Train GraphicClick on the map to explore geographics
 
I need help
FAQ
Emergency
About .
Travel & transport from BBC stories as at 17:35 05 Dec 2022
* Train strikes: RMT union rejects offer to stop Christmas walkouts
Read about the forum [here].
Register [here] - it's free.
What do I gain from registering? [here]
 30/03/23 - Railfuture Annual, Leeds

On this day
5th Dec (1927)
Post Office Underground opens to Paddington (*)

Train RunningShort Run
14:04 London Paddington to Truro
17:26 Worcester Foregate Street to London Paddington
19:07 London Paddington to Bedwyn
Delayed
17:28 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington
PollsThere are no open or recent polls
Abbreviation pageAcronymns and abbreviations
Stn ComparatorStation Comparator
Rail newsNews Now - live rail news feed
Site Style 1 2 3 4
Next departures • Bristol Temple MeadsBath SpaChippenhamSwindonDidcot ParkwayReadingLondon PaddingtonMelksham
Exeter St DavidsTauntonWestburyTrowbridgeBristol ParkwayCardiff CentralOxfordCheltenham SpaBirmingham New Street
December 05, 2022, 05:41:41 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most recently liked subjects
[310] End date for Castles - initially a Rumour Mill thread
[69] Rail unions strike action 2022/2023
[53] Drayton Green
[41] Advent Quiz - December 2022
[38] Where would YOU like to go in 2023?
[20] Trial of new revenue protection technology
News: the Great Western Coffee Shop ... keeping you up to date with travel around the South West
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: 1 ... 20 21 [22] 23
  Print  
Author Topic: Aberthaw Power Station and Decarbonisation  (Read 39227 times)
stuving
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 6524


View Profile
« Reply #315 on: October 04, 2022, 11:17:49 pm »

... STEP (Spherical Tokomak for Energy Production), for which Aberthaw, among other old power station sites, was nominated. Mind you, its declared timescale is "by 2040", so breathing is not optional.

Not Aberthaw, in the end:
Quote
Site of UK (United Kingdom)’s first fusion energy plant selected

West Burton power station site in Nottinghamshire has been selected as the home for the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant.

From:    Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and UK Atomic Energy Authority
Published    3 October 2022

Today (3 October 2022), the government announced that the West Burton power station site in Nottinghamshire has been selected as the home for ‘STEP’ (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production), the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant which aims to be built by 2040.

Fusion is based on the same physical reactions that power the sun and stars, and is the process by which 2 light atomic nuclei combine while releasing large amounts of energy. This technology has significant potential to deliver safe, sustainable, low carbon energy for future generations.

The government-backed STEP programme will create thousands of highly skilled jobs during construction and operations, as well as attracting other high tech industries to the region, and furthering the development of science and technology capabilities nationally.

The ambitious programme will also commit immediately to the development of apprenticeship schemes in the region, building on the success of the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) Oxfordshire Advanced Skills centre in Culham. Conversations with local providers and employers have already begun, with schemes to start as soon as possible.

The UK government is providing £220 million of funding for the first phase of STEP, which will see the UK Atomic Energy Authority produce a concept design by 2024.

The same news was announced at the Tory conference by the relevant minister - Rees-Mogg, of course. I'm sure this is grossly unfair, but there's something about the way he elocutes about nuclear fusion just sounds weird.
Logged
broadgage
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 5087



View Profile
« Reply #316 on: October 05, 2022, 05:15:13 am »

Splendid news. For most of my lifetime, fusion has been about 30 years in the future. Recently this has dropped to about 10 years in the future. And it might now be nearer than that.
Note that this project is to build a working power station, not a research project.

It might not work, but the potential gains are so great that considerable spending is IMHO (in my humble opinion) justified.

Also very glad that this is a UK (United Kingdom) project.
Logged

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.
Witham Bobby
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 348



View Profile
« Reply #317 on: October 05, 2022, 09:56:07 am »

Calder Hall was a world first for the UK (United Kingdom), too, as an atomic power station, wasn't it? (not that it was the main purpose)
Logged
TonyK
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6163


The artist formerly known as Four Track, Now!


View Profile
« Reply #318 on: October 05, 2022, 02:19:21 pm »

Splendid news. For most of my lifetime, fusion has been about 30 years in the future. Recently this has dropped to about 10 years in the future. And it might now be nearer than that.
Note that this project is to build a working power station, not a research project.

