Page 1

Artists like Gaudí, Picasso and Miró have all left their own distinctive marks on the city’s identity and culture.

barcelona  6


Photo by dhruvaraj (Flickr)

THREE OF A KIND: THE PRIMARY WAYS TO PRODUCE WIND POWER

(One of) the answers

is blowing

IN THE WIND

By harnessing an abundant, clean and free resource, wind power has become a viable source of energy for homes, farms and businesses. Despite setbacks such as large start-up costs and the remote locations of wind farms, it remains one of the fastest growing forms of alternative energy on the planet.

2. Hang it on a wall.

By John Kalmar

SMALL SCALE

WIND FARMS

OFFSHORE WIND FARMS

Small-scale wind turbines allow homeowners, farms, small businesses and public facilities to generate their own on-site energy. Small-scale turbines are defined as having capacities of producing 100 kilowatts or less. Average small wind turbines stand from 35 to 140 feet tall. Small turbines may serve as a way to break free from the reliance of fossil fuels for powering homes and businesses, but they don’t come cheap. For a 10 kilowatt machine, which is the size needed to power an average home, the price tag ranges from $35,000 to $50,000.

By being built in rural regions away from cities, large scale wind farms are able to harness the powerful winds in their isolated areas. Texas is home to the six largest winds farms in the U.S. with the Roscoe Wind Farm in Roscoe, Texas tipping the wind energy scales at a capacity of 781.5 MW. The 100,000-acre West Texas farm houses 627 wind turbines, ranging from 350 to 415 feet tall. The land was primarily used for cotton before being converted to a wind farm in 2007. Roscoe Wind Farm can generate electricity for more than 230,000 homes.

The biggest advantage of offshore wind farms is their ability to capture the strong, afternoon breezes produced at sea, which occurs at a time of peak energy consumption. While there currently are no offshore wind farms in the U.S. (pending the Cape Wind Project), the largest offshore project is the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, approximately seven miles off the coast of England. The wind farm boasts 100 turbines with a total capacity of 300 MW, which is enough to power 200,000 British homes.

WORKING WITH WIND WIND SPEED Winds blow over the blades of the turbine, causing them to rotate. Turbines generally don’t operate unless winds speeds blow greater than 8 miles per hour. Turbines are able to generate the most electricity when winds are blowing at 22-to-55 mph.

BREEZY NUMBERS States with the highest installed megawatt capacity for wind TEXAS SWEPT AREA The area covered by the rotating rotors, also known as the swept area, plays a role in how much electricity the turbines can produce. The larger the swept area, the greater the electricity yield will be.

1. Carefully remove staples from the spread.

SAY YES! TO WIND ENERGY!

PULL IT OUT, HANG IT UP

ej

PLENTIFUL

JOBS

TIME

Wind is one of the cleanest forms of energy on earth. It’s a sustainable resource that can be converted to energy without emitting fossil fuels and has few negative impacts on the environment, making it a popular choice for renewable energy resources.

Because it is a form of solar energy wind resources will never be depleted. Wind exists due to uneven heating of the earth by the sun. As hot air rises, cool air moves in to take its place, resulting in the creation of wind.

The growth in wind energy has led to the creation of more engineering and manufacturing jobs in wind energy technologies.The U.S. increased its wind power capacity by more than 5,000 megawatts (MW) in 2010 to its current capactiy of 40,180 MW.

Compared with coal and naturalgas power plants, it takes less time to construct wind farms. A 50-megawatt wind farm is typically built in 18 to 24 months, and the payback energy period is only three to six months.

CO2

TURN OFF THE WIND TURBINES! COSTLY

$

The average cost of wind turbines in 2007 ranged from $1.2 million to $2.6 million per MW of nameplate capacity, the maximum rated output of a wind generator. Most commercial-scale turbines produce 2 MW of power.

20| ej

spring 2011

DISTANCE

CONSISTENCY

AESTHETICS

Because of the high wind speeds, some 0 25 50 of the best places to harvest wind are in remote locations, often hundreds of miles away from major cities. Building transmission lines from these desolate wind farms can be expensive.

