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Author Topic: Aberthaw Power Station and Decarbonisation  (Read 41241 times)
broadgage
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« Reply #330 on: November 05, 2022, 08:46:25 pm »

Grid tied PV is increasingly attractive when considering the increased price of electricity.
It is more economic if some of your electricity use can be shifted to the hours of sunlight. A 1.2 kw system is useful, but current thinking is towards installing nearly 4 kw.

Off grid PV, whether on a camper van or for isolated premises is also attractive since it is often displacing very expensive electricity from a vehicle engine or from a small generator.
There is no limit on the capacity of such systems. Even 50 watts helps a bit, and a few kw is ample for most households.

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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #331 on: November 06, 2022, 08:10:35 pm »

I have looked at the power generation of the 150W solar panels on my camper van.  I only get the nominal output when the sky is clear and the sun is at exactly 90degrees to the panels.  Either of these cause the output to rapidly fall off.  Therefore TonyK's 85% reduction from nominal is due to cloudy skies and non optimal orientation of the panel as the sun moves round.

It would be interesting to compare the output at 12 noon (if the panel points South) on sunny and cloudy days and at different times of day when the horizontal angle will be different.  The vertical angle will also differ between winter and summer.

The array faces due south pretty much exactly, at an angle that seems to get all-day sky. There is nothing else in the way. We have a lot of sky, and it is easy to see the effect of the Earth's tilt through the seasons. Short of a motorised mount, I can't think how it could be done any better.

It would be interesting to know actual output at midday, but I don't have the facilities. That wasn't what I wanted to measure - I know that at certain times, I will be getting the full 1.2 KW, at other times nothing, and all points in between. I was interested in the bigger picture over a period of time. You only hear about renewables on good days as a rule - when the wind picks up and the garden furniture starts to lift off, I know that the papers will have banner headlines two days later about how wind turbines produced record amounts of electricity, and why the government should scrap all planning limitations for them, and send billions to the foreign owners to build more. The advocates fall silent when it's below freezing and we don't have a breath of wind for a week.

Grid tied PV is increasingly attractive when considering the increased price of electricity.
It is more economic if some of your electricity use can be shifted to the hours of sunlight. A 1.2 kw system is useful, but current thinking is towards installing nearly 4 kw.

Off grid PV, whether on a camper van or for isolated premises is also attractive since it is often displacing very expensive electricity from a vehicle engine or from a small generator.
There is no limit on the capacity of such systems. Even 50 watts helps a bit, and a few kw is ample for most households.

On this occasion and this specific subject only, I shall say that the actual size is of no importance. The roof there is the width of the house rather than length, so what I have there is pretty much all there is room for. The biggest unbroken piece of roof faces due east. It's at the back of the house, so would not spoil the look, but the isn't the optimum place, and thus not an economic proposition. As I explained above, it was installed as a ruse, almost, to get ticks in the correct boxes.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2022, 08:57:14 pm by TonyK » Logged

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broadgage
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« Reply #332 on: November 07, 2022, 05:54:32 pm »

It will soon be worthwhile installing PV modules on East or West facing rooves. The output will be much reduced if compared to South facing, but still worthwhile if grid electricity remains expensive and if PV modules get cheaper.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #333 on: November 07, 2022, 07:15:45 pm »

It will soon be worthwhile installing PV modules on East or West facing rooves. The output will be much reduced if compared to South facing, but still worthwhile if grid electricity remains expensive and if PV modules get cheaper.

I was wondering this summer whether it would make sense to put PV panels on a gable wall. It needs something to keep the sun off, since the long period of heating during the afternoon and evening drives a lot of heat into the wall. A PV panel could power a heat pump (aircon) to remove the heat that still gets in e.g. via the windows.

The problem is that much of the gable is shaded part of the time. I don't think standard PV panels can cope with shading, since the cells are in long series strings. The electronics couldn't cope with a variable number of cells being lit per string. But I may inquire, just to find out.
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broadgage
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« Reply #334 on: November 19, 2022, 06:00:14 am »

PV modules can be installed on gable end walls and useful power produced thus. A South facing wall will produce more power than a roof in UK (United Kingdom) winter conditions, but total annual output from a wall is less than from a roof. If the demand is primarily for lighting, than a south facing wall can be a good choice.

PV modules do not cope well with partial shading and damage may result.

