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Energy wind turbines  waste from these blade runners  | Upload Wind

Wind Turbines: Waste From These Blade Runners?

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by: Yvonne Doff
wind turbines  waste from these blade runners  | Upload

Wind turbines are very reliable in generating usable energy. Besides, turbines are economically exploitable. However, there are disadvantages to a wind turbine.  The biggest downside is waste. For years the wind turbines are used to produce sustainable energy. But then there is that inevitable moment: the wind turbine is obsolete. And then what?

History Behind Wind Turbines

Just like the sun, the wind is an energy source. A wind turbine generates electrical energy directly for its use and can be returned to the grid. The concept of a windmill has been known for centuries. It was formerly used to drive a millstone or a waterwheel, for example. However, we can also drive a generator (large dynamo) directly, which generates electricity. In the last few years the development of the windmill has grown, and the windmill, now often referred to as the wind turbine, is currently seen as the essential choice for generating clean electricity on a large scale.

windmills row
Old abandon wind turbines

Recommended: Green Energy: Old Watermills Become Hydro Power Turbines

Clean Energy From Wind Turbines

Burning fossil fuels can cause disastrous climate change. Governments and corporations around the world have promised to use only clean energy by 2050. To accomplish this goal, we have to use wind energy, among others. Wind turbines generate electricity without polluting the air, without affecting the climate and without depleting resources. Some CO2 is released during construction, maintenance and demolition of the turbine, but after 3 to 6 months of operation, a turbine has already saved that amount of CO2 emissions.

Recommended: Electric Cars Are Low On CO2: Gas Is The Best. Forget SUVs

The Supple Fibreglass Of The Wind Turbine's Blades

Did you know that the blades of a wind turbine can be larger than a wing of a Boeing 747? At the end of his life, try to throw that away. They cannot just be removed. You have to saw the lissom fibreglass. Therefore, you need a particular diamond-encrusted industrial saw to saw it into three pieces that can be tied back onto a trailer. Then they go to a special garbage dump.

Graph turbine blade fiberglass layers

Recycle Parts Of A Wind Turbine

Fortunately, there are parts of a wind turbine that can be recycled. Many materials can even be reused for new mills. The pole and foundation are no problem. They consist mainly of metal and cement, which is easy to recycle. However, the problem lies in the blades. Twenty years ago, the windmills were a lot smaller. Now they can be 200 metres high, which means that bigger blades are also needed. Larger blades, in turn, means more material that cannot be recycled easily.

Pile wind turbine blades

Recommended: Recycling Asphalt Generates Massive Amount Of Electricity

A Landfill Full Of Wind Turbine Blades

It is hard to imagine, but there are places around the world that gather wind turbine blades. These landfills are the final resting place of these blades. The blades are non-recyclable. We are talking about thousands of tons of garbage. The expectation is that the amount of waste from wind turbines is going to quadruple over the next 15 years. It is hard to crush, recycle or repurpose the blades, but we need alternatives now.



                                             Why Thousands of Wind Turbine Blades Wind Up in Landfills

A Method To Reuse The Fibreglass Blades

Designers and researchers are looking for creative solutions. Global Fiberglass Solutions is one those creative thinkers. They are based in Sweetwater, Texas, and this company is a start-up that wants to reuse the blades. They created a method to break down the blades and turn them into traffic signs, pallets and fibre boards, used for walls and flooring.

Recommended: Sustainable Housing Reused Materials And Photo-voltaic Panels

What Can We Expect In The Future?

As we all notice, technology is changing rapidly. People are working hard on high-quality applications. For example, windmills and turbines are more environmental-friendly than ten-fifteen years ago. To leave them on the landfill is actually a waste. You could burn the blades, but to do that you have to cut them down first to get them into an oven. That costs energy. It would be better to re-use them. Did you know that in Rotterdam the blades of a wind turbine were used as playground equipment? TU Delft is also looking for new applications, for example, by designing bridges from old blades. Or maybe even better would be to recycle old discarded blades back to the basic components to turn them into new blades. This is not the last thing you heard about it.

Before you go!

Recommended: Gravitricity: Key Energy Storage Or Too Good To Be True?

Do you like this article about Gravitricity or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day.

