The last Open Thread is feeling a tad dated, so time for a new one…
The Open Thread is a general discussion forum, where you can talk about whatever you like — there is nothing ‘off topic’ here — within reason. So get up on your soap box! The standard commenting rules of courtesy apply, and at the very least your chat should relate to the general content of this blog.
The sort of things that belong on this thread include general enquiries, soapbox philosophy, meandering trains of argument that move dynamically from one point of contention to another, and so on — as long as the comments adhere to the broad BNC themes of sustainable energy, climate change mitigation and policy, energy security, climate impacts, etc.
1,181 replies on “Open Thread 23”
“1. LFTR’s might be some way off, but GE has the PRISM ready to go and it burns today’s nuclear waste.
Even though the Prism design is considered ready for construction there will be at least a decade till it is ready to produce electricity.
Mitsubishi-Hitachi has like GE invested in wind power and now owns half of a offshore turbine joint venture with Vestas.
The big challenge for nuclear is that the cost of wind power and solar power plunge so fast.
Jens Stubbe: The cost of wind power plus the required energy storage for the US can’t be less than a quadrillion dollars because that is the price of the energy storage. I have too many references to list them.
The big challenge for nuclear is the irrational fear that most people have. Zero people died of radiation at Fukushima and 3 mile island.
Please read Reference book: “The Rise of Nuclear Fear” by Spencer Weart. The fear started thousands or millions of years ago with the fear of witches, wizardry, magic etc. The design of the human brain is very bad. See “Religion Explained” by Pascal Boyer.
“The Rise of Nuclear Fear” by Spencer Weart needs “Religion Explained” as background. A lot of modern first world people do magical thinking rather than logical or scientific thinking [not all logical thinking is scientific]. That is, they think of technology and things they don’t understand as magic. That is especially true of anything “nuclear.”
Wind and solar enthusiasm is either wishful thinking or salesmanship or both.
@ Peter Davies
Your assumed 50 to 60 percent capacity factors are not realistic for the Wyoming Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind project that you have been discussing.
The developers themselves estimate 40 percent CF (from the Community FAQ page on the Power Company of Wyoming website):
“Wind electricity generation taxes: The 2010 Wyoming Legislature passed a new bill requiring $1 in taxes to be paid for every megawatt-hour of electricity generated by wind, after a turbine has been in operation for three years. The bill was signed into law by the Governor in March 2010. When fully operational, we estimate our wind power project will pay another $10.5 million in electricity taxes every year, or about $170.6 million over 20 years.”
So the developers estimate 10.5 million MWH per year from the 3 GW installation, a capacity factor of 39.95 percent.
Roger Clifton — Not with the Nuscale module. It is designed to be transported without the cooling water which means that the actinide pins have to be removed to a cooling pool for 5+ years before the pins can be placed in a movable dry cask.
Peter Davies and Tony Carden and Will Boisvert — Thank you for the additional information. With capacity of but 40% the wind turbine charge is about $53/MWh with a transmission line charge of about $24/MWh for a total of $77/MWh. By Southern California standards this is a good rate for wholesale power.
Graeme — The Path 27 DC Intertie to Delta, Utah, has a capacity of 2400 MW. So I suppose the CCGTs under construction there have a total nameplate rating of 2400 MW. There is an older CCGT park actually in Southern California with at least 4 CCGTs.
The Wyoming wind power will mean these units will run somewhat less often, producing a bit less carbon dioxide emissions.
If there was a fee for carbon dioxide emissions the Californian aversion to nuclear power plants would be less.
It could possibly come to pass that the capacity factor would be as low as 40% because USA onshore wind farms often use hub heights of 100m or lower. In this case the documentation is talking about 200 foot diameter rotors too.
Realistically the developers would under-promise on tax revenues and then over-deliver. You certainly would make yourself unpopular if you did it the other way around, especially since the state has to pay for the transmission links in the USA – not the wind project. And if you really expect a capacity factor of 55% you might not want to advertise that, or somebody might think of a way to make you pay more for something else. So you would not necessarily put your best business case out there in the public eye.
This happened to the UK government recent. The government itself under-estimated grossly the capacity factor from an offshore wind farm and the grid and consumers ended up paying them a much bigger subsidy than anyone was expecting. Needless to say the government was not too pleased.
If you want the highest capacity factors you need the latest equipment, with a hub height of 140m and a rotor diameter considerably bigger than the 200 feet they were talking about. To get some feel for this, they are talking about “up to 1000” turbines delivering up to 3 GW. That means the nameplate capacity could be 3 MW which has been typical of USA installations in the past. But the current state of the art cheapest and highest capacity factor wind power comes from 7 or 8 MW turbines.
NREL thinks Wyoming has excellent wind resources :
(from http://apps2.eere.energy.gov/wind/windexchange/wind_resource_maps.asp?stateab=wy ).
NREL are expecting there to be a gross capacity factor of 60% or more from 60,000 sq km of Wyoming, achievable by technology which will be delivered within the lifetime of this project (8 years 2014 to 2022).
@ Peter Davies
The proof of the pie will be in the eating.
We will just have to wait until the project commences generation and then we can get some hard data.
Jens Stubbe might like to note that the transmission line project will take something like 13 years from commencement of the approval process to completion.
I would also draw your attention to the Ivanpah solar project. It has been performing below projected performance.
Ivanpah are blaming the weather because they have had the most overcast conditions in ten years.
In all things especially large projects it is sensible to be conservative. When dealing with weather related matters I suggest always carry an umbrella.
Say what you want, draw whatever guesses you like and fill in the gaps however you want, a supplier’s cited capacity factor of X% is just that.
Anything else is simply sales speak.
