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Upgrade coal power and cut 15% of emissions. Where is the Green applause?

If the Greens cared about CO2 they’d be very interested in ways to reduce emissions. But their selective interest speaks volumes about their real priorities. Anton Lang shows how newer coal fired powers stations run hotter and at higher pressures, and use 15% less coal to produce the same amount of electricity. We could upgrade our power stations and cut a whopping 15% of their emissions — which is huge compared to the piddling small, often unmeasureable savings thanks to renewables. Even massive floods that stop industry don’t reduce our emissions as much as this would. Do the Greens hate the coal industry more than “carbon pollution”? — Jo

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Ultra Super Critical Coal Fired Power gives a 15% CO2 Emissions Reduction

Guest Post: Anton Lang (aka TonyfromOz)

It all comes down to steam.

Assume (for a moment) that we have to reduce the emissions of CO2 by something like 20% between now and 2020.

Previously I showed we could achieve a reduction of 13% in CO2 emissions from the electrical power generating sector just by converting from the current 70’s technology coal fired power to the newest technology USC (UltraSuperCritical) coal fired technology. That 13% I quoted at the time was theoretical, but in China over the last three years the emissions reduction of new USC plants is even better, around 15% to 17%. This is off-the-shelf technology that handles base-load, produces cheap electricity, and reduces emissions.

USC 1000MW unit at Shanghai Waigaoqiao III Power Plant

 

The  data  comes from this link to Shanghai Electric, about a number of plants now in operation for more than three years. Smaller plants of 100MW and less from the 70′s show emissions at 339 grams per KWH delivered. For large scale older plants, emissions are 330 grams per KWH delivered (similar to all (black) coal fired plants in Australia). For this new USC technology, emissions are down to 282 grams per KWH delivered.

Based on the large scale 70’s units, these new USC type plants consume 15% less coal, hence emitting 15% less CO2 per unit of delivered energy. For a typical large scale 2000MW+ coal fired plant, that means a savings of 2.6 Million tons of CO2 per year.

How does USC make coal burning more efficient?

The most efficient rotors in a power station are enormous. The rotor in 660MW generator could weigh anything up to 600 tons or more, and that huge weight has to be driven at 3000RPM (for 50Hz power — in the U.S. it is 3600RPM, for 60Hz power). That’s rotating that huge weight at 50 times a second. A typical large scale coal fired plant will have up to four generators, each capable of generating between 500 and 660MW. For a typical 70’s technology generator, that 660MW is the largest power rating currently in use.  It takes a lot of energy to turn something so incredibly heavy at such an extraordinary speed.

It’s all depends on steam.

The rotor is the critical part, and more wire loops means more electricity. If you pass a wire capable of carrying an electric current through a magnetic field then a current will be induced to flow along that wire. You will get a larger electromotive force, and thus a larger current flow, if you scale everything up. More wire will give us more current and more power, but then the rotor is harder to push through the magnetic field. Likewise, stronger magnetic fields or higher speeds of rotation also give more power. So in a sense, the heavier the better.

Place a number of magnetic poles around a shaft, cool the area so the magnetic field is stronger, and wrap those poles in current carrying wire to further intensify the magnetic field. Then add series of these poles along the shaft, and rotate all that at high speed. This is the rotor of a typical generator (in actual fact, a turbo alternator).

This high speed rotor then induces power into the stator, huge amounts of wire wrapped in a shell around, but not touching the spinning rotor. To turn the rotor we need a very large multi stage turbine. To drive that turbine, we need a huge amount of high temperature, high pressure steam. Coal is what boils the water to make that steam.

What makes USC different is the huge amount of high temperature and high pressure steam it can produce.

UltraSuperCritical. What does that mean?

The critical point of water occurs at 374C at a pressure of 22.1 MPa (3,208 psi), where liquid water and steam become indistinguishable. Above that point (Super Critical and USC), the water does not need to boil to produce steam. So, not only do you need less coal to make that steam, you now also have a saving in water use as well, as it does not need to boil.

The USC units currently in use in China are operating at 600C and 27MPa. In fact China is actively working towards advanced USC, with temperatures above 700C in the range of 760C. Like the U.S., Japan, South Korea and Germany, China have now all but perfected the technology. Originally it was imported, and in cooperation with non Chinese companies, but they are now proceeding on their own. China has already got to the stage where they have a number of plants with units driving 1000MW generators, the first to do so. They are further working towards generators with a capacities of 1200MW and even 1350MW, levels previously thought unattainable even with large scale nuclear power.

This graph shows the steady improvement in electrical power generation. Note the top black line (the MegaWatts size of the plant) is not linear. People were building plants in the 1950′s of 5 – 10 MW. Now we’re building 1000MW plants.

Development of Thermal Power Generation Technology in China – from USC Technology In China shown on Page 18 (pdf document)

Source: USC Technology In China (pdf)

Australian power is mostly coal, and mostly old and inefficient

China now has several plants running these large 1000MW generators, usually two at a time, hence 2000MW output.

The ones they already have in operation are running at a CF of 92.3%, something previously only the province of (some) nuclear power plants (page 31 of the above pdf link).

Australia produces about 75% of it’s electricity with coal, and it amounts to about 27,000MW of power. Our four largest generators are all pre-1975 technology.

Coal generates 75% of all Australian electricity

What USC technology means is that higher power generators can be used for significant reductions in CO2 emissions, and as the technology moves to the next stage, even less coal needs to be burned to make the immense amounts of steam required to drive smaller generators that produce more power.

And the cost? In China these plants are being constructed for a capital cost of $USD600 per KW, so around $1.2 Billion for a 2000MW plant (page 28 of the above pdf link). In Australia, Bayswater Power Station is planning an upgrade (it is the only one that is) and the cost would be about twice that of China.

So for $2.5 Billion here in Australia, you could get a 2000MW plant of top quality coal fired electricity available 24/7/365. Or you or get a wind farm of 1000MW, with 320 towers, 16% of the power, available far less than 24/7/365.

Consider this.

That ONE generator shown in the top image produces 25% more power in a year than every wind tower in Australia.

So USC is a technology that is sorely needed for the huge amount of cheap power it generates. In addition, it actually lowers emissions of CO2 per unit of delivered energy, and almost by the amount the Government has targeted for 2020. (As if we need to reduce CO2 emissions in the first place.)

 

Additional notes – Generation with solar or nuclear

Nuclear power plants typically have generators capable of driving huge generators capable of 1000MW+. They can do this because the nuclear process can make huge amounts of steam to drive a huge multi stage turbine, a lot larger than for a large scale coal fired unit. If you were to connect one of those 1000MW+ generators to a 70s’ technology coal fired unit, it would not even turn, because they could not make the steam to drive the turbine to spin the weight of that rotor.

The same applies with Concentrating Solar Power (CSP). You cannot connect one of those large coal fired generators to a solar plant, because the solar plant cannot make enough steam to drive the turbine needed to make the rotor rotate. You could have square miles of mirrors all focused to the one point to heat the compound to a molten state, which is then used to make steam, to drive the turbine, which drives the generator which produces the power. In fact, the best this CSP can manage is around 250MW, and even that is usually from 5 X 50MW generators. With the enormous added cost of heat diversion so they can (theoretically) generate power for the full 24 hours, they can only make enough steam to drive one of those 50MW generators. The best they have been able to do so far is around 18MW, and even that is not on a year round basis. Averaged over a full year, it works out at around a 66% CF, which equates to barely 16 hours a day. So on perhaps the day with the longest available sunlight in midsummer, it could run through the night and give a full 24 hours of full power, but in winter, even with heat diversion, even these units barely manage 8 hours equivalence at full power.

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Upgrade coal power and cut 15% of emissions. Where is the Green applause?, 9.5 out of 10 based on 104 ratings

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290 comments to Upgrade coal power and cut 15% of emissions. Where is the Green applause?

  • #
    janama

    Exactly Anton – 15% is way above any Kyoto protocol. Now what if we were to upgrade the turbines in the Snowy Scheme?


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    • #
      Eddie Sharpe

      Isn’t the Snowy a Hydro Scheme ?


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      • #
        Streetcred

        Yep … what would that benefit be to additional generation using modern turbine technology ?


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        • #

          Here, with Hydro power generation, the benefit would not come from turbine technology, but generator technology.

          As you may guess the process is different. The flow of water, from a large head, to a smaller head pressurises the water, and this drives a Francis turbine. (image of a large Francis turbine shown here, this one from the Three Gorges Dam in China)

          The benefit for Hydro is not in the use of better turbines, because Francis turbines are basically similar.

          The real benefit for Hydro comes from the ability to get greater power from smaller generators, and here, we are talking about lighter weight in the rotor, eg, less weight to be driven.

          This was starkly shown as Snowy Hydro proceeded from its start in the late 40′s through the mid 50′s, and then to when the last of the originals went in at Tumut3.

          At Tumut 3 the generators there deliver considerably more power. There was some initial grumbling at the time that Australia had to go to Japan for the generator technology as for so long we had relied upon Western technology. As needs must, the Japanese were now experts at innovation, and they could deliver more electrical power from smaller generators.

          There’s where the advantage might be for Snowy Hydro, now getting long in the tooth. A new Snowy Hydro Scheme could, (if the will was there) see replacement of what is already there, eg newer Francis turbines, and smaller generators delivering more power. Do them one a time. The benefits would be huge, and the added advantage that this is renewable. It’s not a matter of any new dams, just an improvement on the technology.

          So, where does this thinking cross over into this USC technology for coal fired power?

          Now, if we are to move in that direction, then similar to Tumut 3 where we had to go to Japan for the technology, now we would need to go to China for this technology.

          Still, that fits in with Julia’s Asian Century thingo I suppose, better co-operation between us all.

          Tony.


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          • #
            Quack

            i’m happy to have cleaner coal and it looks better than all those unsightly turbines and panels popping up everywhere and i wonder how much coal we have to burn to produce them


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            • #
              KinkyKeith

              Mark F

              Both of your comments here seem to have good info.

              Trouble is that the “good info’ seems to be deliberately not relevant to the comments Tony has made

              and are used as an excuse to fit in little comments like: “high school physics would have been a

              worthwhile addition to your schooling” and “Your other points are valid but hardly new.”

              And to show just exactly where you are coming from, and perhaps an indicator of where you are

              going to end up we have “major forces will be caused by the transfer of fluid flow to rotational

              energy, not by rotor weight”

              True, steam/ fluid flow will transfer force to bearings and create reactive thrust but to say

              that vertical thrust on bearing due to weight of rotor is not relevant??????

              As Tony says: the composition of the rotor can be varied to give greater efficiency for the same weight by reducing support element weight and increasing magnet and winding weights.

              Please tick one of the following Mark;

              1. I am interested in learning and sharing here.

              2. I have special skills; so far not demonstrated wrt turbines and wish to share my knowledge.

              3. I am a member of SkS, ACF, FOE or the Green Nutter Left and am here to create

              misunderstanding and confusion.

              Yours in Science

              KK


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              • #
                Mark F

                Kinky Keith – you are ascribing motive to my statements. I’ll state my main point again – the WEIGHT of a rotor primarily affects rotational inertia. The SIZE of a rotor may allow improvements in the areas you have enumerated, with the “energy density” of the total assembly being an important one. My earlier example of dimensionally identical Titanium and steel rotors would allow only marginal changes in overall system design, even though the weights of the two rotors might differ by a factor of, say, 2. (Marginal includes maybe a few percent in bearing capacity, due to reduced inertia DURING SPEED CHANGES, and I’ll posit that the rotor weight is probably a very minor engineering parameter in the bearing design process.)

                I do, however, apologize for my dismissive comment about novelty – the author did, indeed, provide a very effective layman’s view of turbine evolution, which is good. Using the rotor WEIGHT as a primary, rather than secondary / consequent advantage – well, not so much.


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              • #
                KinkyKeith

                Hi Mark F,

                Maybe I was a bit jumpy after another contributor who claimed to be an electronics engineer made some comments that seemed off target.

                To be honest I have not researched generating turbines and have only a vague idea that the major cause of shut downs is to replace bearings.

                Whether the thrust bearings reacting to the steam or support bearings holding the weight are the primary problem I have no idea but obviously bearing efficiency is a major issue for these pieces of equipment..

                Tony has, I think, previously commented on inertia and I have in mind that this is handled by a very slow wind up process taking several days with similar considerations on slowing to stand still. I am also at a loss as to whether steam is sent head long at the turbine as in aircraft engines or applied tangentially to the blades in the same plane as the spin.

                In general I have been prepared to take the apparent evidence that large turbines are “good” from the fact that the Chinese are now quite at home with these large scale systems and seem on a continuing line of evolving bigger and better.

                KK


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              • #

                Okay then, while we’re on Hydro, let’s look at that.

                Unlike virtually every other turbine/generator complex mounted horizontally, hydro turbine/generators are mounted vertically. Go to the link I provided earlier to the image of one of the Francis Turbines at the Three Gorges Dam.

                The blades are in the water flow, and the head difference means that the water flowing past these blades, and driving them, is around 80MPH, and the turbine rotates at 75RPM.

                The turbine is the lowest part and the generators are mounted above the turbine, which drives the generator through a CSD (constant speed device).

                With normal power plant generators mounted on the horizontal plane, all the stress is on the shaft itself, while with vertically mounted hydro units, the only strain is on the main load bearing, and in the case of Three Gorges, that load bearing is rated at 5200 tons.

                The generator itself weighs 6000 tons and can generate 700MW.

                Three Gorges has ….. 32 of these Generators for a Nameplate Capacity of 22,400MW, the equivalent of 11 large scale coal fired power plants.

                Tony.


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              • #
                ExWarmist

                Hi Tony,

                I remember from a previous comment of yours some time back that the consumption on the east coast of australia at 3 am is approx 18,000 MW.

                Which gives some context to the three gorges facility.


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          • #
            Mark F

            Um, turbine weight equates to inertia, i.e., the resistance to changes in speed. Except for responsiveness to demand fluctuations, I don’t see an efficiency gain due to weight alone. ??


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            • #

              Here you are thinking efficiency rating and mistaking that with emissions reduction. The EMISSIONS REDUCTION is 15%.

              The thermal efficiency has also increased, as indicated in the pdf document, (page 13) but that is separate from emissions reduction.

              That thermal efficiency has increased from the low 30% (and even lower than that) area for older technologies to around 43% for this USC (page 28) with plans to get that even higher again, up around 50 to 53% (page 38)

              The weight thing you refer to is at the end stage of the process, the generator. Better technology sees less weight in that rotor, and more windings in the stator, hence larger power output from smaller generators. The weight thing (while not seemingly so) is probably one of the crucial factors. That weight to be driven requires a set size turbine which requires a certain amount of steam to make the turbine move.

              All the things are related but there are different factors ….. Thermal efficiency, emissions reduction, and increased Capacity Factor being just three of them.

              And Quack, as to coal burned, that is shown in the text under that first (top) image. For an overall plant situation, a typical (2000MW+) plant will be burning between 6 and 6.5 million tons of coal per annum, while a typical new technology USC plant will burn between 5 and 5.5 million tons per annum. So here that amount of less coal being burned is a lowering of emissions by around that quoted figure of 2.6 Million tons of CO2 ….. per year.

              Tony.


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              • #
                Mark F

                Tony, high school physics would have been a worthwhile addition to your schooling. Let’s talk about Titanium and Steel rotors of exactly the same shape. One might take 10 seconds to reach full rpm, the other 20 seconds. And, when the water is cut off, the steel one will take twice as long to spin down. But both will reach the same speed, within a fraction of a percent, with their respective identical generators able to produce exactly the same power. As I suggested earlier, there *may* be an advantage to lightweight turbine rotors, if response to rapidly varying demand is important, and for nitpickers, the bearings needed for the lighter one may carry lower stresses, but I still suspect that the major forces will be caused by the transfer of fluid flow to rotational energy, not by rotor weight. Your other points are valid but hardly new.


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              • #

                Mark F,

                it’s not the shaft I am talking about here. Here, the rotor consists of a number of magnetic poles around a shaft. The magnetic material used for those poles, the wiring around those poles, the ultra cooling of the rotors themselves. The number of these assemblies along the shaft.

                All of those things go to make up the rotor.

                Over the years the technology for virtually every part of the rotor (in its totality) have improved so much that the weight has come down considerably, hence that rotor (as a whole) is now able to be more easily driven.

                Then you can make the Stators so much larger as well, because they have no need to move. The rotor’s magnetic fields induce huge EMF’s in the stator, hence power.

                As each part that goes to make up the rotor as a whole have improved, then the weight has come down.

                In the same breath the technology of the driving turbine itself has improved hence they can now include more on that rotor as a whole sum of all its part, hence now wrapping a bigger stator, hence greater power.

                Then they improve the steam, hence they can now drive a larger turbine, hence they can now drive a rotor with more parts in its totality, hence a greater stator hence more power.

                As the technology improves at every stage of this process, then you can get greater power from smaller generators.

                All dependent upon the weight of the rotor as a whole unit.

                Better and lighter magnetic material with less Hysteresis losses. A tighter and narrower magnetic, umm, field. Wrapped with wires to increase the strength of that field. Cooling it to further increase the magnetic field.

