Wind Technology


Stiles hates the new guy at the office. Derek’s a natural at everything the job throws at him, whereas Stiles still sometimes struggles to use the fax machine. Derek’s really nice too – he’ll bring coffee for the whole team and always asks if everyone’s okay. Stiles… doesn’t do that. The biggest problem of all? Since Derek’s arrival Stiles just. can’t. focus. He zones out in meetings because he’s too busy trying to work out the color of Derek’s eyes. He’s missing deadlines because he gets distracted wondering if Derek likes guys, if Derek’s seeing someone, if Derek would keep his glasses on whilst they– Derek’s very distracting is the point, and it’s starting to affect Stiles’ work. So, yes. Stiles hates Derek. Still loves to watch him leave though.

Unlike live-action movies, no noise you hear in a cartoon is actually generated by the action you see on screen. Instead, the filmmakers have to record, generate, or otherwise find sounds to make the physical reality they’re depicting seem real: when characters are walking through a forest, we hear birds chirping, trees rustling, the ground crunching underfoot, and so forth. This is, in other words, not incidental, but always a deliberate choice, and animators can choose to make these sounds more or less realistic. They almost always choose, however, to be realistic, or at least convincing. Since TIE Fighters do not exist, they cannot be said to have a realistic sound, but the sound that accompanies their appearance on-screen sounds convincingly like what we’d think a thing that looks like that would sound like. It does not sound like the combination of “an elephant call with a car driving on wet pavement,” even though that’s what the sound is made from. Even when being unrealistic, sound designers strive for verisimilitude. 

In The Wind Rises, however, the sound of mechanical things does not sound at all realistic or convincing. Instead, it is very obviously made by recording human beings making motor sounds with their mouths. The sound designers have put microphones in front of people and had them imitate an engine revving up in the way kids do when playing with their toys, then layered a number of those recordings until they sounded something like engines, but still like people. Though unusual, it makes absolute sense within the context of the movie. While we instinctually see mechanical objects as alien or inhuman, they are always designed and made by specific people for specific needs. All that metal and clanking noise seems like the domain of anti-humanity; men are opposed to machines in the iconography of industrialization, and mechanization is thought to block human effort. But by having the motors make the sound of the human voice, Miyazaki echoes the narrative, which is careful to show us how machines are designed and constructed by human hands. (Guns don’t kill people; guns made by people kill people.) It’s hard to think of a more poetic evocation of the social construction of technology. 

(The earthquake early in the movie makes the sound of human voices as well, which confused me until I remembered that the real disaster sprung not from the ground moving but the subsequent fires. The disaster came from cooking fires, building materials, the arrangement of buildings: it was man-made.)

anonymous asked:

I think oil pipes lines are important to a degree. Like if it's going to danger the environment and people then no. But if we can as safe as possible make a pipeline then go for it. Opinions?

First let’s address the fact that even if you could ensure that pipelines would not endanger the environment and people through spills, then it would still be the wrong choice. A safe pipeline is still a pipeline adding millions more barrels of production capacity to the oil industry and increasing greenhouse gases in the climate. If we have any chance of limiting climate change to 2 degrees of warming, the maximum to prevent catastrophic loss of life, then we must immediately start reducing our fossil fuel use significantly. This requires that we start right away building infrastructure for and promoting alternative energy sources and reducing our fossil fuel use and infrastructure.

For example, the Line 3 replacement which has just been approved would be a great opportunity to replace an aging pipeline with a massive investment in solar, wind, or any other technology. Instead of twinning Kinder Morgan we could do something similar. What is happening here is that the government is choosing to increase fossil fuel production rather than scale it down and transition away. This is a binary choice, and any new fossil fuel project is a commitment to the wrong direction.

That addressed, let’s respond to the idea that the pipelines being built are safe, something every government is at pains to reassure us, that these pipelines are “state-of-the-art” and that oil companies are extremely careful about monitoring them.

This is a lie.

Pipelines leak all the time (let alone the tankers that carry the oil). The companies that build these pipelines face extremely low fines when this happens, incentivizing them to respond after the fact than to protect against spills. 

