Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A nation still drawing 18,000MW in itís sleep canít go solarÖ ( Aussies...)
JoNova ^ | May 20th, 2012 | Joanne

Posted on 05/21/2012 2:51:27 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

I’m away, so this is a good time for Guest posts. Here Tony explains that we need lots of electricity even while we sleep. I didn’t realize our electricity needs were so high at night. The lowest power use each day is still as much as 60% of the peak. That’s the base load at 3am, and solar panels and wind farms just can’t provide it. We can burn the odd $500 billion building hundreds of solar plants, but even then, we would have to go “medieval” for about 8 hours each night. Candles anyone? — Jo

Guest post by Anton Lang

AUSTRALIAN POWER CONSUMPTION LOAD CURVES

There’s a message in these two diagrams that underlies every decision about national energy.

Summer power curve - Time of Day versus power consumption (MW)

These two diagrams are the most misunderstood images in the whole debate — the Load Curves for actual power consumption. These two shown here are for the whole of eastern Australia (including Tasmania and South Australia).

The top diagram shows typical consumption for a day in mid summer (Monday 30th January 2012) and the second is for a typical mid winter day (Friday 22nd July 2011). (Usually peak winter consumption is a bit higher).

Consumption dips at 3AM to 4 AM on both diagrams to 18,000MW. So even when asleep, eastern Australia is consumes 18,000MW of power, basically 60% to 65% of every Watt of power that could be generated (generation capacity is about equal to the peak load).

Winter power curve: Time of Day versus power consumption (MW)

That level of power is required absolutely for the full 24 hours of every day, i.e. 24/7/365. It’s the Base Load — two words here, not just one word used as an adjective to describe coal fired power plants. It’s the minimum actual physical power just to keep things running in eastern Australia.

That power is supplied by plants running flat out at 3,000 RPM day in and day out. The only time they stop is when one generator at each plant is turned off for maintenance purposes. At these times, other large scale coal fired plants supply what is now out of service. These plants are mainly those on spinning reserve, and it’s described that way because those large scale generators take anything up to days to run down correctly, and then run back up correctly. So, typically older plants are kept on spinning reserve, in other words, running at speed but not supplying power, so, when needed they are ready to come on line delivering power.

The key here is that we just can’t store electrical energy on a big scale.

Peaking Power

The extra power required above that Base Load is called Peaking Power (or Peak Power). Peaking Power is an everyday occurrence — other power plants are brought on line to ‘top up’ the power. Again, this power has to be on stand-by ready for consumption. If power is predicted to be consumed, then the grid controllers need that power already at the grid, ready for it to be drawn down by people in homes with plasma TV’s and ovens and toasters. Peaking Power is provided mainly from natural gas fired plants, which can come on line and spin up to speed within minutes.

There are two distinct peaks on that winter diagram. In the morning — breakfast, showers, turns on the heaters etc – and then again in the afternoon and evening — when people come home and turn on the heaters, stoves, microwaves, washing machines and dryers.

Without rearranging our biological clocks, or reforming our civilization, there’s no real possibility of ‘flattening out’ the two humps.

Renewable power just cannot fill those unmovable daily time-slot requirements.

Let’s look at the Base Load. We are told that Concentrating Solar (CS) can do this, but it just cannot.

A CS power plant currently can in theory supply a maximum of 50MW, but even now the best plant in operation only provides 17MW. Let’s pretend it can do 50MW. These plants are ones that have heat retention and can supply their power after the Sun sets, but the best case year-round-average is around 16 hours a day. And in winter, when the peaks are highest, there may only be 4 hours a day when sunlight is strong enough to use.

The logistics of solar and wind don’t add up

Base load is 18,000MW, so we need at least 360 best case CS plants. They cost around $1.45 billion each, so around $520 billion for construction — and still you have an average of 8 hours in every day without incoming power to run Australia.

Wind power can provide some power throughout the day, but their average 8 hours a day of maximum delivery is usually not the right 8 hours. In eastern Australia, the total power delivered by the 23 wind plants with 965 huge towers is still only 600MW, or around 3.3% of Base Load.

While there are people who will tell you that concentrated solar and wind power can power eastern Australia, it looks impossible once you dig down to the details.

Source for Load Curve Diagrams: Third graph on each page

Summer Jan 30 2012 http://windfarmperformance.info/?date=2012-01-30

Winter Jul 22 201 http://windfarmperformance.info/?date=2011-07-22

******************************************************

The short killer summary: The Skeptics Handbook. The most deadly point: The Missing Hot Spot


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Conspiracy; Weather
KEYWORDS: climatechange; globalwarming; globalwarminghoax; greenjobs; solar

1 posted on 05/21/2012 2:51:35 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Obviously, the writer doesn’t understand Reality:

1) When I sleep, everything stops
2) When I die, everyone will disappear

Keep me alive, folks — your lives depend on it...

:)


2 posted on 05/21/2012 2:54:59 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TigerLikesRooster; landsbaum; Signalman; NormsRevenge; steelyourfaith; Lancey Howard; ...
Good stuff in this one....

Wonder what the facts are in the USA?

3 posted on 05/21/2012 2:54:59 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freedumb2003
LOL...

Ancient Bob ( 95 yoa ) says his time is about over....no more power plants are needed..(Friend of mine )

4 posted on 05/21/2012 2:59:41 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

bump!