                More poles around the shaft and more of these pole assemblies along the shaft.

                Then back to the original principal. This huge monster magnetic field(s) spinning at 3000RPM induces huge EMF’s into the stator, hence larger amounts of power.

                All stemming from what is in that rotor.

                As each part of the process improves then the power output increases.

                Tony.


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              • #
                AndyG55

                Mechanically speaking, I think you may be on the right track.

                A lighter rotor, with more poles, thus spinning at a higher rpm to produce the same frequency would indeed be more efficient.


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              • #
                AndyG55

                And not to forget big improvements in magnet materials .


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              • #
                AndyG55

                Another comment bofore I finish this bottle.

                INERTIA is highly important with all the current so-called renewable feed-ns

                The system MUST be able to respond to bigger fluctuations, and while efficiency is good, stability is a must. !!


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              • #

                Some basic theory may help here:

                1. In a well designed plant, the thermodynamic efficiency is set by the temperature difference between the boiler and outlet. Hence the emphasis on the high temperature which is the major improvement (and major accomplishment.) This can also be accomplished by a combined cycle plant where a gas turbine’s exhaust gas boils water in a steam cycle.

                2. For a given frequency, an ac generator runs at a speed determined by the number of poles. They are NOT limited to 3000 or 3600 rpm. Add more poles and the speed to give the required frequency lowers. Of course this is fixed in the design.

                3. To get more power out of an ac generator, you do not spin it faster as that would increase the frequency. When the load demands more power, you have to push it harder at the same speed. Otherwise the frequency will change. If you want to change the output voltage, you vary the field strength.

                4. When I toured a local hydro plant (Bonneville Dam), the tour guide said that the limit to large turbine speed is keeping the velocity of the tips of the poles at the circumference below the speed of sound.

                5. Energy is always conserved.

                Thanks
                JK


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              • #
                Quack

                thanks Tony, that’s great and im sure your stats are spot on!!!


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              • #
                Andrew McRae

                Tony says:

                the weight has come down considerably, hence that rotor (as a whole) is now able to be more easily driven.

                Mark F says:

                for nitpickers, the bearings needed for the lighter one may carry lower stresses

                In the real world:
                1. Newton’s First Law applies. (almost alluded to by Mark F)
                2. Friction and drag are external forces which must be counteracted to keep the rotor at constant speed. (never mentioned by Tony despite many opportunities)

                By point 1 the rotor weight by itself makes no difference to the electrical power generated, but other things you change about the rotor (materials, windings, poles) that could increase power may affect weight.
                Making the rotor smaller may make more power, but not because of the lower weight, more to do with lower aerodynamic drag of the rotors as they spin.
                If you have the rotor supported by ball bearing races (which are called anti-friction bearings for a reason) then you have only a tiny amount of friction on the bearings to contend with. By point 2 It is possible a higher weight rotor creates a higher friction in the bearings, thus sapping more working fluid power parasitically just to keep the rotor at constant speed.

                My conclusions are…
                Reducing the rotor size reduces drag and improves efficiency for the same rotation rate.
                Reducing the rotor weight may improve efficiency only to the extent bearing friction was significant.
                Therefore To keep total bearing friction the same, any increase in windings or poles must be paid for by weight reductions in other components of the rotor.

                As I am only dabbling in mechanical design here, I am happy to be corrected if I have got it wrong.


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            • #
              Yonniestone

              Mark F, I have a link to Victory Library with a very good explanation of flywheel weight vs inertia in Harley engines, http://victorylibrary.com/tech/inertia-c.htm It helped me understand torque when building my engine.


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              • #
                Mark F

                And that has everything to do with acceleration (responsiveness to throttle, as in responsiveness to hydrological head), and nothing to do with top speed or constant speed efficiency. Lightened the flywheel on my very first sports car, a 1960 Turner club racer from the UK. Sprite engine albeit “tuned” with headers. Horrible car, but weighed less than a sprite. Now the Climax-engined version of same – well, I could only dream at the time.

                Even at that, a lighter flywheel on both a Harley and a 948cc A40 engine would make a difference in achieving high revs, so long as neither were in gear. Vroom, vroom! Overcoming the inertia of a 1000 or 2000 lb vehicle, well, that kinda overwhelms any little advantage of a pound or two of rotational inertia. On the other hand, revving up to downshift can happen faster, and the burden on gearbox teeth and synchro rings would be reduced. (Taught my daughter to drive on an old VW Rabbit – she caught on to double clutching real fast!)

                Now, lightweight rotors in turbochargers can make a bit of a difference in lag times, I’d guess. But we’re way off topic /mark


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            • #
              Yonniestone

              Yes, and that responsiveness to throttle as well as reaching the same top speed is the improvement in rotor design, as a lightweight rotor in turbochargers will still be reliable 150,000 plus rpm with less wear and tear on bearings etc.
              I think the confusion is in reducing weight vs reducing diameter as both have different inertia effects on a rotating mass.
              If the lighter turbine can exceed the weight loads of the heavier one then the points proven.
              The bottom line is the new turbine design works better and that’s a good thing.
              Thanks for the car stories too.


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            • #
              Mark F

              OK – let’s do some more arithmetic. 700 megawatts, about a million horsepower – well, 900,000 roughly, but let’s use a million.
              Torque works out to something on the order of 10^9 ft-lbs. The diameter of the turbine is about 20 feet, radius therefore 10 feet.
              So, 10^8 or 100 million pounds of lateral force turning the rotor at full generation. About 50,000 tons. IF the entire weight of
              the genny is supported by the bottom end bearing, the load is about a tenth the lateral force. And I’d assume that only the shaft weight would be involved, not the entire generator weight. The lateral force would be the same in horizontal or vertical axis alignment. The end thrust on horizontal axis geometry would be comparatively low.

              So, I still say that the weight of the rotor is of little consequence, but agree completely that the “at the bottom’ configuration is great.

              My brain fell asleep hours ago so I could be off by many orders of magnitude, so please correct any errors. /mark


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          • #
            Brett_McS

            Great article. But has not hydro-turbine design also made great strides? I saw a documentary the other day about the Hoover Dam upgrades and they were talking turbine efficiency increases of very large factors over the originally installed ones. The new ones were also from the China Three Gorges project and were designed to work efficiently at all expected water head levels. Quite a work of art, in fact.


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            • #
              AndyG55

              Think manufacturing tolerances.

              Magnet and electronics improvements..

              even improvement of the purity of materials etc.

              every little bit helps
              ( ignore caps.. feeding time at the zoo)


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            • #
              AndyG55

              I must admit to some trepidation about the 3 gorges dam.

              I hope they have designed it to somehow cope with absolute unimaginable river flows, or they are deep doo-doo !!

              Certainly an engineering feat I would like to look into in much more detail if I ever have time .


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              • #
                AndyG55

                I would probably want to go further than that.

                Look at historic rainfall records, do the same sort of calcs that they do for ARR (Australian rainfall and runoff)

                I’m assuming that have already done this, with flood records that go back a LOT further than ours do.

                But still.. I hope they have very large safety margins built in, because it holds one heck of a lot of water !!!!

                The Dapto storm scared the heck out of the engineers involved in Warragamba Dam.. hence that massive new spillway.

                Nature is HIGHLY variable, and our tiny historic records only gives us a brief glimpse of what she is capable of.


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          • #
            bananabender

            MarkF,

            Inertia is potentially a huge problem in hydro power stations that are used to generate on-demand electricity. Even a few seconds reduction in spin-up time would save millions of litres of water per cycle. In reality the difference would probably several minutes.

            On the scale of the Three Gorges even tiny efficiency gains would amount to billions of dollars savings over a few decades.


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    • #
      Jon

      If you get more for less that means that ALP will loose “income” some way or another?

      If you upgraded your plants it would mean at least 15% less coal is used and I guess there are one or more taxes on coal?


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  • #

    Great article Tony. An exemplar on how to make a lot of technical points accessible to the average reader.

    Pointman


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    • #
      cohenite

      I agree; it should be mandatory reading for the Coalition so they can get rid of their ridiculous support for the RET, and divert some of the obscene money allocated for the RET into new coal technology and Thorium.


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      • #
        Allen Ford

        Not only the Opposition, Cohers, but Labor, Green and Independents, as well. Can I suggest a campaign by bloggers on this site to do just that? It will at least flush out the greenies as the frauds they are.

        I am game if you all are!


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  • #
    Backslider

    What would be interesting Tony would be some cost factors. We are wasting billions on renewable energy that will never ever make the grade. What would it cost us to upgrade?


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  • #
    Eddie Sharpe

    To be fair, what self respecting Green is going to impressed by 15%. The Green Dream is to slash consumption and imposing intermittent and unreliable windmills will help to ensure that, both by their inability to provide any reliable baseload and by the enormous waste of taxpayer’s wealth being squandered on them, which makes us all the poorer.


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    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      That 15% improvement in efficiency is only unimpressive to the abysmally ignorant. That pretty much describes the Greens.

      green, adj.: Lacking sophistication or worldly experience; naive. Easily duped or deceived; gullible.


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        Tim

        The green radicals don’t have the ability to make decisions based on facts, rather than on personal feelings or beliefs. No objectivity.

        They have unreasonable and prejudicial opinions because they’ve lost the ability to stand back and weigh up the evidence from both sides.

        I should know – I was one of them. Then I decided to educate myself and question the dogma that I was being fed. I now see it for the gigantic fraud that it is.


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        • #
          ExWarmist

          Tim says …

          The green radicals don’t have the ability to make decisions based on facts, rather than on personal feelings or beliefs. No objectivity.

          Once you have abandoned the use of reason, and critical thinking – you are left with making decisions based on your emotions.

          This leaves you more vulnerable to the manipulative operations of psychopaths.

          I do not think that it is a coincidence that Green Ideology provides an explicit rejection of reason and critical thinking, as the power operators at the top of the Environmental movement are IMHO clearly psychopaths, and they will promote ideological frameworks that facilitate the very operations that sustain their own elevation within the broader group.

          Some may question that the environmental movement provides explicit rejection of reason & critical thinking, and yet it is not hard to find that reason is demonized as patriarchal, capitalistic, exploitative, etc, and that critical thinking is demonized as divisive, wrongheaded, a sign of mental illness, etc.


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    Andrew McRae

    Our favourite coal lubber strikes again. Just wait and watch how the ivy masochists dodge the facts.

    And just to rub salt in the wound of the wind talkers, where you say this:
    >> “produces 25% more power in a year than every wind tower in Australia.”
    …did you mean “produces 25% more power in a year than all wind towers in Australia combined“?

    This supercritical fluid state sounds interesting. Would that mean you have supercritical fluid water on the turbine inlet, and after the pressure drop over the blades the outlet has liquid water spraying out of it? In that case I don’t understand how “the water does not need to boil to produce steam”.
    Or did you mean the water is in a closed circuit and remains supercritical the whole time? Because in that case there would be no boiling but the pressure ratio across the turbin according to that graph would be only 27/22 or 1.22 which doesn’t sound like much of a ratio, even if that does amount to several MPa of pressure.
    I seek clarity on that point, good sir.

    On an economic tangent, I remember reading that Spain was giving up to 60% subsidies on solar power at some plants a few years ago. This was so attractive to foreign investment that the amount of capacity that got built was three times what Spain had planned. Of course that means three times the subsidies had to be paid for power produced. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether that was a contributing cause of their sudden national debt crisis. ;)
    And the Spanish economy was touted by Obama as a wonderful template for how Green Jobs could be created! Maybe they should give him the Nobel Economics Prize too?

    And the wind talkers like to tell us coal power is “subsidised” because some power stations get a tax break. How’s the double-speak!
    Power is the basis of every other action in the economy, so it is counter-productive to artificially increase the cost of it through tax or to decrease the motive for cost efficiency by providing subsidies. Governments should just leave it be!


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    • #

      Andrew,

      firstly, yes, that is more power from that one generator than all the wind towers in Australia COMBINED.

      Now there’s probably something inherently spooky about looking at a bland image of a USC plant.

      What (for so long now) has been the abiding image media uses to show those filthy disgusting derdy polluding coal fire power plants?

      Those big fat concave concrete stacks belching all that disgusting white stuff out the top ….. steam ….. water vapour.

      Look at an image of a USC plant, not just the turbine/generator, but the plant as a whole, and there is an image of that plant on page 27 of the pdf document linked to under that second image of the chart.

      No fat steam stacks.

      Now take this link to Bayswater Power plant here in Oz. This is a good basic idea diagram of a typical 70′s/80′s technology plant and you can use the scroll bar under the image to scroll across to see the whole (basic) process. Note the multi stage turbine driving the generator.

      The furnace/boiler/pressuriser sends high pressure steam to stage 1 (driving it) and steam then goes in 2 directions, one, back to the boiler/pressuriser, and two, to the second stage where added steam comes in as well as that from stage 2. From stage 2, some steam goes back to the boiler/pressuriser, and some to stage 3. From stage 3, some goes back to the boiler/pressuriser, and then some to the cooling ponds under those fat stacks with the steam bellowing out the top. (sometimes only visible on cool/cold days)

      With USC, it’s a closed system, and all the steam is recycled throughout the system.

      Note here the advantage.

      Early technology has that steam vented to the Atmosphere, hence the need to boil more water to make new steam to add to the system.

      Now, with USC, there’s no need to burn extra coal to make new steam to add into the system, well added extra amounts of steam anyway.

      So, we’re now using less coal, 15% less coal as per the text under the first image, a reduction of that 15%, hence less emissions, and now also no added water, or less added water anyway.

      Open system older technology, closed system new technology.

      The superheated steam comes as the pressure is increased, as the coal boils the water originally, and then the pressuriser superheats that steam as pressure is increased.

      I hope this offers some explanation, and here, keep in mind, I have to simplify this for the average first time reader.

      And here, I would like to emphasis you take the 15 minutes or so to read that pdf document in its entirety.

      Tony.


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        Peter

        Tony,

        Your decrption of the Bayswater is slightly confusing in the process path. The steam from the boiler/steam generator goes through the High Pressure Turbine, then back to the boiler/steam generator to capture more temperature (improve efficiency), to the intermediate stage and then the Low Pressure Stage. The exhaust steam is then cooled to water (saturated temperature)and then pumped back into the boiler/steam generator. The cooling towers supply the cooled water to the condensor/heat exchanger, goes back to said towers and cooled. The steam/water cycle is primarily closed, even areas where steam is taken off to increase efficiency are captured. UCS are still primarily the same http://www.flowserve.com/Industries/Power-Generation/Conventional-Steam

        Or have I mistaken your description.

        There is vast improvement in technology but in regards to boiler/steam generators for UCS is the fact that there is no latent heat(old name need to research enthalpy/entropy)ie converting wet steam to dry steam (takes a lot of energy).


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      Maverick

      Exactly Andrew “governments should leave it be”. This is the fundamental problem with today’s governments are “sticking their big snouts” (Winston Wolf), where they should not be.


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    Roy Hogue

    Now if we could only get that common sense hour started…

    ;-) , :-) or :-( , you choose.

    Or is it none of the above?


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    Cookster

    Great article Tony. A big reason why I drop in on Jo’s blog is that as a non scientist, complex scientific concepts are explained in layman’s terms to ordinary concerned folk like me. You have provided a welcome addition to this.

    So by Demonising Coal in Australia we prevent the political impetus to building more efficient plants that would reduce CO2 emissions by 15%. Instead we are building more wind and solar plants at huge cost and very suspect benefits.

    One hopes Tony Abbott’s team is listening. I’m not sure if it’s already been mooted but it seems to me that some of Abbott’s ‘Direct Action’ budget would be better spent on upgrading our Coal generation using this newer technology.


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      CameronH

      Cookster, Every time the Government interferes with the natural development of any business or technology slows and efficiency declines. This is a universal law.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        I think it was Winston Churchill who said, “It is the business of Government, to provide the means for Business to get on with business.”


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    ExWarmist

    Thanks Tony – well said.


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    Alexander K

    Tony, excellent technical writing for lay people such as me.
    Good stuff, mate!


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    Peter Miller

    The world’s big growing economies have no problem using coal – i.e. China and India. Germany is also building new coal fired power stations.

    In the UK – you could not make up its energy policy – wood chips are now being imported from the USA to burn in the big power stations, as opposed to using coal, for which they were originally designed.

    Coal provides cheap, reliable energy.

    Wind and sun provide expensive, unreliable energy.

    New coal power stations, as pointed out by TonyfromOz, are hugely more efficient than even a couple of decades ago.

    In the 0% chance the world enters Thermageddon because of new coal fired power stations in India and China, we might as well burn coal as well. Actively implementing policies to destroy the western world economies because of theories (CAGW) based on the unfounded conclusions of goofy, greenie ‘science’ is just plain stupid, unless of course you are a populist politician.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Peter, do you happen to know what coal reserves Britain still retains?


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        Malcolm Hill

        Yes

        http://www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/energy-gap-security/coal-and-the-energy-gap-security

        UK has plenty of reserves but they imports heaps as well..depends upon the type and what its going to be used for.

        But for real idiocy importing chopped up trees from the USA to power the Drax turbines is cuckoo land stuff, that only incompetent greenoids pissing in the wellies of incompetent pollies could achieve…. sanctioned of course by a manipulative scientific fraternity ( including economists) all bereft of any common sense.