Wind isn’t always constant. This increases the need to have power plants store the energy or the use of a battery system to help even out erratic flows. Turbines must be shut off in winds greater than 55 miles per hour to prevent damage to the machine.

Wind turbines aren’t the most aesthetically appealing structures. Some opponents cite that wind turbines are an eye sore, cause noise pollution and pose as life-threatening obstacles to both birds and bats.

SOURCES: AMERICAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION, MSNBC.COM, NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC.COM, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL, NPR.ORG, POLITIFACT.COM, POWERNATURALLY.ORG, POWER-TECHNOLOGY.COM, SUSTAINABLEBUSINESS.COM, THE NEW YORK TIMES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION, WINDUSTRY.ORG

CALIFORNIA

2,192 MW

MINNESOTA

WASHINGTON & OREGON

Drive shaft

Gearbox

GENERATOR Generator The spinning High-speed blades turn a drive shaft shaft, which powers the gearbox within the turbine. The gearbox rotates at 1,200-1,800 rpm, which is the speed required by most generators to produce electricity. The gear box moves the high-speed shaft which in turn fuels the generator. The electrical output of the generator is connected to a larger electrical grid, which supplies power to homes, offices and other businesses.

IOWA 3,177 MW

2,104 MW

CLEAN

3,675 MW

10,085 MW

TURBINE SIZE Larger turbines take advantage of the more powerful winds at altitude and are less subjected to turbulence. Offshore wind turbines are able to harvest the dense, heavy air at sea level, which is able to produce more electricity by exerting more lift on the blades. Most small-scale turbines are 100 feet tall with a rotor diameter of 23 feet. The largest wind turbines stand as tall as 230 feet with a rotor diameter spanning 231 feet.

Megawatt capacity for other forms of U.S. energy in 2009 COAL: 459,803 MW NATURAL GAS: 338,723 MW NUCLEAR: 106,618 MW HYDRO: 77,910 MW WIND: 34,683 MW*

1 MW = 1,000 U.S. HOMES

*The 2010 MW capacity for wind energy was reported at 40,180 by the American Wind Energy Association.

A breath of fresh wind facts 20 percent of the nation’s electricity that will be

supported by wind energy in 2030, according to an U.S. Department of Energy estimate.

100,000-300,000 estimated number of birds killed per year by wind turbines. 39 million estimated number of birds killed per year by rural cats.

ejmagazine.com

ej | 21


FROM THE COVER WORLD

EXTENT OF MELTING

Pindari is about four miles long, according to 25-year old measurements released by the Geological Survey of India in 2009. But numbers vary. More recent data, published in the Hydrological Sciences Journal in 2002, put Pindari at about three miles long — one mile less than the 1984 estimate. And a 2009 paper in Progress in Physical Geography, which cites data reported by the Geological Survey of India, shows that Pindari’s length has shortened since 1906. The paper states that from 1958 to 2001, it shortened at a rate of about 42 feet annually. Whatever the actual numbers, Pindari’s size has changed and it’s significant enough to alter its glacial definition. The Pindari Glacier used to be a valley glacier when it extended into the Pindar Valley, Larson wrote in an e-mail. But now he thinks it has melted into a cirque glacier.

Khati, a village of about 500 people, is located at the base of the Kumaon Himalayas in northern India.

TALE OF TWO

GLACIERS N

estled at the base of the Kumaon Himalayas in northern India, the village of Khati bustles with daily routine . The men quietly drink chai and run their restaurant and market businesses. The women — doubled over in bright, vibrant saris with their children at their sides — harvest crops. They carry potatoes and wheat in heavy loads on their heads. Khati is reachable only by foot or pack animal. No cars move through the narrow, cobbled streets and water is pumped by hand. And though the village lacks most modern technology, Khati’s 500 residents are quite aware of international affairs, especially the impacts of worldwide

The toe of Kafni glacier is located at about 12,000 feet in elevation. “This year [2010] the really stark change in the physical structure of the Kafni glacier was as a big a surprise to me as it was to Manoj who was our lead guide,” Vander Stoep says. We don’t have measurements of actual distance. but visually there was a considerable difference, she says.

