Australia’s ‘Wind Power Capital’ – South Australia – Becomes the ‘Blackout State’

Posted: January 7, 2017 by oldbrew in government, ideology, Incompetence
Tags: , , ,

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Replace reliable power with unreliable power and – guess what – you get problems. The more you do it, the bigger the problems become. Who knew?

STOP THESE THINGS

sa-blackout-adelaide Wind powered capital: Adelaide 28.9.16

***

While STT was taking a well earned summer break, South Australians found themselves, yet again, groping around in the dark.

In the lead up to Christmas, South Australians living on its West Coast in places like Ceduna were left powerless for close to 3 days, said to be the result of storm damage to transmission lines and equipment.

Immediately after Christmas, huge swathes of South Australia found themselves without power for days on end.  We’ll start with a roundup from the ABC.

SA storms: Thousands still without power as businesses suffer losses in blackout
ABC
29 Dec 2016

Thousands of South Australian properties remain without power after a day of wild storms, as businesses count the costs of blackouts and lost trade.

Crews were continuing to repair widespread damage to the electricity distribution network caused by the torrential storm that hit South Australia late…

View original post 3,240 more words

Comments
  1. oldbrew says:

    SA bills to go up due to another State – Victoria – closing a coal-fired power station.
    – – –
    South Australian power bills to increase by $115 after Hazelwood power station closure
    By political reporter Nick Harmsen
    Updated 13 Dec 2016, 7:45pm

    The closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood coal-fired power station is expected to drive up South Australian power bills by 7.2 per cent next financial year, adding about $115 to the annual bills of an average household.

    The estimates, released in the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) annual report on household price trends, shows the closure of coal stations as the major driver of wholesale price increases.

    AEMC chairman John Pierce said an abundance of renewable energy also was having an impact on the cost of power. [bold added]

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-14/sa-power-bills-to-rise-after-hazelwood%27s-closure,-report-says/8117334
    – – –
    ‘An impact’, yes – but the wrong sort of impact :/

  2. And no doubt if you looked, you’d find someone blaming this on “global warming” – much like they blame floods in the UK on “global warming” even though there’s been a policy of stopping dredging which inevitably will lead to more flooding.

  3. Graeme No.3 says:

    oldbrew:
    Underestimated as usual. The figures from one electricity supplier were for a rise of $137 during the first half of the year, and other later in the year.

    As for the details I notice the Green Dispensary expecting 38 hours without power; make that 100 hours in practice for at least one of the shops. Yes, power out about 1a.m. Tuesday and back on Saturday morning – and I am told that some were still without power under Sat. evening.

    I notice that compensation will be X for more than 48 hours without power (and less for more than 24). Last time the power came back on at my house briefly during the night, splitting the outage into 2 and reducing the payout. Judging from comments at the local supermarket almost a standard practice.

  4. thefordprefect says:

    December blackouts[edit]

    Further widespread blackouts occurred beginning late on Tuesday 27 December 2016, with areas losing power for upwards of twelve hours following severe storms causing damage to over 300 powerlines in the electricity distribution network. The storms also caused flooding and wind damage, including property destruction due to fallen trees.[21]A total of 155,000 properties lost power at the peak of the storms, requiring over 1200 repair jobs resulting from over 350 powerlines being damaged.[22] As of 7.30pm on Thursday 29 December, there were more than 11 500 households still without power across the state, some for up to forty-six hours, in regions including the Adelaide Hills, Mid-North, Flinders Ranges, and Murraylands.[23] By 9am on Saturday 31 December, there were still more than 1600 households without power for more than 80 hours, primarily across the Adelaide Hills.[24][25][citation needed]
    ———————————-
    Surprisingly electricity uses overhead wires for power distribution
    Break these and you do not distribute power whatever the generation source. Odd that!

    Wind turbines are not all the same – whilst some require power to generate power others do not. most generators (whatever type) must have a synchronising source to phase-lock to a grid. This is why strting up a switched off grid is difficult.
    However with dc generation from turbines and electronic conversion to AC some turbines can help restart a black grid. they can even supply power to a shorted grid.