If the whole module is shaded then they work fine but at a much reduced output. Bright but cloudy weather may give 50% output, heavy overcast only a few percent.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyK
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« Reply #335 on: November 19, 2022, 01:14:23 pm »

PV modules can be installed on gable end walls and useful power produced thus. A South facing wall will produce more power than a roof in UK (United Kingdom) winter conditions, but total annual output from a wall is less than from a roof. If the demand is primarily for lighting, than a south facing wall can be a good choice.

PV modules do not cope well with partial shading and damage may result.

If the whole module is shaded then they work fine but at a much reduced output. Bright but cloudy weather may give 50% output, heavy overcast only a few percent.


So in bright sunshine, you will be able to switch all the lights on for free. Next thing to sell you is a battery pack and another inverter, so you can save a few pence on lighting at night.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #336 on: January 31, 2023, 11:04:52 am »

Quote
The UK (United Kingdom) is wasting a lot of wind power

Last year, the UK generated ~30% of its energy from renewables, of which windpower (~23% total generation) was by far the biggest contributor.

But on the windiest days, we deliberately capped the amount of power our turbines were producing, reducing the total amount generated by 6%. In fact, it’s worse than that: not only did we turn off our turbines, but we paid the owners of windfarms to turn them off. This is called curtailment.

In 2022, a year characterized by extraordinary hikes in energy prices for consumers, we spent £215m on turning windfarms off, and then another £717m turning on gas power plants to replace the lost wind power. In the process, we emitted an extra 1.5 million tonnes of CO2.

If you're interested in this kind of thing, here's the full post by Archy de Berker

https://archy.deberker.com/the-uk-is-wasting-a-lot-of-wind-power/
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TonyK
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« Reply #337 on: January 31, 2023, 04:07:41 pm »

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The UK (United Kingdom) is wasting a lot of wind power

Last year, the UK generated ~30% of its energy from renewables, of which windpower (~23% total generation) was by far the biggest contributor.

But on the windiest days, we deliberately capped the amount of power our turbines were producing, reducing the total amount generated by 6%. In fact, it’s worse than that: not only did we turn off our turbines, but we paid the owners of windfarms to turn them off. This is called curtailment.

In 2022, a year characterized by extraordinary hikes in energy prices for consumers, we spent £215m on turning windfarms off, and then another £717m turning on gas power plants to replace the lost wind power. In the process, we emitted an extra 1.5 million tonnes of CO2.

Point of order: The UK did not generate 30% of its energy from renewables. It may have generated 30% of its electricity from renewables, depending on who is counting and what they are counting.

A quick look at the Digest of UK Energy  Statistics (DUKES) for 2021, the last year available, shows that renewables generated 122.2 TWh, down over 9% on the previous year. Wind production was down 14% on the previous year to 64.7 TWh because of the wrong type of wind (not enough). Solar was 6.2 TWh less whatever was generated by wave energy, looking at the electricity flow chart. That 122.2 TWh must therefore include over 50 TWh generated by burning stuff, 15 TWh being from Drax's burning of imported forests. That is only renewable if you are desperate to hit targets.

Digging further into the statistics, we find that total energy use in the UK was around 176,000 million tonnes of oil equivalent, or a little over 2000 TWh. Renewables actually provided about 6% of the UK's energy. This isn't just pedantry - we have been having the wrong conversation about the country's energy needs for a long time, and should be looking to the bigger picture if we are ever going to get away from fossil fuels.

On the matter of electricity, the author recognises that most windfarms are in Scotland because:
Quote
There are relatively few people living in Scotland (or the sea), which makes it easier to get planning permissions without getting snarled up in NIMBYism sets out the reasons

He has not done his research correctly. Onshore windfarms are no less unpopular in rural Scotland than in rural England or Wales. They just have a government that cares even less about the countryside than the English equivalent. He should have said that the government up there finds it easier to ride roughshod over local democracy than the Westminster parliament. This is helped by having a virtual single-party state (like China and North Korea), a populace concentrated in a few big towns and cities, and a close relationship between government and foreign wind companies. He points out the problems with moving electricity from north to south, which have been ignored by the Edinburgh parliament, then picks the one day of the year when industry is almost entirely closed to illustrate the problem. His solution is a cable costing £3.4 billion to connect windfarms that might not exist within a decade in a country that might not be trading with the rest of the UK in less than that to England which imports more electricity from other countries than it does from Scotland. A lot of the wind farms producing this occasional excess are in places that are vast distances from Edinburgh, let alone London. He does at least recognise the potential problems behind the idea of storing the excess, the main one that he only indirectly alludes to being that the batteries will most likely be used to store energy until the price is highest, rather than to help even out the flow.