It might not work, but the potential gains are so great that considerable spending is IMHO (in my humble opinion) justified.

Also very glad that this is a UK (United Kingdom) project.

It has always been much closer than 30 years in the future. In 1965, when I first heard about fusion power from Raymond Baxter on Tomorrow's World, it was only 10 years away, and has remained 10 years away ever since. My Dad voiced some scepticism about the timescale, but he was more of a pessimist than I am.

Calder Hall was a world first for the UK, too, as an atomic power station, wasn't it? (not that it was the main purpose)

I believe that the first to generate electricity for a grid was in Obninsk, USSR, in 1954. Calder Hall was the first full scale, and was, as you say, not designed entirely for power. It was the first Magnox reactor, designed to breed Plutonium-239 for bombs, like the Windscale Pile before it, with electricity production being a clever way of both hiding the main purpose and getting rid of that pesky heat that had caused the fire in the pile. It was all British as you say, and the design was still in use in the UK until 2015, when Wylfa closed. The design meant that the fuel was used in a very inefficient manner as compared to modern pressurised water reactors, and left a lot of highly active waste. It also left deep distrust and fear of nuclear power.

Speaking of decarbonisation, I have long argued that paying Drax billions of pounds to burn imported wood pellets is not very green. It seems that the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) now agrees with me, as evidenced by last night's Panorama documentary "The Green Energy Scandal Exposed". If you wondered about this, or had never heard of it, you could invest 30 minutes into watching the programme on iPlayer using that link. If after that you are in the mood for more offerings about descent into madness, I recommend  "The Man Inside"
« Last Edit: October 05, 2022, 03:26:56 pm by TonyK » Logged

Now, please!
broadgage
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 5087



View Profile
« Reply #319 on: October 05, 2022, 04:33:20 pm »

I have long doubted the greenness of imported wood chip or wood pellet fuel, and have said so on this and other forums. I hope that use will be discontinued once present stocks and supplies already en-route are used up.

Back to coal as a SHORT TERM EMERGENCY measure, with the medium term aim of phasing out coal and moving to renewables, with very limited natural gas burning only under adverse conditions.
Logged

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
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6163


The artist formerly known as Four Track, Now!


View Profile
« Reply #320 on: October 05, 2022, 07:33:07 pm »


Back to coal as a SHORT TERM EMERGENCY measure, with the medium term aim of phasing out coal and moving to renewables, with very limited natural gas burning only under adverse conditions.

Good luck with that. So far this year, we have burned on average 12.7 GW (Great Western) of gas purely to produce electricity. That is gas burning to make electricity every second of every day. Add on what gets burned for heating and hot water, plus industry, and you have a lot of replacing to do.
Logged

Now, please!
stuving
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 6524


View Profile
« Reply #321 on: October 05, 2022, 08:22:58 pm »


Back to coal as a SHORT TERM EMERGENCY measure, with the medium term aim of phasing out coal and moving to renewables, with very limited natural gas burning only under adverse conditions.

Good luck with that. So far this year, we have burned on average 12.7 GW (Great Western) of gas purely to produce electricity. That is gas burning to make electricity every second of every day. Add on what gets burned for heating and hot water, plus industry, and you have a lot of replacing to do.

And yet ... globally ... provided you can believe a think tank called Ember ...
Quote
01     Renewables met all growth in global electricity demand

Global electricity demand rose 3% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year; this was in line with the historic average. Wind and solar met 77% of this demand growth, and hydro more than met the remainder. In China, the rise in wind and solar generation met 92% of its electricity demand rise; in the US it was 81%, while in India it was 23%.

02     Coal and gas generation remained almost unchanged

Because renewables growth met all the demand growth, fossil generation was almost unchanged. Coal declined by 1% and gas declined by 0.05%; these were offset by a slight rise in oil. Consequently, global CO2 power sector emissions were unchanged, despite the rise in electricity demand. Coal in the EU» (European Union - about) rose 15% only to cover a temporary shortfall in nuclear and hydro generation. Coal in India rose 10% because of a sharp rebound in electricity demand from the lows early last year when the Covid-19 pandemic struck hardest. These rises were offset against falls of 3% in China and 7% in the US...
Logged
broadgage
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 5087



View Profile
« Reply #322 on: October 06, 2022, 08:43:44 am »


Back to coal as a SHORT TERM EMERGENCY measure, with the medium term aim of phasing out coal and moving to renewables, with very limited natural gas burning only under adverse conditions.

