level densities in Hull and Falmouth), and seems not worried much about issues about 'ridgeline' locations, with their sometimes troublesome updrafts and turbulences. Further, it is relying on ongoing active support from GE Wind, in carrying out needed maintenance on this wind-farm.
Will GE not find us in little Massachusetts 'not big enough to worry much about' -- when they have projects of 50 MW and 100 MW to help maintain in the prairie states ? Some of us 14 cooperators will inevitably worry about this. The Coop's forecasts seem to us at Wizards Corner just a bit overoptimistic. When we look hard at a backlog of several years of 'realworld' data like that from Hull and Falmouth, we think CF's below 35% are the rule, those above 35% the exception. To compare: our exceptional hitter Ted Williams would astonish everyone by going another season hitting at a 'Capacity Factor' of .400 ! And imagine the Red Sox offensive strength if it could achieve (like Berkshire Wind is now forecasted to do) a team average of 40% ! Its 10 productive units would have to have three or four "better than Ted" hitters to offset the poor hitters not hitting above .350 ! It is in our interests-- of course --to believe. As we're all witnesses, believers sometimes have hold of the Truth.
Such a fine service it is, in any case, to have this Falmouth project's output data going up onto the web in real time. Please do note: we have our Commonwealth to thank for this. The Mass. Clean Energy Center and Notus Energy are together giving us all a model of 'transparency' in this easy-to-access and uptotheminute data. The PowerDash people are clearly playing a valuable role here, too. And soon, -- maybe even in the coming weeks now -- we will all be able to type in a suffix something like ". . .systems/1000nnn" and get real-time info from the MWRA's PV array at the John J. Carroll station. This array has been in testing phases the past month or two -- and boasts an impressive rating: 495 KW. This too is intended to come out to the public via the Web and via the PowerDash people's software.
We trust you agree with us here at Wizards Corner: it's always good (though sometimes hard work) to keep hold of 'hard-data'. Please also agree also in this: we can all consult data to keep free from anyone's overoptimistic hopes -- or anyone's unreasoning fears -- about the prospects for renewables in this critical time. It looks to us anyway, that the struggle for renewables to make gains is one we're now winning. In the coming months and years we can likely look back to a time before our 'string of pearls' across Boston Harbor was just an Olmsted-like plan, and back to when (i.e. now) renewables were working hard to compete in a challenging and hard-to-predict energy market. We stuck to our guns, maybe we can then say, and to our commitment to pay close attention to the data.
Bravo Hull, bravo Notus Clean Energy ! May we both continue to harvest our wind resources, and both continue on the road to prosperous renewables.
Wizard's Corner #54, 22 Dec 2010
Birthday time. Hull Wind One is approaching its Birthday #9 -- on 27 December 2010, at 2:45 in the afternoon ! With just a handful of interruptions for scheduled (or unscheduled) repairs, it'll have been producing for 108 complete months at that time of day and on that day.
This lets us get a valuable pair of measures. I mean the per-month average energy and the average CapacityFactor (CF) for that entire 9-year period, counting every one of its days, every one of its hours.
Total energy production at HW1= 14,125,000 KWh Per-month average energy = 14,125,000 KWh/108mo. = 130,790 KWh/mo.
per-day average energy = 14125000 KWh/3287da. = 4297 KWh/da.
per-hour average energy = 4297 KWh / 24 hrs = 179 KW (=avg.)
This rate, calculated against the 'ideal CF' of 100 % (of its rated 660KW) CapFactor = 179 KW / 660 KW = 27.1 %
Many months ago, we speculated to ourselves and thought up a "dutiful employee" whose net value to Hull and its light company was set crudely to that worker's net green energy production, accounted at a dime a kilowatt-hour: "your output will have a gross value to us of roughly $17.90 each hour you work". Let's make one or two further suppositions now -- namely that our "dutiful producer" should only have to work a 40-hour week, thus taking home gross wages each 2-week period of 80 X $17.90, or a gross of $1,432. No vacation weeks, not even vacation days for the 3,200 or so days in his duty-filled future.
What would this leave behind in the way of green energy revenue (i.e. leave this behind for Hull Light to harvest) ?
Let's keep our setting of the KWh at that artificial value "one thin dime", despite the fact that -- in most muni light districts in our Commonwealth this past nine years the retail value has climbed higher than that. Yes, it's even reached 50% higher than this supposed rate in more than one of our fellow muni's ! Down in The Bronx today, the retail value is nearly a thick quarter, as we have ConEd bills to prove. OK, but back to the value of the energy NOT sent home with our "productive employee" as part of his gross income. Pricing this also at that modest 'thin dime', it's worth (336 - 80 ) * $17.90 each two weeks, which calculates out this way:
(1) Hull's proceeds each two weeks = $ 4,547.
(2) Hull's proceeds per year are 26 times that: $118,196. Over a 9-year period nine-times that, or 9 * 118,196 = $1,063,700 after a little rounding down.
You will ask about insurance, about maintenance, about various of the things our metaphorical "employee" would deserve, maybe require ?
Yes, we've trimmed off a lot of the analysis here and there. The picture might get a lot less rosy if we took away this trimming. Agreed. But we also trimmed away some of the 'rosy' features too -- like the incentive payments from the US Dept of Energy, like the "Renewable Energy Certificate" revenue. Trimmed away the 10-year contract (runs to 2016) with Harvard, for all of HW2's green-energy tags.
A further point should be added. It it makes our Hull picture rosier: HW1's "younger brother" has now been running for over 1680 days. Suppose this youngster had the equivalent of his 2-week's paycheck showing gross income of $3,514. That's a gross of $91,353/yr for our metaphorical "youngster". And Hull town's share of that same 2-week gross -- just the younger brother's now mind you, we're purposely forgetting about HW1 for the moment: $ 11,059. Town of Hull has stood to bring in, from HW2 alone, yearly revenues (net of incentives) of 26 times that, or: $ 290,030/yr. The town has in fact brought in more than that over the past four and a half years.
And what about those "intangibles", call them our "bragging rights" ? Town of Falmouth's Waste-water plant put up a 1.65 MW machine a year ago (we're trying to get output figures from them, to compare to ours in Hull, also to those at Mass Maritime and those at MWRA's proudly spinning windturbines) ? Hey, the Commonwealth is so proud of these projects, they celebrated, and, along with MWRA and some others, awarded them "Lead by Example" status in the State. Again, the hilltop we locals call "Turkey Hill" (i.e. the Trustees of Reservations site on the line between Cohasset and Hingham) -- is likely to put up a new 1.5 MW machine this coming year. The Cohasset Planning Board seems ready to give them the go-ahead the evening of January 12th. So too the MWRA, -- its permissions already in place -- for their location in Charlestown. A handsome new 1.5 MW machine, the one that out-competed its rival bidder, GE-Wind. [Hull 2 went that way too.]
All these projects are either non-profit or public in their site ownership. The "Notus Energy" machine at the industrial park in East Falmouth is privately owned, by the Webb family. Plenty of local pride there too -- and not-so-local pride for that matter. We in Hull are proud of our statesmanlike neighbors, private or public. If you doubt about all this pride, just ask one of your own neighbors (or ask yourself): "would I willingly give up any one of these projects in my State" Or ask : "How much is it worth to me and my own neighbors to keep all of them ?"
Do keep track of this pair of projects, in Cohasset and Charlestown. Public attention of a positive sort helps keep up the momentum. And will add to new state Commissioner Rick Sullivan's pride in himself, in his Governor, -- and in his state's achievements.
Wizard's Corner #53, 10 Dec 2010
As of the day’s end, 10 December 2010, this is the list of the present month's "visitors", -- by country.
Within the ranks of this website's Wizards is one whose father, Roswell K. Brown was a military man and a medical doctor. He had commanded a US Army field hospital during the later parts of WorldWar II, in western and central europe. It would be heartwarming if amongst those of you visiting us from Germany, Romania, Latvia or the Ukraine we could find a person willing to translate this letter of 26 August 1945 into English, German or French:
[PS, 27 Dec 2010: Joanna Epstein, Slavic Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard kindly
consented to let us credit her with her freely offered English rendering below. Any infelicities
or inconcinnities that may have crept in as we transcribed her suggestions should be faulted charged
against WizardsCorner. She had certainly brought out the 'heart' wording. In ancient Greece, after
Plato had coined the word, they spoke of 'philostorgein', affection for one's personal family. She also
formulated the words about theaspect of genuineness or authenticity which her Polish countrymen saw in Col. Brown.]
Kindly email your translation to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will post your translation here at Wizards Corner, -- if you give your permission to us to do this.
In the meantime, there is something comforting in our having so many people of goodwill visiting us from central and eastern Europe. Between Berlin and Moscow, according to the historical research of Timothy Snyder of Yale, peoples of eastern Europe feel strong ties to the USA. And understand deeply our history and our struggles.
Wizard's Corner #52, 14 Oct 2010
Here's a snapshot of the worksheet supplied us by MMWEC, in column E the past two weeks of output from HW1; the same
for HW2 and column F. Column G sums that specific hour (in a total of 336) for the pair of machines. These hours, together
with the final 264 from September, pushed our two CapacityFactor's upwards significantly.
The boost to HW1 was from 26.7% to 26.8%. Notice that it's been online over 76,000 hrs and we're counting in every
one of these hours. Our more recent machine (about 39,000 hrs online, i.e. since May 4, 2006) got a two-point boost, from 23.5%
to 23.7%. We'll try to remember the following -- select the final 2 weeks' worth of data in October, and see if our pair
of machines have continued to improve their CF's in that upcoming interval. It seems unlikely.
Stay tuned for an updated listing of colleges and universities, mainly in the US, who've been visiting us here at
hullwind.org. It makes a person wonder "where did we find so many colleges, and such serious engineers ?"
Wizard's Corner #51, 20 Sep 2010
Over this past weekend our wizard-watch took a look inside the hatch door of HW1 and had a close look at the
data-logger, its screen called "Availability". Not surprisingly, the figure for the current month, Sept 2010, stood
at 100%, quite usual for a Vestas. What surprised us, though, was the figure for the 744 hours of August -- only
705 of those hours saw the turbine as 'available', thus only a 94.8% rating for that month. What happened during
the 39 no-power hours ? We don't know just now, but will let you know as soon as we find out. Knowledge -- even
about no-power situations -- is power.
Here's another tidbit of knowledge we gladly pass along to you. Our this-month visitors up to late in the day 20 Sept.
We note that Belarus is no longer in evidence -- but Nigeria has come up in the ranks. Interesting that we've had
oil-rich nations like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Republics and Venezuela paying us visits now and again. Now Nigeria. Any
ideas why ?
Wizard's Corner #50, 17 Aug 2010
Fordham and Brown universities may soon be adding to our cadre of wizards here at hullwind.org.
So too Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and european students now at Boston
University. Stay tuned.
With this bump in our wizard-voltage we may be able to 'smoke out' the underlying cause
of this oscillating presence of Belarus in our list of visitors. Why would Romania and Belarus
both outrank Russian Federation ? And what has sent the Netherlands and Hong Kong up past Germany ?
Netherlands can of course explain herself -- the advocacy work of Prof. Margo Guda and her
organisation with the papiamento name 'Fundashon antiyano pa energia' But Belarus
outranking Great Britain and Canada ? Why ? Do let us know, if you know. Let the AWEA know too.
Wizard's Corner #49, 15 Jul 2010
Can you picture a surge of interest in either Belarus or Moldova -- in windpower ? We can, and we reported this to Christine Real de Asua and Michael Goggin at AWEA headquarters in WashDC three weeks ago now. Neither seemed to have heard reports of wind-development in those countries specifically, but both knew that our industry is in fact making strides in places like Romania, Latvia, the Ukraine. Here is a picture of the late-June figures, where you'll notice France was lagging behind Ukraine in our list of visitors.
No longer. France has moved up sharply just in the early days of July 2010 -- while Belarus has fallen back to the pre-2010 figures. You will see other comparisons to make, we feel sure, and maybe you'll want to tell us about them, at email@example.com
Wizard's Corner #48, 25 Feb 2010
Let's work on the supposition that you 'out there' are like us 'in here', and take special delight in assimilating deep-in bits of information,
some of which will one day come to the surface and create the "AHA!" or "EGAD!" effect. Only a superwizard, naturally, can divine it
in front, -- which these are. Until recently, those of us inside this website knew little of the COSMIC BALANCE belonging to the bonk/oif! ratio. You may want to do a Google on exactly this term, and then follow down some of the linked terms of insider jargon. Bonk/Oif ! and keeping these balanced: this may cost a person some trouble. Plato dished out a bonk at Rep. 476D and Aristotle may possibly have made a cosmic counter-dish. Consider his oif! at EthNich. A,9 1099a10, reading the vv. ll. there.
Our man in North Carolina may have a good Geek add-on for that excellent online jargon dictionary. This man now does telephone counseling of annuitants, but formerly went down into deeper "epakouomena" of the computer arts. As he formulates it over the phone, the insertabilium needed between the pair SoftwarePlusHardware is neither Fleshware as John Bacon called it in 1976 nor Wetware, as a mathematics professor at U of Warwick (Coventry) told us in summer of 1978. [Rudy Rucker has wondered in print whether his own copyrighted term "Wetware" goes back further than the 1980s].
Here is how the phoneman spelled the word phonetically "Eye Dee Ten Tee" ware. Can you unbend this akronym, getting the first two and the fourth to be letters (English pronunciation), and the third to be is a pair of numeric digits ? Maybe it's not worth the trouble.
Please see updated information right here and now, possibly telling us about Romania's or Latvia's future. Almost certainly telling us something about the cosmic balance of China USA . China comes in first, in bandwidth here at hullwind.org (early in 2010). Well ahead of the USA, where you'd have thought Netherlandish technology would be far ahead.
Speaking of the Netherlands, have you ever heard of Margo Guda ? She may be singlehandedly responsible for this list's both having Netherlands ahead of most European countries, and the Netherlands Antilles making an earnest showing too. Ask her about the language she speaks, Papiamento. Not Perl not Pascal not Fortran -- but Papiamento. Not a dialect, no. A language.
The chart for early 2010 now looks like this. Deep-in bits of info ? The "EGAD!" effect ? You be the judge.
Write if you have comments, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wizard's Corner #47, 11 Feb 2010
Several difficulties stood in our way of supplying you (you in China, you in Lithuania, you in Russia) with full and accurate data this past month. We are working to get better access to the numbers as recorded and reported there at the foot of HW2's tower, at the LED readouts. This will be (we hope within weeks now) updated and brought into full accuracy, and reported here at hullwind.org.
We had moderately good data for 22 of the 31 days in January, for both machines, good data for Feb 1-11 for both machines. It will not produce much disturbance in our overall CF ratings figures even if our pro-rating of the missing 9 days in January needed to be left in 'estimated' status. We prorated simply at 31/22 of the 22 days in January available to us. In due course we have plans to adjust to actual meter-readings at the two turbines. Thanks for your patience.
Wizard's Corner #46, 4 Dec 2009
Yesterday's NY Times ran a story on its lead page (p. B1) in its Business section highlighting a point we've been making here at Wizard's
Corner for some months now: the USA will have to step up its commitment to supporting 'green-energy', or it will soon cede
its world-leader role to other nations, China notably:
"renewable-energy companies are hesitating to invest in new plants and equipment before Congress enacts new environmental mandates, like cap and trade, to limit carbon emissions. In addition, the long recession (along with correspondingly slack energy demand) caused the clean-energy industry to delay expansion plans.
As a result, the United States is likely to install just one-eighth as much new solar power this year as Germany does, and China is expected to surpass the United States this year as the leader in adding new wind energy capacity.
So the piece in yesterday's "Times". Will we start learning what the 'Soho' search engine in China already knows ? Flushing NY is only one place where we may find resources (intellectual capital, it's sometimes called). Los Angeles isn't the only other place where skills in the Chinese language is to be found.
Gambier, Ohio can teach us to "knock the rust off" of our manufacturing, start building top quality wind turbines as they've been doing for generations in Holland, Denmark and Germany -- and as they are beginning to do in China. At Kenyon
College students are studying Chinese, and thinking about how their new skills will help New York City (among other places over here) can
keep up with mainland China in installing windpower machines. Stay tuned !
Wizard's Corner #45, 1 Nov 2009
Three rumors about NY City's current mayor (Michael Bloomberg) have been circulating in the Bronx in recent weeks:
(1) that the Mayor has found out about the recent proposal for windpower at Pelham Bay Landfill, to help him restore 70 acres of NY City parkland to Pelham Bay Park, and
(2) the Mayor will soon be asking his NY City Economic Development Corp (NYCEDC) to monitor China's surge in installed windpower in year-2009, and to see if Hullwind.org's surge in hits from China is a predictor of 2010's performance by China.
(3) after environmental leader Al Gore's recent ringing endorsement of Mayor Bloomberg (who called him the 'Real Deal' in environmentalism), Bloomberg is confident of winning an almost unprecedented Third Term, two days from now.
