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New wind farm for SA

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first_imgThe new wind farm will boast between 18 and 20 turbines. (Image: stock.xchng) A diagram explaining the workings of a wind turbine. (Image: Conservation Law Foundation)Janine ErasmusAn environmental impact study for South Africa’s third wind farm is due to begin before the end of March. The planned St Helena Bay wind farm on the country’s west coast will run between 18 and 20 wind turbines, producing at least 50 MW of power – or up to 2% of the entire Western Cape province’s 3 500 MW summer requirements.The first wind farm in South Africa, the R75-million ($8-million) Darling wind farm, powered up in May 2008 with four turbines, each of which generate 1.3 MW each of clean energy. Partners include the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, the Saldanha Municipality on the west coast, the Seeland Development Trust, Oxfam UK and project developer Genesis Eco-Energy.The 926 hectare piece of land earmarked for the St Helena Bay wind farm is owned by the poor fishing community of Seeland, who acquired it through the government’s Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development programme.A group of more than 200 emerging farmers from the community have joined to form the Seeland Development Trust, which is now a 25% owner in the wind farm project. All revenue will go towards social and economic development projects to benefit communities in the area.Blowing in the windSt Helena Bay is a windy area that is particularly suited to this type of project, as wind speeds of six metres per second and more are the rule rather than the exception.Energy generated will be fed into the national grid. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa will announce its decision on the implementation of renewable energy feed-in tariffs at the end of March 2009. This is expected to stimulate large-scale investment in renewable energy in South Africa, as the tariff will amply cover the cost of generation and investors can anticipate a reasonable profit too.The number of turbines has yet to be confirmed, as this will depend on the wind situation in the area as well as issues to be examined in the forthcoming study, such as visual impact. The project is expected to create about 25 permanent jobs.Genesis Eco-Energy operations director Davin Chown explained that the international financial crisis has caused the cancellation of a number of European renewable wind energy projects, leaving manufacturers with surplus stock. Speedy importation of turbines into South Africa will therefore not be a problem.With a budget of R850-million ($89-million), the new wind farm at St Helena Bay will be the third large-scale renewable energy plant in the country, after Darling and the proposed Eskom facility at Koekenaap near Vredendal in the Western Cape.The latter project was confirmed by Eskom, South Africa’s national power supplier, in January 2009, and the first phase will see about 50 turbines producing 100 MW, with phase two introducing a similar number. Construction will begin later in 2009 and the plant is expected to be operational by 2010. Eskom is building the farm in partnership with French development agency Agence Française de Développement.Ideal for wind powerBecause of the consistency and force of its winds, South Africa’s west coast has been identified as a perfect area for generation of electricity through wind. However, experts say that lack of a comprehensive and accurate map of windy areas is hindering development. It is vital to know where the best areas for wind turbines are, in order to plan ahead.In January 2009 work started on a four-year project to plot wind speeds and frequencies along the 3 000km west coastline. Sponsored in part by the Danish government, the wind atlas will provide detailed information about local wind conditions and thus encourage renewable energy investment in the area.The study is being conducted jointly by Cape Town University, the Royal Danish National Wind Resource Institute, the South African National Energy Research Institute and the Department of Minerals and Energy. The first draft map is expected by early 2010.Denmark is the world’s leader in wind power, deriving more than 19% of its power from the breezes that gust across the land.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected] articlesA power plant in your homeWind power on SA’s national gridUseful linksGenesis Eco-EnergyWest Coast District MunicipalityEmbassy of Denmark South AfricaWestern Cape 2010African Wind Energy AssociationDepartment of Minerals and Energylast_img read more