“You have a natural storage system — these storage tanks up in the sky essentially, or at the top of the Himalayas,” Larson says. The Himalayan expanse is often referred to as the “Third Pole” because it’s the largest glacial and permafrost area outside of the polar regions. Glaciers provide more than water. They present economic incentives from tourism, gravel for construction projects and runoff that helps propel micro-hydroelectric projects along rivers. The people of Khati hope that the Indian government will finish a hydroelectric project on the Pindar River — a short walk down a steep, switchback trail. Village elders say the most important thing is to power the houses. That would improve the quality of life and help the village address another priority: education. Electricity would allow their children to study by light during the evenings. If Pindari and Kafni completely or extensively melt, less water would fuel this project. But scientific measures are needed to determine the extent that a project like this would be affected.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Studying glacial melting and identifying its effects is expensive, time-consuming and inherently difficult, which may explain data gaps like the Geological Survey of India’s 25-year-old Pindari measurements. To measure the depth and determine the

Living downstream of India’s melting glaciers STORY AND PHOTOS BY ALICE ROSSIGNOL

global warming. That’s because they live downstream of two glaciers that are symbols of climate change. It’s a major problem, say members of the Panchayat, a group of village elders, through a translator named Manoj Mehra. The glaciers are receding fast. Down the hill from Khati is the rushing Pindar River. It’s fed by the two glaciers approximately 11 miles upstream: Pindari and Kafni. They spread their glacial toes downward, ending at roughly 12,000 feet in elevation. These glaciers are two of more than 10,000 that cling to mountains in the Himalayas — a place locals call the “abode of the gods.” “You see these snow-clad mountains

of the greater Himalayas and boy, all of a sudden you feel, you know, as small as an ant,” says Grahame Larson, a Michigan State University professor and glaciologist who visited the Himalayas for the first time last summer. “And you realize … that your place in the world is all relative, you know, and it’s not really that important as an individual that … the landscape is just absolutely grander than anything you can comprehend.” But like many glaciers worldwide, many scientists believe that Himalayan glaciers like Pindari and Kafni are melting. And as they diminish, so do the resources that provide life for downstream villages like Khati.

People affected by the melting of India’s glaciers include guide Manoj Mehra, the villagers of Khati and Swami Dharmanand who is a religious teacher. Cirque glaciers are found in bowl-shaped bedrock. Valley glaciers stretch out as long tongues filling valleys. There are fewer records for the less well-known Kafni glacier, which Larson considers a small valley glacier. But Gail Vander Stoep, a professor at Michigan State University who studies subjects like ecotourism, has visited Kafni three times at around the same time from 2007 to 2010. And she’s seen big changes, especially at Kafni’s toe.

In earlier years, a layer of snow formed in front of Kafni’s toe, diminishing to a silty plain, Vander Stoep says. This year there was a lake. Even Mehra, who has guided domestic and international tourists to Pindari and Kafni for about eight years, was shocked that a lake formed at Kafni’s toe.

WATER TOWERS

The value of glaciers lies in the important resources they provide, like water.

s

volume of ice in a glacier, scientists travel to remote locations and carry heavy, expensive equipment, personal gear and food. “It’s a tough job. It’s a kind of risky job that involves a huge expenditure of money,” says Shresth Tayal, a glacier scientist with The Energy and Resources Institute, an India-based organization focused on sustainable development. The institute monitors two glaciers: The Kolahoi Glacier is in Jammu and Kashmir in a state north of Khati. The East Rathong continued on next page

22| ej

fall 2010

ejmagazine.com

ej | 23

WORLD

Scientists blame the melting of the world’s glaciers on changing temperatures and precipitation due to worldwide climate change caused by human activity like the high emission of greenhouse gases. But glaciers are difficult and expensive to measure. A lack of data and false reports contribute to the cloud of uncertainty concerning the extent of glacial melting and how it will affect people downstream.


