JoNova

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How much wind power can a grid handle?

Could Australia end up with synchronous failure across states?

When wind power is maxing out it’s bad for grid stability — it pushes out the reliable spinning inertia — the massive rolling turbines that relentlessly pull the grid back to 50Hz. Here’s a graph of SA and Victoria wind farms last month, and you can see that for all the thousand kilometers that might separate them, they are controlled by much larger common weather patterns.

Wind power generation SA Victoria, 2016.

Wind power in South Australia and Victoria often both max out or crash together.

Tom Quirk looks out our national grid in light of the SA blackout debacle. The message from South Australia is that wind power does not make for nice stable and synchronous grids. As I mentioned before the whole idea of alternating current (or AC electricity) is about the exact push pull of electrons at a set frequency. The grid lives and dies by its frequency. We can’t add a 53Hz current to a 47Hz one and get a 50 Hz average. When different frequencies meet we get interference patterns –  a mess of spikes and dips.  Say hello to Lumpy Electricity. Say goodbye to your computer.

Indeed when the frequency hit 47Hz the Victorian interconnector said goodbye to the whole state of South Australia. (See graph 1 at that link).

Tom Quirk expands on this and talks about how heavy spinning turbines (like coal, but not wind) are able to share the load of frequency changes in the grid and restore the frequency back to the sacred 50Hz.  He estimates that once wind power supplies more than 20% of the total grid, things can get hairy, and with South Australia at 40% and Victoria planning to jump to 20 – 30% now is the time  to figure out those limits and the costs. (Ten years ago would’ve been better). Don’t cry now, but Queensland’s target seems to be 50%. Let’s not mention Bill Shorten, potential PM, who floated some fantasy that the whole nation could get to 50%. The least mad state might be WA. Time to secede? Our state is not on the “national” grid — it’s islanded already and every day. That might be what saved us from copying South Australia.

Please can one government somewhere do a cost-benefit estimate on the value of cooling Australia with bat-killing giant fans?

As Tom points out, wind power needs a lot of transmission lines (and ideally the type that don’t blow over too easily). New transmission lines cost $1 to $3 million per kilometre. So add that to the cost of “wind”. Each kilometer of wire buys an awful lot of cheap coal powered electricity.

Victoria currently has a bit less wind power than SA, but it’s a much bigger market and for some baffling reason, wants to increase its wind power to twice or more the size of SA. Remembering that SA is pretty much utterly dependent on the Victorian grid right now. (Don’t miss figure three below, where Victorian fossils make ten times the electricity that South Australian fossils do). Without enough spinning reserve, the dreaded instability infection can spread. Imagine how much fun it will be if the Victorian part of the national network becomes unstable like SA? Consider that weather systems in Australia blow from South Australia across to NSW and Victoria, so wind production is often all on, or all off at the same time. Every MW of wind capacity added needs to be backed up. (Which raises the obvious question of why we don’t just use the damn synchronous back up in the first place and skip the asynchronous, unreliable stuff?). Are we trying to change the weather?

The owners of Hazelwood coal fired plant in Victoria are thinking of closing it. Like Port Augusta, which closed in May, Hazelwood is struggling to return great profits in an artificially distorted market that favours intermittent “climate changing” energy over reliable cheap predictable electrons.

If Hazelwood closes and is replaced with wind power, then South Australia’s unstable network will be paired with another network that will frequently also have “lots” of wind or “not much” and need spinning reserve at the same time. On those days the interconnector might not save one state from the other. If NSW copies the meme, it gets even worse.

– Jo

 

 

 

Problems and Limits for Wind Power

Guest post by Tom Quirk

ABOUT: A founding director of the Victorian Power Exchange and then Deputy Chairman of VENCorp ( Victorian energy networks for electricity and gas)

The blackout in South Australia on the 28th September has received worldwide attention. The reasons for the blackout are not completely understood but it is a combination of the collapse of transmission lines, the extreme variations in the power output of wind farms and the stability of an inter-connect to the state of Victoria.

There is no doubt that the necessary geographical spread of wind farms requires long transmission lines. This can be seen in Figure 1, where wind farms to the east and west of Spencer’s Gulf need transmission lines of up to 600 km to Adelaide and wind farms in the south east of the state have some 300 km to bring power from near the border with Victoria. There is no “ring main” that gives security of supply for some of the distant wind farms and although the wind farms produce on average only 30% of their maximum output, the transmission lines must be able to handle the maximum possible output for all wind farms that feed into the transmission network. New transmission lines cost $1 to $3 million per kilometre so the economic case for  increasing the network may not have justified its cost and the difficulty of assessing the security value of new connections.

 

SA wind farm maps

Figure 1: The Electranet South Australian electricity transmission network.

 

The total installed wind farm capacity for South Australia is 1576 MW. The State of Victoria has an ambitious plan to move from the present 1242 MW of installed wind farms to add 3000 to 4000 MW to provide 20% to 30% of the electricity demand from wind power.

For Victoria, which supplies the balancing power to South Australia, an increase of supply from wind will increase the risk of supply failure. This is due to the weather patterns of south-east Australia that give rise to correlated wind in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. This has been shown in published analysis from Paul Miskelly in a peer reviewed journal Energy & Environment in 2012.

This correlation can be seen in the wind farm performance in September 2016 shown in Figure 2 where the wind farm variations are larger in South Australia reaching 1400 MW while Victoria lags with 1000 MW.

SA, Vic, Wind farm production, 2016.

Figure 2: Correlation of wind farm output for South Australia and Victoria.

Source http://energy.anero.id.au/

The performance of fossil fuel generators for South Australia and Victoria is shown in Figure 3. For South Australia the gas fired thermal power station at Torrens Island and gas turbines partially even out the wind power variations. The balance of supply comes from Victoria through the Heywood inter-connect. Victoria has a significant wind farm contribution to meet local Victorian demand. However the bulk of supply comes from the brown coal burning power stations of the Latrobe Valley with Hazelwood and Loy Yang as load-following generators. The gas turbine generators and particularly the Murray hydro power generators match much of the Victorian daily demand variations.

Graph, fossil fuel use, South Australia, Victoria, 2016.

Figure 3:- Upper South Australian fossil fuel supply and - Lower; Victorian  fossil fuel supply.

 Source http://energy.anero.id.au/

Managing the supply system requires a constant frequency of 50 hertz within limits of +/- 0.15 hertz while at the same time meeting the electricity demand load.

The regulation of the system is given to load-following generators but their task has become increasingly difficult as increasing variations in wind supply has been added to demand variations. Coal burning generators have borne the brunt of this regulation but gas turbine generators also play a part as do hydro power plants, the latter two forms of generation providing the most immediate response to load changes.

The need for synchronous spinning

What is also not readily appreciated is the importance of the very real property of “system inertia” that is inherent in a group of generators that are operated at synchronous speed. All conventional generators connected to the grid in Australia spin, very precisely, each at a speed which corresponds to 50 Hz. This figure of 50 Hz can be thought of as 3000 cycles per minute (50 times 60). For a generator with two magnetic poles, its spin, or synchronous, speed is 1500 rpm. For a 4-pole generator, the spin speed is 750 rpm. The generators are electrically locked into this same, hence synchronous, speed. Indeed, any generator which might begin to stray a small amount for some reason from synchronous speed is automatically pulled back into lock. This synchronicity of operation is an inherent property of the operation of these synchronous machines: There is no requirement for any sort of active control system to bring about this speed regulation, that is, it is inherently fail-safe.

This property of synchronicity leads to another property, a property that becomes critically important in dealing with transient faults, overloads, short circuits and open circuits. As the spinning rotors of the generators are all locked together at synchronous speed, the mechanical inertia of the rotating system is the sum of the rotational inertias of all of those locked-in-synchronous spinning rotors. If there is a sudden load increase, then that load is shared by all the generators, completely automatically. In this instance, the speed of ALL of them will drop together, to the same extent. This speed change IS the means by which the change in the load is sensed and a throttling correction applied. But, what is important for transient changes in load, such as a flashover due to a lightning strike, a short or open circuit due to a transmission cable disconnection or a generator dropping out, is that, on a network of synchronous generators, any sudden load change can be absorbed by the collected sum of the operating generators.

This inherent safety in dealing with transient faults seems to have been ignored in the lead-up to the severe weather event that affected South Australia on 28 September 2016. It was important that as much synchronous generation as possible ought to have been powered up, spinning in synchronism with those other, few, synchronous generators that were actually operating on the South Australian grid on the day.

Where wind farms, and other non-synchronous forms of generation are used, it needs to be very clearly understood that these forms of generation do not share this protective safety feature. A significant part of any line or load transient occurring near a given non-synchronous generator must be borne by that generator as if it is acting alone. The result is that such generation may well be far more prone to shutdown in the event of nearby transients than is a synchronous generator. Thus, reliance on such as wind generation to provide a large share of the total generation during any severe weather event, or similar situation where the transmission system is subject to disturbance, or potential disturbance, is not a wise strategy

 So if Victoria has a target of 4000 to 5000 MW of installed wind farm supply then the variations of supply will approach the situation in South Australia for load following. This would require the Victorian generators to cope with correlated variations in South Australia and Victoria with variations of as much as 3000 MW. Although the installed capacity of wind farms in New South Wales is only some 500 MW, these will also have a degree of correlation with the southern states so the system will need to be able to handle 4000 MW variations. This is the key question as load-following generators were developed to handle demand changes of 10’s of MW per minute but, with the projected increase in wind farm installed capacity, the short term supply changes may increase to a requirement of 100’s of MW per minute. The creation of more interstate transmission lines may not help when simultaneous variations occur in all the States.

The conclusion for the proposed Victorian increase in wind supply is that the possibility of blackouts will be increased, even though the Victorian transmission network with a “ring main” around Melbourne and the array of transmission lines from the LaTrobe Valley is comforting, provided that coal burning power stations are not closed down.

Distorting the market

The real distortion to the system is the treatment of wind generated power. It is described as non-dispatchable as it must be used when generated. Wind farms do not bid a price into the wholesale market but rather take what is on offer and collect a legislated $40 per MWh from distributors who pass this cost on to the users. The consequence of this is a distortion of the market that drives out high priced generators whose actual costs are less than that of the subsidized wind farms. This occurred on 28 September 2016, when the Pelican Point and much of the Torrens Island gas-powered generators in Adelaide were off-line during most of the day.

The physical and financial integration of wind power into our power networks has not been thought through in any careful or precise way. All that has been put in place has been a series of, seemingly ever-increasing, ad hoc, “renewable energy targets”. It is not clear what the physical limit on renewable energy might be but the experience of South Australia suggests that the danger zone starts when more than 20% of supply comes from renewables. Perhaps it is useful to think of the criterion of “spinning reserves”, where the concept is that the largest generator supplying power to the system is always to be shadowed by a generator of similar capacity, or a collection of generators whose summed capacity is of similar capacity to this largest generator to guard against a sudden loss of power. For wind the shadow capacity would have to be the total installed wind generation capacity matched by conventional generators and with no interstate support. The behaviour of South Australia, from recent and bitter experience, shows insufficient reserves were available when the network became isolated from interstate support. This test would suggest that if the inter-connect to Victoria supplies some 400 MW then South Australia has 400 MW too much installed wind power and this absence of reserves is a reflection of the distorted wholesale market.

The financial subsidy in the wholesale market is beyond redemption and the subsidy should be eliminated from all proposed future wind farms.

All for what? CO2 “saved” is inconsequential

There is a cascading series of orders of magnitude that are largely absent from the political approach to the climate change issue. As a world total we generate some 27 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide annually from the use of fossil fuels. Forest and peat fires in the tropics generate 13 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide annually. China current annual production is 9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide and it plans to have an annual increase that is equal to the total annual carbon dioxide emissions from Australia of 0.33 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide. The contribution from South Australia is 6% of Australia’s emissions and it is of no consequence but what about the cost?

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217 comments to How much wind power can a grid handle?

  • #
    BruceC

    I posted this comment on the previous thread in response to a comment from Tony from Oz, but I think it belongs better here;

    Coal-fired power stations: Senate committee to examine how best to close them.

    Greens and Labor to combine forces to push for inquiry looking at ways to meet Australia’s climate change targets.

    A Senate committee will examine how best to close coal power stations to meet Australia’s climate change targets when the Greens and Labor combine to set up an inquiry on Wednesday.

    The Greens and Labor will move a motion to ask the Senate environment and communications references committee to report on mass closures of electricity generators, and expect sufficient crossbench support to set up the inquiry.

    It will consider how the retirement of coal power plants can help meet the Paris climate target of limiting global warming to 2C and how to achieve it with “minimal community and individual impact from closures”. That will include ways to attract new investment and jobs to affected communities.

    Read the full story here;
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/12/coal-fired-power-stations-senate-committee-to-examine-how-best-to-close-them

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    • #
      PeterS

      Well I suppose that’s one way to shut down what’s left of our industry and move them offshore leading to a complete collapse of our economy, unless they also propose we start building nuclear power stations for base load. Fat chance!

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      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        It’s also a way to set the story straight. Right now is, as somebody said something like, a very exciting time to be here.

        Not everybody lives in NSW or pays attention to what is happening here. But recent events are absolutely momentous, and the consequences if run with could reach a very long way.

        The “animal liberation” movement acting in conjunction with the PC brigade, including the ABC, persuaded the surprisingly foolish Liberals/Nationals coalition government to ban the greyhound racing industry. A small minority in the overall picture, easy fodder for collective punishment to demonstrate the strength of Political Correctness in the government.

        Many things the government failed to comprehend. Some people do have principles. People do have mates. And the Animal Liberation movement is the declared mortal enemy of all animal industries, all the way to wanting to force everybody to be vegans. Now the biggest animal industries are represented in the parliament by the National Party. So you should have no trouble understanding the shock in the Nationals’ constituency to find our reps granting our mortal enemies a mighty victory, all in the interests of Political Correctness.

        The people spoke to their Nationals reps in no uncertain terms, while the problem also received appropriate attention in the wider community.

        Fortuitiously, the state member for Orange in central NSW, a National holding a 70% majority safe seat, resigned recently to replace the retiring Federal member, so there is a by election coming up in Orange. So Orange became the campaign capital.

        This week the premier announced that the greyhound ban will be reversed. there is talk of “last chance for the industry”, but that is BS. This is eating crow. Crow for the government excepting those too few Nats who opposed it, crow at last for the ABC’s 4 Corners, and crow for the Animal Libbers, most of whom are motivated not so much by love of animals as by a readiness to hate people.

        Today I visited Orange, and the signs were there, in big, prominent, professionally made black on yellow: PUT NATIONALS LAST. I won’t be suggesting that those signs be pulled down until yesterday’s promise has become reality.

        So don’t let it worry you that the Greens and the ALP have called a Senate Inquiry. Just make sure that at this inquiry the right questions get asked of the right people.

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        • #
          Dsystem

          The animal liberation movement and the greens are minorities, but they seem to have a large effective control of what happens. What do you call a political system where minorities rule? I know it’s not a democracy.

          30

    • #
      Allen Ford

      A report in today’s SMH does not inspire confidence that any Senate enquiry will come to a rational conclusion:

      Australia is facing renewed international pressure to explain what it is doing to tackle climate change, with a United Nations review finding its emissions continue to soar and several countries calling for clarity about what it will do after 2020.

      Just what we need – UN bozos meddling in our “attempts” to modulate 1.5% of the 3% or so of the net total of earthly emissions!

      272

  • #
    Ron Clutz

    Experience elsewhere suggests 10-15% is the cap for renewables.

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/climateers-tilting-at-windmills-updated/

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  • #
    Andrew McRae

    Is it too early in the thread for a vapid interlude?

    Why take the plunge into wind power when you can take a plunge away from wind power.
    Might be the only thing they’re good for on maintenance day.

    162

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Bungee jumping for greens is a business I devised, I’ll even operate it carefully positioning the rope….

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    • #
      Mark D.

      We all know that the question “how much wind power can the grid handle” is, at best twisted.

      It should be “how much demand can a wind grid handle?”

      There maybe Aye fixed that for ya’ll

      51

  • #
    pat

    i also posted this on the previous thread in response to others, but here it is again:

    no big deal!

    12 Oct: ABC: Power fully restored across South Australia after weather damaged transmission towers
    Big industrial companies in South Australia finally have full loads of electricity two weeks after extreme weather damaged transmission towers and plunged the state into darkness…
    The company has built five temporary transmission towers near Melrose in regional South Australia after three transmission lines and 22 towers were damaged in the September 28 storm.
    The damage led to a statewide blackout and several regional communities were left without power for days…
    “This is a significant achievement that will allow work to begin on permanent repairs,” Mr Masters said.
    “While the design and scheduling details are still being confirmed, we expect permanent towers to be in place over the coming months, provided weather conditions remain stable.”
    South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis tweeted that large companies like BHP would have a “full load” with the system “effectively” back on.
    Large industrial sites in the days since the storm had access to some power but not normal loads.
    Power was urgently restored to Whyalla’s Arrium steelworks which minimised its loss to about $10 million, while the furnace at Port Pirie’s Nyrstar smelter was damaged during the outage which is expected to cost the company millions of dollars.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-12/power-fully-restored-across-south-australia/7927408

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  • #

    One statement above stands out (like a prophet ignored, “crying in the wilderness”):

    “…now is the time to figure out those limits and the costs. (Ten years ago would’ve been better)”

    Ten years ago would have been better (and so would 20 years, and 30, and 40). That is the cry of a lone eagle–or sparrow, for that matter–flying over an earth devastated by blind men and women focused only on power for themselves, and for their class (of “elites”, as they see themselves).