The second rumor surfaced in City Council's District 13. Aide Kyle M-P told Aide Bret C there that China's HullWind bandwidth in October 2009 is a real notabilium. It stands at a new high for China: almost greater than USA and Russian Federation combined (and almost double of leader-in-hits USA, when taken by itself). Bret said he thought the Mayor would soon appoint someone at NYCDEC to study statistics at Chinese web browser 'Soho'. Possibly NY City needs to recruit a language expert from Flushing NY or from Los Angeles to help with this. Meantime there is only minor progress towards setting up a rather modest Green Energy park on Wards Island.
Not even "modest" on the windpower side, proposing a turbine of hub-height only about 35m and unlikely to reach a CF above "the teens". Ask the Mayor-elect, especially if his name is Bloomberg, whether this wizardly estimate is too pessimistic. He and his NYCDEC, -- with little expertise there to come to the rescue, seem content with "not Progress, not Politics as Usual" but mere gesture. Greenwashing perhaps.
In addition these two Aides discussed with HullWind's Wizards Corner this Reuters report of late October:
China wind power capacity up 30% from 2008: report
BEIJING - China's installed wind power generating capacity reached 15.85 Gigawatts (GW) by the end of September, up 30 per cent from the end of 2008, the official Xinhua news agency has reported. [Reuters, 23 Oct 2009]
Wizard's Corner #44, 03 Sept 2009
Each of us has (the wizard is no exception) his or her models, as in model-behavior. This wizard's corner has returned to the European preference of date-formatting, Day/Month/Year, owing to the attraction of the model of 'EMu', or Electronic Museum. It's a brand of software, and it did not originate in the USA. Thus our colleagues in China and Russian Federation will've seen or felt this attraction before.
You may want to adopt as a model in engineering-behavior a man well known here at Wizards Corner, namely Allen Inversin. His training was at MIT, but he is an engineer with horizons much larger than most MIT tech's, -- so we judge things. He wrote an Appendix B to his 1986 book "Micro-Hydropower Sourcebook", truly a model book. Check it out if you can. It carries the LC number 86-61178 . This cautionary word comes from his Appendix B, direct from Wizard Inversin:
"Many individuals who deal with numbers, including engineers, do not seem to understand how to properly express measurements, or the results of the mathematical manipulation of such measurements. . ." He mentions the extra hazard of "hand-held calculators and computers" , which compound the problem of "Significant Figures" by "spewing forth solutions to eight figures or more". He warns us, engineers and others, not to delude ourselves about the precision of our measurements, or our calcuated figures based on these.
Just a week ago, at Boston's MUSEUM OF SCIENCE, the exhibit for their Wind Lab claimed that a certain 1.9KW rooftop turbine would be expected to produce, -- were it to run at its full rated capacity for a full year -- "16,644 KWh". Now please notice two points here:
1. The year's length has been rounded down from 8766 hrs to 8760 (a quite rational dropping of the 6 extra hours we might want to include, due to each year's share of a whole LeapYear day).
2. The Rated capacity of a 1.9 KW machine might fall anywhere between 1.85 and 1.94 , which is a 'blurriness range' of .09/1.9 or close to 5%.
If we keep a conscientious attitude towards this uncertainty in our numbers, we would be forced to re-interpret our seemingly 5-figure precise number 16,644 to mean anywhere from " a bit over 16,000" to "well under 17,000".
Inversin advocates -- in most cases -- trimming one's measurement data to TWO SIGNIFICANT FIGURES. Exceptions allowed if one is truly confident of having more precision and accuracy. His formula is clear and crisp, and a solid warning here: "It is useless to measure any variable more precisely than the least precise measurement in the calculation (p. 267)." This same author's figure near the bottom of his Table 10.5 namely 24,966 KWh ought really to be expressed as "25,000 KWh", and similarly, IF ONE ADHERES STRICTLY TO THE TWO SIGNIFICANT FIGURE RULE, his figure "12,483 KWh" in that same Table should read "12,000 KWh "
In this last case, and assuming the current-and-local market for a KWh to be what Consolidated Edison in NY City today bills retail customers Today's rate-shocker rates are quite different from the standard usually given in Bulgaria when our wizards were corresponding with Len Tower of Somerville Mass. (i.e. early 1993): "the price of a single chicken's egg". Con Ed now bills (for 1 KWh generated and supplied): $0.25. Therefore Inversin's rule, applied to today's NYCity analysis would monetised at over 100 of today's US dollars.
Where this all started, this sensitivity to the issue over Significant Figures, was the following figures on our Homepage today:
HW1 11,781,377 KWh (since Dec 27, 2001)
HW2 11,781,232 KWh (since May 3, 2006 )
If we take these numbers to 2, 3, 4 or even 5 significant figure, they are truly The Same Number. Thus spake Inversin, and truly.
Inversin is a man of immense modesty, as we chance to know, as are his two sons there in Washington DC (they are three exceptional men). Back in the 1980's he corresponded with a critic of his TWO SIGNIFICANTS ONLY rule. He conceded that it might result in sme distortions. alterations with significant economic value, as a percentage and as an impact on project economics. He gave second thoughts also to his use of a definite integral sign on p. 19, and communicated those thoughts dutifully and honestly to his critic. All of this went on in "prehistoric times", which is to say, "before the time of the 43d President of the USA".
You doubt that history was made by # 43 ? To two signicant figures, he made more US history than any president since #1.0. Let history be the judge. Our Bronx ambassador to Central America (Isaac Purdue) reported back this week. His opinion sampling there concluded that, Yes, Central Americans are of the opinion that the USA's previous president has been by a wide margin the worst since the USA was founded two and a half centuries ago. Rudy Rucker's ancestors used to express this, Weltgeschichte ist Weltgericht. World-history will be our judge.
Wizard's Corner #43, 14 Aug 2009
Quite likely there are wizards out there -- even some of you living in China or Russian Federation -- who have no particular affection for Small Prime Numbers. A movie was recently made, however, featuring a man who became overfond, fond to the point of obsession, with the prime number 23. Sad case, we guess. On the other hand no lesser a mathematician than Hartrey Field of NYU showed some partiality to the pair of numbers '23' and '817' . Now only one of these two favorites is a prime, and the other, as our crack n.s.n. investigative team found out, contains a factor of 43 . Which last is indeed prime, as you know. University of Tennessee at Martin hosts the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, and has lore as curious and fascinating as that in our other wonder from Tennessee, Graceland. Mersenne history etc You'll easily divine what is indicated by the name n.s.n. from the following clue 's.n. stands for 'sine numero'
There are persistent trends in the flow of visitors here at hullwind.org. Our geographic complexion, so to speak. This graphic takes a glimpse of our multi-national origins, from 1 January 2009 until today (14 August 2009):
Wizard's Corner #42, Feb 23, 2009
Will the NY City Parks Dept be hosting a 'SpeakUp' event this Saturday (Feb 28) ? Yes, a Bronx-based SpeakUp,
to be held noon till 5 PM at the auditorium inside the Lehman College Music building. Our "Catskill Mountain Institute"
(HQ recently relocated to City Island in the Bronx) will be a proud participant. We anticipate 66% or more of the not-for-profit corporation's founders speaking up for green-economy initiatives in the NY City. [PS, Apr. 2 2009: 100 % of our founders came to the event and staffed our table !] The parks and The Bronx in particular will be the focus.
One agenda-topic: the idea of installing a commercial-scale seaside wind-turbine [call it "Hull-style" or urban-turbine] inside Pelham Bay Park,
NY City's largest park. If the table is internet-active, possibly the homepage here, and still other pages (like the
charts of our much-appreciated web-visitors) will be on display, along with our Pelham Bay initiatives and ideas. [PS Apr 2: The graphics from the web were available via a powerpoint, and two model windmills from the "Lake Michigan Wind and Sun" people were on
display, energized by small PV cells on the nacelles.]
Wizard's Corner #41, Feb 14, 2009
Our local pride has been lifted the past few days both by the fact that our HW2 machine achieved
the landmark of 10,000,000 KWh's of production, -- and also by the strong performances of our pair of machines
in combination. The past 7-day period, Feb 5 - Feb 12 included two days (the 10th and 11th) which were hard to interpret
because our access to the meter was intermittent. For those two days we have only estimates, which we are keeping conservative.
About half the hours were Zero -- or were conservatively set by us to Zero. All the same, the whole week had an abundance of wind energy. Between noon and midnight on 2-12, for example our machines had a combined CF (counting all 2460 KW of their combined
rated capacity) -- of 99.1 % !
When Boston's Ted Williams looked back on a lifetime batting average near "400", -- this would be equivalent to a lifetime CF of 40%, -- he had to feel some Boston-pride. Here in Hull we Beinahe-Boston wind folks are pretty happy about our past week where, with a real or
artificial 'batting slump' of two days factored in [=einberueksichtight ?], -- we still had a team-average of .338 ! We're supposing that our Red Socks rarely saw such a week, even when Williams was on a hitting streak, thus arely achieved .338, here in nearby Fenway Park. Anyhow, and leaving behind the baseball analogy, 99 % of capacity, even for a two-unit team and even for a short time, -- is a thing to be happy about. Each machine also added a point to its lifetime average in this period.
Wizard's Corner #40, Feb 1, 2009
It was suddenly easy, back in 1975, when wizards high up in a building on the Murray Hill campus of Bell Labs, when -- ZAP ! one could get a full-service 'desk calculator' moved ahead boldly. With what wizardry? Well it's now called "UNIX". Even then it was called by the same
name, though the thing was a mere adolescent. At one's console, one could just tap in the pair of letters
'dc', followed by <enter>, -- what we used to call the 'Carriage-Return' character. ZAP, you had what they called
the 'desk calculator' program. Nostalgic old name, yes ? Yes. Wizards of that era could remember the UNIVAC,
whose analogue to this 'dc' would have filled most of the bleechers at Yankee Stadium, -- not just sat atop your desk.
What was it like in the vicinity of those heroic wizards? I mean heroes with names like Ken, Dennis, Doug or Joe, names like Thompson, Richie, McIlroy or Ossana. Well one thing we all felt was the sheer wit in their Wissenschaft. Just as they wittily abbreviated with 'dc', and here, so too with their hi-voltage astronomy program, its brief name. Their powerful generator of accurate and uptodate charts of the heavens only needed the three-keystroke word 'sky' <enter>. They were likely just being gentle with us low-wattage souls nearby.
Their uptodate Bell Labs hardware (the PDP8, say, with its funny little 'random access' tapes spooling nervously to- and fro-) had no trouble outperforming any citizen DeskCalculator within 100 miles of Murray Hill, since it was their software driving it. Where was a given Soviet satellite due to appear over a given one of our hidden military observatories 36 hours hence ? Type in 'sky' and type in the key pieces of data (if you had the security clearances to have such data, or access to 'sky'). You'd know at once. Plato had an expression for this kind of thing, and had wizards like Richie and McIlroy and Ossana nearby: 'ean tis anwthen thewito' . Exciting archaic times.
Now suppose you had a largish number, like the 9,796,610 KWh's produced by HullWind2 between 3 May 2006 and 29 January 2009, and you wanted the average-power figure. Just divide by 996, the number of days, and then divide the quotient in turn by 24. Look how nicely things work out now, almost exactly 1000 days since commissioning. Just move the decimal place 3 places and you get the average daily output, output in power-times-hours terms. Divide by 24 and you have average power, just by itself. Divide this in turn by the machine's rated power (1800 KW) and you have the uptodate Capacity Factor of that machine, averaged over its first 1000 days.
Slide rules used to do this easily enough (nothing 'long' about long-division for them). The interesting thing is those early wizards and how they shortened things. Imagine starting from Plato's cumbersome phrase "Hypotheses aimed at Saving the Phenomena". Three keystrokes only : 'sky' ! The concision is breathtaking.
Wizard's Corner #39, Jan 24, 2009
Interesting new pro-windpower website, on display in Washington DC this week's Obama Inaugural events:
You can do some easy calculating of average power right now, most-way through January of 2009. Why ? Well Hull Wind 2
is reaching its 1000-day anniversary. This means you can take its (roughly) 9,725,000 KWh of total output and
divide by 1000 to get daily output. Divide this again by 1000 to convert the KWh's into MWh's. All this is plenty easy,
equivalent to moving the decimal-point 6 to the left. It results in about 9.7 MWh's on average, per day.
How much is a MWh worth on our mini-grid in Hull these days ? About $125 + $20 (REPI) + $45 (REC), the later
two 'additive factors' coming from incentives. The $125 represents the same as the 12.5 cents/KWh that we
Hull Light's ratepayers pay. The REPI is a Federal program of rewarding public entities
comparably to the way the Production Tax Credits reward private generators. The REC's are from the
'voluntary market', people chipping in the way people put money into collection baskets in churches or
send checks to certain 501(c)(3)'s. OK, let's now 'factor in' each of these two tributaries of incentives.
[The concept of addition-side 'factoring' is of course quite different from 'factoring' in the standard
sense. Beware of the 'diakatachrEtic' risks here ! Some early Greek mathematicians used the mnemonic, adding is like 2 but multiplying is like 'bigger than 2' -- more on the historical source of this pre-Plato pythagorising at the roots of set-theory if it interests you].
Anyhow, including these these two tributaries of incentive money, you get $190 per MWh all told. Thus on average over the past 1000 days HW2 has brought to the town's coffers about 9.7 * $190 daily. This is a bit under $2,000 per day of gross revenue, just for HW2 and just for an average day.
You may well wonder why various 'experts' out there look down on windpower as 'more expensive' than (say) coal or gas.No, it's not that
they're incapable of moving decimal points leftward like you and me. It's often that their bosses tell them,
not to worry about incremental social costs for coal. These bosses (fossil-fuel promoters, let's call them) regularly let
their analyses 'factor out' the costs to yourself as a member of The Public. Subtract them, that is. You are
asked to pay those out of your own pocket. So the game is: It's your burdens we add to, and it's the coal-budget
we subtract from. The old 'either I win or your lose, or both' if you call it by its right name.
Paul Krugman's Op-Ed piece in the NY Times for Friday the 24th (i.e. today) had well-argued dire warnings, and hints that, like Britain,
the US may very soon need to do some (can we say this ?) Nationalising, starting with banks. The little earlier
Empire can give lessons to the later big one ? Let's hope we are smart. And don't have to learn Mr.
Krugman's lessons the hard way -- having not listened to him early enough.
Wizard's Corner #38, Jan 16, 2009
Do you enjoy applying your wizardry to data in Excel spreadsheet format ? Well here's a glimpse of real-life sample to get some of that enjoyment. Ideally, you'll share with us at hullwind.org your results. Naturally, we can find you a still bigger range of data on HW1 and HW2, if you'd like to do a multi-seasonal or multi-year analysis. If I could make the image bigger, you could see that the 'G' column gives sums of the hourly outputs of HW1 (col. E) and HW2 (col. F).
Are there valuable intra-day patterns you can find ? Each day lists each hour's outputs, for each of our two machines. This will of course include a string of Zeroes in special cases. If there are matching strings of Zeroes in the adjacent columns E and F , this will mean windspeeds below start-up minimums. Non-matching Zeroes can indicate scheduled maintenance, or something like that. Sometimes we here at WizCrnr get info relayed to us about scheduled events, but sometimes we don't. So then we're left to making our best wizardly inferences.
If you have some way of enlarging this snapshot of our Excel worksheet, please do this. [We've tried, but haven't yet tried the Adobe Acrobat 'PDF' approach, to make this easy to read. We took some excerpts from Jan 1 and Jan 2 2009, and then skipped down to excerpts from our data's two most recent days, Jan 14 and 15 of 2009). Send us an email to inquire, if this interests you.
We've struggled to expand this image, but haven't had good results, obviously. Maybe a little more work will get something easy to expand. The word 'nano' comes from the Greek for 'dwarf' . We'd prefer not to do nanoscience here in our electronic corner. More expansive, and more Excel-like info may well come your way if you ask nicely. [If you write in Chinese or Russian script, this will present new problems. Let's take those on only if necessary.]
Here's an email address you can use to inquire further about this: email@example.com
Wizard's Corner #37, Jan 9, 2009
Two of our Wizards Corner operatives are due to arrive in Washington DC the morning of January 20th. One of them mused outloud: "maybe I'll run into Mr. Obama, who works there". The other came back like a New Yorker: "get real, son; the man will be busy with other things that day." Wizard-1: Did the Inauguration Committee's carefully engraved invitation that came in the mail mean that little ? Wizard-2: We better give him a few days. He's got a lot of miracles to perform before acting on his low-wattage miracles on behalf of us citizens living between Hull Mass. and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
But speaking of low-wattage projects, Mr. Obama ought to be in a big hurry to get one of these done. It might be low in watts, but it's plenty high profile: re-installing of a PV array on the White House roof. It's embarrassing how Pres. Carter got them up, Reagan got them removed -- and then nobody in the Clinton family seemed to notice their absence. The biggest disappointment here is that not even 'Million Solar Rooftops Bill' paid it any attention. Or is his right name 'Million Minus One' ? If the new First Man at our White House forgets, maybe our First Lady, or one of the children could remind him ?
