Submitted by Jeff Buster on Mon, 03/12/2007 - 10:16.

 On the after noon of February 22, 2007, Fletcher Miller presented his GEO power point to 75 students, a few profs,  and a dozen members of the public in a classroom at Case.


Mr. Miller has been a wind energy enthusiast here in NEO for years.   His day job is at NASA Glenn where his  expertise is fire in space   (Fletcher  brought to my attention several years back that without gravity heat doesn’t rise, so fire sensing and control is totally different in space than on earth – a burning candle in space will have a spherical flame).   Several of Mr. Miller’s NASA colleges also attended the Case lecture.


Here are a few interesting points Mr. Miller made:



1.         When the anemometer mast was installed on August 29, 2005 on the Cleveland water intake crib in Lake Erie, the installation helicopter -  which was carrying the top section of the tubular steel mast out from Burke lakefront airport  -   had to return to shore twice to refuel –  the third attempt was almost aborted due to the copter’s fuel  again running low – but luckily the 4 individuals (a mix of 2 volunteers and 2 professional steeplejacks) who were clinging at the top end of the base section of the mast where just able to get the bolts engaged and release the secured top mast section from the helicopter.   Mr. Miller showed a dramatic slide of the hovering copter with the hanging top mast and workmen below it.

2.         After a year of data collection, there appears to be very little “wind shear” at the crib.   Usually wind velocity at a higher elevation (ie further from the ground) is greater than the wind velocity near the ground.  High “Wind shear” is an undesirable condition for wind turbines.   Mr. Miller was a little perplexed as to why there was so little wind shear at the crib. 

3.         When Mr. Miller began to discuss the future Lake Erie wind turbines proposed by the Cleveland Foundation and Cuyahoga County Mr. Miller said that presently the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has emphatically said that the DNR is against any wind turbines placed anywhere in Lake Erie. 

4.         Mr. Miller went on to say that the way around this that the County was considering was to use an old lake bottom land lease that the State had issued to Burke Airport years ago – when Burke was discussing using more dredge materials to make a new landing strip out 3 miles from shore.   This old "lease" is where it seems the “about 3 miles from shore” figure that Ronn Richards refers to  comes from.

Fletcher Miller is, quite curiously, not on the Cuyahoga Wind Task Force.

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why aren't we discussing wind on the land?

It is mind boggling to be having this wind on the lake discussion, when we could be planting towers on the land and working on figuring out how to manufacture alternative energy components here as a workforce, economic development driver.

In a ballet class every little girls and boy want to achieve the ability to whip out multiple pirouettes (a turn on one leg with the other leg bent -- toes touching at the knee). "Whoa, there", the smart teacher will say as the students careen around the room trying to spin on one leg. We begin with quarter turns. We figure out the mechanics, how to begin and end appropriately, cleanly and efficiently. Any ballet dancer will tell you that when, mid-career a dancer "loses their pirouette", they return to the quarter turns, advance to half turns and then can re-find the balance to whip out 3-5 with one preparation. Likewise, when your child begins to walk without first crawling, they are likely to have lower back problems as adults. The psoas muscles have not been strengthened nor coordinated adequately and there will surely be trouble later on.

I would challenge the Wind Working Task Force, to try to pull off multiple turns on the first go and then reconsider their plans. Though I agree with Sarah Taylor that one day, problems solved, we might have wind on the lake, and it would be a first and a feather in our cap, I first suggest we figure out how to answer some basic questions of balance first. Our lake wind cannot be that much more spectacular than our wind on land. Let's find a good spot and test the wind on the land. Let's know who will build the towers/turbines, who will own them, whose money will finance them, whose land they will be on, how customers will connect to them and numerous other questions I can't even begin to imagine.

It seems to me that we are, as my farm raised Mom would say, "putting the cart before the horse".

I do not understand the line and paragraph break issues with this site. Try as I might, I just can't get the formatting business down. Like the picture of Fletcher you posted, Jeff, I am scratching my head -- both about wind on the lake and about realneo formatting.