    Readers here know the “climate science” behind the push for wind (and solar) energy to replace fossil fuels is incompetent. Incompetence of all the scientific “experts” is what started all of this, and maintains it even now by shoring up the insane Leftist political agenda. But now surely one must say the same thing about the electrical engineers, that they must also all be incompetent, else THEY would have shut down this mad international effort, this quixotic quest to change the unchangeable and prove the unprovable (that wind and solar can replace fossil fuels, without sacrificing our civilization and the hard-won knowledge that got us here).

    [Snip, sorry 18C - J] …so the political Left is, for its staunch followers now, a religion rather than a political movement (acting like the stubborn parents who refuse to take their sick child to a doctor because they believe their faith will save it; the Left’s faith is in their corrupt leaders and a science, however “authoritative”, that is verifiably altogether false).

    So don’t tell me that engineers are better than the likes of today’s climate scientists. Those in positions of authority, over the last two generations, have ALL let themselves be suborned and turned from both common sense and their professional ethics. The incompetence is quite general, to get us to this sorry pass, and still striving even now, like lemmings, to run everyone over the cliff.

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    • #
      RobK

      Dale,
      A fair point to an extent but..Engineers were warning of this situation regularly over the past decades. I think the reasoning has ways been 10-20% renewables is the limit. The political rational has been to get into that on a wing and a prayer in the hope that technical solutions will materialize by the time that ceiling is reached. The same goes for subsidies. Here in WA a significant portion of our state debt is attributable to the spectacular give always to incentivize solar uptake (patent lunacy). Renewables should not be subsidized. The hidden costs increase with increased uptake. Storage other than hydro is still a way off.

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    • #
      Asp

      IN defence of engineers, of which I am one, it is well known that usually their technical ability far exceeds their political prowess. Where the solutions to a particular problem are not particularly palatable, significant political ability is required to sell that solution.
      Some may remember maybe 15 (?)years ago when the Queensland electricity system came close to collapse. How did this happen? First you place ex-footballers with a Labor slant in key management positions, then reward them with bonuses for ‘saving’ money by not carrying out major maintenance work essential for the long term stability of the system.
      Our civilization is falling apart because we departed from the tenet of ‘employ the best person for the job’, and allowed nepotism to creep in. This further developed to the rampant ‘political nepotism’ we now have, where a persons appointment to a positions is determined purely by their political suitability. Technical ability is not required, as all you have to do is manage the perception, not the reality. And smile at people.

      272

      • #
        Manfred

        Our civilization is falling apart because we departed from the tenet of ‘employ the best person for the job’

        In part. The other crucial bit is a redefinition of ‘best person’. This appears now to at the least to imply if not categorically state that ‘person’ is to be a gender and ethnically representative, culturally correct, and to understand not only how not to take personal or institutional responsibility, but that ‘process’ is everything and ‘result’ virtually irrelevant.

        All ‘n all, not so unlike The Borg, though of course far less effective.

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      • #

        Asp – Are you trying to tell me that Peter ‘Midnight Oil’ Garret was not the most qualified person to manage the installation of government subsidized pink-bats insulation?

        … or that Leonardo DiCaprio is not the most qualified person to comment on climate science, and thus at some point justifiably be appointed as the leader of the U.S. Department of Energy?

        Both of these individuals have far more Twitter and Facebook followers than the average back-bencher, so their opinions MUST be more correct … in a democracy, that is.

        The way I see it, Democracy in-and-of-itself is touted – almost religiously – as a cure-all mechanism to prevent the rule of bad ideas over large human populations, and it is almost a heresy if anyone criticizes it in any way shape or form … and, for that matter … at least Mussolini kept the trains running on time !!! (That was a joke … I think).

        I have come to the conclusion that successfully separating Democracy from Demogogracy, is the number one challenge of our times, and we all need to recognize not only the successes western civilization has brought forth, but also the inherent weaknesses. Currently, it seems that the successes are being publicly urinated on and even wrapped in ‘white guilt’ (case point; Industrial Revolution of the evil ‘developed nations’), whilst the weaknesses are not only being ignored, but in some instances viewed as strengths. Our civilization has gone quite mad.

        How on Earth can we stop nepotism and bring logical suitability back into the process of political and/or bureaucratic appointments? … the only answer I have ever found to this question starts with an INTELLECTUALLY HONEST MEDIA, which sadly is probably less likely to rectify than the rise of a Benevolent Despot after the green-left totally wreck the remaining working physical and economic systems in Australia.

        Should we pray for a Benevolent Despot? Let’s hope they have an engineering background and a disdain for corrupt and incompetent scientists.

        It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your [the Press Media] second obligation–an obligation which I share. And that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people–to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need, and understand them as well–the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program and the choices that we face.
        - John F. Kennedy. The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961

        My, my, the political left have come a very long way since some of them, at least in the ‘land of the free’, were attempting to find a balance where objective TRUTHS might play some part in the democratic process.

        The greatest failings of our time, and the number one culprit of general public ignorance, is the corrupt and agenda driven mainstream media, which goads the political system into compliance by whipping up large crowds of ignorant people with emotional manipulations hatched by special interest groups and politcal bias (currently mostly left-wing crowds driven by financial interests – ironically, shades of 1930′s Germany rather than Bolshevik Russia. ‘Deniers’ now replace ‘racial inferiors’ as the scapegoat of choice).

        60

  • #
    Rocky

    Dear Lord save us from these lunatics.

    352

  • #
    turnedoutnice

    There are three possibilities.

    1. Find out by experiment how much wind energy a particular Grid can handle, albeit with the possibility for a single Grid without access to external power input, that the Grid will not be able to re-start. This is the case for Scotland, which should it become independent, would be without Grid power because it relies on rapidly disappearing English base-load. Should Victoria stop supporting the SA lunatics for the same reason, SA would be in the same position. Ultimately, the final arbiter is a general election with those MPs responsible for the inevitable deaths kicked out and, hopefully with their advisors, being put on trial for Corporate Manslaughter.

    2. Nationalise base-load power: this is what has happened in the UK, plus hiding diesel generation in old quarries, also making a healthy return for diesel backup plant in state-owned assets such as hospitals. The aim has been since 2012 to pretend windmills produce useful power when their real role is to mimic Easter Island Statues.

    3. Go back to professional engineers to come up with a way to control Grid phase whilst allowing wind power to access the Grid, also to get real fossil fuel savings. Initially it has to be gas fired, then nuclear, which takes at least a decade. There is a solution to the problem but it is very innovative and will destroy the renewables’ oligopoly, which was set up to reward corrupt politicians and the Mafias who own them.

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    • #
      Peter C

      4. Dump all renewables and return to fossil fuel power plants.

      5. Revisit Climate Science and revise the CO2 beliefs

      6. Start planning for advanced Nuclear power plants.

      332

      • #
        Manfred

        7. Irretrievably strangle the financial spigot to the whole ensemble from the UN down and the entire weather faux-problem from the top to its subsidised bottom withers. Money may be redirected to genuine technological progress and excellence in education.

        But…what I’d love to understand is why the airline industry agreed to pay a tax to the UN?
        Airline industry hijacked by UN climate accord

        “…airlines will pay a tax to fund projects that cut carbon pollution, such as wind farms or solar-power plants. Ultimately, this means the UN will redistribute as much as $24 billion by 2035 from air travelers to the politically-connected environmental activists.”

        111

    • #
      Rod Stuart

      I say there is another possibility.
      Enforce windfarms to adhere to exactly the same power generation rules as any other generator in the market.
      That is, bid into the market with an offer to generate for the next discrete time interval, on the understanding that failure to produce the amount of power offered results in a fine.
      The money collected in fines is used to pay the FCAS fees of those generators providing this service. At the same time revenue is precisely determined by the price established by the market for the energy produced during the specified interval; no more and no less.
      A day at most of this and there wouldn’t be any windmills remaining solvent.

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      • #
        Peter C

        Brilliant idea!

        I suppose that the same fines would apply to the coal fired power stations (that might not bother them much)

        50

  • #
    John M. Dique

    Did anyone catch ” Brock ” on tv this week ? We need more petrol head stuff on TV. I guarantee my supercharged Statesman doing a burnout will drown out any dribbling greenie.

    103

    • #
      Geoff Sherrington

      I have a supercharged Statesman also. Some days when I can exercise it without penalty I feel that it is an expression of a rebellious streak.
      Geoff

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      • #
        richardX

        My car only has a 2.8L V6, but it is turbocharged. I can turn off the stability control but, even with it on, I can spin the wheels in 2nd. And I get around 20 to 22 L/100km around town, so I’m doing my bit for humanity.

        50

      • #
        Ted O'Brien

        Take good care of your supercharged Statesman. This week we are driving an inherited 1999 (dual cam) Excel, with No 1 getting roo damage fixed. Today I put 26.05 litres of unleaded 91 in it after clocking 492 km. 53.3 miles per gallon! I was impressed. It zips along, and the seat is good. Would be a bit light on a rough road, though.

        20

        • #
          Lawrie

          I recall buying my daughter a 2nd hand Excel many moons ago. How they laughed. An Excel. They are still going.

          Hyundai at the time said they wanted 25% of the Australian market. How they laughed. Last year Hyundai had 23% and they are still growing.

          Now Ted do you still run sheep near Merriwa?

          10

    • #
      David Maddison

      My car is not supercharged but it does have a 6 litre V8.

      Unfortunately traction control cannot be disabled and no one has come up with a hack to do so.

      32

      • #
        BruceC

        My ’03 Munro CV8-R has a switch on the centre console to disable the TC …. however during the past couple of WET* days here in Newcastle in stays ON.

        *I do believe our dams are full …. contrary to what an expert told us a few years ago.

        70

  • #

    Jo Hello!

    Why electricity is poorly transportable? Because it is not comparable to water in a pipe.

    Note that the first third of the energy supplied by a central push is only for electricity on the cables! the second third is lost along the way! (Never approach to high power lines), and the other third to reach the customer.

    http://huemaurice5.blogspot.fr/2014/10/a-propos-denergie-gratuite.html

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      tom0mason

      huemaurice,

      Indeed that is the usual case. As most grids being aluminum cabled with the losses higher than with the overly heavy copper.
      Taking long distance distribution grid up to higher voltages lowers the losses but adds the requirement for step-down transformers and the losses they incur. see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_power_transmission#Overhead_transmission

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      Ed Bo

      Sorry, not even close!

      In the US, where there are very long transmission distances, overall transmission losses are about 4% of generated, and transformer step-up/step-down losses are another 4%.

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        tom0mason

        Don’t worry you’ll get there as windfarms produce more uncalled for electricity.

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      • #
        turnedoutnice

        Incorrect; it starts at 155 in the US because of lots of rural LV lines The 4% figure is purely for a supergrid >400 kV.

        20

        • #
          Ed Bo

          Nope! EIA statistics show 2% losses for long-distance (HV) transmission, 4% for (LV) distribution (which includes transformer losses).

          Rural states show significantly lower losses than highly urbanized states.

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          • #
            turnedoutnice

            UK data are very different: there is something wrong with the US Federal EIA data which can’t be trusted because it’s a propaganda machine, just like NOAA, NODC, NASA and GISS.

            The only US organisations that remain objective are JPL and Scripps, at leadt until their management is changed.

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              Ed Bo

              Losses in developed countries range from about 6% to 9% — UK comes in at about 8%. This has been true for a very long time. In general, these come down slowly over time.

              20

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    Bonjour Jo !

    Pourquoi l’électricité est très mal transportable ? Parce qu’elle n’est pas comparable à de l’eau dans un tuyau.

    Notez que le premier tiers de l’énergie fournit par une centrale sert uniquement à pousser l’électricité sur les cables ! le deuxième tiers se perd en cours de route ! (Ne jamais s’approcher de lignes à hautes tensions) et, le troisième tiers arrive chez le consommateur.

    http://huemaurice5.blogspot.fr/2014/10/a-propos-denergie-gratuite.html

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    • #

      Translated:

      Why the electricity is very poorly transportable? Because it is not comparable to the water in a pipe.

      Note that the first third of the energy provided by a central serves only to push the electricity on the cables! The second third is lost in the course of the road! (Never approaching lines to high voltages) and, the third third arrives at the consumer.

      Merci, Huemaurice!.

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      John B

      I would have thought that for three-phase power the number of poles should be a multiple of three, each out of phase by a third of a cycle.

      The Australian Energy Market Operator gives each distribution area loss factors that can be used when calculating the price of electricity. In the case of the Australian Capital Territory its regulator determines the price of electricity and uses loss factors as part of determination. The power mostly comes from NSW along 330kV transmission cables. The transmission loss factor is 1.0095 and the distribution loss factor is 1.0456, the energy loses are 1% and 4.5%.

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    Nick Werner

    The need for significant spinning reserve to stabilize frequency makes sense to this retired electrical engineer.

    One minor technical point though, that doesn’t take away from the main message… I read:

    “For a generator with two magnetic poles, its spin, or synchronous, speed is 1500 rpm. For a 4-pole generator, the spin speed is 750 rpm.”

    I believe the synchronous speed is established by pairs of N-S poles, so in a 50Hz system the 2-pole generator spins at 3000 rpm, the 4-pole at 1500, and so on.

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    Ruairi

    Wind turbines can run out of sync,
    While the grid needs a 50 Hz link.
    Of AC current in,
    From a constant true spin,
    Which could leave a few states on the blink.

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    Steve Richards

    Good post. Just one picky part:

    “There is no requirement for any sort of active control system to bring about this speed regulation, that is, it is inherently fail-safe.”

    The active control of speed is implemented with an engine governor fitted to each generator set.

    The instant one generator ‘wanted’ to go slower (it can not) it would immediately ‘push’ less AC into the grid, causing a reverse power trip, shutting that generator set down, for generator safety.

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      Agreed Steve, I noticed that too. Likely worth mentioning too that the governor has a droop characteristic, controlling output up as frequency drops and visa versa. It is the droop characteristic that manages longer term stability, whereas the synchronous nature of the magnetic field in the generator manages the transient response.

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      Cynic of Ayr

      Actually, with two or more reasonably equally powered alternators, 50 Khz is controlled by engine or turbine governors. However, should one tend to droop a little, it doesn’t have to shut down. What happens is that the phase shift causes the load on the drooping engine to decrease, thus allowing it to increase revs (ever so slightly!) back up to sync.
      The opposite happens when one engine decides to rev up a little. The phase shift increases it’s load, and it tends to slow down back to sync.
      One drives the other.
      The two could decide for themselves to drift off, and sync at 45 for example, but engine governors keep them in line, and other circuitry keeps check too. It used to be measured with little vibrating reeds. The reeds were tuned to 50Hz, and when they were in a 50Hz magnetic field from the supply, they vibrated happily. But, if the field changed off frequency, the reeds danced around, agitated by the upset in their desire to vibrate at their frequency, against the one the field wanted them to vibrate at.
      The fine syncing is done by phase shift causing changing loads, which even the best engine governors could not individually control to such an extent.
      However, should an engine be incapable of speeding up to sync, or slowing down to sync, then disaster occurs, as the phase shifts become huge loads. Everything blows up! To explain, a phase shift of 180 degrees, is an actual short circuit! One voltage is positive high, and the other negative low. Just like connecting two car batteries Pos to Neg and Neg to Pos! Big bang! Hence, long before that point, the offending engine is taken off line. Just how which engine is the offending one, is decided by control circuity.
      Consider a 1000HP engine and alternator, coupled up to a little caravan alternator of 5HP. As long as they start in sync, they will carry on happily, But bear in mind, the 1000HP unit doesn’t even know the other one is there, but the little one certainly knows the big one is there! It does everything the big one says! Should the little one run out of fuel, then the inevitable 180 degree phase shift is soon reached, and the big engine merely burns the little feller to a cloud of atoms, thus removing that nuisance of a short.
      People should be aware of the huge powers talked about here! The 1000 MW here and the 1000 MW there, are all taken as just numbers. It’s much more than that. Short out the above mentioned car battery, and the resultant fire and explosion is – Oh, I dunno? 5Kw? – Imagine the same thing but multiplied 200,000 times.

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        Nick Werner

        “Should the little one run out of fuel, then the inevitable 180 degree phase shift is soon reached, and the big engine merely burns the little feller to a cloud of atoms, thus removing that nuisance of a short.”

        The situation isn’t quite that dire. A synchronous generator is essentially a synchronous motor with a mechanical power source instead of a load. So if the little engine runs out of fuel there will be a slight phase shift relative to the big guy, electrical power flow reverses, and whatever friction the little assembly has becomes a load to the big generator.

        This characteristic led to a rather amusing anecdote at a mine where I worked. Grid power was restored after a maintenance outage. The electrical department told the mechanical department to go ahead and shut down the mine’s 1455 hp/1 MW diesel generator. They complied… or they tried to. Then they scratched their heads and started to tear the fuel assembly apart because no matter what they did the engine would NOT stop “running”. After a couple hours and phone calls the lead electrician realized his oversight, walked unnoticed into the electrical room, and opened the breaker to disconnect the generator. He was gone out the back door before the genset had stopped.

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        Lawrie

        If that is the case then Bayswater’s 2400 MW should be able to blow up those 3MW wind turbines one by one until they all collapse in a fuming heap. What a sight? May get on 4 Corners.

