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Solar pain: Australia’s largest coal plant does unthinkable — tests switching off for lunchtime

UPDATE: Commenters point out that there is more to this story.

Shutting down Eraring (which is a term the operations manager there used) makes no sense at all, and they are probably talking of a “hot idle”, though they do that already, so it’s not a “totally new operating model” as described. Read their comments. Graeme No. 3. TonyfromOz and Lance below.

—————————————————————————-

Solar power destroys efficiency of the rest of the system

Eraring Coal Plant, NSW. Photo, CSIRO

All this will sit around doing nothing? Eraring Coal Plant, NSW

The Eraring power plant produces up to  2,880 MW. That’s  20 per cent of Australia’s largest state’s (NSW) electricity and about the same (percentage-wise) as the entire fleet of 94 wind farms in Australia plus our couple-of-million solar panels. It’s been running four giant turbines almost non-stop for 35 years. But the intrusion of subsidized mass solar energy arriving in the middle of the day means it is now testing whether it should stop and start the turbines during lunch time. These turbines weigh hundreds of tons, and spin at 3,000 rpm.

There are hundreds of small and large hot metal parts with operating temperatures above 500 degrees C. As the temperature changes, all of those parts will expand and contract, and at slightly different rates. Because it spins 50 times a second, everything is finely tuned. There is no way maintenance costs will not be rising, and coal use per MW will rise too, just like a car in the city uses more fuel per mile than the same car in the country.

The great efficiency of scale of coal generation comes from doing one thing well and keeping on doing it.  Solar power provides nothing we don’t already have, and makes coal power run at higher cost. Massive solar infrastructure sits there doing nothing more than half the day. Now massive coal turbines are going to sit around uselessly for hours.

Green geniuses think this will be cheaper.

Renewables put old coal to the test

Perry Williams, The Australian

…after running the mega plant much the same way since it opened in 1982, running a coal generator more flexibly is no small feat. Unlike quick-start gas plants which are designed to fill gaps in the grid, the complex interplay between coal boilers, pipes, cooling towers and turbines pose a challenge for Eraring.

“It’s a totally different operating model,” Phillips says. “If you look at the valves and dampers and equipment out there, that traditionally sits in one spot and never moves. Now we’re asking it to move up and down and this sort of equipment can jam, get stuck, doesn’t operate, gets fatigued and generally wears out.

“The tests were designed to look at reliability issues to ensure that when the time comes we can do this day, in day out or, if needed, a few times a week.”

Moving Australia’s coal plant fleet to so-called “two shift” operations that Eraring is considering poses a raft of challenges, Wood says. “One of the potential problems is, if you do this with older plants it can actually make them worse in that they can become less stable and less efficient in burning coal, which can mean they produce even more emissions.”

 The headline could just as easily have been — Renewables reduce efficiency of reliable coal  or Solar makes low cost coal more expensive. There is no way Eraring can bid lower prices than it used to with less efficient operation and less hours to recoup the costs.

The duck curve pain is just beginning:

Solar Duck Curve, Australia.

This is just the new generation in Australia, Q1, 2019, AEMO.

Does anyone know what those 750MW Toshiba Steam Turbines weigh?  Plus photos or close-up of the motors? If anyone can help please email me direct at joanne AT this site domain. Thanks. Anonymity ensured if needed.

Photo of Eraring  By CSIRO, CC BY 3.0,

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Rating: 9.4/10 (73 votes cast)
Solar pain: Australia's largest coal plant does unthinkable -- tests switching off for lunchtime , 9.4 out of 10 based on 73 ratings

122 comments to Solar pain: Australia’s largest coal plant does unthinkable — tests switching off for lunchtime

  • #
    Annie

    Crikey Jo…I can’t keep up with all your articles! :)

    210

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    This smells like a set up to fail…cooling machinery…malfunction…claims coal is unreliable blah blah…

    440

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      How long does it take those turbines to spin down? I don’t believe they would be spun down at all.

      Tell me if I’m wrong. “Renewables” have been given first priority in the market. Whenever they produce, their product will be bought. Is this true?

      Fossil fuelled generators make way for “renewables” on an intermittent basis.

      In this system the product that fossil fuelled generators forego is marginal cost product.

      The more power that renewables generate, the higher the average cost of coal and gas.

      So any comparative analysis should cost fossil fuelled product at the marginal cost, not average cost.

      Not the marginal cost after ‘renewables” have been accommodated, the original marginal cost, before wind and solar were accommodated.

      As I read various claims I very much doubt that this has been done. Only in recent days have I seen reports that suggest this is finally being recognised.

      70

  • #
    Dennis

    The journalist travelled to Britain for this story courtesy of the Climate Change Council ….. more deceptive propaganda, the journalist obviously neglected to research the subject.

    https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/australia-warned-its-falling-behind-the-rest-of-the-world-on-climate-change/news-story/afae464c0ae982888c5d31d830a80f6a

    130

    • #
      Geoff

      Baroness Brown urged greater effort in retrieving minerals such as cobalt and lithium from old digital devices.

      Is she talking about lithium batteries?

      100

      • #
        Geoff

        Eraring is unique as it is only one of two power stations on the east coast with a ‘black start’ capability.

        This means if NSW, or the entire east coast, suffered a major blackout and lost all power, Eraring could be used to restart the grid, bringing back energy to the entire network.

        The other black start capable facility is the Snowy Hydro power station, which currently holds the contract to restart the grid in the case of a catastrophic failure.

        We may get to test the Black Start this summer. No Start, No Grid.

        Tumut 3 has 6*300MW Toshibas with 151m of head.

        250

    • #
      Bill in Oz

      Britain is thinking of going where Australians have voted not to go.
      And this dimwit is trying to make us ashamed of being sane.
      She’s a god damned nutter.
      I hope no one issies here with a visa to escape here to Oz
      From the UK’s lunacy.

      131

  • #
    theRealUniverse

    You cant stop those generator / turbines for an hour a day. Thats it. Pie in the sky solutions to a non problem. So how much coal would that save? none, you have to restart, that takes even more energy.

    340

    • #
      ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N

      It’s why your gas hot water service is always maintained at a rough temp. Imagine manually switching that on and off daily or based on needs. I doubt it would save anything unless you go on a cruise several times a year.

      150

      • #
        James Murphy

        I had an electric storage hot water system. Being an evil oil-industry fly-in/fly-out worker, I was only home 4-5 months of the year, so I turned it off when I was away. Given the electricity prices, and that this was the biggest electricity user in my house (not a big place) it was well worth it. Doing this weekly, or daily would indeed, make no sense!

        110

        • #
          WXcycles

          Depends how big and how well insulated the heater is and what the ambient temp is.

          In summer I don’t use the hot-water system at all and just turn it off at the circuit breaker. Because it’s a small system it only takes about 20 mins to heat it up enough for me to take a sufficiently hot shower even in July.

          When I started doing this a few years back my winter power bills dropped by about 1/3rd compared to my earlier bills, where I didn’t turn it off. It seems the insulation in the heaters is not a good as we might hope, and they cool down much more quickly in winter requiring more power than you’d think to maintain the temp set by the thermostat.

          Curiously, I also discovered that turning the hotwater off in summer meant that the water stored in the heater during the day became several degrees cooler than the water from the cold water tap that had been exposed to mote heat input. So I found that if I wanted to take a cold shower at the end of a hot humid day/evening it was much better to use the insulated water within the heater (the hot water tap) than to use the water from the ‘cold’ (warm) water tap.

          Anyway, I save hundreds of dollars and still get the shower (heat or cold) that I want.

          40

  • #
    TdeF

    Just keep running it. Use the power to pump water up hill, pump water generally, charge batteries anything. Whatever.

