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So what does this say about our power infrastructure

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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure


@Baldrick1 wrote:

So who's fault is it that Network Rail are so short sighted that they don't have UPS back up on their signalling system that can deal with a one hour outage? It sure ain't the electrical power generation and network control companies.


 

Follow the path of pointed fingers I guess, I'm sure nobody will own up to it, and there'll be many a cry of "cutbacks, shortfalls and lost shareholder profits" as excuses as to why they failed to do their job...

 

We need Japan's rail system people to take over ours, they consider a 1 minute delay to be unacceptable, never mind more than an hour!! Grin

Baldrick1
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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure

What gets me is that 'they' are choosing to point their fingers at the electrical supply industry! I saw the Beeb news at lunchtime and they were making a fuss about a hospital losing power. I thought that such places had standby generators in case of power cuts? Presumably if these don't automatically cut in then that's also the fault of said power companies.

The furore should not be about short power cuts but about the inadequacy of vital services in their capability to minimise the effect. There should be outrage that train services are disrupted for hours (days?) because they had a 48 minute power cut, not that there was said cut.

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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure

It's just the media, it's easy for them to lay blame on something that can't really fight back, because there's nothing they did wrong, some generators went offline for whatever reason, the grid went into self-protect contingency mode, as it's designed to, and power was disrupted for a minimum amount of time while they switched a few things round, simple...

 

But, the affected services, it's highlighted THEIR lack of contingencies. Traffic lights went off, why don't they have backup batteries akin to emergency lights in commercial buildings? Rail signalling failed, but no manual human-operated backups available, why? Standby generators on important buildings & infrastructure should have been in place, and if they were, why didn't they run?? Why is it NG are getting blamed? Crazy2

 

Even I have backups in place, 3x UPS units, 20-ish Watts of Solar power in my bedroom window, 2x generators out in the shed, and plenty of alternative arrangements for heat, light & cooking, doesn't take a genius to put basic backups in place!!! Funny

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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure

Imaging what would happen now if we were to have a return to the 1970's and a repeat of the Three Day Week or the problems that came with the 'Winter of Discontent" some people really, really don't know how lucky they are.

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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure

I don't know, but it'd be hilarious to see the usual gutter press laying blame without any tangible facts... Funny

idonno
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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure


@Baldrick1 wrote: they were making a fuss about a hospital losing power. I thought that such places had standby generators in case of power cuts? Presumably if these don't automatically cut in then that's also the fault of said power companies.

They should have. I used to play with standby generators a lot when I worked for the water company - electrical side. Mostly diesel or bio gas generators which when the grid needed electricity quick, could be up running, synchronised with the mains and exporting within 30 seconds of being called to run. It used to be a profitable side line to run those generator at peak demand. But like all standby generators, if they are not maintained or the batteries go flat and the alarm for that goes nowhere, they don't start.

 

Of course if the grid disappears, they supply electricity to the works only. Sorry folks but that is far more important than a train ride or two. I can still recall going around Croydon B power station many many years ago and they had a couple of Olympus jet engines (as on Concorde / Vulcan bomber) fitted to meet peak demand. Just press a button and nigh on instant electricity.

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
wotsup
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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure


@TTman wrote:

@Mook Yes thats the one, fascinating to ave a tour around it would recommend it to anyone visiting the area, we visited as it was wales and raining!!! Made a very enjoyable day .Thumbs UpThumbs Up


Yes but the amount of time it can produce power for is limited by the amount of water in the upper lake, only a couple of hours at most at full output.  it is actually a very inefficient way of supplying power as electricity has to be used to pump the water to the top of the mountain, but saves having to keep other stations powered up all the time.  It was designed to supply almost instant power for the advert breaks in things like world cup final where everyone rushes to put the kettle on and make some toast LOL.  If they are expecting a 'surge' in power use and have the turbines already spinning they can ramp up to full output in less than 60 seconds.

I remember not long ago an article from the bloke who runs the German power system, he said that as long as renewables are only less than 25% of your supply the grid can handle them,  but the unreliability of whether you are going to get enough wind or sun to produce what you need is very hard to forecast and a nightmare when you are trying to run a stable grid, and keeping stations on standby is really expensive, and even the gas powered ones can take an hour or so to get going from shutdown. .

 

https://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

 

 

wotsup
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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure


@Marksfish wrote:

Little Barford power station is just down the road from me, no cuts here. Weird how the power generated locally is diverted away by the grid.

What a ironic situation that the "dirty diesel" rail lines have been "upgraded" to super electric, which can be wiped out in an instant. At least a diesel (or even steam come to that) can carry on regardless!


If we had relied on diesel or electric trains in WW2 we would have lost the war, electric trains have a centralised power supply and damage to it or the overhead lines would have stopped a whole area,  and diesel - well it would have had to have been brought in from USA in vast quantities - the good old steam trains running on locally mined coal were independent of all that and only if the track was damaged did they stop...

wotsup
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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure

Too late to edit previous post ....again

 

Problem with wind turbines is that if wind is too strong you have to shut them down, and with the cloudy weather solar has gone to bed as well - so back to the good old nuclear, gas fired and imported nuclear from France....  We know how fickle UK weather is,  wait till we get a cold cloudy day in winter with no wind - as the German professor said,  every source of renewable energy needs 100% backup capacity from a conventional source - which is why you cannot have too much of your capacity from renewables - something we in UK will learn the hard way.

TTman
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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure

@wotsup Ah but are you taking into account global warming?Evil

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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure

The problem with renewables at the moment is they're set up for "Use it or lose it", so it has to be used at the time it's generated, if they stored the generated power in battery banks, then it could be used just as with hydro, instant power boosts at the flick of a switch, but the cost of such banks could be quite immense, not to mention environmental impacts to manufacture them given lithium batteries alone are already an environmental disaster...

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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure

@wotsup 

Two things...  Max generation time at Dinorwig is five hours....

https://www.electricmountain.co.uk/Dinorwig-Power-Station

 

and you don't shut down wind turbines when the wind is strong, you feather the blades so that the resistance to air flow is limited and generation regulated to rated output.


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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure

@twocvbloke 

There are several batteries now on stream and many more planned.


The more a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it -- George Orwell.

Beware "alternative facts".

"Nineteen Eighty-Four" is set in Landing Strip, which is understood to be Great Britain in the future, a division of Oceania, a superstate that is continually at war with other superstates. Currently being organised by an American administration near you.
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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure

Well, in that case, it's about time, well, assuming the batteries actually work efficiently of course... Smiley

DaveyH
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Re: So what does this say about our power infrastructure