LET'S BUILD PROFITABLE CLEVELAND/NEO WIND TURBINE MANUFACTURING & USE CLUSTER

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Mon, 02/05/2007 - 16:38.

Automatic wind ESAB wind turbine welder

PHOTO COURTESY ESAB

Susan, Norm,  ET AL 

While I post shots of turbines from coast to coast in an effort to get people’s appetites whetted, you guys are asking for specifics for NEO.  Over the next few weeks I will post here the suggestions for the steps that I recommend for NEO: 

 

The first step is to establish the civic rules for communication and involvement and fairness.  For Cleveland/NEO to develop a successful wind turbine manufacturing and use cluster we need to advance on both MANUFACTURING AND USE fronts simultaneously.   To do that we must broadcast and  discuss our plans publicly, post as much of  our research and “non trade secret” information on the web for everyone to access, and operate our businesses as openly as possible - as this is the only development model which will stimulate networking and involvement by young people and by people who are not presently involved with wind turbine component manufacturing.  Whatever we do must be done in the civic arena so that what transpires attracts and retains idealistic and principled persons.   This will energize standers-by into involvement and commitment.  We must make outreach to, but  cannot pander to, the presently established
Cleveland manufactures and/or legacy NEO  hierarchy.   We must simultaneously reach out across the globe.    Ideally, a regional (19 county+) wind manufacturing and use development authority with bonding power would be legislated.   The development of a successful cluster – like Wall Street or the Antwerp Diamond Exchange – must be created  organically, bottom up, and open source.   That’s the working philosophy and here is the first step I would spend money to investigate…synchronizing
Cleveland’s Mital steel works with a new, adjacent, single purpose steel turbine tower manufacturing facility.

 

Today’s post involves the manufacture of steel turbine towers, which towers comprise about 25% of the cost of a turbine – the average 2 megawatt turbine going for about 2 million dollars.

 

Organization meetings with the public and  
Cleveland’s Mital steel mill, Timken, and local fabricators can lead to a state of the art, sole purpose, dedicated manufacturing operation to mass produce steel turbine towers. Mital Steel can be persuaded to redesign a rolling line to produce heavy plate specifically sized to maximize production efficiency in building wind turbine towers.  The 2 ½” thick  plate needs to be 50’ plus in uncut length (so it can be rolled into tubes with a diameter of about 13.5’+ ( which is the height of trucking clearance under interstate bridges), and preferably 10+’ wide plate slabs in order to minimize joint welding in the finished tower.  Since the preferred size of the steel plate before rolling is too big to truck – the tower fab facility would need to be placed right next to Mital in the
Cuyahoga Valley.  (I blogged about this before Steelyard Commons went up) 

.

About 1,500 of these towers were used in the
US last year to support the 2,500 megawatts of wind turbine capacity installed.  Each tower may run in the $500,000 range – for the size of a tower to support a  2 megawatt turbine.   Output needs to be at least one, if not two, towers completed per day.  This equates to a gross return of more than 365 million annually.  The process involves rolling the plate into tapered tubular sections, robotically welding the rolled plate together into sections about 70’ long, welding bolt flanges  

 

 onto the ends of the sections (Timken already makes these flanges for European manufacturers), sandblasting the section inside and out, priming and painting, and loading for transport by land, water, or rail towards their installation destination.  Since each tower weighs from 200 to 400 tons,  at a rate of 1 or 2 towers per day (apx 150,000 tons/year) ,  a steel manufacturer couldn’t ask for a better partner. 

 

Although Martha and I have done some of the research (with Vestas) already, we need to talk with GE, Gamesa in Pennsylvania, and every other tower user to see if a standard tower design can be developed which is usable by all manufacturers.  We need to establish standards of interchangeability just as the computer hardware and software manufactures have done.

 

Who will pay for the salaries and expenses for the organizational work necessary to bring this facililty together?  What is the ideal labor model to operate such a facility? Should we begin by investigating partnering with the South Korean company that built the towers for the Bowling Green, Ohio turbines?

Find ESAB link here:http://www.esab.co.uk/

 

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Now we are getting on track with wind

I agree with all this and look forward to seeing a complete vision and plan develop. It is good to see some real numbers around this. Keep mapping this out as I believe we can drive action on your plans.

