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Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 23 May 2020, 23:24:46

Newfie wrote:The reasons I suggested nationalization.

Moving from the current AC system to a DC system will require planning on a national level. And will require much coordination and cooperation between various private entities in numerous states. It’s not quite like the interstate highway system that can be done state by state. It’s more like changing the gage of the railroads from standard gate to wide. If it were Just a matter of maintenance then I would agree.

Second is that it will require a large and expensive project funded by the federal government. Federal spending requires federal oversight.

The project makes the most sense if done in conjunction with large scale renewable generation facilities. Wind, PV, and solar thermal collection. It also requires the construction of storage facilities. There are advantages with just converting the existing system but the planning should be to incorporate Increased renewable generation and storage. The generation will likely be in the SW. Storage closer to the end users. Not sure what the storage would look like; some kind of compressed gas or perhaps thermal heating in super insulated containers. The states are not equipped to handle projects on this scale that work across state lines.

But this is a bit nit picking. Don’t really care how it gets done. We can realize insignificant efficiency increase. If Capitalism was allowed to work it should be embracing these upgrades. That it is not working means something is broken in the economic system. If we can’t fix it within Capitalisim then use something different.

We have some experience trying to build HVDC lines and this project has been a waste of time.
What Is Northern Pass?

Northern Pass is a proposal to run 192 miles of new power lines from Canada, through northern New Hampshire, south to Concord, and then eastward to Deerfield. The project is a collaboration between Eversource (previously known as Public Service of New Hampshire) and Hydro-Quebec, which is owned by the provincial government of Quebec. The utilities say the $1.6 billion Northern Pass project would transport 1,090 megawatts of electricity from Quebec – which derives more than 90 percent of its power from hydroelectric dams – to the New England power grid.

........
.........
Denied

On February 1st, 2018, the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee voted unanimously to deny the permit for Northern Pass, a decision that triggered an appeals process that was taken up by the New Hampshire Supreme Court in late 2018.

In May of 2019, the court heard orgal arguments on the appeal.

On July 19, 2019, the court issued its ruling. In a unanimous decision, the SEC's rejection of the project was upheld, likely marking the end of Northern Pass as it was proposed.

https://www.nhpr.org/topic/northern-pass#stream/0
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 24 May 2020, 11:21:31

vtsnowedin wrote:
Tanada wrote:
Newfie wrote:C8,

I don’t know that you are missing much. I think the main deferents are capital, folks want quarterly earnings, they are not interested in long term capital investments.

HVDC has a sufficient history to demonstrate its value. It’s been used in some very hostile Environments including undersea cables.

25 years ago I worked on a 60hz to 25hz conversion plant. It was basically a 60hz to DC converted married to a DC to 25hz inverter. It is still working today. Built by ASEA. It was providing propulsion to a section of rail lines so it was not a small unit.

The psychological objections can be overcome by public education. And there will be those holdouts you just have to buy out or do eminent domain.

If we were to take on a national scale project there would be enough manufacturing to Build the manufacturing base. Hell, we don’t have the manufacturing base for the old style transformers.

Personally I would nationalize the grid. Take it away from the generators. It’s a shared asset paid for by the people that they are ruining through neglect. Then make the generators pay to use the system. Threat it like an interstate highway.


I wouldn't nationalize the grid. In the period up until about 1985 the state regulatory agencies enforced maintenance procedures that kept everything updated on a regular schedule. This meant not only were plants kept trimmed well back from power lines, but regular testing was done of power poles to make sure they would withstand regular weather events like high winds and freezing rain. Once upon a time transformers were tested and replaced on a regular schedule. If the old rules were put back in place and enforced the grid would go back to a B+/A- Rating instead of the C-/D rating it now has.

I would not be so sure of that. Back in the 70's to early eighties the ROWs here got very overgrown and the regulators obviously were not doing their job. It must be Well Regulated, not just regulated. But I would much rather try to achieve that well regulated state the go to Nationalization.

Fair enough, I was born in Toledo and grew up in Michigan. During the 70's and early 80's the Public Utilities Commissions in both states did a very good job of enforcing regulations but that is, or at least was a state level regulatory agency. If that authority is moved to the federal level because the grid crosses state lines then regulatory enforcement should be uniform, and hopefully run by professional bureaucracy based on sound engineering recommendations.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 24 May 2020, 13:00:13

Tanada wrote:Fair enough, I was born in Toledo and grew up in Michigan. During the 70's and early 80's the Public Utilities Commissions in both states did a very good job of enforcing regulations but that is, or at least was a state level regulatory agency. If that authority is moved to the federal level because the grid crosses state lines then regulatory enforcement should be uniform, and hopefully run by professional bureaucracy based on sound engineering recommendations.
Having worked for a state bureaucracy spending mostly Federal funds under their guidelines and oversight for forty odd years you must forgive me for not sharing your optimism.
Many of the worst problems over the years came from complying with provisions of funding bills which were stupid and counterproductive but had to be followed as the bills are in fact law and have to be adhered to.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 24 May 2020, 17:47:09

VT,

This reminds me of my trip down the St Lawrence. I did not recall see many of any transmission lines across the river EXCEPT in one place. There were several, I forget the count, something like 7 lines of various voltages. And it was not near and orderly but a real hodge lodge mess with lines on the West side crossing over and under other lines to get to the East side. I remember thinking “If the right side falls half of America will be dark.” Probably an exaggeration but still some merit.

