Archive for June 2014

How to make hydrogen? Find a large enough water source and build a wind turbine farm

I was asked a question the other day about how much electricity is lost when transporting electricity. This was because of the wind turbine farm that they're proposing to build in the village, that's going to end up transferring energy up to 1300km away.

I answered, but it turns out I might be wrong, so I'm looking for the right answer. I've emailed the question in hoping for a response but not really expecting one, much like the person that came to the village never answered my initial questions.

The reason I'd like to know is that there is a myth that wind farms are sustainable. If they lose as much electricity as I suspect when travelling over up to 1300km, then they're simply not sustainable. Sure, sustainable if built in your back garden and you can store the energy locally, but not when transporting huge distances.

And seeing as Bygdsiljum already has it's own sustainable energy source, it actually makes Bygdsiljum unsustainable due to the huge amounts of energy wasted.

Anyway I'm going round in circles, the question is asked. But there was something a little more interesting that was unearthed when exploring this question.

It becomes interesting now

The more interesting thing was that demand for electricity is at its lowest at night, when the wind is usually strongest and this is when, traditionally, the companies that run wind turbines would turn them off or power them based on energy stored locally. They hate it when demand is low.

Sadly, neither option is liked, because both options cost money. So these companies that manage and develop wind turbine technology and farms have spent millions upon millions on figuring out a way to not not lose money, rather make money during this period. Where there's a will and all that.

And when you're building turbines that are 210m high, the last thing you want to do is stop them. So, you'll not be surprised to learn that the companies that build and manage these wind farms have finally figured out a way to benefit from these periods when demand is low.

They can make Hydrogen!

When they are building new wind farms, it's a double bonus for them now when demand for electricity is low (night time) and the wind is usually at it's liveliest (night time) because instead of losing money, they can make hydrogen.

Hold on a second ... hydrogen ... don't you need water to create hydrogen? Where will they find water close to Bygdsiljum?

Look, I'm not saying it's going to happen or that we're going to have a huge increase in traffic around the village or that frogs are suddenly going to start appearing with two heads or eight legs. I'm just saying, this is now how these companies make money when demand is low.

Disclaimer: Some things are best not said out loud

I don't know how much it costs to transport electricity, I just know it's not free or cheap.  I'm also not a scientist, so I really can't comment on the safety or transportation of hydrogen or how much they could create and how much extra traffic we're going to see in Bygdsiljum or what the long term effects are on creating hydrogen and related products and this is ... if they were going to make hydrogen.

Lastly, my suggestion that this is something that will happen a little further down the line rather than immediately, as it's the type of thing that people wouldn't want, but also the type of thing municipalities won't say no to after the deal is signed and the money is in their pocket, is just a suggestion.

I have absolutely no evidence to suggest this is the case or that in a few years time we might be the village known as the place they make hydrogen and have funny looking animals. It's merely a fanciful fiction.

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