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Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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  • #61
    Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

    Originally posted by wornish View Post
    Think you might be getting close to the underlying issue.

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    • #62
      Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

      I can't believe the water systems didn't kick in, unless of course they were still depleted from an earlier activation...

      The interesting critic in the Guardian news paper article was a battery supplier! (no vested interest there then!)

      But the use of batteries - although discussed a lot over the last few years is only just getting started, I was involved in the early discussions around "new" technologies that allowed for the use of these containerised battery reserves for grid balancing, and can see that they will be rolled out more and more as the country switches away from traditional power stations.

      The ideal of distributed generation, where there are "green" forms of production dotted all over the place is the goal for the long term, which allied with large scale wind farms, solar farms and traditional power stations removes a lot of the issues seen as wrong with the current transmission network.

      Widescale use of solar is starting to become a real contributor to the grid system, and allied with localised batteries is an ideal solution for a lot of the growth we need for EVs, so all commercial buildings have as big a PV array as possible, and all houses do the same, however up to now the DNO (Distribution Network Operators) have been reluctant to add in small scale solutions, (10kW on a house is too small to bother with! - 100 or 1000 houses may be worth it though!) so neighbourhood co-operatives are needed to sort this... Changes are needed, and the Government is too tied up with other things to think about proper solutions.

      There are several neighbourhood networks out there showing the way it can work, the biggest being in America, where it's all working very well. The commercial elements use Block Chain to manage the production/consumption and payment transfers (Block Chain is behind these crypto currencies you see around)
      Paul

      I didn’t get where I am today....

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      • #63
        Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

        Adding to the above, Britain doesn't have any major hydro-electric power stations, but rather a collection of smaller ones, mainly in Scotland. It seems the output from these is deliberately held back to maximise renewable subsidies.

        Checking this morning our nuclear output is just over 5 GW, down from the maximum of 8 GW. Fuel costs are negligible so nuclear is usually run at maximum output. This reduced output would suggest that some plants are shut down for some reason - possibly in maintenance or refit.

        We also seem to import 2 GW from France on an almost constant basis. This was originally intended as a two-way interconnect to cover the differing peaks in our two counties but the low costs of French nuclear power make it convenient for National Grid to import power rather than building additional capacity here.

        I was interested to read about 'Diesel Farms' in the Grauniad article. Presumably these help to cope with peaks in demand when fleets of electric cars are plugged in?

        Battery storage is one solution, but like electric cars, the charge and discharge cycle is far from 100% efficient.
        ---------------

        Naughty Nigel


        Difficult is worth doing

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        • #64
          Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

          There is also an issue with the link between Scotland and England, meaning that it is often running at capacity and cannot move sufficient energy into England at times.
          Paul

          I didn’t get where I am today....

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          • #65
            Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

            Originally posted by Walti View Post
            There is also an issue with the link between Scotland and England, meaning that it is often running at capacity and cannot move sufficient energy into England at times.
            That'll be Wee Jimmy Crankie's doing!

            If true though heads should roll, especially given the huge amount of renewable capacity installed in Scotland over the past few years.

            Does this also affect the interconnects with the island of Ireland?
            ---------------

            Naughty Nigel


            Difficult is worth doing

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            • #66
              Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

              Reading the above, it really does seem like there is no sensible joined up thinking going on, no will or driver to actually pull their fingers out and do a proper, sustainable, scalable job of it all. Now, if only we could get another railway line sorted between London and Birmingham.......

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              • #67
                Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

                Originally posted by TimP View Post
                Reading the above, it really does seem like there is no sensible joined up thinking going on, no will or driver to actually pull their fingers out and do a proper, sustainable, scalable job of it all. Now, if only we could get another railway line sorted between London and Birmingham.......
                I don't think there has been any joined up thinking by any UK government for a very long time.

                We seem to see-saw between throwing money at vote-wining policies that do little good in the long term followed by extreme cost cutting that destroys the fabric of our country and selling the family silver. Some governments even sell the family silver (or gold) to spend on their ill-conceived vote-winning policies.
                ---------------

                Naughty Nigel


                Difficult is worth doing

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                • #68
                  Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

                  Still, bless their little cotton socks, they are having a nice holiday now. It’s not like there is anything important going on at the moment.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

                    Expect the lights to go out following a no-deal Brexit then! Many of our power stations are owned by overseas companies, mostly EU.