Jens Stubbe — You asserted that NordPool is the world’s largest and cheapest electricity market. Please document this as I doubt both parts.
In the subsequent comment you appear to imply that the GE-Hitachi PRISM would require a decade to construct. Please document this assertion as well since two identical 311 MWe units shouldn’t take that long, in my opinion.
@Jens Stubbe – “while using the excess [intermittent] power for Synfuels and other technologies that can consume large amounts of energy with no guarantee of supply”
Unless you count pumping water uphill, there is no intermittently-powered industry running profitably anywhere on Earth. However, I accept that you were speaking of a future possibility, presumably with a theoretical basis. But what is that theoretical basis? Please enlighten us, as we are likely to dismiss your claim as a hopeless dream that most of us have wished and all of us have failed.
Some Internet searching discovers a total of six projects in planning to carry Wyoming wind power to population centers. I am only going to describe one more as it relates to the problem of providing electricity to the western Snake River plain, around Boise, Idaho. That area is served by Idaho Power and that company has a shortfall of generation, largely due to population growth in the area. Idaho Power has Brownlee Dam and the two downstream run of the river dams on the Snake River. Not being enough, Idaho Power started the Boardman, Oregon, to Hemingway, Idaho, transmission line project about 17 years ago. All the permits for right of way still are not in place. A 3 year build, maybe it will be done in 2020. That project allows for dispatchable power flows between the Boise area and the vast BPA resources.
As the permitting and route selection went on and on, Idaho Power had to have more dispatchable power right away so built a large CCGT.
To offset some natgas burning, Idaho Power initiated the Gateway West Transmission Line Project to bring some Wyoming wind power to the Hemingway substation and points along the way. As this project just requires BLM approval, and BLM is the most accommodating of the federal agencies, construction will start in 2019 and be complete in 2024. So then Idaho Power will finally be in compliance with state government requirements for so-called renewables.
The cost is not stated, but given the 1000 mile length, Idaho Power could have quite a bit of nuclear power for that price. But that is not “renewable”, by law.
Do you know if transmission line losses for HVDC are proportional to their length.
3% for a 1000 klm’s therefore 5% for 1600 klm’s
For DC, resistance is proportional to length. For AC, you must keep the total line length below 1500 miles. That would be the length from wind turbine to final user. AC can be radiated into space if the transmission line is long enough to be an antenna.
The strike price for Horns Rev 3 was €0.1031 per kWh which is around $0.11 / kWh.
If this had been a supplier’s quoted capacity factor then I might agree with you.
However, it isn’t. It’s someone else’s calculation of the capacity factor based on, probably, an old PR statement of how much tax the wind farm would pay to Wyoming.
The situation is clearly competitive, and you would not want to give your crown jewels away – which in this case would be the capacity factor you believed you could get from the site, because that enables your competitors to know what they have to do to beat you. And it could involve getting a bigger subsidy from another state to get the business.
@ Peter Davies
Would you be able to provide a URL for your graphic
@ Peter Davies (Various).
You have said enough. I have said enough.
Patience is a virtue.
I am an occasional gambler. See you at the tables. By the way, I don’t give a tinker’s cuss for your latest graphic. It is below silly.
My crown jewells Vs yours?
The original source of
However, the version I posted above is from one of the Wyoming project documents :
Click to access news-release-wecc-10-yr-study-favors-wyoming-wind1.pdf
which is linked to from http://www.powercompanyofwyoming.com/ above
which was in a post above.
While I always carry an umbrella just in case, it is also very important to know the real likelihood of rain.
The Wyoming wind project should be using a very conservative cost case. But that’s not what is most useful here – we surely are after the most accurate estimate of the capacity factor, not the worst-case estimate.
Incidentally, in transmission line losses the resistive losses generally predominate. These are calculated as I * I * R (where I is the current and R the resistance). Since the current through and resistance of a line are constant throughout the length then the losses are proportional to the length.
However, there is a trade-off to be made in the type of line. If you know line losses will be high, then it is worth investing in an HVDC line rather than a HVAC line. The losses per length are lower, but the equipment at either end to convert from AC to DC and back again is more expensive, so you don’t do it for short lines. The HVDC lines also can more readily be laid underground, and then require less width than overhead HVAC lines.
The choice between DC and AC is made on line length because a 1500 mile or longer AC line at 60 Hz radiates power to outer space. The transmission line becomes a transmitting antenna at about 1500 miles. What is the total length of the line?
@ Peter Davies,
On the Wyoming wind farm’s 40 percent capacity factor:
“If this had been a supplier’s quoted capacity factor then I might agree with you. However, it isn’t. It’s someone else’s calculation of the capacity factor based on, probably, an old PR statement of how much tax the wind farm would pay to Wyoming.”
Uh, Peter, the “someone else” doing the calculation is the company that’s building the wind farm! They would know, since they have the on-site wind-resource studies. The 40 percent capacity factor is confirmed on the record in on-line articles by company spokeswoman Kara Choquette. That’s the right CF to use for estimates, not NREL’s guesses about generic future CFs.
“Realistically the developers would under-promise on tax revenues and then over-deliver. You certainly would make yourself unpopular if you did it the other way around, especially since the state has to pay for the transmission links in the USA – not the wind project. And if you really expect a capacity factor of 55% you might not want to advertise that, or somebody might think of a way to make you pay more for something else. So you would not necessarily put your best business case out there in the public eye.”
This is nonsense. Developers put the best face on the future performance of their projects in order to gain public approval and investor funds.
Peter, we need to engage with the evidence, even when it conflicts with wishful thinking. NREL’s speculative prognostications about future CFs are just that. The Wyoming wind farm will have a CF of about 40 percent, not 55 percent.