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        Alan

        Rereke

        Not sure if I agree with Malcolm’s “heaps”. Best source for info is the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. This states that the UK has proved reserves (definition in the pdf) at the end 2009 for bituminous+anthracite (no sub-bituminous or lignite) of 155 Mt or about 9 years production at current rates R/P ratio-not much at all. Compare this to Australia with total of all the above categories of 77,200 Mt or 186 R/P, the USA of 238,300 Mt, 245 R/P and China 114,500 Mt for 38 R/P.

        See why they have to import. Now exploration/evaluation may up that reserve but that’s a MAY.Also the China figures indicate why they are keen to secure energy resources.


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          Thank you Alan, for the numbers and the reference.


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          Peter Miller

          This is from someone at the British Geological Survey, which suggests around 17 billion tonnes of coal in resources. Remember, there is a big difference between resources and reserves.

          The NIMBY factor and goofy government regulations will probably result in a recoverable resource of less than one third of the above figure.

          Much of the UK’s remaining coal has a relatively high sulphur content and the seams are usually not as thick as those from overseas. In other words, most UK coal deposits are not really economic to mine, not helped by the subsidies given to other energy sources.

          I am not sure if there is still a ban on the open pit (much cheaper than underground mining) exploitation of coal, but it seems highly likely considering the idiocy of the country’s energy policies.


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          • #
            Alan

            Peter

            Would be interested in a link to that 17 Bt number as I have not been able to track any such (reliable) figures.The UK Coal Authority has given figures of the order of 4.5 Bt but with no detail of how they arrived at these, with the majority described as “potential”. Best from the BGS is here. Aware of the resources/reserves issue – that is my day job, hence pointing out that the BP report contained a definition, which by the way is similar to Australia’s EDR, or Economic Demonstrated Resource, a combination of JORC Measured + Indicated Resources. A Resource by definition under most reporting codes must have the potential for economic extraction. Many government groups (and some companies)report anything and everything no matter what potential it has. You mention thinner coal seams and that is a good example, a 1.5m thick seam at >1000m is not going to be to attactive if you want to make a profit but often included in what governments call “inentory coal”.

            UK still has open pit mines,opencast as they call them, and in fact they produce more (9.7 Mt) than their underground (7.0Mt)2009/10. Not sure if you can blame nimby factors or goofy governments (guess you mean left leaning) as it was really Thatcher that killed off the British coal industry with her fight against the unions. Leave that to Australian governments.


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    Aussieute

    Brilliant article.
    Makes so much sense but as Jo said in the intro … It’s not always what it seems with the Greens Thye don’t want coal at any Co2 saving. Luddites!!
    Off to post this in my weekly newsletter


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    Yonniestone

    Once again Tony you make your point by using actual data and honesty, which many so called experts will not.


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  • #

    This should be shouted from the rooftops. Dare I suggest the MSM??? (No? Thought not).

    Seriously, we should wave this at the greens, we should demand – yes demand – that they rejoice with us. It’s what they asked for. It’s more than what they asked for! The true believers, the ones led astray, WILL rejoice. All those who do not rejoice are showing they are not “believers” at all but rather very deliberately seeking to bring down civilization for other reasons, none of which has anything to do with saving the world or CO2.

    We should wave this at the politicians, too, for exactly the same reason.

    Rejoice – or show your true colours! Save the world – or destroy it? Which side are you REALLY on? Ask a greenie today! Ask a politician today! :D


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    ianl8888

    The greenies have already spoken on this issue

    Again, from TallBloke’s website:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/a-personal-appeal-to-britains-politicians-wake-up-from-your-warm-dreams-fuel-poverty-is-killing-people/

    USC design, as TonyOz says, is well demonstrated in China. South Korea, Taiwan and Japan are also implementing it. All of these countries use thermal coal imported from Aus


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    KinkyKeith

    Tony

    This seems to be a must read.

    KK :)


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    Gareth

    Sorry to be a bit negative Anton; I’m an electrical/electronics engineer and your article read a bit like “Stephen Fry explains … How Christmas Tree Lights Work” on The Register (www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/18/frytard_photo_caption_competition).

    “It takes a lot of energy to turn something so incredibly heavy at such an extraordinary speed” – really! – gosh! (although probably you mean “power”, not “energy”, and I guess that depends on frictional and cooling air/drag losses).

    Don’t get me wrong, burn as much coal as you like, but it would be good to have a clear explanation of the 15% efficiency gain. I can understand that in a supercritical system you might loose the latent heat of evaporation bit in a Rankine cycle (i.e. steam engine)- but wouldn’t running a system at higher temperature mean that the exhaust was hotter and you threw more heat to atmosphere?

    Do please tell us how it works – people need to know these things ;-)


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      Backslider

      wouldn’t running a system at higher temperature mean that the exhaust was hotter and you threw more heat to atmosphere?

      As an engineer, do you really think this is the best thing to do with heat?


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        Gareth

        As an engineer, do you really think this is the best thing to do with heat?

        It will of course end up there anyway, and then presumably radiate into space in the end. The trick being to get it to do something useful on its way, like turn into electricity.

        My point being that with a high exit temperature (if that’s what a super critical system implies), quite a lot wouldn’t do that, so losses ought to be be higher, therefore efficiency lower.

        Assuming that the 15% gain is real, I’m interested where my reasoning is wrong.


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          AndyG55

          Come on Gareth.

          Energy removal potential is related to delta temp.

          Think, lad !


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          KinkyKeith

          Hi Gar,

          To quote you;

          “if that’s what a super critical system implies”.

          Sorry, there seems to be a misunderstanding here.

          We thought that YOU were telling us how it works and is therefore wrong?

          Are you telling us something, or are you just acting like an ACF or FOE W$n$$r who is asking for the truth?

          We are confused Gar, just as you seem to be.

          get a life.

          KK :)


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        • #
          John Brookes

          The theoretical efficiency of any heat engine depends on the “hot” and “cold” temperatures between which it operates. Raise the hot while keeping the cold the same, and you’ve got a more efficient heat engine.


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            AndyG55

            WTF !!

            JB says what I was trying to get Gareth to think about.

            Maybe there are remnants of the supposed science/physics education there, afterall !!


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            Mark D.

            I’ll be darned! I agree with John B.

            Gareth, the steam isn’t “vented” it is recirculated.


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          • #
            Streetcred

            Don’t be alarmed folks … jb came in here late with that paraphrased post following advice from his faculty lecturers. Good on you jb for seeking proper advice first … see it isn’t difficult and you learn something at the same time.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Well, I would recycle the exhaust water/steam, and the energy it still contained, back into the start of the process so that less energy was required from combustion of coal to reheat the water/steam back to operating temperature.


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        Backslider

        Hmmmm… two down votes for a legitimate, friendly question.

        I smell warmists….. they just cannot help themselves.

        So Gareth, tell us what you think about “global warming”?


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      KinkyKeith

      Gareth

      Gareth, Gareth

      You are an engineer?

      Really

      Pull the other leg?

      Sounds like you might be a graduate of the University of Oregon or perhaps USkS.

      Of course, us engineers all know that the Chineese are inherently STUPID and built the units Tony is describing for no other reason than that they are , stupid?

      Stupid.

      KK :)

      Go Tony.

      Gareth

      Here is a thermodynamic problem.

      Every time I fart the atmospheric temperature in my trousers increases from RT of about 20 C to 36 C.

      Admittedly we are only talking about a volume of 0.35 litres but when multiplied by the billions in the world, many of whom eat copious quantities of curry, we may have a source of heat that cannot be ignored.

      I’m sure you could figure out away of putting this energy to good use; ideas?

      When you have it worked out send the thesis to:
      T Flannery
      Riverside Boulevarde
      Brisbane Waters
      Gosford
      NSW

      Immediate peer review is assured.


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        Tim

        KK – So you have access to the ‘Rent a Peer Review’ crowd. Now there’s a money spinner for you.


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        Backslider

        we may have a source of heat that cannot be ignored

        I will put that one on my list.

        A light turned on for me the other day (pardon the pun) when somebody here posted a pic of the lights all over the earth during Earth Hour. It dawned on me that all of those lights are putting out a lot of HEAT. +1 for global warming.

        In the same way it dawned on me the other day that the Computer Age has seen the proliferation of BILLIONS of computers…. now just imagine all the HEAT coming off all of those? +1 for global warming.

        Now, you and I well know that the Indians have spread their curry dishes all over the World, with Brits being among the top curry eaters after Indians themselves. That’s a hellava lot of farting and a damn incredible amount of HEAT. +2 for global warming (I now think this one is the main culprit).

        I am feverishly working on my thesis and soon hope to submit it for peer review.


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          Backslider

          Oh, I forgot to mention the methane… another GHG.

          Now, can you just imagine all those methane molecules sniggering away as poor innocent old CO2 gets blamed for everything. Its damn curry eaters’ methane that is the problem!

          Ban curry today!!!!!


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          KinkyKeith

          Backslider,

          I think you are on to something there.

          So, the greatest danger to the Environment is Curry an Computers?

          KK :)


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            Backslider

            I think so, yes… or I could be wrong, but then at least we are talken about a lot more HEAT than anything we may get thrown back at us from CO2.


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        Mark D.

        KK be nice! We could use some fresh faces here.


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          KinkyKeith

          Yes Mark

          True, some people, like G, may be just naturally patronising and in need of time to settle in.

          On the other hand he seems to have disappeared.

          Mark F has started up new and has some posts which have content – maybe I was a bit irritated by G and it spilled over.

          KK


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      Yonniestone

      Gareth, as an engineer you should be familiar with wet or dry Industrial Scrubber systems that can use a heat recovery coil (exchange) to re use heat anywhere in the process system.
      The heat is so low on some wet scrubber systems the outlet stacks are usually made of a poly or fiberglass product.
      I believe coal stations to have concrete and steel stacks mostly maybe someone can give more info TONY???
      The water from a wet scrubber system is neutralized to be recirculated or disposed of safely, including many that (after rigorous testing) disperse out to sea.


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    • #

      Gareth,

      thanks for the reference to Stephen Fry. I’m all chuffed now.

      As you can understand, I have to aim this not at the engineer level, but at the level so the average person who has no understanding of something like this can begin to see the complexities of power generation, and make that explanation as simple as I possibly can.

      What I am relying upon here is that those engineer level readers will have their interest piqued also, and can then go off and chase up that information themselves.

      And here, with this Post, what was extremely helpful was input from Joanne. I wrote the basic post, and what she did was then rework it so that the average reader would understand it even more easily. I sort of suspected this Post may not actually get off the ground because of the possible boring factor. So in writing the original submission my aim was to attempt to at least see if Joanne could understand it, with the distinct probability, that if that did happen, then I had partly succeeded. Joanne then suggested changes that have indeed made it easier for the average person to understand it, and THAT was my aim.

      I could just say that USC is great because of the lowering of CO2 emissions. What I needed to try and do was to explain why a needs b, which needs c, which needs d, etcetera, and to then try and put it all together in a way that people can see some form of correlation.

      And the explanation for the 15% efficiency gain is again a misunderstanding. That’s a 15% lowering of emissions. (a needs b, which needs c, etc) That 15% lowering of emissions is explained in the text under that top image.

      True, efficiency, (thermal efficiency) is also increased, and I explained that in Comment 1.1.1.1.1

      Tony.


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        Sceptical Sam

        Tony, have no fear; it is a very readable and understandable article. Thanks.

        As you say, the engineers can chase up the detail. We’re not all engineers, so your plain English version is tops with me.


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      Speedy

      Gareth

      It’s probably just boring old real world economics.

      If an engine or a turbine is throwing away valuable heat, and if that heat can be economically recovered, then you would do it. If there is a lot of heat going into a turbine, then you make the turbine larger or similarly augment it so that the energy from the exhaust is worth less than your marginal investment and operating costs combined. In this way, you maximise the internal rate of return for the overall facility.

      As an engineer, you would realise that the core activity of your working life is minimising waste and optimising opportunities such as the above.

      Cheers,

      Speedy.


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    AndyG55

    The big question is HOW do we get the politicians to see reason on these issues. ?

    How do we overcome the stigma that the greens have somehow managed to propagandise against EFFICIENT, CLEAN, SOLID, CONSISTENT coal fired electricity ?

    Coal has everything in its favour as the source of electricity in Australia, and all we need is to upgrade current power stations to modern generators.


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      KinkyKeith

      We have all the detail.

      What’s needed now is to condense it into small chunks of info that are digestible by the public.

      Constant repetition of the excess costs imposed on power users by CAGW mania is the answer; people hate being ripped off.

      KK


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      Sceptical Sam

      Sack the Climate Commission and appoint an Engineering Commission in it’s place.

      Sack the ARC soft-option research priorities and replace with engineering, mathematics and non-CAGW science priorities.

      Sack the green left socialist Labor incompetents and replace with a competent government.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      HOW do we get the politicians to see reason on these issues. ?

      White -> clean

      Black -> dirty

      Coal is black

      Therefore Coal is dirty (or derdy, depending on your enunciation).

      Windmills are white

      Therefore windmills are clean.

      Sunlight is white

      Therefore solar energy is clean.

      These simple messages are the sort of messages that simple politicians can understand.

      These are the simple messages that you need counter, in order to overcome the stigma that the greens have somehow managed to propagate about coal fired generation of electricity?

      I have been trying for several years now. Let me know if you come up with any ideas.

      Oh, and by the way, Nuclear energy simply has no colour at all, which simply makes it far worse than simply anything else.


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    Yonniestone

    Tony, are all the black coal’s good to use in this USC or is there a preference and is brown coal an option?
    Also how does Coal seam gas power compare to USC is there a possibility to combine the two?
    Thanks Tony.


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    • #

      Sorry, Yonniestone,I missed this one.

      With this technology, there is actually the capability of using different grades of coal, and even coal blends, in other words, mixing of different grades of coal.

      All the coal is crushed to powder form before injection, in fact as fine a consistency as talcum powder, and as it is crushed it is dried, so this is why you can in fact use different grades.

      As far as I can see, it also works with brown coal as well.

      Most of Australia’s coal deposits are bituminous coal, (and to a much lesser extent sub bituminous coal) both black coals and ideal for power plants, and the Lignite (brown coal) used in Victoria/SA.

      As to CSG, that would be a different process, gas fired power plant. The CSG is used to drive a gas turbine which drives the generator.

      Typically, power plants are one (coal fired) or the other, (gas fired) but not both.

      Tony.


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  • #

    Iirc years ago, CSIRO were involved in the development of USC technology. Certainly read about it in one of their newsletters. Didn’t keep it unfortunately. Assumed I could always find it on their website :-(


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    Garry

    ‘Upgrade’ seems a simple thing, but changing to supercritical means building a whole new power station to replace one which has not reached the end of its service life – hardly economicallyn responsible.

    On the other hand, the brown coal generators can get a significant (more than 15%) improvement in their efficiency and reduction in CO2 by the comparitively simple measure of coal drying. Brown coal is wet, but it is so cheap that the economics do not stack up for even this simple upgrade.

    In relation to renewables, another reader said:
    Coal provides cheap, reliable energy. Wind and sun provide expensive, unreliable energy.

    Noone mentions geothermal – it seems to have slipped off the radar, but it looks likely, once initial development problems are overcome, to be a similar cost to large scale coal (including mine development) and is reliable 24 x 7.


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      MudCrab

      geothermal – it seems to have slipped off the radar, but it looks likely, once initial development problems are overcome

      Yes, those development problems…

      I think you have answered your own question. :)


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Yes, those development problems…

        First, find your volcano …

        Second, find a source of reliable and plentiful water that is close to your volcano …

        This was hard enough in New Zealand, and for Australia … ?


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        Sceptical Sam

        I seem to recall that Geoscience Australia had a geothermal system incorporated into its new (then) building in Canberra some years ago.

        I wonder if it ever did an assessment of its efficiency. RoI and IRR could be interesting ;-(


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      Streetcred

      Professor Flannery’s investment in geothermal put paid to any further advancement. He has the same effect on things as does ‘algoremanbearpig’.


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      MichaelB

      Environmental Clean Technologies process called Coldry uses low grade heat from a brown coal power station to dry brown coal mined nearby. Up to 20% of the coal burned can be the dried coal without modifying the boilers at all. As the dried brown coal has lower emissions this shandy can have a considerable reduction in overall emissions. Whilst this may not be a long term solution, it hopefully will be a gap filling option until the power station is upgraded along Tony’s lines.


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      Rob JM

      Brown coal is dried before burning as it basically wont burn otherwise. Thats why it is less efficient than black coal as you use up so much energy drying out the coal. Further energy gains can be gained by turning the coal into a powder before putting it into the furnace.
      The reason we use brown coal in victoria is because of the huge accessible supply close to melbourne. Transmission losses are huge for electricity and so the closer to the city you can generate the better.
      I have heard efficiency gains of over 30% could be achieved replacing some of the old stations such as hazelwood which are highly polluting (no SO2 scrubbing) and past their designed life.