If you look at the history of oil companies and specifically the two who have had their pipelines approved (Enbridge and Kinder Morgan) you’ll see that there really isn’t such a thing as a pipeline that is safe for the environment or people


“Over the last 20 years, pipeline incidents have caused over $6.3 billion in property damages. On average during this time period there were more than 250 pipeline incidents per year, without a single year where that number dropped below 220. During that time, more than 2.5 million barrels of hazardous liquids were spilled and little more than half of those spilled amounts were recovered in cleanup efforts.”

Kinder Morgan:

On Trans Mountain: “Since Texas-based Kinder Morgan bought the line in 2005, there have been 13 oil spills totalling 5,628 barrels of crude”

“US regulators have documented over thirty significant accidents and violations in the country associated with Kinder Morgan’s operations. Kinder Morgan pipelines have exploded causing disasters and death. They have paid out millions of dollars in fines and settlements.”

“Here is a list of incidents involving Kinder Morgan’s BC operations in the past several years:July 15, 2005: About 210,000 litres of crude were released into the area surrounding the company’s Sumas Mountain storage facility in Abbotsford, making its way into Kilgard Creek.July 24, 2007: An oil spill occurred along the Kinder Morgan pipeline in Burnaby when a construction crew inadvertently hit the unmarked pipe with an excavator. Almost 250,000 litres (about 1500 barrels) of oil shot out of the ground, soaking a residential neighbourhood and seeping into the Burrard Inlet. At least 50 homes had to be evacuated. (Click to view the BC Ministry of Environment Incident Report)May 6, 2009: A sizeable spill was discovered at the company’s Burnaby Mountain tank farm, with almost 200,000 litres leaking out into the facility.January 24, 2012: A pipeline rupture at the Sumas Mountain tank farm spilled an estimated 110,000 litres of oil. Local residents reported health problems including nausea, headaches and fatigue, and schoolchildren were kept indoors for fear of airborne toxins.April 3, 2012: Another spill in a “containment area” at the Abbotsford Sumas Mountain facility caused nuisance odors and air quality concerns in surrounding communities.June 12, 2013: A leak was discovered on the Kinder Morgan pipeline near Merritt, BC.June 26, 2013: Just two weeks after the spill near Merritt, yet another leak was discovered – this time spilling 17,800 litres of oil at a site near the Coquihalla Summit, about 40 km east of Hope, BC.”


“Using data from Enbridge’s own reports, the Polaris Institute calculated that 804 spills occurred on Enbridge pipelines between 1999 and 2010. These spills released approximately 161,475 barrels (25,672.5 m3) of crude oil into the environment.”

one incident among many: “2007 (November 27th) – Clearbrook, Minnesota – killed two employees. Enbridge was cited for failing to safely and adequately perform maintenance and repair activities, clear the designated work area from possible sources of ignition, and hire properly trained and qualified workers.”

“The year 2010 was a bad one for Enbridge. The total number of barrels of oil spilled was 34,122, the equivalent of more than one million U.S. gallons, including the 20,000-barrel Marshall, Mich., incident in July. Just six weeks after Marshall, another major spill occurred along the same pipeline, Line 6B, at Romeoville, Ill. In that spill, 9,000 barrels, or more than 250,000 gallons of crude, poured into the town’s industrial sector.”

Platform lets homeowners donate energy to those who need it. For the new breed of homeowners that use solar and wind technologies to generate their own energy, one bonus is that any energy that isn’t needed to power their home can be sold back to the grid. However, in every community there are those who can’t afford to heat their home in the winter, or even turn their lights on at night. Hoping to connect the two, Gridmates is a peer-to-peer network that lets those with excess energy share it with neighbors in need. READ MORE…

Blowup Turbine Produces More Power

For Altaeros Energies, a startup launched out of MIT, the sky’s the limit when it comes to wind power.

Founded by alumni Ben Glass ’08, SM ’10 and Adam Rein MBA ’10, Altaeros has developed the world’s first commercial airborne wind turbine, which uses a helium-filled shell to float as high as a skyscraper and capture the stronger, steadier winds available at that altitude.