Could you please explain the graph you posted above on “Capital Cost Comparison….” of Wyoming wind projects? How do the figures there translate into per-mwh LCOEs?
The enigmatic metric the graph uses is “Annualized Capital Cost ($M/year)” which I take to mean the amortized capital cost in millions of dollars per year. By eyeball, the total cost of the Wyoming wind resources, including transmission, is about $1.15 billion to $1.25 billion per year for 12,000 gwh per year delivered. That works out to $96 to $104 per mwh delivered. And that’s apparently just for capital costs; O and M costs would be extra, it seems.
So the graph seems to suggest that the cost of the Wyoming wind energy, after transmission to California, would be substantially more than $100 per mwh. NuScale electricity at $70 to $90 per mwh would then be cheaper.
Edward Greisch — More precisely 1477.2727… miles.
Thank you. Close enough. I see that you also took into account that our “whip” antenna is tipped over and almost laying down on the ground and other effects. I’m unsure of the effect of a transformer in the line.
@ Peter Davies
Would you be able to provide a URL for your graphic, instead of the graphic itself, please?
The extra kbytes slow down each refresh, and we don’t want to have to repeatedly download something we have already (or ain’t gonna) study. Besides, we old guys get RSI from frequently flicking past it…
Will Boisvert discovered an alternate pricing for Wyoming wind power delivered to Southern California which suggests that wind power is more expensive than Nuscale nuclear power modules. Even if so, these SMRs cannot be built in California due to a state law which forbids new nuclear power plants until such time as there is a permanent waste disposal site.
The utilities might be able to maneuver around this by placing the nuclear power plants in neighboring states. For example, there are coal fired generating stations in Arizona of an age to be shut down.
However, California requires the utilities to generate a high proportion of the power via so-called renewables and nuclear power plants do not qualify for that status. I would hope the requirement changed to read low carbon dioxide producing. Or that a substantial fee for carbon dioxide emissions is introduced. Then nuclear power plants could compete on merits rather than being banned.
In Illinois we have 11 reactors at 6 locations. I spent a lot of time over a few months feeding information to State Representative Pat Verschoore and other state legislators to help them fight off a renewables law in Illinois. We are trying to keep our nukes, but it is a big battle. The employees at the reactors we already have are a big help. Iowa got the renewables mandate. Iowa didn’t already have nuclear or maybe had only one.
Pat Verschoore is retiring, so now I have to do it all over for whoever replaces him. It is well worth while to give the correct information to your state legislators if you can. There are some legislators who are hopeless cases.
I expect the California system will collapse one way or another eventually. Same for Germany.
DBB: Would a fuel recycling facility qualify a permanent waste disposal site for California?
How many power failures and for how long would it take for Californians to rise up and demand a new law?
How much wasted money and lost industry due to high electricity costs would it take for the same response?
The comparison with Germany’s probably future is accurate. Japan could be added to this list.
Edward Greisch — From here in southeastern Washington state I don’t know. But I don’t think it matters given the high renewables requirement.
singletonengineer — Substantial power outages in California, so far, only happen due to major earthquakes. But California is a generally rich state and can probably tolerate much higher electricity rates than currently being paid. So I expect no change to current policies until a substantial fee for carbon dioxide emissions is established either in the state, or less likely nationally.
Generally speaking, I am still surprised at how much Danes, Germans, Spaniards, Japanese, etc. are willing to pay for electricity. No fee for carbon dioxide emissions…
In relation to your comment about Carbon pricing or a Carbon Tax, in theory I have no problem with it but in the harsh light of political reality I just don’t trust the political system.
The theory behind a carbon price is, and I don’t want to offend anyone, is very simplistic. In the real world the simple theory of reducing demand by increasing supply depends on a multitude of variables.
For over forty years I have been paying tax in Australia on alcohol, tobacco, gambling fuel etc, governments of all political persuasions have regularly hiked up the taxes knowing that demand would not reduce the total tax receipts.
It is only in recent years that due to the quite valid objections to tobacco has the government spent money on measures to reduce tobacco consumption.
Australia briefly had a Carbon Tax which I found bewildering because we have a no nukes policy. Well the obvious answer would be renewables to replace coal hopefully the brown coal that is burnt in Victoria and South Australia.
But the reality was that the Carbon Tax would just give the government a big bucket of money to spend on whatever programs they deemed good enough to get them back into office at the next election and the price of electricity would just increase and we would all just cop it sweet.
So the danger for the USA with a Carbon Price is they will use the money to subsidize renewables.
Edward Greisch’s approach is better in my opinion.
And what is the date that statement was made?
The WECC graphic is from 2011. We are now in 2016. Is the transmission line to California really a 13 year project? Completion around 2024?
Since no-one in their right mind builds a wind farm before the necessary connections are in place to allow the power to be sold
the wind farm also may not be completed until 2024.
By 2024 we will be three generations of wind turbines further on than the information available in 2011. Wind power capital costs are going to be very significantly cheaper than they estimates from 2011. Hub heights will be higher and the transport problems of the larger towers and rotors to work with 140m hub heights will be well on the way to being solved.
So the 2011 figures in the WECC graphic are not likely to be accurate.
Further, 140m hub height onshore wind turbines are now delivered in Europe and the only things stopping much wider onshore deployment are the transport problems associated with the large tower and blade components. See http://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1225245/windtech—onshore-turbines-grow-super-class .
In other words the technology is delivered in Europe, if not deliverable (!! joke) everywhere, and it characteristics are thus known and understood.