The good Wizard will always prefer not to dwell on the past. Better to focus on the promising present and future. Our Obama Transition people should find time, even their earliest days on the job, to contact their comrades now hard at work on this nation's promise of a first-ever offshore windfarm. It's designed to be not far from Washington. These are the Bluewater Wind people, led by Peter Mandelstam, with a power_purchase_agreement for 200 MW of windpower already in hand. Nothing low-wattage about that project.
There are lively ongoing discussions within the windpower industry today, about the minimum fiscally viable size for any single privately developed offshore project.. Some say that the LIPA formula of some years back (minimum of 140MW) is no longer a target any developer can still plan around. Cape Wind's formula of over 400 MW seems now to be a target the private developer can rationally aim at. But so much depends on whether substantial public-side boosts become available. The word 'boost' is maybe more palatable than 'subsidy'. In any case the public has recently been re-sensitised, with large sums of publoic money being moved to where public control, and even public access to information, is rather limited. Will there be a consensus in the coming year on minimum viable size for offshore projects ? Plenty of wizardry is even now being invested in these ongoing discussions, that you can bet on. Not many projects under 300 MW are likely to be built under 2009's financial conditions. In any case the old LIPA size of 140 MW now looks unreasonably small.
The Delmarva Power & Light utility has signed on for a robust, industry-leading 25-year term, last summer. This covers Bluewater's first 200 MW of near-Washington windpower. The same project, some 11.5 miles off Rehoboth Beach, has been projected to expand, possibly up to 600 MW. Bluewater's project may reach 600 MW. How soon can this expansion be realised ? This is not yet known. The coming weeks and months are likely to tell.
Back to documentable facts now. At the end of calendar year 2008 our visitors here at hullwind.org made us think harder about the Asian continent's interest in our municipal-scale project. Visitors have been coming in record numbers from the Moscow-to-Beijing half of the globe. Have a look below. Do notice that, if you add together the visitors sourced from those two asian countries', you arrive at a number easily superior to the summing of the nine strongest in Europe. That is, China+Russia are major sources of visitors for us. The european countries are, in order: Sweden, Germany, GtBritain, Netherlands, Romania, Canada, France, Denmark, and 'European Country'. And what of Australia ? Maybe it's a matter of their mid-summer season ? In December of 2008 they dropped below #20 in the rankings. There for a long while they remained up near the top. But now (early January 09), they've anyhow climbed back up to #12.
THIS RANKING REFLECTS VISITORS, -- ALL OF DECEMBER 2008 :
Wizard's Corner #36, Dec. 8, 2008
Our flow of visitors has continued strong, here at hullwind.org. From all over the globe. Our month-specific counts of unique visitors do not include duplicative visits from the same address, and also exclude all 'robots', 'worms' or 'spiders' automatically searching the web. Even after these limitations, we average over 2500 per uniquely visiting people per month. This is over 3 per hour, on a 24/7 basis. One every 20 minutes, that is.
It's always something we take a special interest in -- the analysis by countries of origin. China has recently made a strong bid to rise in the rank order of countries. As of December 8, this month's chart has China's visitors in second place overall, and outnumbering Sweden and Netherlands combined. The strong (5th place) position of Sweden may possibly be accounted to the "Nordic Windpower" factor. This company has Swedish origins (as do Holger Thesleff's father's forebears). Their Swedish windpower presence in the US is currently advancing, due to their new initiatives out of Berkeley, California. See the chart for this month:
Wizard's Corner #35, Sept. 26, 2008
It has cost us some effort to stay uptodate and accurate in reporting output data on both HW1 and HW2. The Town decided some two years ago that a limited few persons would be able to open the hatch doors at the base of each of our turbines' towers. Just in recent weeks, after new people have come into office in Hull, access has begun to be less limited.
The Vestas V47 maintained by the good people at Mass. Maritime Academy sets us an admirable example. Admirable 'transparency' of their data. Try pasting this URL into your browser:
[then, after a few minutes, try hitting your 'refresh' or your 'F5' key -- to get yourself updated]
Other good examples up on the web are (1) Oak Creek Energy Systems of Tehachapi Calif. (their 'park survey' page), and (2) First Wind of Newton, Mass.. Both of these producers have an abundance of data, uplinked and updated in realtime.
We needed to make a correction to our figure for the larger machine's output, since its stored data in Ludlow Mass. revealed a production of 308,830 KWh's in May of 2006, and a cumulative total of 7,818,561 between June 1 2006 and Sept 25, 2008. This meant reducing our calculated CF by a minor amount, to 21. 5 % In all likelihood this figure will move upwards, cheering up those of us watching closely -- since the winds of late September and then on into fall, winter and spring tend to be stronger. In any case, the greater availability of this data is nothing but good news.
The following scenario is less implausible than it might sound at first: Michael Bloomberg travels to the Middle East, making stops at Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Visitors to our hullwind.org site from China (#2) and Japan (#9) have been prominent, -- as has been Great Britain (#4).
If all goes in the normal pattern, our mayor will only remain Mayor for another 460 days [he is fond of quipping about his personal countdown of his final days]. He intends, however, to put his City on track to becoming the biggest and best producer of clean, inexhaustible renewable energy to meet its huge and growing demand.
Bloomberg has made a point of traveling to Beijing, Tokyo and London, to discuss air quality, traffic congestion, open space, clean energy production and other 'green city' issues, always taking pains not to be hypocritical, -- not to claim for his signal USA city any cure-all solutions to these shared problems. Our website continues to have a strong flow of electronic visitors from China, Great Britain, Japan -- and (surprisingly) also from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
There is a lesser flow, but a thought-provoking one, from Venezuela and from Pakistan. A recent 'Request for Expressions of Interest' submission to Mayor Bloomberg cited this flow of international visitors to hullwind.org Data of this sort is not readily gathered. But look how much better will be New York's standing in the world than if our overseas brethren hear only mindless chants like "drill, Baby, drill !" coming from this side.
[following is an excerpt from a response to NYC Mayor Bloomberg's RFEI, for making his City unique --the 'greenest' on the planet]
3.7 Additional Information.
3.7.1 There is an international dimension to making our City greener. It may be a sign that China and Australia have recently been ranking high among visitors to www.hullwind.org When a New York mayor visits Beijing or London or Tokyo, one extra point of pride in our greenness can be our already installed megawatts of renewable energy generation. See table of visitors below.
Visitors (by country) since September 1, 2008:
Wizard's Corner #34, Aug 14, 2008
Here we are again, looking at ourselves in the mirror. More like Sisyphus than like Narcissus, Sisyphus being certifiably the father of (or one of the fathers of) Odysseus Sisyphides -- the H. Thesleff of antiquity.
See how our site and its WorldTravel now yields up its statistical image. Oddly enough, Italy, --a dominant presence just months ago, -- now looks less prominent even than Iran. Of course Iran may be getting curiouser about the US these days, what with imperial strategists like Mr. Perle investing his money in Kurdish oil, and possibly enlisting Cheney's help in this.
Old line strategist Perle is unlikely to have kept up with T. Boone Pickens. Otherwise he'd be hip to the idea shared by Pickens and Gore -- also a favorite of ours here at WizCrnr. Our shared idea is that you'll find a better and quicker route to world dominion -- more peaceful too -- if you install windpower machines. Install them close to home. Then convince Iran to follow suit. Pickens the diplomat from Texas !
A recent communique from David Lindorff of Pennsylvania has hipped some of our staff at WizCrnr to the unlikelihood that the USA will need to impose Martial Law -- either in Bagdad or in Washington DC. No impeachments either. Not of Cheney and not of GW Bush. Martial Law here at home wouldn't work well, if top military brass didn't cooperate.
Spain still looks very good. Their Iberdrola Renewable does the good world-dominating, and peacefully too. GE Wind could learn from them ?
Wizard's Corner #33, June 28, 2008
The two most frequently visited pages here -- after the homepage -- are (1) Wizards Corner and (2) History. Our guess is that a main point of interest here at WizCrnr will be the analysis of visitors by nation. We used to react with surprise at this tabulation. What causes the United Arab Emirates to be in our top 25 countries? And why has Great Britain increased dramatically in recent weeks? Or Thailand, China and Vietnam -- an unexpectedly strong showing here at hullwind.org.
Up until now we haven't noticed this prominence of visitors from Spain. Does this reflect some of the initiatives of their energy giant 'Iberdrola', -- for example in New York State ? In any case, we want to send out 'un abrazo' to our esteemed colleagues from the Iberian peninsula, and also throw forward the hope that we will see one another again soon !
Wizard's Corner #32, June 5, 2008
HULLELEUIA ! our 10,032 MWh, or 10,032,397 KWh's landmark.
Our good little 660KW machine has just achieved a major milestone. In the MWh way of measuring, we're now for the first time "in 5 digits", and in the KWh way "in 8 digits". Some of us insist on calling this precious treasure of ours 'Snooky', -- nevermind what Town Hall, or anyone connected with Town Hall think. More later on that idea of connected_to_Town_Hall. On the standard retail market hereabouts and in these current days, these 10 million KWh's are worth AT LEAST $100/MWh. Time of day is a factor, of course, and day_ahead or hour_ahead markets differ somewhat. These are nuances, which we cheerfully leave it to our wizards (like Bro. Mike Lynch) to decipher and act on, on Hull's behalf. Bro. Lynch is truly a wizard in that line of work, take our word for it. In any case you have retail value well over a million dollars -- even before any of the trusty 'REC' bonuses (thanks MassEnergy for your lovely longterm contract and your reliable payments). Thanks also to Harvard for their regular payments of bonuses for the HW2 certificates, in this case a contract running until 2016. Al Gore will be an old man by then, but likely still applauding his Alma Mater for struggling against that true but inconvenient fact of Global Warming.
Is there anyone today who fits this following description ? Deeply and broadly connected to Beacon Hill (say Speaker of the Lower House), and eager to embrace, even hug, our 660KW named Snooky? If so, let him or her come to Hull, arms outstretched. Several years ago, when in process of announcing his newly formed candidacy for Governor of Massachusetts, a youngster named Deval Patrick came to hug HW1 and display the first edition of his campaign posters. We'll dig up the color photos of that event, if you ask us to. People in our Commonwealth didn't know him very well at the time. But he's now been our incumbent Governor for many months already. Some have wondered if he'll be invited to join the Cabinet of the then-newly elected President of our US of A (new as of November 2008). Meantime Gov. Patrick is and remains a real force on Beacon Hill (forceful, that is, both ex officio and of himself). Our Speaker of the House hugs HW1, our Governor hugs HW1. Maybe a cabinet member will come back to this site not far south of Newton Mass. to hug her again -- in summer of 2009 ?
You'd think these politico's from Beacon Hill had studied under Hull's Turbine-Hugger in Chief, Steve Strong of Solar Design, Inc. ! Than whom you won't find a wizard more devoted to windpower. Except ourselves, except ourselves. To all of our friends we celebrate today thusly:
"May any and all of our connected_to_Town_Hall comrades from Beacon Hill come back repeatedly." We're here for you, as for all of the public. Here for the AWEA-2008 comrades too. We're here through thick and thin, through WSJ-disapproved casino gambling (State of Louisiana clinched the WSJ argument), through the newly imposed ocean management regulations (likely unpopular amongst some of us between here and Nantucket Sound). We're also here for the Governor's robust welcome's extended to Cape Wind (truth to tell, we in WizCrnr have a bit of ambivalence on Cape Wind's scheme of benefits to their locality -- transparency and directness of the local benefits not fully secured, it seems to us).
Anyhow, and politics aside, we love the hugs, and love how public is our 'ten million' machine. Our beloved HW1 must be resonating today to our locality's Hulleleuias. One day soon the beloved Snooky Johns -- who did HW1's champagne 'launch' back in late June of 2002 -- will no doubt be hearing our loud shouts of love and respect too. Then it'll be a purple HULLELEUIA !!
Wizard's Corner #31, May 20, 2008
Two points to report on, the Capacity Factor for Hull Wind 2 as of its Second Anniversary date -- a bit under 24%.
Hull Wind 1 has regularly stayed above 26%, but only in one of its 6 years did it achieve better than 27.5%.
Point 2: we marvel at the changing configuration of our lists of Unique Visitors here at hullwind.org.
Our statistics regularly exclude robots, spiders, worms (these are not bona fide 'visitors', much less
visitors worth keeping track of in our counts. On average, we seem to attract about 4 visitors per hour,
or one every 15 minutes. That's our average around the 24-hour clock. Notice also that our total of unique visitors
gets accumulated in a month-specific way. "around the clock" might look different in Hull and Vietnam.
Notice how, as of 3d week in May, we have a strong showing of Vietnamese visitors -- stronger
than any European country, and stronger than our often strongest (non-USA) count, Australia.
Here is what it looked like earlier today (the 20th of May):
Wizard's Corner #30, Apr 9, 2008
Three points to report about:
1. in mid-April (that's less than a week from now) we U.S. taxpayers will be completing our "Form 1040", one way or another, and, sun theO as Plato used to say, sending it to its rightful destination, the IRS, with our accounting of taxes due to them. It seems odd, but the program called 'CREB', or Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, is administered by this same IRS, due to their already funding public school buildings, and CREBS can be modeled on that financing pattern. This program is intended to allow governmental or public entities to enjoy some financial support parallel to what the 'PTC' or Production Tax Credits provide to private-sector investors in renewables. Hull's offshore project has applied for a modest sum under this program, and the early prospects look favorable. Not that the bonding requires no capital repayment -- like other bonds, it does severely require this. Town of Hull, with many other fiscal pressures coming to bear on it in 2008-2010, may struggle to meet this severely enforced payment schedule. It is set according to a complex formula that few ordinary citizens (none of us here at Wizard's Corner) understand fully. In any case, render_unto_Caesar is a 'large half' of a formula for April 15th. Even lesser wizards like Phil Lemnios of Natick can grasp the seriousness of these matters. So whatever is your wizardry coefficient, don't forget your severely enforced payment deadlines !
2. The U.S. State Department's website, 'America.gov' just a few weeks ago put up an article praising our Hull windpower projects. See the link on this site's homepage. We can't help enjoying this publicity, which we first found out about via the U.S. Embassy librarian in Sofia, Bulgaria. Snejana Yaneva. Thanks, Sneja ! On the other hand, some of us at Wizards Corner were amazed that this U.S. story of a few weeks ago identifies a certain Massachusetts State agency for promoting renewables. But there have been some signs that this state agency is "not long for this world", thus may well be defunct a year from today. (Keep an eye on it, Sneja!)
Here is a sign. A major pair of wind and solar initiatives on Deer Island, directly across Boston Harbor from Hull and not 10 KM distant from our State Capitol building, was announced this week by our Governor's office. But the Governor never mentioned this agency in his announcement. How can this be ? It is yet harder to explain, since that renewables agency reports to the the Governor's top appointee, his Energy officer, a man who reports directly to the Governor himself. Maybe Washington is too far from Boston for these signs to make sense ? Hey, even as far away as Hull (15 KM from him) and Deer Island we have trouble making sense of this paradoxical set of facts. Is the Governor's agency not long for this world ? A further sign came to us last week, via one of our Wizards Corner scouts. That state agency's Executive Director confided this: "my agency might not exist beyond June 30th of this year -- 2008 I mean." That's a stronger sign than most in Massachusetts politics.
What about this following series of upbeat thoughts and dreams ? Boston Harbor will one day have "A string of pearls" to connect to Frederic Law Olmsted's well-know "Emerald Necklace", this being a series of green spaces surrounding the City of Boston roughly from Deer Island to its northeast to Hull to its southeast. Now with the Governor announcing a set of wind-turbines up at the North end (Deer Island), and with our pair of peninsular turbines at the lower end of this same Harbor -- this "string of pearls" may be in its embryonic stage of life. Please note that Quincy and its Nut Island intend to put up a Harbor Island commercial-scale turbine. Quincy is a fine place to put another pearl out on that string of harbor islands. Now F. L. Olmsted did things of national significance (Central Park in New York City was only one of them). He strung precious bits of landscape architecture together, long before this was fashionable. One might say, taking Al Gore's Nobel Prize as 'year One', Olmsted was a great figure in landscape architecture's 'prehistory'. He is quoted as praising Boston for its care and attention of its Harbor and the islands here. He might've had trouble with the syntax of the string 'America.gov'. Nevermind, he saw a lot of the future, long before Al Gore was born.
We may not be just dreaming idly here, since a young man named Craig Olmsted --a member of F.L. Olmsted's extended family -- is an engineering wizard of today, and he's helping put up wind turbines near Boston ! Why couldn't this youngster -- perhaps with help from Bluewater and Peter Mandelstam -- create a "landscape" all the way down past Block Island RI ? Why not even as far as Hunts Point Park in New York City ? Geologists tell us that lots of 'New England style' granite is there to give support. Call it the 'Quincy effect', except not prehistoric Quincy now.