Disrupt IT

Wind Turbines from secondary / recycled steel, ISO14001, and Co2

Mittal is a primary steel manufacturer if I understand their Cleveland ops correctly.  That is they make steel from ore, etc.    David Sadler at Mittal's office in Berkley Square, London is the man to short circut years worth of networking with that organization to get to the top.  He is the top of the Environmental and Safety program at that org.  That being said, dont cross his desk until this thing is VERY tight and very short read for them to see immediate ties to their corporate social responsability goals.  See their 06 CSR report, available online (EHS report I think they call it), tie in the proposal to their corporate goals... and who knows what could happen....  that is if you are interested in working with primary steel.  My guess is if you are a customer and are buying their product, they will get you what you want.   I have not worked with these guys in this hemisphere.   I do know for a FACT that they are HUGE carbon traders. (DuH! look at the intensity of their ops, not to mention they do loads of production in countries that have ratified UNFCCC / Kyoto.   They would still be on board I bet for a US project... the voluntary markets for Carbon Credits are boOOooOOming.   Its not the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) but it is still growing.  Mittal is a sophisticated player.    Obviously supporting a project that WILL generate revenues via carbon credits is in their best interest.... only dont factor in the revenues from the carbon offsets of turbine production.  The market is to volitile at present.

Now, in case you missed it.  The newest mill in NE Ohio is a secondary steel facility owned by Charter Steel.  It is a bar mill, but of course secondary steel means it is a GIANT recycler.   If I had a choice, I want a wind mill made from recycled steel.  For that would be upcycling in my book!  Screw the techical nutrients McDonough design chemistry details!      Of course a bar mill aint what your after.   About 1000 feet from the newest and shiny'est mill and electric arc furnace ever shipped from Italy to the Port of Cleveland via boat is Charter's Rolling mill.

Not sure how to work in either of these two mill's output into the design phase here but I wanted to way in while everything is still on paper.    Points summated as follows

0.  You are your supply chain.

1.  Secondary steel is recycled steel, and in my book that is eco-preferrable to primary steel

2.  Many mills, especially those associated with supplying the automotive industries carry ISO-14001 certification, which (depending upon the auditor) can up the level of eco-preferrability even higher if we are talking about a secondary steel mill.   Lets aim for ISO-14001 up and down the supply chain, and aim for selling ISO-9000 and ISO-14001 wind turbines.

3. Do not factor in to install project ROI any revenues from carbon offsets.   If the project can stand on its own legs without $ from sales of offsets, this will be icing on the cake when it is time.   We can line up investors for those darn near last, if we are installing them.  If we are just retailing them, well rights to sell credits go to the buyer / operators.  

Surface Coatings

shite, I skipped hammering out aspects and impacts of potential surface coatings associated with big dogs like this.    lets cross this bridge about a year ahead of us coming to it.  By that time there should be funds available to ensure this is done right.  IE with leading edge technology, not metals laden surface coatings whose primary constituents were developed 60 plus years ago.    Surface coating metal on this scale could be either a HUGE environmental impact / liability or a HUGE environmental leg up on compitition.  I for one am in favor of this aspect being able to aid in further determining the turbines in the marketplace.

1. zero voc ?
2. recycled steel?
3. iso-14001 env. mngmt systems re: production
4. shazbot, thats one green turbine already and I have not even slept on it.  next thing you know we could offset the emissions associated with a lifecycle analysis of said future burning river turbines and be selling climate neutral (out of the box) turbines with all these green layers of goodness.   of course now that this is all online, GE can gank it.  =-)

whaddaya know about Ecopaint?

Here's a coating for your scrutiny -- Ecopaint

"Smog-busting paint soaks up noxious gases

19:00 04 February 2004  Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition.   Jenny Hogan

A paint that soaks up some of the most noxious gases from vehicle exhausts will goes on sale in Europe in March. Its makers hope it will give architects and town planners a new weapon in the fight against pollution.

Called Ecopaint, the substance is designed to reduce levels of the nitrogen oxides, collectively known as the NOx gases, which cause respiratory problems and trigger smog production.