It is illogical to place firm trust in numbers from NuScale who not only have an axe to grind, but also appear to be lacking anything but a 1/3 scale prototype right now, while rejecting a combination of work from NREL who are an expert US government agency and the fact that the delivered 140m hub height technology has only fairly mundane transport problems to solve. In the case of NuScale the risks of failure or cost escalation have to be categorised as high, whereas for a much more mature technology and delivered wind turbine products cost overrun risks are much lower.
In relation to the 13 years read this
Note it does not refer to the time taken to prepare the Plan of Development.
There are other similar applications in the pipeline longer than the TRANS West.
So before you go shooting your mouth off do some research it is not hard.
PETER DAVIES comment and PETER DAVIES URL are pure advertising and purely nonsense. There is no useful information. PETER DAVIES continues to talk rather than go to school.
Just making a wind turbine bigger does not solve the intermittency problem.
Radiation is only going to lead to significant losses on a 50 or 60Hz power transmission line with a “ground return” system. This is where you have an AC current on one line only and the return current flows through the earth.
Normal, above-ground, 3-phase transmission lines use 6 sets of wires, two for each phase both at the same height. The normal (no fault present) current in a 3-phase system across all wires totals to zero. Thus at distances far from the lines (to which radiation would be propagated if transmitted) a receiver sees a net zero current which means there is negligible radiation produced.
Click to access chap24.pdf
Local to the line you do get some inductive losses as some conductors are closer to one phase than the other counterbalancing phases. Think farmers lighting barns with loops of wire under transmission lines to steal power. This particular effect is not dependent on length.
The vertical position of each phase on the line is switched at regular distances to avoid any phase having a different inductance than the others, or so I read.
So, though there are other effects (about which I know little) due to long AC transmission lines, radiation from 3-phase AC lines does not appear to cause major loss.
If you were right, there would be no need for high voltage DC transmission lines.
Can’t comment on the Danes, Spaniards or Japanese, but the German situation is interesting.
Apparently the German average electricity bill is lower even when you subtract off the air conditioner running costs from the average US bills.
Germany takes energy efficiency very seriously indeed, which is why they can afford to pay more for their rapid development of renewable generation.
There’s a big issue with residential (natural) gas prices in Germany though.
Did it never occur to them that burning natural gas makes CO2 and CO? It also pays Putin.
@ Peter Davies,
–Wyoming wind farm’s 40 percent capacity factor (from https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2014/08/09/anschutzs-chokecherry-sierra-madre-wind-project-gets-approval-in-wyoming/ , August 2014):
“Power production could begin in 2018 and the site will produce 10.5 million MWh per year at full build-out, Choquette said. The company estimates the wind farm will have a capacity factor of 40%. The complete project will be built over eight years, she said. “We have the best wind resources in country,” especially on the western side of the project where the first phase will be built, she said.”
This statement confirms the implicit 40 percent CF in the tax estimates from the company website that I cited previously.
–Peter, the graph that you yourself posted above seems to indicate that Wyoming wind power will be more expensive than the NuScale electricity cost that you yourself cited. Now that that fact is pointed out, suddenly you decide that these data are no good. Very weak.
Again, it seems like you’re just not willing to engage with the evidence, even from the sources that you cite yourself.
There’s another comment on capacity factor in : http://sgirt.webfactional.com/filesearch/content/Industrial%20Siting%20Division/Programs/Application%20and%20Permits/Chokecherry%20and%20Sierra%20Madre%20Wind%20Energy%20Facility/2014-0912_ISD_Permit-Chokecherry-Sierra-Madre-12-07.pdf
The document records a hearing from 5-6 August 2014.
On page 19 it says
In this original permitting document :
it says :
The permission has been extended twice. The most recent is :
which says :
@ Peter Davies
What has this fud about capacity factor got to do with the amount of time it takes to get a transmission line approved in the USA.
Your obsession with Capacity Factor of wind has distorted your CAPACITY to see anything else.
You have totally missed the point of David Benson’s comments.
I am very happy to engage with current evidence from the project.
The prices and inferred capacity factors in the 2011 WECC graphic are a bit old now.
The line is planned to be completed by 2019 or 2020. But the project web site – http://www.powercompanyofwyoming.com/about/timeline.shtml – says :
Do you really believe think the choice of wind turbines for both phases has been set in stone since 2011, given that the final turbines may not be installed until 2025?? (Assumes first installation in 2017. My assumption based on a March 2016 final permit milestone).
Further, do you believe that the wind turbine prices which went into that 2011 WECC plotted figure have not already reduced significantly and will not reduce further in the period 2016 to 2025?
Further, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NuScale_Power says :
A valid apples to apples comparison would be of expected wind prices plus expected costs of backup in 2025 against the expected NuScale prices on delivery in 2025.
If what you want to say is that 2011 wind + transmission prices are cheaper than NuScales reactor prices in 2025 then I am very happy to agree with you.
“Believe” is a forbidden taboo word. Scientists do not “believe” anything.
PETER DAVIES has marked himself as not a scientist by using the word “believe.” The word “believe” is used in religion, not in science, engineering or finance.
The rest of what PETER DAVIES said is nonsense.
Edward Greisch, that’s absolute rubbish. Scientists actually believe quite a lot. A belief that may subsequently be abandoned on seeing significant evidence to the contrary is still a belief. And scientists hold differing beliefs on what constitutes significant evidence.
The same goes for engineers. It’s probably true for financiers too, though I don’t know why you ever thought they believed nothing.
There are no forbidden taboo words in science. The closest I’ve seen is “suck”, as my first physics teacher argued that a vacuum was technically unable to do anything. He also hated the word “about” as he said scientists should always be exact; that often turns out to be impossible!
