It could be a little early to sell your Exxon stock…
At the moment, the average wind farm has 150 turbines. Each wind turbine requires 80 gallons of oil for lubrication, and this isn’t vegetable oil; this is a PAO synthetic oil based on crude… 12,000 gallons. Once a year, its oil must be replenished.
To power a city the size of New York, it is estimated that about 3,800 turbines would be required… For just one city, that’s 304,000 gallons of refined oil.
Now you must compute the total annual oil use from “clean” energy in every city across the country, large and small.
Not to add that the huge machinery required to construct these wind farms runs on gasoline. As well as the tools needed for setup, service, maintenance, and eventual removal.
Each turbine has a footprint of 1.5 acres, so a wind farm with 150 turbines would require 225 acres; to power a metropolis the size of NYC, 57,000 acres would be required; and who knows how much land would be required to power the entire United States. Because trees form a barrier and turbulence that interferes with the 20mph sustained wind velocity required for the turbine to work correctly, all of this area would have to be cleared (also keep in mind that not all states are suitable for such sustained winds). Cutting down all those trees is going to irritate a lot of tree-huggers who care about the environment.
A modern, high-quality, highly efficient wind turbine has a 20-year lifespan.
They can’t be reused, reconditioned, reduced, repurposed, or recycled on a budget, so guess what? They’re heading to specialized dumps.
What’s more, guess what else…? They’re already running out of space in these dedicated landfills for blades that have outlived their usefulness. Seriously! The blades range in length from 120 to over 200 feet, and each turbine has three of them. And this is despite the fact that wind energy currently serves only 7% of the country. Imagine if the remaining 93 percent of the country was connected to the wind grid… in 20 years, you’d have all those useless blades with nowhere to put them… Then another 20 years, and another 20 years, and so on.
I almost forgot to mention the 500,000 birds killed each year by wind turbine blade collisions, the most of which are endangered hawks, falcons, owls, geese, ducks, and eagles.
Smaller birds appear to be more agile, able to dart and dodge out of the way of the spinning blades, but larger flying birds appear to be less fortunate.
A large wind turbine contains how many liters of oil?
Another aspect of wind turbine operation and maintenance that differs from that of fossil and nuclear power plants is lubrication. A significant quantity of lubricating oil is placed in the gearbox of a typical wind turbine. The lubrication system incorporates oil filters, and lubricant is either pumped through the system or gravity fed, depending on the turbine type. The smaller turbines built in the mid-1980s had gearboxes that held about 10 gallons of oil or less. Newer, larger devices may handle up to 60 gallons of liquid.
According to Brogna, one school of thinking maintains that lubrication should not be an issue provided the unit is designed correctly. According to him, a second school of thought contends that lubricants must be changed and upgraded to satisfy the specific needs of wind turbines.
A wind turbine can replace how many barrels of oil?
Offshore wind turbines may produce green energy, but they consume far more oil than their proponents disclose.
According to calculations released by Forbes on Wednesday, just laying the foundation for a single offshore turbine can require 18,857 barrels of marine petroleum during construction. Offshore wind farms frequently feature over 100 turbines, implying that only to power the ships involved in construction, about 2 million barrels of gasoline are required.
The Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative will cost $1 billion to build and generate 200 megawatts of electricity, enough to power between 40,000 and 64,000 houses depending on the amount of wind that blows during the year.
According to calculations by the Daily Caller News Foundation, the wind farm’s power will cost about $25,000 each property it serves.
The first offshore wind farm in the United States will cost $17,600 per home it will power near Block Island, Rhode Island.
Is it true that wind turbines contain oil?
“An oil spill could contaminate the soil and water in the vicinity. Many of the oils and greases used in wind turbine technology are mineral oils, which pollute the environment if they spill. The cleanup process is significantly more challenging if the spill occurs at sea, according to Maria Olanders.
Lubricants are needed in a variety of places in a wind turbine, including bearings, couplings, and gears, as well as hydraulic systems. There are practical, low-impact options for many of these areas, such as biodegradable hydraulic oils with a wide temperature range that assure reliable performance.
“It degrades and does not harm water or soil if it leaks. According to Maria Olanders, this type of oil has been utilized in the forestry business for a long time.
Another consideration is that synthetic gear oils have longer replacement intervals, lowering the chance of leaks when the oil is changed.
The bolts on the foundations that support the wind turbine tower must be lubricated and protected against rust in addition to the wind turbine itself. It is, of course, critical to utilize green lubricants in this situation as well.
Wind turbines utilize what kind of oil?
In the continuously developing wind industry, our MobilTM SHC synthetic oils and greases help safeguard important components and improve wind turbine availability.