Patents filed last week show how the novel coating works. The paint's base is polysiloxane, a silicon-based polymer. Embedded in it are spherical nanoparticles of titanium dioxide and calcium carbonate 30 nanometres wide. Because the particles are so small, the paint is clear, but pigment can be added. The first paint to go on sale will be white.

The polysiloxane base is porous enough to allow NOx to diffuse though it and adhere to the titanium dioxide particles. The particles absorb ultraviolet radiation in sunlight and use this energy to convert NOx to nitric acid.

The acid is then either washed away in rain, or neutralised by the alkaline calcium carbonate particles, producing harmless quantities of carbon dioxide, water and calcium nitrate, which will also wash away.

Robust base

In a typical 0.3-millimetre layer, there will be enough calcium carbonate to last five years in a heavily polluted city, says Robert McIntyre of the British company Millennium Chemicals, based in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, which developed the paint. When the carbonate has been exhausted, the titanium dioxide will continue to break down NOx, but the acid this produces will discolour the paint.

The breakthrough, says McIntyre, was finding a robust base material. Previous attempts to use titanium dioxide in paints to break down NOx faltered because it attacked the base material as aggressively as it did the pollutants. Polysiloxane is resistant to attack by titanium dioxide, though the developers are not yet sure why.

Ecopaint is being lab tested as part of the Europe-funded Photocatalytic Innovative Coverings Applications for Depollution Assessment programme (PICADA). It has yet to be put the test in the field, but the companies say their experience with another catalytic coating shows how air quality can be improved.

In 2002, after 7000 square metres of road surface in Milan, Italy, were covered with a catalytic cement, residents reported that it was noticeably easier to breathe - with the concentration of nitrogen oxides at street level cut by up to 60 per cent.

Air turbulence

Dimitrios Kotzias, who runs PICADA's test programme at the EU's Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, says that the coating is effective because air turbulence is constantly carrying the gases over the surface, yet molecules stick to the surface long enough for the oxidation reaction to break them down.

The paint could cover a much greater surface area than cement, since every building and piece of street furniture could be painted with it.

Photocatalytic cements and paving slabs are already used in Japan, where the market for such building materials is growing. And EU member states are required to monitor NOx levels and ensure that by 2010 they have fallen below an annual average of 21 parts per billion. But current levels in cities are often tens of times that.

"There certainly is a need for new technologies," says Mike Pilling, chair of the Air Quality Expert Group, which advises the UK government."

What do you think? You're the scientist...

 

thats one green turbine already

Now we are getting somewhere. I like all your suggestions. When I was at the Wind Conference in Cleveland in 2004 there were representatives from many major Cleveland companies there exploring how wind turbine production would fit with their product development. One I recall was from a coatings company exploring how they could develop coatings for turbine blades to minimize ice build-up. I can see where there will be lots of interesting technology to this. I think it is very worthwhile developing a plan on-lne, even if it helps GE and others do the same things better. I expect between you, Jeff and a few others present here, we'll map out a better plan faster and give it better traction than can GE. Sleep on this and add to the plan.

Disrupt IT

from Sarah Taylor

To all those with whom I've communicated about off-shore wind power for Cleveland:

     Most of you will have seen or heard the exciting news about the meeting of the Cuyahoga Regional Energy Development Task Force last Thursday, at which the recommendation was announced that a Lake Erie Wind Energy Center be created here in Cleveland, comprising both an off-shore installation of turbines, as well as a land-based Research Center, complementing the installation, and being a focus for related business development. The news via PD

    Some of you were at, or involved with, the dynamic presentation, and heard Bill Mason's and Ronn Richard's eloquent speeches, summarizing the Task Force's work, and emphasizing the urgency with which our public and private sectors should address this challenge and opportunity.

    There was an FAQ document available, with more detail about the proposal than was available in press summaries.  Since I can't find it on the web, I've attached a scanned copy.  (It follows this communique). Those of you in industry, or directly involved in economic development, might be particularly interested in it.  And others of you with political and/or business connections, who could pass on their encouragement to those with influence to help move us to the next stage, would, I'm sure, be doing a very useful service.