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    Ian Macmillan

    Not only is it regretable to see newspaper grade reportage of such an important topic here, but that an article containing so many half arsed statements, for one example: ‘…you now also have a saving in water use as well, as it does not need to boil…’ should be accepted so uncritically by what one would hope to be an informed readership.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      So, it might be helpful if you contributed your view, and corrected any errors of fact, rather than just complain about, “so many half arsed statements”.

      That is, of course, assuming that you understand the topic throughly enough, to be able to express the concepts in language that a layperson can understand.


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    • #

      Ian Macmillan,

      Sometimes, in the writing of the original, some things get missed, and here is an example of one of those.

      As this USC uses a closed steam loop, there is no need to boil NEW water to make NEW steam to add into the system, as I explained in Comment 5.1.

      Tony.


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    MudCrab

    Okay, just to clarify the blantant…

    Here in South Oz there is a movement to replace the Playford B power station (240MW) with Concentrated Solar Thermal. They go on little marches and have their own FaceBook page and ran their own little public survey so they MUST be right… provided the Government pays for it.

    So Tony, what you are saying is that if Playford B is replaced it will have to be with the biggest CST plant possible which is nominally 250MW. This gives us a theoretical imcrease (say for future growth mayhaps) of 10MW *IF* everything works as planned.

    If everything does not work as planned, then at night we have a powerstation that, as I understand it, is a lot more expensive, but produces about 230MW less.

    So, just to clarify, these CST for Port Augusta people are completely deluded, right? :)


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  • #
    Sonny

    Lets see what the trolls have got to say about this one.

    They should welcome this, but they won’t. Coal is the enemy!


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    • #
      AndyG55

      One of them is here.. note the thumbs down at #17 ;-)

      Prolly waiting for someone at SkS to tell them how to respond.


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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        … waiting for someone … to tell them how to respond.

        Peter Ustinov, on a talk show, told a wonderful story about how he sat a music examination whilst at school, and only got one question wrong.

        That question was, “Name a Russian Composer”. He answered, “Rachmaninoff”. Unfortunately, the correct answer was “Tchaikovsky”.

        (And for those people who suffer from the impediment of a post-modern education; the joke is, that they were both Russian composers)


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      John Brookes

      It is at best an interim measure.

      A bit like an obese person switching from butter to one of those butter/oil mixtures. You’d commend them for it, but its unlikely to fix the problem.


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        Backslider

        Oh puhleese John Brookes. From where are you going to get your baseload without coal fired power? Yep, you got it! Let’s all go nuclear!!!

        Are you seriously telling us that you would be willing to give up your aircon and rely on “renewable” energy? Why don’t you just start saving the planet now and cut yourself off from the grid?


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        • #
          John Brookes

          I’d go nuclear, yes.


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          • #
            Backslider

            You heard it folks! Rather than go with a safe, clean, biosphere friendly solution such as coal, John Brookes would rather go nuclear than give up his aircon.

            Nice one John.

            Now, talking about interim measures, since you are NOT on nuclear now, how about you do the right thing (according to your own philosophy) and disconnect yourself from the durdy coal grid?


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          • #
            JunkPsychology

            That’s commendable of Mr. Brookes and all, but what percentage of his fellow environmental campaigners will accept nuclear power?


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          • #
            Safetyguy66

            Spot on JB. Future generations will look back at the way we have managed our uranium and curse us. Dig it up and sell the ore, dont even attempt to do anything constructive with it for no other reason than luddite fear mongering and rank idealism.

            In 1000 years some show like Time Team will dig up an area of a paddock and discover the remains of a wind turbine and comment ” its very difficult to understand the rationale of our ancient ancestors, with almost half the world’s uranium and an abundance of gas, coal and oil, they still chose to build these quaint and primitive windmills”

            Shame!!


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        Heywood

        Yes, but it will be a 15% REAL reduction in emissions (not a paper one) whilst also providing BASE LOAD power.

        That’s a good idea, yes?


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        Sonny

        At best an interim measure…… Haha [snip] haha ass-clown.
        Put down your smartphone and disconnect your laptop and wifi if you hate the fruits of the permanent measure of cheap affordable electricity.

        Because the permanent extreme measure of cutting off all power and production from our lives will do this eventually.

        [snip]


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    janama

    I did a quick spreadsheet comparing household rooftop solar costs to modern coal costs.
    If we were to put a 3kW solar system on every rooftop in the country (7.6 million households)it would cost around $51 billion at today’s advertised cost, and that includes the Government rebate.($2.191) It would have a generating capacity of around 22gGW but as the German experience has shown us that is really around 15GW in practical terms and provided that the whole of Australia was cloud free. :)

    Kogan Creek, the latest high tech power station in the country cost $1.2 billion so for the same money we could get 44 Kogan Creeks with an output of 33GW day in and day out!


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      KinkyKeith

      Well done!


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      crakar24

      Janama,

      If you times the capacity by about 5 you get the daily output, here in SA we get about 7 x capacity in summer and about 3 x capacity in winter so the yearly average is 5. Thought this might be useful.

      Cheers


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    • #

      Ze Tshermun eggshperienz ist: Nicht so Gut

      First graph show actual load as well as actual wind and solar power infeeds against time. Red is thel load; blue wind and yellow (when you can spot it) is solar. (NB: Germans use a dot as the thousands separator)

      Nominal total wind power capacity is 30GW. Solar nominal total is 32GW giving a total of 62GW; clearly more than enough for “baseload”. Nominally. :-)

      In reality, they come nowhere near that line.


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    pat

    india, china, japan wouldn’t seem to be turning their backs on coal!!!

    26 March: Australian: Paul Garvey: Rinehart partner soars on coal find
    SHARES in Gina Rinehart’s Queensland coal exploration partner International Coal have soared after the company confirmed what it said was a “significant” discovery…
    Mr Simpson said the quality of the coal at Bundaberg had seen the company field inquiries from industrial groups in India, China and Japan…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/rinehart-partner-soars-on-coal-find/story-e6frg9df-1226605808059


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    Albert

    The Greens like to show a picture of a dirty old power station in the UK that was closed 30 years ago. The photo was taken after sunset and before last light. The water emission looks black and filthy because it was filmed in low light.
    Many people are conned into believing co2 is visible.
    Over time the power station technology has improved and we burn less coal more cleanly to deliver more power, I believe we call it progress and we apply it to every area of our lives.


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    pat

    every time i try to open this page, it gets shut down, but u get the picture:

    27 March: ABC: Wong signals ‘sustainable’ budget super changes
    Penny Wong has given the strongest signal yet that the Federal Government intends to change the tax on superannuation for high income earners…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-27/wong-signals-sustainable-budget-super-changes/4597050


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  • #
    ExWarmist

    61 comments and not a single watermelon?

    They seem to be avoiding this topic for some reason…

    I wonder what that would be?


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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Hi Ex

      “and not a single watermelon?”

      Are you sure?

      Sometimes they don’t look like watermelons but try to sew doubt and uncertainty by subtly rubbishing contributions?

      KK


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        Yonniestone

        KK, So if it walks like a duck and QUACKS like a duck it’s a watermelon?


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          KinkyKeith

          http://joannenova.com.au/2013/03/upgrade-coal-power-and-cut-15-of-emissions-will-the-greens-consider-coal/#comment-1258892

          What sort of bird is this; or am I just being hard to get on with.

          A few weeks ago we had a few commentators who appeared just as Lord Monckton was doing his thing.

          These new people agreed with all of the skeptical science but Rubbished Chris M.

          It seemed obvious to me that they were here to discredit CM and the science , as usual , was irrelevant and something they could conceded for the other main purpose.

          maybe I have an overactive imagination

          KK :)


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          • #
            Backslider

            The down votes say he is a warmist troll.


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            Yonniestone

            KK, I’m maybe too subtle so here goes, QUACK is a troll that sets up commenters using childish naivety to fish for responses that the regular trolls can use for arguments/attacks.
            BTW I have been visiting this site since 2008, where I downloaded the Skeptics Handbook, and only started to comment after encouragement from Lord Monckton upon meeting him 18/02/2013.
            If QUACK is not a troll in my defense I have been guilty of asking women when the baby’s due only to be tragically wrong.


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            • #
              KinkyKeith

              Hi Yonnie.

              I have been puzzled by Quack to the point that I don’t even see his comments now and had not even considered him amongst the possible trolls. Ha. I just couldn’t figure out what he was doing here.

              SORRY

              It’s been a very hot day and I am old – old.

              I just noticed that the comment above contains QUACKS in caps ; arrgghhhhh

              KK :)


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                Yonniestone

                KK, No worries mate, I didn’t know if there’s a way to introduce yourself here so I guess I jumped straight in, also you have to be careful sometimes how much information you give about yourself just to keep the “Unibomber” types at bay, or maybe it doesn’t really matter now?
                So if you don’t mind a Boilermaker from Ballarat being here, hello to all.


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                KinkyKeith

                The closest I’ve been to Ballarat is when we visited Portsea a long long time ago.

                CM was right, the best way to learn is to comment and see what people say.

                I have picked up a huge amount from other people here and think that Global Warming can be explained in terms that anyone can understand; that’s if the effort is made by the writer.

                Watermelons throw scientific terms around and can be crafty little devils.

                KK


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                Yonniestone

                KK, What you said reinforces my opinion that skeptics have the ability to learn, warmists don’t unless for selfish pursuits.
                Ballarat is maybe the best heritage city in Australia, well worth a visit but pack your warm clothes it can get cold, not much warming going on here I’ll give you the tip!


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                KinkyKeith

                Hi Yonnie,

                Cold down there is it?

                Back in the old days when my Grandparents were alive you could get a steamers from Newcastle to Sydney and they advertised to Sydney-siders that they could holiday in the warmer area of Newcastle.

                So, If they found a difference between Newcastle and Sydney which is only 60 nautical miles, and there is a difference, then what must it be like in Ballarat?

                KK


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                Yonniestone

                KK, we’re about 450m above sea level and surrounded by ranges that seem to capture any cold air, a bit like Canberra maybe?.
                It’s about 4C cooler on average than Melbourne but often colder at night, this winter when you see Melbourne 12C daytime Ballarat will be 8C high for the day.
                In Victoria Ballarat is seen as the coldest but there’s plenty colder, one day in winter I worked at Daylesford 40kms NE of here and it got to a high of 0.5C, I was outside working in the sleet and almost pissed myself as my hands wouldn’t work to undo my zipper.
                People complain but I find winter here to be quite beautiful especially in the bush, and you really appreciate the change in seasons as summer can go over 40C.


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                Quack

                are Unibomber’s the ones that going around blowing up universitys or are you trying to have a go at my level of education? just because I didnt attend university doesn’t mean my opinion shouldn’t be valued. you dont have to attend school or have a degree to be smart — just ask Sir Richard Branson and Bill Gates. you may not agree with the things i say, but you should at least show respect!!!


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                Backslider

                You misunderstand Quack (as did KinkyKeith) – they are not talking about you.


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            Gareth

            Hi KinkyKeith (and others),

            I’ll try to respond to your comments politely and hope that you’re genuine in what you say rather than just trolling.

            After the first Climategate release, one of the things that prompted me to research into “Global Warming ™” was the reaction of the warmists to what seemed quite sensible questions from skeptics. The reactions tended to be quite ad hom – rather (IMO) like yours.

            I believe that it is important that we deal with facts, and are accurate in what we say, and leave half truths, hand waving supposition and personal attacks to Al Gore and his mates.

            My original criticism of the article was based in part on how it was written – if you follow the link I gave I think you’ll see what I mean. The other part of the criticism was a question of how a system where the steam remained super critical could give higher efficiency as that would imply that the exit temperature had to be above 700K – hence my reference to latent heat of evaporation.

            My mistake (following some Googling) – turns out that “super critical” only refers to the input to the turbine, the outlet side goes to a condenser same as before. Higher temperature differential equates to higher efficiency equates to lower emissions and lower fuel cost for the same output.

            One final point – you might not recognize the origin of the “duck” reference: it was used during the McCarthy persecution in the USA to smear people who disagreed as “Communists” – a bit like calling someone a “Climate Denier” maybe? Do you only want people that (you think) agree with you posting here?

            Regards to all,
            Gareth


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              Yonniestone

              Hi Gareth, a fair point on having the right to question and debate in a mature way, and having the courage to admit a mistake shows class.
              You must understand that I have watched these “genuine” commenters battle it out with warmist trolls for years now and you have to develop a thick skin and sense of humor to keep going, everyone has a different way of dealing with things but I don’t believe for a second that people on here are selective in being open minded.
              As for the Mc Carthy reference ignore the propaganda and comparisons to the “Salem witch trials” and (if you haven’t already) have a read of Dr Skousen’s book “The Naked Capitalist” he was assigned to the FBI at the time and gives a more genuine account of what went on during these times.
              Thanks for the reply.


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              KinkyKeith

              Hi Gareth

              Good of you to come back to look at your first posts and why I took some little offense at the style shown.

              Unfortunately this latest seems to be cast in a similar vein but at least you acknowledged that “politeness” is important and I must admit I wasn’t being polite in my first comments.

              Your comments here relate mainly to technical issues which were not what concerned me so I’m not sure that your new post helps me understand where you are coming from.

              If my comments are useful, the first posts had these things sticking out as “issues” of politeness.

              ————————————————————————–

              Put Down 1: Setting the tone. Sorry to be a bit negative Anton;

              Establishing Authority: I’m an electrical/electronics engineer

              Put Down 2. your article read a bit like “Stephen Fry explains … How Christmas
              Tree Lights Work” on The Register

              Put Down 3. “It takes a lot of energy to turn something so incredibly heavy at such an
              extraordinary speed” – really! – gosh!

              Technical Nit Picking: (although probably you mean “power”, not “energy”, and I guess that
              depends on frictional and cooling air/drag losses).

              Moderation of Put Downs: “Don’t get me wrong, burn as much coal as you like”

              Criticism of Tony’s Post: ” it would be good to have a clear explanation of the 15% efficiency
              gain”

              Technical Stuff: You state: ” I can understand that in a supercritical system you might
              loose the latent heat of evaporation bit in a Rankine cycle (i.e. steam
              engine)- but wouldn’t running a system at higher temperature mean that the
              exhaust was hotter and you threw more heat to atmosphere?

              My Comment: Gareth , since you seem to have introduced yourself as a Technical Expert I am a little bit concerned that you seem to run out of technical expertise and throw this back at the author. Why don’t you explain it to us.

              Sarcasm: Do please tell us how it works – people need to know these things

              Bulking Additive: “It will of course end up there anyway, and then presumably radiate into
              space in the end. The trick being to get it to do something useful on its
              way, like turn into electricity.”

              Circular Logic and Confusion: My point being that with a high exit temperature (if that’s what
              a super critical system implies), quite a lot wouldn’t do that,
              so losses ought to be be higher, therefore efficiency lower.

              Pouring Doubt on the Author: Assuming that the 15% gain is real,

              The Challenge: “I’m interested where my reasoning is wrong.”

              Gareth, what reasoning?
              ________________________________________

              These are the things I jumped at and the new post doesn’t seem to address any of this?

              Gareth, I’m interested where my reasoning is wrong.

              KK


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    Hasbeen

    Come on Jo, how dumb do you think we are?

    That picture couldn’t have been of a coal fired power unit.

    To start with where are the lumps of coal & where’s the grit & grime.

    Yes you’ll have to do better if you want us to believe it is a coal fired anything. Hell I did not see a single man with a shovel, & everyone knows that is how you chuck coal into a boiler.


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      Ross

      Hasbeen
      I note from the doc. from which the photo was taken the plant was built in 2006.Presumably it was designed in about 2003 so one built today would look even better !! or at least would have significant technological improvements.


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      • #

        The technology was originally done as a joint venture between the Chinese and others, but the Chinese then went out on their own and started doing it all themselves. They now have (as at 2010) 35 of their own complete units in operation, and that’s for the whole process, the USC part and also those larger 1000MW generators, the Chinese being the first to drive a 1000MW Generator with this technology.

        That’s all they are building now, so that 2010 figure of 35 units has most likely increased by a huge rate.

        And the Chinese are not keeping this to themselves either.

        This USC technology, having got this far in China, sees other Countries coming and asking the Chinese to do it in their Countries, notably in Africa the Arabian Peninsula, and in a large way, in India.

        Tony.


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          ianl8888

          @TonyOz

          And, as I commented above, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan


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          • #
            gytr_r1

            Ian.. It’s metallurgical coal.. There’s a difference between them.. From my understanding, met coal is the best burning and also used in alloy creation with various metals, mainly in the steel making process. I know the site I work at sells blends of coal grade for met purposes, with very limited thermal sales..


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              Alan

              Not likely at about twice the price for a marginal increase in contained energy. Metallurgical or coking coal has the ability to form metallurgical coke when heated to about 1000 C in the absence of oxygen, the coke is then used as a reducing agent. A certain amount of energy is still obtained from the coke in the furnace but this is supplemented, generally, with what is known as PCI(pulverised coal injection)coal which is high energy (semi-anthracite)but doesn’t have the coking properties.
              Met coal is special stuff and you need a lot of “ducks lined up” to form it, hence the price differential with common old garden variety thermal coal. Evaluation of coking coal deposits is also more involved as many subtle parameter variations can ruin it.