Agreed, Aidan. I believe that the theory of gravity holds true. I will continue to believe that theory until proven otherwise. All my beliefs are based on evidence as I’ve observed that evidence, and all of my beliefs are accompanied with a measure of radical doubt.
But we’re getting a bit semantic here.
Early on the cooling by convection was established via a 1/3rd scale vessel heated by an electric resistance heater. This led to the creation of Nuscale. Much more recently an Italian company constructed and is testing two prototypes of the steam generator, the only component of the Nuscale unit which can be said to be innovative.
A goal of the design has always been to use already established components. There is very little risk in choosing the Nuscale modules.
World’s longest HV transmission line. Please pardon the long post, which may interest and enlighten some readers, especially those who are becoming jaded by a lengthy, circular stream of comments re the CF or wind turbines.
I was intrigued by references to a 1500km maximum length of AC transmission line, because in Australia the synchronous grid is much longer than that.
So, I asked an experienced electrical engineer who spent his whole working life in design, construction and planning of transmission lines.
Lightly edited content of our emails follows. Note that these are notes of a conversation, not an academic treatise, hence some casual use of language.
My question: “I have read a figure of 1500 miles as the longest practically achievable length of a 60 Hz AC system. How long is the Cairnes to South Australia high voltage network? Do reactive plant and/or DC links play a part in extending the length?
Australian network operator, AEMO, publishes system maps at http://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/Planning/Related-Information/Maps-and-Diagrams
• It is definitely 4,000km+/- AC network from South Australia to Far North Queensland, the longest in the world
• Such a long AC network would tend to be unstable under transients and faults, but TransGrid’s brilliant planning engineers worked out ways to overcome this, using eg: series reactors at Dumaresq, and other reactive plant at strategic locations.
• The same frequency is maintained throughout the interconnected network. If different frequencies arise in separate parts of the network, then the relevant system interconnectors are disconnected and the network split until the problem is overcome.
• In this network, AC interconnectors provide the main network links from SA to Victoria via Portland, and a 330kV double circuit (“QNI”) from NSW to Qld via Armidale/Dumaresq/Texas
• 330kV Vic interconnection single circuit AC connection thru Jindera in southern NSW and 330kV double circuit AC connection thru Murray Sw Stn in Snowy
• There are also 2 x weakish DC interconnectors, “Murraylink” from SA to Vic thru the Riverland, and “Directlink” from Mullumbimby (132/66kV Essential Energy substation fed from Lismore 330kV substation) to Terranora 110kV substation in southern Qld. These DC links are quite weak and there are system rules governing if/when/how they can be operated in parallel with the main network AC interconnectors.
• In future, higher level interconnection to South Australia may be required to take advantage of wind farm and geothermal energy developments in South Australia.
• The long, skinny main AC network remains stable for transients, faults and lightning strike conditions by using a complex application of reactive power compensation equipment at strategic locations, including series and shunt reactors, capacitors and static VAr compensators (SVCs). Applicable load and circuit switching protocols are also employed.
To answer your other queries:
• AC line distance limit is a function of the line impedance, (having resistance and capacitance components), the line length, the nature of the load and the voltage.
• On second thoughts, looking at the claim of 1,500 miles (2,400km), the figure does not seem that outrageous. It’s hard to be that prescriptive about the figure as a limit without knowing if the line voltage is 1,200 or 500 or 330kV and the other characteristics.
• Paris, et al,1984 states that the longest cost-effective distance for AC is 4,000km (2,500miles). This limit is brought about mainly by reactive power flow in the line, caused by the inductance and capacitance of the conductors. No real power is transmitted to the load, but the currents cause extra transmission losses. Reactive power compensation equipment mentioned above is used within the network to manage reactive power flow and reduce transmission losses and stabilize system voltages and power factor. (See reference below)
• Paris, L.; Zini, G.; Valtorta, M.; Manzoni, G.; Invernizzi, A.; De Franco, N.; Vian, A. (1984). “Present Limits of Very Long Distance Transmission Systems” (pdf).CIGRE International Conference on Large High Voltage Electric Systems, 1984 Session, 29th August-6th September. Global Energy Network Institute. Retrieved March 29, 2011. 4.98 MB
• Reactive plant only “restarts the mileage” in the sense that, for example, the Armidale SVC, manages the reactive power flow that enables the overall system to remain stable under transient conditions and/or to keep the power factor up, but not too up, which allows the transmission line length to be achieved.
Hope this helps – it’s sure made me put my thinking cap on!
@ Peter Davies,
“If what you want to say is that 2011 wind + transmission prices are cheaper than NuScales reactor prices in 2025 then I am very happy to agree with you.”
I don’t follow you. The sources and graph you posted showed that wind + transmission in 2011 would be more expensive than NuScale in 2025, not cheaper.
Peter, one thing that would help is if you thought more carefully about sources and graphs before you post them, to make sure you really understand them. All I’ve done is point out the implications of the numbers in sources you cited, implications that you hadn’t realized and which now necessitate a tiring effort on your part to disparage the sources after you yourself introduced them.
Also, you’ve insisted that we disregard the published estimates of capacity factors and costs from utility planners, and from the company building the projects, and instead take your crystal ball-gazing as authoritative. Can you not see how unconvincing that is?
On 1 February 2016 at 8:43 AM, Peter Davies claimed to be a physics graduate student. Peter Davies ‘ crystal ball-gazing is another indication that Peter Davies is not a physics graduate student who is going to get his degree. A PhD in physics requires a person who is much more careful to get it right before saying anything. This is another indication that Peter Davies is not what Peter Davies says Peter Davies is. A third indication that Peter Davies is not what Peter Davies says Peter Davies is, is that a graduate student would not have time to write so many comments on any blog. Remember I already mentioned that a scientist would not use the word “believe,” because the first probability and statistics course cures people of that word. Scientists have % confidences, not beliefs.
