Whatever Spins Your Turbine, Your Wind Turbine – Costa Rica Day 7
Today was another great day! We woke up, had a usual breakfast with rice and beans this time and went to the wind turbine plant. The wind turbine plant was very cool. Facts I learned which I would like to share on wind turbines include:
- Wind is a mature energy option
- Wind power has grown from 2.6 GW in 2000 to 40 GW in 2010
- US NREL expects wind to grow to 80 GW (without subsidies from Government) or 400-500 (with subsidies) by 2050
- Horizontal axis turbines have 30% efficiency and vertical axis turbines have 18% efficiency (this all depends on location and design of wind turbines, these are averages)
- Wind turbine technology is headed towards direct drive turbines (gearless)
- Wind energy has some of the lowest levels of impact out of all of the renewable resources
- Wind turbine blades are made out of fiber glass
- Many wind turbines have wind speed sensors which turn the turbine on and off depending on wind speed (at the plant we visited the turbines were off if the wind was below 4 m/s and if they were above 25 m/s))
The wind turbines stood 44 meters high and were very impressive sigh ts. We learned that they were replaced every 20 years and had maintenance 3 times a year as well. After visiting the wind turbine plant, we took some time to enjoy Tileran, the city we were next to. We spent a few hours navigating the streets and shopping. We enjoyed lunch in the city (I got a Costa Rican hamburger, they put ham on top of the burger meat, which isn’t beef, I’m still trying to figure that one out). We checked out the thrift store and a few other places and purchased souvenirs. After our short visit in Tileran, we had a lot of free time to work on our Capstone projects and relax. We spent a few hours at the pool while it was still daylight and then spent a few hours researching for our Capstone project. We then enjoyed a dinner of fish, mashed potatoes, and mixed greens with some lime and passion-fruit juice. After dinner, we sat outside by a bonfire and enjoyed time with another GREEN group of business MBAs who were stopping by for the night. We made s’mores and socialized. They told us that the next hotel we were to stay at wasn’t as nice but had a waterslide, so I guess I’m looking forward to a water slide. Today was probably the most relaxing and rejuvenating day so far; we had time to slow down.
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