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      Rod Stuart

      I should like to make an observation regarding the cost of admitting windfarms to the grid.
      The unpredicatable intermittent output, as has been pointed out, makes it necessary for conventional machines to change load rapidly and frequently.
      Heat engines run naturally at steady loads. Anything else results in higher maintenance costs.
      The larger machines are in fact inhibited to changes beyond a few MW per second.
      This is but another reason that windmills drive the cost of other contributors through the roof.
      Leaving the theoretical world aside, and focusing on real world results from a real world electrical system (that only two decade ago was state of the art) the presentation determines the extent to which windmills multiply the cost of electricity, and at the same time multiply the CO2 emissions, both by a factor of at least two. The analysis =does not include the tremendous waste of resources in government programmes.

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    The politicians pushing for wind and other “green” energy systems should all be locked in a room and have this explained to them, and not be let out until they understand it.

    Or maybe they should just be locked in a room and not let out.

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    tom0mason

    There is no doubt that the necessary geographical spread of wind farms requires long transmission lines. This can be seen in Figure 1, where wind farms to the east and west of Spencer’s Gulf need transmission lines of up to 600 km to Adelaide and wind farms in the south east of the state have some 300 km to bring power from near the border with Victoria….

    Interesting number that 600km as I will explain.
    Anyone into radio will understand that when the line length becomes an appreciable part of the wavelength then strange things happen.
    For instance at 50Hz if a generator on a power line of length 1425km (with no other appreciable load on it) has a short circuit at the far end of the line, the generator will see this as almost an open circuit! That is because the line is acting as a quarterwave transformer (allowing for a line velocity factor of ~0.95 of the speed of light). see http://www.arcticpeak.com/antennapages/quarter-wave_transformer.htm

    At 600km the load reflected back from one end of the line to the other will not be quite what you think. At this length the line is nearly an eighth of a wavelength. A dead short (or open circuit) at that distance will look like a highly reactive load, with around 30° difference between the current and the voltage, at the other end. And that degree of reactive load will easily cause protective breaker to trip, however, unless carefully designed the trip activation will happen from the wrong end of the line first.
    Note –
    Under normal operation the impedance will be swinging about all over the place as wind generators outputs and consumer loads vary. That will cause the thermal generators on the grid to vary in speed, causing the grid frequency to vary, as they attempt to stabilize the whole system.

    As I have said before this makes incorporation of any form of graded protection system throughout the grid fraught. Putting in protection systems where the generation and the consumer load varies will not be a simple task. Hopefully there are fast trips on the wind generator outputs so it is assured that in the event of any line fault they are the first generators to be taken off line with the protection removing the line fault by isolating it from the grid. Then real thermal generation (rolling reserve) is ready to take over the rest of the (grid)load immediately. Once the grid is stabalized the wind can be phased back on line as the thermal generation is removed.

    The big message should be –
    Grid integrity is priority number one, no generator or group of generators are more important than the grid. Break a generator and at worst part of the system loses power, break the grid and no-one has power.

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    Roy Hogue

    Here’s where I’m a little bit ignorant. I know it’s necessary to keep generators synchronized because if they aren’t you quickly get the equivalent of a really bad short circuit or the grid must take the generator that’s out of phase offline. I also know that here in the states the synchronization at 60 Hz is so good a synchronous clock can run for years, assuming no power outage, without needing to be adjusted. I suspect exactly the same for your 50 Hz grid in Oz.

    What I don’t know is how far one generator can be allowed to drift from the 60 or 50 Hz standard before it causes trouble. If the load changes very fast there must be some speed reduction or increase because of the load change (so it’s out of phase to some degree temporarily) while the power driving the generator is adjusted to compensate — nothing happens instantly. And jo isn’t quite as specific as I would like. So…

    Can anyone answer the question, how far off frequency can one generator get before it’s a problem?

    Thanks.

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      TdeF

      Good question. It is about voltage. If one system is on 170,000 volts and the other is 90 degrees out, it is a short circuit. You have to match not only exact frequency but phase and shape and amplitude. Any difference at all has the potential to blow up a generator or fry lines. This was always the problem not with AC itself, but with establishing a grid of generators.

      I do not see how one system can be on 51 cycles/second and another on 50 cycles/second ever? I would love to hear the explanation for how this could be tolerated? This simple mismatch means that at least once per second, every second each system is a short circuit across the other. Almost never are they matched.

      So not only do the waveforms have to match precisely, they all have to start at the same time, like the chorus line at the Rockettes. A single one out of phase, height or shape wrecks the whole system and has to be turned off instantly.

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        Roy Hogue

        Thanks.

        I would think the waveform would be an easier problem to handle. But again, I’m not a power engineer and what I know is just basic alternating current 101. Certain things are obvious but the details take more detailed knowledge and experience.

        I have trouble visualizing the voltage and current relationships in the standard delta or “Y” 3-phase system that has been used for so many years. I know it permits transmitting power over long distances less expensively than the equivalent 3 single-phase lines would require because there are only 3 conductors instead of the 6 that would otherwise be needed. It can be used directly to run induction motors without any local means of generating at least one other phase — no capacitors, starting windings or pole shading needed. But there my knowledge ends.

        And that’s something for reasearch on another day if I get interested enough — if… ;-)

        But it occurs to me to ask how does the power factor affect this whole problem. Or does it add any problem at all?

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        Roy Hogue

        I do not see how one system can be on 51 cycles/second and another on 50 cycles/second ever?

        I can’t answer that. But I would think that how tolerable a generator phase difference is depends on the phase difference. A “small” short circuit current might not be so bad and be tolerated but a larger one might be fatal.

        I can see that I have more questions than knowledge with which to answer them.

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        • #
          tom0mason

          Basically as the two generators come into sync frequency errors are translated into phase errors at the new operating frequency, say 50.2Hz. How it get to this new frequency is very complex with mechanical and electrical features of both generators governing what the final frequency will be (yes it will take time to settle). This phase error is poor power factor. Again this is where those rinkie-dink little windfarms are a problem as there output are not stable making it more difficult to settle to a new frequency and resolve any phase anomalies – hence the wider frequency and Power factor (phase) limit allowances when renewables are added to the grid.

          Note 1: If all the grid was powered by fossil fuel generators then frequency and phase error are still present, but smaller, due to the varying customer loading. However when this was the case the grid was maintained at much tighter frequency and phase limits and generators adjusted to maintain stability. Back then on the lead-up to peak demand the frequency was increased slightly in anticipation of the system loading-up, and the reversed again when predicted peak demand fell. As TonyfromOz can tell you, prediction charts for the load, made for every hour of every day were used, and were very useful in keeping the electrical generation and the grid efficiently stable.

          Note 2: In the long term the frequency of the mains is maintained at exactly 50Hz. I do not know what is the Australian specification, probably 50Hz averaged over 24 hours.

          Power factor and phase errors (between current and voltage) are the same thing but express by different methods. Depending on the requirements of the grid this may be the wanted preference to remove power factor anomalies generated elsewhere on the grid.
          Just remember that poor power factor (poor I-V phase coherence) causes excess current to be circulating on the grid that is not useful but still causes losses and heating (IR losses) of the grid components (cables, transformers switch gear, etc.) It also could be costing money in fuel to run a generator more just to satisfy the grid power factor requirements.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          As an aside in RF work the same problems exist but are expressed very much differently (again). This time the analysis involves complex impedances in j notation, and such things as Smith Chart (a graphical method of displaying impedances as both positive real numbers and positive and negative imaginary numbers, from zero to infinity!).
          In the long view power factor, phase errors, and complex impedances can be seen as equivalent methods but they are more usefully express differently for each individual job.

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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            Tom,

            That Wiki article mentions something I never even thought about, rectifiers converting the AC to DC. I wonder what all the millions of computers running all day and some all night (I know my son and his wife leave theirs on almost all the time) are doing to the power factor with their switching power supplies. The duty cycle is weird as you see it on a scope, the power line is supplying current only near the top of each peak and completely shut off for the rest of each cycle.

            Interesting.

            Tell me, what would happen to the grid if demand didn’t ramp up slowly over minutes or hours during the day and then ramp down the same way? What if, say a whole city, a large one, agreed to turn off their master circuit breakers at a given time as a test? Could the grid withstand that abrupt a large change in load? Or a similar abrupt change in supply?

            I’ve been curious for some time because a large high voltage line runs not more than a mile and a half from me crossing the freeway where I can easily see it. The insulators and cables are big, even without a good reference because they are so high. So there’s some bad stuff up on those towers. It feeds power from a generating plant on the coast to a distribution center north of us, the same one from which this whole area gets its power. And where it crosses the freeway is a gap between 2 hills where I’ve seen more than one foolish pilot flying too low to stay under an overcast and squeeze through that gap. What would happen if one of those planes took out that power line is bound to be a disaster for both the power plant and the distribution center if I’m any judge.

            I know for sure that Edison doesn’t shut down that plant even to rescue some kid who climbed one of those towers and got zapped. It takes too long to shut it all down. They sent Edison personnel up the tower after him.

            I was stunned to see newspaper photos of Edison people hanging from one of the conductors holding a rope held on its other end by someone on the ground… …really awesome faith in your insulation.

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            • #
              Rod Stuart

              Roy
              Remember the size of some of the equipment that produces your power. In California some of your power comes from the Grand Coulee dam. I recall working in the plant in which two of those rotors were manufactured. They are eighty feet in diameter, and rotate at 30 rpm. ( I think they were 60 pole machines) producing 700 MW each. I can’t remember the mass, but I do recall that the thrust bearings are rated at fourteen thousand tonnes.
              Now compare that to your computer, or if you like a million computers.

              As for an entire city going black, it happens every year on the stupid “Earth Hour” day. The reason it has little effect is that it is done at a time of day when the residential load is near minimum anyhow, and the commercial and industrial loads are represent in the order of 75% of the total load (depending on the locale). The system doesn’t even blink. The main steam stop valves, and the fuel gas control valves, and the water control valves all just give a tiny fart in unison and the whole thing keeps rotating along.

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            • #
              Big Dave

              Hi Roy,
              I suspect switching power supplies actually help the overall power factor. Most rectify the mains power to ~320VDC into a largish electrolytic capacitor, making the load current lead the voltage. Motors and other inductive loads such as fluorescent tubes cause the current to lag the voltage. One probably cancels the effect of the other.

              10

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Dave,

                I don’t mean to be arguing with someone who no doubt knows more than I do. But a rectifier, full wave or half wave is a one way device and you appear to be implying that the power line can see the capacitive nature of what’s jest beyond the rectifier. I think (and you can tell me where I’m wrong) that current flows when line voltage is above the capacitor’s voltage until the capacitor reaches the line voltage or line voltage drops below the capacitor’s voltage again. And I don’t see a mechanism for the rectifier to introduce any phase difference, leading or lagging. The sudden current near the top of each half cycle probably is felt by other things in the system like transformers though.

                To have the effect you describe I think the capacitor would need to be connected across the power input before the rectifier, not after it. Then it’s going to introduce a leading current. But that’s not a useful configuration. And I don’t see how it can do that when it’s connected downstream from the rectifier.

                What am I getting wrong?

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                tom0mason

                Switching power supplies (SMPS) are only as good as they are with respect to power factor rating because they have to be by design. See your local standard office for what is allowed.
                Most SMPS achieve this with at most one additional IC in the circuitry. Most modern IC designs have this function built in, and it modifies the the switching timing so that the average power factor over the cycle is close to unity.

                Some early SMPS were horrible with some having power factors that went from bad to bl00dy awful as the load changed.
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                As an aside ideas on SMPS led indirectly to the high efficiency D class audio amplifiers.
                Also early AM radio transmitters such as some Harris model used a similar technique for efficient audio power generation at 10kW and above.

                Here are some pics of transmitters including the Harris 100KW Transmitters

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                Roy Hogue

                Tom,

                Impressive stuff. Today some of it would be solid state if not all of it and smaller than its older cousins but impressive just by their specs alone.

                I worked the last 17 years if my career before retiring for a man who sold, among other things, power amplifiers with output capability up into the multiple hundreds of watts and since I’ve been away for nearly 3 years I have no idea how much farther up the power scale they’ve managed to go. These were not used for broadcasting anything but for EMC (Electromagnetic Compliance) testing. You did not dare to run one outside of a closed shield room for fear of a knock on the door from the FCC. The work I did was on another product line but just a 25 W amplifier was a fair size box. And one day my immediate boss got himself zapped by the 1600 volt plate voltage (yes, a real live vacuum tube) on the final amplifier stage of one of them. We heard it all over the building. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt but he threw the screwdriver in his hand clear across the room… …well he was a little disoriented for a minute but OK. Not good stuff to get crossed up with.

                Anyway, those at just hundreds of watts output were quite impressive. They are definitely not toys.

                NIST broadcast a time signal on WWVB at 60 kHz with total radiated power of 75 kW now. I looked for photos of the transmitters (2 are used) and I think this is one of them. It’s hard to tell anything when it’s mostly all rack mounted and behind a blank front panel.

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              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Power factor… …interesting again. And after more research into the power factor of switchers I find there’s something there that I didn’t even imagine was there.

                This old dog is getting his clock cleaned by you guys who actually know what you’re talking about and I’m getting an education. I owe you.

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              tom0mason

              In an event like you describe of excess generation, all the generators would automatically govern themselves normally. This is by no means catastrophic. As all the generators are effectively in parallel and sharing the customer load across — it just means you are burning too much fuel for a load lighter than predicted. Remember the voltage is managed at the generator, the load defines current on the line and is what ever the customer demands.
              The frequency initially set at the generator is active in tracking the load but will not be allowed to stray outside proscribed limits.

              As the majority of the system is automatically monitored and managed probably some generators will be taken off-line with others configured as rolling reserve.

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          Rereke Whakaaro

          In the South Island of New Zealand, inland from Dunedin, is a one-time gold mining town call Waipouri, named after a river. Back in the day, the residents had a brilliant idea of making a waterwheel and putting it under a waterfall, so that the falling water could be used to drive a dynamo to generate electricity. The remains are still there to this day.

          Dynamos produce direct current output, which is suitable for lighting and simple heating, but nothing that requires a stable frequency. When the Post and Telegraph Office was built, in Waipouri, they needed alternating current for the telegraph transmitter. The simple solution was to install a generator, that could be driven by the dynamo, with the frequency being determined by a spinning regulator (Two spinning balls, mounted on springs, that applied a break when the speed went over the limit (they also used them on steam boilers to regulate steam pressure).

          So the answer has been around for a century, or more. I had a small version, mounted on a disused timber power pole, for a while. It ran my battery charger, so I was DC/AC/DC, at that time. :-)

          What I have never understood, was why the power engineers decided to mount AC generators on top of the tower, and why they didn’t output in DC and then convert that to AC, syncronised with a common reference signal, where it is destined to be used. DC is used for long distance high voltage transmission in New Zealand, and the air is generally drier in Australia, so you would get less losses.

          I like old technology – it invariably works, and keeps on working, and it gets the job done.

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            Rod Stuart

            Stratford, East of Mt Taranaki, boasts the first hydro electric generator, commissioned in September 1898.
            Did Waipouri predate this?
            Perhaps Stratford was the first commercial installation.
            Anyhow, it was a Brown Boveri hydro plant, and some of the equipment can be viewed in the Stratford museum even today.

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      After rereading this article I also wonder if the same problem exists when relying heavily on solar power generated by rooftop panels on 10s or 100s of thousands or even millions of individual homes and other buildings.

      In the case of solar there is no moving part, hence no mechanical lag or lead problems. But there is still the need to precisely maintain the same frequency as the grid or go offline. And I don’t know how fast an alternator can adjust.

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        Graeme No.3

        Roy,
        the solar panels generate DC which is converted to AC by an inverter. The inverter can only operate when it has grid power coming in, so it can match the frequency. So if the problem in SA had occurred during the day it would still have happened as all those roof top systems shut down. (There is a safety reason also in that no-one wants power going into a blacked out line if repairmen are going to work on it).

        The question of phase control, voltage increase as more PV panels are added to the neighbourhood (which effects the nearest transformer), and the overall economic effect of reducing demand during the middle of the day I leave to the experts.

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          Roy Hogue

          Graeme,

          The question of benefit is interesting. If you were to really be interested in getting all you could out of renewable energy wouldn’t you want solar panels positioned facing south in the northern hemisphere and tilted up parallel to the polar axis? Would you not want their exposure to the sun to be clear of obstructions like trees and nearby buildings? I certainly would.

          That is not what they’re doing around here. I watched 5 large panels installed on my neighbor’s house across the street. They were put on the back slope of the roof, completely out of sight from the street and very cosmetic. No bother to anyone’s view and so-on. Unfortunately that side faces nearly due west and receives no direct sun until near noon and is not getting the best in can get until mid afternoon. How much benefit they are missing I can’t say. But it’s surely the most inefficient way to run your house on solar.

          Another neighbor around the corner from me has the panels on a south facing roof and they look like approximately the right angle. But there’s a big tree that shade4s them through much of the day during the late fall, winter and early spring.

          This is nuts. Even I would know better than to do this and then say I was getting the best energy in the world, renewable.

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          • #
            Graeme No.3

            Roy,
            the installation of PV panels on your home depends on 2 important factors. The first is the amount of subsidy and the second is the smug glow of being one who is “saving the planet”. Given that both are high enough, as it was in the UK, then panels will be installed facing north in Aberdeen, and acres of flat panels covering productive farmland. The same in Germany. The orientation is a secondary matter when you are ‘signalling your virtue to the plebs’ across town.
            Where the subsidy is low and the inhabitants are glad of a bit of warming then there are a lot less panels. Alaska which has much the same amount of sunshine as Germany but is anyone up there covering Churches in PV panels?.