Read more:
Scientists are developing the world's biggest wind turbine
30 metres taller than the Empire State Building.
By Josh Hrala

While other technologies are getting smaller and smaller with each passing day, wind turbines are going in the opposite direction, because in order for them to make enough power, they need to harness more wind. Following this logic, researchers are taking turbines to a seemingly impossible scale by giving them blades that are 200 metres (656 feet) long.

As Rob Nikolewski reports for the LA Times, the new turbine will reach 479 metres (1,574 feet) into the sky - a height that’s 30 metres (100 feet) taller than the Empire State Building. To keep it stable, the structure would have a diameter of roughly 400 metres (1,312) feet. This is the type of stuff that Don Quixote has nightmares about.

Continue Reading.


From the Mid-Week pictorial, an image from 1929 of a “Gigantic Man-Made Whirlwind”: the blades of a wind tunnel propeller at the Daniel Guggenheim Graduate School of Aeronautics at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. That year, The Times pondered if “man will ever be able to fly around the earth in twenty-four hours” or “race with the sun,” citing progress made in aerodynamic research. Another article boldly explained how advances in aviation came not at “a flash of intuitive genius” or “accidental discovery,” but rather from research, then extolled the virtues of wind tunnels. Photo: Times Wide World Photos

A balloon that lifts a wind turbine.

As the world becomes more connected through innovative technologies, people living in disconnected areas fall further behind in development without access to essential resources like reliable power. 

Altaeros Energies looks to the skies in the search for untapped potential.

The Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT) from Altaeros Energies harnesses high altitude winds to deploy low-cost power. 

Soaring at 2,000 feet compared to traditional wind turbines at 500 feet, the Altaeros BAT can access more consistent, powerful winds.

With a 24-hour setup time, automated control system, and no requirement of a crane or foundation for its operation, the BAT can service remote communities, off-grid industries, and disaster relief efforts.

The tethered balloon that lifts the BAT addresses immediate power needs of people in remote areas while also providing a platform for communications and sensory technology that would facilitate future development.

With an innovative design that makes a positive impact today, Altaeros Energies is also building for the undiscovered challenges of tomorrow.

Learn more:

Image credits: Alaeros Energies

Week in brief (15–19 August)

Government gives go ahead for world’s largest windfarm

The second stage of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm has been given the go-ahead by the UK Government. The Hornsea Project Two scheme could see 300 turbines being built across 55 miles off the East Yorkshire coast to deliver up to 1.8MW of electricity to 1.8 million UK homes. The turbines will be connected to the grid at North Killingholme in North Lincolnshire. 

Approval for the project was delayed for several months after concerns were raised about its potential impact on porpoises. Hornsea Project Two is the second stage of Dong Energy’s planned development of the Hornsea Zone in the North Sea. The windfarm is expected to create up to 1,960 construction jobs and 580 operational and maintenance jobs.

Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark, said his decision to give consent would lead to ‘jobs and economic growth right across the country.’ The UK aims to use wind power to provide 10% of the entire country’s energy needs by 2020.

In other news:

·      Major tailings dam burst reported in China

·      Scientists discover a new way to attack MRSA bacteria

·      Nanocrystals speed up wifi-emitting LEDs

·      Treasury to ‘guarantee’ Brexit funding for EU research projects

To find out more on materials science, packaging and engineering news, visit our website IOM3 or follow us on Twitter @MaterialsWorld for regular news updates. You can also now get access to our content any time, anywhere via our app. For more information, visit

We’re kicking off the Museum’s first Hackathon tonight. Participants will spend the weekend prototyping innovative ways to interact with our collection. Join us on Sunday, 3/13 at 2:00 p.m for the finalists’ presentations and awards ceremony. Details here.

This is a “Power of Art” program, sponsored by the Wind Foundation.

Night Sea,” 1977, Edna Andrade © Estate of Edna Andrade


Concept Alfa Romeo AW30

Price: NA

Designer Olcay Tuncay has imagined a futuristic concept Grand Prix race car that starts with a solar-powered battery, but as it gathers speed it harnesses the wind power to channel into the body’s 284 horsepower motor. A windmill on wheels! Interesting idea and certainly a beautiful design as well!