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Wind turbines

facthunter

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#81
How many power stations have NOT had to be built because of usage changes and green supply methods? At least TWO I reckon at a rough guess. There's ways of storing power and that gives the quick response the system needs when failures happen. Liddell failed completely a few times last year. Coal is not just going to be sitting there ready to fire up. It's NOT suitable for that purpose. Too much capital tied up to not be used continuously, and it takes DAYS to get up to speed and they run best at a fixed high output.
Hydro, Gas using turbines and batteries and EVEN Diesel has a place till things get sorted.. Private enterprise has so much enterprise it waits till the maximum price can be GOUGED from the system. That makes the shareholders happy but no one else.. No form of electricity can jump the gap when a row of poles and wires get blown over.. One of the biggest problems as a user is aluminium smelters. The one at Tomago near Newcastle uses 1/16th of the total NSW supply. Al Smelters used to get power at rates the government would never admit to. States used to compete with each other to just about give the electricity to them. A break in supply can do a giant amount of damage to the plant as once the melt solidifies it's ALL scrap, including a lot of the PLANT.. I reckon we need Al smelters for self sufficiency. but there's never been much obvious effort by them to provide the power them selves. Gove closed down not long ago.. I wouldn't be surprised if solar could have powered it had WE all been smart enough to grasp the opportunity.. Nev
 

Old Koreelah

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#82
...Private enterprise has so much enterprise it waits till the maximum price can be GOUGED from the system. That makes the shareholders happy but no one else...
That's one disadvantage of privatising electricity supply- profit takes precedence over reliablity of supply.
Something a bit similar happens with bush fires; the state has to cover the cost of fire fighting until a natural disaster is declared. I have it on good authority that some disastrous fires might have been "nipped in the bud" if the state had spent a bit more to contain them, but instead have allowed them to get out of hand so they can call in federal money.

...One of the biggest problems as a user is aluminium smelters. The one at Tomago near Newcastle uses 1/16th of the total NSW supply. Al Smelters used to get power at rates the government would never admit to. States used to compete with each other to just about give the electricity to them..
That's one major disadvantage of our federal system- foreign corporations play states against each other, to see which one will give them the biggest subsidy to set up business. Once the tax-free period has expired, they tend to threaten to relocate to another state- unless they get a better deal. The same reason lots of countries are rushing to cut the company tax rate.

...A break in supply can do a giant amount of damage to the plant as once the melt solidifies it's ALL scrap, including a lot of the PLANT...
During WWII the Nazis made an attempt to damage the American aluminium industry. U- boats landed several saboteurs who were ordered to blow up key electricity pylons. As Nev says, before power could be restored, molten metal would solidify in pots, crippling much of the supply chain for months. One or two of the team had second thoughts and turned in the rest, who were executed.

... Gove closed down not long ago.. wouldn't be surprised if solar could have powered it had WE all been smart enough to grasp the opportunity.. Nev
A small correction, Nev. The Gove plant refined bauxite into alumina, which was shipped to smelters to be turned into aluminium.
Many of those smelters were built near cheap and reliable hydro power sources. I agree that big solar farms could also do the job, as long as total reliablity of supply is achieved.
 

Marty_d

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#85
I notice most of the people here fly aircraft powered by hydrocarbon (petrol mainly) fuels, not gliders. Tells you a lot about the utility of wind and solar power for aircraft doesn't it?
Before the early 1900's most people were riding horses and not a lot drove cars with internal combustion engines. What's your point? Technology changes.
 

M61A1

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#86
And people took up the new technology gradually, and when it became affordable, then it really took off. The scenario is quite different to having half baked technology forced upon you at considerable cost for little to no ( sometimes negative) benefit.
I think that the point was, there are electric aircraft out there, but much like the power generation issue, they aren't yet completely practical, and that's why none of us are yet flying electric. When they do become practical, people will happily change over, myself included.
 

dsam

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#90
There’s a lovely cluster of windmill towers at Venus Bay Vic. just off the Bass Straight. I often plan a local flight past here, and along the fabulous coastline back to Phillip Island.
I’ve never been able to figure out why the mandatory design standard doesn’t require storage batteries at the base of each tower, and a bank of solar panels down the north side of each tower!
7CF4D4A9-5DDD-4CE6-97FC-EFCCEC131878.jpeg
 

facthunter

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#91
There's good places for wind that don't necessarily provide good conditions for the solar. These wind farms are better near a large capacity part of the grid where they can power a pump hydro for instance. I wonder what that Snowy one will cost and how long for it to be built Nev
 

fly_tornado

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#92
The germans (Siemens?) are talking about building water towers inside wind turbines and having a pumped hydro solution built into the wind turbine. I think most wind farms now are required to have some sort of storage now as part of their grid connection.
 