More than 40,000 wind turbines utilize MobilTM industrial lubricants across the world. This includes Mobil SHC Gear 320 WT, our synthetic wind turbine lubricant, which has demonstrated excellent wear protection and virtually no oil aging alerts. Mobil SHCTM Gear 320 WT, formulated to function in harsh situations, raises the bar on equipment protection, operating temperature, and oil life.
There’s a reason why so many businesses rely on Mobil industrial lubricants to keep their wind turbines running smoothly. In a wide range of situations, including onshore, offshore, dry or wet, and high or low temperatures, we provide the best equipment protection and oil performance.
We also provide Mobil ServSM Engineering Services, such as Wind Turbine Gearbox Flush and Fill, as well as startup and cleanliness guidance, to assist wind farm operators in achieving exceptional equipment protection and long service intervals, resulting in safety, environmental, and operational cost benefits.
You can rely on our technology leadership and application knowledge to keep your wind turbines working at optimal efficiency, whether onshore or offshore.
Is it true that wind turbines are harmful to the environment?
Wind energy, like all energy sources, has the potential to harm the environment by reducing, fragmenting, or degrading habitat for wildlife, fish, and plants. Additionally, rotating turbine blades might endanger flying fauna such as birds and bats. Because of the potential for wind power to have a negative impact on wildlife, and because these difficulties could delay or prevent wind development in high-quality wind resource areas, impact reduction, siting, and permitting issues are among the wind industry’s top goals.
WETO supports in projects that strive to describe and understand the impact of wind on wildlife on land and offshore to address these concerns and encourage environmentally sustainable growth of wind power in the United States. Furthermore, through centralized information hubs like Tethys, WETO engages in operations to collect and disseminate scientifically rigorous peer-reviewed studies on environmental consequences. The office also invests in scientific research that allows for the development of cost-effective technology to reduce wildlife impacts at both onshore and offshore wind farms.
WETO strives to foster interagency collaboration on wind energy impacts and siting research in order to ensure that taxpayer monies are used wisely to solve environmental challenges associated with wind deployment in the United States.
Listed below are a few of WETO’s investments:
- For more than 24 years, the office has supported peer-reviewed research, in part through collaborative relationships with the wind industry and environmental groups including the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative (NWCC) and the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative.
- The NWCC was established in 1994 by the DOE’s wind office in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to investigate a wide range of issues related to wind energy development, such as transmission, power markets, and wildlife impacts. The NWCC’s focus has evolved over the last decade to addressing and disseminating high-quality information about environmental impacts and remedies.
- In May 2009, the Department of Energy’s wind office announced approximately $2 million in environmental research awards aimed at decreasing the hazards of wind power development to vital species and habitats. Researchers from Kansas State University and the NWCC’s Grassland Community Collaborative published a paper in 2013 that revealed wind development in Kansas had no significant impact on the population and reproduction of larger prairie chickens.
- The Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative has been involved in numerous research projects funded by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory since its inception in 2003, including studies evaluating the impact of changing the cut-in-speed of wind turbines (the minimum wind speed at which wind turbines begin producing power) and the use of ultrasonic acoustic deterrents to reduce bat impacts at wind turbines.
- Through a competitive funding opportunity, WETO is also financing research and development projects that increase the technical preparedness of bat impact mitigation and minimization solutions. Bat Conservation International, Frontier Wind, General Electric, Texas Christian University, and the University of Massachusetts are among the companies, universities, and organizations receiving funding from the Energy Department to field test and evaluate near-commercial bat impact mitigation technologies, which will provide regulators and wind facility owners-operators with viable and cost-effective tools to reduce bat impacts.
- Through a competitive funding opportunity, WETO is also financing research and development projects that increase the technical preparedness of bat impact mitigation and minimization solutions. Bat Conservation International, Frontier Wind, General Electric, Texas Christian University, and the University of Massachusetts are among the companies, universities, and organizations receiving funding from the Energy Department to field test and evaluate near-commercial bat impact mitigation technologies, which will provide regulators and wind facility owners-operators with viable and cost-effective tools to reduce bat impacts. The Status and Findings of Developing Technologies for Bat Detection and Deterrence at Wind Facilities webinars hosted by the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative provide project updates and testing findings as of March 2018.
- WETO chose six teams in 2016 to work on improving solutions that will safeguard eagles that share airspace with wind turbines. For breakthrough, vital eagle-impact minimization technology research and development projects, more nearly $3 million was allocated across the six teams. The research financed by this grant will equip wind farm owners and operators with practical and cost-effective strategies for reducing potential eagle impacts. This important study expands on the Energy Department’s efforts to facilitate wind energy deployment while also ensuring animal coexistence by addressing siting and environmental concerns. If the study is successful, it will safeguard wildlife while also giving new tools for the wind industry to reduce regulatory and financial concerns.