    Or better still, leave it in place and use the lunchtime solar only for local domestic use or to charge batteries. Double the cost of solar by having batteries too. If it is uneconomic without battiries, it will be even crazier with batteries, but it is ‘free’.

    Solar is useless for anything else important because it’s not commandable. You cannot turn solar on and off when you like and wind is random anyway. Nothing is more useless than a Tesla with a flat battery on the freeway. I can’t wait for the first photographs of a Tesla being towed away by a horse.

    We have one coal power source which is commandable and the Greens want to turn it off. Genius.

    What happens if it is a cloudy day? It demonstrates the insanity of random power sources. Your dependence on reliable commandable power does not decrease at all.

    400

    • #
      Bobl

      A Tesla, towed away by a horse, with 0.8Tonnes of batteries on board? Not likely.

      A tesla is almost 2 Tonnes it’s part of what makes them so ridiculous. It takes 20kJ just to go up hill by 1m.

      190

      • #
        TdeF

        A draft horse can pull 8,000 lbs, 4 (US) tons. Uphill is a different matter. I wonder if the brakes work on a Tesla without a battery? Or the lights? Or the steering? As I wrote, useless. Dead. How do you stop it rolling on a hill?

        200

        • #
          TdeF

          I am assuming the wheels work. Hydraulic brakes as backup. Hand brake is a parking brake on the rear wheels, electrically operated. So perhaps if it is not on, you cannot use it. If it is on, maybe you cannot release it without enough power, as the car would be dangerous on any sort of incline.

          121

          • #
            Chad

            No clutch or “neutral” in the drive train with a 9.7:1 reduction gearing to a powerful PM motor…
            You are not going to shift that without a lifting rig !

            80

            • #
              Chad

              And……
              I am fairly certain the Tesla transmission has a electically operated “Transmission Lock”Like “Park” in an auto trans,,,,, quite separate from any brake system

              30

          • #

            That would be the correct way to set up the vehicle TdeF, same as air brakes on a truck.
            Way back (1970′s), if you blew an air compressor hose on your air brake system, you lost your truck/trailer brakes all together. That’s why all those mysterious truck brake failure lanes were built (strangely the runaway truck always had to cross the oncoming traffic to access them!)
            Then some genius invented the modern system, where your air pressure releases the brakes, and your brake pedal merely reduces the air pressure holding the brakes off and lets the springs increasingly apply the brakes. Now, if you blow a hose, the brakes slam on and you suddenly skid to a stop in a horrific cloud of blue smoke. Which is of course much safer.

            So no horse pulling the Tesla, unless it has a car battery in the saddle to release the brakes…

            110

            • #
              Ted O'Brien.

              Way back (the 1970s). The good old days. You can’t do these things now.

              I was carting a load of cattle in a Perkins engined Commer about 160 km to saleyards. Full air brakes, with air powered emergency brake. If you lost your pressure the brakes came on, but only till the secondary pressure leaked away, then no brakes.

              A bit after dark, nearly half way to the saleyards, the compressor hose blew out loudly at an intersection. What to do? can’t unload the cattle. The worst of the road was behind me. Only one big hill in front. So I decided to press on, avoiding as far as possible the use of the brakes. I made it, unloaded the cattle and made it home, touching the brake pedal only twice.

              Years later our daughter had an Excel. A good little car. She put it in for service at about 70,000 km. The mechanic asked had she replaced the brake pads, because they weren’t worn. She replied no, I learned to drive in a truck that didn’t have any brakes. She did, too.

              110

    • #
      beowulf

      First Amish Tesla? Or perhaps a bullock team would do the trick?

      90

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    There is no reason to shut down, just do what they used to do in years when we had excess capacity and switch to rolling reserve. The steam turbines can be kept going at synchronous speed (3,000 r.p.m.)
    with minimal output. Alternately (by arrangement) drop only to 50% output along with other units on the grid.
    This sounds like a way to pressure the government into action. Attempt to accomodate solar, have a breakdown followed shortly (very, very shortly) by a massive blackout. Would bring home to the politicians and the public that there are problems with too much solar.

    340

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Generating confusion is the purpose!

      30

    • #

      Graeme and Tony from Oz, Lance, and Bengt — points taken and I’ve added an update at the top to draw attention to your comments. Perhaps we should ask the Eraring manager what he means:

      Origin’s Eraring operations manager Tony Phillips told The Weekend Australian on a tour of the plant.

      “That surplus energy will mean that we may likely back off and it could even mean that we shut down for periods during the day. It’s a commercial decision — if the price gets to a point where it’s sensible to do — we will make that decision.”
      “Origin has just completed a trial shutting down one of its four Eraring generators after meeting morning demand and firing it back up to meet evening peaks.”

      So to be fair on Perry Williams, it was Eraring that used the term “shut down”.

      That said, I’m really appreciating the expertise of readers here explaining the realities of spinning 200 ton machines at (probably) 3,000 rpm. (Hope we can reference that too).

      60

    • #
      Chris Morris

      Graeme/ Jo Big steamers generally have a very limited time they can run at less than about 25% load and near synchronous speed. This is something in the order of 80 hours over the lifetime of the blades. The problem is that the last stage blades of the LP turbines recirculate the wet steam, so there is a lot of erosion and windage problems. Hood sprayers help reduce this but can introduce new problems. There are papers on the EPRI website that discuss the problem. Most aren’t written for the layperson. Here is a relatively simple explanation. http://www.ccj-online.com/alert-steam-can-flow-backwards-and-erode-trailing-edges-of-last-stage-turbine-blades/

      At low loads, there are often problems maintaining flames in boilers and preventing hotspots on the tubing. This is especially so if the plant isn’t designed for it (which it isn’t)

      90

    • #
      Gerry, England

      In thermal terms it can take 12 hours to warm up a steam turbine generator from cold so whatever they do they will have to keep it warm.

      20

      • #
        Graeme#4

        Depends very much on the time the generator has been shut down. For a very good discussion of starting up coal powered generators, see “Technical Assessment of the Operation of Coal & Gas Fired Plants”, Parsons Brinckerhoff, December 2014. A detailed explanation of the start-up process starts on Page 22, with lots of graphs of the U.K. Power stations in the appendices.
        For a Hot Start, where the generator has been shut down less than 8 hours, the Notice to Synch is 60-90 minutes, and Synch to Full Load is 50 minutes. Figures for a 500 MW unit. For full details, see Appendix 1.

        20

  • #
    NB

    Great argument for nuclear. Clean, reliable power. Awesome.

    110

    • #
      John PAK

      Nuclear might be good if we could get hotter reactors but the latest coal units have pushed water boiling physics to “the corner of the envelope”. Water boils to steam at 100ºC at one bar or atmosphere of pressure. At 100bar you can reach 310ºC. At 200bar you get up to 360+ºC. Above 230bar you snap to steam rather efficiently so all those new Chinese units are considerably better than ours in Au. The coal furnace temp is up around 850ºC
      Nuclear is stuck with lower temp primary coolant loops. Even the Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor only produces liquid carbon dioxide at 648ºC. Any hotter and the stainless fuel rods get a bit wobbly and pumps don’t work and graphite behaves badly(oxidises and goes brittle). Actually, back in the 70s most coal units produced about 650ºC steam so they designed the AGRs to that temp so they could then be coupled to existing turbine/gen-sets.
      Until the Brits wound up the Atomic Energy Authority they were doing feasibility studies on ultra high temp reactors cooled by liquid helium in the primary loop. They were fishing for 900ºC liquid helium which presents a scary array of engineering problems. Everything glows a dull yellow colour and metals lose some of their more useful/critical characteristics and little helium tends to escape through bearing seals at those sorts of pressures. Perhaps it was a wise move to can the project.