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Writer, traveller and dreamer. Love to write, like to travel. Passion for language, cultures and what happens in the world. 

Writer, traveller and dreamer. Love to write, like to travel. Passion for language, cultures and what happens in the world. 

Wind Turbines: Waste From These Blade Runners?

Wind turbines are very reliable in generating usable energy. Besides, turbines are economically exploitable. However, there are disadvantages to a wind turbine.  The biggest downside is waste. For years the wind turbines are used to produce sustainable energy. But then there is that inevitable moment: the wind turbine is obsolete. And then what? History Behind Wind Turbines Just like the sun, the wind is an energy source. A wind turbine generates electrical energy directly for its use and can be returned to the grid. The concept of a windmill has been known for centuries. It was formerly used to drive a millstone or a waterwheel, for example. However, we can also drive a generator (large dynamo) directly, which generates electricity. In the last few years the development of the windmill has grown, and the windmill, now often referred to as the wind turbine, is currently seen as the essential choice for generating clean electricity on a large scale. Old abandon wind turbines Recommended:  Green Energy: Old Watermills Become Hydro Power Turbines Clean Energy From Wind Turbines Burning fossil fuels can cause disastrous climate change. Governments and corporations around the world have promised to use only clean energy by 2050. To accomplish this goal, we have to use wind energy, among others. Wind turbines generate electricity without polluting the air, without affecting the climate and without depleting resources. Some CO2 is released during construction, maintenance and demolition of the turbine, but after 3 to 6 months of operation, a turbine has already saved that amount of CO2 emissions. Recommended:  Electric Cars Are Low On CO2: Gas Is The Best. Forget SUVs The Supple Fibreglass Of The Wind Turbine's Blades Did you know that the blades of a wind turbine can be larger than a wing of a Boeing 747? At the end of his life, try to throw that away. They cannot just be removed. You have to saw the lissom fibreglass. Therefore, you need a particular diamond-encrusted industrial saw to saw it into three pieces that can be tied back onto a trailer. Then they go to a special garbage dump. Recycle Parts Of A Wind Turbine Fortunately, there are parts of a wind turbine that can be recycled. Many materials can even be reused for new mills. The pole and foundation are no problem. They consist mainly of metal and cement, which is easy to recycle. However, the problem lies in the blades. Twenty years ago, the windmills were a lot smaller. Now they can be 200 metres high, which means that bigger blades are also needed. Larger blades, in turn, means more material that cannot be recycled easily. Recommended:  Recycling Asphalt Generates Massive Amount Of Electricity A Landfill Full Of Wind Turbine Blades It is hard to imagine, but there are places around the world that gather wind turbine blades. These landfills are the final resting place of these blades. The blades are non-recyclable. We are talking about thousands of tons of garbage. The expectation is that the amount of waste from wind turbines is going to quadruple over the next 15 years. It is hard to crush, recycle or repurpose the blades, but we need alternatives now. {youtube}                                              Why Thousands of Wind Turbine Blades Wind Up in Landfills A Method To Reuse The Fibreglass Blades Designers and researchers are looking for creative solutions. Global Fiberglass Solutions is one those creative thinkers. They are based in Sweetwater, Texas, and this company is a start-up that wants to reuse the blades. They created a method to break down the blades and turn them into traffic signs, pallets and fibre boards, used for walls and flooring. Recommended:  Sustainable Housing Reused Materials And Photo-voltaic Panels What Can We Expect In The Future? As we all notice, technology is changing rapidly. People are working hard on high-quality applications. For example, windmills and turbines are more environmental-friendly than ten-fifteen years ago. To leave them on the landfill is actually a waste. You could burn the blades, but to do that you have to cut them down first to get them into an oven. That costs energy. It would be better to re-use them. Did you know that in Rotterdam the blades of a wind turbine were used as playground equipment? TU Delft is also looking for new applications, for example, by designing bridges from old blades. Or maybe even better would be to recycle old discarded blades back to the basic components to turn them into new blades. This is not the last thing you heard about it. Before you go! Recommended:  Gravitricity: Key Energy Storage Or Too Good To Be True? Do you like this article about Gravitricity or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write and publish your own article about renwable energy and it's waste? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
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