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              Roy Hogue

              Yes, there is that, isn’t there?

              It’s kinda like what I found out about Prius owners when the things first appeared. They were smugly going about saving the world one driver at a time. There was a site I found called PriusChat and I looked all over it without finding a single person interested in the low gas milage. There was plenty of condemnation of anyone who didn’t drive a car with an engine that shuts down when you stop, however. Funny thing though — one of my neighbors bought one and I asked her how she liked it. She invited me to get in the drivers seat and showed me how to start it and put it in reverse. Even foot on the break I could tell it would move if I let up the pressure on the pedal. As we were there taking just 3 or 4 minutes and not moving the engine came on to recharge the battery. The real truth is that the engine runs when the battery needs it or when the speed of the car needs it. And the ideas of some of the true believers are dead wrong. What’s new, right?

              ————————-

              Far enough north, as in much of Alaska, the panels would have to rotate to track the sun, even though it never or almost never sets during much of the year. And the other half of the year would be no sun at al.

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              • #
                Roy Hogue

                I got a call yesterday telling me that I was eligible for a new federal program that could protect me from the soon to happen 14% increase in electricity rates if I would sign up. “Press one to talk to a representative,” So I pressed one. After a short wait I was told they were overloaded and I should leave a message and they would call back. The message I left was, verbatim, “My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. Do not call me again. I will never put solar panels on my roof.” And I hung up. I suppose it was Edison but the number where the call originated was unfamiliar to me. I suppose I may have missed a golden opportunity to save some money on solar panel installation and reduce my future juice bills. But frankly, even at what I would have to pay for the installation I can buy quite a lot of higher priced electricity and not go through having my roof walked all over. And walking on the roof is one sure way to create leaks. And roof repairs would be on me all the way. And I remember the one neighbor who has had solar panels going back longer than anyone else telling me he was not doing much better than breaking even.

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        Lance

        star comment Non synchronous generation is not relevant to grid power. Solar/wind/inverter generators follow the synchronous grid. The synchronous grid follows the actual load imposed upon it by users. ONLY the synchronous grid is relevant. It is the ONLY source that can respond to load variations or stabilize the grid itself. Non synchronous generators (solar pv, wind ) cannot be dispatched when needed and the FOLLOW the synchronous grid that follows the load. In other words, alternatives are so far behind the real demand that they aren’t relevant. There are two major causes of blackouts. Under frequency and under voltage (excepting random failures in equipment). Both become under voltage in the end. If the frequency falls, the load demands more current which results in reduced voltage. If the load increases and the frequency is constant but the grid cannot deliver the current, then the voltage falls. With SA wind power fluctuating at some 200 MW / Hr this places a heavy demand on the synchronous grid to infill the whacky response of wind to actual load. The load exists with or without the wind. It isn’t a question of “can wind produce power”. Of course it can. But can it produce it when it is needed? Even if it does, the inverters are following the synchronous grid frequency. So the alternatives have no effect upon actual load impacts on primary generation. Alternatives “follow”. They do not Lead. They do not displace. They are not dispatchable. They are not predictable. They cannot assist in voltage or frequency collapse. In other words, they are more of a liability than a benefit.

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        • #

          Lance – Just a quick question then, since you seem to know your shtick …

          Why isn’t the power from wind turbines simply transmitted locally in Direct Current to a central and local spinning rotor, which is synchronized with the grid frequency, making sure that the AC output is in sync?

          My understanding of most modern wind turbines, is that they have a fixed gear ratio driving an AC output generator designed for 50hz. It just doesn’t make sense to me why a simpler DC generator isn’t used in each of them, and then rectified in the aggregate where only ONE spinning rotor would need to be synced with the grid frequency?

          Sure, a central rectification would chew up a little of the juice, but wouldn’t this be made up by the cost of a simpler generator in each turbine? Back in my high school days, when I did basic electronics, we designed a crude turbine using a simple DC motor. From what I remember the power output was a pulsed DC, so surely a large array of DC output turbines in a single field experiencing the same wind environment, could be rectified in the aggregate by simple internal controllers, allowing a more stable un-pulsed DC power input to be channeled into such a localized spinning rotor?

          Thomas Edison must be rolling in his grave at this insanity! Why is DC current such a heresy when it better suits a particular large scale project? I understand why AC wind turbines are used when there is only one to maybe three being used in an array, but surely when a large scale wind farm is already planned from the beginning, the choice of turbine could change based on the requirement – at least for the sake of grid sanity!!!

          Perhaps I am missing something about why each turbine has to output AC rather than DC. Let me know if you are aware, but I have always been perplexed by this … perhaps it is more bureaucratic incompetence and ignorance at the Department of Energy?

          20

    • #
      RobK

      Roy,
      I think what you need to understand is this:synchronous generators(or salient pole motors) can be connected together when they are roughly the same speed and momentarily in phase, that is,no voltage difference between them. Once connected like this they will both spin at the same speed, they are locked by their spining electromagnets. If you try to increase the speed of one you have to increase the speed of all, there’s no slippage. The wave form distorts slightly that’s all. By contrast an asynchronous generator (or motor) relies on slippage and reactive power(phase shift between volts and amps) to keep it’s armature(rotor) excited. Synchronous machines have a separate supply to excite the armature with a DC current, this keeps the poles locked magnetically.
      I hope that helps

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      • #
        Rod Stuart

        Precisely, and furthermore, the introduction of windmills makes it much more difficult for the grid operator to apply appropriate power factor correction.
        Just as changes in inductive loads on the system require power factor correction, so do the inputs from unstable means of generation.
        Power factor correction is done through the use of synchronous condensers, which are often synchronous machines that exist in the grid that are neither producing power nor driving a load.
        Their presence in the system is yet another hidden loss, as it requires energy to keep them in motion. While engaging them and removing them is a necessary evil to compensate for variation in inductive loads on the system, unstable so-called “renewables” just introduce another need for them.

        41

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Rod,

          What is a synchronous condenser? I’m familiar with the use of capacitors to correct for the power factor being too far from unity. Current not in phase with voltage represents a loss from heat and a cost to run generators to keep it going that they can’t charge customers for. So they want to avoid that. But what is synchronous about them? They simply cause a leading current phase approximately equal to the lagging phase naturally caused by transformers and large inductive loads. And with judicious choice of capacitance you’re back to a power factor near 1.

          10

          • #
            Rod Stuart

            Synchronous condenser
            It is a relatively large synchronous machine synched to the grid and spinning freely.
            Typically, it is machine that was originally built as a generator or a motor.
            It requires a power source to spin it up to synchronous speed and then synched to the grid.
            Then the power source is removed, but the breaker remains closed, so the rotor simply spins merrily away.
            Because it is represents an inductive load, it affects the power factor.
            These can be gas turbine generator sets that are past their use by date (not necessarily) specifically arranged so that the driver can be shut down and continues to rotate with the generator rotor, as the driver rotor adds mass to the machine. They can also be a large generator whose driver is FUBAR, with the addition of a small engine and clutch assembly to spin it up to speed.
            They have to specially adapted for this purpose, so that in “synch con” mode normal generator protection (reverse current relay) is defeated, in addition to such things as lube arrangements for the driver. They are useful in applications in which large industrial loads unpredictably connect and disconnect. They are also necessary when generating machines (and I mean renewables) come in and then unpredictably disappear.
            This in not be be confused with “spinning reserve” or frequency control ancillary services (FCAS), in which case the driver is operating a part load, ready to pick up additional load or shed it at the drop of a hat.
            My comment was to show that the requirement for devices such as this represent additional costs in the form of capital invested, maintenance, and operating costs. Even though a synchronous condenser does not represent a significant load (in power grid terms), it does require energy to keep it rotating as a “perpetual motion machine” is an imaginary construct as are “global warming”, “climate change”, “greenhouse effect”, or “acidic oceans”.

            10

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Thanks! I had never heard the term and was completely blank about what it might mean.

              FCAS sounds like what they call a “peaker plant” here — a power station that is on hot standby to pick up extra load if needed but otherwise is not supplying the grid. I understand that they can be brought online relatively fast if needed. And that exhausts what I know about them.

              10

              • #
                Rod Stuart

                No Roy.
                The system operator (Australian Energy Market Operator) here, will offer a contract to a generator for FCAS for a specific period (usually measure in months or years).
                For a fee, the generator agrees to maintain sufficient capacity at all times to respond to a load change of a specific amount (in MW) at a specific rate of change (for instance 10 MW per second) for the period of the contract.
                This requires the generator to have a machine bid into the market at only a fraction (perhaps 50% to 75%) of its capacity at all times. If there is an upset, such as another alternator falling off, machines contracted for FCAS can respond instantly by changing the power delivered to the alternator instantaneously. (within the limits established by an individual contract).

                Peakers are altogether different. They are usually simple cycle gas turbines, either aero derivative or heavy duty industrial, that can black start and achieve full load in short order (generally from 15 to 30 minutes). When the bids begin to exceed the offers to generate and the wholesale price begins to climb, companies that own peaking machines bid them into the market at a relatively high price. In this way daily fluctuations in demand are accommodated. (This is not “gaming the system” as the Left charge. A peaking machine represents a large capital investment which is used for a short period morning and evening, and generally only on week days. The fast and frequent starts more than double the maintenance costs. Peakers are an expensive gamble but essential for keeping your lights on.) If you own a peaker, you need to “make hay while the sun shines” or go broke.

                10

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                A peaker proposed by Edison for a location along the coast where cooling water was plentiful and everything seemed ideal as far as I could tell was shot down by the protests of environmentalists and Jerry Browns supporters. We could have benefitted from that plant since California has refused to let generating capacity grow to keep up with demand. But it isn’t a permanent solution and political correctness won the day so it’s not there to help out when juice gets tight, even as a less than permanent solution.

                We will have failures at some future time if something isn’t done. Demand continues to grow, especially in hot weather.

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        RobK

        Roy,
        Just to add, after rereading your question:
        If a load is dropped on to the grid, the flywheel momentum of all the spinning machines causes more current to be pushed into the grid, the voltage and frequency dip a fraction in the split second response of the armature (rotors) exciter go stabilize the voltage and the prime mover throttles up. All this happens in that 50/60hz +/- .015hz..or what ever the specs are. If the frequency droops it’s because all the spinning machines inertia was required. The bit about electric clocks (before quartz ones) is so because the grid operators make sure the nominal 50 or 60Hz drifts an equal amount of time above and below that value but still within spec.

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        • #
          Another Ian

          RobK

          A lesson in applied electricity – or an appreciation of cycles.

          A small town with a diesel power plant had a government man resident. Who was supplied with the mandatory government electric clock. And a practical man.

          Only on golf days he religiously set the clock to official starting time and left when it indicated finish time.

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      Roy Hogue

      I think I’ve learned another lesson here besides more basic electricity, shall I call it 201 now? It’s possible to be inundated with answers when you ask a question — for which I thank you all very much. I do appreciate your willingness to answer and your patience with my ignorance.

      30

    • #
      Steven Richards

      The frequency difference will be zero at all times under all circumstances. If a generator wanted (due to a fault) to go faster or slower, this would translate into the generator trying to provide more or less power into the grid. If the generator tried to produce too much or too little it would be instantly disconnected from the grid.

      00

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    TdeF

    I remember a similar story of wind in Europe, where the original argument was that variations across an entire continent would average out to smooth power.

    The discovered reality was the reverse, that winds went up and down together, so instead of providing steady power from a large physical area the problem with intermittent wind power was actually worse.

    Given that sheep and cows and kangaroos produce much more CO2 and real green house gas CH4 than power stations, this is just a complete waste of money. There is nothing sustainable about intermittent short life time investments like wind and solar.

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      David Maddison

      Even over the Australian continental land mass the winds tend to go up and down at the same time so the windmills don’t even out their output.

      The best way to ensure that windmills provide a steady and uniform output is to not run them at all. Then they will be producing a uniiform non-varying output of zero across all windmills and the conventional generators and grid will work nicely.

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    • #

      TdeF – Who would have thought that such an assumption could have been debunked using mere local wind records, WITHOUT first having to build forests of ugly wind turbines at massive costs to the consumer and govt treasuries. The ‘efficiency’ of ‘communication and cooperation’ in the European Union is proven to be a mirage once again.

      It just goes to prove the religious element to all of this; a faith in the ability of positivist group-think to bend the laws of nature to suit the needs of left-wing utopian dreams. OR, it could just be that a bunch of parasites looking for a quick buck discovered a flaw in the stupidity of large ‘democratic’ crowds, and proceeded to shaft everyone accordingly – I favor a combination of both.

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      Greebo

      Fascinating that all this has been foisted on us by the AGW alarmists, who can predict events fifty years out but are seemingly unable ti observe local conditions.

      00

  • #
    el gordo

    The Guardian mentioned this recent Essential poll.

    http://www.essentialvision.com.au/renewable-energy

    So many people have been brainwashed, only a serious change in the weather and climate will overcome the delusion.

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      King Geo

      Quoting el gordo – “only a serious change in the weather and climate will overcome the delusion”.

      Expect that when the GM/LIA kicks in next decade the delusion will be exposed. The “IPCC/Warmists” just can’t see the light – they are blind to the fact that the Sun controls Earth’s Climate. CO2 plays a very minor role. It reacts to temperature change not the reverse as the Greenland & Antarctic Pleistocene ice core data clearly shows.

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        el gordo

        Regional cooling has already commenced.

        ‘Some farm businesses in Western Australia will struggle to survive from the financial hit of frost this season, according to an agricultural consultant.

        ‘Garren Knell, an agronomy consultant with ConsultAg based at Narrogin, estimated 40 per cent of WA’s grain growing region had been hit by frost, and the damage varied from 10 per cent to over 80 per cent.

        ‘The state’s first major frost event occurred on the September 17, 2016 at a very sensitive time in some crop’s development and that event was followed by several others which widened the extent of damage.’

        Weatherzone

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        • #
          King Geo

          ‘The state’s first major frost event occurred on the September 17, 2016 at a very sensitive time in some crop’s development and that event was followed by several others which widened the extent of damage.’

          A precursor to what will become the norm next decade (GM/LIA). The growing season for cereal crops will have to be revised in Oz. As for the N. Hemisphere cereal crops e.g Russia, China, Canada, northern USA states etc – totally cactus!!! Deja vu – like the last few LIA’s (Maunder & Dalton Minimum events). Is this inevitable eventuality of the next GM/LIA being factored in by Govts? Maybe in Russia & China but not elsewhere I suspect. The “Western Govts” are too obsessed with AGW.

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            el gordo

            ‘The “Western Govts” are too obsessed with AGW.’

            True, but the situation should turn around quite sharply this northern hemisphere winter so that the obvious can no longer be denied.

            “The cold was so intense that words were congealed as soon as spoken, but that after some time they thawed and became audible; so that words spoken in winter were articulated next summer.”

            Plutarch – Of man’s progress in virtue

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            • #
              King Geo

              “True, but the situation should turn around quite sharply this northern hemisphere winter so that the obvious can no longer be denied”.

              Theodore White (astrometeorologist) makes the same prediction but that a strong El Nino will develop in 2019/2020 – the last gasp of GW – after that forget GW on planet Earth – GC will reign supreme for most of the 21st century from 2021 onwards. The “GM/LIA” is predicted by many Solar Physicists to kick in during the late 2020′s but Theodore White says in the early 2020′s (within SC25). Unfortunately most Govts are focussed on GW – GC will be far worse for mankind but the warnings are being ignored by most western nations. Clearly the IPCC/Warmists will lose all credibility next decade – the “biggest scam” in human history exposed – and at great cost.

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                el gordo

                You’re a brave man predicting El Nino that far ahead. Are you a follower of the lunar tidal force theory?

                The other point is not to get ahead of ourselves, as the transition takes place it should become cooler and wetter in mid latitudes for about 20 years.

                Along the way many journalists, scientists and politicians will be shamed, but its highly unlikely to involve a custodial sentence.

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              • #
                Another Ian

                el gordo

                “Along the way many journalists, scientists and politicians will be shamed, but its highly unlikely to involve a custodial sentence.”

                Poverty perhaps then?

                30

              • #
                el gordo

                Collective grief perhaps, but nothing much else. Everyone will be laughing like mad, we are saved.

                Those responsible for the desal debacle and brainwashing our children with propaganda should be humiliated. Its a crime against humanity.

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        el gordo

        … and in the land of the long white cloud.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/85235999/winters-over-snow-to-low-levels-in-queenstown

        The ordinary people maybe blind, but they are very sensitive to a change in the weather.

        George my general argument to people in the street, the plateau in temperatures for a couple of decades is surely enough proof that CO2 does not cause global warming, but the masses still believe it does.

        So then I remind them of the massive model failures and as a consequence we are back in the 1960s … and this European winter will be brutal

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        • #
          King Geo

          “You’re a brave man predicting El Nino that far ahead. Are you a follower of the lunar tidal force theory”?

          This is not my prediction but that of Theodore White (astrometeorologist).

          I do however believe, based on Solar Physicist predictions, that a GM is due to commence next decade (SC25), ie in the mid 2020′s. The last two GM’s (Maunder Minimum & Dalton Minimum) resulted in LIA’s lasting for ~ 70 years (Maunder Minimum) and ~ 40 years (Dalton Minimum). The Dalton Minimum finished ~ 1830. So it will be ~ 200 years between LIA’s. It seems that SC25 (peaking ~ 2025) will be even weaker than SC24 (which peaked ~ 2013/2014 – double peak) which was the weakest SC for ~ 100 years. The prediction is that from now on the next 5 SC’s (at least) will be in GM mode. For the IPCC/Warmists to argue that rising CO2 in the atmosphere will offset the imminent LIA is ludicrous – how wrong they will be proven. Their “Theory of AGW” will be exposed as complete & utter nonsense next decade.