      I sense we’re ready for a step-change in electricity generation. Burning or fissioning stuff in a big box to make steam might be close to the end of it’s natural life cycle.

      20

  • #
    Mal

    Military intelligence, legal ethics, green energy, all are examples of oxymorons

    151

  • #

    Umm, just politely here, I think that this is nudge nudge wink wink territory on behalf of someone at Eraring to appease a journo for an article, and not having the full knowledge (the journo that is) exactly what happens at a coal fired plant, or misunderstanding what was being done on a purely theoretical basis, because plant operators would not really consider something like this on a regular basis.

    The only time that Units at the Eraring go off line is for maintenance.

    Like most coal fired Units in the fleet (excepting those in Victoria which run at max all the time they are on line) they wind the power generation back a little at the 4AM Base Load time, and then wind that power back up for the morning peak, wind it back a little in the mid afternoon, and then wind back up for the evening peak, and then wind back to that Base Load time again.

    They have been doing this ….. AD INFINTUM for as long as I have been watching, twelve years now, and it was always thus. That range between the low for each day and the high varies between 2000MW and 4000MW across the whole fleet of 48 Units here in Australia, and keep in mind that’s from a Nameplate of 23000MW.

    Any exercise being undertaken would be purely theoretical in nature, and not even being seriously contemplated.

    I was surprised as anyone to find that wind and solar are having no effect at all on coal fired power, and seriously, when you are delivering 15500MW of what is being consumed at that time, there’s no way on Earth they would even consider shutting down for an afternoon siesta.

    There are currently 10 Units off line across the fleet, so the variation is from around 13500MW to 17500MW at the moment. That rises in mid Summer and mid Winter, when more Units are on line. The range will stay similar, just the min and max will be higher.

    Keep in mind here that the mid afternoon dip only drops marginally, and the Units on line deliver around 15500MW at that time, and again, that also has never changed, no matter how much wind is delivering, and no matter that both solar powers are at their peak. What coal fired power does is UTTERLY irrespective of what those three renewables do.

    As for Eraring itself, there has been no changes at all in the time I have been watching. There is currently one Unit (Unit 3) off line. The other three Units wind back for that Base Load time, and then wind up to around 700MW during that morning peak, and then stay at straight line power delivery at 700MW until the wind back again after Midnight for the Base Load time, and then repeat.

    They have been doing this, well forever.

    The idea that they will just shut down after that morning peak is just laughable.

    Tony.

    480

    • #
      ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N

      Exactly Tony, they always need to deliver baseload and it’s just like throttling a jet engine back to cruise power after takeoff. They only give what they need. Switching off completely for a power station is like your A380 engines flaming out in mid-Atlantic.

      220

      • #

        You know, get to the altitude and turn the engines off. It can then glide to its destination.

        Tony.

        220

        • #
          yarpos

          Yes it will, its perhaps just maybe not the destination you had in mind initially

          170

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          Just how far can they glide?

          I remember. The U2 spy plane was invented in the 1960s. At 95,000 ft it enabled the Yanks to overfly Russia with impunity until they invented a rocket that could reach it.

          There was a report of a U2 pilot calling in from way out over the ocean that he couldn’t restart his engine after a flame out. The response was ‘we’ll send somebody out”. They were amazed when he replied “no, I can make it”.

          40

          • #
            theRealUniverse

            Probably the same U2 that was passed by an English Electric Lightning.

            20

          • #
            John PAK

            I remember the SR-71 Blackbird being allowed to visit a British airshow. It made an impressive fast dash across the Atlantic at over 3000kph and throttled back once it crossed the British coast but it had reached Berlin by the time it was able to turn round and glide downhill to the airshow in England.

            50

        • #
          Geoffrey Williams

          Tony,do you mean destinaion or destruction?
          GeoffW

          10

    • #
      Bill in Oz

      Thanks Tony for putting us straight on this issue.
      Soooooo..The journo was peddling BS.

      I wonder if anyone in the Australian will give him a proper ‘serve’ on the bum for incompetence ?
      Or is he yet another millennial late sipper who is immune from any management supervision ?

      160

      • #

        Soooooo..The journo was peddling BS.

        I wouldn’t go so far as to say that.

        It’s just that as a journalist, he understands journalism, and when it comes to power generation, he’s clueless, (understandably, as the complexities are so far over his head, and even if he did do some research, it would still be beyond him) so he just goes on what looks good on the printed page. He thinks he hears one thing and writes that down, or what he thinks it means, or what he thinks his readers might understand, or what his editor tells him is OK.

        Without any knowledge at all, he probably thinks it’s feasible.

        It’s the same as economists being the resident local experts on any form of power generation.

        Tony.

        310

        • #
          Bill in Oz

          He wrote with an agenda.
          That’s peddling BS Tony.

          161

        • #
          Lionell Griffith

          But…but…but physics and math was not relevant to their lives, or so they thought. They could not understand the relevance of energy, enthalpy, and entropy. They were abstract concepts. So also was the concept of work. Actual real work and not just pretending to pay attention and just winging it on tests. Hence, when they grow up, they have zero understanding of how the world works and think all they have to do is pretend, complain, and demand and it will be so.

          I know of this attitude because I taught physics and math in high school for six semesters. Almost to a student, they were surprised they had to know algebra, trigonometry, and geometry to solve real world problems. They were just random bits of stuff that adults said they had to study. They memorized enough to pass the tests and immediately forgot because the party over the weekend was far more important than such useless stuff. Now their lives depend upon such useless stuff and they are helpless and hopeless.

          As adults, they depend upon the few students who did pay attention and learned the “useless stuff”. Then who eventually invented all those things and made them so they would work.

          The bumbling idiots of the class now depend upon those few students to just get up in the morning and fix breakfast. Then complain that “No one gave me a chance. It wasn’t my fault. I have a right to a living and I shouldn’t have to work for it. We need to take the wealth the makers have and give it to us. It’s the right thing to do.”

          Now do you see why I say we have to learn how to stop feeding them. It is because they are feeding off of our lives and haven’t the slightest idea how to fend for themselves. They haven’t earned one second of their useless lives and deserve only the nothing that they produce.

          231

          • #
          • #
            truth

            My experience exactly Lionel…not within High School but as an HSC Physics and Chemistry private tutor.

            The students are a touch more focussed when their parents are paying for a tutor on top of private school fees though.

            Journalists are always rabbiting on about getting more kids to study STEM subjects but they don’t seem to realize that if we want that…and most of us do…the preparation for it must begin in Primary School where mastery of maths and English grammar must be the primary goal…and most of the post-modern claptrap and the idea that getting kids to play science games is the preparation for studying science ….has to go.

            If Primary School teachers don’t do their job well students’ options are already closed [without a lot of mitigation that time doesn't really allow]…by the time they reach Years 8 to 10 in High School.

            There’s no time in Years 11 and 12 for remediation of all the missing maths that are prerequisites for Physics..Chemistry and Calculus etc….as is competence in grammar too because if they don’t know absolutely exactly what a complicated question is asking they can’t answer it.

            20

        • #
          Lance

          Likely the Journalist doesn’t understand steam turbines much at all.

          If the turbine has the steam flow slackened off to about 20% capacity, it can “hot idle” indefinitely and not put the blades into “flutter” mode which is dangerous. If the steam were actually cut off, there’s about 1.5 hrs until it spins down from 3000 rpm to 1000 rpm, but the turbine internals can drop below 430 C. That might be a problem. But it could be “warm restarted” in an hour or two. That said, there would be the energy costs to bring the internals back up to operating temperature before the alternator could be energized and the turbine placed under load. Overall, there’d not be much, if any, savings in energy.