Only dream on a bit further and young Olmsted reaches the East River, maybe even down to where Mayor Bloomberg can look out his City Hall window, towards the Manhattan Bridge, and see a pearl that has a linkage to our pearls and emeralds here in Boston. A Green City, that's what Mayor is ereaming of. He wants 20MW of locally generated Green power, as documents can prove. Bloomberg's plaNYC includes this -- at Energy Initiative #11. Do we not have ample evidence of the 'polymEtic' Bloomberg's being a major Wizard ? We do. He even preaches greenness to Beijing and their 2008 Olympics. Also preaches it locally to NYC. He could recruit young Peter Mandelstam, or not-so-young Barry Benepe to follow on pre-history's Alfred E. Smith and Robert Moses, visionaries both. So then (are you and your son stil reading, young P. Koenig ?) we end up with a Bloomberg-visible piece of urban landscape architecture, a string of Pearls connecting Olmsted_South to Olmsted_North. Easy to find that 20MW of green 'downstate" energy, before 2010. Bloomberg's Beijing talk ends by being an NYC walk. Wizards Corner has heard a rumor about a NY City organization called Sebreeze Energy, that wants to supply some of that 20MW the Mayor has pledged -- from inside the City Limits.
3. Do you find these charts of "visitors" to our site interesting ? They interest us mightily ! Why so many Aussies ? Is it because their Labour Government last week announced ("Financial Times") a major national boost to their windpower ? Why that many from Italy? We have no guesses, though Milano is one smart city. And what of Iran ? Are the Iranians now thinking like our 'BP' colleagues, -- 'B(eyond) P(etroleum)' ?
Wizard's Corner #29, Feb 7, 2008
We've reviewed this concept "Capacity Factor" once or twice in these pages. Time to go over the matter one more time -- this time introducing a few nuances.
Our preference here has regularly been to avoid nuances (such as scheduled downtime, such as "derating" our machines.) This keeps the calculations simpler and also more completely transparent. Transparency here means: it's not at all hard for you to double-check. You can simply run your own calculation taking the output data we're relaying and figuring out how many total days --therefore total hours, at 24 hrs per day -- to take as the basis.
For example, looking backward from today [i.e. Feb 7, 2008], and counting all the days since the commissioning day of HW1, up to and including yesterday, the 6th. That's the last day for which we have full information. OK, it adds up to how many ? Year2001 had 4 days only, 2002, 03, 05, 06 and 07 each had 365 (these five were each a non-LeapYear). So adding those 4 to the 1825 of the five 'regular' years, you get 1829 days. Now add each of the two extra 'irregulars', namely the 366 of 2004 and the 37 days from these Jan 1 - Feb of 2008, you arrive at the following sum:
4 + 1825 + 366+37 days = 2,232 = total days since Dec. 27, '01, commissioning of HW1
Now here's where some of the nuances and some of the 'extra assumptions' can enter, if you want to let them enter. You can try to anticipate such things as 'downtime (scheduled or unscheduled)', assumptions based upon a de-rating, or down-rating of one's expected (by nameplate estimates) power, &c. Our scientific instincts take alarm here, as follows: are we sure we'd "derate" our machines by the same percentage as (say) a Jim Gordon would do to his Cape Wind machines, or a Jay Cashman to his Buzzards Bay units, or an MMWEC to their
? Or, just assuming someone near Execution Rocks at the west end of Long Island Sound were to study his wind and expected energy production -- which of these nuances should be built into that planning ?
Keeping it as we prefer -- uncomplicated -- lets us all stay scientific and on the same footing. We here at Wizard's Corner take the following approach: to guard against WishfulThinking (recall the proverbial horseman, the one who rides only If Wishes were Horses), we stay out of the nuances altogether.
Let's run an example, adhering to our preferred nuance-free approach. ty across parts of one's own project, and also across projects. Simply divide the total KWh's produced (by HW1) by the total days it's been online -- i.e. divide the 9,488,217 by the 2,236, and we are all clear what we have, namely the average KWh's per day. (raw KWh's divided by total days gives the average figure for KWh's-per-day). One more step gets you to the average POWER of our actual output. You must divide by the 24 hours, to find KWh's of energyper hour, by the time in hours. This results in a figure for average KW's -- the average power over the subject time period. Note how it all chedks itself (a cardiologist skilled at electrical engineering once told me 'pay attention to the DIMENSIONS !') In this case it's KWh's of energy divided by h's of time, and you get (avg.) KW's of power -- right ? That's good science, either for a cardiologist or a chemistry teacher, -- or for anyone else of a scientific turn of mind.
Only one thing then remains, before you arrive at our final number, our calculated 'CF'. We're aiming to get a percentage. That is, we want the percentage of maximum-possible-power which is represented by our formula's average power. This has the great merit of being a true, no-nonsense, nuance-free result, as valid in Boston Harbor as it is in New York City. It tells us what percent of a hypothetical 'running full bore around the clock' -- what Capacity Factor we actually achieved since Day One. We divide our observed actual average power (for today, Feb 7, 2008, -- and for HW1 --this came out to be 177.1 KW). We used an un-adjusted 660 for the 'rated' power. Exactly what the manufacturer claims our machine will do, at a maximum, when wind conditions are optimal (over the startup velocity, but under the maximum that causes the machine to go into self-protective shutdown). Just like a 200 horsepower motor, or car, expects to put out a peak power of 200 'horses' of power when running wide open, throttle to the floor.
Our final answer to the CF calculation comes down to:
177.1 KW/ 660 KW, = 0.2684 or 26.84%
Precisely the same calculations for HW2, and its to_date output (as of Feb. 7), 6,401,773 KWh's. Its 640 days since commissioning gets you 416.7 KW / 1800 KW = 0.2315 or 23.15 %
Now a fine thing about blocking any nuances, is how you can then proceed to make straighahead comparisons. If Jim Gordon's CapeWind project says it will achieve a 40% CF, and if its total rated power is 486 MW, then Jim Gordon expects 0.40 X 486,000 KW X (365 X 24) hrs of output energy in each year with no LeapYear's day in it. If Berkshire Wind expects a 30% CF, and has 15,000 KW of rated power, its annual expectation will be 0.30 X 15,000 X (365 X 24) 39 million 400 thousand KWh's in Berkshire's case anda little over 1.7 billion KWh's in the Cape Wind case. May they achieve their 30% and their 40% !
Our situation in Hull today differs from these large or future projects in various ways, including:
1. Cape Wind and Berkshire will have hub heights substantially higher than Hull's
2. ocean breezes (Cape Wind) and mountaintop breezes (e.g. Berkshire's) are cooler, stronger
4. these example projects are all 'virtual' or 'future' or 'projected' outputs, whereas Hull's are actual
5. the CF calculations for Hull's project are transparent, simple, un-nuanced - thus easy for you to check.
Tune in for some extra wizardry relating to Dicaearchus and his little pseudo-Platonic dialogue 'Sisyphus', or 'Sophistry's Father'. Some have thought Plato wrote that dialogue, but there are signs it was a polemical piece at the Early Academy -- aimed against Theophrastus of Eresos. It differentiates deliberations about non-existent futures from deliberations of a plainer sort. That's where Amphinomus (was this a nickname for Philip of Opus, the 'stasiarch' ?) did their hyper-orthodox disputing. Their debates were hi-theoretical adventures in the near vicinity of "Mr. Outis", or "Mr. Nobody", also known as "Sisyphides" since his father was, or may have been, Sisyphus. Much wizardry there at the Old Academy, around 360BC. Proclus may have understood this better than we do. But who knows, it may be that we of today may find ways to out-wizard Proclus. Stephen MacKenna, a Sisyphides himself, would've delighted to translate our results into Gaelic, or into song.
Wizard's Corner #28, Jan 17, 2008
Our statistics here at hullwind@org make sure to leave to the side 'spiders and robots' -- not counting them into the totals. That is, they're left out of the reported 'hits' or 'visitors', or 'unique visitors'. This is of course good science.
Many of the robots are just testing to see if we're still here, are still having a robust number of hits, visits, &c. It's clear to many of 'them', robots and you valued e-readers alike, that we're having our share of visits, who're downloading their share of kilo- and meta-bytes. [A little linguistic aside -- have you ever heard the words 'wattage', 'kilowattage' or 'megawattage'? Hey, you can hear them first right here. Why not? But maybe not so often the words 'bytage', 'kilobytage' or 'megabytage', right ? Many of them offend our SpellCheck program. Whatever your call them, our stats at hullwind.org report them to us.
A logician, initials J.B., was always interested in extreme cases. He asked me once if all these '-age' suffixed words, village, spillage, mileage, wordage, tonnage &c -- if this list would be complete without including the extreme case of 'age' pure and simple, suffixed to a nullity ? I found him the example of Rene Descartes, using the French word 'aage'. This pleased him, increased his smileage. That was back in the 1970s, and he has since moved to Australia. No harm done, so far as I know, to his ageage.]
Here's a clip from our early-January 2008 report:
Wizard's Corner #27, Oct 11, 2007
Try this out on your "I pay no heed to reports that are too ANECDOTAL" principle. I assume it's your principle too, not just mine, OWC, unless I hear back to the contrary. A man knocked on my door at 5:30 this afternoon, said he was interested in my signing a "contract" which would bind me and Consolidated Edison. It would be favorable to my personal interests, he assured me (all this within the first 60 seconds of accepting my invitation to 'come right in'). What group or company did he represent, and what was his name, I reasonably asked him. Could I have a copy of the contract he'd already put into my hand, asking for my signature ? Bob acted reluctant to turn loose of a copy of the printed form and muttered something about wanting me to hand back the one copy he'd handed me -- after I signed it. Mind you, less than 45 seconds had yet elapsed since he entered the front door of my Bronx residence.
Well his name was (so he said) Bob Woodside, a resident of Queens, and his company, said he, was "US Energy Savings". How were my interests being promoted by my signing ? I said something a bit sarcastic about his asking me for my signature before I'd read the contract, something about his allowing me less than twenty-seconds-worth of reading time. In such a quick scan I might fail to spot clauses about my volunteering to do military service in Iraq in the coming few months. Wizards can be wicked, you understand. Bob may understand too, though I did not show him my Wizard badge. No, Bob warbled reassuringly, there were no clauses about military service. I proceeded directly to the business at hand, and asked about KWh's and CCF's of gas (ConEd markets both, here in the Bronx.)
Kilowatt-hours, he continued patiently -- ConEd would guarantee me an exemption from any rate-increases for the coming 10 years, above the figure printed "right here in the contract" (he was pointing, and the number did in fact read '15.9', with no further digits appended. Well he wanted to see my most recent ConEd bill before he'd willingly answer that question. Whilst I dug the bill out (mind you, not 3 minutes had yet elapsed since he stepped through my front door), I asked him if his 15.90 figure was "net of delivery charges -- that is, this is only the rate for the KWhs as the undelivered commodity, delivery charges to be added on top ? Right, said Bob.
He showed no sign of familiarity with the layout of my ConEd bill, when I produced it. Naturally, I wondered that Bob hadn't yet seen many bills just like this, maybe dozens or scores of them, in the course of his work for the ConEd contractor. My wondering this aloud was ample -- so loud as to fill my livingroom.
Anecdotal, you say ? Yes, this would seem to be a classic specimen of the anecdotal, in the ordinary meaning of that word. Etymologise it, though, and you get 'without "ekdosis". Like the German word, 'unherausgegeben'. This way it comes out meaning 'un-published' 'not given out [to the public]''. From your vantage-point, Dear e-Reader, and since this story was 'published' here at Wizard's corner on 11 Oct 2007 -- it's not truly unpublished. It would gain still more standing with you, and not fall subject to your principle ruling against the merely anecdotal if I were to publish the 1-866 phone number of his company. Just ask, and I'll publish that too.
My ConEd charges for 'delivery' is public, part of their published tariffs. Here in the Bronx, delivery charges now run 7.3898 cents/KWh. Is this what my signature would be 'buying' me ? I'd be able to buy a KWh for a figure somewhere near 23-and-a-quarter cents, provided delivery charges didn't go up, for the coming 10 years. But Bob, what about my monthly Service Charges ? Yes, those are also added on top, and are not covered under this contract. I believed him.
Like the "core" rate of inflation, -- a few things are being left out of Bob's "15.9". Robert Reich has suggested an 'Inner Core' index -- the core of the core. This omits food, energy and your home mortgage. I retained my politeness and personal decorum with Bob of Queens, and concessively counter-warbled, "ConEd has to look out for its interests too". Some deal, you'll agree. Did ConEd recently consolidate itself further by merging with Keyspan, I asked ? This would make it like former Boston Edison, merged into NSTAR, merging itself in turn with former Boston Gas, renamed Keyspan. Any guarantee they won't re-merge, say with WalMart, Home Depot and Google inside 10 years ? Those early mergers, yes, said Bob, they happened.
Does this not have the ring of the un-anecdotal, Dear Reader? Thanks for your patience, and for your principle too. I have not recently had any offers of a longterm mortage from 'Countrywide', except for the one I got yesterday from them. They came e-knocking on my email's front door. Should I open it ? Would you ?
Update on the Aussie Question. 1. the world's largest windfarm was announced last week -- proposed to be installed in Australia. 2. no Aussie was hired by Hull Light, and their rank has fallen from their #2 rank here at HullWind.org, not even staying in our top 10, as unique visitors:
Wizard's Corner #26, Sept 28, 2007
Hull Wind 2 is now within easy reach of its own 5-million KWh mark -- by the time of this writing likely 10,000 KWh or more over. We here at hullwind.org continue to be underinformed about any but 'estimated' readings of its output meter, sorrowfully for us. There have been rumors around town, however, that a new Operations Manager is either already on duty or will be before Thanksgiving.
Meantime questions have arisen (reports came back from an August 'outreach' session) about the true 'CapacityFactor', or CF, of HW2. Why should our reports reflect a figure so low as below-23% ?
One reliable reporter said he heard it there from a Hull official that HW2's true CF was: 29%. This a true shame if an officer of our town published such a figure, despite this website's steadily and responsibly reporting to tens of thousands of site-visitors over recent months -- quite different numbers.
Why do we at hullwind.org expect a CF figure several percentage points below that
of HW1, as of end of summer 2007 ? There is a perfectly straightforward explanation: months like January in Hull normally deliver about triple the wind-energy resource that months like July deliver. (South of the Equator it is likely to be the reverse.)
In the case of our larger machine this means that, since it went online in early May of 2006, and much to its disadvantage as of September 2007, it has had only one season of January-like wind seasons behind its CF number, but two seasons of July-like winds. HW1 by contrast, since it is now nearly 6 years old (2101 days since commissioning), has 6 of the strongest seasons balancing out its 6 of the weakest.
Good science does not let itself be swayed at all (not by fear, not by favor) from reporting
data honestly. By the way, we've wondered if 'sine ira et studio', the motto of 'Financial
Times', means something like 'without fear or favor' ? Do a favor to your WikiComrades here at Wizard's
Corner, and inform us if you know. Meantime, and getting back to the point about good science: it is compelled by its nature to exclude all distortions of its data, -- 'wishful-thinking' or other.
We needn't make a point about General Petraeus needing to 'restate' his announced numbers. Admiral Fallon is easily as much a military man as our General -- he's even his commander. Of course he didn't use Latin, but used language you might expect of a high-ranking sailor. The Admiral scolded the general: let's have no distortions of the information or analysis -- nevermind what our boss might want to hear. Science tells it like it is.
Wizard's Corner #25, July 30, 2007
Is this "mid winter"? Yes, if you're in Australia, it is. The fact is that Australians have out_visited friends_of_USA by a factor of 20 or more this wintry month of July. I mean this: from July 1st (i.e. "early winter") through today, our nationality_based count of visitors to Hullwind.org looks this way:
Try this calculation: add Canada to France to Great Britain, then see if Aussies don't outnumber this agglomerated set of friends BY NEARLY A FACTOR OF 10. All of us are "English Speaking" (The French are proud of being able to say "Freedom Fries" without an accent. Ask Pierre of LeRefuge.com if Mons. le Wizarde is not au point on this one.) Maybe you have an explanation. We don't.
Let's ask ourselves some questions. Let's 'wiki' the matter. Who knows, our next Operations Manager may turn out to be -- if the selection process stays honest, anyhow -- an Aussie !
Wizard's Corner #24, July 6, 2007
We have had to rely on estimates for the output values of HW2 these past weeks -- and likely this will remain true for another month or so --since there has been some trouble with the remotely-read meter (on the 13.8KV side of its transformer). This limitation happily only affects us on Fridays, and does not affect our HW1 reports at all, -- where the meters and our information flow is going smoothly.