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        Andrew McRae

        Now that would be an interesting Photoshop challenge.
        “If Apple Made Coal Fired Powerplants”

        The iBoil. :)

        I’m picturing a gigantic plug for the electricity grid magnetically attached to the side of the building.


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      Maverick

      if we can get a few thousand people to re-post the photo with the description and ALT tag “dirty coal fired power station”, in no time this clean photograph will be the #1 result on Google images


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      John Brookes

      At something like a tonne per second, there would have to be an awful lot of blokes with shovels!


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  • #

    I saw a “documentary” on TV a few days ago about replacing the workings of a steam turbine at a nuclear power plant.

    The first thing that struck me was that they were using steam off the primary reactor circuit to drive the turbine. It was therefore “hot”; radioactive. As a consequence; so was the old turbine. The whole thing was normally encased in concrete; blocks stacked high all round.

    I was next struck by how small the turbine was with about 2 metres internal diameter. The outside casing made it look much bigger.

    The turbine upgrade with 3D blades was to provide “only” a few percent more power; but then that’s free steam as far as the operators are concerned, so they can sell electricity for less AND make a bigger margin.


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    John Watt

    This discussion appears to concede that reduction of CO2 emissions is a cost-effective benefit for climate. My understanding is that this is not so (John Nicol et al).

    More efficient turbines,operation at more efficient regions of the steam cycle and more efficient fuel combustion are objectives the relevant branches of engineering continue to pursue with the pleasing results we see in the new Chinese power plants.

    Hopefully engineers will continue to pursue efficiency in all its forms regardless of the uninformed,lemming-like utterances of our various politicians.


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    Dennis

    I am sure that the superior method is wood chips rather than dirty coal, the EU extreme green socialists have ordered the UK to swap to wood chips so it must be better, Greens are never wrong and know all about trees.


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  • #

    Okay, now here is a very interesting ballpark, with an absolutely astonishing outcome, and at every stage I’ll show you the Maths involved here.

    Bayswater currently has plans to upgrade their plant to USC, and the conjecture is that it may (or may not) go ahead. The proposal calls for all 4 units to be upgraded, and here please understand that this is a complete rebuild as the only thing the same would be the coal going in at the front end. So, my idea would be that they would do something like this unit by unit while the old technology units stayed running.

    That proposal was pooh poohed as it was still coal fired power, again with the total lack of understanding what this new technology means, so at the same time, Bayswater was asked to do a parallel proposal for CCGT (closed cycle gas turbine) again a complete rebuild from scratch, and again, a completely different process. This process uses a (very similarly described basic explanation) gas turbine similar to a jet engine to drive one generator. the exhaust from the gas turbine is used to boil water to steam to drive a secondary turbine which then drives a second generator. So here, this second proposal is vastly more complex. and added to that is the extra impost of having to construct a huge gas pipeline from a gas field to the plant, keeping in mind the short supply of gas here in Australia at the moment, and in the same breath Bayswater having on site access to their own coal already.

    Bayswater suggests that the original USC proposal for 4 new units would cost $2.5 Billion.

    So then let’s look at something new, and watch for this absolutely astounding result.

    Let’s not replace all 4 units with what Bayswater proposes, that being 4 X 660MW units for the same Capacity as the 70′s generators already are.

    First, let’s look at the Bayswater site for their info, and please don’t refer me to the Wikipedia site which grossly overstates everything bad they can find, so let’s actually go with the information that the plant has at its own website.

    Bayswater Power Station Information Page

    Note in the introductory text they quote the power delivered to grids as approximately 16,000GWH per year. Now, scroll down to the bottom for coal consumption and see that amount as 7.5 Million tonnes. Those 2 figures are the basis for the following.

    I haven’t done an exercise like this previously, so you can imagine that I had to do the Maths three or four times before I could actually believe my own eyes.

    Let’s not upgrade all 4 units at Bayswater.

    Let’s just do 2 of these Chinese technology USC with the 1000MW generators. So now we have only 2000MW compared to the existing 2640MW (CAPACITY).

    Here, we will also use what the Chinese are now certain of, a Capacity Factor of 92.3% for power delivered to the grids for consumption.

    So that’s 2000(MW) X 24 (hours in a day) X 365.25 (days in a year, leap year included as the .25) X .923 (CF of 92.3%) and then to convert from MWH to GWH, we divide by 1000, giving us 16,182GWH, which is the same as the current power delivery of approximately 16,000GWH

    So, here we have this new USC plant delivering the same power for consumption as what the existing plant does.

    Okay then, the second figure, the current existing coal consumption of 7.5 Million tonnes of coal.

    Let’s do the calculation for the USC plant at the stated Chinese consumption, now more than three/four years old, that being 282 grams of coal burned for every KWH generated.

    16,000GWH X 1,000,000 (to bring that to KWH) X .282 (282 grams or .282KG) and then divide that by 1000 (convert KG to tonnes) which gives us 4.512 Million tonnes of coal being burned.

    Now that new total divided by the old total and then multiplied by 100 gives us 60.1%.

    So, this new USC plant burns 40% less coal, hence 40% less emissions.

    40% less CO2 emissions for the same power delivered for consumption.

    40% emissions reduction.

    40%.

    Has that sunk in yet?

    So, a new plant of this nature would emit 8.6 million tons of CO2 less per year than the existing plant.

    40% CO2 emissions reduction.

    Need I say more?

    Tony.


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      Backslider

      Need I say more?

      Yes please Tony. How much would it all cost to do the same with renewables (not burning trees!) – solar and wind power?


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    • #

      So, doing the same calculation for the proposed replacement at Bayswater, and that’s 4 new units driving 660MW generators.

      Keep in mind that before China moved to these new 1000MW generators, they also used these 660MW generators, and that 92.3% Capacity Factor also applies to them, in fact to all USC plants, some in use for much longer than these newer 1000MW units.

      So, if Bayswater were to just do their proposed new 4 units with 660MW, then the total power delivery would be 21,400GWH, an increase in power delivery of 33%.

      As to coal burned going on that maximum (92.3% CF rating) then the coal burned comes in at just a tick over 6 million tonnes, or a reduction of 20%.

      So, heaps more power, and an emissions reduction of 20%.

      Keep in mind here that even with a lower CF, then the coal consumed would also be less, hence greater emissions reduction.

      Some may ask about the differential between what I have calculated here and the main Post reduction of the mentioned 15%.

      Bayswater is currently running at around a 70% Capacity Factor. That has dropped over the years, as the plant is now almost 40 years old, and obviously will not be running at new plant CF, which for large scale coal fired power is around 80 to 82%.

      Maintenance comes more often, hence units are shut down, and now with the CO2 tax, and the caps imposed by any ETS, then that CF will reduce even more, as the plant operators seek to pay as little as possible in the way of CO2 taxes, and still keep up supply.

      So, a new plant not only increases power output to the grids for consumption, it has the added bonus of actually lowering emissions.

      That’s if we have to do lower CO2 emissions in the first place, and every time I mention something like this, I think I’m actually playing into their hands by even mentioning it at all.

      However, the important thing her is that we modernise power generation, extend the life span, and generate more electricity for an increasing consumption, and most importantly, actually have a 24/7/365 availability of power.

      The emissions reduction is almost incidental when all that is taken into account.

      Tony.


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      Andrew McRae

      Coal; is there anything it can’t do? :)

      That is an amazing result. Surely it is too good to be true. But if there is any mistake in that projection it is not obvious to me. It seems straightforward.

      Now as to logistics, do they have space to build a USC unit without dismantling any current steaming unit? Presumably one of the four units is turned off for maintenance at any one time anyway?? So they could assemble as much of the USC unit as possible and wait until the steamer it is adjacent to comes up for next maintenance outage, do a quick switcheroony, test out new unit at full scale, and when the old unit’s maintenance period ends they switch that off while the the new one is still running. It all seems so easy from the position of my armchair!
      Then they will have the biggest garage sale in Victoria. :)

      When that is a proven success it will be judgement time for the warmists and coral lubbers: were they merely Luddites, or actually trying to take civilisation down?


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        CameronH

        Andrew,
        It would not be possible to convert existing units. The current infrastructure has material limitations with respect to the metallurgy of the boiler tubes and turbine shafts and bladding. The maximum temperature that most current technology can handle in 530C with pressures of about 17 mega pascals. One on these upgrades, I believe, would require the scrapping of the entire boiler and turbine infrastructure and starting again.


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          Andrew McRae

          OK but that’s not what I meant, thoughts racing ahead of my typing speed as usual.
          I meant could they build the USC boilers and turbines right next to the current gear in the same shed. Therefore the gear is all built while the older units are still running, then one day switch over which one is feeding the grid.
          Or could they dismantle one unit at a time and replace them progressively.

          Just looking at Hazelwood now on Google Maps, the building don’t look large enough to do that.
          The only spare room for expansion is to build a whole new building to the west of the current one in the space between the coal conveyor and Brodribb road.


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        As I mentioned, the only similarity between old technology coal fired plants and USC is the coal going in at the front end.

        It’s a complete new construction.

        I could imagine the old plant staying in operation, and each new unit being constructed one at a time. As the new one becomes ready, the old gets turned off and ….. etcetera.

        Plenty of jobs, either for construction and removal of the old units.

        Or, in this age with so much green protest, the old adage may apply, as they look at me and say ….. “Tell him he’s dreamin.”

        It’s nice to speculate, but I feel that the uninformed friends of the dirt greenie acolytes will see that anything of this nature gets canned. I can see an apoplectic Christine Milne right now, totally and utterly uninformed, and not even bothering to find out, going literally ballistic at the mention of anything with the word coal in it.

        What is nice is to hit these people with facts like this, and show them up for the uninformed idiots they really are.

        Tony.


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          Dennis

          To experience the stupidity of extreme Greens take a holiday in beautiful Tasmania and talk to the locals about loss of jobs as green tape wrapped in Union Labor red tape wrecks businesses.


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        AndyG55

        “Coal; is there anything it can’t do?”

        Great stuff..

        Why do you think it was put there in the first place, …

        … but for our use and progress !!

        We are, afterall, His children.


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      The “upgrade” process in Germany(*) is to build new “blocks” to house the new technology adjacent to the existing plant to utilise as much existing infrastructure as is reasonable, including especially the grid connection.

      That saves not only in infrastructure connections, but also allows maximum production to continue until the new gear is ramped up to take over the load. Once a new block is fully commissioned, decisions can be made about mothballing or demolishing the old blocks. Demolishing provides space for the next generation.

      Were e.g. nuclear to be used, then the proximity to coal would be an obstacle. The background radiation levels are too high from the coal. The NPP needs a heat sink (river, lake, sea), proximity to the grid and 2 or more sealed road for deliveries of nuclear fuel by a single truck; every couple of years for a “conventional” LWR or a weekly delivery by van of a barrel of fresh salt for a molten-salt reactor. And for staff on their daily commute. But only about 100 on a regular basis.

      (*) Of course, environmentalists often throw a spanner in the works and prevent completion of works for which there was previously approval. vis e.g. previous discussion


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        Andrew McRae

        The background radiation levels are too high from the coal.

        Whaaaat?

        I know coal has trace amounts of uranium and radioactivity. But why would this be a problem for a NPP, of all things?


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          The average level of radiation within a nuclear power station, apart from the “hot” areas, has to be so low, that it’d be lower than the natural level of background radiation in some parts of the world. If the independently-monitored levels in a nuclear power plant (NPP) are too high, then the NPP gets its licence to operate pulled and has to shut down.

          So those who build NPP, try to build them in areas of low background radiation, both natural and from other processes.


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    [...] issues, but improving the use of coal is always a good thing, and China leads the world: Upgrade coal power and cut 15% of emissions. Where is the Green applause? If the Greens cared about CO2 they’d be very interested in ways to reduce emissions. But their [...]


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    Sorry Tony although I am very much a Climate Sceptic when it comes to coal fired power stations you got it wrong. I should know I commissioned and operated them for many years.
    Firstly Super Critical boilers have been around since the early 70s and are nothing new. We called them once through boilers i.e. water enters the tube .travels through the boiler increasing temperature and pressure as it travels through the boiler. It finally arrives at the turbine to give up its energy to drive the turbine.
    The problem is the major risk of carryover (moisture) if there is sudden drop in temperature or pressure. Should that happen it can cause major damage to the turbine.
    We looked at super critical boilers but they were no more efficient and more risky than the modern 660 megawatts units which became the accepted standard throughout the world because of their efficientcy, reliability and operation.
    And NO we DO NOT HAVE OUTDATED AND INEFFICIENT units.
    And NO they were NOT built in the 70′s the most recent was completed for operation in 1993
    yes there are some old power stations like Yallourn that is 40 years old and should have been replaced but we also have the most efficient and modern units in the world. here are a few
    Mount Piper 2 x660MWs upgraded to 700Mws. Completed 1993.
    Bayswater Power Station 4x660MWs completed 1986.
    Eraring power Station 4 X 660MWs units completed 1984 and upgraded to 720MWs in 2011 to 2012.
    I suggest you read my article ‘The Truth About Power Stations’ on my blogsite http://www.terrycardwellsblog.blogspot.com.au

    I have no doubt the Chinese have taken the technology a lot further but to suggest our power stations are old and inefficient is wrong. It also would take up to nine years to build a supercritical or any other unit but YES we do need to build more thermal coal fired units. We have the best coal in the world and enough to last over 400 years at present usage and known amounts.

    What are these 70′s units you refer to?,

    I don’t doubt they have improved efficiency on their units but not by 15% on the modern 660/720 MW units. You would be comparing it to the old 30MW and 100MW units that are long gone.

    The weight of the rotor has little bearing on the generating ability. We could turn them by hand if we had to.
    The thermal coal fired generators are single pole machines and rotate at 3000rpm. The only multi pole machines are the Hydro Electric units at the Snowy that are thirteen pole machines and rotate at 230RPM. All alternators are cooled with pure hydrogen which conduct heat 14 times better than air.
    You have misunderstood the action of a supercritical boiler- water turning to steam depends on the pressure and temperature. The higher the pressure the higher the temperature before water turns to steam. The superheated steam is what drives the turbine and gives up energy and pressure. If water in any form were to reach the turbine it would destroy it or at least cause major damage.

    As for saving water. The water is the carrier, it absorbs then energy in the way of pressure and temperature and transfers it to the turbine as rotational energy. Once that energy has been expended it becomes low pressure condensate which is pumped back to the boiler.
    There is no water loss or wastage it is a closed cycle process, no matter how big or what type the unit. So NO you would not be saving on water.

    Australia thermal power generation is over 85% of total demand and peak capacity is 50,000 Mega Watts not 25,00 Mws

    The rest of your article I agree with except that Solar powered thermal generators would NOT run up to sixteen hours and more likely 10 unreliable, inconsistent hours of power maximum. Which would require spinning reserve of the thermal power generators to back it up. Because they are running at reduced load they are also more inefficient.

    Now after all this the World Resources Institute informs us that there will be another 1200 Thermal coal fired power generation units being built throughout the world, with a total output of 1,400,000 megawatts or TWENTY EIGHT TIMES The total capacity of Australia. Which is 50,000 Megawatts
    Most of these are in China, India and Russia. Does this ALONE show how stupid this government is.

    http://www.coalpowermag.com/plant_design/Countries-Worldwide-Propose-to-Build-1200-New-Coal-Plants_473.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2638998&hq_l=23&hq_v=265ad8784b (copy and paste)

    Terence Cardwell


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      Maverick

      Wow, Tony deserves a sincere three cheers for all the analysis he has put forward but whether new coal power technologies are as good as Tony says or not, Terrence’s last line says it all because as I have learnt on this blog in the past there is no empirical evidence of AGW and even if there was Australia’s contribution is so small that murdering every person in the country would not make an iota of a difference to global emissions yet the government are taxing our fundamental basis of developed lifestyle. In this 15 second media grab world we live in these are the messages we need to keep driving home for the masses.


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      Terence,

      thanks for the input.

      I’m not knocking the existing older technology coal fired plants here in Australia as being inefficient.

      What I am knocking is the lack of foresight to be upgrading these plants to newer technology, thinking hamstrung at virtually every step by this green madness that CO2 emissions need to be reduced.

      Here, we have new technology that actually does reduce emissions, and more importantly, gives us newer power generating infrastructure to see us into the future, a fast approaching future while those existing plants just age away to decrepitude with nothing to replace them.

      Barely three years ago, the average age of the whole U.S. coal fired fleet was almost 50 years, when the average life expectancy for a plant was 50 years, and this was the average for every plant in the U.S. and even now, with those older and smaller plants being replaced by gas fired plants, the average age is still 47 years. Having said that, not one plant larger than 800MW has closed in 5 years.

      The same here in Australia, the longer we wait, the older they get, and there’s nothing to replace them.

      As I mentioned in the main text those older plants, 60′s/70′s/80s all burn 330 grams per KWH delivered for consumption while these new USC plants which are working exceptionally well all across China now only burn 282 grams per KWH delivered.

      Blinkered thinking is what is hindering replacement of (still fine) Plants that currently fill the need, but here we have a new technology that provides considerably greater power and emissions are actually reduced.

      Australia currently has 4 super critical plants, all in Queensland, all burning less coal than equivalent sized older technology plants, but even they are lumped in with the generic coal fired nomenclature mainly by people with no concept of what the technology is capable of. Because it is coal fired it is assumed to be ancient technology by those people not willing to look any further.

