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ChewingGrass

Were fooked if it turns cold

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What we need is some kind of 'smart meter'. It could be installed in every home and when demand for power increases they could run an algorithm and see who was going to be the most productive in the coming year. The lowest 10% could have all their electricity turned off and die of the cold. Think of the money to be saved in medical bills and social security payments!

 

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2 minutes ago, XswampyX said:

What we need is some kind of 'smart meter'. It could be installed in every home and when demand for power increases they could run an algorithm and see who was going to be the most productive in the coming year. The lowest 10% could have all their electricity turned off and die of the cold. Think of the money to be saved in medical bills and social security payments!

 

So that's the power for the Houses of Parliament turned off then.  And buck house.

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XYY

                                                                                                                  

The dog's kennel is not the place to keep a sausage - Danish Proverb

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1 hour ago, long time lurking said:

Yet there is a large coal fired power station just down the road from me thats running on tick-over (stand by for peak demand) due to poor "market conditions" i.e there`s not enough demand for it`s output  

Most of the UK's coal power stations have been idle for most of the year. They've been priced out of the market by a massive glut of gas. Even though wholesale gas prices have doubled in the last month or so, they are still at extraordinarily low levels and coal is just not competitive. 

I've read a number of articles in the grauniad this year about how, for the first time ever, the UK was getting 0% of its electricity supply from coal, and how this was due to the success of wind turbines, etc. Of course, if you actually looked at the facts, you'd see that this was not due to wind turbines, as on several of those days, there was no wind. This was purely due to the unexpected success of shale gas and the commoditisation of gas via the LNG market.

If there was a real cold spell, we've got around another 10-15 GW of idle coal power plants, which could meet the demand. There is, however, an additional risk this year which is whether the French could deliver. The French are struggling a bit, and we've been exporting for most of the last month or so. This is because the investigation of how EDF managed to screw up the manufacture of the reactor for the new power plant at Flamanville (and prototype for the Hinkley point C plant), has opened up a very deep rabbit-hole of 40 years of "discrepancies" in the paperwork accompanying key nuclear plant components. The nuclear regulator in France has therefore ordered a lot of urgent plant shutdowns until full inspections can be performed and all discrepancies in the paperwork explained and proven irrelevant. 

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Fascinating stuff Chumpus. A lot of these STOR facilities (short term back-up) are appearing. Two near me; one got permission, one turned down (for now). Imagine these plants are not cheap for its energy.

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1 hour ago, knock out johnny said:

Don;t worry, I'm sure the French will happily sell us the shortfall at a very reasonable rate

hah, if only, half a dozen French nuclear reactors are off line at the moment, they want to buy 2.5GW of capacity from the UK

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3 hours ago, knock out johnny said:

Don;t worry, I'm sure the French will happily sell us the shortfall at a very reasonable rate

they have none! as someone else has said

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2 hours ago, Alonso Quijano said:

Fascinating stuff Chumpus. A lot of these STOR facilities (short term back-up) are appearing. Two near me; one got permission, one turned down (for now). Imagine these plants are not cheap for its energy.

They are cheaper than LNG natural gas and wind if you remove the carbon tax, treehuggers and politicians have made them the last choice 

Yet Germany are building two of the largest coal fired stations in the world ..what do they know we dont

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2 hours ago, Alonso Quijano said:

Fascinating stuff Chumpus. A lot of these STOR facilities (short term back-up) are appearing. Two near me; one got permission, one turned down (for now). Imagine these plants are not cheap for its energy.

They are very expensive per unit of energy, but that's because their business case is to operate only for 50-200 hours per year. As a result, the capital cost has to be amortised over only a few running hours.

These plants are optimised for capital cost and fixed costs, over fuel efficiency, carbon emissions and variable (maintenance) costs. This typically means diesel generators, operated by remote control with no staff on site. Fuel efficiency isn't great, maintenance costs and reliability are poor compared with turbines, but capital cost is far lower than open cycle turbines.

The latest high efficiency combined cycle gas turbines have enormous capital costs, to the point that they'd need electricity costs on the region of £70-90/MWh to be viable. The world's most efficient CCGT power station was completed in Germany last year. It's never run, as the price of energy in Germany is so distorted by subsidies to renewable energy, that it's just not viable to run it. I believe it has now been mothballed, and there is talk of it being dismantled and sold overseas.

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3 hours ago, davidg said:

hah, if only, half a dozen French nuclear reactors are off line at the moment, they want to buy 2.5GW of capacity from the UK

 

1 hour ago, SarahBell said:

they have none! as someone else has said

Historically, it's most definitely one way traffic and we've always been sucking on the teat of French energy surplus

 

The fact they currently have no spare capacity, does, as the opening post states, leave us fcked in the case of a deficit. 

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The World is awash with LNG right now and many LNG liquification plants are running on reduced output.

Whilst I appreciate the sentiment of this thread, while we are in a position to 'afford' cargo's there is no risk of any general brownout or blackout.

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1 hour ago, Kurt Barlow said:

The World is awash with LNG right now and many LNG liquification plants are running on reduced output.

Whilst I appreciate the sentiment of this thread, while we are in a position to 'afford' cargo's there is no risk of any general brownout or blackout.

I think the point of the post (and the info in the link) is that our full generating capacity is only just meeting demand at the moment.  In particular, nuclear and gas based plants are already at capacity, and there is only a little more to come from coal.  10% more demand would get us into a point where they'd have to start doing things to regulate demand, and it isn't even cold yet.

 

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6 minutes ago, dgul said:

I think the point of the post (and the info in the link) is that our full generating capacity is only just meeting demand at the moment.  In particular, nuclear and gas based plants are already at capacity, and there is only a little more to come from coal.  10% more demand would get us into a point where they'd have to start doing things to regulate demand, and it isn't even cold yet.