Today's figure for HW2 (July 6, 2007) is calculated based on HW1's output for that same period. We assumed that the 24 hours of production on July 5 will be roughly the same -- using just HW1's CF for the same 24-hr period. This meant setting the HW2 estimate to 17,800 KWh for this July 5th period. We simply added that figure to our last available meter reading.
Our WizCrnr staff is now operating at a reduced output level. This is likely to remain true (for various reasons) until early September. All the same, you our valued e-readers deserve a serious flow of info. We'll do our best till the fall.
We Americans sometimes forget about our standard-setting colleagues, the Europeans. But within months (so our local forecasts have it) all of us here may have to raise our sights, whether we want to or not. Just thinking about windenergy in particular, this means paying attention to standards of the Danish Energy Authority, and its publications. Their November 2006 book entitled "Danish Offshore Wind" illustrates this gap between America and Europe vividly.
See if you don't agree. Are these not higher-than-American standards at the following website ? click here
In any case, and back in our picocosmic WizCrnr, we'll do what we can to regain our strength. Wna we'll also look to raising our own super-local standards. Our favorite motto here is 'before Thanksgiving'. It's like the proverbial "rich farmer" He's proverbially a "next-year farmer".
Wizard's Corner #23, June 19/20, 2007
Please click on the 'images' button on our homepage to see a shot taken last evening, -- HW2 with crane adjacent.
This may be the right time and place to bring out a fundamental fact about our 'NGO' website, our C.A.R.E. organisation -- and their relation to the public entity (a department within Town of Hull), -- Hull Municipal Lighting Plant (HMLP for short). We at hullwind.org are not now, and have never been, a part of Hull's town government. Nor beholden to any subdivision of this.
Our flow of information from the Town varies widely, and not always predictably. It ranges from free flow of many forms of information, to a restricted flow, to a vigorous and determined shutting off of information. Illustrative of the unpredictability (to us) was yesterday's event: neither the Town Manager's office, nor HMLP nor any of the Selectboard, nor any other facet of our local government gave us any advance notice of this planned shut-down. No "heads up" as we say in our non-Australian way of speaking -- about this scheduled repair. The first we knew was when one of our wizards drove by the landfill yesterday where HW2 is sited. Our operative noticed a crane adjacent, its boom extending up past the nacelle. That was yesterday -- we promptly put up an image on our 'images' page -- last evening.
This leaves us today (no further info from Town Hall) needing to guess about various things:
(1) was this repair scheduled, and if so how far back was the schedule known by our colleagues at Town Hall? (2) the content of the repair: does it follow up on the 'temporary' fix reported here WizCrnr ##14-16 ?
(3) is there any prediction by Vestas or the Town, about when HW2 will be back in operation?
[PS as of 09:45 this morning, June 20th, HW2 was observed, by us, to be back in operation. We can judge the dimensions of this event as follows. Neither the hours of downtime (not much over 24 hours), nor the wind-energy-opportunity lost (some 5 MWh) -- was much of a burden. Define a burden as an ekplExis in the sense of ps-Pl. Def 415e8.]
Remaining underinformed, whether in Hull's 'constricted-flow' or 'no-flow' mode, all we can do is supply you our best guesses on these and other questions. Are there also questions about the procedure for selecting a new Operations Manager for HMLP ? There are, but this is for a later discussion.
For a reader of your e-wit and e-intelligence, there will be (again, pardon us our non-Aussie jargon) a 'take-away'. This namely: a vivid illustration of the opposition " SGO vs. NGO ". Our organisation (Citizen Advocates for Renewable Energy, or C.A.R.E.) is a 'Non'. Hull's town government and its departments illustrate the 'Sic'. Today's updating of our homepage will be carrying a new disclaimer, reminding our e-visitors (Australian and other) that we here at hullwind.org are committed to remain on the 'Non' side of the divide.
Wizard's Corner #22, June 13, 2007
How much energy is in a baker's dozen of megawatt-hours? [Familiar definition: baker's dozen is an ordinary dozen, with an 'extra 1' factored in, or added in.] Hull's pair of turbines, as of today, have delivered one more than a dozen thousands of MWh's, in other words 13 thousand MWh's. Today's MWh's, adding the total from HW1 to the total from HW2, have topped the 13,000 MWh mark.
The two factors (additive) in today's sum of MWh's, those from HW1 plus those from HW2, are 8,637,055 and 4,366,465 . It's not so easy to count the number of days, since HW1 has been running 1994 and HW2 has been running 407. At any rate, this lump of energy, like a baker's dozen of edible consumables, has a market value. Depending on which bakery you patronise, you can buy that much electrical energy for between 1.3 million and 2 million dollars. That's assuming you buy each of its 13,003,520 KWh's for 10 cents, or 15 cents (apiece). Here in Massachusetts today only a few retail customers can find 10-cent units. Some of us have trouble finding them for 15 cents at the retail.
You won't be surprised to hear, even if you don't follow the electricity markets, that even bulk buyers, like Hull Municipal Light or MMWEC, can't always find a 10 cent wholesale KWh. Let us try to find one for 10 cents on a hot July or August afternoon, for example. Naturally, wholesale buyers are also bracing for overall price increases. Even for us bulk buyers, and even factoring out the hot summer afternoon prices -- a 15 cent KWh may soon look mighty appetizing. We might be happy to pay you for 13 of them, even if you only delivered us 12 (baker upsidedown).
Have I left something out of account? Yes, I've factored out the incentive payments, for our power's being wholly pollution-free. From our point of view these are icing on the cake. We have so far banked roughly $400,000 in incentive 'on-top' payments, and are under contract, so long as we continue to produce, to bring in another 2-million-plus dollars in the coming years, prior to 2015. Won't Al Gore, Nobel Laureate and US President, be proud of us? That's an incentive of another sort, which we're disciplining ourselves to factor out, -- at least for now.
News note: Gloucester has passed a 'land-based' ordinance, favorable to windpower. Notice here:
Wizard's Corner #21, June 10, 2007
Question 1: does the Wizard Bureau at hullwind.org have an 'operative' at the Amer Wind Energy Assoc meetings? Short answer: Yes.
Question 1a: Will this site have updated info, based on this operative's having been debriefed here in Hull? Short answer: Yes.
Question 2: Will Hull Muni Light Plant have a new Operations Manager before September of 2007? A good prospect that this will be so. Today's issue [June 10] of The Boston *Globe* (in its 'Careers' section, p. 6) carried a notice of Hull Light's job opening, announced that applications are due by July 9, 2007. For more info, have a look at Hull's town website: click here .
Some updated stats. on HW1 and HW2 production:
A. taking our pair of turbines in combination
The pair of turbines, in their aggregate total (1992+405) of days of generating time, since commissioning:
Twelve million Nine hundred eighty thousand or better -- a little fewer if you measure on the 'downstream' side of their respective transformers.
B. taking each turbine by itself
HW1 daily average (over the past 1992 days) 4,333 KWh's [would power one Danish home for a year].
HW2 daily average (over the past 405 days) 10,754 KWh's [would power one US household for a year]
Can Al Gore explain why Danish and US households differ so radically? He can, and will one day soon. An AP report late last week (June 7) told the world that 'Spain's most prestigious prize' was awarded to the man we surmise will become the next US president. The award is Spain's 'Prince of Asturias' prize, based on promoting international cooperation. AP goes on to note this about that award: '[it is] considered by some to be a prelude to the Nobel Prize'. Which is the source of guess 'Gore the next US President'.
More soon about forecasting the future. Ambrose Bierce wrote a parable about the future-divining man who, seeing one swallow, said 'hey, summer is here', and forthwith pawned his overcoat. We can subaudibly hear Bierce-Epakouomenos wondering, 'But does one swallow make a summer?' The parable ends, however: it was in fact summer. Chancy inference, yes; bad inference, no.
Wizard's Corner #20, May 25, 2007
HW1 and HW2 continue in their quiet and productive ways. Since last report we at hullwind.org have been fortunate to hear from Jill Cliburn of the APPA, and also to have achieved an improved format for our production statistics (Excel format). As soon as we can muster the Wizard Power we will be carrying out more detailed and more industry-standard analyses of our data. A certain lady whose code-name is ps.-Beatrice, -- or Kara --, may soon supply us the needed boost to our wizard-voltage.
Like Clemson University, with its newly announced plans to work on off-shore windpower a bit south of Cape Hatteras -- we will be sure to put our data and our analyses up on the web as quickly as we possibly can. That's for you, O e-reader. Your code-name might be "N. Theknow" or "Uncledave", as a certain website based in Fresno reports. We might imagine an echo of these names up here in the NorthEast, like J. Quincy Public or W.V. Equine. Sometimes our nation's southern and western states look up to us Northeasterners for guidance (U of South Carolina looked northward to U of Virginia, which in turn looked up to Harvard ; San Diego State looked east to Carnegie Mellon or M.I.T.).
At other times, however it is NorthEast admiring South or West. Two particulars of special relevance to hullwind.org: (1) the 209MW windfarm in West Texas, and the DOE decision to award TX rather than MA its funding for low-wind turbine blade research [decision still pending, as of this date]. That is likely to be Texas defeating Massachusetts. Another example: Stanford's program in Computer Science often sets the standard for Yale or NYU. Again, consider the collaboration of offshore wind engineers, at Clemson and Coastal Carolina U These universities may soon be the envy of Hull and M.I.T., since these southern engineers intend to set a fast pace, and also set high standards of academic professionalism. We up North will have all we can do to keep up with them. See if you don't see a Southern Challenge here: click here
News note about today's Wall St Journal 'Gorilla' contest -- WSJ is struggling to identify the mystery investors wanting to pour billions of dollars into erecting a world-class energy factory of some sort in southeast South Dakota, buying up thousands of acres of cotton and soybean fields but remaining completely anonymous. One of our wizard staff thought she came onto a clue. She overheard one of the investors close to Mr. R.E. White speaking a language not far from the American dialect of English -- but different. Our junior wizard reported to us yesterday (May 24): "It sounded sorta like Australian, and the man seemed to be talking about wind turbines !" See if this helps identify the Gorilla.
Wizard's Corner #19, May 9, 2007
A tidbit from the wizardology archives. You may have already known it, the diminutive 'Kuertli'. A loving diminutive applied to him by a close familiar -- to Kurt Goedel. There's published evidence. It is doubtful, however, that Abraham Robinson (ne Robinsohn) or Dana Scott or Rudy Rucker ever called him that.
A draft letter from early 1971 handwritten by Goedel and intended for Robinson [who knew at the time that 'Abbie', Goedel's handpicked successor, had just 3 years left in his severely shortened life ? ] was never sent. Rather, the letter was published in Goedel's Nachlass. Now Goedel used a non-European way of expressing the date in that MS: mm.dd.yyyy. Yet he was himself plenty European, as you know. Kuertli the Austrian. So we might expect his hand to write, out of habit or tradition, in the dd.mm.yyyy format. Possibly he thought it affected to write the European mode, being now a Princeton person ? In any case, and wizardologists please take note, his hand in fact encoded it in the Americanised format there. A good example to follow.
Newsnote from the grapevine: at least five of us are in the market for 're-manufactured' hardware, comparable to the Norwind 46 -- but much more 'experienced'. Tens or hundreds of thousands of generating-hours of service behind them. Installed in California or in Texas perhaps. I won't say more about who these 5 are. This much for now: we all want to find sites in Eastern Massachusetts to install one or more such machines, we are none of us engineers by training, we have all studied the 'RECs' market, and (although we don't like saying it in mixed company) we know what the words 'anno' and 'Net Present Value' mean.
Two of us have our own personal crystal ball, which lets us do remarkably precise prognostications (recall the haff-untrustworthy, hahf-trustworthy method of Capacity Factor). On some date before Al Gore wins nomination to be our next President -- our agreeing devices have told us -- the Locational Marginal Prices in eastern Mass. will make at least a half-dozen installations here fiscally irresistable. All of these installations will occur east of Worcester.
If not, blame our respective crystal ball devices, don't blame us. Neither of us is in communication with former World Bank officer Paul Wolfowitz. But he was valuable material to test our forecasting on.
Wizard's Corner #18, 30 April 2007
1. HW2's energy output stood, as of 01:00 this morning (our FAX machine received this then) at
4,000,966 (hulleleuia !)
2. Is this a jarring number, the jolt being caused by some misalignment with our expectations ? A philologist I know has a somewhat compounded criterion. He looks to avoid the 'prognostische Anstoesse' where actual data turn out to mismatch prognostications, thus producing an 'Antoss' or 'jolt' to the observant philologist. The true road will aspire to be free from bumps, or "level in front". Ontogeny, he may have once said, either does or should recapitulate philology, the ontic and the true being level in front.
"If we want to do some prognosticating toward the 4 May 2007 date when HW2 will have had a full 365 consecutive days, we are well advised to assume an average CF for this machine -- just over this 168 day stretch of future time -- somewhere very near 34.5%. Do note this down, and see if we arrive at an overall CF as of next May 4 (predicted here and now) right near 27%. [Please don't report us to Dicaearchus, the friend of Plato who said planning for futures as if they were something really known is foolish, the future itself being -- as of now -- the very picture of non-entity!]"
The above is excerpted from WizCrnr #11 [dated 18 Nov 2006]. The idea then was to apply that trusty tool of wind-wizardry, ' Capacity Factor'. It is the always-trustworthy way of expressing one's forecasts -- these latter often-untrustworthy -- of future production from a given piece of installed hardware. The prognostication back then, some 168 days ago now, was that "as of next May 4 " HW2 would be expected to have moved its CF briskly upward from its then-current value, namely 19.4 %. But how far upward? Our prognosis, recorded then was based on forecasting CF = 34.5% for the "stretch of future time" between (a) that November day in 2006 and (b) the now-not-distant date May 3, 2007. The now expected modest further climb in the coming 2 days [comparable to a hitter in baseball turning in a 2-day average of .300] projects to an approximate 4,010,000 KWh's total production for year-one. And it would/will put the CF for this machine a bit under 26 %.
3. Now please don't put down our CF-Wizard if he appears to indulge in some 20-20 hindsight [you might see us saying "any plausible hindsight-adjustment is allowed, if it save our forecasts, keep our data and our prognostications level in front " !]. Here's a suggestion, based on a bit of what-if thinking. Recall that period of Zero production for HW2 during a 10-day period, alas it occurred right at the peak season for strong-cold winds. It occurred, and was reported in these pages, the final week of calendar 2006 and the first week of 2007. This was a time when HW1 was humming at a CF of 50% or so. [some further research could make this more precise, but this isn't needed here in what-if-land]. HW2 was temporarily down, due to an overheated component in its transformer. For about 10 days it scored a Zero for output energy.
What if we add in the rather calculable production HW2 lost in that particular period of its first year of production ? We project a little over 200,000 KWh's of energy lost during this down-time. (Hard on us to have lost 10 days of peak-wind days in a machine's first year. To compare: HW1 lost a week or so in August of 2004 to permit replacements of its generator and gearbox. This lost time was purposely slotted into the predictably lowest-wind segment of the year, and HW1 had already produced, almost continuously, over 3.5 years of output.) Now coming back to HW2 and its lost production last January: using our virtual-CF , i.e. one that gets this 'iffy' boost, which we can take as in the range of 45% to 50%, we arrive at approximately 200,000 of lost KWh's. The winds blowing by our landfill and not producing energy were like the 'water over the dam' at a hydropower plant, no energy harvested but a noticeable amount going by and catching our notice.
Yes, this calculation is a kind of 'wishful IF' form of thinking, like what gets the proverbial beggar a horse to ride on, -- if he just wishes to ride.
That extra 200,000 KWh's of 'CODEC- restored' energy [ask Philippe Charles to explain the word CODEC] would make our CF calculation come out, near 26.6. Some horse: not far from our forecasted '270 hitter'. From an industry point of view there's nothing disappointing about that average output. We can't all be like the man who lent his name to the Ted Williams Tunnel, disappointed if he went a year much under 400. [Margo Guda of the Fundashon Antiyano pa Energia in Curaçao took offense when someone I know said to her "show me the man or woman who brags about a windfarm with a CF over 50%, and I'll show you a liar." Margo's 12 MW windfarm turned in a 3-year performance over 60%, -- reason enough for her to take offense. I apologised.]
4. Here's a bit of extra grist for our calculated mills. A certain 15MW project in the Berkshires has convinced MMWEC that it will average better than 315. Now this is like Ms. Guda's, this is a team batting average, in this case 10 machines, each rated at 1.5MW. [MMWEC of course has its own department of Wind-Wizards. Is one of them named RB? No, RB used to be at MMWEC, but has moved to NE-ISO, taking his wizardry with him. Is one named ML? Possibly so.]
These proficient wizards run their own CF calculations as of course. It's only rarely the final data turn out to mismatch their prognostics. MMWEC has gone on record as thinking their 15MW wind-farm out near the NY State border (near town of Hancock), -- not yet online -- will have a 'team batting average' over 315. That's like having 2 Ted Williams's and several hitters not dragging along much below 290. Almost nobody on the team should be permitted to hit under 280 in any given year.