5 posted on 05/21/2012 3:01:11 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

“California” is here:

http://www.caiso.com/Pages/TodaysOutlook.aspx#SupplyandDemand

21 GW minimum overnight.


6 posted on 05/21/2012 3:06:02 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: freedumb2003

Even if we could afford it, and we cannot, it’d still be impossible.


7 posted on 05/21/2012 3:06:14 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: freedumb2003

Hey, I saw a story about you on The Twilight Zone. If I remember correctly, you were in charge of keeping and old intricate clock running because if it ever stopped............


8 posted on 05/21/2012 3:12:23 PM PDT by JPG (Don't just talk about it, make it happen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: freedumb2003
1) When I sleep, everything stops

Heh. I hate to admit it, but back in my younger days, I flirted with new age philosophy for a while. One of its tenets (if you can call it that) is that reality "on the physical plain" is nothing but a psychic agreement amongst us spirits. When we sleep, there's really nothing there.

Given the left, you might be on to something. They're not worried because they believe there's really nothing there (or because they have a trust fund.)

9 posted on 05/21/2012 3:30:01 PM PDT by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: JPG

>>Hey, I saw a story about you on The Twilight Zone. If I remember correctly, you were in charge of keeping and old intricate clock running because if it ever stopped............<<

I was thinking more about Malcolm McDowell in “Night Visions” (lol)


10 posted on 05/21/2012 3:36:37 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
My minimum instantaneous house usage is ~26 watts. Overnight average power can be as low as 150 watts (it's the refrigerator that's the culprit).

Peak usage can easily go over 7500 watts.

That's a dynamic range of 300. A non-trivial engineering task to be able to go off grid.

11 posted on 05/21/2012 3:41:36 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

“Wonder what the facts are in the USA?”

I’m gonna guess, exactly the same.

The sun is no brighter in the USA, nor the wind any stronger. The US has no superior way to efficiently store electricity for nightly use. Our daily usage pattern mimics the Australian one.


12 posted on 05/21/2012 4:05:03 PM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

?????

in it’s sleep = in it is sleep


13 posted on 05/21/2012 4:42:02 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Pray for our republic.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I saw a letter in the WSJ by Iowa’s former guv Tom Wetsack who was claiming Iowa now draws 20 percent of its power from wind...

That sounds preposterous to me even if there is nothing going on there but wind blowin’ and corn growin’...


14 posted on 05/21/2012 5:24:48 PM PDT by Fightin Whitey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Good analysis of how solar and wind simply cannot compete with nuclear or fossil fuel power generation.


15 posted on 05/21/2012 5:26:19 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Fightin Whitey

Oh.

Just did some searching.

From a hyperventilating website called hispanicbusiness.com (good lord what do they have to do with wind):

“Iowa was also among the leaders in wind energy jobs, with an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 jobs — just ahead of Texas and Illinois.

“The industry group continued to urge Congress to extend the Production Tax Credit, a renewable energy tax incentive scheduled to expire in 2012. IT SAID WIND POWER INSTALLATIONS DROPPED BETWEEN 73 AND 93 PERCENT IN PAST YEARS FOLLOWING EXPIRATION, LEADING TO MAJOR JOB LOSSES IN THE INDUSTRY.”

Subsidize anything enough and you will get the numbers to rise. Including illegal immigration.


16 posted on 05/21/2012 5:33:04 PM PDT by Fightin Whitey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Fightin Whitey
Subsidize anything enough and you will get the numbers to rise. Including illegal immigration.

WF Buckley's line was "illegitimacy and cheese."

17 posted on 05/21/2012 6:11:54 PM PDT by AndyJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]




Click the Pups

Calling for Donors!

Please Donate Monthly
Sponsors will bark up $10 for each new monthly sign-up
FReeper RonC will give FR $25 for each new Dollar-A-Day Club member!

18 posted on 05/21/2012 6:15:27 PM PDT by TheOldLady
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Marine_Uncle

I thought the charts were low enough level (7th grade ) that it could be useful to show around.


19 posted on 05/21/2012 11:08:37 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Off course, as usual Ernie, you did a good job.


20 posted on 05/22/2012 12:03:42 AM PDT by Marine_Uncle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Whoops!
Off course, as usual Ernie, you did a good job.
21 posted on 05/22/2012 12:08:56 AM PDT by Marine_Uncle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quad_(unit)

A quad is a unit of energy equal to 1015 (a short-scale quadrillion) BTU,[1] or 1.055 ¥ 1018 joules (1.055 exajoules or EJ) in SI units.

[/snip]

One example from wiki-wacky is that 8,007,000,000 gal of gas equals one quad, that’s over 190 million barrels. Most of our electricity still comes from coal; next largest is (I suspect) the fast-growing use of natural gas; hydroelectric sources account for a smaller percentage than it did in 1970, although I think the overall output has risen.

We use a *lot* of electricity, it’s measured in quads (), sez here (different page) in 2010 the US sucked down 97.8 quads.


22 posted on 05/22/2012 10:02:03 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Fred Nerks; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; ...

Thanks Ernest.


23 posted on 05/22/2012 10:03:49 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Was just watching excellent Rep. Darrel Issa hearing on BoL (labor).

Minor point slipped by on requirement for them to report numbers of ‘green jobs’.

Turns out that If a plumber installs a lo-flo toilet... green job.
A mechanic works on brakes on a hybrid city bus... green job.
Driver of hybrid city bus... green job. Same bus, same route but if they swap to hybrid bus... green job.
Repeat...
Is someone reporting on this?


24 posted on 06/07/2012 6:30:44 AM PDT by SF Geo (osama, usama, obama)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson