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 THE IBOM PULPIT©

Down-to-earth and bold commentaries about the Akwa Ibom State, and about Nigeria.

Technology

Send your articles about the technology for the AKS…. or simply write your comments about posted materials. You may post articles below or send to: ibompulpit@gmail.com.

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Greenfield

Wind Energy Generation – Clean, Efficient and Renewable

Greenfield

Wind Turbine

Inside A Wind Turbine

A wind turbine works basically opposite of the fan; it converts the kinetic energy in wind into electricity while the fan converts electricity into wind. There are two kinds – the vertical axis and the horizontal axis wind generators. Wind turbines (wind farms capable of generating large amounts of electricity have multiple turbines) work best in plain fields with at least 14 miles per hour wind speed. More detailed materials are available for AKSG and LGA decision makers to consider as follows: Technology viability; Technology use; and FAQs.

The video below presents the building of a wind turbine at a US college campus:

The sole purpose of this commentary is to present a viable alternative energy generation technology that can efficiently boost the AKS Ibom Power Plant energy generation capacity when completed in March 2008. Despite the 685MW gas-fired power station primarily built to supply electricity to refineries and other planned heavy industrial projects, more energy will be needed to satisfy present and ever growing energy demand from households, educational institutions, and several commercial users.

Therefore, AKS must make additional plans for complimentary means of power generation as a back-up energy strategy to satisfy anticipated increase in demand when the proposed statewide industrialization policy properly kicks in.

Worth considering are various forms of solar energy to provide for household and commercial demands in the state. TIP strongly recommends the wind energy alternative, which is a clean and efficient form of renewable solar energy capable of servicing millions of households. It is the fastest growing energy generation technology in the world. In 2002, global capacity reached 31,000 MW. In the US, the growth rate has been consistently over 24% per year.

To ease or remove the burden of rural electrication programs from AKSG, local government areas should individually, or in groups, embark upon the purchase of turbines for wind farms to serve local communities. With newer and better related technologies emerging, wind energy is the sure wave of the future.

There are advantages and disadvantages of using the wind turbine technology as follows (Source: US Department of Energy):

Advantages

Disadvantages

  1. Wind energy is fueled by the wind, so it’s a clean fuel source. Wind energy doesn’t pollute the air like power plants that rely on combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas. Wind turbines don’t produce atmospheric emissions that cause acid rain or greenhouse gasses.
  2. Wind energy is a domestic source of energy, produced in the United States. The nation’s wind supply is abundant.
  3. Wind energy relies on the renewable power of the wind, which can’t be used up. Wind is actually a form of solar energy; winds are caused by the heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the rotation of the earth, and the earth’s surface irregularities.
  4. Wind energy is one of the lowest-priced renewable energy technologies available today, costing between 4 and 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, depending upon the wind resource and project financing of the particular project.
  5. Wind turbines can be built on farms or ranches, thus benefiting the economy in rural areas, where most of the best wind sites are found. Farmers and ranchers can continue to work the land because the wind turbines use only a fraction of the land. Wind power plant owners make rent payments to the farmer or rancher for the use of the land.
  1. Wind power must compete with conventional generation sources on a cost basis. Depending on how energetic a wind site is, the wind farm may or may not be cost competitive. Even though the cost of wind power has decreased dramatically in the past 10 years, the technology requires a higher initial investment than fossil-fueled generators.
  2. The major challenge to using wind as a source of power is that the wind is intermittent and it does not always blow when electricity is needed. Wind energy cannot be stored (unless batteries are used); and not all winds can be harnessed to meet the timing of electricity demands.
  3. Good wind sites are often located in remote locations, far from cities where the electricity is needed.
  4. Wind resource development may compete with other uses for the land and those alternative uses may be more highly valued than electricity generation.
  5. Although wind power plants have relatively little impact on the environment compared to other conventional power plants, there is some concern over the noise produced by the rotor blades, aesthetic (visual) impacts, and sometimes birds have been killed by flying into the rotors. Most of these problems have been resolved or greatly reduced through technological development or by properly siting wind plants.

Nigeria’s Energy Crisis

Nigeria (AKS also) has a perennial energy crisis. Although power and energy combine as a key item in his seven point agenda, President Yar’Adua, like his predecessor – Olusegun Obasanjo, has been figuring out what to adopt and implement as a workable energy policy. Despite billions of dollars already invested over three decades, meeting our daily energy needs is a major challenge.

 There seems no end in sight! The Nigeria leadership has no grip of possible solutions for the corruption ridden sector also notorious for lacking a maintenance culture. President Yar’Adua appears frustrated with the energy crisis, and has threatened to declare an energy emergency in the country. He is known to be courting foreign countries and corporations for help.

Nigeria’s three hydro-based stations and five thermal stations have approximately 5,900 MW of installed electric generating capacity. However, about 1600 MW is currently generated because of very poor maintenance culture. While boosting to a target 85% is set for 2010, only 10 % of rural households, and approximately 40 % of Nigeria’s total population currently have access to electricity. Two years left before the target date, Nigeria continues to face a serious energy crisis due to declining electricity generation from domestic power plants.

In addition to multiple rural electrification projects embarked upon by various state governments and by numerous non-governmental organizations (NGO), the federal government is hoping to increase foreign participation in the electric power sector, and is looking for independent power producers to generate and sell electricity to NEPA.