Do try your own wizardry on this puzzle, Dear E-reader. You will be matching wits with MMWEC's wizards if you do. Try multiplying 15 MW times 8760 hrs [their first year won't likely have a Leap-Year's worth of extra hours]. Then multiply the resulting product by 0.315. That has MMWEC harvesting a little less than 41.5 MWh of energy in their first year from that 15 MW farm. They aren't betting the farm on such a harvest, of course. Good wizards and good farmers know how unlevel the road can be, actual harvests mismatching what they'd quite reasonably forecast. My same philologist friend used to recite the ancient proverb about the rich farmer (the 'geOrgos plousios'). "This farmer standing before you is wealthy, you say? Well maybe, but me the wealthy one -- that's next year."
(see further, the prognostication in WizCrnr #12, of 28 Dec 06, end of par. 1. You there find a refreshed prognostication, trying to make an allowance for the missing production from that downtime).
Wizard's Corner #17, 20 February 2007
Great news ! HW1 has surpassed the 8-million KWh mark, since our homepage last put up data. Hulleleuia, as our Cambridge friend is fond of saying.
Welcome to our MVTV friends ! Your visits here are always welcome, but your progressive ideas about convincing "political leaders" to endorse windpower -- that makes you all the more welcome.
Please note the smart upward jump in the 'CF' of HW2, which now stands at 22.9%. It has added 271,745 KWh's since our last posting (on Feb 8). That's the same as 271.7-plus MWh's.
Let's do a bit of counting-our-NewEngland-pennies (in the spirit of Poor Richard): suppose, which is a true supposition, that Hull has been earning $50 + $45 + $19 just in the 'bonus points' for our green Megawatthours of output this past 12 days. That's adding the three pat-us-on-the-back sources Harvard U, MassEnergy, USDept of Energy. Here's how this adds up for this mid-February period: HW1 has produced 109.9 MWh's and HW2 has produced 271.7 MWh's in this 12-day period in early 2007. That's a lot of clean-green energy to brag about, just in a 12-day period. [A household of 4 standardly consumes less than that over a 60-year period !]
We anticipate payments from each of our three green-energy supporters as follows. US Dept of Energy pays us $19/MWh in 'renewable energy production incentive' revenue. Thus you have DOE at $19 X 381.6 = $7,632 for our past 12 days. Then add in Harvard's payment to us for just HW2's output : $50 X 271.7 = 13,585. Finally add in the MassEnergy payments for the HW1 component: $45 X 109.9 = 4,945. So our MassEnergy+Harvard+DOE revenue this past 12 days is expected to total a little over $26,000. Putting it another way, the past two weeks' bonus (i.e. green-tag) revenue from our turbines will nearly cover their maintenance&warrantee contract costs -- for the entire year !
But this isn't the half of it. What was the 'underlying commodity' worth to our Light Dept here? What will our Light Dept be billing us -- those of us here in Hull who have electric meters ? Well each MWh unit of energy, billed today at this or that meter in town (Wizard of course pays this rate cheerfully) brings our Light Dept $125. That's the same thing as a rate of 12.5 cents/KWh. So the revenue from the 'raw electric energy', -- the energy that you can think of as 'underlying' that lovely green canopy of bonus revenue -- this additional revenue will be 381.6MWh X $125 =$47,700. So the total revenue from this short period is enough to pay insurance and other overhead costs, and leave a serious sum to put toward capital cost, and its overhead.
Isn't there a NewEngland-form (frugality-based) argument to be made here? We can have our Citizen Poor Richard saying "a Megawatthour produced is more than a penny earned -- it comes to some two hundred dollars, when the bonus points are counted in ". Our frugal NewEnglander can then approach his or her political leader (on or off The Islands) and say: "Your constituents can easily follow my citizen-reasoning here. So it won't be just Citizen Richard, but my spouse and many of our friends who will likely cast our ballots for you if you support our frugal position. A healthy, clean source of energy such as this -- if you can help us to harvest this crop, you're likely to harvest our votes in the fall. As the MVTV show pointed out there are years or decades of revenue for our town's treasuries, quite likely. And they quite rightly said 'it's an inexhaustible resource'. "
Wizard's Corner #16, 7 February 2007
A report from the Vestas maintenance crew has just come in, identifying the short period of shutdown as due to the cold weather. The nose-cone has its own controller, which stops functioning if temps inside the cone fall below a certain lower limit. Re-starting then remains a problem, until the ambient temperatures rise to the critical level. As you'll recall, the maintenance work is covered by Hull's contract, so labor costs are not assessed. The only losses are the 'water-over-the-dam', as we may call it, drawing from hydropower lingo. Wind whistling by rather than turning our rotor.
The past 4 days (i.e. Feb 3, 4, 5 and 6) have produced fine results, Feb3=1000KW avg, Feb4=810 KW avg, Feb5=1630 KW avg, Feb6=880 KW avg. This means a consecutive run of 96 hrs at an average power of 1080 KW, or a local-to-this-period CF of 60.0 % [!] 'Windy and cold' say the weather people, not easy to tolerate; but we reply, cold-dense winds moving at high speeds -- while plenty chilly for us humans -- produce lots of power here in Hull. Over 20% of our total town's consumption over that period (we estimate) were 'carried' by our pair of windmills -- with our little Hull Wind 2.5 sometimes reaching up past its 'rated' power level. Our little guy was clocked up past 2.5 KW on our remote measuring device Tuesday the 6th, mid-afternoon. Its nominal rating? 1.8 KW !
Wizard's Corner #15, 28 January 2007, 9 AM
Update: at an hour sometime before dawn today HW2 became available again, and before 8 AM today the wind had come up past the minimum for it to generate. Good news this ! This also means its just-ended period of 'unavailability' was under two days. We'll do comparisons of our performance to industry standards for availability (95+ percent is a rule of thumb). In this particular measurement, HW2 will need to struggle in the coming months -- but HW1 has so far kept itself comfortably above this level over its 5-year total time. We'll have some more detailed reporting here in the coming weeks, when the precise data becomes available.
Wizard's Corner #14, 27 January 2007, 11:05 AM local time
Late-breaking news. Yesterday (the 26th) at 10 AM, Hull Wind 2 shut itself down. Early on a Friday is about the most awkward of timing for two reasons (a case of "awkwardness X 2"). Nature was supplying us -- and older brother HW1, which is working fine -- with strong winds and good cold dense air masses, but also our offices at Hull Light are closed all day Fri-Sat-Sun. Nevertheless, Operations Manager John Murdock was on the case yesterday, and called in a service order to Vestas at once. As of now (11 AM the 27th) we're awaiting their repair technicians.
This particular 'now' has an extra significance, being an hour ahead of our 'Drowned Hogs' event on Nantasket Beach. This is Hull's rendition of the "Groundhog's Day" magical causality rituals. We invite volunteers -- otherwise rational souls -- to immerse their bodies in our near-freezing Nantasket Beach waters. Optimism X 2 here: (1) magically causing the sun and its warmth to make a turn-around and (2) selling tickets to our linked festival, the annual Chowder-Fest. Proceeds from this very warming festival go 100% to a nonprofit that helps those in need, Wellspring. Word is that tickets have sold well. Warm hearts from Hingham are coming over.
We're hoping to have HW2 back up by dusk today. This is just cold science and technology at work, no magical or other mysterious causality.
Stay tuned for updates, and some further calculations of the techie parameter, 'availability', for each of our two machines, HW1 and HW2. The first of these is running fine as of this moment. We hope to have this update ready by Monday afternoon (1/29).
Wizard's Corner #13.5, 11 January 2007
Try this, without using your 'pocket calculator': add 7,785,040 (KWh) to 2, 240,215 (KWh). Notice, you couldn't resist testing out a left-to-right way of adding, rather than dutifully doing those 'carry the One', &c. That's how you and your calculator are different -- it only goes one way.
At last report, our pair of turbines had put out a total of 9,962,417 KWh, some 37,500 or so under the ten-million mark. Today's report is something else again. We hit the 10-million this week. I recall our celebration at Bridgeman's restaurant, on the 5th of March 2005. Back in spring of 2005 someone offered a champagne toast "Hey, our 5 million mark is exciting -- imagine how excited we'll be when we hit 10 million !" Words to that effect.
But look how long it took to reach that 5-million mark -- 1164 days. The second 5 million took just 677 days -- of course 254 of these days saw both machines running, including our new more-double capacity machine !
Yes, let's not overlook 'bumps in the road'. We've had 16 days of down time on HW2, all of them late last year. We have a severe policy here, severe and scientific: 'no mercy'. We calculate CF's as if down-time could never occur. Since things can't go wrong, score them so they hurt your CF at the max. Invented here in Hull: Humpty Murphy.
HW1 has had a total of some 13 days of unavailability -- 10 for warranteed exchange of gearbox and generator and another 3 to replace a lightning-arrestor part after a summer lightning storm in spring of 2006. But put it all together now: We've had full 'availability' from our machines on all-but-23-days. The basis is 1841 + 254 days. So our merciless way of calculating gives us right near 99% average 'availability' Check it out -- you probably don't need to use your pocket calculator here either, and you can indulge in left-to-right arithmetic again. Humpty meets switch-back. Invented in Hull, where almost nothing is straightforward. Ask Phil Lemnios, our returning Wizard of Hull.
Wizard's Corner #13.0, 8 January 2007
Hurray ! The Vestas repair crew was here the first two working days in the new year, and got us back up and running -- at 100% of its previous level of functioning -- early in the morning on Friday, 5 January. They did repairs on the insulation immediately adjacent to one of the 'taps' on the in-the-nacelle transformer. Our replacement transformer is on order, and will be shipped from Denmark (we estimate) sometime in the coming month or two. To be installed when the days are longer. Temps may be warmer too, though those record-breaking highs we've seen recently helped make the repairs easier. [In the bigger picture, of course, global warming is a problem for the whole extended family. HW2 and HW1 are doing their part in remedying this. And we look forward to HW3 - HW6 doing still more of this helpful work.] Meantime our full functioning HW2 is doing its gentle, quiet delivery. Effective too.
Maybe you'll enjoy joining me in savoring these following particulars: HW2's first hour back in service it averaged 1440 KW (i.e. 1.44 MW) of output power. Then Saturday morning (the 6th) it never scored under 1 MW from 2 AM till noon, the series of hourly averages reading as follows: 2-3 AM 1.11 MW 3-4 AM 1.10 MW, followed by 1.12, 1.14, 1.23, 1.22, 1.12, 1.15, 1,55 [11.7 m/s windspeeds during the hour 10-11 AM], 1.17 (arriving at noon on the 6th).
More info soon. I hope to be able to report more details on windspeeds, hourly energy output, wind-directions; it's just a question of getting the output in suitably tidy (=electronic) form, and getting set up to relay it to you. More info to more folks -- like you right there -- is a happy wizard here. I'm working on getting set up.
Just today we got a copy of a special windpower Zoning Bylaw in Fairhaven. It's their Zoning Bylaw Chapt 198-29.5 and has the title "Wind Energy Facilities". Have a look. You can search their pdf for '29.5', at :
Quite likely Gov. Patrick and his new energy cabinet officer Mr. Bowles know other towns or cities alongside Scituate and Fairhaven with comparable bylaws in place. Cape Light Compact is working on a model by-law, but we do not know of its adoption as of yet. Do let us know if you have more info in this line, and we'll relay it via this website.
Wizard's Corner #12, 28 December 2006
Alas, HW2 has come up with some trouble (overheating) in one of the three modules in its up-in-the-air transformer. The Vestas maintenance/warranty staff are on the case. They've already placed an order for a replacement module, and are planning to install an interim fix in the coming week, while we await the full-scale replacement. Even as of early today, the 28th, the machine's Capacity Factor has remained above the 20 % mark. If we're not unlucky in the coming week, we'll likely build that magic number higher by next May 4th, the machine's first birthday. We're still hopeful it'll turn in a first-year CF rating 'right near 27%'. Like a hitter looking to bat .270 for the full year. Time will tell.
There will of course not be costs to the town or to Hull Light for either the repair work or the replacement part. It's under warranty that covers these. Nonetheless, we'll be plenty happy to see the spinner resume its graceful and gentle rotation. Won't you? Stay tuned for further updates, shortly after New Year's Day.
Wizard's Corner #11, 18 November 2006
At a talk in Bourne (Upper Cape Tech), I included this point about the federal tax-deductibility to anyone filing the trusty old Form 1040. I was talking about deducting any voluntary contribution, purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates, during calendar 2006. -- Yes, it goes on Schedule A, I said, and Yes, you include it among your listing of Charitable Donations there. Many in my audience raised their hands when I asked them (teasing, of course) "how many of you remember the Form 1040, and its Schedule A, and the line for charitable contributions?". I might as well have asked a rider on the Green Line of MBTA 'does anyone know the way from the Kenmore Square stop to Fenway park?', or 'has anyone heard of the World Champion Boston Red Sox'?
Our aim at Hull Light was to have Hull Wind 2 up and running by Thanksgiving of 2005. That was not to be, but it had already been spinning and generating robust quantities of energy and capacity for 68 days by the time we held our celebratory Ribboncutting on July 22, 2006. As of today, 197 days after going online on May 4, 2006 HW2 has produced more energy than HW1 had done in its entire first year. And this was in the low-wind part of the year. But we must be fair to both, if we set up a comparison between them.
We require it of ourselves to make any of our comparisons clearly and scientifically (wizard work demands nothing less). We need to maintain rigor and fairness in our comparisons of production(s) at HW1 and HW2. The good concept 'Capacity Factor' does much of the needed controlling here: only compare a 660 KW machine with an 1800 KW machine after factoring in a discounting or scaling ratio of 660:1800. Further, don't allow yourself to compare a May-November stretch of run-time to a stretch that goes round-the-calendar for nearly a full 5 years. As of today, the CF of HW1 stands at 26.5 (so to be reported on our Homepage), and that for HW2 stands at 19.4.
If we want to do some prognosticating toward the 4 May 2007 date when HW2 will have had a full 365 consecutive days, we are well advised to assume an average CF for this machine -- just over this 168 day stretch of future time -- somewhere very near 34.5%. Do note this down, and see if we arrive at an overall CF as of next May 4 (predicted here and now) right near 27%. [Please don't report us to Dicaearchus, the friend of Plato who said planning for futures as if they were something really known is foolish, the future itself being -- as of now -- the very picture of non-entity!].
National recognition came yet again to us in Hull when this month's annual awards were announced from US Dept of Energy and the American Public Power Association. Hull sent a representative to San Antonio in early November to bring home the APPA plaque. Hull beat out finalist Sacramento Muni Utility District (SMUD), in a run-off that brings us as much pride as the Sox defeating the Yankees. Not that Sacto is Evil or Imperial, just that they have been national leaders for decades (see the heroic stature they have in the John O'Connor & Dan Berman book, "Who Owns the Sun?"). You expect SMUD to be "10 games in front at All-Star break", unless some upstarts from the greater Fenway region challenge them successfully. SMUD had as its chief executive the distinguished energy expert and renewables champion S. David Freeman. [see our Wind News page, 18 Nov 06 entry.]
This same man David Freeman is now starring in the documentary movie "Who Killed the Electric Car?". He had presided over the decommissioning, decades ago now, of many of the TVA's nuclear reactors. He was part of the energy Brains Trust at the Jimmy Carter White House. He had a fleet of 28 electric vehicles running at SMUD 10 years ago now. Just watch, California, with SMUD in the lead, will probably orchestrate the national swing back to such intelligent behavior, starting soon. There is politics here, of course, and Freeman has been wily about this. Friendly to Jimmy Carter, Mario Cuomo and Al Gore -- but deeply unfriendly to the Bush-Cheney 'Oiligarchs'. He once said to an Audubon publication: "I want to put Exxon out of business". Imagine that.
In Quincy the suggestion has come up that they name their first two windturbines 'John' and 'Abigail', and set them to competing. If things go well at one of the three leading locations in Quincy, QW1 will be up and running by summer of 2007, and QW2 (and maybe QW3 also?) before Thanksgiving of 2008. This way Quincy beats out Hingham, Cohasset, Scituate and Plymouth, to say nothing of wind-rich Eastham and Provincetown. Both Abigail and John will be in a position to say to all these would-be competitors: "you have to raise your CF's above Zero, and do this soon, or you'll bring discredit on our slow-moving Commonwealth." After all, our northeast leaders would never have felt easy about Texas being our Nation's leader in windpower generation, even if they could accept California's being #2. Massachusetts stands, as of this writing, in the lowest quartile of the USA's states in this. Also, the bottom in spending on public higher education; who knows, these two may be correlated ? Perhaps the new Patrick-Murray team will set us on the road to remedying all this.
It was just announced yesterday that Lt.-Governor Elect Tim Murray has been awarded the 'most valuable player' award by Mass Energy, our Commonwealth's leading force in stimulating renewables. Bravo Murray, Bravo Patrick. If he doesn't watch out, Gov. Patrick will be next year's winner of this award !