Good luck with that. So far this year, we have burned on average 12.7 GW (Great Western) of gas purely to produce electricity. That is gas burning to make electricity every second of every day. Add on what gets burned for heating and hot water, plus industry, and you have a lot of replacing to do.

A very substantial reduction in gas burnt for power generation should be easy to achieve. Wind turbines are a mature technology, and DOUBLING the installed capacity should be easy. Grid tied PV could also be considerably expanded.
SOME natural gas would still be required for when neither wind nor solar is available, but much less than at present.

The short term aim should be to eliminate gas burning in power stations during daylight (use solar) and in even moderately  windy weather.

To burn expensive imported gas 24/7 as we do at present is simply daft. To be reliant on potential enemies for that gas is even worse.

New wind generation is now very cheap, about one third of that expected from Hinkley C and about one tenth of that expected from gas.
Logged

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.
Witham Bobby
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 348



View Profile
« Reply #323 on: October 06, 2022, 10:21:38 am »

Electricity demand peaks on the coldest, calmest days.  When windmills don't turn

Back-up is always going to be required; wind is not sufficiently reliable as a means of maintaining the economy or living standards, despite everything the green lobby says.

Absent coal fired and nuclear plants these days, how is gas generation avoidable?
Logged
broadgage
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 5087



View Profile
« Reply #324 on: October 06, 2022, 02:29:44 pm »

Under present circumstances, some gas burning generation is unavoidable, but should in my view be minimised due to the high gas price, doubts as to the reliability of supplies, and the carbon emissions.

At present we are generating about 6GW from gas and about 13GW from wind. If wind power capacity was doubled as I suggested, then wind power plus a little from nuclear, would supply the ENTIRE UK (United Kingdom) demand. and probably leave some for export.
Gas would still be unavoidable at times of low wind, but to be burning gas on a windy day such as today makes no sense.

Logged

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
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6163


The artist formerly known as Four Track, Now!


View Profile
« Reply #325 on: October 06, 2022, 07:25:07 pm »

Under present circumstances, some gas burning generation is unavoidable, but should in my view be minimised due to the high gas price, doubts as to the reliability of supplies, and the carbon emissions.

At present we are generating about 6GW from gas and about 13GW from wind. If wind power capacity was doubled as I suggested, then wind power plus a little from nuclear, would supply the ENTIRE UK (United Kingdom) demand. and probably leave some for export.
Gas would still be unavoidable at times of low wind, but to be burning gas on a windy day such as today makes no sense.



Today is a good day for wind, I will admit, unlike Sunday and Monday, but that is still only half of the installed capacity. The power of the wind is proportionate to the cube of its speed, meaning small variations in speed mean big changes in power. Turbines cope with changes by altering the blade pitch, but below a certain point the output is marginal. We have days, sometimes weeks, when doubling capacity would still not help, although it would lead to significant over-production on other days. That happens more in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK, leading to constraint payments. You would think, given the hype, that someone would want to do something with the excess like desalination or hydrogen production, but it looks like industry isn't keen on unpredictability. Whatever happens, wind and especially solar will always need backup, so will tie us into fossil fuels for a bit longer, a bit like riding the bike to save energy, but having the car following behind in case you get tired.

Getting rid of gas in the generation of electricity only solves a quarter of the problem anyway. Had we gone down the road of renewing the nuclear fleet when pivotal decisions were being made in the early 2000s, we would have had a few nuclear plants running now with 50 years left on the clock, and wouldn't be in quite such a pickle, but then again, if my auntie had nuts etc. Governments don't make long-term decisions here. We only have Hinkley C, HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)), the Elizabeth line, a partially electrified GWR (Great Western Railway) and a few more big number projects because they survived a few changes of government until they were too far down the line to cancel.
Logged

Now, please!
Witham Bobby
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 348



View Profile
« Reply #326 on: October 07, 2022, 10:47:19 am »

Under present circumstances, some gas burning generation is unavoidable, but should in my view be minimised due to the high gas price, doubts as to the reliability of supplies, and the carbon emissions.

At present we are generating about 6GW from gas and about 13GW from wind. If wind power capacity was doubled as I suggested, then wind power plus a little from nuclear, would supply the ENTIRE UK (United Kingdom) demand. and probably leave some for export.
Gas would still be unavoidable at times of low wind, but to be burning gas on a windy day such as today makes no sense.