          Steam turbines are not light switches. From cold start it takes up to 72 hrs to bring the shaft, rotor, blades, casings, seals, etc, up to operating temps. Thermal cycling of a turbine is a bad idea in any case. Metals do not like being thermally cycled very often.

          I’m thinking the Journalist mis understood some technobabble about reducing load on a turbine and thought that meant turning it “off”. Hot Idle is not “off”. It is reduced load.

          150

          • #
            jpm

            Lance it is not reduced load but reduced output at the generator. The generator cannot control the load but can control its output which is to varied in an attempt to fulfill the loads requirements. People get load and output mixed up at times. I see it in the media all the time.
            It is very important to use correct terminology. Otherwise we are as bad as the activists. They are prone to making broad statements using false assumptions to make their doggy points, usually making no sense at all.
            John

            30

            • #
              Lance

              John, I agree more definite terminology is advantageous. My perspective was not the grid load. I was referring the steam mass flow x pressure = power load at the turbine inlet and the resultant torque output from the turbine shaft. I’m an ME. Grid electrical load is one thing, turbine input power is another and shaft torque output is different as well. The point is to keep the turbine internals hot and spinning above the 2nd shaft harmonic speed so that thermal cycling and vibrational modes aren’t an issue at return to service. I really don’t care if there is an electrical alternator output at all if the turbine isn’t subjected to the stresses of thermal cycling and harmonic vibration. You see an alternator load, I see a shaft torque load, steam generator load, and the myriad of metallurgical, valve, piping and vibrational issues associated with cycling a 250 ton spinning mass at 1500 – 3000 rpm and 450-700 C operating conditions. The electrical load is the demand output placed upon the alternator by the grid. The alternator torque requirement is the torque load placed upon the turbine shaft. The torque load on the turbine shaft generates the steam load required of the boilers which in turn place a fuel load demand on the fuel resource. There’s lots of “loads” out there.

              70

              • #

                Lance, you mention here: (my bolding here)

                associated with cycling a 250 ton spinning mass at 1500 – 3000 rpm

                That’s the bit I want to know about, the bolded part there.

                The generator itself weighs X, but the only spinning part is the rotor inside the generator itself. I was taken to task once in a really heavy handed manner by someone who had little idea of what I meant by the word ….. ‘rotor’. This person thought that the rotor was just the shaft itself, and not the poles and wiring that go to make the whole rotor. I could not explain to him that everything attached to the shaft made up the total weight of the rotor, and all of that huge weight was what was spinning at 3000RPM. He was so certain that he was right, that the only thing which rotated was the shaft itself, and it could not ever weigh in the vicinity of ‘hundreds of tonnes’.

                In the 70s, they installed 14 of those ‘biggies’ in power plants in NSW, those 660MW generators, and now there are only 12 of them remaining, some upgraded to now 700 and 720MW. Those 12 Units are at Bayswater (4) Eraring (4) Mt. Piper (2) and Vales Point. (2)

                Might you have any idea on the weight of the rotors of those Units. I’ve looked often, but obviously I’m not using the correct search engine terminology.

                Tony.

                10

              • #

                And to all readers still following this, the weight of that rotor is the key to the whole power generation thing. That rotor has to be rotated at 3000RPM. To actually make that huge weight rotate at that speed, you need a turbine able to do that, to ‘drive’ that weight. To make the turbine turn over, you need humungous amounts of high pressure, high temperature steam. To heat that steam to the required temperature, you need a monster furnace capable of reaching that heat and keeping it at that heat on a constant basis to ‘make’ that steam.

                It all works backwards from that rotor weight.

                Here’s a cutaway image of a GE Gigatop two pole generator typical of coal fired Units now being designed for use. This one can be anything from 600MW up to 1400MW. The silver part in the middle is what rotates at 3000RPM, or 3600RPM in the U.S.

                Tony.

                00

              • #
                Chris Morris

                Tony
                I found in my files an EPRI Generation Australia presentation from 2016 when they finished refurbishing nine of the rotors. They are 14.4m long flange face to flange face and weigh 86 tonne. At the upgrade, they changed the rings from 18:5 to 18:18 and increased the endwinding blocking, but these would have had insignificant effect on the rotor weight.

                I think your explanation of spinning that weight is too simplistic and misleading. If the generator was turned into a synchronous condenser, it would only need a 5MW motor and VSD to get it up to running speed. Turning the turbine rotors as well would need maybe two-three times that power or the equivalent in steam – Eraring units are 2500t/h full load so only maybe 1% of that flow needed. If the CB was open, exciting the rotor wouldn’t significantly increase the load. However, when the CB was closed and the governor valves started to open, then the rotor DC magnet had to start trying to move faster than the rotating field in the stator coils (this is what generates the power), then the unit has to load up. This load angle between the rotor axis and the stator flux angle changes with load and VARs, but even at full load, it is typically only 30°-40°.

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          Are they the same economists that know everything about climate?

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      Ted O'Brien.

      Tony the message I get from that is that it is gas which accommodates the intermittency, along with hydro which I imagine has also not changed unless by introduction of Tasmanian generation to the system.

      This would not, however, mean that renewables have not had an adverse impact on coal’s generation costs. Nor that the system is not heavily weighted against coal.

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      John PAK

      Mt Piper, NSW seems similar to what Tony describes. They rarely let it get cold but back it off slightly and dump the steam. Cold starts take 3 days, 1000s of litres of diesel and a lot of staff over-time before it’s running hot and fast again. The furnaces hang from massive metal pylons and the furnace “building” thermally expands 3 ft downwards during start-up and this process of expansion takes life out of the units. It was designed for only 4 shutdowns per year of life so the intrusion of some dopey market-bidding system is actually shortening the life of the power station. Sometimes it is idling along not generating electricity but just burning good coal waiting for the instruction to ramp-up and get back on-line.
      I’m not sure how we educate the average citizen about power production if the ABC refuses to screen engineering-based information.

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      Graeme#4

      Tony, Perry Williams is a journalist apparently quite experienced in these industries – he was Bloomberg’s energy reporter, and has quite a few year’s experience as an energy correspondent in the UK and ME. Secondly, the article said that they had actually tried this, so I believe that Earing did run an actual test.

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    pat

    Dennis – comment #3 – posted Malcolm Farr’s news.com.au propaganda piece titled -

    - Australia warned it’s falling behind the rest of the world on climate change
    A powerful voice behind the United Kingdom’s move towards zero emissions has warned Australia it is falling behind the rest of the world. -

    Dennis noted that Farr “travelled to Britain for this story courtesy of the Climate Council of Australia”, which readers would only discover if they read to the end of the article, which only few do.

    as for the “powerful voice” giving Farr her advice, he says she is -

    - Baroness Brown, who sits on the crossbench in the House of Lords, is deputy chair of the UK parliament’s Climate Change Committee -

    but the good Baroness is much more:

    Wikipedia: Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge
    …is present Chair of the Carbon Trust…is the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador… is a non-executive director of the Green Investment Bank…

    following is worth a read or re-read:

    26 Jun 2017: Spiked: Grenfell: clad in climate-change politics
    Might CO2 targets be behind the fad for flammable cladding?
    by James Heartfield
    Professor ***Julia King, a member of the CCC, said in May of 2012 that ‘local authorities have the potential to impact significantly on the UK’s scale and speed of emissions reduction’. At the top of King’s list for action were ‘energy-efficiency measures for existing buildings’ – insulation, such as cladding, and new boilers. While local authorities struggled to get funding for other things, austerity did not apply to the CO2-reduction scheme. Indeed, a 2010 National Audit Office report identifies 20 estate refurbishments with funding of £1.5 billion from the Department of Communities and Local Government under ‘private finance initiative’ schemes…