Peter Davies is not what Peter Davies says Peter Davies is.
Edward, scientists may express their beliefs as % confidences, but they’re still beliefs.
But if you really think in % confidences, I have four questions for you:
How confident are you that nuclear is cheaper than wind power now?
How confident are you that nuclear will be cheaper than wind power in 2025?
How confident are you that nuclear is cheaper than solar now?
How confident are you that nuclear will be cheaper than solar in 2025?
I’m confident that the solar and wind price-to-grid is probably cheaper than nuclear. But that’s the problem, isn’t it? Price-to-grid. It’s deceptive. It’s a lie. Because in the real world we don’t operate on price-to-grid, but on a 24/7 reliable grid. So if you want to factor in massive grid upgrades, massive overbuild of wind and solar to cope with seasonal variation, and massive storage systems and ADD ALL THAT to the “price-to-grid” deception, then we can have a more honest comparison.
I am absolutely convinced by the work done on this and other eco-modernist websites that nuclear power is the cheapest, safest, most effective way to solve climate change, FAST! Just compare the French grid with the German grid, including CO2 output and prices and time they’ve spent tinkering with that ridiculously expensive and ridiculously ineffective German renewable grid. Now I think we’ve got the beginning of a conversation.
95% in each case because there are very few things that get to 99%. The Second Law of Thermodynamics gets past 99%. Evolution gets to 99%.
That does not leave room for the wind turbine salesmen to be right. Nor is there any room for creationists to be right.
If you have not taken the physics department’s Prob&Stat course, you don’t understand what I told you. Prob&Stat is taught by more than one department, and it depends on which university.
@Edward Greisch Will Boisvert
To confirm that I am a PhD student feel free to send me an email via the email link from my college home page at http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/p.davies10 .
@Edward Greisch @Will Boisvert
should, of course, read :
Sorry if the typo caused any confusion.
LIGO sees gravity waves. While rather remote from the purposes of this blog, still congratulations are in order for the Australian scientists who assisted in this feat and to the Australian taxpayers who make it possible.
PS: Aidan Stanger: It is possible that somebody will invent an ambient temperature superconductor in the next 10 years. It is very remotely possible that someone will invent an energy storage system that is a million times better than batteries we have now within 5 years. It is more probable that society will collapse sufficiently by 2025 that your questions are irrelevant.
The real problem with nuclear is that people are the problem. Reference book: “The Rise of Nuclear Fear” by Spencer Weart. A lot of modern first world people do magical thinking rather than logical or scientific thinking [not all logical thinking is scientific]. That is, they think of technology and things they don’t understand as magic. That is especially true of anything “nuclear.”
Australian taxpayers who make LIGO possible? And all this time I thought Luisiana and the State of Washington were part of the US.
Edward Greisch — Australian taxpayers support Australian scientists.
The American Nuclear Society now has a 40 page Nuclear in the States Toolkit intended to aid policymakers. It might be of some interest outside the USA.
What is the URL?
Edward Greisch — I have provided enough so that you can search for it.
As I have repeatedly stated, I cannot provide links from this mobile device.
Nuclear in the States Toolkit Version 1.0
Click to access ANS-NIS-Toolkit-download.pdf
This one makes sense:
Special power contract to keep nuclear plant in operation to maintain grid reliability
The Ginna Reliability Support Services Agreement (RSSA) was developed and put in place to avoid the nuclear plant’s closure until a transmission system upgrade could be implemented.3
As of December 10, 2015, the NY PSC hearings were still not concluded. See: NY PSC Docket 14-E-O2704 and FERC Docket ER15-1047-0005 Some issues:
• NY ISO transmission study showed reliability issues.
• Structure of RSSA to both increase level of revenue and increase certainty of revenue.
• Intervention of other NY state generators6 in NY PSC and FERC proceedings related to Ginna RSSA.
• A significant amount of time and effort has been required to get this temporary contract approved by state and federal regulators.
• Temporary fix – after this RSSA is expired, Ginna will have same financial issues that resulted in earlier decision to close.
grid reliability is important to me, and not just because I am an extremist type engineer on that subject. I saw a restaurant manager talking about how many thousands of dollars worth of groceries he lost because the power went out. He was a bit upset. You don’t want that kind of customer on your case.
But some of the entries are very brief and I am not so sure. Maybe if I take some time reading carefully.
A Clean Power Plan Evaluation Tool
Have not gotten into it yet.
On TV somebody tried to give us the audio of the chirp. Either my ears are too old  or there was too much noise, because I couldn’t hear it. I would like to hear the chirp if you know where to download good quality audio of it.
@DBB – Yes, there is an active gravity-wave community in Australia, as in the link –
I’m busting to get home tonight and find out what confirmation they can add to the discovery. They were off-air at the time of the 1986 supernova, so I’m hoping they heard something this time.
Electric Vehicles to take over much sooner than expected
General Motors let slip they are getting the lithium ion battery cells for the new Bolt EV (electric vehicle to be delivered later this year) at the earth-shattering price of $145 / kWh from LG Chem. GM says this is a contract price for the Bolt’s launch, not an estimate. GM’s estimate for 2022 is $100 / kWh.
Apparently LV Chem is highly annoyed with GM because now all its customers know and are going to be asking for $145/kWh pricing too.
This news is highly significant because all the analysts say that the general public will start the big switch to EVs instead of petrol cars when the EV price for a 200 mile range is comparable with the ICE (internal combustion engine) car price, and that this would happen once EV lithium ion battery costs got down to $150/kWh. The chart shows that by 2020 half of all USA new car sales could be EVs.