 

According to NETA the UK currently has 11.2GW of coal available and 700MW of OCGT. Its 8am and 4GW of Coal is being used which leaves 7.2GW of spare capacity, plus 700MW of OCGT, There is approx 700MW of spare Hydro and approx 2500MW of pumped storage. On top of that you have around 1GW of onsite gen sets (hospitals, factories etc) that can come online in an emergency.

I'd agree the situation isn't ideal but its not desperate either.

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11 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

According to NETA the UK currently has 11.2GW of coal available and 700MW of OCGT. Its 8am and 4GW of Coal is being used which leaves 7.2GW of spare capacity, plus 700MW of OCGT, There is approx 700MW of spare Hydro and approx 2500MW of pumped storage. On top of that you have around 1GW of onsite gen sets (hospitals, factories etc) that can come online in an emergency.

I'd agree the situation isn't ideal but its not desperate either.

The Elexon data shows 10GW of coal, so about 6gw of capacity -- difficult to know which sources to believe.

And you can't so easily include the pumped storage -- that isn't there for longer-term load balancing, but pretty much only for very short term spikes in demand.

The main thing is that as demand ramps up they'll just incentivise certain industrial users to turn down demand, so we're nowhere near the point where emergency generators come into play. 

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5 minutes ago, dgul said:

The Elexon data shows 10GW of coal, so about 6gw of capacity -- difficult to know which sources to believe.

And you can't so easily include the pumped storage -- that isn't there for longer-term load balancing, but pretty much only for very short term spikes in demand.

The main thing is that as demand ramps up they'll just incentivise certain industrial users to turn down demand, so we're nowhere near the point where emergency generators come into play. 

The issue the UK will face will be peak demand exceeding generating capacity for 3-5 hours a day rather than a 24 hour demand exceeds total supply. This is where the Pumped storage is of particular use as it can recharge overnight when demand is low on surplus Nuc, Coal, or Gas.

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8 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

The issue the UK will face will be peak demand exceeding generating capacity for 3-5 hours a day rather than a 24 hour demand exceeds total supply. This is where the Pumped storage is of particular use as it can recharge overnight when demand is low on surplus Nuc, Coal, or Gas.

That isn't what pumped storage is for.  It is used for very short term spikes in demand where there isn't the capacity or speed to react from the traditional sources.  If you used it up doing night/day load balancing then there wouldn't be capacity to easily cope during the spikes.

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5 minutes ago, dgul said:

That isn't what pumped storage is for.  It is used for very short term spikes in demand where there isn't the capacity or speed to react from the traditional sources.  If you used it up doing night/day load balancing then there wouldn't be capacity to easily cope during the spikes.

What I said is exactly how Dinorwig is used.

C&P from Wiki

Water is stored at a high altitude in Marchlyn Mawr reservoir and is discharged into Llyn Peris through the turbines during times of peak electricity demand. It is pumped back from Llyn Peris to Marchlyn Mawr during off-peak times. Although it uses more electricity to pump the water up than it generates on the way down, pumping is generally done at periods of low demand, when the energy is cheaper to consume.

Once running, the station can provide power for up to 6 hours before running out of water.

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1 hour ago, Kurt Barlow said:

What I said is exactly how Dinorwig is used.

C&P from Wiki

Water is stored at a high altitude in Marchlyn Mawr reservoir and is discharged into Llyn Peris through the turbines during times of peak electricity demand. It is pumped back from Llyn Peris to Marchlyn Mawr during off-peak times. Although it uses more electricity to pump the water up than it generates on the way down, pumping is generally done at periods of low demand, when the energy is cheaper to consume.

Once running, the station can provide power for up to 6 hours before running out of water.

From the very first paragraph of that Dinorwig wiki page...

Quote

The Dinorwig Power Station (/dˈnɔːrwɪɡ/; Welsh: [dɪˈnɔrwɪɡ]) is a 1,728-megawatt (2,317,000 hp) pumped-storage hydroelectric scheme, near Dinorwig, Llanberisin Snowdonia national park in Gwynedd, north Wales. Its purpose is not to help meet peak loads but as a "Short Term Operating Reserve", to provide a fast response to short-term rapid changes in power demand.

Then in more detail further down...

Quote

Today, Dinorwig is operated not to help meet peak loads but as a STOR (Short Term Operating Reserve), providing a fast response to short-term rapid changes in power demand or sudden loss of power stations. In a common scenario (known asTV pickup), the end of a popular national television programme or advertising breaks in commercial television programmes send millions of consumers to switch on electric kettles in the space of a few minutes, leading to overall demand increases of up to 2,800 megawatts (3,800,000 hp).[6] In anticipation of this surge, an appropriate number of units at Dinorwig (or other services competing for National Grid Reserve Service duty) may be brought on line as the closing credits start to roll. The monitoring of popular television channels is an important factor in electricity grid control centres.

But then it is wiki, so it's probably wrong...

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25 minutes ago, dgul said:

From the very first paragraph of that Dinorwig wiki page...

Then in more detail further down...

But then it is wiki, so it's probably wrong...

Go to http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm

Go to the section - Generation by Fuel Type. You'll see that over a 24 hour period UK PS was continuously putting out between 200 MW and 1350MW between 7am and 12 midnight. Output was 0 between Midnight and 7am which is the recharge period. The period between 5pm and 7pm is peak output with some smaller peaks at breakfast and lunchtime.  So over the last 24 hours PS has been running at upto about 50% of installed capacity

I accept the PS is also to some degree performing a grid balancing service as you suggest but its primary function is to soak up offpeak power and redeliver during on peak periods.  Spinning reserve is what really provides your instant response to unforseen changes in demand or supply dropping out.

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