      China is making this USC work, and finding even newer technology on top of that.

      USC is still only young technology, but it is working, and is in fact expanding, so they must be doing something right.

      Tony.


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        Mattb

        Tony I have a feeling that the coal industry and power generators are big enough and smart enough to be making governments aware of this miracle of efficient coal generation. Of course a price on carbon is exactly the sort of thing that could encourage them to upgrade… but of course neither major party in Oz seems able to grasp this (I note you pick on the Greens). They will just offer payouts and the generators are laughing all the way to the bank with the ageing equipment they have at present.


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          AndyG55

          Umm.. Mattb, you cannot teach someone like Gillard, Labor and the greens ANYTHING. They do not want to listen, they lack the ability to learn.

          The Libs… Maybe … Perhaps.

          There are at least some reasonably intelligent people in the Libs, not just union hacks and lawyers.

          That is the hope we have, that the Libs can be educated to understand common sense.


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        ianl8888


        … in fact expanding

        I was also told quite recently that USC units are being installed in Russia and the Ukraine, but I don’t know the facts of this

        A small team (I’m part of) is assessing a current Russian proposal which includes this possibility in May next, so I may be able to supply public data from this inspection then


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      Mark D.

      Terence Cardwell and or Tony, could you comment on how much of these efficiencies are because of generator design improvements via better pole construction, how lighter weight rotating parts reduce stresses and permit closer tolerances (therefore better magnetic efficiencies)?

      Thanks


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      CameronH

      Terrence, Super critical units do have an efficiency advantage but I thought that it was not as much as Tony states. A typical non critical unit runs at about 35% to 36% and I thought that super critical units were about 42% but it is a few year since I was involved. The main water usage in steam thermal generation is with the cooling water circuit and not with the boiler steam circuit. The way around this is with dry cooling towers such as at Kogan Ck, or to build the Power Station on the coast and use seawater for cooling such as the Gladstone Power Station at Gladstone in QLD.


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    pat

    surely the Chinese were sniggering:

    27 March: Age: Peter Hannam: Carbon tax ‘crucial’ to Australia’s global standing: Combet
    An Abbott government would risk Australia’s international reputation and undermine its economic interests if it scrapped the carbon tax, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet told a joint climate forum with China.
    Mr Combet told the forum in Sydney, which included Chinese National Development and Reform Commission vice-president Xie Zhenhua, that by scrapping the tax it would sever Australia’s links with global moves to put a price on emissions…
    Mr Combet’s comments came as modelling by research group RepuTex found abolishing the carbon tax would effectively halt investment in the renewable energy sector overnight without other changes to support the industry.
    Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt rejected the research as out-of-line with industry assessments. He said the Coalition supported the 20 per cent renewable energy target.
    “In particular, the finding contradicts claims by others in the industry that Australia is on to track easily achieve and potentially exceed the 20 per cent figure. As the industry makes clear, the RET drives renewable energy not the carbon tax,” he said…
    ‘‘To pretend that Australia lives in a vacuum, and that we can repeal the most cost-effective way of reducing emissions in our economy, is a complete fantasy,’’ he said.
    Mr Hunt dismissed the claim that Australia’s reputation would suffer if it dumped the carbon price.
    “The US, Canada, Japan have all walked away from (emissions trading) schemes,” he said. “Unfortunately, the government is desperate to pretend that other countries are imposing such massive increases in electricity prices on their citizens.”
    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/carbon-tax-crucial-to-australias-global-standing-combet-20130327-2gu3c.html


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      Backslider

      abolishing the carbon tax would effectively halt investment in the renewable energy sector overnight without other changes to support the industry

      Well, they just need to get their game together, don’t they? Nobody has ever fricken supported me and my industrial efforts!


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    janama

    Terence – you failed to mention Kogan Creek – our latest power station 2007.

    according to Wiki:

    The Kogan Creek Power Station is a 750 megawatt coal fired power station owned by CS Energy on the Darling Downs in Queensland.[1] The $1.2 billion plant is situated at Brigalow, in the Surat Basin between Dalby and Chinchilla.
    Kogan Creek is the largest single unit generator in Australia and was built by Siemens. It was opened by the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Minister for Mines and Energy Geoff Wilson on 27 November 2007.[2]
    The power station uses supercritical steam technology and air-cooled surface condensers, which reduces water consumption. The plant consumes 90% less water when compared to conventional power stations through the use of dry cooling technology.[3]

    Supercritical boiler, 750MW.


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    ChrisM

    I am only a boring old steam turbine engineer but there is a lot of confused thinking going on in many of the responses above.

    The main reason why the new plant is higher efficiency is the steam is at higher temperature and pressure, so the second law of thermodynamics does the rest. There are economies of scale, but they are more effects than causes. They could only do the supercritical stuff (all it means is that the water temperature and pressure are such above 375°C and 221bg from memory that there is no phase change between steam and water) so it needed a lot of high technology to hold together. The steam temperaure in the front end of the turbines (and boilers) is over 600°C. The steel is red hot. This needed very special metals that could work in these conditions. Now many of the steels used are stainless which can take the heat and stress but has its own issues. They also needed a lot of computer aided design to get it to all hold together. The generators needed a lot of work because even at 98% efficient, they still have a lot of heat to dump (12MW for a 600MW machine) so they now use ultra pure water circulating through the conductors. The most highly stressed components in a turbine generally the endrings and these limit the diameter, hence MW. The new rings are still non-magnetic but about twice the strength of standard high tensile steel so they allow big generators.
    In a constant speed machine, the rotating weight isn’t such a hindrance. If anything, it can be a benefit as it adds to the grid’s inertia so plant or load tripping out doesn’t cause as rapid a fluctuation.


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    Dave

    .
    It’s time to get real with the Australian public.

    Smoko time today I asked what 5 workmates think about wind and solar power to cut greenhouses gases?
    Replies:
    1. South Australian and Tasmania use wind and solar only.
    2. But SA imports power from Victoria when the wind doesn’t blow at night.
    3. But it’s wind power they get from Victoria.
    4. Well if we don’t stop pollution, the seas will rise and it’ll get relly hot.
    5. You blokes know nothing, in Germany and Europe they only have solar and wind and they’re safe.
    6. But here it’s going to get worse because of all the fossil fuel we are burning.
    7. Wind is really good, cause in Tassie they are coal free.

    This went on for the whole time. This is the general feeling of the bullshlt sprouted by the GREENS and ALP. CO2 is really believed as a pollutant by most I meet in work and play. It’s considered very dangerous and should be eliminated. I have two problems:

    1. Need to convince people that CO2 is not heating the globe to boiling point.
    2. Need to convince people we need 24/7 reliable power supply for all.

    I then printed out this article by Tony and gave a copy to each of them. They were amazed it was reasonably easy to understand. They all read it and couldn’t believe the fact regarding windmills etc.

    I can’t do anymore than this, print this great article and hand them out, then talk about them. Some guys are so gone they just screw them up and walk away, but some read them and talk to me later, saying they didn’t know any of this stuff. I give them the link to Jo’s website.


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      KinkyKeith

      Great piece of work Dave.

      KK :)


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      Yonniestone

      Dave, good on ya bloke, I get the same reaction but more often people will come back for more info, and how frustrating is it when you know they only spout what their fed via the MSM?
      Every little effort counts, Hell! how’d you think this propaganda got circulated in the first place, fight fire with fire I say and teach people to think for themselves again.
      This is not the time to be shy about public speaking, go for it!


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        Dave

        .
        KK & Yonniestone,

        I love the good yarns and chat at smoko & lunch. Majority are hard working people. And most are struggling at the moment (mainly contractors). I find if I yell out my opinion up front, they all go quiet and tend to talk about footy or old times etc.

        I have just been asking questions lately (after reading articles like this of Tonys) and then keep my mouth shut. Then I just give a short summary about what Tony has said etc – then hand them this printed article. It’s working.

        It works better than arguing with the converted ones.

        And this is exactly how these GREEN cretins started this bullshlt in the first place. So I’m just giving it back. One or two a day will do me – and then we can get Australia back to some real innovation and technology.


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          Yonniestone

          Dave, your right, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but somehow the Greens substituted honey for shit?
          But I guess people will choose honey over shit if given the choice.
          Or maybe I’m just too tired and should get some sleep.


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            Safetyguy66

            Overheard a customer and a worker talking in Bunnings yesterday. The customer was saying “dont understand all this carbon tax nonsense, but I do know China is polluting faster than we can dream of ever doing so whats the point?” The assistant agreed.

            I dont think the polls reflect people’s genuine opinions on the mindless rush to renewables that dont do the job and only serve to drive up power prices. I think labour is in far more trouble than even the polls reflect and I would also bet money the Greens will go the way of the Democrats. Id bet any amount their vote will be halved or worse at the election.


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              Yonniestone

              Safety, I can’t believe that language was used in Bunnings!
              For all their eco friendly sustainability promotion there owned by Wesfarmers LTD who own the Curragh coal mine in QLD and 50% of the Dardanup sawmill in WA.
              How would you like your hypocrisy served sir!


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      Dave, thanks for that.

      If that’s not encouragement, I’ll go hee!

      That ordinary people, confronted by something like this ….. cold, could read it and understand it, then half the battle is won.

      Mention that thing about how this one generator produces more power in a year than every wind tower in Australia added together, people look at me like I’m crazy.

      Tony.


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        Dave

        No Tony,

        It’s all thanks to you,

        And your unbelievable ability to convey such a complex thing such as a power station to a simple yarn. 3,000 rpm meant nothing to some of the guys at work, then I explained ages ago from your other website about the 50 times a second = 50hz. (Also explained about USA with 3,600 rpm). They all love this stuff. I think also you explained to me the average CO2 produced from coal power stations as the 2.86 multiplier factor a few years ago.

        But what used to really shlt me off is John Brooks when he said above:

        A bit like an obese person switching from butter to one of those butter/oil mixtures. You’d commend them for it, but its unlikely to fix the problem.

        Not anymore. No Fucklng Idea = NFI. He’s the sort of dumb twit I now totally ignore in my work environment. And this is what is starting to shlt them off big time, and I mean big time.

        Thank You Tony.


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        Yonniestone

        Tony, I asked a question earlier at #18 if your too tired after your good work today to answer, I’ll fully understand.
        Thank you.


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        ianl8888

        @TonyOz

        OK, I’ve held off here but you may be over-egging the pudding, as it were

        To achieve the CO2 savings you quote, the actual efficiency (energy conversion) needs to rise from 35% (current) to ~49% (claimed), using the same raw coal feed, ie. stability of raw fuel in moisture, specific energy and ash)

        Such an increase (35% – 49%) is not currently achievable, although it has improved into the low 40%’s. The Chinese Engineering Institute PDF you’ve quoted lists on p.13 the current attained efficiency as 36.7%, which while laudable is well within the range I’ve just listed

        As in all countries, the Chinese do not burn low ash/high SE coal for power generation, the mining costs of such raw fuel supply are too high

        Your posts are obviously appreciated but accepted here non-critically. I know that most posters ignore the fuel supply end of the power equation but neither you nor I are responsible for that ignorance

        Would that we could achieve 49% efficiency of conversion, but not yet


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          ianl8888,

          thanks for this.

          Again I’d like to mention that there are two differing things being talked about here, Emissions reduction and efficiency, and I can see how questions might arise.

          Page 13 as you rightly point out says that Thermal Efficiency is now up around 36.7%.

          Thermal Efficiency is getting the most bang for buck from the heating capability of coal, eg using the coal to heat water to steam being one part of the process, and then pressurising that steam which leads to even higher temperatures (with that increase in pressure) being the second part of that heating process.

          However, when you scroll down that pdf document further, you’ll see that the already functioning Waigaoqiao III plant in Shanghai (with its 2 X 1000MW units) is, and has been achieving almost 44% efficiency, and then a little further down, on page 31, you’ll see that already operating 27 units (as at document date February 2012) are achieving 42% Thermal Efficiency.

          This range of Thermal Efficiency for USC is being achieved not only in China, but in a number of other Countries where USC is being implemented, Germany, South Korea, Japan, the U.S. and some others.

          Now, relating that Thermal Efficiency to emissions reduction figure of 15% relates back to the text (with its link to Shanghai Electric) under the first image showing burn rates for coal with respect to KWH of power delivered, and the older technology comes in at 330 grams/KWH, while the USC comes in at 282 grams, and again, these are actual measured achievements, not only for China, but in those other Countries also.

          Now, down on page 38, you’ll see the list of Countries working on Advanced USC with a Temperature range higher than 35MPa with temperatures of 700C to 760C, which will hopefully increase Thermal Efficiency up to 50% to 53%.

          This will again lead to further lowering that burn rate, and even greater emissions savings.

          This current Efficiency rate of 44% isn’t hoped for, it’s already being achieved.

          Tony.


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          Eddie Sharpe

          OK, I’ve held off here but you may be over-egging the pudding, as it were.

          Not confusing Tony with Timothy by any chance, ianl888 ?

          The only thing I might question there are the efficiency figures published by the Chinese, but only as I haven’t verified them.


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    janama

    I put the blame for this fair and squarely on two groups. Firstly the minister in charge of Energy and secondly the CEOs of our major power companies. Both these groups allow BS to spouted everyday in the media without ever challenging it. It’s a disgrace. Why doesn’t the head of Origin Energy inform the public about the inadequacies of wind and solar? I’ll tell you why, because he’s got his nose in the renewable energy trough scoffing on the subsidies.

    So that leaves it to the Minister for Energy………. >>


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      Backslider

      Why doesn’t the head of Origin Energy inform the public about the inadequacies of wind and solar? I’ll tell you why, because he’s got his nose in the renewable energy trough scoffing on the subsidies.

      This is the thing and something really needs to be done. There are far too many people involved in making decisions or advising on those decisions who have their own snout firmly embedded in the trough…. Just look at Tim Flannery’s investments.


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    Evening Janama and Dave.
    Janama you are correct in my haste (or lack of time) I failed to list the Queensland Power Stations.
    Dave please refer your mates to my blogsite http://www.terrycardwellsblog.blogspot.com.au. It will provide all the answers you need.
    Tasmania is not purely solar and wind. It would be impossible with a power supply that is completely irratic and unreliable. Tasmania uses a large amount of hydro electricity. Same answer for Germany and Europe in general. France has approx. 70 nuclear power and are not seduce by the Global warming scam.
    Tony your comment about the power generation by thermal unit compared to wind generators is spot on.
    Recently on a cruise we past two large wind farms of about 50 generators each and in both cases not one of them were turning.!!!

    Terence Cardwell


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      AndyG55

      gotta luv it ‘Sydney, meanwhile, is in the midst of its hottest March week in a decade”

      oooooooo such a long time !! roflmao !!!

      Mental age of most Fauxfax journalists, I reckon :-)


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    janama

    No worries Terence, if memory serves me correctly you were the wonderful man who created that letter that went around the web explaining to everyone how advanced and efficient our power stations were when everyone else was saying they were dirty and polluting – you sure opened my eyes.

    Europeans and the Brits would have frozen this year were it not for France’s nuclear power stations.


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    [...] Read full story here. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailStumbleUponLike this:Like Loading… « Warmcold Strikes Again!!!! Lack of Ice Blamed For Snow And Cold! Climate Math On Display!!!! 15 is 20% of 16!!!! [...]


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    janama

    This man has to go – he’s a blot on our political landscape.

    Prof. Tim Flannery


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    janama

    oh – it’s behind a paywall:

    here it is:

    HEALTH AND SCIENCE
    Tim Flannery derides wind farm sickness
    BY:PIA AKERMAN From: The Australian March 28, 2013 12:00AM
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    CLIMATE commissioner Tim Flannery has dismissed concerns about possible health effects from wind farm noise, saying illness may be caused by stress or residents being “sick with envy” at not getting payment for turbines on their properties.

    Speaking at a nurses’ forum yesterday about the relationship between climate change and health, Professor Flannery fended off a question from a regional Victorian nurse who said she supported wind energy but was seeing many patients with health problems attributed to a nearby wind farm.

    “What I’ve read and experienced is that there are no proven health impacts directly from wind-related noise,” Professor Flannery said. “What we do see is people who are adversely affected by it through perhaps stress or tension or worry.”

    Professor Flannery said he had asked a Canberra man who had leased part of his land for six turbines whether he had seen any health effects from the wind farm.

    “He said, ‘Yeah mate, people get sick, sick with envy,” Professor Flannery said. “He said $60,000 a year (was) coming straight into his farm and people next door can see the turbines every day.

    “I’m not saying that’s the whole story, by any means, but I think from what I’ve read the health impacts are more (at) that social level rather than anything caused directly by the noise.”

    The nurse who asked the question described herself as an environmental activist who had supported plans to build the Hepburn wind farm, a community-owned two-turbine project near Daylesford, northwest of Melbourne.

    “As a nurse I experience lots of people around that wind farm having very negative health impacts from it,” she said. “In the enthusiasm for bringing in alternative technology, how can we ensure those affected get social justice? Whilst I support wind, I have to say that I don’t support the Hepburn wind farm because they failed to address the health issues of those affected by it.”