      Bill Mason, during his introduction, very graciously recognized the Windustrious video which was playing in a continuous loop, enlarged on the wall, accompanying the initial and subsequent presentations.  I very much appreciate his acknowledgement, and Dennis Yurich and I would also like to thank Steve Dever and Maureen Joyce for their efforts in making it a supportive addition to the event.

        I can't resist providing you with another opportunity to click to this symbol of Cleveland's great opportunity: Windustrious

Revelling in the excitement, and enthusiastic about the next steps, Sarah Taylor

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Lake Erie Wind Energy Center

 

What is the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center?

 

Creation of the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center is a recommendation by the Cuyahoga Regional Energy Development Task Force ("Task Force") after it explored renewable and other cleaner energy sources and economic development for the Cuyahoga region. The Task Force envisions a Center with two complementary aspects. At the core of the Center is a 5-20 megawatt offshore project involving several utility-class turbines in Lake Erie, which will be the first demonstration of wind energy in fresh water anywhere in the world.  Coupled with this project is a coastal research center to facilitate testing and evaluation of both new and optimal technologies for future wind energy projects.

 

 

Why is the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center composed of two separate components?

 

The wind demonstration project is ideal for producing clean electricity for our area, paving the way for further offshore wind energy deployment in Lake Erie, and building a visual icon for our region. While these are certainly desirable results, the demonstration project on its own will not lead to a vibrant wind energy industry that will bring thousands of jobs to the area. The wind project's affiliation with a research center is more likely to attract the wind industry's technical and manufacturing operations here. Over and above that, inclusion of a research center opens up many more avenues for overall funding of the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center.

 

How big will the demonstration wind project component of the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center be?

 

A feasibility study will be conducted to determine all aspects of the demonstration project, including the final size. The Task Force foresees a demonstration project of between 5-20 megawatts (MW). If a 20-MW wind project is constructed --10 turbines of 2 MW each -- it would generate energy on an annual basis equivalent to the electricity needs of over 6000 typical homes. Turbines are installed on towers, which in this case, would be at a height of about 100 meters above the water. Each turbine would each have a rotor span of about 80 meters.

 

Where will the demonstration wind project of the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center be located?

 

The feasibility study will determine the exact site of the demonstration wind project. The Task Force envisions the location of turbines no less than 3 miles offshore from downtown Cleveland. It has located some potential sites that satisfy viability and economic criteria.

 

 

What is the likely impact of the demonstration wind project component of the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center on birds, fish and other wildlife?

 

The potential impact of the project on wildlife will be thoroughly studied before financing is secured and construction begins. This will involve collaboration with various organizations, including Ohio's Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

What has the Task Force recommended in order to build the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center?

 

The Task Force has recommended that Cuyahoga County and other funding sources sponsor a feasibility study conducted by professional advisors to:

1) ensure that there are no prohibitive obstacles to development;

2) define the parameters of both the wind demonstration project and the research center; and

3) develop an implementation plan to engineer, finance, construct and operate the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center.

 

What issues must be addressed by the feasibility study for the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center?

 

The Task Force has conducted an initial review of many issues and has not identified any insurmountable challenges in its preliminary investigation. The feasibility study will address these issues further and verify these early assessments in more detail. The study will also:

 

•           Investigate the impact on the environment, including birds, fish and wildlife;

•           Survey community acceptance of the visual impact of the demonstration project;

•           Assess the costs and availability of wind turbines for offshore application,

•           Determine the engineering and design of foundations and installation approaches;

•           Assess the technical needs of the wind manufacturing community, as well as the implied requirements for equipment, facilities and partners for the research center.


Why is a feasibility study by professional advisors necessary before beginning construction of the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center?

Converting any raw concept of this scale into a practical plan that can be implemented usually requires in-depth examination and planning. In addition, the recommendation involves a first-of-a-kind wind energy project and a research facility in an already highly technical field. It makes sense to allow those with the specialized knowledge, skill and experience to further explore and assess the viability of the Center. A multi-faceted investigation of this complexity also demands a time obligation beyond that which the members of the Task Force can continue to volunteer. It involves a permanent time commitment for a definite period as well as the required expertise to produce comprehensive and accurate results.

