News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

Threads relating to transport, water, etc. within the CBD and Metropolitan area.
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SBD
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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#346 Post by SBD » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:58 pm

claybro wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:09 pm
Ok, so what I am reading into all of your informative replies, is that you all believe that with current technology it is possible for the entire SE Australian grid to be 100% renewable once enough renewable capacity is in place?
I have not looked into the entire grid. I am only specifically concerned about South Australia, and I see no reason for concern in the next two or three decades based on current trends, technology and assets. Trying to guess what will be the right solutions in 20-30 years time would be like trying to guess in the 1980s or 1990s when the Northern Power Station was new and there were no wind farms in SA that we would be where we are now.

New South Wales clearly needs something more than it has now, but I haven't looked into whether that is a new coal or gas-fired power station or the large solar farms that are about to be built near Balranald and some wind farms somewhere, or a new interconnector from South Australia (Hornsdale wind farm output is contracted to the ACT government!). NSW has the Snowy Mountains Scheme which includes capacity for some large pumped hydro schemes, provided the water isn't needed downstream. The reason an interconnector is not a trivial fix is that SA and NSW both have grids designed for the generation to be central, and the transmission lines to near the border become progressively thinner. To install a new large source or sink of electricity requires significant enlargement of the network to connect it.
Spurdo wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:05 pm
If only the brits didn’t screw us back in the 60’s/70’s and gave us permission to use their gas-cooled reactor technology, then we could have safe, cleaner and reliable power.
I agree a large nuclear power station built then could have been a good idea, but I suspect we are past that now, even if it was possible. I still wonder if fully-contained units like in nuclear submarines or ships would be useful as power stations in outback communities that are a long way from the national grid. When they wear out, a new one could be trucked in and hte old one taken out for reprocessing.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#347 Post by claybro » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:10 pm

PeFe wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:21 pm
Why not ask the question whether South Australia can be powered entirely by renewables?...and then you can extrapolate the experience to the southern eastern Australia.

Claybro I am starting to think that you are deliberately trolling........statements like this
"Pumped hydro relies on solar to run the pumps...for hours at a time."

I have never, ever read this statement on the internet, anywhere.....even right wing anti-renewables wouldn't say something as silly this...
I am most definitely not trolling. I have a genuine interest to read all I can that is not too technical for an explaination on what I hear being bandied around by both sides. Re the comment on the pumped hydro.. I took it specifically from the article posted, which showed in the diagram (yes I prefer flow charts and diagrams) specifically the judo pump being run by solar alone. It even shows the excesssolar power going back into the grid. This is what piqued my interest in what happens during low sunshine and wind. It is as simple as that. Some of the vitriol from renewable advocates is every bit as intense as that from the anti renewable brigade. But thanks for a lively discussion.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#348 Post by Jaymz » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:07 pm

Hope some of you can get around the paywall. In a nutshell, it says the former Labor Govt has spent around $610 million to outright buy diesel generators, for a 1 in 10 chance of blackouts this summer.

Makes a mockery of their so-called renewables image, not to mention that is a serious amount of cash..... think the Adelaide Oval redevelopment.

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sou ... 3bf9c208e8

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#349 Post by claybro » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:19 pm

Jaymz wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:07 pm
Hope some of you can get around the paywall. In a nutshell, it says the former Labor Govt has spent around $610 million to outright buy diesel generators, for a 1 in 10 chance of blackouts this summer.

Makes a mockery of their so-called renewable image.

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sou ... 3bf9c208e8
I think you will find, the former governments commitment to renewables was beyond reproach. It is the financial cost of renewables that bites, as everyone is finding in their power bills, and despite the claims that renewables will provide cheaper power generation. Most of the time, they do. It is the essential backup that is proving costly.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#350 Post by Norman » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:22 pm

The generators have been used once (if at all) since they were installed. I don't see how emergency backup generators damages our renewables image when these generators are giving us backup power until more storage and renewable generation comes online.

I have also been told that diesel generators emit fewer pollutants than coal power plants.