- WETO is a supporter of research on biological interactions with offshore wind turbines. With this funding, researchers are gathering crucial data on marine life, offshore bird and bat behavior, and other factors that influence the deployment of offshore wind turbines in the United States. The Biodiversity Research Institute and a diverse group of collaborators, for example, completed the largest ecological study ever conducted in the Mid-Atlantic to produce a detailed picture of the environment in Mid-Atlantic Wind Energy Areas, which will aid permitting and environmental compliance for offshore wind projects.
WETO also collaborates with other federal agencies to create recommendations to help developers comply with statutory, regulatory, and administrative requirements for wildlife protection, national security, and public safety. The Wind Energy Technologies Office, for example, collaborated with the Department of the Interior on the Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines and Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance.
A barrel contains how many gallons of crude oil?
A normal barrel of crude oil in the United States comprises 42 gallons of crude oil, which yields approximately 44 gallons of petroleum products. Refinery gains result in an additional 6% of product, resulting in an additional 2 gallons of petroleum products. Refineries in the United States create about 19 gallons of gasoline and 10 gallons of diesel fuel from a barrel of crude oil, as seen in the graph below. The remaining one-third is made up of items like jet fuel and heating oil.
How much oil is required to manufacture a solar panel?
The answer is around a factor of 20 less than you believe. Sure, this might be beneficial to the global economy, but it would be detrimental to our wallets. Consider all the wonderful things you could do with an extra $360 billion per day.
Assume a high-efficiency conversion procedure for solar thermal plants (>50%) and a conversion efficiency of 42% for conventional natural gas power plants.
In that situation, it takes around 18kWhr from a barrel to create one kWh via PV (yes, considerably more than your normal estimate) and 30kWhr using CSP.
PV panels cover roughly 40 m2 and generate an average of 3kWh/m2 (with 2009 technology). Thus, 40 m2 x 3 = 120 Whr / 18kWhr = 7 panels are required to produce 1 kWh.
A 200-liter barrel holds 4728 liters (124.74 gallons) of liquid; if filled with oil, the barrel holds around 35 pounds or 15 quarts (little more than half a gallon) (this varies depending on distillation endpoints).
This indicates that 17,208,000 barrels of oil per day would be required to produce the same amount of energy as the current global power production (about 87 TWh/day) generated by solar panels.
Because the present global daily production is just 85 million barrels, it would take nearly three years of global oil production to produce enough solar panels to create the amount of electricity we currently use!
Is it true that solar panels utilize oil?
Some people believe that solar energy is the answer to the world’s energy problems. However, the manufacturing of the many components necessitates the use of fossil fuels, both for power and for the components themselves, some of which are petroleum-based.
BioSolar, a new startup, wants to put petroleum out of business, at least when it comes to solar photovoltaics, or solar cells made of crystalline silicon that convert sunlight into power. Traditional plastic polymers, often known as backsheets, are used to provide a safe backing for such solar cells. Those polymers are produced of petroleum, as you may have surmised.
The new product is “sustainable” and “doesn’t consume any petroleum,” according to electrical engineer David Lee, president and CEO of the California-based company. “The real benefit is that we can actually lower the backsheet cost when compared to traditional petroleum-based backsheet.” Lee claims that their backsheets will be 25% less expensive than traditional backsheets, which range from $0.70 to $1 per square foot.
Due to the recent rise in world oil prices, such backsheets are already increasing in price, at a time when the solar industry is attempting to reduce costs to make their technology more competitive with other sources of power generation, such as cheap, abundant, and extremely polluting coal.
BioSolar begins with old cotton rags and transforms them into a cellulose film, a natural fiber. The BioBacksheet is manufactured by combining this film with a form of nylon made from castor beans developed by Arkema, Inc. of Philadelphia. According to preliminary testing conducted by the company at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, this flexible plastic backsheet lasts as long as or longer than conventional backsheets and keeps out just as much moisture.
BioSolar claims not to use any genetically modified crops in its products, in addition to avoiding petroleum plastics, giving them even more green credibility. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, almost 90% of the cotton crop in the United States has been genetically modified, either to resist insects, herbicides, or both. Cotton farming still necessitates massive quantities of insecticides and fertilizers, both of which are generated in part from petroleum.
In any case, if the cotton and castor-based backsheet proves to be less expensive than the petroleum-based one, it may help divert a little more fossil sunlight from the new solar energy. “Our goal is to use this bio-based plastic to replace all of the petroleum plastic in solar cells,” Lee explains.