What role(s) will the County and the City of Cleveland play in the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center?

At this early stage, no decisions have been made about formal roles in the Center. It is expected, however, that the City and the County will each partially fund the feasibility study, as well as the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center itself, if the feasibility report favors construction. In addition, the Task Force anticipates that the City and County will both agree to purchase some portion of the power produced by the demonstration project. We also find it likely that the City and County will work closely together, and with State and Federal entities, to expedite the resolution of various issues that will be encountered in completion of the Center.

 

Why is the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center a good idea?

The demonstration project of the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center will generate a significant quantity of electricity without relying on burning fossil fuels. This means we can reduce the region's emissions as well as our exposure to fuel price increases. The project will also create a visual icon for northeast Ohio that will capture the public's imagination and change our image to outside audiences. Most importantly, the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center will secure a large portion of the economic potential, including job creation that is associated with the large offshore wind energy industry of the future. We will demonstrate our leadership to the worldwide energy industry by tackling the research, development and deployment challenges associated with a largely untapped offshore wind energy marketplace.

 

How will the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center be financed?

Identifying potential funding sources for the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center is one of the
most important facets of the feasibility study. The electricity generated by the demonstration project will be a source of revenue, as will user-fees associated with the research center during the testing and evaluation of new offshore wind technologies. While it is expected that these revenue sources will be more than adequate to cover the Center's operating costs, they are insufficient to attract enough private-sector capital that is necessary to cover the Center's construction costs. As a result, a significant quantity of public-sector funding will be required. The feasibility study will need to estimate the extent of non-private capital needed and identify plausible sources for obtaining it.

 

Why is the County pursuing offshore wind as opposed to onshore wind?

Most wind companies in the United States and the world are currently investing in onshore wind energy. For many obvious reasons, it is cheaper and easier to build wind projects onshore than in open waters. A few companies are tackling offshore wind, but this very specialized segment of the wind industry will be enormous once the world's best onshore sites have been tapped. Geographic areas that lead the way in tackling the challenges of the offshore wind market will be in the best position to own a significant portion of that market's research, development, and manufacturing activity. By developing the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center, northeast Ohio is taking the steps necessary to become the leader in offshore wind and a world hub for economic activity in this industry. An offshore wind project is ideal for Lake Erie: it has a shallow depth to facilitate the installation of turbine towers, vast wind resources, is easily accessible by our shipping and port logistics, and is adjacent to our industrial base.

 

What technical challenges must be overcome for offshore wind to be of economic benefit?

Although offshore wind is substantially better, i.e., it is more often higher-speed than wind onshore, the cost of installing a wind turbine offshore is about twice the cost of installing one onshore. The higher costs associated with offshore installation include developing standardized approaches, obtaining equipment for installing foundations, and erecting towers and turbines from a marine platform as opposed to on dry land. Engineering and technical challenges in the use of platforms have been addressed by producers of offshore oil and gas, but await resolution by the wind industry. Corrosion and icing posed by marine conditions are also a consideration. These are among the issues that will be addressed by the research component of the Lake Erie Wind Energy Center.

 

What is a "renewable portfolio standard"?

A "renewable portfolio standard" is a requirement, usually passed by a state's legislature and implemented by a state's public utility commission, that each utility obtain a minimum percentage of their electricity generation from renewable sources by a certain date. Examples of renewable energy sources include wind, solar, low-impact hydropower, geothermal and biomass energy, co-generation heat and power, clean coal and fuel cells.

 

Why is the Task Force also recommending that the State of Ohio implement a "renewable portfolio standard"?

Our vision is to build northeast Ohio into a leading economic center for wind and other advanced energy technology development, manufacturing and deployment. Task Force discussions with several companies in the wind energy industry, however, revealed that Ohio will not be considered a viable site for their operations as long as the State's energy policies are unfavorable to wind energy development. A renewable portfolio standard, adopted by 22 other states, is the minimum policy prerequisite for wind companies to locate their industry in a state. Ohio does not have a renewable portfolio standard. As a result, recent major wind manufacturing contracts have not been awarded to Ohio. Instead, they have gone to our neighbor to the east, Pennsylvania, and to Iowa, Minnesota, and Texas.

