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Ford installs third giant wind turbine at Dagenham Diesel Engine Assembly Line in the UK  (Source: Ford)
Wind power generates enough electricity to run thousands of homes each year

Ford may be making headlines with its EcoBoost V6 engines which power vehicles ranging from the Flex to the F-150, but the company is also looking to go green with its factories.

Ford has added a new wind turbine to reduce the amount of electricity it uses from conventional sources and improve its annual CO2 footprint. The addition of a new wind turbine at the Dagenham Diesel Engine Assembly line in the UK will improve Ford's CO2 savings from 2,500 tons to 5,000 tons per year.

The turbines at the diesel assembly line will allow the plant to be fully powered by wind by this month. The new turbine is the third on the premises. The plant needed the third turbine after adding a Duratorq TDCi engine line. The two existing turbines generate 5.92 million kWh of electricity each year. That is enough power for 1,794 homes. The third turbine makes for a total annual generation of 11.4 million kWh. The installation began in May of 2011 with the laying of groundwork and the new turbine was installed and is now operational.

“Since 2000, we have reduced our global operational energy use by 30 per cent and CO2 emissions from our facilities by 39 per cent,” said Ken Macfarlane, Vice President Manufacturing, Ford of Europe. “Globally Ford is committed to continue leading the way in environmental responsibility, whether with the vehicles and powertrains we make or through the processes we use to make them.”

The two existing turbines are gigantic with a height of 150 meters each. Ford also uses renewable energy at other locations in Europe -- Ford’s Genk Plant in Belgium has two wind turbines and many other Ford facilities use green energy (such as solar).



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Back to the future...
By knutjb on 8/16/2011 12:52:44 PM , Rating: 4
At the beginning of the industrial period factories were powered by on site steam or water. This is not much different.

The political side is how it keeps overzealous government bureaucrats focused on how much co2 is not being produced while they are manufacturing co2 producing products. I find the irony quite humorous.

BTW I think we are too focused on co2, GW, climate change et al. As an ideology it is a farce to begin with. Good for Ford in dealing with the current political climate, hope they can recoup their investment.

No I am not against any forms of alternative power or efficiency improvements so long as it's a voluntary business decision. Only the strong-armed variety bug me.




RE: Back to the future...
By gamerk2 on 8/16/2011 1:22:40 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
co2 is not being produced while they are manufacturing co2 producing products. I find the irony quite humorous.


That was my thought too.

Seriously, HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS people.


RE: Back to the future...
By quiksilvr on 8/16/2011 1:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
Currently, hydrogen fuel cells are relatively expensive to produce and some are fragile. As of October 2009, Fortune magazine estimated the cost of producing the Honda Clarity at $300,000 per car.[34] Also, many designs require rare substances such as platinum as a catalyst in order to work properly. Occasionally, a catalyst can become contaminated by impurities in the hydrogen supply, rendering the fuel cell inoperable. In 2010, research and design advances developed a new nickel-tin nanometal catalyst which lowers the cost of cells.

Fuel cells still have a way to go.


RE: Back to the future...
By teldar on 8/17/2011 10:49:00 AM , Rating: 2
Platinum. It may well be in your current car's catalytic converter.


RE: Back to the future...
By Solandri on 8/16/2011 3:08:15 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Seriously, HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS people.

The problem with hydrogen as a fuel is that it is not an energy source, it's an energy storage medium - aka a manufactured fuel. It's exceedingly rare to encounter gaseous hydrogen (H2) here on earth, so you have to make it from other energy sources. Creating it via electrolysis usually results in a real-world efficiency of only about 50% (about half the energy creates hydrogen gas, the other half is wasted as heat). Multiply that by the efficiency of your electricity source, say 40% for a coal-powered electrical plant, and the resulting 20% efficiency is actually lower than the ~30% efficiency of an internal combustion engine. All the pie in the sky stories about the only waste product being water completely ignores how the hydrogen itself is actually made.

Unfortunately, hydrogen is also a rather poor energy storage medium:

- It has very low volumetric energy density, requiring outlandish levels of compression (several thousand or tens of thousands of PSI) or cryogenic refrigeration to achieve volumetric energy densities associated with fuels like gasoline.

- Due to the hydrogen atom being so small, gaseous hydrogen (H2) will leak through openings too small for any other molecule. A seal which is watertight and airtight will frequently leak hydrogen like a sieve. This makes it considerably more difficult to manufacture hydrogen pumps, hoses, and seals.

- Its main advantage is weight. Hydrogen by far has the highest energy density by mass (assuming you can pull oxygen from the atmosphere). Unfortunately, few terrestrial applications can leverage this advantage. It's mostly the aerospace industry which benefits from it.

The obvious solution to these drawbacks of hydrogen is not to manufacture it, and to use hydrogen stored in a different chemical form. Methane (CH4, aka natural gas) is a common example. You can ship methane in its bulk form to a factory where it can be burned, thus eliminating the expensive electrolysis step. Its molecule is bigger, making it easier to make seals. And by attaching 4 hydrogens to a single carbon, you increase its volumetric energy density at a small cost to energy per hydrogen atom. It's still a gas, but it contains more energy per liter than raw hydrogen gas.