Cinematography Tip: Creating the Illusion of Scale

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first_imgIllustrating a sense of scale is something that filmmakers still often have difficulty with today. These resources and cinematography tips should give you a better understanding of how to magnify your subjects.Top Image: GoldenEye miniature set via MGMIn this day and age, there are numerous ways, both practical and digital, to exaggerate scale and fool the audience into seeing something as larger than life. Whether you’re simply emphasizing the size of something truly massive, or making something tiny appear large, these resources and cinematography tips can give filmmakers a better understanding of how to illustrate a sense of scale.Shot CompositionImage from Walt Disney StudiosThe simplest thing you can do to make your subject feel large is to shoot it from a low angle, pointed somewhat upwards at the subject. By providing the illusion of looking up at something, low-angle shots convey a sense of power and greatness in a scene, which is why you’ll notice that characters who “hold the power” of the moment are generally shot from a lower angle than others. In this same vein, point of view shots from the perspective of someone can give insight into how characters are experiencing the situation.The introductory shot to Star Wars is an iconic example of this technique, with the clearly enormous Star Destroyer framed above not only the smaller ship, its prey, but also above the nearby planets, implying true grandness. It also takes up more of the frame than anything else, signifying the scale and reach of the Empire itself. As you can see, hyperbolizing the scale of specific objects can often hint to larger ideas within a story.By deliberately keeping some of the subject out of the frame, you can give the impression that it is simply too big to be seen all at once. This also feels a bit spatially intrusive, and therefore intimidating, by occupying most of your vision to the point of breaking its borders. It’s All RelativeImage from Legendary PicturesTerms of scale like “big” and “small” are almost entirely relative, defined mostly by the standards of a certain situation. Something is only “large” when compared to objects smaller than it. When compared to even larger objects, a previously “large” object suddenly becomes “small.” For this reason, you should always have at least one shot that shows your “large” object near something that most people are familiar with.Humans are the most common example of this, since they provide the most quickly identifiable point of reference. However, other every day things like cars, buildings, and trees can all provide this same effect. The reveal of Godzilla in the 2014 Godzilla remake used this trick to similar effect. Forced PerspectiveUnlike static objects and fictional creatures, real humans and animals generally cannot be replaced with miniatures. In these situations, you’ll probably have to rely on either green screens and CGI, or some old fashioned in-camera magic. Forced perspective, or the use of depth to create optical illusions of scale, is an older technique that, while time-consuming and often complex, can produce some truly flawless results. Forced perspective received widespread recognition with the release of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which used it to an unforeseen degree.By creating precise custom tracks for their props and cameras, they were able to perform camera movements while maintaining the illusion of a small human, all without the assistance of computers. This was truly groundbreaking, and like most well-done practical effects, it still looks great. Even if these kind of complicated set pieces are beyond you, forced perspective is still something you can use to your advantage without fancy camera movement.MiniaturesImage from Metro-Goldwyn-MayerPrior to the domination of CGI, most filmmakers turned to miniature models when depicting something that could not be created in full scale. For the most part, the use of miniatures has held up better over the years than the use of CGI, since it is still uses a real object. You’d be surprised at how many films, even more recent ones, have featured miniatures.One of the most notable of these is the sci-fi Stanley Kubrick classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, which paved the way for later films set in space, such as Alien and, of course, Star Wars.Image from Ian WalshEven now, films such as the 2009 sci-fi drama Moon employ similar miniatures in their sets, as seen below. Miniatures are, for the most part, more affordable than CGI, and will stand the test of time better to boot.Image from the Prop GalleryThanks in part to the use of greebles (adding smaller parts to a an object to make it appear larger), the intricately detailed miniatures of the film are still stunning by today’s standards. For instance, the surface of the Death Star in Star Wars was covered in greebles, as they give a reference point for scale, unlike a smooth, bland surface.Image from Walt Disney StudiosYou may not have realized it, but Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight features a thrilling sequence shot with miniatures. Remember that awesome shot of the Tumbler crashing into a dump truck head on? That was actually shot at 1/3 scale, meaning all props were a third of their real-life counterpart. Nolan is one of the last modern filmmakers fighting to preserve practical effects, and he makes great use of them through miniatures in most of his movies.As you can see, this was still large enough to feature enough details to be nearly indistinguishable from the full-sized footage. Additionally, the physics of the objects were still realistic since they still held significant mass — which we’ll go into next.MovementModifying the movement of something to make it appear larger is one of the trickier aspects of exaggerating size, though Hollywood has gotten quite good at it over the decades. Since the depiction of early giant monsters such as King Kong and Godzilla, artists have realized that large objects tend to move more slowly, meaning that usually slowing down footage will at least hint at size. This technique is best applied to non-organic props that lack the subtleties of, say, an animal’s movements.CGI opens up possibilities for more precise movement when needed, but in most cases,the limitations of slower playback speed aren’t too apparent. Minor flaws in physics are not as noticeable as a poorly textured or lit CGI element. The above funny scene from Ghostbusters features a building-sized monster version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and manages to make it slightly less unbelievable by slowing down its motion.The 2013 action blockbuster from Guillermo Del Toro, Pacific Rim, displayed some awe-inspiring creatures of epic proportions, with a true sense of impact as they slowly lumber, even while fighting. While a normal human punch might take a half second, the giant robot punches of Pacific Rim take one or two seconds, conveying the idea that a lot of weight is being moved.This film was extremely CGI-heavy, but it took full advantage of what CGI has to offer by focusing on accurate physics simulations.AtmosphereImage from Walt Disney StudiosAnother great way to exaggerate scale is by incorporating the effects of the environment into your scene. This is best applied when showing something large from far away. For instance, you might obscure it in comparison to foreground objects with some fog, if the setting calls for it. In a hot setting, you could obscure it with some heat waves. Phenomena like this that indicate distance are a very natural way to show how big an object appears even from afar. We’ll use another Star Destroyer as an example, with this gorgeous shot (above) from the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.Note that foreground objects are saturated and clear, whereas the distant Star Destroyer features muted colors, low contrast, and a little blur. Additionally, like the earlier Star Destroyer shot, this one is pushed slightly out of frame.center_img While the human eye is constantly improving at detecting what is and isn’t real, the best techniques are often among the oldest. However, it no longer takes a titanic budget to depict something titanic — just some planning and creativity. What films do you think did a great job illustrating scale? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Changes on horizon for FCD