He tells us that:
Quote
However, laying high voltage cables is slow – much slower than building new wind turbines. In the time it takes for this transmission to come online (2GW by 2027 & 4GW by 2029), we will have added far more new wind capacity North of the B6 boundary.

Simply put: we can’t lay cables fast enough to solve this problem.

I have a workable solution to this problem, which is to stop building wind farms in Scotland until a use for all the power is demonstrated. Nobody seems in much of a hurry to invest up there, other than the foreign energy companies, so my idea would help spur them into thinking of a use for their product. There is plenty of scope, with the decarbonisation menu supposedly high in the minds of the Scottish people. Start ripping out gas boilers and putting in electric heating. Ban all new fossil fuel cars next year rather than waiting to 2030 (ha!). Make some of the fabled green hydrogen on the blustery days, or if you think you can transport it and sell it, make it all the time except when there's no energy at all to spare.

Another way forward would be to stop constraint payments altogether for new contracts. My local brewery doesn't demand constraint payments from me because I'm not drinking all the beer they produce.

I agree that the energy structure is not working as it should. Incentives are driving perverse behaviour, as they do in all of public life. We should be putting a lot more energy (NPI) and money into building clean reliable power generation than isn't so dependent on the weather, not spaffing a few billion on what will be fractions of a percentage point.
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« Reply #338 on: January 31, 2023, 09:56:46 pm »

Onshore windfarms are no less unpopular in rural Scotland than in rural England or Wales. They just have a government that cares even less about the countryside than the English equivalent. He should have said that the government up there finds it easier to ride roughshod over local democracy than the Westminster parliament. This is helped by having a virtual single-party state (like China and North Korea), a populace concentrated in a few big towns and cities, and a close relationship between government and foreign wind companies.

Or perhaps they care more about saving the planet for our great grandchildren than the loss of a view that was created by man's destruction of nature over the last 1000 years or so (depending on where you are talking about).

As for one party states at least the Edinburgh government was elected by about 50% of the electorate and needs the support of anotehr party to rule. The party that has ruled the UK (United Kingdom) for the that was elected by a 43% of those who voted and has a massive majority!  It seems to like running roughshod over the opinions of voters on many other things including onshore wind power.   

I don't see



He points out the problems with moving electricity from north to south, which have been ignored by the Edinburgh parliament, then picks the one day of the year when industry is almost entirely closed to illustrate the problem. His solution is a cable costing £3.4 billion to connect windfarms that might not exist within a decade in a country that might not be trading with the rest of the UK in less than that to England which imports more electricity from other countries than it does from Scotland.

We do need to build renewable energy across the whole country as that give the best diversity - it is less likely that there will be no wind or sun across the whole country than in one place.  Even better across a continent like Europe (if I am allowed to use that word). Trading renewable energy make good scientific sense. 

I cannot see why windfarms might not exists in a decade or so, or why even an independent Scotland would not want to trade electricity with England.  We still manage to trade electricity with the Europe with a Westminster government that seems hell bent on extinguishing all trade with the EU» (European Union - about).  Fure renewable energy is likely to come from the far north of Scotland from tidal energy - the tidal flows at Scapa are a predictable stable renewable resource that is just right for harvesting!

He does at least recognise the potential problems behind the idea of storing the excess, the main one that he only indirectly alludes to being that the batteries will most likely be used to store energy until the price is highest, rather than to help even out the flow.

The alternative solution to storing electricity is thermal heat stores.  These are more efficient than batteries - where the user wants heat (rather than electricity).   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3JlTVt0jLw

I agree that the energy structure is not working as it should. Incentives are driving perverse behaviour, as they do in all of public life. We should be putting a lot more energy (NPI) and money into building clean reliable power generation than isn't so dependent on the weather, not spaffing a few billion on what will be fractions of a percentage point.

Agree

Edit - fix quote markup - Red Squirrel
« Last Edit: January 31, 2023, 10:24:25 pm by Red Squirrel » Logged
broadgage
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« Reply #339 on: February 01, 2023, 01:08:13 pm »

On a more positive note, electricity from wind power recently reached 16.5 GW (Great Western), another new record.
For the last 24 hours, wind power has been producing 15 GW which may be a new 24 hour record.
Wind power is now cheaper than nuclear and a lot cheaper than gas.