    The Coalition has pledged to hold an inquiry into wind farm noise if elected in September, after a Senate committee last year discounted health claims but did not dispute that some people living near turbines felt unwell.

    A University of Sydney study released this month concluded wind farm-associated health problems were “communicated” diseases of a psychogenic origin, based on non-physical causes such as fear and anxiety.

    The study drew its data on the number of people complaining about health problems from wind farm developers, submissions to government public inquiries and news media articles.

    Sarah Laurie, the chief executive of the Waubra Foundation, dedicated to wind farm health issues, said Professor Flannery’s comments were “appalling”.

    “We’re talking about families who have been driven out of their homes, we’re talking about elderly widows who are unable to sleep in their home,” she said.

    “I’m disgusted and appalled at his comments and his ignorance.”

    Professor Flannery said the Climate Commission would produce a report later this year, in conjunction with the Australian Medical Association, on wind farms and their health effects.

    A spokeswoman later clarified that the commission “hoped” to produce a report on wind energy, with a section on health.


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      Backslider

      That’s great stuff Timothy. Now then, you will not mind at all if we plonk one of these whoop whoop things in your own back yard (no charge!) so that you can be a fabulous example to all Australians….. even the World!


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      Yonniestone

      janama, this is in my neck of the woods,
      Waubra wind farm will go down as one of the biggest cons on a community in Australia, no thanks to the local Fairfax rag publishing lies to the population.
      A certain local eco idiot has built a renewable energy business from an activist group he started years ago and was recently appointed to a job at wind energy Victoria, these types are the most damaging as they get all the media publicity while good people like TonyfromOz never see MSM air time.
      This same eco idiot took on Lord Monckton at his presentation here in 2011 and was publicly taken apart by the good Lord, the eco idiot was so worked up he came across as a blathering fool and these are the people that give advice on how we live our lives?


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      Eddie Sharpe

      So janama @ #46. Thanks for extracting & sharing that report with us. Wind turbines only cause communicated social diseases then. Is that the same as ‘communicable’ ?


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      Safetyguy66

      Well given Tims record for getting things right Id say Sarah Laurie should be happy, he has all but guaranteed Windfarm Syndrome will be found to be both real and potentially fatal.


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    janama

    next story Jo.


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      Ross

      Hold on Janama, there is some BREAKING NEWS.

      James Hansen seems to have found a way to support Tony.
      I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry about his latest paper. He is saying the increase in coal burning (mainly)in the cause of the lack of increased warming over the past 15 years.

      http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/hansens-mea-culpa-says-man-made-global.html

      Here is the guy who was protesting in any way he could think over the Keystone pipeline at a time when this paper was in review. Someone better than me can workout how his brain works –maybe a job for Lew and Cook /sarc


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        Backslider

        James Hansen seems to have found a way to support Tony.

        He most certainly has.

        Hansen believes the explanation for this conundrum [the airborne fraction of CO2 has decreased over the past 50 years] is CO2 fertilization of the biosphere from “the surge of fossil fuel use, mainly coal.”

        See John Brookes, I told you coal was eco friendly!

        So what do we have now? The alarmist prove yet again that they simply do not know what they are on about, or they do but want to dupe us. Clearly Hansen has seen the writing on the wall (particularly after NASA denounced his science as alarmist)…. next please!


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          Heywood

          Clearly Hansen has seen the writing on the wall (particularly after NASA denounced his science as alarmist)

          G’day Backslider,

          Do you have a reference to this. I would like to share this news with a certain lower cased warmist troll who frequents Bolt’s blog. He idolises Hansen.


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            Backslider

            Hello Heywood – not offhand, however I shall look for it.


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            Backslider

            Do take a look at that link that Ross posted above in #47.1 – Hansen is doing backflips.


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            Backslider

            Eh – the principia website went down just after I posted the link…. what a coincidence!

            Here is the full text of the article:

            Breaking: NASA U-turn Admits Global Warming Bias on Sun’s Key Role

            Written by John O’Sullivan

            [Snip, I am removing this copy/paste from here and leaving the working link above. The author John O'Sullivan has not provided much evidence to support what he says regarding NASA. The article appears to me to be tabloid writing at best. The paper he links to does not support his assertions. We'll leave it there.] ED


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              Backslider

              Thanks ED – I got the same impression on second reading last night. I will contact them to see if they can provide some better info on it.

              Clearly however, NASA has changed its direction in regard to warming alarmism, as has Hansen himself.


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                Jaymez

                I think this is a very long bow. The thermosphere is at such an altitude and the atmosphere so thin, that it is hard to see how the temperature of the thermosphere would impact on the global average temperature. In fact there are so few gas molecules at that level, heat cannot be transferred by conduction so it stands to reason that any solar radiation blocked would also be minimal even if it is actually measurable. I would take anything from PSI with a huge grain of salt. I do not see anything from NASA and the Saber program which makes any suggestions about impact on global temperatures. http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2012/files/2012/11/AGU_Fall2012.pdf


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                Andrew McRae

                You shouldn’t feel too bad about it Backslider. Plenty of people before you have been suckered by that [self-snip since Su11ivan sues anyone who says anything truthful about him] guy.

                The Slayer position, being an extreme position, is as difficult to defend as any other extreme position on the climate. As the position becomes untenable the actions become more desperate and the cries of victory become more hollow and shrill.


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                Backslider

                Thanks Andrew – Yes, I have been reading up on “slayers”. I am definitely not “one of those”.

                I wrote to Sullivan asking him to provide references for statements he makes regarding “The astonishing NASA announcement”, but no reply. I downloaded the paper, so can see anything in it for myself.


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    [...] Upgrade coal power and cut 15% of emissions. Where is the Green applause? [...]


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    Eddie Sharpe

    OT. Europe continues to be held in an Arctic grip, by a Jet Stream that normally sits above Scotland but is presently over North Africa ! Britain is lurking just above zero degrees with regular snow flurries. The air is untypically cold & dry . The few spring flowers that had tried to put in an appearance have been withered by frost while lambs are being born into snowdrifts. April is expected to continue much the same, with only the increasing angle of the Sun and an occasional northerly twist of the Jet Stream to alleviate it.
    Some attribute it to the recently quiet Sun, but the the UK’s Chief Scientist. Sticks to the party line, blaming it on the Greenhouse gasses, as fuel bills continue to soar and Britains energy policy is in tatters.


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  • #

    Any thoughts on what the Germans are doing? At Grevenbroich-Neurath, RWE has recently opened BoA 2&3. Lignite fed, efficiency of 43% is claimed, but the main thing, I guess, is the BoA tech that makes the whole thing more flexible for interaction with (eyeroll)wind and solar. But there are supposed to be other savings from the adjustability and fast responsiveness.

    Well, I’m sure there are all kinds of politics and subsidies involved in making BoA respectable (RWE build the “alternative” stuff as well) but I’m curious if any of the more knowledgeable people here have an opinion on BoA and new German coal power generally.

    I suspect that the Germans are too busy funding Europe and holding the EU together with chewing gum to state their real intentions with coal, but it has crossed my mind that all the talk of shutting nukes and using coal as “a pathway to renewables” is just talk. 2.6 billion euros is a lot for a pathway, and there are more of such pathways in planning. They have massive coal resources, much of it newly found, and they are great at tech. Maybe they don’t want to rely on wind, sunshine, Gazprom or French nukes for their energy security…they just can’t say so. As long as there’s an obscenity called Brussels, a bit of hypocrisy is justified, I’d say.

    By the way, RWE, amongst all the usual obligatory green blather, claim they are “trimming new hard coal-fired power plants to an efficiency of 46%”.

    Thoughts?


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      Just going on with the companies own claims, RWE has stated:

      “Hard coal-fired power plants are a case in point: here, companies in the energy sector are working on an increase in the steam parameters and are jointly testing the components and materials for a so-called 700°C power plant. This is likely to cross the 50%-efficiency mark in converting coal into electricity…

      “700°C power plants will make the conversion of coal into electricity more efficient. At a pilot plant in Gelsenkirchen, RWE engineers, together with partner companies, are trialling the power plant components for this temperature level.”

      It would seem to me that in view of the enormous increase in global coal consumption in recent years – coal may be surpassing oil right now – these claimed advances in coal tech, whether optimistic or not, might be of interest to Australia. Just a bit?


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    crakar24

    Sometimes you wonder who or what we are saving the planet for? More stupidity from the rabid believers, we need to destroy the village to save it…oooops…sorry i meant we need to kill the poley bears to save them…..what a bunch of whackos. How many nutjobs here actually believe this shit

    http://www.infowars.com/eco-madness-as-earthworms-are-blamed-for-global-warming-ecologists-suggest-killing-polar-bears/


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    pat

    Bolt has a thread on some dept of climate change 2012 grants
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/to_paris_with_the_warmists_thanks_for_your_contribution/

    it includes money to the hideous Jon Dee DoSomething outfit that don’t even have a proper website, and whose facebook page rarely updates.

    Jon Dee Main Biography: In 2012, the Federal Government awarded Jon’s Do Something! team an $871,000 grant to promote energy efficiency to SMEs. In 2013, this campaign will be publicly headed up by Jon and will involve him presenting videos and writing eBooks that show SMEs how to save energy…
    In 2011 the Federal Government appointed Jon as the environmental champion for the National Broadband Network…
    http://jondee.com/#!bio/main-biography/

    here’s jon dee shilling for the NBN:

    14 July 2011: NBN.gov.au: Do Something! Chairman Jon Dee
    Planet Ark co-founder and Do Something! Chairman Jon Dee explains why an NBN empowered Australia will enable more people to work from home, breaking free of urban gridlock and saving money, time and the environment
    http://www.nbn.gov.au/2011/07/14/do-something-chairman-jon-dee/


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    crakar24

    We need to get a move on and build these new coal plants if we have any chance of saving the planet, just look at the climate change here

    http://iceagenow.info/2013/03/we%e2%80%99ve-coldest-march-1883-germany-reader/

    COLDEST MARCH IN GERMANY ON RECORD

    http://iceagenow.info/2013/03/thousands-animals-feared-dead-snow-drifts-video/

    THINK OF THE POOR ANIMALS

    http://iceagenow.info/2013/03/illinois-springfield-digs-record-setting-snowfall/

    RECORD SNOW IN ANOTHER CONTINENT

    Come on people lets get our act together “we only have 50 days to save the planet” lets get those new plants built pronto.


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    pat

    it may be just my sense of humour, but all these reuters’ pieces today got me laughing:

    IMF urges energy-subsidy reform to ease squeeze on budgets
    WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) – Developing and industrialized countries should rein in energy subsidies that totaled $1.9 trillion in 2011 to ease budgetary pressures and free up resources for public spending in areas such as education and health care, International Monetary Fund economists said in a research paper published on Wednesday…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/reutersnews/1.2240153?&ref=searchlist

    Carbon firm TEP stems losses by re-jigging offset contracts
    LONDON, March 27 (Reuters Point Carbon) – London-listed fund Trading Emissions plc (TEP) reduced its losses by 90 percent in the second half of 2012 after renegotiating the bulk of its fixed price contracts to buy U.N. carbon credits, the company said Wednesday…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2239585?&ref=searchlist

    Alberta approves two new offset types, discards three others
    SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 (Reuters Point Carbon) – The oil-producing Canadian province Alberta on Wednesday said it has approved two new carbon offset project types for use in its emissions reduction system, which will replace three other project blueprints that were unpopular…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2240170?&ref=searchlist


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      Graeme. P

      I noticed the first one also Pat. I found it interesting that the IMF wants Governments to cut subsidies for fossil fuel generated electricity and move towards “green” generated (= most expensive electricity). I smell a rat.


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    crakar24

    Oh oh, it appears the warmbots have run out of time.

    http://notrickszone.com/2013/03/25/flagship-daily-die-welt-stuns-germany-scientists-warn-of-ice-age-cites-new-peer-reviewed-russian-study/

    They might have got away with it if they had of wrapped it up in COP15 but thanks to Mr FOIA that did not happen, they might have been forgiven if there was some unheard of climate factor that was suddenly discovered to everyones surprise but if it is the sun (as suggested above) then nothing will save them.


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      Dave

      .
      Crakar24

      We’ll probably find that their new war cry will be:

      CO2 causes Global cooling! The spin will slowly come.

      MSM won’t give this much time even though it is PEER reviewed.
      But I thought anything peer reviewed was the be all and end all.
      Like you said:

      Ladies and gentlemen, well may we say “God Save the Queen”, because nothing will save the warmbots.


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  • #

    Elsewhere, somebody provided a link to a pro-renewable “publication” that exemplifies the fundamental problems confronting sceptics.

    Wind Power Peaks in the UK, Denmark, US

    It starts:

    By James Montgomery, Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com
    New Hampshire, USA — Wind energy generated more than 5 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity consistently over a 48-hour period last week in the UK, enough to power more than 10 percent of the country’s overall electricity needs, and the equivalent of nearly four out of every 10 homes. Also, a record 5.296 GW of wind was present on the grid at one point, measured as average generation over a half-hour period.

    It fails all sanity checks. Yet proponents quote it freely as proof that wind power “works”.

    The main issues that I see are:
    1) a failure to do arithmetic.
    2) a lack of understanding of the difference between energy and power.

    Basic science and maths failures.


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    can I post off topic if I am bored by power generation, politics (had a fun week though) and conspiracies? I mean Pat does.

    Here is an example of how poor our background knowledge is of just one proxy that is relied on for climate reconstruction.

    the paper is here http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eost.v94.11/issuetoc

    The conversation (via UWA press release) summarises it thusly

    Coral research reveals different story on growth

    Traditional methods of determining past ocean temperatures through coral studies have had to be rethought.

    Research conducted on two neighbouring corals near Madagascar has shown that biological growth effects can distort the temperature and climate information that corals store in their cores. The study period took in a 43-year period and looked at the strontium-to-calcium ratios in the two corals, which suggested that the difference in these ratios was actually accounted for by individual growth rather than surrounding sea temperature.

    The study suggests that in future, past ocean temperatures should be defined by the study of multiple corals to establish individual differences.


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      Hmm!

      I can just see University bean counters right now, asking gophers to check into this.

      Another chance to line up a Government grant for.

      I can just see it now…..

      “Hey you, whatever your name is, check this out, and get a submission to me by COB tomorrow, and make sure you emphasise the Climate Change aspect. Oh, and ring Ove and ask him what is the best way to proceed.”

      Tony.


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    • #
      Streetcred

      Randy Holmes-Farley, PhD … coral expert:

      Organisms that calcify (that is, deposit calcium carbonate skeletons) are known to incorporate strontium into them. This deposition may be:

      Intentional for positive reasons. That is, the strontium serves a useful purpose. Perhaps the purpose is to initiate or maintain calcium carbonate precipitation in some fashion. Some organisms described above clearly fall into this category;
      Intentional for negative reasons. That is, the organism wants to get rid of potentially toxic strontium and depositing it into a CaCO3 skeleton is one way to accomplish that task);
      Accidental. That is, the deposition of strontium serves no real purpose for the organism, but is simply the result of the fact that strontium looks rather like calcium, and gets into pathways intended for calcium and becomes deposited into the skeleton. This is obviously the way that strontium gets into abiotically deposited calcium carbonate.

      If the researchers know why coral assimilates strontium then they can move forward with this hypothesis … otherwise, maybe, they’re wasting everybody’s time.


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        Streetcred

        Hate these touch pads on laptops …

        Holmes Farley goes on to say:

        In the abiotic precipitation of calcium carbonate from seawater (by the slow addition of carbonate), strontium is incorporated into the growing crystal at almost the same ratio to calcium that is present in the seawater. That is, about 103:1, Ca:Sr (at 25 °C).25 Interestingly, he amount of strontium incorporated is slightly lower at higher temperatures (105:1 at 30 °C), and slightly higher at lower temperatures (97:1 at 10 °C).

        This temperature dependence has lead many researchers to investigate, and find largely true, the idea that the strontium to calcium ratios in corals might be used as a temperature probe for ocean temperatures. Most interestingly, it has been extended into ancient coral skeletons, where actual temperature measurements are lacking. Many factors have complicated these studies, such as

        (1) Different corals incorporate different ratios at the same seawater temperature and strontium levels,
        (2) The same corals can deposit different ratios during the day and the night
        (3) Different parts of the skeleton of a single coral may have different ratios
        (4) The presence of zooxanthellae can significantly perturb the ratio.
        (5) The incorporation of strontium is strongly dependent on the strontium concentration in solution (which may vary over geologic time, with depth, and with salinity)

        Other related measurements (such as the incorporation of various oxygen isotopes into the calcium carbonate) may ultimately turn out to be more useful for temperature estimation. The ratio of the different strontium isotopes (molecular weight 87 and 86) in deposits has also been suggested to be a measure of the weathering of land, since the ratio in rivers is different than in the ocean.


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          Dave

          .
          Streetcred

          Interesting subject, not sure about Strontium carbonates role in coral – but it is extensively used in flares etc to produce red light when ignited, basically a colourant.

          Just wondering if the coral uses it to increase the red colour content in its main body to alter light wavelength range during different seasons. It may even be a natural sunscreen for some corals? It also dissolves in water better with extra CO2 bubbled through. Could also be a CO2 regulator for corals to maintain the external to internal concentrations?

