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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 54143  
Subject: Re: about that 'cheap' windpower Date: 12/20/2012 7:42 PM
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Just as aircraft can be upgraded with new energy efficient engines, one would expect someone to manufacture improved gear mechanisms that are more efficient and last longer.

One of the problems with wind turbines is the need to regulate rpms if you want 60 Hz AC. It might be easier to produce DC and then invert it with modern solid state electronics. But even so, you need a mechanism to protect the blades from storm force winds.

Wind turbines have some potentially complex design features. Improved designs seem likely in the future as one gains operating experience. Tower is probably most durable. Blades should be but we hear stories of delamination with early ones. Perhaps fatique will limit service life of at least some of them.
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