Wizard’s Corner #10, 4 April 2005
A little abstract thought on Wizardry Itself. Pythagoras is the patron saint of us wizards. Well, fellow devotees, our favorite insight drawn from that ancient wizard may be the pair of ideas (1) the power of any of us human wizards is ridiculously small, and (2) we must continually go public with illustrations of this near-total powerlessness, especially when we come to find out we've been dead wrong. Newton, our modern hero, wrote very late in his life: "[I have been] only a boy playing on the seashore. . .now and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." Can't you imagine an inspired man in Cambridge today writing something similar? For example the wizard of huge accomplishments Len Tower? I can imagine this. Kurt Keville can also, who chances to know where Len is physically.
Speaking for myself now, -- a man gigawatts lower in rated wizard-power than any of these gurus or heroes: "I now go public in declaring for myself a serious unwisdom, -- when I scolded [in Wizard's Corner #9] the Mass. Renewable Energy Trust for being unable to let us federal taxpayers deduct purchases of MassEnergy's Renewable Energy Certificates. I was entirely wrong in claiming that last June." The fact is that we are now entitled to such a deduction, - on our IRS Form 1040, Schedule A (Charitable Contributions). The proof: see the following letter, with an April 2005 taxpayer clicking his heels in delight. You may want to email Mass Energy or the MTC to ask about your own 2004 purchases. Meantime, praises to the MTC, and to Mass Energy -- including from this unwise Wizard !
News about Hull Wind 2: There is every likelihood that we in Hull will be installing our second turbine, -- this one a 1.8 MW Vestas V-80 -- before Thanksgiving. That's their machine with an 80-meter rotor diameter. We will get it up by Thanksgiving if we make a self-imposed deadline of April 14, 2005 to send Vestas our downpayment [we have this in the bank now], along with our formal "notice to proceed" on the V-80 we ordered last summer.
Where, you ask? Some colleagues from Hingham asked the same question, and retained a lawyer to challenge our right to site it atop our landfill adjacent to Geo. Washington Blvd. Their challenge did not succeed in blocking us, as an official letter from Romney's EOEA Secretary Herzfelder of 18 March 2005 confirmed decisively. In Europe [where nobody shudders at the word "Kyoto"] there are many installations of precisely this sort, all performing nicely, designed by these same people. This seems to be what convinced the EOEA that it is a sound and safe design, so they had no reason to perform any further review.
I won't attach a full graphic copy of that official letter, but it is publicly available now, and its top part looks exactly like this:
How does one manage the engineering, standing a multi-ton piece of gently vibrating hardware atop a capped landfill? It will appear to rest on the crest of that soft agglomeration of waste material, but will not really depend on its support. More than 70 tubular shafts, precisely specified by experienced engineers in Denmark, will be placed [carefully of course] all the way down to bedrock, thus not requiring any real support from the actual landfill material. We did the borings, and the good New England granite is down there to make the device stand firm and proud.
Maybe we're jumping to conclusions (careful, Mr. Wizard !), but it looks to us like Scituate and Hingham right near Hull, Quincy not so far away - and New Bedford or Manomet or Mattapoissett-Marion-Rochester further away -- might also qualify for similar exemption from fail-safe review by this Massachusetts state office.
Let us know here at www.hullwind.org what you think. We're not hard to reach.
By the way, Hull Wind 1 has been cranking away quietly and gently, and passed the 5,000,000 KWh mark before the end of February. We had a "Hulleleuia" party here, as you may have heard.
Wizard’s Corner #9, 14 June 2004
I remember it vividly, the morning I cried out at a solemn meeting of the National Park Service people in downtown Boston: "this man is a millionaire! [I was pointing at John MacLeod]". It was a roundabout way of saying "John's HULL WIND 1 machine has just this morning achieved its millionth KWh delivered to our municipal grid". I felt like a millionaire too.
Today I feel like John and I could give away a million, and have two-million left - because over this past weekend HW1 passed the 4-million mark! Hulleleuia !!
Here's a back-of-envelope way of sizing this up, and getting a handle on the approximate economics. Suppose (which is accurate) the value to us at the Light Department of each of those KWh's is what we'd otherwise have paid for it on the open market - 8 cents. Suppose further that such extra costs as normally come along (insurance, warranty/maintenance, allowance for money-overhead) are things we can recover via the pair of 'bonus' payments, i.e. the REPI's and the REC's. Then we have realised somewhere over $320,000 to put against our $735,000 total investment. It should be halfway to being entirely paid back before the end of its third year, at this rate.
And think of the value of the "bragging rights" on top of this. Civic pride, in other words. Our project has netted 7 awards, three of them national, and we've been able to host groups from all over our Commonwealth, many coming by boat, docking at the pier only 120 meters from the turbine itself. On June 10th it was a boatful of 170 Sixth Graders from Medford.
People have been talking a lot recently about one of our favorite concepts here at Hullwind: Capacity Factor. It's like a batting average. A hitter who says "I'm hitting 281" means that you can expect him to get a hit 281 times in every 1000 at-bats. This is the same as 28.1 percent of the total at-bats. A turbine that can say "my CF is 28.1 %" is basing its claim on its particular rated maximum power, in our case 660 KW. This means you can easily calculate an average-power number for us just multiplying 0.281 times our 660.
We've averaged a little over 185 KW, on a 24/7 basis (no 'holidays', not a minute left out of account, not even the hours of preventive maintenance!). The clock started at 14:45 EST on 27 Dec, 2001, so as of today we've been running 899 days. If we can get keep up a pace not less than 27.5 % (summer will be weak, but fall strong), we'll get to the final day of our first 3 years with 4,770,000 KWh's. Let's hope for a very strong fall and a not-so-weak summer!
On a less encouraging note, that MTC-RET promise of a new IRS benefit to Massachusetts ratepayers: still not in place. Despite their announcing the favorable IRS letter-ruling back in October of 2001, it now begins to look chancy whether, in April of 2005, they can help the Federal government get some of those tax-dollars returned to us in Massachusetts. You might want to ask them: how many more years are you planning to spend, converting this bright promise of 2001 into an actual cash benefit? Did you know when you announced it in 2001 that it might take you five years just to say 'yes' to the IRS? On the windpower side, this same RET has an unimpressive record. Its Executive Director said to a newspaper on the 10th of July 2000: "We see wind as being the priority". [ask them if the Wizard doesn't have this footnote right] It now looks that they won't have their first KWh until sometime in 2005. It's hard to build much of a batting average until you've got yourself into the batter's box. So far they're only as close as the on-deck circle.)
Here's an upbeat note to end on: On July 27th 120 or so Delegates from all over the country are scheduled to sail over to Hull. They'll be coming from the Democratic National Convention, as part of the "Wind & Waves" event organised by the good people at Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Conventions. Hull CARE is a member. They'll be sailing over on the elegant "Voyager III" catamaran, run by Boston Harbor Express. Congressman Bill Delahunt helped make the arrangements. Who knows, we may attract a very big name. We plan to give everyone aboard - you don't have to be an Al Gore or a Carol Browner or the newly picked candidate for VP - a button. It'll say something like "Hulleleuia ! I visited the Hull windmill, July 27, 2004". A keeper.
Corner #8, 31 March 2004
Just today we're completing month #27 of running our Vestas machine. There's a bit of news to report. First, the long retrospective look: we've asked a lot of our machine this past 825 days, both on performance and on transparency to you our e-readers. It's as if, all those months back we at Hull Light had asked of an employee we were about to hire: "We'll be expecting you to produce, good & faithful servant, on average 178 kilowatt-hours (each worth a dime to your bosses here) - per hour. You'll be expected to work (so long as the wind is there) 24/7, so every hour will be logged and counted. We want your average production to be worth at least $17.80 to us, per hour"
"No scheduled vacation days," we could have continued our warning, "like the Christmases of 2002 or 2003, or the New Years' of 2002, 2003, 2004. Even the hours we've planned in Preventive Maintenance won't be dropped out of our severe accounting. Also, you should understand that your performance, like a batting-average, will be reported out on a daily basis via the Web."
Now let's hear from this wondrous worker, looking back on his first 825 days: "I've delivered to you over $18 worth of your required output, and you can tell all your e-friends out there in cyberland about it."
Now for the bit of news: this past month, unlike every one of the 26 months preceding, the availability-rating of our dutiful servant fell below 96%. Not to say we harsh taskmasters forgave a single hour of this month's "down-time". No, it was 30 hours of true down-time
Here's what happened: early on Evacuation Day 2004 (a.k.a. March 17th) the machine shut down and sent a FAX to the Hull Light office logging the failure. John MacLeod went to inspect. A circuit-breaker in the ground-level equipment had popped open. John manually closed it. It immediately popped open again. John decided at once (a) to avoid doing anything further and (b) to phone our nearest Vestas maintenance crew. They were in full electronic contact with the (temporarily ailing) machine within minutes, and two of them promised to be out at the turbine before dusk. They were, and they worked that evening and the following morning to nail down their diagnosis.
Net result: before dusk the following day, our dutiful Vestas machine was up and running, delivering its customary 24/7 services and customary hourly average of $17-plus of very-marketable goods to us. You'd think it had been embarrassed at having to have that day of rest ! What had failed? Not the generator, just a circuit-board in the control circuitry. Vestas had been at the ready -- in case some more serious fault had occurred, to ship us a replacement generator, under a new warranty, given a 'worst-case' scenario. But no, the replacement circuit-board was all that was necessary.
So the net outcome for our dutiful servant was this: its record now shows an overall "up-time" average a bit above 99.6% Our severe rules of accounting (one might call them inverse-Andersen), and our transparency gets this message out to the whole e-connected world. No, our first 825 days have not been perfect in machine availability, but they've been less than a percentage point from it. We're taking a page take a page out of the recent book about our hardworking Brother, Paul O'Neill: "Yes, it hasn't been 100%; but 'Truth is best - always best. The principle is transparency.' (p. 206)"
Prospects for Hull Wind #2:
Fifteen days from now (15 Apr, 13:00), bids will be opened at the Hull Light offices, for the machine now under RFP. This was duly sent out, logged in the Commonwealth's registry of public bids. And this: each of three manufacturers (four if you count separately the two who have very recently merged) will be bidding. That will in turn enable our Board to host public meetings, on both April 22, 2004 (our regular monthly Light Board meeting will be entirely dedicated to this public presentation) and again on the morning of April 24th, a Saturday. These meetings will have the advantage of knowing what bids have been received.
Following those two public meetings, and following further notices both in ratepayers' regular monthly billings and in the local newspapers and on local cable TV, the Annual Town Meeting, set for May 3, 2004, will vote on an article concerning this. It is now prepared for the Warrant. Its gist is, Whether to put up an on-land Hull Wind #2, and whether to accept the Light Board's recommended siting. This requires a majority vote of all citizens present. By the following week, if we have a Yes vote, the Light Department will likely accept one of the bids. Lots of process, good clean process. Democracy at work, good clean democracy. Maybe it's even worth exporting. You can't say the same for some of what passes for democracy these days.
Corner #7, 8 March 2004
It won’t be long now. Hull
Light’s RFP for “Hull Wind 2” is ready to be mailed
out to vendors this coming week, bids due back by second week in
April. We will be calling for bids to supply a machine in the 1.5
Megawatt class. Before our May 3d Town Meeting, ratepayers will
have received mailings from the Light Dept., will have been invited
again to give public input into the process of decision, as promised
last fall. To be determined by a townwide vote in early May: whether
to go forward now with a second turbine, and if so, which on-land
site in town is the preferred one.
In recent weeks there have been
ongoing discussions at the Light Department’s public meetings,
about Hull’s playing host to North America’s first multi-megawatt
offshore windturbine. Exploratory work has already begun on pre-development
tasks, such as permitting, legal research and assessing the interest
of manufacturers in some sort of collaborative arrangement. The
general idea is for the town to benefit from sales of both energy
and renewable energy certificates, the manufacturer to benefit from
the installation of an R&D test-bed for this new scale of hardware,
operating at the non-European frequency of 60Hz.
Welcome to our newest visitors to
the website (the hit-counter now registers over 42,200 in the past
10 months since we began counting). Bridgewater State College (MA);
CDM Corp. (water systems); Dairyland Power Cooperative (WI/MN);
Florida Power & Light Co.; Good Harbor Fillets (Gloucester);
IBM New York; Industrial Info (Energy); Industry Canada; Iowa State
Computing Dept; Kennedy Schl of Government (Harvard); King Abdulaziz
Sci & Tech (Saudi Arabia); Kodak USA; Navy Marine Corps Intranet;
Newnan Light & Water (Georgia); Nordblom Company (real estate);
Northampton College (UK); Pfizer; Prentice Hall Publishers; Ridgefield
Public Schools (CT); Secondary Marketing Executive; Telekom of Austria;
Town of Hopkinton (MA); Town of Weymouth; U of Georgia Institute
of Ecology; U of Manchester Inst. of Sci. & Technol.; U of Manitoba
(Library); U.S. Embassy, Sofia, Bulgaria; United Nations; University
College Dublin (Ireland). Let nobody tell us Hullwind.org ‘s
visitors are just another 42,000 ho-hum souls.
A net-metering story in Hull.
A few weeks ago I went past a certain
Mr. C’s house in Hull, where Hull Light has put in a new Siemens
meter of a subtle type. You can easily see it from his front sidewalk.
Its LED screen cycles through a series of digital readouts, one
of them called “POS”, one “NEG”. What does
this mean? The “POS” is KWh’s Hull Muni Light
has sold Mr. C. and the “NEG” is KWh’s he’s
sold us. His home-grown energy comes from the PV installation on
his south-facing roof. The concept “Net Metering” gets
a new life right here, for all but the near-sighted to see.
Many of us have been checking into
the rules of the ‘sell-back’ arrangements (up to 60
KW max.), which say to the enterprising citizen: Go ahead, your
local retailer will sell you electric energy (positive from the
power company’s point of view), but when you’re producing
from your local source, you’ll automatically have sold them
back – and at the same price! Your number of produced units
is simply subtracted, one for one, from the total you’d otherwise
owe us [Hull Light in this case]. You pay only for the net number.
Bravo to Mr. C. of Hull, who sells
back on a level playing field. If I get his permission, I’ll
give out his street address (he’s told a few friends he doesn’t
mind citizens strolling by and playing meter-reader). Matter of
fact it was his decision to make this meter easy to see from the
public walkway in front of his house. Your citizen viewpoint (mine
too!) might have you rooting for Mr. C. and his home team, accentuating
the positive in that “NEG” reading, eliminating the
negative in the “POS”.
Department of What-if
Suppose, a year from now, you’re
preparing your Form 1040 for calendar year 2004, and you’re
wondering if you can include an IRS-approved deduction (Charitable
deduction, Sched. A). Very likely – according to something
a fellow wizard whispered to us recently – it’ll have
been approved since late April 2004, that the answer is YES. This
is another way our trusty Federal Government (with an assist, by
April 2004, from our Commonwealth’s MTC) – can level
the playing field. Rather than keep up the robust level of subsidies
to fossil fuel industries, while leaving renewables very lightly
supported – this will be the IRS saying “you good citizens
who’ve paid out your hard earned after-tax money to acquire
Renewable Energy Certificates, can count on us at the IRS to chip
in”. Is this not welcome (even if what-if) news? We may have
to revoke our fellow wizard’s license to practice, if this
turns out to be a baseless rumor.
Stay tuned for more news about which
turbine manufacturers respond to our RFP. As soon as our townspeople
have been notified, this Corner will put it on the web. Our motto
here is ‘go public’.
Corner #6. 31 January 2004
time is coming again, my fellow citizens. In case you reside in
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (nickname 'Taxachusetts'), you
might want to follow up on this question of your Schedule A deductions.
I mean whatever you paid out in 2003 for Green Tags, Renewable Energy
Certificates - green power.
our Mass. Technology Collaborative was charged, over 2 years ago
now, with setting up the local-IRS conditions to conform to IRS
code, on our behalf. Want to test this out? Speak to your accountant,
or to the MTC, or to the Gandhi's ghost (Lord Buckley admired his
legally trained mind, and willingness to do time in jail. He called
him "The Hip Gan"). Or H.D. Thoreau, hip to the Massachusetts drumbeat.
in the mid-19th century, when Thoreau was writing admiring words
about our good sauntering places in Hull, Harry Tudor of Nahant
was writing in his diary about his salt manufacture here, out at
Windmill Point (yes, his favorite point already had that name because
of the windmill that had preceded his own of 1830).
seems like the Brits, then rulers of the sea and at least as imperial
as Tony Blair is today, thought they could tax us ex-colonists on
salt. We had to go to them for it, they figured, nevermind our declared
independence. Harry and his brother Frederic (two Harvard youngsters,
military age about the time of the Brits were burning down parts
of Washington), preferred not to depend on Britain for salt, and
not to submit to their tax-collecting habits either.
make our own Yankee salt, they said. Hull native Dennis Means dug
out the handwritten materials at the library of Harvard Business
school. The "B School" may be as proud of our Hullonian brothers
as we are!
