Trip to Germany

Been in Germany today, visiting Choren. I will write something up on that trip soon. They have built a Cadillac of a BTL plant in Freiburg. Very impressive.

This was my first trip to Germany since I lived there from 1999 to 2001. Things have changed. Germany is covered up with wind turbines. They must have been installing those things like mad. I plan to do a little research and report on that. One thing I noticed: The turbines always turned clockwise. I had thought they were reversible.

I am traveling to the U.S. tomorrow. I am in Dallas on Saturday, Louisiana on Sunday, returning to Dallas on Monday afternoon, then off to Montana on Thursday (to see my kids for the first time since February 2nd). I return to the Netherlands on May 5th. My writing will be sporadic during this time.

9 thoughts on “Trip to Germany”

  1. I had the chance to visit friends in Germany last fall. I saw the occasional wind turbine around the Ruhrgebiet, but when I got up to Emden, wow. I think all of Ostfriesland is one giant wind farm. I knew they were building wind turbines in Germany, but…wow.

  2. Between CHOREN and Range Fuels, I think I can hear the death knell for cellulosic ethanol. Unfortunately, Washington DC is kinda deaf when it comes to this sort of thing.

  3. i lost track of the last gov’t plan in Germany relative to expansion of coal use and decommision of nuclear for electricity. perhaps you could comment on direction/success when you expand on today’s post.



  4. One thing I noticed: The turbines always turned clockwise. I had thought they were reversible.

    The wind was blowing to the right in Germany I guess.

    Seriously, they go clockwise when the wind is driving in the predominate direction. Counter-clockwise is for when the wind is going the wrong way. Not all turbines can pitch the blades that far, however. The GE models can actually yaw (rotate on the tower) as well.

  5. King:

    I browsed through the report, I am going to assume the data is accurate and table 3.2 and 3.3 explain a lot and dismiss a few myths. Like the strawman that farmers are going to break vaste amounts of marginal land and shelterbelts to seed corn on it. In the case of dryland corn from table 3.3, with a fixed/direct cost of $250/acre, even with $5/bu corn, 50bu/acre is the break even point. It takes some pretty good land with decent rainfall to accomplish 50bu/acre of any type of crop.

    The other thing from table 3.3 is a fixed/direct irrigated corn cost of $795/acre. I don’t see any land cost included in that table, but aside from that, there is a lot of money riding on getting over 160bu/acre at $5/bu to show a profit with extreme inputs like that. Any out-of-the-blue crop failure will financially ruin all of these folks in one year.

    The $290/acre for irrigation energy (NG) stands out at the major risk. A major increase in NG prices will wipe out profitability, and cutting back irrigation throws the chance of a 210bu/acre crop out the window. They have to irrigate as much as possible with those high input costs.

  6. All wind turbines I know of spin in only one direction. If they spun in the opposite direction you would have phase rotation problems on the generator side of the turbine.

    Also, All large upstream turbines (100 kW+) have yaw control to direct the turbine into the wind. There is typically a wind vane on the nacelle that inputs to the controller which drives the yaw motors to keep the turbine in optimum position. The yaw motors also periodically spin the nacelle several revolutions back to a hypothetical zero degrees to prevent the power cables from twisting too much.

  7. What is the difference between sun diesal a la Choren, and bio diesal?

    Does Choren have any products other than “sun diesal.”

    What leading edge companies are there in biofuels?

  8. Can’t say I’m a wind turbine expert, but I’ve been around farms and I’ve watched windmills. A windmill always rotate in the same direction (clockwise now that you mention it) and rotates on the vertical axis so that its wheel so that it is always perpendicular to the wind.

    Assuming a wind turbine is basically a high tech windmill, I would expect it to always turn in the same direction. And somewhere in the background a SCADA system is using weather station data to determine exactly in which direction the wheel should be pointing.

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