          Just wondering?


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      Joe V.

      So you find Power Generation less enthralling than fantastical proxy studies ?

      The study suggests that in future, past ocean temperatures should be defined by the study of multiple corals to establish individual differences.

      Indeed, fudge the errors by citing a large enough sample size, because we all know that many measurements (even when extrapolated from the same few) reduce the errors to give unreal precision.


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    Ross

    I’ll join Gee Aye with another OT subject. How are we meant to take the IPCC seriously when we have this going on with their recruitment of reviewers.

    http://risk-monger.blogactiv.eu/2013/03/25/job-offer-students-wanted-to-be-ipcc-climate-change-reviewers/#.UVNfhhemg1K

    This is the document that energy policy of most countries is heavily influenced by. It makes what is happening in Cyprus look slightly sane.


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    bananabender

    Gas is now so cheap and abundant that Australia (and many other countries) may be better off building many small gas turbine co-generation (electricity and hot water) facilities rather than investing in massive new coal-powered generators.

    Gas turbine generators can be turned on or off within minutes to supply peak load. They can be fitted into a standard 40 foot shipping container and located anywhere with a gas supply and access to the grid.

    In fact it may be better to forget about large scale electricity grids and simply build gas piplines. Each gas turbines could simply supply a small area.

    Base load is often more an artifact of coal generation rather than a real need. Because coal powered stations can’t quickly respond to demand it is necessary to ‘waste’ electricity on uneconomic uses such as lighting empty buildings. With gas generation you simply turn off most of the the turbines when electricity demand is low.


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    pat

    SMH carries Bloomberg:

    28 March: SMH: Bloomberg: EU juggles economic, environmental crises
    The EU, in the fourth year of the sovereign-debt crisis, wants to remain the leader in the global fight against climate change while ensuring the security of energy supply and fostering competitiveness…
    Investors in the EU emissions trading system, the world’s largest, have been urging lawmakers to set a binding climate target for 2030 as soon as possible to prevent carbon prices from declining further after they slumped to a record low of 2.81 euros a metric ton in January…
    Under the current design, demand for emission permits in the EU cap-and-trade program is being undermined by overlapping renewables and energy-efficiency measures, according to Jesse Scott, head of the environment policy unit at power industry association Eurelectric. The lobby includes EON SE, Germany’s largest utility, and Enel SpA, Italy’s biggest electricity producer.
    “Subsidies for renewables create an implicit carbon price which competes with the explicit price of allowances,” Scott said by e-mail. “This problem is undermining the ETS as a market tool, and has the potential ultimately to destroy the competitive electricity market, at the expense of customers or taxpayers. We are especially pleased that the green paper recognizes this issue.”…
    The Climate Action Network environmental lobby criticized the commission’s draft, saying it barely addresses climate change, instead mainly focusing on issues of competitiveness and energy security…
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/eu-juggles-economic-environmental-crises-20130328-2gvez.html


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    I have always believed that coal is a natural miracle. Energy bundled into a small and convenient parcel, a bit dangerous to source but not unmanageable. I have also thought that perhaps we’ve been a bit lazy in our use of it and a bit careless of the consequences of that. I reckon that one day there will come a time when we rediscover it in a new way. Only the vapid small minded and shallow footsoldier grunts of the environmental left would hold a prejudice against a stage in the cycle of organic life and death. Do they really believe that the physical manifestation of a life once lived should is destined to be locked up forever in the earths crust?. Is that not an imbalance?. Dare I say it but is that not sustainable?.


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      Andrew McRae

      Do they really believe that the physical manifestation of a life once lived should is destined to be locked up forever in the earths crust?. Dare I say it but is that not sustainable?

      You’re being a bit silly. Of course that is sustainable, Carbon is recycled at the surface and so trees were still growing okay after hundreds of millions of years on this planet without needing us to exhume their ancestors. We’re giving them more CO2 for free because we’re nice guys.

      What’s not sustainable is digging up something in a day that took millions of years to be created.
      Not sustainable, but also not worth worrying about at this point. We need coal to tide us over until the Gen 4 LiFTR nuclear comes online, and then we are sorted for 1000 years.

      Once all nuclear fuel has run out, the irony is that solar and wind power will be the inevitable last resorts. Ironic because by then the next ice age will have started and we are going to wish we’d kept the coal and nuclear fuel for when we really needed it. Oh well, every other species on this planet consumes greedily and short-sightedly, so why should we be any different. I might have this all wrong and we could discover zero point energy and warp drive technology at the end of the century, then how silly would my energy thriftiness advice look.


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        ?? Andrew, your post is so silly I don’t know where to begin, so I’m buggered if I’ll bother.


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          Unless of course it was deliberately so…


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            Andrew McRae

            Nope, it was as serious as one can be when applying logic to a finite-sized planet and speculating about the future, you’re just being blinkered. If you are talking “sustainable” for human economic purposes you are talking about processes that must last for 10,000 years.

            About 380 million years ago CO2 was nearly 3000ppm, but in the last millenium it was 8 times less and would (unfortunately) have remained that low if it were not for our helpful digging. Never entrust the planning of your atmosphere to a bunch of plants and coccolithophores because they are greedy and short-sighted and will just gobble up CO2 with no regard for their own long term prosperity. The sequestering of large amounts carbon basically permanently did happen, as a fact, as long as you believe the fossil fuel theory of the origin of coal and oil.
            The only other way the carbon in coal and oil would get out of the crust is if they were subducted into the mantle and spewed out of a volcano, which takes hundreds of millions of years. The only way more coal and oil will be created naturally is over the next 5 million years, and so is not sustainable on any timescale practical to us. To say otherwise is… silly.

            Even if you don’t believe Fossil Fuel theory, you still don’t know how quickly the Earth could refill a depleted oil field from deep abiotic origin, and new coal has never reappeared in abandoned coal mines.
            To say otherwise is… silly.

            Being unsustainable is fine when the sustainable options are unacceptable for other reasons. Since we humans, as a species, will become extinct eventually (due to shortening of DNA telomeres if nothing else), it is just a question of what we do between now and then. That’s why I don’t care much about sustainability ultimately, we may as well make hay with the black sun shine while we have it.


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              Alan

              Come on Andrew give the abiotic coal/oil a break, you’re venturing into ID territory.

              You have a strange perception of geology and the geological time scale. Coal (humic type)has been forming since plants evolved – funny that – and large deposits forming at various periods since, not just the Carboniferous, right up until now. The majority of Australian coals are Permian with a fair bit of Jurassic and most of the lignites formed during the Eocene. The massive deposits of the Powder River Basin are Paleocene and the Indonesian and most of the NZ North Island ones even younger.

              Crust being subducted is not the only way carbon gets out of the crust,haven’t you heard of weathering and erosion? Coal oxidises naturally and becomes part of a soil or it gets eroded to get oxidised elsewhere. As part of a coal evaluation program the zone of oxidation (sometimes called “smut line”)must be defined as oxidised coal is of little use.
              In the Powder River Basin there are hundreds of kilometres of coal strike that have been oxidised by natural fires near the surface turning the adjacent mudstones to “clinker” which is now used for road base or grit on ice in winter.

              The oil and gas deposts we see today are only the ones that have been trapped or sealed in some way. Most of the hydrocarbons formed probably never made it to a reservoir and escaped to the atmosphere sometime between being formed and now.

              Aint nature wonderful


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                Andrew McRae

                I have heard of weathering, it’s where dissolved carbonic acid is removed from the ocean by bonding with rocks, or on surface rocks where calcium carbonate becomes calcium bicarbonate, so is not an example of carbon leaving the crust.

                You tell me the youngest coals in our region are from 26 million years ago. This only reinforces my original point that digging up something in a day that took millions of years to make is unsustainable. That is the point we are talking about. It is not relevant as to how coal formed because the mining of it is unsustainable in BOTH theories being offered, and that is the only reason I mentioned BOTH theories.
                Everything else you said is irrelevant to the point.

                If you are just cantankerous and looking for an argument, you did not succeed.


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                Alan

                mmmm cantankerous – smile and wave – so how did you get on with your teachers?

                When you post a link about someting you have only heard about you should actually read all of it, even if it is Wikipedia you may learn something, then move on to something more scientific. Who mentioned carbonates?

                Enjoy the rest of your Easter

                Oh by the way when you discover your coal or oil/gas deposit based on the other theory let us know and I might invest in your company


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                Alan

                Oh Andrew forgot to add that you should check out the age of some of the Turkish and Greek lignites (sorry abstract only), as young as Plio-Pleistocene, that is around 2-3 million years ago, any younger they are called peat.


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              Hi Andrew. I take on board what you say but I have to confess I am a bit more more holistic in my outlook. We are living in a time where global CO2 levels are nothing significant in terms of their concentrations historically speaking. That we can extract in a day what took millions of years to evolve is of no consequence to me. It was once part of the biosphere which it seems to me fluctuates in terms of it’s mass and diversity . I did qualify my statement about our previous carefree use of coal and I am certain we haven’t begun to use it more efficiently. I think it’s far more pertinent to be worried about the wholesale destruction of ecosystems which took millions of years to evolve than to worry about the levels of a compound which feeds them, the concentrations thereof and the rate at which we extract it from the ground. And extract it we do. We do it because we can, just like putting a man on the moon. Humanity is amazing, ever resourceful and ingenious. The left has made an egregious error in that it has attacked itself in a way, it’s own people and the means of their living. It must be very embarrassing when Arthur Scargill goes to union meetings these days.


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                Dave

                Ceetee,

                Well said:

                I think it’s far more pertinent to be worried about the wholesale destruction of ecosystems which took millions of years to evolve than to worry about the levels of a compound which feeds them

                Both you, Andrew and Alan are right – but it seems the understanding of pollution has been stolen. I see so much on CARBON POLLUTION that it makes me sick. All that money being plssed up against the wall by these idiots who have only money in their minds. The moral compass has been evacuated by these people, they lie, cheat and steal only to fill their corrupt greedy pockets with cash.

                Carbon pollution is not the problem, it’s pollution, real pollution that kills things. I love the environment, yet when you speak to a goody two shoes GREENIE , they have no understanding of about their own backyard. Ask them why they have $800 potted Agaves in the yard instead of a mango tree, a bit of lawn and a few vegies? They say they are conserving water, yet they are the ones that are polluting the earth with clay pots imported from Italy, and their stupid $500 Agaves come from Mexico to match their new racing carbon fibre racing bike they use to have a short latte at the coffee shop. Sorry – forgot to mention their bike racks are from Tiawan, the BMW from Germany, and lycra printed tight outfit is made in France (with GE wind turbine advertising). All this is rapidly assembled upon arrival behind the coffee shop which is only 50 meters away. They live some 3 kilometers from the carpark?

                Biggest bunch of wamkers I’ve ever come across. And no reports of 30,000 plus dead from cold in the NH, because these GREENIES are trying to save 6,000 a year from CAGW? Who are these idiot greendy people?

                But my rant isn’t peer reviewed, and the science is settled, so I have to go back to work and just be told what’s right and what’s wrong.

                WRONG – it’s going to change and change quickly for the CAGW Natural Climate Change Deniers.


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                Alan

                Dave
                Fully agree – keep the rage against the dishonesty
                My main point with my input is to stick to the proven science and don’t make ourselves a target by not


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    Reply to bananabender, [At #60] ED

    This has to be one of the most incorrect ‘stories’ I have read from someone who obviously hasn’t a clue about the power industry.
    Firstly gas in not cheap and certainly not as cheap as coal. Total capacity in Australia is 50,000 Megawatts. Just how many gas turbines do you want to build and at what cost. They are also MORE expensive to run that coal fired power stations.
    Gas turbines also have to be brought up to full load at a pace to meet deferential expansion rates.

    ‘Massive’ new coal fired power stations of four units would have an output of some 3000 Megawatts. The largest gas turbine is 300 Megawatts and would be more expensive. Although some are in operation right now in various power stations to help with load control. A 300Mw unit would take up FAR more room than a 40ft shipping container. Maybe a 15Mw unit might fit.
    NOOO you can’t just create little individual areas, there is no flexibility and certainly would not work.The system and electrical supply is far more complexed than that.
    Base load and load control is an ESSENTIAL part of the power grid. What power goes in MUST match exactly that that goes OUT. Therefore the grid has some units running at full load (base load) and other do load control (frequency control) varying the load to meets the system demand.
    And YES thermal power stations can vary their load VERY quickly and will respond very rapidly for instance if a major unit should trip.
    NOOOO they DON’T ‘waste electricity by turning extra lights on (that gave me a laugh anyway) As I said the power being generated and fed into the grid system MUST match EXACTLY that that is being drawn out of the grid system. That is done by having some units on load control.
    And NO you cannot turn gas or any other unit on or off like a light switch.
    How do I know because I commissioned and operated them for many years.

    Terence Cardwell


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      bananabender

      This has to be one of the most incorrect ‘stories’ I have read from someone who obviously hasn’t a clue about the power industry.

      Maybe the entire US electricity energy could benefit from your superior wisdom. Despite the USA having the largest estimated coal reserves in the world they are rapidly closing down their coal power stations and replacing them with gas fired generators.

      - only 37% of US electricity is coal fired (down from 50% in 2005)
      - 30% of US coal fired capacity to be closed by 2020
      - 59 planned US coal fired power stations cancelled
      - 45GW of gas fired generation to be added by 2035
      - Los Angeles will be eliminating the use of coal generated electricity by 2025

      Only 3GW of new coal fired capacity is planned in the next 20 years.


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        Mark D.

        Bananabender, I think you’ll find that the reasons for the US moving away from coal is entirely because of EPA regulations in an attempt to reduce mercury and other pollution (of course including co2). It isn’t because coal is an inferior fuel otherwise.


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    Great post Tony from Oz.

    Many thanks Tony an Jo for the huge effort involved in preparing this important study with comments from Terence of Cardwell much appreciated.

    With Victoria’s brown coal stations fast approaching the end of their usefull lives, your study provides an urgent strategy for Victoria to replace and improve our power generating efficiency, with reduced emissions, while maintaing much of our generating and transmission infrastructure and our vast brown coal resources to continue to produce safer, cheaper and more reliable power into the future.


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      llew Jones

      DEPARTMENT OF
      PRIMARY INDUSTRIES
      Victoria, Australia

      “With an abundance of brown coal occurring in thick
      seams close to the earth’s surface, Victoria is home to
      one of the largest and lowest cost energy sources in
      the world.”

      http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/37518/Brown-Coal-050710.pdf

      And the present bunch of green leaning morons in Canberra are committed to making Victoria an economic basket case.


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      terrarious,

      thanks for this. The real joy of a Post like this for me is that Comments from others make me go looking for other things, and this is one of them, and it applies directly to the situation in Victoria.

      Most of these USC plants are in China and they are working with the black coals, either as bituminous or even blends, so having said that, it’s problematic for Victoria with its brown coal Lignite, and the very large deposits they have of this coal.

      The latest plants that are opening up in Germany are in fact brown coal Lignite plants.

      Also, and of real importance here, is that they are this new technology USC plants. Now to understand the difference between brown coal and black coal fired plants, brown coal has a greater moisture content, and because of that Hazelwood especially is a very large emitter of CO2, again further exacerbated by the plants age, (1964 to 1971) being really old technology.

      Here we have in Germany, new technology USC plants opening up, and using brown coal (Lignite). However, on top of that, they are also employing a new technology drying of the coal prior to the burn cycle.

      This, combined with USC makes these new brown coal plants as low emitting as USC using the black coals.

      Now comes the crunch. Problematic is the cost factor, (when referring to the main Post above). I mentioned that this huge new USC plant in China was constructed for $1.2 Billion, and there’s no way that cost would extrapolate here to Australia, and conjecture is that perhaps it should be doubled, as Bayswater have sort of confirmed that with their plans.

      However, here we have in Germany this new Lignite burning plant with drying as well, and this comes from a Developed Country, hence larger Installation cost factor, and probably better equated with what it might cost here in Australia.

      Currently, Hazelwood has a Nameplate of 1600MW.

      This new plant in Germany is 2200MW Nameplate, will provide for consumption a huge amount more power than Hazelwood currently does, burns the same brown coal, is USC, has Lignite drying and costs 2.6Billion Euros, converted to AUD $3.4 Billion.

      Hey I know, way too expensive.

      I mean, for that same money you could get almost 1100MW of wind power, and that’s only around 450 towers. It would only deliver 14% of the power of the new Lignite coal fired plant, and would only last half as long, but, hey, you tell me which proposal would have more chance of succeeding.

      As to CO2 emissions.

      Hazelwood 1600MW Nameplate. 11,500GWH delivered. 16 million tonnes of CO2 emitted

      New German Plant 2200MW Nameplate. 17,50GWH delivered. 14 Million tonnes of CO2 emitted.

      You be the judge.

      Tony.


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    Ace

    THAT…is not a powerplant.

    THAT is a sculpture by Edourdo Paolozzi.


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    Mattb

    “I’m a huge McCartney fan, mainly from his time with Wings.”

    Tony at least now I can see that we have some clear ideological differences. It’s not just about climate change… or power generation… but “huge McCartney fan”…. “mainly from his time with Wings”…. wowee.


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