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Coming shortage of UK generating capacity?
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 5214
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
No, the stated figures refers to the electrical output, 1Gw is 1Gw whether produced from coal, or from biomass.
I don't want to start a long or acrimonious debate about it, And you maybe right, but I can't see how say a one megawatt coal plant could switch to wood or some other bio fuel and still produce one megawatt of power. You would have to rebuild it from stock yard to smoke stack to account for the increased volume needed to obtain the same BTUs in a given volume of coal.
Maybe they run it on higher settings (if the machinery is capable) or for more hours a day but being a very skeptical individual I'd need to see the actual output figures to swallow that one.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most UK coal burning power plant burn pulverised coal, this is blown into the furnace by compressed air and burns almost instantly.

It is a relatively simple matter to blow a larger volume of wood chips into the furnace instead of coal.
Steam is raised in the same way and the steam turbine and alternator will have the same output, these components do not "know" what fuel was burnt to produce the steam.

Oil is burnt during initial lighting up, until a stable flame pattern from the coal or wood chip fuel results. No oil is used in normal operation, only for starting.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A neighbour has just found out that they are in load group "N" and have asked me for advice on how to upgrade to a better load group !

Oh dear.

They seem to think that being in load group A or B would imply better social status and/or higher property prices.
They feel aggrieved that no one warned them when purchasing the property that it was assigned to such a lowly load group.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
Most UK coal burning power plant burn pulverised coal, this is blown into the furnace by compressed air and burns almost instantly.

It is a relatively simple matter to blow a larger volume of wood chips into the furnace instead of coal.
Steam is raised in the same way and the steam turbine and alternator will have the same output, these components do not "know" what fuel was burnt to produce the steam.

Oil is burnt during initial lighting up, until a stable flame pattern from the coal or wood chip fuel results. No oil is used in normal operation, only for starting.
I gave up on this when you posed it as you were not really considering my point. Point being that a cubic meter of coal (anthracite) contains 31 MBTU of energy vs. a cubic meter of dry hardwood only 4.22MBTU. To convert to wood you have to move store and process eight times the material volume to realize the same amount of heat production. It is not just changing a nozzle size or increasing a conveyor speed. It is a complete redesign of everything from the receiving/ storage yard, through the conveyors and on to the ash heap.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the fuel handling systems would have to be modified to handle the extra bulk of wood versus coal.
AFAIK the boiler, steam turbine, and alternator are original and produce the original output.
The wood chips are delivered by train, often one large freight train every day.
After unloading the wood chips are moved through large pipes by air blowers.
Only a few days worth of wood fuel is held, so this system is vulnerable to interruptions.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
A neighbour has just found out that they are in load group "N" and have asked me for advice on how to upgrade to a better load group !

Oh dear.

They seem to think that being in load group A or B would imply better social status and/or higher property prices.
They feel aggrieved that no one warned them when purchasing the property that it was assigned to such a lowly load group.


Western power distribution have declined my neighbours request for an upgrade to a "better" load group.
Oh the terrible indignity.
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BritDownUnder



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
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Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
adam2 wrote:
A neighbour has just found out that they are in load group "N" and have asked me for advice on how to upgrade to a better load group !

Oh dear.

They seem to think that being in load group A or B would imply better social status and/or higher property prices.
They feel aggrieved that no one warned them when purchasing the property that it was assigned to such a lowly load group.


Western power distribution have declined my neighbours request for an upgrade to a "better" load group.
Oh the terrible indignity.


Perhaps he should upgrade himself to a better load group by getting in solar PV and hot water, a battery, a wind turbine and better insulation on his property. Even a diesel generator.

I think a strongly worded letter to "The Times" editor, his local MP and anyone else who will listen is also in order. During my father's early retirement days he learned the art of computer word processing and printing and proceeded to send a letter about dog dirt nearly every week to the local council.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The early part of this winter has been generally mild, and often with plenty of wind.
There have therefore been no significant concerns regarding adequate generating capacity.

That may be about to change, the next two weeks are expected to be colder than average.
Nothing extreme or exceptional is expected, but a bit colder than average and for a couple of weeks.

I doubt that the lights will go out but the risk is clearly greater at times of cold weather and consequent increased load.

If everything works we should be fine, but a series of breakdowns at old coal burning plants if coinciding with interconnector faults could be interesting.

The other big unknown is the maximum demand, 50GW would probably be OK, but 51GW might not be.
Will demand continue to fall as energy efficiency improves ? Or will the increased number of households increase demand ?
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fuzzy



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
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Location: The Marches, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you ever resolve the drop in LNG supplies that you posted about a few days back - I have been busy this week.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzy wrote:
Did you ever resolve the drop in LNG supplies that you posted about a few days back - I have been busy this week.


Almost certainly dodgy data.
The indicated LNG stock level declined to a most improbable extent one day and very largely "recovered" the next day.
AFAIK, the storage can not be emptied nor refilled as rapidly as the indicated figures suggested.
Further, there was no apparent reason to call for such rapid filling and emptying.

Both the "Gridwatch" site for electricity supply data, and "prevailing view" for gas data are most interesting but one should avoid jumping to alarming conclusions before applying the common sense test.
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fuzzy



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps they count shipments en route and payed for, as 'in storage'. The ship is just another LNG tank. If the cargo is resold then..
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might also be that someone took a vacation and not all the tasks they normally do got covered properly. You don't really know how well new people have absorbed training until you leave them to accomplish a task un supervised.
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fuzzy



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
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Location: The Marches, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe that in the IT age, we aren't saving huge amounts of printed paper and operating robust management solutions - say it isn't so..?
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please try to keep on the topic of ELECTRICITY demand and generating capacity.
Comments and enquiries about NATURAL GAS stocks, supplies, and demand, would be better added to the long running thread about natural gas.


Link to "gas" thread http://www.powerswitch.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13150&start=1230
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 12654
Location: York

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Venerable Beeb report that energy efficiency has had a greater impact on elecricity demand than renewables have:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46741346

Quote:
The new analysis of government figures comes from the environmental analysis website Carbon Brief.

Its author says EU product standards on light bulbs, fridges, vacuum cleaners and other appliances have played a substantial part in reducing energy demand.

Provisional calculations show that electricity generation in the UK peaked around 2005. But generation per person is now back down to the level of 1984 (around 5 megawatt hours per capita).


Of course, they neglect to say that efficiency gains will taper off, whereas renewables can (at least in theory) keep on growing. They also mention EU standards...
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