I'm glad Sarah is part of this

I was very pleased to see Sarah Taylor putting her support behind this. We need as many connectors in the community as possible to expand the dialog and involve a broader base of analysts and activists in the public space. Sarah is part of the process of keeping things honest. Good insight here.

Disrupt IT

pencils poised and key's clicking for wind

Get ready for proposal time...
Get your printers warmed up...
Here is a link to the 85 page

BUILDING A NEW ENERGY FUTURE

turbines + birds

Looking for something else entirely, I found this interesting article regarding turbines and birds.

Massive Offshore Wind Turbines Safe for Birds: Infrared monitoring shows that savvy seabirds steer clear of wind turbines.

Lake birds will be savvy, too?

SMART DANES, NEO SHOULD LICENSE INFRARED CAMERA

Licensing and manufacturing this type of gadget, and LIDAR wind measurement systems, is another way for the Cleveland Foundation to get NEO into the wind manufacturing arena.  Such special support tools as these are much less expensive to set up manufacturing facilities to produce  (than off shore turbines in Lake Erie which won't be made in NEO), and will produce more revenue from jobs here in NEO

what happened to this thread?

There were some constructive comments here, and I felt things were going in a forward direction; a good number of atta boys and suggestions for you, Jeff.  What happened with this thread, to create a manufacturing plan, gather the shopping list and find the money to pay for the innovation and materials?

I think we get it that you decry the Energy Task Force idea of wind on the water, but as you said,

"you guys are asking for specifics for NEO.  Over the next few weeks I will post here the suggestions for the steps that I recommend for NEO:

The first step is to establish the civic rules for communication and involvement and fairness.  For Cleveland/NEO to develop a successful wind turbine manufacturing and use cluster we need to advance on both MANUFACTURING AND USE fronts simultaneously.  To do that we must broadcast and discuss our plans publicly, post as much of our research and “non trade secret” information on the web for everyone to access, and operate our businesses as openly as possible - as this is the only development model which will stimulate networking and involvement by young people and by people who are not presently involved with wind turbine component manufacturing.  Whatever we do must be done in the civic arena so that what transpires attracts and retains idealistic and principled persons.  This will energize standers-by into involvement and commitment.  We must make outreach to, but cannot pander to, the presently established Cleveland manufactures and/or legacy NEO hierarchy.  We must simultaneously reach out across the globe.  Ideally, a regional (19 county+) wind manufacturing and use development authority with bonding power would be legislated.  The development of a successful cluster – like Wall Street or the Antwerp Diamond Exchange – must be created organically, bottom up, and open source.  That’s the working philosophy and here is the first step I would spend money to investigate…synchronizing Cleveland’s Mital steel works with a new, adjacent, single purpose steel turbine tower manufacturing facility.”

 

So I noted that in the weeks following this post, we have seen primarily the disemboweling of the Task Force Plan.  I think we get it.  No one seems to be arguing that point, but I would venture a guess that we are all eager to see the elements and future steps in your plan and the reports on outreach about potential positive outcomes for the energy needs of our region and the planet. 

If making Cleveland a manufacturing center for wind energy components is the goal, then in regard to the first step, when are those meetings scheduled?  If you don’t like the rules currently, how do you propose to change them?  If you can’t change the rules, can you get your own thing going with your own rules? 

We see the problem – these guys aren’t playing nice in the sandbox.  They aren't sharing the toys and they don't want everyone to play their secret game.  So what?  Aren’t there other players who would help build another sandbox if asked?  When is the first real Northeast Ohio (REALNEO) Energy Task Force meeting slated?  Get an i-open meeting on the calendar; Ed Morrison would certainly support that.  Any positive reports on your meetings with Stuebi and RTA?  How about the follow up with ZM’s suggestion of Charter Steel

Please report on the positive to, just to temper the standard Cleveland negativity.  We’re all trying to make it to real spring here after all. And as Eliot says, “April is the cruelest month…”.  Damn dude, we’re only half way through March – don’t kill us now!