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    Joe Public

    Only just remembered this, which is relevant to your many postings on the ‘South Australia’ blackout & grid issues.

    European Commission – Fact Sheet
    Connecting power markets to deliver security of supply, market integration and the large-scale uptake of renewables

    Brussels, 25 February 2015

    “What is the ‘electricity interconnection target’?

    The European Council of October 2014 called for all Member States to achieve interconnection of at least 10% of their installed electricity production capacity by 2020. This means that each Member State should have in place electricity cables that allow at least 10% of the electricity that is produced by their power plants to be transported across its borders to its neighbouring countries.

    Why is it necessary that electricity grids of EU countries are connected with each other?

    When power plant fails or during extreme weather conditions, Member States need to be able to rely on their neighbours for the importation of the electricity they need. Without infrastructure it is impossible to buy and sell electricity across borders. Therefore, connecting isolated electricity systems is essential for security of supply and help achieve a truly integrated EU-wide energy market which is a key enabler for the Energy Union.

    Put simply with good connections between neighbours:
    – electricity systems will be more reliable and there is a lower risk of black-outs
    - we can save money by reducing the need to build new power stations
    - consumers will have more choice putting downward pressure on household bills
    - electricity grids can better manage increasing levels of renewables, particularly variable renewables like wind and solar.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-4486_en.htm

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  • #
    Alfred Alexander

    Where is Nikola Tesla when we need him?

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      beowulf

      Spinning in his grave at precisely 50 cycles/sec.

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        Alfred Alexander

        I think he is spinning at 60 cycles

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        Jim Poulos

        I believe Tesla was an advocate of DC.

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          Bruce

          To me, a humble electronics and mechanical type, there is a serious engineering problem in trying to synchronize the alternator outputs of these beasties, simply because the wind don’t blow with the regulated “steadiness” of coal-fired steam in a conventional alternator “hall”. Even if the “fans” are closely co-located, variations will still occur.

          Why not keep the weight and complexity in the head of these wind-powered gadgets and simply install DC generators at the top and use ground-mounted inverters to chop the stuff up to form AC and at the same time be able to precisely track the grid frequency and voltages. This is not unlike the process of turning the feed from inefficient roof-top solar panels into “useful” mains AC.

          For those wanting to see the good and bad of “serious” wind-farms take a look at the huge installations in California. Some turning, some burning, some falling over…

          It would also be interesting to look at the “energy equation”, (a subject so beloved of the eco-types), of these systems.

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            RobK

            Bruce,
            Some wind turbines are of the inverter type as you describe. They are still a fluctuating supply and the character of the sine wave is usually a step function of sorts. If the feed is modified more the cost rises. There can be issues with harmonics and little spikes from the electronic gates operating at high frequency and power. Similarly a rotary inverter would do the job but costs and losses are high (say 20-40%).

            20

          • #
            Cynic of Ayr

            “Why not keep the weight and complexity in the head of these wind-powered gadgets and simply install DC generators at the top and use ground-mounted inverters to chop the stuff up to form AC and at the same time be able to precisely track the grid frequency and voltages. This is not unlike the process of turning the feed from inefficient roof-top solar panels into “useful” mains AC.”

            They do now, only a bit different! They generate AC at the top – high frequency AC – then rectify that to DC, then invert that to 50Hz AC. The rectification and inversion is a bit lossy, but AC Alternators are far more efficient then DC generators, and the losses are more than made up.
            Consider vehicle alternators. They replaced DC generators, because of their much higher efficiency. The vehicle alternator AC is then rectified to DC, inside the alternator.
            Doesn’t help the inherent problem of unreliability though.

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          Bruce

          No, that was Edison, who blotted his copybook severely trying to besmirch Tesla’s AC whilst promoting his own DC system.

          Tesla was the bloke who understood that the HUGE advantage of AC is that it can be “transformed” to very high voltages and thus transmitted, at relatively low current, over long, but relatively light cables and then “stepped down” via another transformer to a voltage useful for the end consumer.

          Tesla also spent a prodigious amount of time and money trying to get rid of transmission wires altogether. He envisaged some sort of “radio” system. It can be done, rather inefficiently, on a small scale. “Proximity” access-control cards worn by staff in buildings essentially use the energy of a received electro-magnetic pulse to generate just enough power to “ping” back a “reply” signal that, via authorization by the inevitable computer, opens the door, etc. Places like hospitals are full of these things because the staff don’t have to keep fishing out their “tags” to swipe them on a reader near the door. However, nobody is going to do much arc-welding with that amount of “transmitted” power.

          In an interesting twist, a young Italian chap called Marconi understood its potential in another field.

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            PeterPetrum

            Ah! Bruce, is that how the windscreen mounted road toll gizmos work. I have often wondered how they keep on going without recharging. They get an “energy pulse” from the overhead gantry and then “ping” back, simultaneously accessing your bank account and taking out the toll. Very clever!

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          TdeF

          No, quite the reverse. That was Edison and the reason he fired Tesla. Tesla then worked as a common laborer in New York, determined to sell his AC concept. His salvation was Westinghouse. Edison even publicly electrocuted an elephant to show the world how dangerous AC was. Imagine what the WWF would say about that today. The plus for Tesla was the transformer and long distance high voltage transmission. The plus for Edison was the ease of coupling DC sources where you only have to match voltage, not waveform, amplitude and phase.

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          • #
            Mark D.

            “Quite the reverse”
            YES and good twist on polarity!

            Everything Tesla created, produced and patented was AFAIK, Alternating Current.

            10

          • #
            joseph

            According to what I’ve read Edison didn’t fire Tesla. Tesla resigned.

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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          No, he played a leading role in the introduction of AC. You were thinking of Edison who wanted DC.

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        • #
          John McDougall

          No. That was Edison

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    Mark M

    Fossil-fuels to the rescue!

    The Turnbull government has prepared an emergency plan to fly generators into South Australia to help major employers keep operating after the statewide blackout, mapping out a back-up plan as key industries wait for full power to be restored.

    The Royal Australian Air Force is ready to fly the generators into key industrial areas such as Port Augusta or to major manufacturers like troubled steel­maker Arrium.”
    . . .
    Yes, the lunatics are in charge.

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      AndyG55

      Get Tassie to send their back-up generators to SA. :-)

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      David Maddison

      The RAAF’s C17A Globemaster’s have a cargo capacity of 125 tonnes. Roughly how much power could be produced with 125 tonnes of generator?

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      TdeF

      Why not windmills for small towns? Alternatively, give them away to Africa or South America where any electricity would be a godsend, especially in hospitals. It is outrageous that the caring Left is all about themselves, their CO2, their power, their environment. Do they really think SA will have a lower CO2 environment, that CO2 is poisonous and they will be saved by buying Vic and NSW coal power? Is this just NIMBY on billions of taxpayer dollars?

      Tom Quirk is quite right. It looks like any windmill power over 20% is dangerous, quite apart from being completely unnecessary. Plus the much cheaper supplies are turned off while Windpower takes over at a legislated 4c a kw/hr. So the end user pays the maximum amount for electricity just to keep the windmills going. Why? Why use tax money to pay people to charge more for power? Unbelievable. I am going to say it. Idiotic.

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    Mark M

    97% BoM-CSIRO: 100% Fail. The ‘science’:

    Jan 27, 2015: A new CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology report released today shows the massive current and future climate impacts for Australia.

    “Further warming will push southern Australia into drought for longer periods, and droughts in the rest of the country will be more extreme.
    Hot days are projected to occur more frequently while there will be fewer frost days.
    ~ ~ ~
    Reality …

    ABC, 12 October, 2016: Frost has damaged nearly half of WA’s grain crops according to agronomist.

    “Mr Knell said some of the businesses would struggle with the financial toll of the frost, which with input, cost growers more than a drought.
    . . .
    Wow. Just wow.
    How wrong can you be?

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      TdeF

      It’s not just that they were completely wrong, again. It’s that they work for us with the security of public servants, superannuated and cossetted and with the computers and qualifications to get it right. If they cannot get such a simple prediction right, what confidence should anyone have that employing so many people is not a complete waste of money? Collecting the weather data is no longer arduous and satellites are automatic, so why 1,000 people in the BOM and another 350 who were in the CSIRO plus steering committees? Surely it’s not just embarassing that they are completly wrong, it means we are wasting most a third of a billion dollars a year to be misinformed.

      Sell it all off. The weather should be profitable. It is for the totally science ignorant Greens and they seem to be writing the weather reports.

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    Ursus Augustus

    Never mind the synchronicity man, feel the wind!

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    Axelatoz

    The shutdown of Northern coal fired power station and associated mine at Leigh Creek is the classic Green/Labor environmental “own goal” (other examples being biofuels and rainforest destruction, ethanol and diversion of food crops, banning incandescent lights and replacement with CFL Mercury time mobs etc, etc,).
    Northern PS (late 70s technology) burnt sub-bituminous coal of higher rank and energy content than the lignite which fuels Victoria’s Hazlewood PS (late 50′s technology). As a result, the CO2 emissions factor of the fiction power which now replaces Northern is now about 50% higher.
    Solution- Import high quality black coal (either rail or ship) from NSW and build a new latest technology coal fired PS such as available in Japan and (of all places) Germany. These USC power stations produce less than half the CO2 emissions per MWhr than Hazlewood, which could then be retired. Everyone then happy.
    1. SA regains Energy security and no longer dependent on the whims of weather
    2. Lower and more stable electricity prices in SA
    3. Greenies ecstatic that Hazlewood can be closed and emissions halved
    4. Rural landowners can rejoice as wind generators go bust
    5. Arrium ( Wyalla) can develop a thriving business uprooting windmills and melting them down for recycling into useful products.
    See, what’s not to like, everyone is a winner.

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    • #
      TdeF

      “3. Greenies ecstatic that Hazlewood can be closed and emissions halved

      Are you suggesting that brown coal has double the CO2 per kw of black coal? This is a popular myth. Even I thought it was true, but didn’t check. It’s not true. The difference is around 6%.
      International comparison of fossil power efficiency and CO2 intensity – Update 2014

      2.3 CO2 intensity power generation
      In this study we calculate CO2 emissions intensities per country for the year 2008:

      Table 1 Fossil CO2 emission factor (IEA, 2005)
      Fuel type Tonne CO2/TJncv
      Hard coal 94.6
      Lignite 101.2
      Natural gas 56.1
      Oil 74.1

      but what you read on the apocolyptic man made global warming sites and the Melbourne Age show lignite at twice the CO2 of Hard coal. Why? The usual explanation is that brown coal is 1/2 to 2/3 water, but that doesn’t matter as the heat of combustion of coal is 10x the latent heat of vaporization of water.

      So is this popular move to black coal about the fuel, or about the power station technology which can be improved? Lignite is far cheaper, far more abundant and the water can be removed.

      Even so, this is all about nothing as the increase in China’s output per year matches our entire output, so it is self flagellation at enormous expense. Not a single person in Australia is better off now or in the future for these windmills, so why the massive expense? It is not investing. More pyramid building.

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        Axelatoz

        I am afraid the IEA numbers are a little wide of the mark wrt to Australia. According to the NGER 2015 reort Hazlewood (1950s technology burning + 60% moisture) had an emission intensity of 1.40 tonnes/MWh.
        Bayswater, Eraring & Mt. Piper (1970s technology burning bituminous coal) had an intensity of 0.86 tonnes/ MWh.
        Northern, (Port Augusta burning Leigh Creek coal), 1.02 tonnes/MWh.
        Isotope, Yokohama, Japan, Ultra Super-critical (USC) technology, burning black coal has an emission factor of 0.80 tonnes/MWh.
        The difference is explained by the big improvement in efficiency available with the USC technology now available off the shelf. In addition the energy content of good quality black coal is roughly double that of the water laden lignite. It is not easy to significantly reduce the water content of lignite without a significant energy penalty. Yes, lignite in Victoria is dirt (literally) cheap to mine.

        40

      • #
        Axelatoz

        The Japanese Example should be Isogo, near Yokohama. fell foul of apple’s incorrect autocorrect.

        20

  • #

    As with many things, the devil is in the details. When things go wrong, the details slowly emerge.

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    • #
      PeterS

      Indeed. It’s a shame open discussions are not held to highlight such details before the actions are undertaken. At least in the US they had a debate about the Syrian crisis and what to do about it. The military were questioned by the bureaucrats and asked what would it take to take control of Syrian airspace and make a significant impact on the terrorist groups. The military answered yes they can do it but first they would have to declare war with Russia. I don’t have the link now but you should see the faces on the bureaucrats. That put a stop to that disastrous solution. We need similar discussions here about the path we are taking with our power generation systems. It needs to be dome by the real professionals not the academics of the left who have their heads in the clouds and live in a completely different world. The discussion would go something like this. Bureaucrats would ask the pros what would it take to move to say 50% renewables by say 2020? Answer by the pros: yes we could do it but it would mean the destruction of our economy as we know it. Oh BTW, it would make absolutely no difference to the climate, now or 1,000 years into the future. The trouble is the bureaucrats probably would conclude, OK let’s do it anyway! That’s where I believe we are more stupid than the Americans, and that is saying something!

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    Robdel

    I think those LabGreen politiicians should be given free rein and go to 50% or more renewables. Only in that way will the general public understand the lunacy which they are pushing. Just one week of complete power blackouts throughout the country will see the end of their crazy policies and a return to sanity. Otherwise the general populace is unaware of those consequences.

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    • #
      delcon2

      Well,it’s already happened in SA and these”Lying,do nothing,career politicians”are still going to go with “Green Power”
      Miss”Piggy”has just come out this week and said that she is going to go 50% renewable in Qld.

      41

    • #
      Griffo

      Problem is when you give the crazies and sadists free rein they don’t want to give up control,take Russia and Cuba as cautionary examples.

      31

  • #
    el gordo

    Solar in the UK works better in summer, something to do with longer days.

    https://carboncounter.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/pvhighlow.jpeg

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  • #
    Lance

    Roy: Re: Frequency Tolerance

    I’ll speak to this from a 60 Hz perspective. All applies equally to a 50 Hz grid as well, just different numbers.

    As to the tolerance of a grid at 60 Hz, one article shows a 1 second sample taken every 10 minutes for 2 months.

    http://www.leapsecond.com/pages/mains/

    The upshot is the deviation was 60 Hz +/- 0.025 Hz with random excursions of 0.05 Hz in actual reality.

    The standard reference for this question is “IEEE Guide for Abnormal Frequency Protection for Power Generating Plants”.

    http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel5/8967/28449/01270518.pdf?arnumber=1270518

    I’m a Mechanical Engineer. My brother is an Electrical Engineer with 35 yrs in Utility Power Generation, Planning, Operation, and grid analysis.

    His opinion is that “heads would roll” if the frequency drift were greater than 0.10 Hz in large measure because equipment damage, and operating cost increases begin to be significant. At 1 Hz drift, large users ( think multiple 5000 HP motors and the like ) begin to be dropped off line to protect the system by contractual agreement.

    Frequency is not the only issue at all.

    The grid is a load following machine. Generators inject KVars into the system to maintain system voltage. One generator in the generator pool is tagged as the “Designated Swing Unit”. If load increases cause the system voltage to drop or rise, the swing unit stator or rotor excitation is adjusted to provide or absorb KVars in order to stabilize the voltage. The swing unit may be arbitrarily assigned or reassigned by the System Operator due to expected loads, generation maintenance or availability, etc. If the system voltage begins to collapse, it can bring down the entire grid in anywhere from seconds to minutes.

    This is why intermittent generators (wind, solar) are in many ways useless to stabilize the grid. They cannot become a swing unit and are only available through their grid tie inverters AFTER they synchronize with the grid frequency and voltage. The synchronous generators ALWAYS control the frequency and voltage of the grid. Only one swing unit is practically possible to model because the differential equations are so difficult to solve with more than one unit. The designated unit must be a totally known unit in all characteristics. There cannot be any unknowns about the designated unit or else total grid collapse is invited.

    The rotating mass of the turbine/alternator set is a key element in stabilizing the transients in the system as has been pointed out. We are speaking of ranges on the order of 200 MW to 1000 MW per synchronous generating unit. No small item.

    Allowing intermittent generators to access the grid beyond 10% to 20% of instantaneous aggregate synchronous generation capacity is a recipe for disaster. The risk increases as synchronous generation is taken off line to allow more intermittent penetration. Politicians don’t understand any of this and likely most citizens don’t either. The Power Engineers do understand, but they are hamstrung by politically influenced regulators and management.

    Apologies for getting a bit off topic wrt your question. Hope the gist of things and references help.

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    • #
      GrahamP

      Thankyou Lance from an interested bystander with only a basic understanding of physics from high schools days amny years ago.

      You said “stator or rotor excitation is adjusted etc”, which is how I understood it to work.

      This leads to the spinning reserve availability where a generator is idling at the right rpm and when load comes on the output is increased through increased excitation.

      I imagine the same applies to hydro because I cannot imagine how the huge turbine can be instantly brought up to speed.

      Please correct me if I am mistaken.

