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Off the Grid?

A cache by PathfinderMark Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 05/30/2010
Difficulty:
1 out of 5
Terrain:
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

As an earthcache, there is no “box” or “container” to discover. Rather, with this cache, you discover something about the geology of the area. For more info, consult www.earthcache.org

Please pull complete off this windy road before attempting to complete the logging requirements.



Logging Requirements:
Send the answers to #1-#3 to me through my geocaching profile.
  1. First, list the name “GC29EMF Off the Grid” in the first line of your email. Also, list the number of people in your group.
  2. Second, based on what you can see as you face the turbine(s), what type of GEOLOGY is present? That is, is the area where you see the turbine(s) working a plain, a pass, or a hilltop?
  3. Third, count the number of turbines (windmills) visible from GZ. Based on the information above and the visibility/lack of visibility of power lines, is this ranch "off the grid" (doesn't purchase any additional power from the electric company), or are they still dependent on other energy sources?
  4. Lastly,if at all feasible, take a picture of yourself and your GPSr with the ranch visible behind you. Post the picture with your log. If you are not able to, simply send me the detail of WHAT COLOR the main olive ranch non-white building visible from the pull-off.
    I will only respond if you have incomplete logging requirements. Go ahead and log your cache
    Congrads to Erickson for FTF (First to Finish logging requirements)

    Each windmill that you seen in this area of California can generate 1.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to light 1,100 homes. Of course only 2% of that acreage is actually dedicated to the sole usuage of the wind turbines. The remaining 98% is also used for agriculture -- in this case olives!


    Science of Wind Energy: First off let's talk about wind. What is wind and what causes it? Wind is air in motion. Believe it or not, the sun helps cause wind. The sun heats up the earth, although it heats up the land and water at different rates. The air above the land heats up quite a bit faster. The hot air flows up into the sky and begins to cool. The cooler air begins to flow out over the water. The cooler air begins to settle downward exerting pressure on the air. This pressure creates wind (see diagram).


    Geology of Wind Energy: Wind energy requires wind AND the correct geology. The ideal place for wind is open plains and hilltops. In fact, California has four wind farms, Altamont Pass; Tehachapi Pass; San Gorgonio Pass; and the new Solano Wind Farm near Rio Vista.
    What is needed geologically for wind energy to be successful? As already mentioned above, you need the sun’s energy heating both the water and the land (both of which are ideally close together).

    Landscape of wind: You need a geologic landscape largely devoid of trees and other “wind obstructions." The open plains need to be 93% or more clear to provide the necessary open space for wind energy, while hilltops need to be oly 10% “clear” to provide that necessary wind space, and passes or ravines need to only be 40% clear to provide the necessary wind tunnel. Of course, no one would even think of creating a wind farm in an enclosed valley or forest, since there's no free space

    The landscape in front of you is called part of the Pacific Plate Conglomerate that was "shoved up" out of the ocean, creating a series of hills along the coast. Is this area a plain, hilltop, or ravine/pass? You'll need to figure this out for the logging requirements.

    Construction of Wind Turbines: The wind turbines are basically made up of 5 main parts: foundation, tower, nacelle, rotors, and the transformer. The wind turns the rotor (or blades), which turns a generator (basically copper wire and magnets) inside of the nacelle, which creates electricity. The nacelle sits on top of the tower. The tower is the long pole that gets the rotors up into the wind currents. The tower sits on top of a foundation full of rebar and over 300 CY of concrete. The transformer sits next to the tower and helps convert the wind into energy.

    Resources:
    Roadside Geology of Northern and Central California. Mountain Press Publishing.
    WindPoweringAmerica.gov: http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/maps_template.asp?stateab=ca

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