I guess that none of the proposed routes reused existing ROW for any significant distance. Maybe that tells you something about how hard it is to take any transmission lines out of service for prolonged periods. It also should say something about how reliant we are on those lines.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 24 May 2020, 19:15:12

Newfie wrote:VT,

This reminds me of my trip down the St Lawrence. I did not recall see many of any transmission lines across the river EXCEPT in one place. There were several, I forget the count, something like 7 lines of various voltages. And it was not near and orderly but a real hodge lodge mess with lines on the West side crossing over and under other lines to get to the East side. I remember thinking “If the right side falls half of America will be dark.” Probably an exaggeration but still some merit.

I guess that none of the proposed routes reused existing ROW for any significant distance. Maybe that tells you something about how hard it is to take any transmission lines out of service for prolonged periods. It also should say something about how reliant we are on those lines.

There is already a DC line that runs through North east Vermont then down through New Hampshire to Boston. The access road under the lines and the cut back vegetation makes for a wonderful opportunity for moose and bear hunting. That line was upgrade from the original to it's present capacity about twenty years ago. Northern Pass was a new line on new location that would have increased both capacity and grid resilience. We will come to regret not building it.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 24 May 2020, 21:24:57

Someone was asking about the difficulties to these build outs. It soundsmm NK like this was a good example.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 13 Sep 2020, 15:11:43

vtsnowedin wrote:Go back to just California for a moment.
In 2017, California reported a total of 24,331 GWh in solar electricity generation, approximately 11.79% of all electricity produced. This represented 44.4% of the state's non-hydro renewable energy generation.[2] At the end of 2017, California had a total installed solar capacity of 11,229.9 MW, making it the highest solar power generating state in the nation.[3] SEIA currently estimates that California's solar capacity powers 4,885,000 homes in the state, and employs 100,050.

It is estimated that the state will add an additional 13,670 MW of capacity over a period between 2017 and 2021.

Note that the figures are for grid tied solar that is on the utility side of the meters as they don't keep track of those privately owned panels that only reduce daytime demand.
California's peak load varies from 41 to 50 Mega watts;
https://www.caiso.com/Documents/Califor ... istory.pdf
So they are going to go from 11,229 MW to 24,889MW by next year of 50 percent of peak demand and a doubling time of less then four years.
If they can do that there they can do it all across the south.
But all things considered I would be happy if they installed enough new capacity each year to charge all new EVs totally solar thereby getting away from the coal fired electric car meme.


Sounds great in theory but all through August the Californians were having to import power because they counted so much on Solar that they scrapped Nuclear and Gas power stations that would have taken care of their peaking demand without a hiccough.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/08/17/ ... an-energy/

https://www.latimes.com/california/news ... california

https://www.newsweek.com/california-hea ... ge-1526144
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 13 Sep 2020, 15:27:34

C8 wrote:I read up on HVDC, Wiki seems to list the main disadvantages as reliability, costs, complexity, and the fact that the tech is still being developed so spare parts won't be standardized. It seems to be the basis of this "smart grid" idea"? So, these disadvantages I read about don't seem too big as far as mounting a NIMBY battle. What am I missing? Are there additional fears making the rumor mill such as cancer causing fields, endangered species, etc.?
And how founded are these concerns?


Growing up I learned two things about DC systems.

1) They were invented by Edison and he wanted to make them the national standard, but at the time they were low voltage and could only carry current a limited linear distance.

2) If you are hit with a strong AC voltage it causes your muscles to contract so for example if you grasp a wire your hand becomes locked around it until your muscles are exhausted and can no longer grasp. If you grasp a DC hot wire it has the opposite effect causing your hand to splay out violently and ending your connection very quickly. Both types of current can kill if they pass through your body and disrupt your heart rhythm, but AC has a worse reputation because of the effect it has on your hand muscles keeping you in sustained contact.

I think most of the objections you listed are spurious as many or even most household items actually run on DC with a built in transformer converting the wall current into DC with the exceptions being multi phase electric motors in things like your vacuum cleaner, dishwasher and washing machine. Traditional lightbulbs, electric ovens and hot plates and other early inventions operate on either style equally well but most electronics like your cell phone, radio alarm clock or TV set need DC to operate properly.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby REAL Green » Mon 14 Sep 2020, 05:50:33

“Solar Windows Will Soon Become A Commercial Reality”
https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy ... ality.html

“Engineers have developed a semi-transparent solar cell that will allow our windows to double up as solar panels that can transform both our architecture and energy production. Solar windows are exactly what they sound like: Transparent windows that are capable of absorbing sunlight and turning it into useful electricity. Instead of the standard silicon--which is deep blue and completely opaque--solar windows use perovskite solar cells (PSCs) to harvest electricity like most conventional solar panels. Indeed, just two square meters (around 22 square feet) of the next-gen PSCs tinted to the same degree as current glazed commercial windows would be enough to generate as much electricity as a standard solar panel--somewhere in the region of 140 watts per meter…Perovskites are a family of crystals named after Russian geologist Leo Perovski, “perovskites.” They share a set of characteristics that make them potential building blocks for solar cells: high superconductivity, magnetoresistance, and ferroelectricity. Perovskite thin-film PV panels can absorb light from a wider variety of wave-lengths, producing more electricity from the same solar intensity…But perhaps more significant is that the organization has been able to boost the longevity of Perovskite solar cells by altering their chemical composition to overcome light-induced phase-segregation-- a process through which the alloys that make up the solar cells break down when exposed to continuous light. The great news: Scientists see perovskite solar cells eventually attaining an efficiency of about 40%. In other words, future solar cells could be up to 50% more powerful than the best models currently available.”
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