$150/kWh wasn’t expected by anyone (maybe apart from insiders) until around 2025, so it has happened 9 years earlier than projected.
The implications could be staggering. Most of oil production is used in transportation, and in the USA over half of oil used powers vehicles such as cars and SUVs. The global oil market could be cut in half in a decade or two.
Secondly, if, within 10 years, most new vehicles bought will be EV’s they will need recharging. UK average car use is something like 8,000 miles per year, and we have 30m vehicles. At 3 or 4 (say 4) miles / kWh a full switch to EVs would require something like another 160 GWh / day, or around a 15% increase in UK electricity generation.
And that’s not to mention the uses for such low-cost batteries in electric grids.
Coupled with the fantastic LIGO announcement on Wednesday it feels as if the world changed this week.
So what is the price for 336 billion kWh of storage? At $100/kilowatt hour it is $33600 billion or $33.6 trillion, but that is assuming you don’t run out of lithium. How much lithium is mineable?
p.s. Prior to GM’s spilling the beans the previous lowest public lithium ion price was derived from Tesla’s “powerwall” pricing and was $300/kWh, although this price was for a battery with fewer charge / discharge cycles than would be expected for an EV.
That’s why $145/kWh comes as such a shock to everyone.
“especially since the state has to pay for the transmission links in the USA – not the wind project.”
Really ? That is new to me. I think the entire grid is privately held in USA say for the few military grids.
As I understand it the wind farm developers create the entire intra wind farm infrastructure and connect to the existing grid.
In 2012 this kind of hilarious article supports my understanding and makes a big problem out of the growing cost associated with patching wind onto existing grid infrastructure. http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2012/12/21/why-its-the-end-of-the-line-for-wind-power/#627c8c8312ef
I think everybody by now knows that wind PPA’s as of 2014 are $0.023/kWh on average in USA and the unsubsidized cost of wind is $0.035/kWh.
“At 3 or 4 (say 4) miles / kWh a full switch to EVs would require something like another 160 GWh / day, or around a 15% increase in UK electricity generation.”
A recent study only available in Danish conclude that the North Sea has sufficient wind power potential to run all Europeans electric grid and to electrify the entire continents transport systems.
I do not entirely understand your equations concerning the cost of EV’s vs combustion engine vehicles. 200 miles range with an EV battery with cell cost at US $145 would still cost $15.000 for the battery system including the needed electronics and integration costs, which is far more than a decent ICE integration cost.
If you include the running cost however then the ICE will become more expensive especially for frequent drivers.
Do you have a URL for your danish study
The ICE has the advantage of lasting 100,000 miles or more. The battery has to be replaced more often.
Grid batteries are suitable for plugging certain short-term gaps. Perhaps a few hours. Storage of 4 hours of world electricity is 11 TWh and the cells would cost you $1.1tr in 2022 according to GM. Whether it is worth it compared to other forms of storage such as solar thermal storage, pumped storage hydro and hydrogen or renewable methane someone else can work out.
For comparison the world energy market in 2011 was worth $6tr, or about 10% of the world GDP.
There are 260m cars in the USA. If they were all electric with a 50 kWh battery that is a total of 13 TWh of storage. And their owners would have paid for them. If the cars cost $25,000 each the total cost would be $6.5tr.
There are 2.5 billion tons of lithium in the ocean if you really want a an excessively large amount. But ocean currents and mixing times are so slow it might take you over 1000 years to get it all out.
Do the Math
Using physics and estimation to assess energy, growth, options—by Tom Murphy [physics professor, University of California]
A Nation-Sized Battery
“So let’s buy ourselves security and design a battery that can last a week without any new inputs (as before this is not literally 7 days of zero input, but could be 8 days at 12.5% average input, or 10 days at 30% input). This may be able to manage the worst-case “perfect” storm of persistent clouds in the desert Southwest plus weak wind in the Plains.”
“Running a 2 TW electrified country for 7 days requires 336 billion kWh of storage.”
A whole continent can be cold, cloudy and calm for a lot of a 4 month winter. In my home town, winter is 8 months long and clouds average 11000 feet thick. There is no wind to speak of.
Professor Tom Murphy is talking about a grid battery.
“Grid batteries are suitable for plugging certain short-term gaps.” is total nonsense. The gap is a week long. Somebody else said the gap is 2 weeks long. Remember, Europe needs another 336 billion kWh of storage. And Europe can be really calm, cold and cloudy.
If I have an electric car, I am going to re-engineer it so that the grid cannot use it because that would shorten the life of my battery. Batteries don’t last long enough in any case. It would be like buying a new engine every 50,000 miles at best if you don’t let somebody else steal your charge.
“How to Tell Which New Car Will Last Longer” by me. Google it.
p.s And known lithium reserves are 14m tons – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium#Terrestrial . At 11.6 kWh / kg of lithium ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery#Electrochemistry ) that is 162 TWh of storage before you have to start looking for new reserves or extracting it from the ocean.
A “one size fits all” approach to grid storage is doomed to failure, but a tiered approach could eventually provide economic and reliable electricity from an all-renewable grid (and you can call CCGT powered by renewable hydrogen or renewable methane whatever you like).
The variety of different storage types are needed to provide a cost-effective all-renewables grid include :
< 1 day – high efficiency is required because short periods form the largest part of the renewables gap e.g. covering most of the 20 to 40% gap – say all but 5-10% of it:
Solar thermal storage
Batteries (maybe including vehicle to grid)
Supplemented with demand response (industrial and EV charging flexibility)
Pumped storage hydro where available
Renewable hydrogen or renewable methane which is very cheap to store in bulk but round trip efficiency is only 45 or 38% respectively.
