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Sources of Error
Opposition to the production of electricity from fossil
fuels is rising and the earth's non-renewable resources are depleting. In 2001,
Ontario's five coal fired power plants were responsible for 20% of all
greenhouse gases released in the province, 23% of all sulphur dioxide emissions,
14% of nitrogen emissions and 23% of mercury emissions. These plants are
scheduled for closure by 2007.
Wind power offers a pollution free, electricity-generating
alternative, using a renewable energy source. The cost of wind generated
electricity is declining, in comparison with other energy sources.
research could impact on the construction of wind turbines. Increased torque may
permit increased turbine size and produce more electricity than that of a single
rotor wind turbine. The use of multiple rotors to increase torque could result
in lower construction costs because rotor blades would be smaller, fewer support
towers would be required and the overall efficiency of wind turbines would
My research could lower the cost of producing wind energy and have
the added environmental appeal of requiring fewer wind towers. Less land would
be utilized, less habitat destroyed and this could lessen some of the opposition
to the construction of wind farms.
Wind energy is the fastest growing source of energy worldwide. I
believe that it will become more popular in North America due to the Kyoto
Protocol and concerns about greenhouse gas emissions.
A 50 meter rotor windturbine costs approximately 2 million dollars.
Construction costs include tower construction (20 %) and rotor cost (20 %). The
cost of turbine components, foundation and maintenance does not rise in
proportion to size.
Although cost information is difficult to obtain
for proprietary reasons, I estimate that a multiple rotor design, with smaller,
lighter and less expensive rotors, would exceed the performance of a
conventional turbine, at a competitive cost.
Cost comparisons between traditional and green sources of power do not
include medical expenses. The Ontario Medical Association estimates that air
pollution costs Ontario more than $10 billion per year in health care costs,
lost work time and other measurable expenses. The time for investment in
alternative sources of energy is now!