facthunter

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#93
I've researched the Snowy projects economics and I doubt it will be a big success. All depends on wholesale prices prevailing and what electricity powers (input's)it. It's expensive to build and will take over 4 years to get up..The rate of uptake of solar PV's and their ever lower cost is putting a downwards price effect on the whole system. People now have a measure of control (freedom) over how they do things. They don't have to be price takers. (Unless they rent). Nev
 

Yenn

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#94
Facthunter said "I reckon we need Al smelters for self sufficiency. but there's never been much obvious effort by them to provide the power them selves."
I worked on a power statation at Anglesea in Vic in the 60's. As far as I knew it was solely built to supply power to an Aluminium smelter. Here in Qld, the government built Gladstone power station and then sold it to private enterprise. When the government ran it, you could see the smoke plume all the way to Mackay, since private enterprise has it they have had to clean it up and now you hardly see any smoke.
 

jetjr

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#95
Any stored energy system incurs big losses through inefficiencies in firstly generation then recovery
This simply makes the energy which has run through batteries (both chemical and water) much more expensive - like 30-50% I think.
As a result Snowy hydro and no doubt the new storage concepts can only target users that can afford it.

I believe there is no "spare" or low value power in Snowy Hydro, above contracted volumes, they don't make it until the price hits a level and customers need it badly enough. The water sitting elevated IS a battery.
Releasing water to generate and pump back up looses much of the energy generated.

The only way storage works is if there is a surplus or cheap power source to begin with.
Solar and wind need storage to be considered feasible replacements but this makes them even more expensive.
Not many work out that storage options use power not make it. So contribute little to the energy supply problem. It just supports unreliable sources. Not a bad thing but costs energy and lots of money.

Do some calcs on flat ground needed to generate enough power from solar for a smelter etc and the battery needed to support it for 18 hours operation. You will see why it hasn't been and is unlikely to ever be done.
Storage backed by coal or gas would in fact work pretty well. Is anyone discussing this?

Nuclear is a clear path forward yet it too is unpopular to discuss.
 

KRviator

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#97
The rate of uptake of solar PV's and their ever lower cost is putting a downwards price effect on the whole system. People now have a measure of control (freedom) over how they do things. They don't have to be price takers. (Unless they rent). Nev
Ain't that the truth. When you can install a 20kW solar system for around $25K and be assured of being paid for power, it makes an awful lot of sense. Even a 10kW system with a battery seems to be enough to get you off-grid in a suburban system if you are smart with your energy use.

jetjr said:
Nuclear is a clear path forward yet it too is unpopular to discuss.
No it isn't, IMHO. Sure, it provides steady power, but then you have to store the used fuel for centuries. The Roman empire lasted around 2,000 years. Does anyone really believe we can safely cool and store high-level radioactive waste for 50 times that?

If you want to consider base-load power, solar on every house, and gas-fueled gas turbines for night would seem to be the more environmentally-friendly option.
 

Old Koreelah

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#99
The germans (Siemens?) are talking about building water towers inside wind turbines and having a pumped hydro solution built into the wind turbine. I think most wind farms now are required to have some sort of storage now as part of their grid connection.
Perhaps a good idea, but I doubt the amount of water that could be safely and economically accommodated up the top could store much power. Perhaps a lead weight raised via cables?
German flywheel technology is probably more viable.
 

kgwilson

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Releasing water to generate and pump back up looses much of the energy generated.
Generation of electricity always uses more energy than it consumes. When you have sources such as wind and the sun that is irrelevant. The wind is blowing and the sun is shining so you pump water from the sea up into a storage lake when there is more supply than demand. When the sun goes down and the wind dies you generate power from the water going back down into the sea (or it could be a lake). The hydro generates less than it took to put the water up hill but what does that matter when the sources are free and there is no pollution.
The only way storage works is if there is a surplus or cheap power source to begin with.
Solar and wind need storage to be considered feasible replacements but this makes them even more expensive.
Not many work out that storage options use power not make it. So contribute little to the energy supply problem. It just supports unreliable sources. Not a bad thing but costs energy and lots of money.
Only the initial construction costs more. Operation is cheap. With 22,000 potential pumped hydro sites around Australia & being the sunniest continent on the planet & the wind is always blowing somewhere these sources are far from being unreliable. Venture capitalists wouldn't be investing billions if they thought the system was unreliable.

Also the key points in a study just released today
  • Renewable energy capacity is set to exceed 41,000GWh by 2020, a level the coalition government deemed as impossible before it slashed the RET
  • Market already delivered the government's 2030 emission reduction target, rendering the NEG meaningless:
  • Business-as-usual under the NEG will lead to 118 million tonne shortfall in the government's CO2 reduction commitment
As usual the government is way behind the 8 ball. Business, Industry and private individuals are doing what they still claim to be impossible