    The problem with cladding and other kinds of insulation is that they are add-ons that are imperfectly integrated into the original design of a building, often with unintended consequences. One unintended consequence is that many of the estates that were given extra insulation were unnaturally warm, even stifling. The whole block would become a tower of hot air. On a summer evening, many tenants of these blocks would open windows to let some cooler air in. This was another reason why the fire at Grenfell spread between floors…

    The government push for action on insulation encouraged shoddy workmanship and cowboy operators, who took advantage of the moral fervour of the climate-change campaign to make money.
    https://www.spiked-online.com/2017/06/26/grenfell-clad-in-climate-change-politics/#.WVJA5hPytBy

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      pat

      2 years after the Grenfell tragedy, most MSM are still downplaying the number of buildings at risk, with most claiming it’s about 200.
      Channel 4 News says the figure is higher. well worth a viewing.

      a line from one comment (language uncorrected):
      Over twenty years ago their was a move away from normal building facade brick sand and cement all of this was done to insulate buildings and go green…

      Youtube: 9min43sec: 14 Jun: Revealed: 1,000 buildings in UK could be covered in flammable cladding
      Channel 4 News
      Two years on what’s been become clear is this wasn’t a freak accident. It was just waiting to happen.
      Experts say there are possibly more than a thousand buildings around the UK covered in similar, potentially dangerous cladding systems.
      Leaseholders from all over the country have found themselves not only in danger, but owning properties now estimated to be almost worthless and deemed unsafe by the fire service.
      So far the government have pledged £200m to fix ACM cladding on private buildings, but the Local Government Association estimate the total cost to fix all unsafe cladding could be closer to £2bn.
      The government are scheduled to test six different types of potentially flammable cladding which could be on thousands of homes around the UK.
      Perhaps the most shocking part of this scandal is that some people living in these suspect buildings don’t even know they could be at risk.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kYoXliKu_4

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        Bill in Oz

        Buyinga high rise apratment
        In the UK or in Oz
        Is plainly a dopey uninformed move.
        But I wonder about other countries.
        The Philippines for example where I lived in Manila
        In 2016 has hundreds of new high rises.
        Do they have inflammable cladding I wonder.
        I never thought to look.

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  • #
    TdeF

    I find the value of commandable power is underestimated. Ironically because it can be turned off, the Greens want to turn it off. Their power cannot be turned on.

    There is a lot about unreliable power, inadequate power and of course solar is off at night
    but the value of commandable power which is always there when you need it is not mentioned.

    Consider your car which may or may not work when you go to use it. Hard to say. Put the family in the car for a holiday and hope it is ready to go. Or a plane which may or may not fly when you are ready to take off.
    Or a concert hall full of people but the lights go off because the wind stopped.
    Or a hospital where power to the operating theatre may or may not last for an operation.

    Green power is like that. It is not about matching coal power. It is about being able to deliver power when you need it.
    And because it is not commandable, no matter how much Green power you have, you need just as much coal power anyway.
    .

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      truth

      This is so true TdeF and a very inconvenient fact for journalists who would much rather pander to the unhinged hubris and juvenile sneers of intermittents enthusiasts than credit coal-fired power with its amazing attributes that we’ve all enjoyed and depended on for our whole lives…and do still if only it was acknowledged.

      Coal generators operating in the mode they’re designed for inherently provide everything needed for a modern reliable and stable electricity system ….and are all that’s keeping the lights on now….but if you listened only to the RE cult and its blogs you would think Australia was being or could be…. powered right now by their intermittents …if only the pesky vermin coal could be eradicated.

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    Therefore…

    Immediately cease and dismantle all solar involving or affecting the grid.

    All of the worthless green crud. Ceased and dismantled. Immediately. No more talk of “mix” or “roles”. The crud is worse than worthless, it is wasteful and damaging.

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    Planning Engineer

    Good post, and I hope this does not appear too pedantic about a minor misrepresentation. The frequency in Australia is 50 hz times 60 seconds resulting in sine waves alternating 3,000 time per minute. A sign wave is generated as the rotor of a generator passes by the magnetic poles. If the generator has four poles (likely?) I think it would turn at 1500 rpm to produce the 50 hz frequency. Still very fast and impressive enough and it it no way takes away from the important points being made, but the speed of the generator is presented as being at least twice what it really is.

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      Tendor

      They are 3000 rpm, three phase, synchronous generators.

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        Planning Engineer

        I’m sure it is three phase and synchronous. I was thinking it was at least four poles. More poles provide smoother torque, Are you telling me you know it to be a two pole configuration (which I would find interesting) and/or that you saw that number somewhere in a set of technical specifications? Or are you saying you saw something written somewhere by someone who might not be that technical or careful? I know for our multipole plants, often I would hear people (who should know better) saying they turned 60 times a second, 3600 revs a minute, as part of semi-technical presentations and I even saw it in plant descriptions for public write ups,

        I don’t mean to be arguing with you. If a two pole configurations was used for this large coal plants or others, I very much appreciate the info. From my experience using the frequency of the sine wave is easy to do with some intuitive appeal but unfortunately usually wrong,

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          Tendor

          Yes, a single d.c. winding on the rotor, producing one rotating north-south pair.
          That rotating field cuts the stationary 3 pairs of windings (3 phases) in the stator.
          Hence 3000 rpm for 50 Hz output. North America has 60 Hz supply and so those machines run at 3600 rpm.

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        • #

          It would be nice to definitively solve this. Are Australia older coal plants two pole or four pole? If they are two pole, does anyone know why? Are our new plants also two pole?

          I would like to get the rpm correct. But over that, it would be interesting to know both why US plants were four pole (I assume Planning Engineer is talking about US plants?) and Australian ones were not.

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            Lance

            A 2 pole alternator is the minimum number of poles possible for an AC system.

            Two pole are less expensive, but 4 pole provide smoother torque loading upon the steam turbine.

            A two pole alternator at 3000 rpm equates to 50 Hz. A 4 pole alternator at 50 Hz equates to 1500 RPM for the turbine.

            The total power is the same in either case. The issue is that for a turbine, the 4 pole alternator operates satisfactorily at a lower mechanical speed, lower vibrational loads, lower bearing radial and thrust loads, and a longer life for the mechanical parts of the system.

            A 2 pole alternator at 3600 RPM is a 60 Hz system. A 4 pole alternator at 1800 RPM is a 60 hz system.

            A comparison of 2 pole vs 4 pole alternators is at:
            https://library.e.abb.com/public/73538d3f2dd243edc125788d003def44/Technical_note_Comparison_of_4pole_and_2pole_designs_for_large_motors_and_generators_EN_052011.pdf

            The short version is:

            Shaft speed, N and Frequency F, is related to Poles, P, as: N=120F/P or F = N P / 120.

            The slower the shaft speed, the larger the number of poles is required to maintain frequency. Hydro plants can use 6 or more poles to maintain frequency because hydro plants operate at lower guaranteed rpm than a steam or diesel generator might provide.

            A 2 pole alternator is smaller, lighter, cheaper, has less copper in it than a 4 pole.

            A 4 pole alternator has a smoother torque relationship, operates at a slower speed, and extends the life of everything that drives it by a factor of 2 or more. Cheaper in the long run.

            Cylindrical rotor, salient pole, alternators have lower windage losses for a given rpm and power level, better sinusoidal waveforms, and are most used in electrical power generation are smaller in diameter, and produce lower radial bearing loads. As compared to non salient pole alternators at similar speeds.