Hull Light is taking steps to get an article on the Town Meeting
warrant, to ask about pumping saltwater from our plentiful Mass.
Bay and converting it (with locally produced energy) to the pair
of products, brine (Harry T. called it 'pickle'), plus fresh drinking
water. A desal plant, it's now called. We've had lots of encouragement
from our Town (despite a few dissenting voices - Hull's a democracy,
as we're often reminded).
U.S. Dept of Energy has said encouraging words. They've even wondered
aloud if we might want to produce three products, not just two.
That same home-grown electrical energy could, they've told us, subdivide
some of our fresh water, into Oxygen and Hydrogen. The Oxygen can
be directly used at our wastewater treatment plant (expensive 'peroxide',
is used to combat odors, but can be replaced by directly-fed O(2))
- but the hydrogen would be the more interesting part.
are the hydrogen-powered vehicles?
Ford, when people told him "but there are no gas stations, Henry
- and no roads either" came back like Henry Tudor. Inveniemus viam,
aut faciemus, 'the road to hydrogen cars: either we'll find it,
or we'll build it".
Andy Stern if this wasn't what he did 14 or so years ago now. He
was an electrical engineering major at Worcester Poly, and people
said to him, "Andy, you can't drive from Ft. Lauderdale to Lansing,
MI (1650 miles) using only sunlight for fuel - you don't have a
car that'll do this." Andy built his own car, raced it, drove all
that way to Michigan with his team. In the process he won the personal
admiration of -- guess who? -- the CEO of General Motors, Bob Stempel
(himself a WPI grad).
Andy about the particulars; it was patriotic work.
a snippet from the handwritten diary of Henry Tudor, salt (and ice)
manufacturer in Hull:
Corner #5. 6 January 2004
above are some of our more recent visitors to hullwind.org.
University (Elec. Engr.)
(Computer Sci & AI Lab, at MIT)
Lab, MIT (Lexington)
Engenharia U do Porto (PT)
Teachers Association (Mass.)
Education Computer Network
Durham & Richardson, Inc.
Financial Svcs (HIG)
Marine Corps Intranet
on checking in, as there's lots that's new.
Carr's AM talk-radio show dealt with windpower on or off the Massachusetts
shores, and he said there were so many callers he'd have to schedule
a follow-up show on this topic. Next time maybe we can get him to
capture (for AM broadcast) our "audio" from the Ribboncutting event
of 29 June 2002. The four sounds you can hear (Wizard has pointed
this out), are (1) the gentle 'whoosh, whoosh' of the turbine's
blades over Mr. O'Connor's head, (amplified by his PA system), (2)
the applause of us in the crowd, (3) his own voice, overpowering
our applause, and (4) the airplane that chanced to fly overhead
- drowning out all the other sounds combined! Why not ask Howie
if he'll put these sounds out on his radio waves, next time he covers
this topic? He could put a challenge to his listeners -- especially
to those who want to say that modern turbines are noisy. "See if
your ears can pick up that low 'whoosh' sound, even after the PA
system has amplified it".
like Howie to put out that challenge, right? What you'll hear mostly,
dear Listener, is your compatriots from eastern Mass. applauding
loudly, both for Hull Wind 1 and for Commissioner O'Connor's praises
of it! There's still more to applaud here in Hull now that our sweet
swingin' spinner has brought the town roughly $300,000 of gross
revenues - not counting the $9,960.00 check Larry Chretien and his
Mass Energy organization brought by at our 2d birthday party,
not counting the roughy $10,000 he's due to bring us about 60 days
from now, for the 'Renewable Energy Certificates' we've earned on
top of that revenue. It's like bonus points, for harvesting this
energy locally and with zero emissions. In round numbers, we can
expect $10,000 each quarter, for the coming 4 years, just from these
marketable 'bonus' points. So, suppose someone could actually HEAR
that whooshing sound, he might say to himself "sounds like a gentle
giant turning the crank on our local money-printing machine".
be a good New England way of taking the sting out of it - if there
were any sting there in the first place.
of What-if: what if the IRS had written an agency in Massachusetts
a 'letter ruling', saying that, on certain not-so-difficult conditions,
those who help out our Nation by purchasing these 'bonus points'
in our State - can deduct the costs on their Schedule A, four months
from now? You might want to ask the MTC in Westborough if they got
such a letter, sometime prior to late-October of 2001. And if they
did, what have they been doing since they announced this in late
2001 -- to satisfy the conditions, and get this Federal money to
flow to our Commonwealth & its citizens? Why not ask them?
choice is to go the route of citizen Thoreau of Concord. If he'd
had an IRS to deal with, you know what he'd have said to them.
out your skills in geometry on this one: what would you estimate
to be the ROTOR DIAMETER of that 4-armed windmill pumping seawater
into salt-drying vats in Yarmouth in the 1890's - assuming the square-yards
of all the four blades comes to 26 sq. yds. Hull Wizard estimates
that the four (roughly rectangular) canvas-covered blades are each
twice as long, along the rotor's diameter, as they are wide. One
or two more assumptions gets us the following approximate figure.
An individual arm (i.e. the rotor's radius) is roughly 6 yds. long.
This would mean a rotor-diameter of about 36 ft. of rotor diameter.
Compared to our V-47, with 47 meters of rotor diameter, the diameter
is about a quarter the size. Do you agree? The book by Kurlansky "Salt, a world history" preserved that 1890s Yarmouth picture, and
we've put it together with a history of Cohasset.
at all the effort to get rid of (evaporate) the fresh water and
get rid of it - to harvest the salt. They also burned wood to heat
vats (near Salina and Syracuse NY) to chase away the fresh water.
Today we want to hold onto the water and reject the salt. The open
ocean, especially with diffusers distributing it carefully, has
plenty of capacity for these small quantities of byproduct salt.
Are there markets for selling the by-product salt? Some research
is ongoing on this. Stay tuned.
Corner #4, 22 December 2003
We were sure of our claim to be the "only commercial-scale windturbine
on the U.S. coast between Maine and Florida". An alert reader of
hullwind.org warned us about this: don't say you're the first coastal
(urban or other) commercial turbine on any U.S. coastline - don't
forget "Big Island" where they've had one for years. That's the
coast of Hawaii. Thanks, O alert e-reader! A new nickname they've
thought up over in Denmark for us in Hull: "The Suburban
Turbine". Sounds like those particular Danes, whose consciousness
spans the globe, haven't found another quite like us. So our suburbanite
residents - are they unhappy with our Light Department? Quite the
contrary. Have a look at what Bernadette White has to say. She's
a 42-year resident. Her home is the closest of anyone's in our suburb
to the foot of the turbine:
you heard, we passed the 3-million KWh mark? That was early in the
day on 12 December. We sent out an e-transmitted Drum-Roll far and
wide, and expect that we'll have cleared the 3.1 million mark by
the 27th - the time of our machine's 2nd birthday. Stop and think
about this because your town could reap similar benefits by doing
this two-step thought experiment, with your town or city in the
back of your mind:
suppose each one of those KWh's was completely Unmarketable as an
ordinary commodity. This is just a thought-experiment -- in truth
each one has been quite marketable, and not one of them 'sat on
the shelf' more than a few microseconds from the moment of generation
till they were sold, at roughly a dime. Think of this as all zeroed
out for the purposes of this thought-experiment (maybe we gave them
all away to our friends in Quincy).
now calculate the value, in our socially-responsible Commonwealth,
of the Renewable Energy Certificates, what you might call the 'emissionlessness
bonus points' - which are marketable in a fully separate market.
Today these sell wholesale for around 3 cents per KWh. That's $90,000
for the whole set of 3 million. Now add in the federal incentive,
today rated at about 1.8 cents per KWh, and you'll find it hard
to settle for a mere 'break-even' result, as many of our friends
thought we'd be forced to do. Too busy saving our rate-payers and
citizens tidy sums of real money.
let's add a future-looking step. Suppose that Hull Wind 2 is 1500/660ths
as powerful as Hull Wind 1, and by mid-2004 it is doing its part,
generating at a steady 26% CF, quietly and emissionlessly. Then,
even continuing (like fools) to give away the underlying commodity
for free -- this time to friends in Hingham we'll say - the only
things we're now thinking about being able to sell is the REC's.
We can pay for all of our town's streetlighting, just from this
'bonus' revenue by itself. Any reason for believing this program
of bonuses won't be cancelled in the near future? Mass Energy Consumers
Alliance either has signed or is soon to sign long-term contracts
with us in Hull to buy all of our REC output. We do have to keep
producing the raw KWh's, whose by-product is these REC's.
what town or city do you come from? Every one of these following
have been asking detailed questions of us: Truro, Eastham, Orleans,
Barnstable, Chatham, Bourne, New Bedford, Manomet, Plymouth, Marshfield,
Scituate, Peddocks Island, Hingham, Quincy, Deer Island [recently
some very detailed questions here], Winthrop, Revere, Peabody, Marblehead,
Nahant and Ipswich. If you live in one of those towns, some of which
have wind regimes at least as good as Hull's - why not run a calculation?
If you live elsewhere (Newton, say, or Wayland or Wellesley), why
not ask Mass Energy or another marketer of REC's to explain how
coastal windpower can be a part of your future?
are some of government and NGO visitors to hullwind.org in recent
and NGO Visitors
p. Diffusion de l'Information Technol
of Marshfield DPW
Harb Isl Alliance
Customs & Revenue
Ren Energy Labs
of Shrewsbury (MA)
Tech Ctr (WY)
Corps of Engineers
Verde Embassy (DC)
Dept of Agriculture
Dept of Energy
of New Bedford
Comp. Network (JP)
Dept of Int. (BLM)
of Newton, Mass.
Dept of Int. (Mines)
of Portland (OR)
Dept of Justice (!)
of Quincy, DPW
Nat'l Lab (DK)
Side Clin. Lab (RI)
Gen. Services Adm
of Acton, Mass.
Dept of Rail
Dynam. Engr (NL)
Bd of Lib. Commiss.
Coming soon: a human story about Mr. C. of Hull and his new 'net
metered' PV -- in Hull.
Corner #3, 12 December 2003
please! Our three-millionth KWh was delivered sometime last night,
from Hull Wind 1 to the Hull municipal grid.
8 cents per kWh : 3,000,000 kWhs X $0.08/kWh = $240,000.00 SAVINGS
strong majority of our town (straw vote of 4 December, 8 days ago
now) might just urge us on to install Hull Wind 2.
In the What-If department: suppose Harbor Express acquired the substantial
watercraft formerly used by the New England Aquarium to do whale-watch
excursions in Mass. Bay, and used this to do a new variety of cruises
in the harbor. Suppose further that HE wanted to schedule visits
to Hull Wind 1 (or both 1 and 2), and to announce these. Suppose
further that we in Hull were well set up to receive the robust flow
of visitors at their scheduled times, both to show our turbine(s)
and to gather info on public response to them. I may be speaking
out of turn here, but remember, just because someone speaks out
of turn doesn't mean what he or she is saying is untrue. Remember
Cassandra. Here's another installment of our "dot-edu" virtual visitors
the past few months at hullwind.org:
Educational visits to the Hullwind.org site
Keene State College (NH)
Lancaster University (UK)
Trinity College (Connecticut)
Leeds Metro U (UK)
U of Nevada (Desert Rsch Inst)
Lincoln U in Canterbury (NZ)
U of Oregon
Loughborough U of Tech. (UK)
of Technol., Sydney (AU)"
| Maine School & Library Network
Mass. General Hospital
McGill U (CA), Dept of Ed.
Univ of New Hampshire
Merrimack Education Ctr. (Mass.)
Univ of Rhode Island
Mid-Sweden Univ (SE)
Univ of Connecticut
Univ of Miami Law School
Morgan State Univ (MD)
Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne
Mt. Hermon School
University of Ulm (Germany)
North Carolina State (Raleigh)
Washington State (Pullman)
Washington Univ (St. Louis)
Plano Schl. Dist(Plano, TX)
Westfield State College (Mass.)
Roger Williams U (Architecture)
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Schl of Geography, Oxford(UK)
Worcester Polytech (WPI)
St. Francis Univ. (Pennsylvania
|| SUNY Coll of Env. Sci & Forestry
Corner #2: 8 December 2003
everyone would take this as a challenge, but we do here at Wizard's
Corner. A new group has sprouted up, calling itself 'Windstop',
which intends to stop as much windpower installation as possible,
near Nantucket or near Toledo. They drop the name "Hull" in the
course of using their website to incite uninformed and emotional
aversion to wind turbines.
But here's where the challenge lies: they add words to the effect "sorry, we have no audio to accompany our video of the [surely you'll
believe it's ugly] machine in Hull". Well, we've had audio up on
our website for many months now, available to any & every webliterate
soul. so our windstoppers can quit apologising for their omission.
Just click on any of the audio-clips from the June 29, 2002 ribboncutting
ceremony at the foot of the Hull turbine, and you'll have some good
try this one:
David L. O'Connor
It takes effort, but you can barely hear the "whoosh" sound of each
blade as it passes directly over Mr. Lemnios' head, and then Mr.
O'Connor's. Naturally, these two speakers (standing on a platform
directly beneath the turbine) had their speeches amplified, by a
PA system. So the "whoosh" sounds were amplified too.
Try clicking on this following link, and you'll have the audio our
'windstart' people of Hull are happy to supply you. Then tell the
stoppers they should explain to you Why, if my ears are any judge,
should we Stop?" Had Hull ordered that airplane to fly overhead
heading for Logan, midway through O'Connor's speech. Clearly not.
But you'd think we had. Of the three pieces of acoustic material
(other than our applause) - the sound of the turbine, the sound
of the speaker and the sound of the blades - the only one really
hard to hear is the turbine.
On a more positive note: the evening of December 4th, a large crowd
of citizens had turned out at a Special Town Meeting. It was held
at the Memorial School, and enough people came that the main auditorium
filled to overflowing, 70 people needing to be accommodated in the
cafeteria. Mostly, it was other topics under discussion.
A well-known citizen offered a "Sense of the Meeting" motion, about
wind-turbines and our town's attitude toward having more. Do the
people here present support, or oppose, the plan by the Municipal
Light department to install a second turbine, on land, in Hull?
Although this was not the same as a formal vote of Town Meeting
(this vote is expected next May), it is a valuable "snapshot" of
our town's general attitude, as we approach the 3 Million KWh mark.
The moderator declared that the sense of this meeting, Dec 4, 2003,
was indeed supportive of another turbine in Hull. Call us 'windstart'.
Here's a list by alphabet of the first 22 educational institutions
who've paid our website a visit in the past 6 months:
Institute of Physics (MD)
Dexter/Southfield Schools (Mass.)
Rindge & Latin School
Boston Univ Medical School
Harvard Med School
Harvard School of Design
California Polytech (Ag Engineering)
Harvard Childrens Hospital
Hebrew Univ of Jerusalem (IL)
| Columbia Schl of Int'l & Public Affairs
| Columbia University
More names later. Not too late to visit, even if your name is later
than Worcester Polytech. They've (of course) also visited already,
many times, like RPI and MIT.
Malcolm of Hull
the Wizard’s identity remains mysterious, until late-on. Speaking
of late-on, I can hardly remember my 65th birthday anymore.
in Hull I’m by no means the only wizard, though none that
I know are as old as myself. Three of them are in any case far more advanced than
I am in the deeper & darker sciences. To avoid blowing their
cover, I’ll be content to reveal only their initials, namely H.S., P.L.
often said to people who visit our turbine and are able to have
a close look at the digital readouts inside, (several streams of
data cycle across the little screen in there): in every crowd there’s
sure to be one data-freak. Define this as a person who gladly skips
breakfast, so long as tidbits of data are available, preferably
on a realtime basis. No time to get hungry.
probably within a few months now, I hope to be able to report to
the little knot of you: “You can now monitor our progress
in Hull realtime on your home computer” This will mean visiting
the link here at www.hullwind.org that has been a long time coming,
alas. Wizard’s corner believes that it’ll be nearly
as exciting to minds like yours as this one:
you can’t find tasty realtime data there, try this one:
wizards who created these displays used to be called (in the time
of Eudemus of Rhodes) “The Muse-inspired, brave, and godlike
souls around Pythagoras”.]
soon: an excel-formatted listing of hostmarks (we don’t do
any of the Federal-style snooping on individuals, but we do take
note of a few statistics & generalities – the hostmarks
of some of our roughly 2000 visitors per month).
recent visitors are Harvard Medical School, Williams College, Sioux
Rosebud of South Dakota, Dartmouth U, Oak Creek Energy of Tehachapi,
Dept of Rail & Public Transportation (State of VA). These have
visited since May. There are literally scores more on our select
list. Stay tuned.