Important information on wind turbines

To the editor: Can wind energy ever possibly displace any coal\Nuclear steam energy? Since wind varies, non-winds spinning reserve has to always stand by for instant take over; doesnt it? Wind does vary; do turbines outputs? Preventing that, megawatt-sized turbines each have onboard wind speed and direction detectors informing resident computers. They control motors that constantly adjust/re-adjust blade pitch, spilling faster winds more; slower less. The GE 1.5 MW machines outputs steady at all operational wind speeds. Also, developers site wind farms for maximum wind reliability. According to Charles Komanoff, ...Wind speeds don't suddenly drop from strong to calm, at least not for every turbine in a wind farm and certainly not for every turbine on the grid. Like were told steam power is, winds variation beyond operational range, occurs slowly. Cant steam stop/restart quickly though? Suppose engineers designed a machine that couldn't quickly stop for emergencies. Imagine how frequent the injurious accidents, electrocutions, boiler explosions, nuclear meltdowns, and how high the insurance! Whod buy the thing? Reality provides throttles that block steam until re-opened. Similarly, winds quickly shut down by rotating blades to face wind backwards. Both have power output switches. Theyre very well matched. Plenty of warning time exists. The electric grids input has always varied. Whatever their power source, generators must shut down for maintenance. Usually scheduled, it also encounters unexpected breakdowns. Throughout the grids existence, of over a century, steam and other power sources have always run intermittently. Wind fits that. Typically, with more deployed, more backup comes from other wind. Wind now powers 10 percent of Britain, with eddying often letting another wind source take over from any lacking power. A greater proportion of local winds backup comes under Germanys 13 percent; still more from Denmarks 25 percent. Wind powers one to three percent of America; much of our backup energy is wind powered too. Whenever winds running, equivalent steam sources favor winds free fuel by cutting back or shutting down. Winds also part of spinning reserve. David E. Manwell, Beekmantown

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