                    The pumped storage stations (like Dinorwig) were built to absorb excess power from a neighbouring nuclear station during periods of low demand, and squirt it back into the Grid during the ad breaks in Corrie when everyone put the kettle on. I'm not sure they supply power for any significant length of time, they are there to cover short term peaks. You can take a tour of Dinorwig, something I've been intending to do for a long time.
                    Regards
                    Richard

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                    • #70
                      Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

                      Originally posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
                      The Pacer was basically a Leyland National bus body with bus seats and engines riding on two pairs of railway wheels. They don't even have proper bogies so ride comfort was never going to be good.
                      The original prototype that became the Pacer, LEV-1, was at the Wensleydale Railway for a while and I had a ride on it. Awful thing! It looked even more like the bus it was based on. Railway buffs call them "nodding donkeys" because of the way they pitch. From what I remember of them the Leyland Nationals weren't much better as buses .

                      There was part one of a two part series about the HST of Channel Five last night, worth a look on catch-up. Part two is tonight (Tuesday) at 7pm, C5.
                      Regards
                      Richard

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                      • #71
                        Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

                        Originally posted by Otto View Post
                        Expect the lights to go out following a no-deal Brexit then! Many of our power stations are owned by overseas companies, mostly EU.
                        It will just need the energy of 'positive thinking', to keep them going!

                        Jim

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                        • #72
                          Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

                          Originally posted by Jim Ford View Post
                          It will just need the energy of 'positive thinking', to keep them going!

                          Jim

                          Give me positive can-do thinking every time over the alternative on offer by our we know best, self-serving, politicians of all parties.
                          Dave

                          My Flickr

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                          • #73
                            Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

                            Originally posted by wornish View Post
                            Give me positive can-do thinking every time over the alternative on offer by our we know best, self-serving, politicians of all parties.
                            The trouble is that a lot of people mistake 'magical thinking' for 'positive thinking'!

                            Jim

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                            • #74
                              Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

                              Originally posted by Otto View Post
                              ...The pumped storage stations (like Dinorwig) were built to absorb excess power from a neighbouring nuclear station during periods of low demand, and squirt it back into the Grid during the ad breaks in Corrie when everyone put the kettle on. ...You can take a tour of Dinorwig, something I've been intending to do for a long time.
                              I have... and I have a nice picture inside the turbine hall taken on my OM40 (this was 25 years ago).
                              Cameras: E-M5, E-PM2, OM40, OM4Ti
                              Lenses (M.Zuiko Digital): 7-14mm/F2.8, 12-40mm/F2.8, 40-150mm/F2.8+TC1.4x, 12-50mm/F3.5-6.3, 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 EZ, M.ZD 40-150 F4-5.6 R, 75-300mm/F4.8-6.7 Mk1, 12mm/F2, 17mm/F1.8
                              Lenses (OM Zuiko): 50mm/F1.2, 24mm/F2, 35mm/F2.8 shift
                              Lenses (OM Fit): Vivitar Series II 28-105mm/F2.8-3.8, Sigma 21-35mm/F3.4-4.2, Sigma 35-70mm/F2.8-4, Sigma 75-200mm/F2.8-3.5, Vivitar Series II 100-500mm/F5.6-8.0, Centon 500mm/F8 Mirror
                              Learn something new every day

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                              • #75
                                Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

                                Originally posted by Otto View Post
                                Expect the lights to go out following a no-deal Brexit then! Many of our power stations are owned by overseas companies, mostly EU.

                                The pumped storage stations (like Dinorwig) were built to absorb excess power from a neighbouring nuclear station during periods of low demand, and squirt it back into the Grid during the ad breaks in Corrie when everyone put the kettle on. I'm not sure they supply power for any significant length of time, they are there to cover short term peaks. You can take a tour of Dinorwig, something I've been intending to do for a long time.
                                I have visited the Cruachan Pumped Water Power Station in Scotland around thirty years ago. The tour involves being driven into the mountain side on an electric buggy. The journey rather reminded me of a Bond film where the baddies operate from underground tunnels, but there wasn't' actually much to see when we got there. The tour was free in those days but apparently the turbine halls were not open to the public.

                                I had thought Cruachan was capable of providing around 2 GW of power but according to Wiki it is 440 MW.

                                When the top reservoir is full, Cruachan can operate for 22 hours before the supply of water is exhausted. The power station is required to keep a 12-hour emergency water supply in order to provide a black start capability to the National Grid, to enable utilities to be restarted without access to external power.
                                ---------------

                                Naughty Nigel


                                Difficult is worth doing

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