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  • #
    pat

    so far i see only softly softly reports on the following. they care about CAGW. they’re “audacious” did “no damage”, studied for months so they would do it “safely”! wow.
    nothing about arrests etc., but will look further:

    12 Oct: Reuters: Bolt cutters expose vulnerability of North America’s oil pipeline grid
    By Liz Hampton and Ethan Lou
    All it took was a pair of bolt cutters and the elbow grease of a few climate activists to carry out an audacious act of sabotage on North America’s massive oil and gas pipeline system…
    On Tuesday, climate activists broke through fences and cut locks and chains simultaneously in several states and simply turned the pipelines off.
    All they had to do was twist shut giant valves on five cross-border pipelines that together can send 2.8 million barrels a day of crude to the United States from Canada – equal to about 15 percent of daily U.S. consumption.
    The activists did no damage to the pipelines, which operating companies shut down as a precaution for checks before restarting…
    Tuesday’s action, supported by the Vermont-based Climate Disobedience Action Fund, was held to draw attention to climate change and to support opponents of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, which critics say could rupture and sour drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota.
    Several pipeline operators and safety experts said shutting off valves was extremely dangerous and that activists underestimated the risks.
    Pipelines can be heavily pressurized depending on length and altitude variation, and shutting off a valve could cause ruptures that are “catastrophic” for the environment, Paul Tullis of Tullis Engineering Consultants said…
    Activists often do not fully know what they are doing, even if they think they do, Tullis said.
    Protesters said they spent months studying how to safely shut the valves…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-canada-pipelines-vulnerabilities-idUSKCN12C0BK

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  • #
    pat

    they are “bold” says DW:

    Climate activists turn off key Canada-US oil pipelines in bold sabotage
    Deutsche Welle-10 hours ago

    12 Oct: Reuters: Canada-U.S. oil pipelines resume operations after activists halt flow
    By Catherine Ngai and Nia Williams
    Activists across Montana, Minnesota, North Dakota and Washington state were arrested on Tuesday after the early-morning raids, which they posted on social media…
    Part of that group included a documentary filmmaker, who was arrested and had her footage confiscated. She remained in custody in Pembina County, North Dakota, on Wednesday.
    In Washington state, three protesters are in custody and are expected to face formal charges by Thursday evening, said Chris Baldwin, a sergeant with Skagit County Sheriff’s office.
    In Minnesota, two people have been charged in connection with pipeline tampering, said Rick Mollin, the county attorney for the Clearwater County Attorney’s office…
    Information provider Genscape said Keystone was running at reduced rates.
    Kinder Morgan Inc said it was not operating a spur of the pipeline affected by the protesters, although it has since restarted the main pipeline…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-canada-pipelines-idUSKCN12C21E

    12 Oct: Daily Caller: Chris White: Eco-Terrorists Use Bolt Cutters To Shut Down Canadian-US Oil Pipeline
    Eco-terrorists in four states were arrested Tuesday for attempting to sabotage Canadian and U.S. oil pipelines in an effort to show solidarity with the Dakota protesters…
    Climate Direct Action researched how to safely shutdown the pipelines, according to Afrin Sopariwala, a spokeswoman for the group. “We are acting in response to this catastrophe we are facing,” Sopariwala said, referring to global warming, as well as to the fight against the oil pipeline in North Dakota.
    The energy industry considers Sopariwala’s actions an act of terrorism.
    American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President Chet Thompson said the eco-terrorists were a danger and a menace to themselves and anyone connected to them…
    “The belief and politics of a few eco-terrorists do not supersede the rights of millions of consumers who could face increased costs because of reduced supplies of energy,” he added…
    http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/12/eco-terrorists-use-bolt-cutters-to-shut-down-canadian-us-oil-pipeline/

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  • #
    Mark M

    South Australia’s green lunacy continues …

    ‘Bitterly disappointing’: BP scrap billion dollar Great Australian Bight drilling exploration
    “They made a promise to spend nearly $1.4 billion on exploration in the Great Australian Bight.”
    . . .
    Why would BP waste time in SA, $pend billion$, only to be told they will be made an example of, just like SA’s fossil-fuelled coal fired power stations?

    Explosives demolish huge chimney stack at Port Augusta power station

    “Alinta Energy announced the closure of the regional city’s bigger employer less than a year ago when it said the coal-fired station was struggling to compete against government-backed renewable energy.”

    Congratulations to SA. Idiots.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    If some people want renewables they need to be on their own separate grid and must not be allowed to rely on fossil / hydro / nuclear for backup and the electricity should be sold on a full cost basis. Renewables consumers can buy batteries if they want continuous supply.

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  • #
    Lance

    @ Pat: RE: pipelines

    To provide a bit of background on your comment, with which I totally agree,

    Pipeline systems are comprised of a supply, multiple pumping stations, and a receiver.

    Each pumping station ( booster ) is synchronized with the overall system. Boosters occur every 50 miles or so.

    Shutting the system down is a nightmare. Restarting is another nightmare and it takes a lot of coordination with utility companies. You don’t drop 5 each 3000 hp motors across the line without serious planning. Each motor has a 20 MW inrush load. That isn’t a small thing.

    The activists don’t take responsibility for the ramifications of their tantrums. The interruption of supply, the cost of overtime, the lost revenue to refiners, the supertanker idling cost at port, etc. All of those costs are paid by innocent people held hostage to an ideologically driven tantrum. Perhaps if they paid that cost, there would be fewer tantrums.

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  • #

    I hope you bear with me here, because there is actually a point to what I’ll try and say.

    When I qualified as an Electrical Tradesman in the RAAF, it was in the late 60s and early 70s.

    There was an 11 week pre trade Technical Course to see what Trade you might be best suited to.

    Then, once into the Electrical Stream, there was an intensive 8 Month course of 20 or more separate subjects, done one after the other across around 36 weeks or more. 8AM till 5PM flat out, with an exam (Pass mark 70%) at the end of each subject (Phase) If you failed the exam, it had to be made up during out of hours time while continuing with the rest of the subjects. After you did that first half, you went ‘out into the field’ at a Squadron for hands on experience for 9 to 12 Months.

    Then, back to the School for the second part, another intensive 7 Month Course with another 20 or more subjects.

    At the end of that, if you passed every subject, and then the A and B Tests, you qualified as an Electrical Tradesman.

    Looking back with hindsight now, that was almost the equivalent of what it takes for a full EE Degree these days.

    Nowadays, tradesmen get perhaps 5 to maybe 10% of that in depth teaching, because, now, all they need to do is to change ‘the black box’.

    The point I am trying to make here is that even after all that training and qualifying, I still learned something new about the electrical trade, every aspect across the years, and even now, I am still learning new things.

    However, knowing all that and explaining it to lay people who know nothing about electrical power in any form is another thing altogether.

    Therein lies the problem with something like this.

    The average person might know perhaps a half of one percent of what I (think I might) know, and I might only know perhaps half of it.

    I did all that training, and with all that (perceived) knowledge, I (or the collective WE) cannot explain it so it can be ….. easily understood.

    So, people scrabble around trying to understand something which is so far over their head, it leaves a vapour trail.

    Again, therein lies the whole nub of this matter.

    Politicians know (perhaps a little less than) nothing about this, and they are relying upon the public’s lack of knowledge and lack of understanding about anything like this.

    They (those politicians, any of them from any of the Parties) can say whatever they want, cover up whatever they want, set up Panels to get the desired results, set up Inquiries to get whatever result they want, explain to the Public that renewables are good, tell them coal fired power is bad, etcetera etcetera etcetera.

    The public will never know because of what I mentioned above, they have no training, they have no understanding, and even if they try to understand, it is still over their heads.

    I don’t claim to know the half of it. I can make a calculated theory on what may have happened, but because I an a nobody, and actually perceived (by them) as a nobody, anything I might say can be discounted ….. utterly.

    It’ll be the same with this Renewable 50% thing here in Queensland.

    Be fully aware that no matter what is said about any of this thing in South Australia, the ‘desired’ result from a Government pressing ahead with this mad rush to renewables will be all you will ever hear about it.

    Douglas Adams may have indeed said it all with one line.

    Don’t Panic!

    Or, as is more the case form our Political class. Don’t panic the people. They vote!

    Tony.

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    • #
      robdel

      The quicker the rush, the quicker the madness will be brought home to the general public. See my comment 26. There is simply no other way to “educate” the populace about this lunacy.

      40

    • #
      Dean from Ohio

      Well said, sir! I’m a Prof Engr/EE, and I agree with you about the politicians’ and public’s mismatch between what they think they know and what (little) they actually know.

      At my U.S. public university, the coal fired steam generation plant was being replaced by a natural gas plant, which could be more cheaply and more cleanly supplied by all the locally available natural gas. More than 100 Left wing activists signed a petition demanding the university build a renewable energy plant instead. They published their names, degrees and titles. It was a humanities fest. Not one engineer among them. Not one of them was able to state the base load i for the university for either electric power or total energy. Truly an argument from ignorance.

      Fortunately, the university’s Board of Trustees finished the natural gas conversion and gave the petition by the non engineers the attention it deserved.

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      • #
        Peter C

        Thanks Goodness that your University Board of Trustees was composed of sensible people (unlike a lot of the academics they employed).

        50

      • #
        Robdel

        I wrote my comment as Prof of Physics and I am totally dismayed by the general ignorance of science by the cagw advocates, who in turn influence the politicians.

        50

  • #
    pat

    did anyone elect this mob?

    11 Oct: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: UK minister dismisses threat of climate court battle
    The UK’s world-leading Climate Change Act has been “dangerously neglected”, leaving the government open to lawsuits.
    That is the view of environmental lawyers at Client Earth, in a report published on Tuesday…
    “Any talk of a legal challenge is very premature,” he told Climate Home on the sidelines of a conference organised by Chatham House in London…
    The targets are “as credible as any legal target could realistically be,” the Client Earth report states…
    While coal plant closures and renewable energy growth are bending the emissions curve in line with goals to 2022, beyond that point the trajectory is unclear…
    Jonathan Church, lawyer at the NGO, said: “A policy and reporting reset is essential if we are to hit emissions targets. We can’t afford to drift for the next five years – as we have done for the last five years – without proper climate policies and progress.
    “With its new Carbon Plan, the government has the chance to make the Act a living law and put the UK on the path to a clean, green energy future.”…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/10/11/uk-minister-dismisses-threat-of-climate-court-battle/

    PDF: 55 pages: Oct 2016: ClientEarth: Mind the Gap: Reviving the Climate Change Act
    P43: ClientEarth is a non-profit environmental law organisation based in London, Brussels and Warsaw. We are activist lawyers working at the interface of law, science and policy…
    ClientEarth is funded by the generous support of philanthropic foundations, institutional donors and engaged individuals.
    http://www.documents.clientearth.org/wp-content/uploads/library/2016-10-07-mind-the-gap-reviving-the-climate-change-act-ce-en.pdf

    Wikipedia: Along with Greenpeace, WWF, Spanish energy companies and the regional authority of Galicia, ClientEarth has intervened regarding the European Commission’s decision to approve subsidies to the Spanish coal industry…
    ClientEarth also expressed concern that, if the decision was allowed to stand, other countries may be tempted to use similar tactics to bolster their coal sectors. They and the other environmental groups rejected Spain’s position that it was attempting to protect the nation’s energy security, arguing that the country has an oversupply of natural gas and, AT TIMES, renewable energy.

    30

  • #
    pat

    no surprise:

    12 Oct: CarbonPulse: South Korea to ease CO2 caps for ETS sectors, put Paris target in doubt
    South Korea is planning to relax CO2 emission targets for power generators and industry in its 2030 climate change strategy, according to sources, raising concerns about the country’s ability to meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement.

    did anyone elect this mob?

    12 Oct: CarbonPulse: Killing with kindness? How the EU ETS helped cement sector get dirtier
    Europe’s cement sector CO2 emissions are kept higher by rigid EU ETS rules that incentivise overproduction and prevent cleaner alternatives from getting a foothold, environmental campaigners Sandbag said in a report Wednesday.

    PDF: 9 pages: Sandbag: Cement Exposed
    New data from EU cement sector shows no fall in CO2 emissions
    Sandbag is a Brussels and London-based not-forprofit think tank conducting research and campaigning for -effective climate policies.
    Our research focus includes reforming the EU Emissions Trading System and the Effort Sharing Regulation; accelerating the phase-out of old coal in Europe; and deep decarbonisation of industry through technologies including Carbon Capture & Storage.
    P9: FUNDING: We are grateful to the European Climate Foundation for helping to fund this work
    https://sandbag.org.uk/site_media/uploads/1610_Cement_Update_FINAL.pdf

    Wikipedia: The European Climate Foundation is funded by the Nationale Postcode Loterij, The Arcadia Fund, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, The ClimateWorks Foundation, The McCall MacBain Foundation, Oak Foundation, The Stordalen Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

    30

  • #
    Egor TheOne

    The entire wind renewables rort and fiasco needs to be scrapped and its propagators investigated prosecuted and jailed.

    how about a royal commission into that?

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  • #
    Ross

    Why doesn’t the Senate Committee save some time and just read the excellent piece Pat highlighted the other day about the Ontario experience with renewables.
    If they are too lazy to read it then plonk these figures in front of them –the German Energiewende
    (conversion to renewables) will cost 520 billion Euros by 2025 ( 25,000Euros for citizen !!). This is just for electricity –not other energy costs.

    PS: I had to laugh reading about the Canadian experience the other day. They were complaining about their electricity cost going from 5.5c /unit in 2006 to 11 c today. Here in NZ where we have 80% of our electricity from renewables(mainly hydro) I’m paying 20.2c/unit ( there is not much difference between the Canadian $ and NZ$ at present)

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  • #
    pat

    it’s under Chatham rule, so let’s see what has become public:

    10 Oct: Mary Robinson delivers keynote speech at Chatham House Climate Change Conference – London, 10 October 2016
    Addressing the universality of the issue of climate change, Mary Robinson said “.. we can show how multilateralism and respect for others is the way to solve shared problems. In a world where there is too much talk about building walls and not enough about building bridges, climate action can provide a shining beacon for how collaboration and respect work better then isolationism and aggression.”

    The annual Chatham House Climate Change Conference, hosted over 10-11 October explored issues including:
    The implications of the Paris outcome for capital investment, innovation and planning in the public and private sectors;
    Dynamics within and between the major emitters and the prospects for greater near-term ambition, including potential outcomes of the 2016 US presidential election;
    The outlook for hydrocarbon prices and the implications for low-carbon policies in developed and developing countries;
    How $1 trillion of investment in clean energy can be mobilized…
    The opening keynote addresses were delivered by Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Laurence Tubiana, French Ambassador for Climate Change and Climate Champion following COP21.
    http://www.mrfcj.org/resources/mary-robinson-delivers-keynote-speech-at-chatham-house-climate-change-conference-london-10-october-2016/

    Twitter: #CHClimate:
    TWEET: alertnetclimate: “How can you expect someone in Kamapala not to go for oil when Norway is going for oil?” -Jennifer Morgan (WRI)
    TWEET: Paul Matthews: Chatham House holds #CHClimate conference under Chatham House Rule.
    ***Then breaks Chatham House Rule in tweet. https://twitter.com/CH_EERDept/status/785437057657307137
    https://twitter.com/hashtag/CHClimate?src=hash

    ***the Tweet has been removed. lol.

    30

  • #
    pat

    from the official Twitter page, some of those who attended:

    Achala C. Abeysinghe, chair LDC group (UNFCCC)
    Tim Benton, Professor of Population Ecology; UK Champion for Global Food Security and Professor of Population Ecology, University of Leeds
    Pilita Clark, Financial Times
    Nick Mabey is Chief Executive and a founder director of E3G
    Megan Darby, ClimateChangeNews
    Abyd Karmali, Managing Director, Climate Finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch
    Shirin Reuvers: Policy & Public Affairs Manager at the intersection of the public & the private sector – ‎CDP – Global environmental reporting system

    check Shirin’s Twitter page to get a sense of the politics:

    Twitter: Shirin Reuvers
    Tweet: Last year @Shell sponsored Chatham House Climate Change Conference, this year @Greenpeace is giving a keynote speech. I welcome this choice!
    https://twitter.com/shirin_imR?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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  • #

    Our Green Betters might pay attention when there’s not even enough power to run one of those stimulating South Australian writers’ festivals.

    Never mind. They can always find a charged iPad, huddle together and watch Craig Emerson singing the state anthem, “No Whyalla Wipeout”.

    80

  • #

    Besides the grid nuisance factor, renewables are a net energy loser.

    The fallacy of wind turbines is revealed with simple arithmetic.

    5 mW wind turbine, avg output 1/3 nameplate, 20 yr life, electricity @ wholesale 3 cents per kwh produces $8.8E6.
    Installed cost @ $1.7E6/mW = $8.5E6. Add the cost of standby CCGT for low wind periods. Add the cost of land lease, maintenance, administration.

    Solar voltaic and solar thermal are even worse.

    The dollar relation is a proxy for energy relation. Bottom line, the energy consumed to design, manufacture, install, maintain and administer renewables appears to exceed the energy they produce in their lifetime.

    Without the energy provided by other sources these renewables could not exist.

    60

  • #
    MudCrab

    One that seems to have slipped through was the front page news on The Advertiser yesterday that (from memory sorry) BP were saying ‘nope, sorry’ to plans for oil development in the state.

    State treasurer, Tom K, was apparently up in arms, suggesting that BP would need to pay damages to the state for breach of contract.

    Yeah, good luck with that, Tom. You’re part of the government that can’t even supply power to SA and now you are surprised that investors are telling you the risk isn’t worth it.

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    markx

    Australia should play the game like the rest of the smart ones: go through the motions, make all the right sounds, make a few token gestures, and carry on business as usual.

    Instead, we are out there charging in the vanguard, saving the world.

