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Going Green and Speed Limits April 8, 2009

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Grab Bag.

A quick rumination on using windmills to reduce our carbon footprint.  To be clear, I’m all for it. Renewable alternative sources fo energy are wonderful and I hope they create lots of new jobs going forward.  In fact, I saw an article about fixing the grid that referred to this as a new ARPA-net as ‘ARPA-e’ for energy. Hmmm.

Back to windmills. The weather recently was a typical early Spring day. Rain – lots of it and windy.  In fact, very windy. Sustained gust over 35 mph. So, it made me think – while the wind drives the windmill, do they have a maximum speed ?  Of course, the faster they spin, they more energy they create. But, it is a mechanical device after all – gears and shafts, joints and such. Do windmills have a brake of some sort to limit the speed? Just curious.



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