Regarding the cost... If they prevent 3 statewide blackouts, they would have already paid for themselves.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#351 Post by Jaymz » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:40 pm

Norman wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:22 pm
The generators have been used once (if at all) since they were installed. I don't see how emergency backup generators damages our renewables image when these generators are giving us backup power until more storage and renewable generation comes online.

I have also been told that diesel generators emit fewer pollutants than coal power plants.

Regarding the cost... If they prevent 3 statewide blackouts, they would have already paid for themselves.
Kinda incorrect. I think the big blackout cost S.A around $300 million or so, but that was only north of Port Pirie and west coast where much of the heavy industry is, i.e mining (transmission lines damaged, not anyone's fault). That was out of action for around 2 weeks until repaired.... I know this because I work on a mine in the far north.

The problem with that event was that there wasn't enough base load power to reset the breaker quickly south of Port Pirie, hence the rest of the state embarrassingly lost power for an hour or so. Wind turbines apparently also don't work when the wind is too strong 😂, plus the massive voltage dip meant Victoria had to isolate us from the grid to prevent a major catastrophe.
Last edited by Jaymz on Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#352 Post by SBD » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:41 pm

Norman wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:22 pm
The generators have been used once (if at all) since they were installed. I don't see how emergency backup generators damages our renewables image when these generators are giving us backup power until more storage and renewable generation comes online.

I have also been told that diesel generators emit fewer pollutants than coal power plants.

Regarding the cost... If they prevent 3 statewide blackouts, they would have already paid for themselves.
So far, I think they might have prevented one incident of load shedding, way short of a state wide blackout. The one of those we had two years ago probably would not have been prevented by these, although they might have kept the lights on, or got them back quicker, in Adelaide.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#353 Post by rhino » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:42 pm

It's insurance. It always seem expensive, until you need it and you have it, then you realise the value.

The desalination plant is another one - when we needed it we wished we had one. Unfortunately by the time it got built the drought broke - but there will be another drought.
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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#354 Post by rhino » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:44 pm

Jaymz, why the laughing? It's been known for years that the turbines get shut down when the wind is too strong, and also why. What are you having trouble understanding?
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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#355 Post by Jaymz » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:48 pm

rhino wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:44 pm
Jaymz, why the laughing? It's been known for years that the turbines get shut down when the wind is too strong, and also why. What are you having trouble understanding?
Hey, I'm all for renewables if done sensibly. I think S.A will reap the rewards in the bit too distant future. I just think we've rushed into it too quickly, without enough thought. I really do hope I'm proven wrong, and S.A has the cheapest electricity prices in 10-20 years, but I won't hold my breath.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#356 Post by Goodsy » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:30 pm

Jaymz wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:07 pm
Hope some of you can get around the paywall. In a nutshell, it says the former Labor Govt has spent around $610 million to outright buy diesel generators, for a 1 in 10 chance of blackouts this summer.

Makes a mockery of their so-called renewables image, not to mention that is a serious amount of cash..... think the Adelaide Oval redevelopment.

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sou ... 3bf9c208e8
That price tag is over the entire lifespan of the generators, which was 25 years.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#357 Post by Goodsy » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:33 pm

Jaymz wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:48 pm
rhino wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:44 pm
Jaymz, why the laughing? It's been known for years that the turbines get shut down when the wind is too strong, and also why. What are you having trouble understanding?
Hey, I'm all for renewables if done sensibly. I think S.A will reap the rewards in the bit too distant future. I just think we've rushed into it too quickly, without enough thought. I really do hope I'm proven wrong, and S.A has the cheapest electricity prices in 10-20 years, but I won't hold my breath.
according to the AEMO dashboard, SA currently has the cheapest wholesale spot price on the NEM. We're also exporting the excess

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#358 Post by Norman » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:50 pm

Regarding the wind turbines shutting down, I am not sure what the wind speed threshold is, but this article below is from the BBC:
Who, what, why: What happens to wind turbines in a storm?
28 October 2013

Two years ago video footage of a wind turbine catching fire and breaking up in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, was widely circulated. So what does happen to wind farms on a very windy day?