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first_imgMLS Big changes coming for FC Dallas, but pain of missing playoffs the strongest emotion Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon 08:47 10/23/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Michael Barrios Kellyn Acosta FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj MLS Dallas Dallas v LA Galaxy LA Galaxy Last season’s Supporters’ Shield winners missed the postseason and as a result of this year’s failures will look different in 2018 FRISCO, Texas — What’s next for FC Dallas? After Sunday’s elimination from the playoffs, change is on the horizon. What those changes will be, nobody seemed so sure.What did seem certain is that there will be modifications – not to the team’s overall strategy but certainly at the individual level.”This time, we have had with this group, four seasons, and now we have to sit down and reevaluate,” coach Oscar Pareja said after his team topped the LA Galaxy 5-1 but lost the tiebreaker for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. “It’s a cycle that needs to be reviewed because we all have to stretch out to the max and give our best but many of them need to change as well. Not because we don’t believe in the project. The project is going to move forward but this year has been difficult. We’ll see. What is coming next is we’ll reevaluate what is coming next for the group.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player FCD owner Dan Hunt already has indicated he hopes to see more young players getting significant playing time in the 2018 campaign. FCD’s academy is regarded as one of the strongest in the United States but this season the four teenagers signed to professional deals played infrequently.The season also was marred by transfer rumors, including FCD confirming that it turned down offers for winger Michael Barrios and Maxi Urruti during the summer. Kellyn Acosta and Walker Zimmerman both had their names end up in the rumor mills as European targets, while Carlos Gruezo and Jesse Gonzalez also reportedly have been scouted by teams abroad. There is uncertainty about which veteran names will be back next season. For most of those players, though, the wounds of this season were too fresh to think in the long-term.”I’m thinking in the day-to-day. Right now I’m going to enjoy my family like I always try to. I’m going to become a father in a few months and that’s what makes me happiest,” Urruti said.”I’m really excited about it. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m always thankful to everyone. When this offer came, when the team was interested in me, I always had my mind focused on Dallas. I wanted to give my best and try to get to the playoffs.”It’s not the time to think about anything other than we’re upset we couldn’t qualify and now we’re going to try to think about other things, enjoy family.”Acosta said he didn’t know if he’d be back either, but says: “Right now, it’s just a disappointing season. I’m not really looking to the future right now.”We got the win we needed, but it wasn’t enough.Thank you fans for all your support in 2017! #DTID pic.twitter.com/Acf3qXYDku— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) October 22, 2017Barrios was too busy thinking about what he’d experienced with the current group to focus on anything that might await him going forward.”We’re united, like a family that’s always fighting for each other off the field or on the field. Unfortunately, we’re all hurt by what happened, by not being able to get the last spot, unfortunately, because of a rule change where I think it’s something crazy for the league to have a team eliminated not by goals but by (wins),” winger Michael Barrios said. “Those are the decisions they made, you have to accept it and unfortunately we’re out by a point.”It’s not only the transfer targets who could be on their way out before the team resumes activity with matches in the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League. There are a number of veterans in the club who may move on, either by their choice or to make room for the younger players who characterize the club’s style.”Of course,” defender Maynor Figueroa said when asked if he’d like to return. “My wish always is to be here and continue here, but we all know how the league is. It’s a league where one day you could be here and the next day you’re there. I’d like to stay here. I’m really very happy here, very thankful here and it’d be welcome if I were able to continue on with this club.”The one common feeling, the known quantity Sunday, had nothing to do with the future and everything to do with the present. No one who was part of FC Dallas’ 2016 or 2017 team expected to be thinking about the future this early in the year. No one expected to be out of the playoffs, resting up or drawing up offseason training plans. Because of that, there will be changes as FCD looks to get back to the level it expects. The evaluation process will take time, but if Pareja gets his wish it will take place and fans will see the results.”I think it’s necessary. The season demanded it,” he said. “I think not getting to the playoffs makes us think we lack things. It could be the coach, it could be the method, it could be the players, it could be investment, it could be a lot of things, and that helps us evaluate things.”last_img read more

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