No matter how many windmills you install, whatever their nominal output, they produce zero when not turning.  We have some very still days.  If you install windmills, you have to either have backup to immediately replace the electricity when the blades aren't turning, or accept power cuts and grid trips with no notice

Who in their right mind is going to keep gas-fired power stations in existence, but not be able to sell anything unless it's a calm day?  Unless you get the right to charge absolutely what you like on days when the country needs that power.

This is a dead-end that will lead to us all being poorer and colder
Logged
TonyK
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6163


The artist formerly known as Four Track, Now!


View Profile
« Reply #327 on: October 07, 2022, 12:53:27 pm »


No matter how many windmills you install, whatever their nominal output, they produce zero when not turning.  We have some very still days.  If you install windmills, you have to either have backup to immediately replace the electricity when the blades aren't turning, or accept power cuts and grid trips with no notice

Who in their right mind is going to keep gas-fired power stations in existence, but not be able to sell anything unless it's a calm day?  Unless you get the right to charge absolutely what you like on days when the country needs that power.

This is a dead-end that will lead to us all being poorer and colder

The installed capacity of wind power in this country is 25.5 GW (Great Western). The actual output last month averaged 6.2 GW, roughly a quarter, with a high of 15 GW (60% of capacity) and a low of 690 MW (2.7%). The installed capacity of nuclear capacity is now under 6 GW. The actual output last month averaged 4.5 GW (about 75% of capacity) with a high of 5.5 GW (92% - surprised me too) and a low of 3.9 GW (65%). Doubling the capacity of nuclear would have meant no gas at all being needed in electricity generation for about 7 days last month, and we could begin to think about making inroads into converting transport and heating from fossil fuels to electricity.
Logged

Now, please!
TonyK
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6163


The artist formerly known as Four Track, Now!


View Profile
« Reply #328 on: November 05, 2022, 09:45:46 am »

I have just realised that for the past 4½ years, I have been running a non-scientific experiment without my own knowledge, to measure the effectiveness of solar energy. I didn't leap from the bath naked shouting "Eureka", just finished entering the meter reading for the feed-in tariff (FIT) for my small solar array into the website for the free money, and thought "Hang on a minute..."

The builder of my house added a 1.2 KW, nominally 1 KW, solar panel on an unobtrusive south-facing bit of roof. He told me this was not because of his green credentials, but the cheapest way of obtaining the coveted A rating for the Energy Performance Certificate. He had already done most of the other obvious things of insulation, underfloor heating, windows to minimise loss and maximise solar gain, and other methods like ground source heating would have cost a lot more. I paid little attention to it at first, but realised from the smart meter that there are long periods of sunny days when appliances were running without me using any of British Gas's electricity. I was pleasantly surprised by my first FIT payment - far from enough for another exotic holiday, but enough to cover dinner out, all without me doing anything.

I had long wondered how accurate were the claims made by developers of solar farms in their promotional material, concerning the actual output and the number of homes that would feed. After all, it does get dark a lot, although I am assured by someone who advocates covering the countryside with Chinese panels that they work on average 50% of the time across a whole year. Yesterday, it suddenly dawned on me that I had the means to estimate the effectiveness of solar power at my very fingertips.

I moved here at the end of April 2018, 4½ years ago, almost to the day. The meter for the panel records KWh produced by my 1.2 KW panel. I seem to recall it already had 50 or so on the clock when we moved in, but for ease of comparison, I will ignore that and assume a zero start 4½ years ago, along with a few other roundings of figures. The week contains 168 hours, 52 of those giving us a nominal year of 8,736 years. 4½ of those amounts to 39,312 hours of residence below my own personal little power station. Were it to have operated around the clock at the nominal rating, it would have produced 39,312 KWh of electricity. In fact, it has turned out 5,831.16 KWh. I make that just under 15% of its round-the-clock potential. A fortiori, if it is light 50% of the time on average, it produces only 30% of what my environmentalist mate thinks it should. I shall rub his nose in it when I next see him and refer to him henceforth as the environ-mentalist. I shan't be getting rid obviously - every little helps, it was here when I bought the place, and rooftops seem a good place to put the machinery. My next job is to find some figures for a large-scale solar farm, and see how they compare.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2022, 07:19:31 pm by TonyK » Logged

Now, please!
eXPassenger
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 482


View Profile
« Reply #329 on: November 05, 2022, 07:24:15 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.
Logged
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: 1 ... 20 21 [22] 23
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants

Jump to top of pageJump to Forum Home Page