That's why hydrogen fuel cell research has started looking into alternative hydrogen sources - methane, ammonia, methanol, etc. But here's the catch. We know we want a fuel which contains a lot of hydrogen per liter, preferably without compression or refrigeration. And we don't want to lose too much energy potential (e.g. H2O has the same energy potential as H2O as a waste product, so is useless as a fuel). If you sift through the huge list of known chemicals for matches to these criteria, guess what's at the top of the list?

Gasoline, kerosene, diesel, alcohols. Stuff we already use as fuels.


RE: Back to the future...
By stimudent on 8/17/2011 1:46:43 AM , Rating: 1
The oil companies will put an end to this nonsense anyway.


RE: Back to the future...
By Kiffberet on 8/17/2011 8:29:32 AM , Rating: 2
Also, a car manufacturer reducing their energy needs by 30%?!? They should get a noble prize for that...unless of course the high energy using divisions of the company are outsourced and therefore taken off the books.


Ford doing things right
By GuinnessKMF on 8/16/2011 1:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
I really do have to applaud Ford for really trying to do things right lately. They weathered the financial storm in the US with only asking for a line of credit, and as far as American cars go they're trying to make up for the perception of American cars as junk.

I do agree that it's a bit odd to say they're "saving" 5000 tons of CO2 a year, because that just tells you that they were pumping out 5000 tons a year before-hand.

I would like to know how much money this is saving them, I love seeing "green" being done by companies in a way that allows them to stay in the black, because it means every company should be looking to do it, not just for the politics and positive press.




RE: Ford doing things right
By 225commander on 8/16/2011 1:53:52 PM , Rating: 2
"I would like to know how much money this is saving them, I love seeing "green" being done by companies in a way that allows them to stay in the black"

Probably tax break/incentive, subsidy, sell more vehicles on good press, etc. It isn't 'saving' them any money if you take away those 'incentives' to be green. You can bet they would not be doing this if it weren't for the political climate, hence the mention of "Since 2000 we have....." right about the time 'being green' became en-vogue, even at a loss.


RE: Ford doing things right
By GuinnessKMF on 8/17/2011 12:25:59 AM , Rating: 2
Electricity isn't free, wind generators can be profitable investments. Obviously they're not in the business of power generation, and there are additional incentives both through subsidy/taxes/avoiding penalties and press, but it is all about the bottom line, and they are saving money on electric costs.

Some quick searching reveals that generators of this size usually pay for themselves in under 10 years (not going to pretend I knew the time, but I knew they were profitable, quick source, take with grain of salt: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_...


RE: Ford doing things right
By Spuke on 8/16/2011 2:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would like to know how much money this is saving them, I love seeing "green" being done by companies in a way that allows them to stay in the black, because it means every company should be looking to do it, not just for the politics and positive press.
Doubt they'll be making money from this. More than likely it was done for political/social reasons.

PS - Green is the new SUV.


RE: Ford doing things right
By YashBudini on 8/16/2011 5:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Doubt they'll be making money from this.


That's assuming all things remain as they are now. With a period of strong inflation they may end up seeing a lot more green than initial expectations.


RE: Ford doing things right
By Kiffberet on 8/17/2011 8:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
How much CO2 was created by forging the wind turbines?

Deduct that from the 5000 tons of CO2 'saved' and there's your real figure.


What earth needs is MORE carbon dioxide
By letmepicyou on 8/16/2011 3:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
We've somehow been duped into the belief that carbon dioxide is somehow bad for the planet. I think the main reason is they can use it to create a sense of self-loathing which allows them to propagate their agenda. The wonderful truth is Carbon Dioxide is WONDERFUL for planet earth. The more carbon dioxide that exists in the atmosphere, the more vigorously plant life flourishes. The more Plants flourish, the more OXYGEN they produce, and the more OXYGEN they produce, the better it is for ALL animal species including human beings.




By wise2u on 8/16/2011 5:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
By Alchemy69 on 8/16/2011 10:43:41 PM , Rating: 4
I can't tell if you're trolling or if you really are that stupid.


Double Possessive...
By My Screen Name on 8/17/2011 3:55:19 AM , Rating: 2
Um. The article title needs to be fixed.

Ford's UK's




It's the godd@mn title
By cruisin3style on 8/17/2011 2:17:15 PM , Rating: 2
Look, if "Ford UK" is the name of the UK branch of ford then it should be Ford UK's Diesel Assembly Plant Now Completely Wind Powered

if it is just that the plant is in the UK, it would be Ford's UK Diesel Assembly Plant Now Completely Wind Powered




Not quite the whole story.......
By Insider47 on 8/20/2011 5:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
Ford is being a little economical with the truth - the engine plant is not self sufficient thanks to these turbines. Think about it - if there is no wind, then the turbines do not turn, no electricity is produced and no engines are made. Of course it's not self sufficient.

The plant still needs the 11Kv supplied from the local power station (actually 33Kv stepped down to 11Kv). In fact the turbines need 11Kv themselves to function. Yes, they do reduce the amount of CO2 that Ford would otherwise have consumed, but they are not getting 'free' electricity. The turbines are actually owned and maintained by a separate company from which Ford buys the electricity (at a premium).

I don't know if Ford benefits finacially from the UK government for reducing their CO2 consumption, but it wouldn't surprise me if this was the main reason for the installation of the turbines. Not to mention the publicity it generates.




"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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