    The proverbial ‘piss in a wetsuit’: Makes no difference to the ocean, no one notices, but it gives you momentary comfort and a warm feeling.

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  • #
    pat

    what’s most weird with this is a rep from the Wind Energy Association pops up in the comments and doesn’t deny the cost!
    those who understand the costs might like to read the rest of his comment:

    11 Oct: DailyCaller: Andrew Follett: First US Offshore Wind Plant Costs $17,600 Per Home Powered
    Three miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, the wind farm is supposed to generate enough energy to power 17,000 homes, but will cost $300 million to build five turbines. This cost is just to build the turbines, not to operate them.
    The extremely high cost of offshore wind doesn’t worry environmentalists and progressives, however, because, as Salon.com says about the project, “it’s the precedent that counts.”
    Despite the extremely high cost, federal officials want to power a whooping 23 million homes with offshore wind by the year 2050…
    COMMENT: by Greg Alvarez, Writer and Content Manager, American Wind Energy Association:
    Land-based wind power has become 66 percent cheaper over a six year time frame. As the U.S. offshore wind industry develops, a similar price decline can be expected as the technology advances domestically…
    http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/10/first-u-s-offshore-wind-plant-costs-17600-per-home-powered/

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  • #
    pat

    sorry, should have added I checked out Greg Alvarez, who is what he claims to be.

    30

  • #
    Jonesy

    Keep saying it…the only interconnect for wind power is to a pumping station to pump water to a high elevation dam in a closed hydro scheme. Regardless of pumping losses the only real power comes out of the hydro generators when the water is turned on at a flick of a switch when the power is NEEDED. this way wind power must guarantee they will deliver a defined amount of power at specification at a set time. Failure to do so will result in considerable fines.

    Wind power can never supply base load power. To believe otherwise is like demanding ashtrays on motorcycles…sure, you can fit them but why and how do you use them?

    60

    • #
      David Maddison

      Pumped storage is about 80% efficient but does Australia’s existing pumped storage have enough capacity to absorb this uneeded and unwanted power? I say existing capacity because the chance of ever building another dam in Australia is about zero.

      50

      • #
        Peter C

        Massive opportunities to build pumped hydro along the Great Australian Bight using the ocean as the lower reservoir. Great use for SA Windpower.

        I am not sure why it has not been addressed by the Weatherill Government

        30

      • #
        ghl

        A big motor or generator typically 92 to 95% efficient. A big centrifugal pump up to 75% efficient. I suspect a hydro turbine is similar. say 75%.
        Overall efficiency .93x.93x.75x.75= 49% minus pipe friction and power transmission losses.
        It would want to be very cheap power you are storing.

        10

  • #
    Jonesy

    Keep saying it…the only interconnect for wind power is to a pumping station to pump water to a high elevation dam in a closed hydro scheme. Regardless of pumping losses the only real power comes out of the hydro generators when the water is turned on at a flick of a switch when the power is NEEDED. this way wind power must guarantee they will deliver a defined amount of power at specification at a set time. Failure to do so will result in considerable fines.

    Wind power can never supply base load power. To believe otherwise is like demanding ashtrays on motorcycles…sure, you can fit them but why and how do you use them?

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    Jonesy

    ooops double post

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    el gordo

    In Germany they have too much wind farm capacity and nowhere to send it, until the north south line is built.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/11/germany-takes-steps-to-roll-back-renewable-energy-revolution

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    tony c

    This may be obvious to many, but I have not seen it written.
    I believe the responsibility for the SA blackout lies with AEMO, or at least the rules they operate under.
    The should have considered that in high wind conditions the wind generation could shut down unexpectedly, and have scheduled enough thermal spinning reserve to cope with complete loss of wind capacity.
    This would have limited the amount of wind generation scheduled to the amount of spinning reserve they were willing to schedule.
    The fault does not really lie with wind generation or transmission failure.
    The presence of wind generation and exposed transmission just tightens the the constraints for AEMO, potentially to the point of impossibility.

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    Our green nannies say:

    If at first you don’t fail…bungle, bungle and bungle again.
    You can’t burn an omelet without smashing all the eggs.
    A fool and his money are soon subsidised.
    It’s no use crying over spilt milk while there is more milk to spill.
    You can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear with the right computer model.

    That’s what our green nannies say.

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    • #

      Debate has been cut off
      in the public domain.
      Thinking has been constrained
      in the education domain.
      Evidence has been perverted
      in the science domain.
      Action’s been curtailed
      regarding innovation ‘n free trade.
      Marxist Green coteries prevail
      in the institutions.Yer can
      question ter no avail.

      A serf.

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    Apoxonbothyourhouses

    Simply cannot read it all as it is so depressing. On top of which I today received a response from my Nationals MP to correspondence expressing my concern at the SA scenario. “Thank you” he writes for “your support for renewable energy”. Missed the point I made and missed by a mile. I thought Barnaby might have bashed some common sense into their party.

    There is an inevitable doubling of the cost of every Kw/hr. “They” are not looking after my interests so sod the lot of them; I’m going to put in more solar panels and make us 97% self sufficient. Defeatist perhaps but there is no hope I tell you, no hope that sanity will be restored by our current crop of scientifically illiterate pollies

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    ianl8888

    Interesting post with some excellent technical comments.

    Some realisation of the truth of the situation now with some of the comments. Cassandra, as expected, remains accurate in suggestion and disbelieved in practice – that’s the point to the Cassandra myth.

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    pat

    meanwhile, in the real world:

    12 Oct: BRICS-info: Tass: Russia, Turkey Sign Agreement on Turkish Stream Project
    Russia and Turkey have signed an intergovernmental agreement on the Turkish Stream project.
    The document was signed by the two countries’ energy ministers after talks between Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in their presence.
    “The agreement provides for the construction of two threads of the truck gas pipeline across the Black Sea bottom,” CEO of Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, told journalists earlier in the day, adding that these threads are to be built by December 2019…
    The project provides for the construction of a gas pipeline across the Black Sea bed to Turkey’s European part, with further extension to the border with Greece. The seabed section is about 910 kilometers and the mainland section in Turkey – 180 kilometers. The project cost was earlier estimated at 11.4 billion euro…
    http://www.brics-info.org/russia-turkey-sign-agreement-on-turkish-stream-project/

    12 Oct: Naftemporiki Greece: Renewed speculation over Greek participation in future Turkish stream
    Speculation over possible Greek participation in a plan to build a twin natgas pipeline connecting Russia with Turkey, the resurfaced “Turkish Stream” project, comes after this week’s bilateral agreement between Moscow and Ankara…
    Warmed relations between the two countries and renewed interest in energy cooperation apparently “dusts off” an agreement signed by former Greek minister Panayiotis Lafazanis with his Russian counterpart A. Novak in St. Petersburg. The agreement foresaw the construction of an underwater pipeline transporting Russia natural gas – via the Black Sea route – to Turkey. A pipeline extension to Greece and then onwards to the west European markets was cited in the Greek-Russian MoU.
    Nevertheless, the EU Commission at the time expressed objections to the prospect, as it was outlined in the agreement.
    http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1158936/renewed-speculation-over-greek-participation-in-future-turkish-stream

    13 Oct: AZERTAC: Robert Dudley: BP would like to work on Turkish Stream
    BAKU, Azerbaijan: The British Petroleum Company (BP) would like to work on the Turkish Stream project, the BP Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Robert Dudley stated at the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Turkey…
    Dudley said that the gas component of BP’s portfolio will increase from the current 50 percent to 60 percent in the next ten years…
    “In BP we’re very proud of our involvement in the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) pipeline across Turkey that will be transporting 16 billion cubic meters of gas on its way to consumers here and in Europe,” he noted.
    The Turkish Stream project is designed to transfer Russian natural gas to Europe via the Black Sea and Turkey. Russia and Turkey signed an agreement on construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline October 10 within the 23rd World Energy Congress.
    BP has 12 percent in the TANAP project.
    http://azertag.az/en/xeber/Robert_Dudley_BP_would_like_to_work_on_Turkish_Stream-1000742

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    Another amazing read Joanne !!!

    YOU should be the one getting a government grant to create public awareness on issues of science and the associated economics and politics which inevitably interfere in the TURLY rational minds who can TRULY progress our nation.

    Keep up the great work Joanne – BEST INTERNET BLOG BY FAR! You deserve a public service award of some kind, though as a ‘denier’, you’re probably more likely to win lotto :)

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    John PAK

    Given the phase synchronisation issues with AC wind turbines perhaps we could keep them out of the national grid altogether and use them to DC pump-store water. Around Tumut in the Au Snowy Mtns there are numerous huge reservoirs and existing hydro facilities and many open moorlands with suitable windy sites. Clusters of windmills could directly feed DC pumps. They might be less efficient but they have great latitude and have no phase issues.
    The high pondage at Dinorwig in Wales is used to augment the grid as hydro generators are easy to phase match and hold steady at only three minutes notice.
    Contrarians say this is grossly inefficient yet the existing wind system is appalling. In the UK they have around 14 GW of installed wind generating capacity (at huge cost) yet it rarely actually achieves 7GW of output to the grid. Generally it works at less than 25% capacity.
    Au has some excellent hydro facilities that are frequently redundant due to poor rainfall distribution so the DC wind turbine/ pump-storage aspect has some factors in its favour.

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      Annie

      Not taking into account the wrecking of the landscapes with bird and bat mincing machines and the health problems of human beings living nearby? I hate, with a deep hate, those vast wind turbines cluttering up the beauty of Cumbria and Scotland, not to mention other areas. The thought of them cluttering the landscape of the High Country in Victoria and NSW is appalling.

      Contrarian Annie.

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    Big Dave

    This report is worth a read:
    http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/au/Documents/Economics/deloitte-au-economics-energy-markets-implication-case-study-261115.pdf

    It examines the SA electricity market in great detail. I now understand how the electricity market operates and why some fossil generators are being forced to close.

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    pat

    12 Oct: Daily Caller: Andrew Follett: China Is Pouring Cash Into Wind Farms It Can’t Use
    Subsides and incentives to build new turbines are so lucrative that companies have seen their profits soar by 25 to 64 percent this year, according to a study by Bank of China International. However, government statistics show that 33.9 billion kilowatt-hours of wind-power, or about 15 percent of all Chinese wind power, was wasted last year because the power grid can’t handle the inherent unreliability of wind…
    “The challenge for China is getting its energy mix correct,” Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at The Center for the National Interest and an expert on China, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “China has poured considerable resources into wind, however, with wind power being so expensive to produce compared to coal or even importing oil or natural gas and considering prices are down considerably for traditional carbon-based energy resources, wind seems like a bad economic choice.”..
    In 2015, China invested almost $103 billion in green energy, with approximately 43 percent of the cash specifically targeting wind power. In comparison, the U.S. spent a “mere” $34 billion on green energy in 2014. As a result of this cash infusion, China is wasting enough wind energy to power Great Britain. The sheer scale of the waste is causing even environmentalist outlets like InsideClimate News to worry…
    China has greatly slowed its construction of new wind turbines to cope with an oversupply of intermittent and unreliable wind power, which is threatening to cause blackouts…
    Kazianis continued: “With many energy providers in the United States as well as in Germany turning away from wind until costs are shown to be less of a burden, China may need to make the same choice.”…
    http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/12/china-pouring-cash-into-wind-farms-it-cant-use/

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    pat

    13 Oct: InternationalBusinessTimes: Kedar Grandhi: National Grid places two coal power plants on winter standby for £77m
    The National Grid is placing two coal power plants in the UK on standby this winter at a total cost of £77m ($93.84m). This is said to help the British electricity and gas utility company to reduce the risk of electricity blackouts in the country…
    The two plants that will be put on standby include the Eggborough coal power plant in North Yorkshire and the SSE power firm’s coal plant at Fiddler’s Ferry in Cheshire. While the former has agreed to provide up to 681MW of power, the latter’s commitment stands at 422MW.
    Sandbag, a UK campaigning organisation that focuses on emissions trading, suggested that the North Yorkshire plant will be paid £60m to be on standby, while the other plant will be paid £17m for the same service…
    Both these plants are said to receive additional compensation, if they will be made to move up to an advanced state of readiness called “hot standby”. They will further be paid at guaranteed prices that are well above the average wholesale price, if they are eventually made to generate electricity.
    Dave Jones, an analyst with Sandbag further pointed out that these plants also have an opportunity to earn millions from other means such as subsidies and price hikes when the demand for energy is high. “Many coal power plants are on for a bumper 2016….The transition to phase out coal is happening quickly, but National Grid, Ofgem and the government must make sure the transition is not more expensive than it needs to be,” Jones added.
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/national-grid-places-two-coal-power-plants-winter-standby-77m-1586116

    13 Oct: Guardian: Rob Davies: National Grid: two coal plants to get £77m to be on winter standby
    The size of the UK’s capacity margin – the buffer zone between available power supply and predicted peak demand – will be revealed on Friday when National Grid publishes its winter outlook.
    The margin is understood to be higher than the 5.5% predicted by National Grid earlier this year. That was itself an improvement on last year’s “tight but manageable” 5.1%.
    The improved position has been achieved partly by paying around £144m for tools that can be used in case of unexpected events, such as a shutdown at a major power plant…
    They will earn £3,908 and £3,000 an hour respectively to be on hot standby and £11,513 and £3,000 an hour while starting up. They will be paid for any energy they generate at guaranteed prices well above the average wholesale price…
    The Sandbag energy analyst Dave Jones pointed out that coal power plants also stand to make millions from other subsidies and price spikes when energy demand is high…
    The extra spending is partly down to the closure of other coal plants as the UK aims to phase out the heavily polluting energy source by 2025…
    The SBR is among several measures designed to minimise the risk of blackouts. National Grid is also paying for demand-side response, under which businesses are paid to use less energy, or change the time that they use it, if there is high demand…
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/oct/12/national-grid-two-coal-plants-to-get-77m-to-be-on-standby-this-winter

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    graphicconception

    I am not quite sure that the problem of “Lumpy Electricity” is fully appreciated.

    If you have just one AC generator, no-one really worries too much about frequency – unless you expect your old electric clock with a synchronous motor to show the right time. In the UK we specified that if the frequency dipped under load, usually during the day, then the frequency would need to be “made up” over night to keep the clocks in sync.

    If you have two AC generators, they will be connected together with a piece of wire. Imagine a letter “T” with both generators connected to opposite ends of the cross-bar and the nearby town connected to the vertical stem.

    When the (assumed equal) generators are in sync, each half of the cross-bar is supplying half the current of the load. If the generators become out of sync, there will be a time when one end of the cross-bar will be at maximum voltage and the other end will be at minimum voltage.

    Assuming an RMS voltage of 230V that means that one end of the cross-bar will be about 325V when the other is at -325V. That is, 650V across a short circuit. Huge currents could ensue and melting the wire becomes a distinct possibility.

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    john

    Outstanding work Tom, Jo and all! The wikileaks dumps are really interesting.

    Podesta: Carbon Tax Has Chance If Hillary Wins.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/13/podesta-emails-carbon-tax-has-a-c

    Clearly, they don’t care about “saving the planet” they care about saving their ass in the election. Because “carbon tax” is just too toxic to talk about until after you’ve secured the vote.

    You can read the full email here:

    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/8248

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      pat

      john -

      the MSM collusion stuff is fantastic – and they don’t dare report on it? lol.

      re email from Robby Mook, Clinton Campaign Manager to Brian Fallon, Clinton Press Secretary (who formerly worked with Chuck Schumer) in response to Politico article.

      note the most telling bits in the article ***

      June 2015: Politico: Elana Schor: Schumer: Carbon tax has a chance if Clinton wins
      Schumer, the Senate Democrats’ leader-in-waiting, said that a Clinton presidency and the return of his party to the Senate majority in 2017 could pave the way for lawmakers to enact a carbon tax ***to help fund the government…
      “If Hillary wins and we take back the Senate, I believe many of our Republican friends will say we’ve been ***starving the government for revenues,” Schumer told an environmental event on Capitol Hill, “but many of them will not be for raising rates.”…
      “I think in 2017 people of both parties might come to that as the best way ***to fund the government,” he said…
      http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/schumer-carbon-tax-has-a-chance-if-clinton-wins-119352.html?hp=rc2_4

      how can anyone not understand it’s all a revenue-raising scam?

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      pat

      btw i posted similarities between accusations in NYT’s Trump smear story & accusations against actor Bill Roache (he was cleared & returned to “Coronation Street”) in Guardian 2 years ago on jo’s “Unthreaded” thread yesterday.
      but there’s even more madness to this concocted story:

      13 Oct: GatewayPundit: Jim Hoft: NY Times Gets Punked=> Fake Groping Victim Used Velvet Underground Song to Describe Trumped-Up Attack
      (INCLUDES EXCERPT FROM GUARDIAN “OCTOPUS” STORY ACCUSING ACTOR BILL ROACHE)
      Meanwhile Wikileaks continues to release documents that show NY Times reporters were in bed with the Hillary campaign.
      For some reason that didn’t make any splashy headlines in today’s paper
      http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/10/ny-times-gets-punked-fake-groping-victim-used-velvet-underground-song-describe-trumped-attack/

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    David Maddison

    Like any thinking person I am strongly opposed to wind power but am curious as to why windmills output AC and not DC which would eliminate syncronisation issues. Is it because of the high cost of megawatt scale power electronics which would have to convert the AC from the generator to DC and then back to AC before it goes into the grid? Or would that just relocate the synchronisation problem from the windmill to the point at which DC is converted to AC at the grid connection point?

