No Wind, Literally

Since January 1 to May 1, 2011, the wind has not been sufficient enough to power wind generators for more than 13 days on Molokai. Wind speed of 12 miles per hour or greater is required to provide the energy necessary to turn wind powered electric generators. 

Throughout the year, wind speed varies from calm to seven miles per hour (mph) for several days in a row. For the last 20 years on Molokai, the wind has been less than 10 miles per hour intermittently as much as half the time. 50 percent of each year, the wind is not strong enough (12 mph) or steady enough or directional enough to power the wind generators for 24 hours for more than a day or two. A short term wind test, six months or a year gives false information.

I have been trying to depend on wind powered electric generators for over 20 years in Ho`olehua (near the airport) and sadly disappointed that only a few days each month the wind is good.  In the case of a wind farm producing alternating current electricity, diesel generators would have to be kept running to supply electric power when the wind generator is not. The diesel generators must be kept running 100 percent of the time whether the wind generators are producing or not. 50 percent of the time, wind generators are working, while 100 percent of the time diesel generators are running – burning additional fuel.

How is this going green and reducing our dependence on oil? It will use more fuel and actually wasting it. Test the wind for a reasonable period of time and don’t make this project a major failure and embarrassment because someone provided bad information. In summary, the wind is not ideal for wind generators on Molokai, otherwise there would be several already. The wind is fickle to say the least. I’ve spent several thousand dollars of my own money only to find out the sad truth. Don’t waste our tax money on bad information.

Frank Leary


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.