Turbines do occasionally have to be shut off in very high winds, but usually at speeds higher than the current storm in the south of the UK.

Failure to do so can lead to an incident like the one at Ardrossan. That was blamed on a fault that stopped the head of the turbine pointing in the correct direction and another fault with the brakes.

During dangerously high wind, the blades on turbines are supposed to be "feathered" - twisted so they no longer catch the wind and rotate.

The current storm has already destroyed one turbine in Devon. Tim Kirby, managing director of Ecogen, admitted there might be some problems for smaller turbines but not for typical commercial farms.

The answer
  • Most turbines have automatic shutdown speeds
  • Wind over a certain average speed for a particular length of time can trigger shutdown
  • Shutdown might also be triggered by gusts over 100mph
"Big ones tend to stand anything," he says. "We very rarely see high-wind 'stops'. Most of them have a variety of automatic shutdown speeds."

One type of shutdown trigger would be wind over a certain average speed measured over 10 minutes. Another type of shutdown is triggered by gusts, although these would be more than 100mph, much higher than the current storm.

Another independent renewables firm, Ecotricity, said it was operating at roughly two thirds of capacity. Of its 55 turbines, many in East Anglia, only six were offline and none due to excessive wind. The firm says its turbines only shut down with continuous wind speeds of between 62mph and 76mph, depending on make and model.

And the current winds have not produced a record-breaking amount of electricity. Wind provision was quite high on Sunday but is normal today, says Jennifer Webber, director of external affairs of Renewable UK, the renewable energy trade association.
Who, what, why?

The National Grid said that from 09:30 to 10:00 GMT wind generated 3,110MW, which accounted for 8.1% of total energy needs. The record for a half-hour period was in September with 5,700MW, 17% of demand.

Of course, the current storm is only seriously affecting the south of the UK and wind farms are disproportionately located in the north, particularly Scotland.
If we go by the article, the turbines turn off when the continuous wind speeds reach 100 to 122km/h, something that is extremely rare.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#359 Post by PeFe » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:47 am

ABC article discussing the diesel generators purchased by the previous Labor government.
The Libs intend leasing the generators out ,whilst retaining ownership and no doubt asserting influence when the generators will be used during heatwaves.
I like the idea of recouping the cost of the purchase but also remaining in state control.
However the one negative is the Liberals saying "they cant understand why they were purchased" and "whether they will be really needed during summer"
Just because they were not used last summer is no indication of future heatwave power demands......getting rid of them would be extremely foolish.

Back-up power stations to be privatised by SA Government after report questions usefulness

The South Australian Government will privatise operation of two emergency back-up power stations built by its Labor predecessor, declaring the turbines will deliver little benefit for a cost of more than $600 million over their 25-year life.

Key points:
A report into two emergency power stations in SA is damning of a decision to buy them outright
The generators were purchased under Labor to prevent summer load-shedding
The new Government has announced it will privatise the running of the generators
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman has tabled a report in Parliament by lawyer Mark Livesey, QC, who was commissioned by the new Government to investigate the power station deal.

After the state endured load-shedding blackouts in early 2017, the former government announced it would lease nine aero-derivative turbines from APR Energy to use to secure the state's power supply.

Prior to summer, the turbines were temporarily installed at Lonsdale in Adelaide's south and the former Holden factory in the city's north prior to run on diesel fuel.

But they were not called upon to prevent blackouts.

The deal for the turbines included an option to purchase them outright at the end of an initial two-year lease period.

But in November, then Premier Jay Weatherill opted to exercise the purchase option early, announcing the two temporary power stations would eventually be reconfigured on a permanent site and switched to gas to provide a permanent taxpayer-owned backup power station.

Mr Livesey's report found little justification for that decision.

"It is not easy to determine how the logistics associated with planning for the relocation of the turbines would have suffered if delayed until after the state election," the report said.

Full article : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-16/ ... t/10382716

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#360 Post by SRW » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:21 am

Will they still be converted to gas?
Keep Adelaide Weird

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