Wind power also the great advantage of being produced within our own borders without reliance on foreign powers.

For the foreseeable future we will still need some natural gas for electricity production in calm weather, so wind is not the complete answer. The present high gas price does underline the importance of maximising wind power and reducing gas use.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #340 on: February 01, 2023, 01:53:28 pm »

Good to see you back broadgage
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TonyK
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« Reply #341 on: February 01, 2023, 03:03:24 pm »


I cannot see why windfarms might not exists in a decade or so, or why even an independent Scotland would not want to trade electricity with England.  We still manage to trade electricity with the Europe with a Westminster government that seems hell bent on extinguishing all trade with the EU» (European Union - about).  Fure renewable energy is likely to come from the far north of Scotland from tidal energy - the tidal flows at Scapa are a predictable stable renewable resource that is just right for harvesting!



The attrition rate for wind farm machinery is quite high, and many are already more than a decade into their putative 25-years tenure. There could reasons of finance or politics that get in the way of refurbishing them, hence my comment.

 An independent Scotland would doubtless love to trade electricity with England, the questions being whether it would be worth spending the necessary billions providing the infrastructure to transfer unpredictable  intermittent energy down from Scotland, and oooo's gonna pay for it. The English might think it a better bet to build more nuclear, small modular on the sites of decommissioned coal and gas plants, large by the existing estates to combine dismantling the old Magnox with operating new generation kit, and restringing the already antique grid south of the border. The Scots could then concentrate on showing us how it should be done, banning all fossil fuel vehicles (road and rail), closing all fossil fuel plants, keeping everyone warm with stored heat, and becoming very wealthy as a result on the basis of their burgeoning export of manufactured goods. And ferries.

Quote
As for one party states at least the Edinburgh government was elected by about 50% of the electorate and needs the support of another party to rule.

Saddam Hussein polled over 98% of the votes in the last election before his loving population hanged him. On a more serious note, the Scottish government  consists mainly of a party that also serves as a campaign group, and a home for anyone who doesn't like Westminster being in charge. It will be interesting to see how things will change should the possibility of a binding independence referendum ever arise, and more so when the Scottish government has to suddenly become a full government, with the primary object having been met. The same applies to Aberthaw and all that surrounds it.


I agree that the energy structure is not working as it should. Incentives are driving perverse behaviour, as they do in all of public life. We should be putting a lot more energy (NPI) and money into building clean reliable power generation than isn't so dependent on the weather, not spaffing a few billion on what will be fractions of a percentage point.

Agree


A good way to close.  Cheesy

On a more positive note, electricity from wind power recently reached 16.5 GW (Great Western), another new record.
For the last 24 hours, wind power has been producing 15 GW which may be a new 24 hour record.
Wind power is now cheaper than nuclear and a lot cheaper than gas.


Welcome back, broadgage! Yes, I see wind has, like both of us, returned after a couple of weeks' absence.   Grin
« Last Edit: February 01, 2023, 03:08:42 pm by TonyK » Logged

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TonyK
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« Reply #342 on: Yesterday at 05:12:12 pm »

On a more positive note, electricity from wind power recently reached 16.5 GW (Great Western), another new record.


Well, that didn't last long. A few headlines and an entry in the Guinness Book of Records, and normal service has been resumed. Back below 10 GW at 3pm on 3 February, and not above since, save for a few minutes overnight. Solar had a few decent enough hours, but nothing to write home about. Gas has risen to cover. We need to find a better way.
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broadgage
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« Reply #343 on: Yesterday at 08:54:47 pm »

Only a few years ago, 5 to 10 GW (Great Western) from wind power was regarded as very impressive, yet now it is considered disappointing.
Shows the progress that has been made in recent years.

Every GWH of electricity produced from wind is several GWH of very expensive natural gas not burnt, but remaining in storage for later needs.
Gas supplies are at the mercy of foreign powers, wind power is not.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyK
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« Reply #344 on: Today at 02:56:55 pm »

Only a few years ago, 5 to 10 GW (Great Western) from wind power was regarded as very impressive, yet now it is considered disappointing.
Shows the progress that has been made in recent years.

Every GWH of electricity produced from wind is several GWH of very expensive natural gas not burnt, but remaining in storage for later needs.
Gas supplies are at the mercy of foreign powers, wind power is not.

As I read this, wind is producing 1.85 GW. I wouldn't call that disappointing. There are other words that would fit better.
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