            A 50Hz system “offloads” the amount of iron mass required in motors to the user. The power plant costs are lower for the alternators at the point of generation but the motors need more core mass than a 60 hz motor. A 60 hz system places the rotational mass requirement about equally upon the alternator and motor load. The higher the frequency, the less iron is required in the motors.

            Higher frequency motors have much lower weight. That is why aircraft AC motors operate at 400 Hz. To reduce weight but keep torque/power levels at needed levels.

            If you want to “geek out” this is a good reference on alternators
            http://www.albadronline.com/oldsite/books/POWER%20GENERATION%20HANDBOOK/Power%20Generation%20Handbook-Part4.pdf

            hope this helps.

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            Chris Morris

            Jo/ Planning Engineer The plants are 2 pole in Oz 3000rpm. Many machines of a comparable size in the US have to be 4 pole because the faster speed puts too much stress on the generator endrings. They are the limiting factor for generator sizing. Reduce the diameter and the rotors have to be longer. Even at 3000rpm, the stress in the rings is near 700MPa under ideal conditions.
            Despite what Lance wrote, there is little torsional oscillation in a 2 pole rotor driven by a steam turbine. Generators aren’t motors. Turbines by their very nature are smooth, apart from a small amount of blade pass noise. Most of it comes from an unstable grid. That is what caused the famous failure at Mohave Generating station. I am using as reference Klempner & Kerszenbaum 3rd Edition
            I thought aircraft generators ran at 400Hz so they didn’t need a gearbox to step down the turbine speed. Gearboxes have a lot shorter life than GTs or alternators.

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              Lance

              400 Hz is used in aircraft because it allows smaller, lighter motors and transformers. 400 Hz is the optimum frequency, higher and losses increase, lower and weight/size increase.

              https://fcxinc.com/why-the-aviation-industry-operates-on-400-hz-power/

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              Chris Morris

              That is for the generator and motor Lance. Look what high frequency does to the reactance in long run cables, like power lines.

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              Chris Morris

              Lance
              If you go back to your post of 16/6 13:45, you brought up 400Hz generators in a discussion about power stations (for which all the books agree they are totally unsuited). That is why I commented on it.
              I believe the biggest 4 pole salient pole generator in operation is a 45MW one at Kinleith. I have never seen a two pole one but they will be lower rating and smaller diameter (so longer) than the equivalent of round rotors. They cannot take the centrifugal loads, especially during overspeeds. That is why all big T/G sets are round rotor.

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                Lance

                No.

                At 16 June 2019, 1345 hrs, I brought up the relationship between rotational speed , poles and frequency.

                I shall quote it to you

                Higher frequency motors have much lower weight. That is why aircraft AC motors operate at 400 Hz. To reduce weight but keep torque/power levels at needed levels.

                Note the qualifier “Aircraft”.

                What is your obsession with conflating aircraft electrics with national power grids and trying to smear me with some wild interpretation of your own making?

                Please explain how your viewpoint is relevant in any shape or form, or simply go away.

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                Chris Morris

                Whatever Lance. You can be a legend in your own mind, but don’t get involved in large power station design.

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                Analitik

                What are you on about, Chris? Lance’s comment about the 400Hz aircraft generators was perfectly clear.

                As for the torque loading for a 2 pole vs 4 pole generator, it’s all to do with the other factors he mentioned (lower vibrational loads, lower bearing radial and thrust loads) due to the lower speed) – not due to the effect of the interaction between the rotor and stator for converting the mechancial power into electricity, as you seem to be inferring.

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                Chris Morris

                There is next to no thrust loading in a generator unless it is not axially centralised. The radial loading on a bearing is a function of the oil wedge and out of balance forces, which has very little relationship to the rotor speed. Torque loading on a half speed generator is twice that of a full speed one.
                I believed the largest 4 pole generator was the world is the 45MW one at Kinleith. Now I note that ABB are offering to build ones up to 85MVA. https://library.e.abb.com/public/07aa5fb4d6098793c1257de100272afc/Product%20note%20AMS%20product%20family%20LR_300115.pdf Why were they discussed as relevant to a 750MW one at Eraring?

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                Chris Morris

                I checked rotor weights of some of our machines around that size. The 14MVA 3000rpm round rotors weigh 9.8t. The 19MVA salient pole 1500rpm rotors weigh 13.5t. 33MVA 1500rpm round rotors 19t. 65MVA hydrogen cooled 3000rpm round rotors 21t. So there is no benefit in rotating weight, but the salient pole rotors have significantly less inertia.

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    Bill in Oz

    Off Topic : A program for us on the ABC Radio National !
    Gerard Henderson interviewed by Tim Switzer on Between the Lines ! “Why the Coalition won the May 18th National Electionsand why the ABC will never be privatised
    https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pelDkJwqxL

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  • #
    beowulf

    I’m calling mega-fake on that Eraring PS foto. It’s been photoshopped to look all clean and productive.

    Where are the filthy black clouds emanating from the stacks and blotting out the sun?
    Why is the whole area not black with coal dust and ash fallout?
    Where is the choking haze of PM 2.5 nano-particles?
    The hundreds of dead bodies surrounding the power station have obviously been removed for a PR exercise, as have the hundreds of thousands of fish belly-up in Lake Mac at the warm water outfall, after they died of excess mercury and cadmium.
    Where is the sulphurous acid rain that constantly falls downwind of the stacks?
    The trees are still green — they must have been spray painted.
    I can’t even see the opaque, toxic CO2 pouring from the stacks.

    This is so obviously fake. A quick check with Greening Australia, WWF and Dr Ben the Particulate Soothsayer from Newcastle Uni has confirmed my suspicions.
    (Sark — just in case.)

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    Dave

    Won’t Happen
    USA is onto it!


    “Wind and Solar Are Still More Expensive Than Existing, Even Brand New, Fuel-Based Generators”

    They can’t turn them off!
    Wind & Solar are too unreliable!

    All Australians are doing is PAYING more MONEY for ELECTRICITY!

    Time for a reaction!
    It will happen in Queensland 1st!

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    Bill in Oz

    Interesting report from Electroverse about the Midlands of the UK. They are having a very cool June after a cool Mat & April..They have records for 350 years and this is the 17th coolest one in the record….

    A similar situation exists in the USA & China.

    There will be an impact on crops there ! And an impact on our Australian farmers with many getting higher prices for their grain, hay etc

    https://electroverse.net/central-england-on-course-for-its-17th-coldest-june-in-360-years-of-records-crop-concerns-grand-solar-minimum/

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    Hanrahan

    Reading the comments, I’m not the only one who thinks this is more than a little sus. NSW almost never meets its own demand, lunch time or otherwise. Why don’t they meet their own demand and force SA and Vic to adjust their o/p.

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      truth

      I agree…NSW meeting its own demand is the exception rather than the rule.

      QLD currently carries the NEM..without its coal plants and interconnectors the whole NEM would be system black most of the time.

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    cedarhill

    If only they’d keep the hydrocarbon plants running and simply switch the output to plants that produce hydrocarbon synfuels. Synfuels can be manufactured without contaminates and it’s likely less costly to keep the fires roaring along in a steady state instead of continual stress(es) of stopping and starting.

