Wind Turbine Operation

18 Feb 2007
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United Kingdom
Does anyone have any idea as to what the operational directives are for these devices.
I have the misfortune to live about three miles from seven of these abominations. They seem to turn on and off at random. Of course I realise electricity generation is by demand and demand fluctuates, but there is always a base load which is taken by the usually large station such as Nuclear etc and the load swing taken by other fossil fuel stations.
So what I am asking is that as the fuel costs of Wind Turbines is essentially free then would it not be sensible for the Wind Turbines to form part of the Base load requirement and therefore in permanent generation mode (Wind Permitting) and the load swiings taken by the Fossil stations.
Before someone suggests that the wind turbines are subject to wind speed, what I have observed is that the Wind Turbines I can see seem to be switched on and off many times a day even on windy days. This suggests that load swings are partly accomodated by the Wind Turbines rather than fossil fuel stations.
I clearly have not understood the function or operational reqirements of Wind Turbines, but it would seem obvious to me that they should form part of the Base Load whenever possible, and this does not seem to be the case.
I welcome some enlightenment. Joe-90 Knows Everything so maybe he can help.
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Eric Rosenbloom said:
...Eon Netz, the grid manager for about a third of Germany, discusses the technical problems of connecting large numbers of wind turbines click here

: Electricity generation from wind fluctuates greatly, requiring additional reserves of "conventional" capacity to compensate; high-demand periods of cold and heat correspond to periods of low wind; only limited forecasting is possible for wind power; wind power needs a corresponding expansion of the high-voltage and extra-high-voltage grid infrastructure; and expansion of wind power makes the grid more unstable. Click here for a good explanation of why wind-generated power can not usefully contribute to the grid and only causes greater problems, including the use of more "conventional" fuel.

Despite their being cited as the shining example of what can be accomplished with wind power, the Danish government has cancelled plans for three offshore wind farms planned for 2008 and has scheduled the withdrawal of subsidies from existing sites. Development of onshore wind plants in Denmark has effectively stopped. Because Danish companies dominate the wind industry, however, the government is under pressure to continue their support. Spain began withdrawing subsidies in 2002. Germany reduced the tax breaks to wind power, and domestic construction drastically slowed in 2004. Switzerland also is cutting subsidies as too expensive for the lack of significant benefit. The Netherlands decommissioned 90 turbines in 2004. Many Japanese utilities severely limit the amount of wind-generated power they buy, because of the instability they cause. For the same reason, Ireland in December 2003 halted all new wind-power connections to the national grid. In early 2005, they were considering ending state support. In 2005, Spanish utilities began refusing new wind power connections. In 2006, the Spanish government ended -- by emergency decree -- its subsidies and price supports for big wind. In 2004, Australia reduced the level of renewable energy that utilities are required to buy, dramatically slowing wind-project applications. On August 31, 2004, Bloomberg News reported that "the unstable flow of wind power in their networks" has forced German utilities to buy more expensive energy, requiring them to raise prices for the consumer...

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Thanks a million empip.
My knowledge of WInd Turbine Power Generation has been greatly increased by reading the papers. I have long suspected these abominations are not all they seem. unfortunately the 'doo-dahs' that make the decisions to sight them, generally do not understand the technology of either the Wind Turbines or the Grid, all they see is 'Free' energy.
I am so grateful for the links. Thank You
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