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      tony c

      AC is generated because an AC machine is simpler and more durable. The wind generators use asynchronous AC machines, related in construction and theory of operation to induction motors. They have no problem with synchronising with the grid, because when they connect the grid ‘synchronises’ them by creating their internal magnetic field in step with the grid.
      This also means that they cannot run without the grid created by other machines which have synchronous generators.

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    pat

    just in case anyone visits this thread – live now with over 20,000, plus thousands outside.
    Trump’s second rally of the day and one more to go.

    RightSideBroadcasting: LIVE Stream: Donald Trump Rally in CINCINNATI, OH 10/13/16
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsXZfvJQXPg

    meanwhile, Fox News is shilling their new poll, claiming Clinton is 7 points ahead of Trump, down from 11 points ahead in their last poll (????).
    note: their latest poll has 9% more dems than Republicans, which is not going to happen, unless the Dems rig the electronic voting machines.

    other MSM are naturally quoting the hated Murdoch/Fox poll as if it is gospel.

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    pat

    Fox apparently saying Trump rally half full. unbelievable.
    Trump announced 21,000 in attendance with 7,000 overflow who can’t get in.

    Trump Cincinatti rally
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cur8S0wWYAACdM5.jpg

    (following Trump figs will be more by the time i post this, as i’ve spent an hour trying to get some facts on Clinton’s Las Vegas rally)

    263,860 Comments at Facebook livestream, 111,600 watching livestream via Trump’s Facebook; will keep increasing with delayed viewers.

    There are 2 million views just on FB for the student rally he did before Cincinatti.

    50,000 at least on one YouTube; there are others.
    31k on RightSideBroadcasting livestream!

    found 4 youtubes of Clinton’s Las Vegas rally:

    4,394 views, 151 comments
    847 views, 30 comments
    157 views, 9 comments
    0 views, 0 comments

    almost all comments negative from Trump supporters.

    Vegas Sun goes back 2 polls to get the crooked NBC/WSJ one with Clinton 11 pts ahead & has tiny pic of Clinton alone at rally:

    0 comments: 12 Oct: Las Vegas Sun: Clinton talks job growth, healing the nation at Las Vegas campaign stop
    By Chris Kudialis
    Hands, signs and American flags waved outside the Smith Center Wednesday evening as over 3,000 attendees filled the downtown Las Vegas venue’s front lawn for a 30-minute stump speech by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton…
    Clinton soared to an 11-point lead following Sunday’s debate, according to a Monday NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The same poll saw Clinton’s lead decrease to 9 points, 46 percent to 37 percent, on Tuesday…

    finding a pic of the rally crowd is almost impossible;
    however, when u open this. the pic showing – the first in the Gallery – is the only one showing the “crowd” – hundreds!

    13 Oct: Heavy.com: Olivia Stacey: Hillary Clinton Las Vegas, Nevada Rally: The Photos You Need to See
    According to Secret Service estimates, Clinton drew a crowd of 3,475…
    http://heavy.com/news/2016/10/hillary-clinton-las-vegas-nevada-rally-photos-pictures-speech-crowd-pics-protests-how-many-supporters-astrid-silva-tracee-ellis-ross/

    how precise is the Secret Service? lol.

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      Ted O'Brien.

      In about 1986 the National Farmers’ Federation called a rally in Canberra to protest against high interest rates. They claimed 50,000 in attendance. After the “rally” they had a “march” through the city.

      My wife didn’t want to do the walk. We were near the lead of it, so I ducked ahead and counted the “marchers”. Using the same technique I use for counting livestock, I counted 37,500. I would rate that at + or – 10%. A lot of people didn’t “march”. I guessed there 2,000 to maybe 5,000, harder to tell. But nominate 40,000 all up as pretty near the mark.

      That evening, all the media reported 20,000. The late Richard Carleton of the ABC hinted that this was not true, ending with “How many were there? One thing you can be sure of, this was the biggest rally that Canberra has ever seen”.

      When “Leftists” hold rallies, those same media are not backward at inflating their numbers.

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    pat

    14 Oct: Australian: Graham Richardson: Baird’s backdown a lesson for Shorten, Weatherill and Andrews
    I believe in climate change but I am not an extremist. I love the idea that sun, wind and water can keep the lights, the stove, the fridge and the airconditioner going. The problem is how long it will take to improve the technologies for clean energy sources to power our country. Labor needs to consider its position on this issue, and in particular Bill Shorten, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill need to watch videos of Baird over and over again. They need to back down on their renewable energy targets. It has nothing to do with electoral popularity. This is all about energy security. The prolonged statewide blackout across South Australia was the perfect reason to change tack. Closing coal-powered electricity plants that are reliable is dangerous when the energy to replace their output simply can’t hack it…
    Watching him pretend that the closure of a coal-fired plant and too much reliance on wind farms were not among the causes of the blackout was as embarrassing as it was excruciating. When the lights go out, minds are concentrated on finding a reason.
    The message here for Weatherill is that the mob, as they always do, have worked him out. When the wind disappears, the wind farms don’t work. When the wind blows too hard, the wind farms don’t work.
    Given his history I am hopeful the Premier will redeem himself and make his energy targets realistic. His task will be made more difficult because of the role of federal Labor frontbencher Mark Butler, who continues to stick to Labor’s 50 per cent renewable energy target, which he seems to want in place within the week.
    The farce of this policy has become obvious to all. The government has done little to expose the extraordinary hole in this stupid Labor policy. Labor has no plan on how this target would be reached. Australia must keep some of its reliance on coal until the renewable energy technologies are proven…
    Sadly, Labor is playing games with people’s lives. It is no good playing roulette and hoping your number comes up. The poor and pensioners particularly require certainty about lights and heat. Labor owes it to its base to modify its stance.
    A complete backdown a la Baird is not necessary…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/graham-richardson/bairds-backdown-a-lesson-for-shorten-weatherill-and-andrews/news-story/c12f322fd15a5d4ea6e0e7376402209d

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    pat

    so-called unintended consequences provide new opportunities for the sellers of whatever the next thing will be to save the planet:

    13 Oct: BBC: Matt McGrath: UN moves to ban ‘fastest growing’ greenhouse gases
    HFCs were introduced to limit damage to the ozone layer, but cause much greater levels of global warming than CO2.
    However nations are divided over the speed and timing of any phase-out…
    Found in hairsprays, refrigeration and air conditioning, CFCs were ultimately replaced by factory-made hydrofluorocarbons, which essentially do the same job but without the damage to the Earth’s protective layer…
    The substitution worked. Earlier this year, scientists said that the ozone hole is showing “the first fingerprints of healing.”
    There has been just one unfortunate side effect caused by the solution.
    HFCs are several thousand times better at retaining heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. HFCs have helped the ozone layer, but exacerbated global warming…
    Durwood Zaelke, Institute for Government and Sustainable Development (IGSD): “But an amendment could bend the curve down quickly and take out 100 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent by mid century, and by the end of the century you’ll avoid up to half a degree of warming.”…
    Around 100 nations including the US, EU, African and island states are pushing for a peak in their use by 2021. India, a large manufacturer of the gases, favours a much later date of 2031…
    An early peak means a far greater impact on temperatures – but it will cost a lot more in funding to help poorer nations adapt. The hope is that by having an early phase down, emerging economies will not take intermediate steps but go for the most advanced and sustainable options…
    Durwood Zaelke: “So private funders have said this is a very good opportunity, and they have put together a fund that is designed to be a bridge to greater sources of funding.”…
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37610850

    the world won’t forgive them for a lot of things:

    13 Oct: Reuters: U.N. calls for deal to cut greenhouse gases at Rwanda talks
    By Clement Uwiringiyimana
    The world will not forgive leaders gathered in Rwanda this week if they fail to back a proposed agreement to cut greenhouse gases, a top U.N. official said on Thursday, calling the deal an easy one to achieve.
    Representatives from about 150 nations heard the appeal as they opened negotiations on a deal to reduce the use of factory-made hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases, which are used in refrigerators, air conditioners and aerosols…
    “No one, frankly, will forgive you if you cannot find a compromise at this conference,” said Erik Solheim, executive director of United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).
    “This is one of the cheapest, one of the easiest, one of the lowest-hanging fruits in the entire arsenal of climate mediation,” he told the opening session in the Rwandan capital Kigali.
    Scientists say a quick reduction of HFCs could dramatically slow climate change, avoiding perhaps 0.5 degree Celsius (0.9 Fahrenheit) of a projected rise in average temperatures by 2100…

    ***Solheim said failure to act would contribute to more extreme droughts and stronger storms of the type that hit Haiti last week, killing about 1,000 people.
    “Expect more of this extreme weather if we don’t fight against climate change,” he said.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-climatechange-idUSKCN12D17G

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      Bruce

      I have worked with the “evil” CFCs, unlike most eco-nazis, political opportunists and media hacks.

      The Freon I used for cleaning electric motors and electronic circuit boards was interesting stuff. The vapours are so dense that they can be seen rolling off the workbench and shimmering across the floor and out the door.

      Still waiting for any proper explanation of how such a substance could get into the upper atmosphere.

      Furthermore, CFCs are tough cookies; “Halon” is used (or WAS used) as the fire extinguisher of choice at airfields around the world.

      NOTHING else could reliably and effectively suppress an aircraft fire involving the combustion of Magnesium and Aluminium alloys, as found in aircraft crash sites.

      CO2? As any kid in a year 9 science class SHOULD be able to tell you, magnesium will continue to burn in a pure CO2 atmosphere.

      Thus, you need a fire-suppression agent that will NOT “dissociate”, releasing oxygen, anywhere near a burning aircraft (or racing car).

      Banning CFCs as airfield fire-suppression systems seem tantamount to something worse than negligence.

      Any molecule that stays intact in a magnesium fire is hardly likely to fall to bits under a dose of UV. And that is allowing the wild assumption that the stuff is “uplifted” in any serious quantity to the relevant regions of the atmosphere. Ozone is formed at a specific altitude band and by a very specific UV band.

      Any CFC “doctors” out there care to enlarge or correct?

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        Greg

        Still waiting for any proper explanation of how such a substance could get into the upper atmosphere.

        Perhaps instead of waiting for it to find you, you should try finding it.

        Dust gets picked up by wind, sand can travel from deserts and come down in rain. Those are finite lumps of rock.

        Now look up gas diffusion and you will realise why a heavy gas does not remain on the ground and why we do not all get asphyxiated by the 0.0004% of CO2 in the atmosphere hanging around where we live.

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    Steve Richards

    Wrt DC versus AC:

    DC machines are horrendously unreliable.

    True DC motors and generators require carbon brushes to feed the current into the rotating part.

    The part that the brushes touch/rest upon is called a ‘commutator’. Made of strips of copper. The commutator causes the brushes to wear out rapidly.

    Controlling the speed of a DC motor or the output of a DC generator can be tricky and wasteful.

    3 phase AC generation is much more efficient than single phase generation, so we use 3ph.

    3 phase motors spin in the desired direction without any complexity so we use it.

    National grids are 3 phase AC ‘cos its efficient and reliable.

    Multiple AC generators, once synced, work in harmony to share the load across them due to their governor ‘droop’ characteristic.

    As the load increases the frequency will fall or ‘droop’ and they all do this together without any human intervention. (as they did before ‘electronics’ etc) in the 1900′s).

    When the frequency falls below what is deemed acceptable, someone can command the largest of the generators to increase in speed and the others will follow.

    In recent years, as technology allowed, the efficiency of HV DC long distance transmission became possible over distances of 50km, so we do it.

    The industry has been doing generation well for over 100 years. It seems that politicians overruling engineers leads to bad outcomes. Who would have thought that?

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    Gibo

    “For a generator with two magnetic poles, its spin, or synchronous, speed is 1500 rpm. For a 4-pole generator, the spin speed is 750 rpm.”
    Not sure if anyone else pointed out that this is incorrect.. For a two pole generator the speed is 3000 RPM for a 4 pole 1500 rpm for 50Hz.

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      Greg

      Indeed. I was wondering how many poles these generators have, I would imagine a generator the size of a room spinning at 3000 rmp would probably explode !

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    Greg

    The grid lives and dies by its frequency. We can’t add a 53Hz current to a 47Hz one and get a 50 Hz average.

    Jo this is a very good article, however you do not understand the subject so you should probably limit your introductions.

    Generators must remain IN PHASE. They can not run at different frequencies at all. Even a difference of 1Hz would put them into total anti-phase in one second. They would be heating each other up and producing zero net power.

    BTW we don’t buy electrons as you have a habit of saying. As many electrons leave the house as enter it.

    Thanks for the interesting and informed articles you have published on this subject. It gives us access to expert opinion which would be hard to research otherwise.

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      tom0mason

      Absolutely true, as all generators on a grid are effectively directly connected in parallel with each other. They all see the customer load, they all sense/react to each others output.

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    Rich

    Logic is not being applied to the workings of large wind turbines. The major problem I see is that the newer wind turbines work like the alternator in your automotive electric system. The high frequency voltage is feed to an inverter that converts the high frequency down to 50hz. The 50 he is controlled by this inverter. This inverter usually obtains this reference frequency from the line it is feeding. Thus, if the grid frequency drops to 49.9, the output will follow and tracks the frequency of the grid. Problem is that if the grid frequency drops to 45 the inverter follows. Thus not only will these wind turbines pickup power to help prevent loss of power, they actually speed up the loss of power by following the degradation of frequency and the eventual loss of power on the low frequency trip.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229496017_Design_of_an_AC-DC-AC_converter_for_wind_turbines

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      tom0mason

      I see what you say but you are missing the other side of the story.
      With the grid system it is not just about generation in isolation, there is the customer load. The two must be considered together. For a grid connected system to work effectively generated power must (at least) equal required customer load (and losses).

      So, as the wind power comes online it lifts some of the customer load from the other generators online allowing them to move the frequency up. To reiterate as any generator powers the grid it alters the load ‘seen’ by all other generators on the grid. The wind systems should track the frequency change, and the system settle to a sort of stability – until the next lull in wind power when it starts all over again, more so if there is not enough rolling reserve (backup) generators.
      Or at least that is what would happen if the majority of power is derived from any or a mix of nuclear, or fossil fueled, or hydro, as all of these have mechanisms to automatically govern them as the load changes.
      If however the majority of the power is from ‘renewable’ sources, then IMO, it’s anyone’s guess as to what happens. It certainly will not be a stable system.

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        Rich

        Not sure how things work in Australia, but in the USA the grid is maintained at 60.00000 hz, with occasional corrections to get clocks back in agreement with NBS Time. I would think Australia does the same for their 50 Hz system.

        Power is transferred form one area to another by slowing down a generator just enough to get a phase shift of just a few degrees. This causes reactive currents on the grid which allows the voltage to be pushed to the portion of the grid that is pulling the voltage and thus the voltage increases at that point. It is not done by lowering the frequency by much more than a few degrees of phase difference and it is never going to be measured in Hz as some above have said. Ten to 20 degrees of phase shift could, in some cases, be enough to overload a generator and cause it to shift off line. Grid Circuits are also protected by under frequency trips. These vary from less then a hz to as much as a few hz, usually with varying time allowances. Adding a large load could cause a very large frequency drop. Sheading a large load could cause a very large frequency increase. These will have very short time trips. Conversely, small changes in frequency could be present for several minutes before they cause a trip.

        The point I was trying to make in my above comment was that since wind turbines and solar panels get their reference frequency from the grid [which they must do to be able to synchronize with the grid when connected to the grid] the will follow whatever frequency that they see on the grid. This means that they will aggravate the problem. when the frequency starts dropping when not controlled by the grid dispatcher, the reactive currents will start increasing. Reactive currents can overload the generator. Generators are designed to trip on high reactive current. thus you lose that generator. Generators and inverters are designed to trip on low or high frequency, again causing more grid stability problems.

        Rotating equipment like steam turbine generators, diesel generators have inertia and buffer out these problems. A Steam turbine generator has so much inertia that in testing generators I have witnessed the frequency and voltage remain within 1% of normal for more than 10 seconds after a trip. Inverters do not have inertia, thus they will rapidly (less than a second) cause high reactive currents and havoc on the grid. When the total grid power provided by these electronic inverter devices (Wind/Solar) is about 10% of total load it is not much of a problem. At 20% it gets kinda dicy as that could cause reactive and circulating currents at the limits of the existing safety limits/trips, when there is an unexpected loss of a large generator. When inverter fed power is about 30% get ready for as system that is about as reliable as a Model T Ford. And buy your own emergency generator if you have a large freezer full of food or if your life depends on having electricity 24/7/365 with less that a few hour or so outages.

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    Steve Richards

    Three points:

    There is much discussion in the literature on how wind and solar can be integrated more easily into the conventional grid. It appears as though some countries/states are on top of the situation. Here is a link to an interesting doc on NZs review. I cam across it looking for details of the German standard: VDE-AR-N4105 which is compulsory for intermittents to connect to the grid without reducing reliability to much.

    http://www.epecentre.ac.nz/docs/media/EEA%20Paper%20-%20Review%20of%20Distributed%20Generation%20Interconnection%20Standards-rev01.pdf

    The second point, while the world still thinks that wind turbines are a good thing (in modest winds) perhaps the easiest and cheapest fix would be to program the devices to turn off the wind slightly (reducing its power output) when wind speed gets within, say, 15% of the trip speed.

    Ok, so wind turbines will not produce max power during gales and storms under this scheme, at least they will not kill the grid if they all shut down during maximum electrical output during a maximum gust.

    I wonder if the SA electrical authorities have many reviews available to them about the SA position on SA grid reliability with 40% wind penetration?

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