Below are pointed actions taken to meet the national energy demands: 

Comments»

1. Emem Andrew - December 11, 2007

Good article. It would however be more helpful if you could put real dollar costs to implementing this. For instance if everyone in Ewet housing estate with about 200 homes using power supply equivalent to approx 8HP for 12 hours daily. How much would this product cost to imnstall and maintain? Such indices would be helpful then we could try and work out how we could get all these people to switch off their poisnous diesel generators and switch to wind power.

2. Chris Udoh - December 11, 2007

Except as a prelude to a torrential rainfall, we are not so rich in winds. How do will Akwa Ibom manufacture enough wind to drive the wind energy tower/machine?

The machine/technology appears to be most suitable for the Northen Nigerian regions.

3. Clement Ikpatt - December 11, 2007

Also saw your comment on the blog. Going by the today’s 7 days forecast for Uyo, or unscientifically assuming that it is usually the case during this time of the year, Uyo and environs may struggle with wind generation.

But, we can’t say the wind speed pattern is static all year. So, the scientific approach will be to source for data collected over some time before knowing which towns or localities even stand a chance at various times of the year.

Cut in speed (below which no electricity is generated) for most turbines is between 7-10 miles per hour (starting above 15 kph).

But now, the California Energy Commission funded projects and some companies are promoting low wind speed turbines complete with low-end boost circuits to answer the problem of low wind speeds.

GE is very well renowned in this tech area. I’ll be very surprised if they don’t have dem big ole turbines already fitted with such boosters to optimally load down turbines.

4. Clement Ikpatt - December 13, 2007

As thought, GE has a machine with 3.2 m/s cut in speed. That looks like it can answer questions about availability/speed of wind.

Related News:
http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=97847

‘Generating 9000mw to Gulp N3tr’

About N1.23 trillion has been ploughed into the power sector under the National Integrated Power Project, to be able to generate 9000 mega watts of electricity which will cost over N3 trillion, Dr. Ransome Owan, chief executive of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has said.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja during a visit to the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, Owan explained that the N1.23 trillion already spent was for generation alone and had been able to make available only a little over 3000mega watts, which Ribadu described as “miserable” and “miserly”.
The NERC boss said to generate and transmit 9000 mega watts would require investing more that N3trillion, but lamented that vandalisation and theft of power cables as well as sundry acts of economic malfeasance were making nonsense of the organisation’s effort to electrify the country.
Among such acts were shunting and unwillingness of consumers to pay the correct electricity bills by adjusting meters, “operational malpractice” whereby communities are asked to pay for equipment that government already provided as well as non-compliance of CEOs of utility companies with corporate governance.
Owan, assisted by his director, Legal, Monitoring and Enforcement, Dr. Abdulrazaq Alimi, therefore urged the EFCC chief to help out in stamping out these acts of economic sabotage.
Noting that it was a problem that could be solved, Ribadu announced that EFCC would soon set up a different unit to handle such issues which he said are covered by the Miscellaneous Offences law.
“From now, we are going to set up a special a special unit to go after these people who cheat, cut power lines and so on,” he said. “People must be made to abide by the law. Nobody should cut wires and sell in the market.”
He however lamented that the legislation that punishes such offenders had been difficult for the law courts to enforce because of its provision of the death penalty for the offence.
He disclosed that he would re-present a law meant to amend the extant one, which the last National Assembly could not pass, very soon.
Ribadu said “Failure to do anything (about these problems) is why we are where we are today.
The country has been run like a jungle in the past, in the80’s and 90’s. There’s life jail for vandalisation, but it has never been enforced. We have a bill with the National Assembly which the last one didn’t pass.
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to President Umaru Yar’Adua on Electric Power, Dr Joseph Makoju, yesterday said Nigeria ’s hope of adding more than 9000mw of new capacity to the power grid through the National Independent Power Project (NIPP) may not be realised.
This is because of the suspension of disbursements from the excess crude account to fund the project.
Makoju said this in Calabar yesterday, while addressing the 8th Delegates Conference of the National Union of Electricity Workers (NUEE), adding that the development was already a source of concern to the Federal Government in its resolve to improve power supply in the country.
He said in addition, “the uneconomic tariff structure is a major hindrance to improvement and sustainable development of the sector,” adding that development of the Power Sector remains a priority concern of Yar’Adua and efforts are being made to remove obstacles to the realisation of the objective.
“In keeping with this, the President has inaugurated the National Energy Council, with one of its main committees being the Power Sector Reform Committee,” he said.
Makoju traced decay in the sector to long years of neglect and poor funding by successive governments.According to him, where we were by 1999 was an electricity sector that suffered neglect, poor funding, resulting in dilapidated state of the power infrastructure due to poor or non- maintenance and fragile network and stagnation of power infrastructure expansion and technology upgrade.

5. bell door - July 29, 2008

Before the building of a wind-generated energy station anywhere, at least a year long wind intensity studies are normally done for data collection to determine the viability of setting up a generation station in a place. Without such data collection, no one can decide where to build a wind energy center. If you require such studies at the minimal cost, contact me.

6. mfon - August 27, 2009

FYI:
Your linked to the AKSG website is wrong. It should be:
http://www.aksgonline.com


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