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Coming shortage of UK generating capacity?
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 4845
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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Location: North Somerset

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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Location: North Somerset

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
Posts: 4845
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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