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      Analitik

      They should use any excess generation to power massive crypto mining rigs – the delusional greenies could then claim that renewables are “generating money”

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    pat

    Updated 15 Jun: TheHindu: ‘Coal will remain the dominant source’
    interview – ANIL KUMAR JHA
    We are chasing a 660-million tonne target this fiscal, says Coal India chairman.
    A year after taking charge as chairman at Coal India Ltd., Anil Kumar Jha looks back at the year gone by with a degree of satisfaction. CIL’s subsidiaries, spread across India, operate round-the-clock in temperatures that vary between O degrees celsius in winter and about 50 in summer. “Our men work round the clock in areas where the police fear to go after dark,” he said in an interaction with The Hindu. The company’s bugbears remain the same.. land acquisition, delayed forest clearances and law and order issues. Yet, coal is here to stay for the foreseeable future. CIL also has overseas ambitions. Edited excerpts…

    Anil Kumar Jha: Coal India for the first time breached the 600 Million Tonne (MT) production and offset mark, clocking growths of 7% and 4.8% respectively. Coal production was 607 MTs against MoU target of 610 MTs.
    We have been able to script a new high in coal-supplies to thermal power plants. Most importantly, as of April 1, 2019, there was not a single coal-fired power plant in critical or supercritical list for want of coal.

    Q: Going forward, what will be coal’s position in India, especially with govt. stress on renewables?

    Anil Kumar Jha: Presently, as base fuel for power generation, coal is the ready answer in India. Around 73% of the power generated is coal-based. Till alternative renewable energy sources come up in a big way, coal-fired power generation will continue to meet India’s electricity demand…
    I feel renewable energy sources, at this juncture, have a supplementary role and cannot substitute coal as energy contributors. Renewables and coal have to co-exist for some time before renewable can significantly contribute to a larger share of India’s energy basket. At some point of time in future, this is bound to happen but till such time coal remains the dominant source.
    https://www.thehindu.com/business/coal-will-remain-the-dominant-source/article27943311.ece

    15 Jun: Xinhua: China’s raw coal production up 3.5 pct in May
    BEIJING: China’s raw coal production rose 3.5 percent year on year to 310 million tonnes in May, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
    In the first five months, the country’s raw coal output came in at 1.42 billion tonnes, up 0.9 percent from a year ago, according to the bureau…
    Imports of raw coal jumped 23 percent year on year to 27.47 million tonnes in May, while during the January-May period the imports totaled 127.39 million tonnes, a 5.6-percent increase from a year ago…
    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-06/15/c_138145828.htm

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    Lance

    Still looking for the Toshiba 800MW specs. Not having much luck with it. Did find Skoda info:

    To give an idea of the “order of magnitude” being discussed:

    Skoda 660 MW turbine is :

    Turbine 1091 Tons. HP casing: 122 Tons, IP Casing: 154 Tons, LP Casing: 740 tons.

    LP Rotor: 80 Tons

    Generator Rotor : 74 Tons
    Generator Stator: 316 Tons

    Ref. Link: http://e2010.drustvo-termicara.com/resources/files/presentations/fiala.pdf

    If the LP rotor mass is scaled by the total mass of the IP and HP casings to get rotor mass, it would indicate approx:

    HP Rotor: 13
    IP Rotor: 17

    Total rotating mass approx: 184 Tons.

    If scaled from 660 MW to 800 MW, approx 223 tons rotating mass expected.

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      Lance, thanks. I do appreciate this detail and your, TonyfromOz and Graeme No3. Am thinking how best to convey that. Just added a quick update at the top but will do more.

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      Graeme#4

      Almost. I think the original turbines might be from Babcock, either as part of Doosan-Babcock or originally (???) as just Babcock. The upgrades were done by Doosan-Skoda. Couldn’t find any images, either Babcok or Skoda, that matched the actual Earing turbines though.

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    pat

    and so the smearing begins in earnest:

    14 Jun: AP: Emails: Trump official pressed NASA on climate science
    By ELLEN KNICKMEYER and SETH BORENSTEIN
    Since joining the National Security Council, Happer tapped two analysts with the (Heartland) institute to help him frame challenges to widely accepted scientific findings on global warming, the emails show.
    In a March 3 email exchange, Happer and Hal Doiron, another policy adviser to Heartland, discuss Happer’s scientific arguments in a paper attempting to knock down the contributions of fossil fuel emissions in climate disruption, as well as ideas to make the work “more useful to a wider readership.” Happer writes he had already discussed the work with another Heartland adviser, Wysmuller…

    Academic experts denounced the administration official’s continued involvement with groups and scientists who reject what numerous federal agencies say is the fact of man-made climate change.

    “These people are endangering all of us by promoting anti-science in service of fossil fuel interests over the American interests,” said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann.

    “It’s the equivalent to formulating anti-terrorism policy by consulting with groups that deny terrorism exists,” said Northeastern University’s Matthew Nisbet, a professor of environmental communication and public policy.
    The National Security Council declined to make Happer available to discuss the emails.

    The AP and others reported this year that Happer was coordinating a proposed White House panel to challenge the findings from scientists in and out of government that carbon emissions are altering the Earth’s atmosphere and climate…
    https://apnews.com/4ec9affd55a345d582a4cc810686137e

    Bess Levin is considered a satirist of sorts – & suffers from an extremely severe case of TDS:

    14 Jun: VanityFair: “Children Are Being Indoctrinated”: Trump Adviser Worries Climate Science Is Corrupting America’s Youth
    by Bess Levin
    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/06/william-happer-trump-administration-climate-change

    12 Jun: VanityFair: Trump Official Goes Rogue, Says Climate Change May Cause Next Financial Crisis
    One guess as to how the president will respond.
    by Bess Levin
    Rostin Behnam, who sits on the powerful five-member Commodity Futures Trading Commission, told the New York Times in an interview Monday that the financial risks from climate change are akin to those posed by the mortgage meltdown that caused the 2008 financial crisis. “If climate change causes more volatile frequent and extreme weather events, you’re going to have a scenario where these large providers of financial products—mortgages, home insurance, pensions—cannot shift risk away from their portfolios,” Behnam said. “It’s abundantly clear that climate change poses financial risk to the stability of the financial system.”

    ***If you’re wondering how it came to pass that Trump appointed a guy who actually believes climate change is real, well, he didn’t exactly have a choice. Behnam’s seat, by law, had to be filled by a Democrat; legal experts told Times reporter Coral Davenport that it would be difficult, but not impossible, for Trump to fire or even demote Behnam…

    “I have a unique bully pulpit,” said Behnam. While people in Behnam’s position have occasionally pushed back against presidential policies in private, government affairs experts told the Times that his initiative is unusual. “Rarely do you see a commissioner go rogue and public,” said James A. Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University…
    And if Trump is unhappy about Behnam’s comments, he presumably won’t be thrilled with what’s coming next!

    On Wednesday, Mr. Behnam plans to detail the formation of a panel of experts at the trading commission assigned to produce a report on how global warming could affect the financial sector, potentially impacting food costs, insurance markets, the mortgage industry and other economic pillars.
    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/06/rostin-behnam-climate-change-financial-crisis

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    Lance

    Just posted a PDF link on cold, warm and hot restart of turbines.
    Looks like it went into the twilight zone.

    Suffice to say, gotta keep the internals above 430C or its a cold restart (72 hrs).

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      Lance

      If you put the http://www stuff in front of this next line, it should work

      .imp.gda.pl/files/transactions/126/126_12.pdf

      PDF is in English.

      This is a Transactions paper on restarting a steam turbine. Rundown curves, critical internal temperatures, 1st and 2nd critical shaft harmonic speeds, and pretty much everything you’d want to consider in starting, warm restarting or hot restarting a steam turbine.

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    John F. Hultquist

    My little home town of many years ago had a glass bottle factory. I walked through it several times with my father. I suppose in this modern world he would be arrested for child abuse (the glass lines were moving, noisy, and hot).
    Any plant/factory that operates at high temperature has all of the issues mentioned – “parts will expand and contract, and at slightly different rates” when starting or stopping.