    Staying connected when grid problems occurMost transmission networks and ever more distribution grids require wind energy converters to remain connected to the grid in the event of grid short circuits. Like conventional power plants, wind turbines are not allowed to suddenly disconnect from the grid during voltage dips or overvoltage caused by grid problems. ENERCON wind turbines with the optional ENERCON UVRT feature have this capacity. No matter what type of short circuit occurs, ENERCON wind turbines can ‘ride through’ faults for several seconds, even if they were operating at rated power before the fault. This is also possible if the wind turbine voltage completely breaks down as a result of a power system failure. These outstanding power plant properties have been certified by independent institutes during actual grid fault testing. Flexible setting options offer maximum performance according to the respective grid operator’s specifications or to the project’s framework conditions.
    Depending on the selected parameters, the wind turbine can feed in either mainly active or reactive power to maintain grid voltage. If necessary, voltage-dependent reactive current can even be supplied to the grid; this current can be maximum rated current as stipulated by the latest German grid code. If desired or required, fault ride-through is also possible without power feed-in. The ENERCON wind turbine remains in operation during the fault. After the grid problem has been resolved and grid voltage has been restored, the wind turbine can immediately resume power feed-in. Thus the ENERCON Undervoltage Ride-Through feature facilitates adaptable settings in order to meet grid standards (e. g. of the German
    Association of Energy and Water Industries) and to maximise the amount of installable wind farm power.

  5. oldbrew says:

    TFP: ‘some turbines can help restart a black grid’

    Assuming the wind is blowing at the right time.
    – – –
    TFP: ‘Surprisingly electricity uses overhead wires for power distribution
    Break these and you do not distribute power whatever the generation source. Odd that!’

    Wind turbines are placed in the areas where it’s most windy.
    Power lines are brought down by high winds.
    See the problem?

  6. ivan says:

    I would add to oldbrew’s comment to TFP.

    TFP: ‘some turbines can help restart a black grid’

    Assuming the wind is blowing at the right time.

    Also assuming the turbines are pointed in the right direction – they need power from the grid to turn the head into the wind and if there is no power their computers don-t work.

    =====

    TFP: ‘Surprisingly electricity uses overhead wires for power distribution
    Break these and you do not distribute power whatever the generation source. Odd that!’

    Wind turbines are placed in the areas where it’s most windy.
    Power lines are brought down by high winds.

    Because wind turbines are placed it the position where they will get the most wind the power lines from the wind farms are, to all intents and purposes, just very long extension cables that eventually plug into the grid. As such those cables don’t appear to be built to the same standards as the supply grid, witness the fact that it was only these ‘extension cables’ that came down not the long established grid cables.

  7. oldmanK says:

    This thred has a connexion to Hazelwood power station, built latest according to wiki, 1971 (the time i shifted to power generation). That is over 40 years -same a some plant I worked with.

    Something that had bothered me much, especially when UK introduced professional liability for engineers. Power boiler pressure parts are designed for 200,000 running hrs. That is some 23 yrs. With ‘remanent life assessment’ it can be extended by 10%, not more, not allowed (british standards; ASME; and- but not sure-, DIN, who require continual assessment).

    Some laws in some countries shift liability to technical/professional staff, not to politicians or government. It had been for a long time for me a battle front; until major failures began to show up.

    Moreover efficiency improvements in new plant pay back ‘initial investment cost’ leaving the rest of the plant life making a profit as compared to sticking with the old inefficient (and dangerous) plant.

    Something to ponder.

  8. Graeme No.3 says:

    oldmanK:
    “Moreover efficiency improvements in new plant pay back initial investment cost” but when you have politicians and greens marching around chanting “Coal bad, wind good” no-one will invest.

  9. oldmanK says:

    Graeme No.3: Unfortunately that is so. The ‘herd’ is never a good planner. “no-one will invest” — or worse; the herd over-invests and squanders badly (the tax-payer’s money).

  10. Graeme No.3 says:

    Yes, see NoTricksZone “Oh,Canada”.
    http://notrickszone.com/2017/01/08/o-canada-what-an-energy-buffoon-you-have-on-guard-for-thee-in-ontario-wynnes-debacle/

    Unfortunately renewables get huge subsidies but they also disrupt the conventional sources of generation. I am beginning to think that the only way is to pay the renewables to NOT operate and allow the conventional methods to run unhindered. That will, of course, cause uproar but might be defended as cheaper than having a disrupted supply.

    [mod] link amended to point to post not website

  11. p.g.sharrow says:

    one last subsidy. pay to remove the things for the good of society…pg

  12. oldbrew says:

    Another claim from TFP’s source: ‘After the grid problem has been resolved and grid voltage has been restored, the wind turbine can immediately resume power feed-in.’

    Only if the wind’s blowing. Duh 😦

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