The Beat

A DIFFER ENT

KIND OF R ADIO

The free, online radio service proclaims that it has ‘stations that play only music you like’ BY JOHN KALMAR

W

THE DETROIT FREE PRESS

hen it comes to finding new music for your library, there are a lot of ways you can go. You can spend hours combing Web sites for new artists and listening to clips. You can frequent music blogs or message boards. You can trust the Amazon-type “people who bought this also bought” recommendations or listen to radio stations and podcasts waiting to hear something new and appealing. You can scan the music libraries of friends who actually enjoy doing the music-finding legwork. With the advent of Web-based “music-discovery services,” though, the art of finding new music has changed. Internet radio sites like TagWorld, Last.fm and Pandora let you type in a song or artist you like and instantly find other music that might fit your taste. But while Pandora provides a similar service to Last. fm and TagWorld, it actually works very differently. Starting with the British band Gomez as the initial input, the first several “matches” from Last.fm include the Doves, Badly Drawn Boy and Radiohead.

TagWorld returns songs by R.E.M., Badly Drawn Boy and Radiohead. Pandora delivers Cheap Trick, Modest Mouse and The Vines. The difference is the Music Genome Project. Pandora has no concept of genre, user connections or ratings. It doesn’t care what other people who like Gomez also like. When you create a radio station on Pandora, it uses a pretty radical approach to delivering your personalized selections:

The Genome is based on an intricate analysis by actual humans (about 20 to 30 minutes per four-minute song) of the music of 10,000 artists from the past 100 years. The analysis of new music continues every day since Pandora’s online launch in August 2005. As of May 2006, the Genome’s music library contains 400,000 analyzed songs from 20,000 contemporary artists. You won’t find Latin or classical yet: Pandora is in the process of devel-

Pandora has no concept of genre, user connections or ratings. It doesn’t care what other people who like a certain artist also like.

Having analyzed the musical structures present in the songs you like, it plays other songs that possess similar musical traits. Pandora relies on a Music Genome that consists of 400 musical attributes covering the qualities of melody, harmony, rhythm, form, composition and lyrics. It’s a project that began in January 2000 and took 30 experts in music theory five years to complete.

oping a specialized Latin music Genome and is still deep in thought about how to approach the world of classical composition. When you arrive at Pandora.com, the first thing you see is the player, which is pretty sweet. It’s Web-based (no download), minimalist and seamless. Pandora has no concept of genre, user connections or ratings. It doesn’t care

what other people who like Gomez also like. When you create a radio station on Pandora, it uses a pretty radical approach to delivering your personalized selections: Having analyzed the musical structures present in the songs you like, it plays other songs that possess similar musical traits. Pandora relies on a Music Genome that consists of 400 musical attributes covering the qualities of melody, harmony, rhythm, form, composition and lyrics. It’s a project that began in January 2000 and took 30 experts in music theory five years to complete. The Genome is based on an intricate analysis by actual humans (about 20 to 30 minutes per four-minute song) of the music of 10,000 artists from the past 100 years. The analysis of new music continues every day since Pandora’s online launch in August 2005. As of May 2006, the Genome’s music library contains 400,000 analyzed songs from 20,000 contemporary artists. You won’t find Latin or classical yet: Pandora is in the process of developing a specialized Latin music Genome and is still deep in thought about how to approach the world of classical composition. With the advent of Web-based “mu-

The Beat AN INSIDE LOOK ABOUT THE MUSIC

Allows the user to search for a specific song or artist, or learn more about the Music Genome Project.

CREATE A NEW STATION

This is where the fun starts. Pick an artist or song, and Pandora will create a radio station that plays songs similar to the music you chose.

STATION OPTIONS

Users have the option of editing the station options, add variety to the station or sharing it with a friend.

QUICKMIX

Allows users to combine stations together and shuffle the music that’s played, which adds more variety to the Pandora experience.

RATE A SONG

Users have the option of rating a song, giving it a thumbs up or thumbs down. This can increase or decrease the chances of that song playing again.

SKIP A SONG

Unlike traditional radio, the user has the option of pausing the song or skipping ahead to a new song.

See Pandora, 5F

Want to see more? Try it out for yourself at www.pandora.com

With Pandora, the possibilities of finding a new song or artist that you enjoy are endless. Pick an artist, song, or genre, and Pandora will play a song that has similar qualities and characteristics.

6  The Detroit Free Press

7  December November 12, 10, 2008 2010


JK Design  

A brief intro to some of my work

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you