    Managers of my hometown glass plant knew this and planning for shut-downs for maintenance and repair (or upgrades) involved many aspects. This included “other work” and vacations for the workers.

    Now, in Washington State, the nuclear Columbia Generating Station has been shut down from May 18, and is due back in just a few days.
    it’s timed to coincide with spring snow melt to maximize the power output from the region’s hydroelectric dams and minimize the impact >”.
    And: Currently there are over 2,300 people on site working on the outage. About 1,300 new temporary workers are hired during every outage.

    Bottom line is that going up and down with high temperature equipment is serious.

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      John F. Hultquist

      Messed up the code again, sorry.

      The Columbia Generating Station will be offline for about 40 days. About June 28th.

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    Bengt Abelsson

    These 3000 rpm rotors runs at what is called over-critical speed. In your household washing machine, when running at high speed to press out as much water as possible, the critical speed can be noticed by onset of vibrations, those vibrations lessens as the speed increases – running over-critical.
    When the multiMW generator accelerates from zero to 3000 rpm it passes through this critical speed, with associated vibrations. The number of passages is limited, due to accumulated fatigue damages on the shaft caused by these vibrations. Therefore, it would be very expensive to run such a power plant with a daily stop-start cycle.

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      AndyG55

      Great to see someone that comprehends the mechanics of fractures and vibrations. :-)

      Like in a car with a slightly off-balance wheel.

      Usually manifests as vibration at around 100kph, but if you go a little bit quicker, it disappears.

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      Analitik

      Between harmonic modes is the more everyday context since most people can relate to musical instrument (and maybe intake and exhaust resonance for ICEs)

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    Lance

    Let us get something straight.

    Renewables/UnReliables only operate at the “pleasure” of the thermal, synchronous grid.

    Inverters can’t synch into a grid without a synch pulse from a stable thermal synchronous generator.

    Alternative energy sources, at best, can only offset fuel costs at a thermal generator.

    There is NO WAY that intermittent providers of electrical power are the backbone of a power grid.

    Intermittents are politically contrived parasitic nuisances to a stable grid.

    Unless one happens to like blackouts.

    Get real, people. The thermally generated synchronous grid IS the backbone of your very lives.

    Alternative intermittent sources of energy are nothing but propaganda with regard to a functional, national, stable, grid. Unless of course the 1850′s represent a desirable existence.

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    • #
      truth

      Absolutely Lance…great to hear the unvarnished truth that so many of those with power are afraid to hear or tell…or don’t know enough to tell.

      If you try to express such heretical thoughts on some of the hugely influential RE cult blogs though…the ones the ‘authorities’ take counsel from…the unhinged zealots who seem not to care about whether their intermittents actually deliver or not… will set upon you if your comment is posted …but more likely you will be banned as I have been from several of them.

      Keep trying though…you know a great deal more about it than I do..or they do…and Australia needs these truths before it’s too late.

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    • #

      I actually thought that renewables (wind and solar) ‘may’ be having some influence on coal fired power. That was up until I started taking the daily data and found that no matter what wind power did, or solar power in the middle of the day did, they had absolutely no impact whatsoever on what coal fired power was doing. Wind could be way up, or even way down, and coal fired power was stable across the range. I even went back as far as I could go, five/six years and checked out what coal fired power was doing before wind and solar started to come in in a large way, and coal fired power was the same then as it is now, and in fact, now they are getting more generated power from less coal fired plants than they had all those years ago.

      The ONLY changes are in natural gas fired power and hydro power. If wind is up, those two are down, and if wind is down, then those two are up. Coal fired power does what it always does, irrespective of wind or solar power.

      Tony.

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    Chris Morris

    The units at Eraring were originally 660MW Toshiba units. They were uprated ten years ago by Doosan so probably they aren’t mentioned that much by Toshiba any more. Bit funny as both companies’ units are really just clones of GE. Impulse turbines. And it is hard to take photos that do justice to the size of the units because they are so big. Even from up in the crane rails, you get a very foreshortened view.

    In white metal bearings, rotating mass isn’t that critical. It is the Inertia that is critical and both Eraring and Bayswater have that in spades. According to AEMO, Eraring has an inertia of over 2500MWs and a minimum load of 210MW.

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      Graeme#4

      Should have looked at your email before commenting above Chris.There is a turbine photo in The Weekend Australian article with the Operations Manager standing on it – a very big bright orange beast. Didn’t realise that they also go down two or more levels.

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    GADAB

    Jo asks in the header article, “Does anyone know what those 750MW Toshiba Steam Turbines weigh? Plus photos or close-up of the motors?”

    Not an exact answer but a 660MW set would be fairly close and lighter. Photos, diagrams and computer model graphics included :-
    http://e2010.drustvo-termicara.com/resources/files/presentations/fiala.pdf
    660MW Turbine arrangement :
    1xHP, 1x double flow IP, 2x double flow LP
    Length of turbine 32170 mm
    Weight incl. main valves approx. 1091 t

    [What fraction of this weight is the four rotor shaft forgings?]

    High pressure casing
    1 x HP – single flow (10 stages)
    Bearing span 5300 mm
    Weight 122 t

    Intermediate pressure casing
    1 x IP – double flow (2 x 8 stages)
    Bearing span 5450 mm
    Weight 154 t

    Low pressure casing
    2 x LP – double flow (4 x 5 stages)
    Bearing span 8250 mm
    Weight 2 x 370 t

    LP rotor – solid forged
    Weight 80 t
    [So 160t for two LP rotors]

    Whole length of TG 59,7 m (incl. space for gen. rotor assy)

    [Add on weight of generator]

    GENERATOR
    Stator weight 316 t
    Rotor weight 75 t

    [A guestimate for the total weight of the rotating assembly might be 75+80+80+40+50=325t. The total, including static components and generator, would be something like 1091+316+75=1482t.]

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    neil

    Here is a simple solution, turn the coal off at night.

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    Graeme#4

    Jo, there was a photo in The Australian of one of the generators, coloured a bright orange. Big beast. Plus a photo and the name of one of the main gents there.

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    • #
      Graeme#4

      The Earing Operations Group Manager is Tony Philips. The Oz article says that the tipping point for Earing is when wholesale power prices fall to $50/MWh during the day on a consistent basis.
      Origin estimates that solar can supply at $40-50/MWh on an intermittent basis.

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    Chris Morris

    According to this data, Eraring is backing off load 500-1000MW overnight to ramp back up at dawn – effectively two shifting. The data doesn’t show what is happening down at the unit level.
    http://grid.publicknowledge.com.au/WS/page.htm?Req=Tp=Inst;Sel=Tp=LC;Cls=C_Station;IG=Tp=Thing;IId=1006;NM=Eraring
    On some of those days, they are ramping down 500MW over the lunch time

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    • #
      Chris Morris

      To be clear and avoid the pedants, I am using two shifting in the old CEGB context as full load 6am to midnight and minimum load in the gaps. Some operating staff define this as load following. I don’t as the latter term more implies active generation management, where the load is ramped up and down in relatively small increments to match the load changes.

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        Analitik

        I assume they now have 2 daily bids to cater for the “night”and “day” outputs and back down during midday to prevent pricing going negative. The effect of lower fuel use during this period + higher power pricing vs the increased maintenance and the increased fuelling during the ramping up post the midday solar peak would make for an interesting study.

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          Chris Morris

          My understanding of the bidding system is there is now there is trading in 5 minute intervals. I don’t follow the market system as much as I should.

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            Analitik

            The market bid segments are 5 minutes apart but they bid in blocks of that size. I can’t see a coal plant bidding in blocks under 2 hours in length given the thermal limitations.

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    Zane

    The Greeniacs will not stop until everyone lives like an Amish.

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