So, sure, these last two should be able to power the USA or Europe for 5-10 days on occasions after land transport moves to EVs and space and water heating moves to heat pumps.
The requirement may not be as high as 336 TWh for Europe (which is currently at 8TWh electrical/day), but it certainly could be half that for Europe.
You are trying to cheat. Norway has plenty of potential hydro storage for Norway, Sweden, Denmark and one more country.
Saying you can use multiple storage systems and fudge an emergency is waving your hands and arms very vigorously. It doesn’t work if you really try to do it.
Read the rest of Do the Math
Professor Tom Murphy did a bunch of that stuff and he did it very well.
Pump Up the Storage
There is one in which he says that in 2 or 3 centuries, purely waste heat will drive us off of the Earth. I can’t remember the name of that one.
Love it! Baby steps compared to China, but still better than nothing!
“The most recent display of optimism comes in the form of a $40 million grant awarded by the Department of Energy to Southern Co. — which already operates a fleet of conventional nuclear plants throughout the South — to develop what the company calls a Molten Chloride Fast Reactor, which is a type of MSR.”
There is nothing wrong or unsafe about providing 100% of our electricity with Generation 2 nuclear. There have been natural nuclear power plants on this planet billions of years ago. This planet is one big storage facility for the nuclear waste from the supernova that created the heavy elements that made this planet.
Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh)
Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China 278
Coal – USA 15
Oil 36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)
Peat 12 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro – ()world inc Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)
Slightly new subject:
Do the Math
Using physics and estimation to assess energy, growth, options—by Tom Murphy
Waste heat from ANY energy source will cause too much GW in 2 or 3 centuries. So the energy you choose has to work on Mars, the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, etcetera.
A lot of Tom Murphy’s stuff is harder to find than it should be.
Eclipse Now — Thank you for the link to the article about the TerraPower MSR which Southern Company is sponsoring. This is a promising development. How much of the actinides are consumed depends upon the pyroproccessing. We await word from Argonne National Laboratory and the Koreans as to how well they can do.
I looked at the Argonne lab web site. I was unable to find the pyro processing lab/people. The book: “Plentiful Energy” has an appendix with a lot of data on the PYRO process. Download from
Click to access PlentifulEnergy.pdf
but the book is not the latest.
Wow, I love the way WordPress drops the hyphen signs I used as list markers and converts a single greater than sign into a “blockquote” marker, thus rendering my post largely unintelligible..
I’m probably going to break forum rules because it is posted again underneath with safer formatting techniques.
A “one size fits all” approach to grid storage is doomed to failure, but a tiered approach could eventually provide economic and reliable electricity from an all-renewable grid (and you can call CCGT powered by renewable hydrogen or renewable methane whatever you like).
The variety of different storage types are needed to provide a cost-effective all-renewables grid include. They divide into two sets:
Less than 1 day capacity
High efficiency is required because short periods form the largest part of the renewables gap e.g. covering most of the 20 to 40% gap – say all but 5-10% of it:
x Solar thermal storage
x Compressed air
x Batteries (maybe including vehicle to grid)
Supplemented with demand response (industrial and EV charging flexibility)
More than 1 day capacity
Can be less efficient, because it is only used 5-10% of the time, but has to have very cheap bulk storage. This means a cheap bulk storage medium such as water, hydrogen or methane. Just very occasionally it needs to provide power for up to 10 days and a few times a year for 2-3 days etc. :
x Pumped storage hydro where available
x Renewable hydrogen or renewable methane which is very cheap to store in bulk but round trip efficiency is only 45 or 38% respectively.
So, sure, these last two together need to be able to power the USA or Europe for 5-10 days on occasions after land transport moves to EVs and space and water heating moves to heat pumps.
The requirement is not be as high as 336 TWh for Europe (which is currently at 8 TWh electrical/day), but it certainly could be half that for Europe.
A reality check regarding the true costs of wind+solar unreliables in South Australia by an economics professor was published several weeks back at http://indaily.com.au/business/analysis/2016/01/19/crunching-the-numbers-on-sas-high-electricity-prices/.
The economics are that Australia’s largest unreliables state on a percentage basis has higher electricity tariffs than the others in the AEMO system and that these result directly from the higher costs of wind and solar. It also rates poorely on the subject of reliability, but that is not mentioned in the referenced article.
The professor notes also the mandated, irrational, federally legislated requirement that wind and solar receive payments by way of RECS. These are passed to consumers through their tariffs. This is legislated theft, with money flowing from every consumer to those who already enjoy privileged market access. How can this be fair or reasonable?
Despite the above two commercial advantages, few prospective South Australian wind and solar projects are fully funded and thus guaranteed to proceed. Perhaps the end of the gravy train is in sight.
The foregoing ignores the substantial indirect subsidies by way of augmented transmission infrastructure and free provision of backup power supplies which would, if costed correctly to those who cause the need, further load the scales against the unreliables.
Yet there are many, eg posts here in the name of Peter Davies, who blindly and optimistically claim that the wind or solar are cheaper today and will be cheaper still tomorrow than other electricity. They have a lot to answer for to the unemployed of South Australia and to those employers who are being squeezed out of the state by the costs of doing business.
The real and pressing question for South Australian decision-makers is “How much more money,, employment and industries will be wasted due to dreaming and hand-waving before hard commercial reality becomes the basis for their decisions?”
Not for the three frontrunning EV’s it seems – Nissan leaf and the two Teslas. The majority of Leaf owners will never need to replace their batteries.
Click to access CCC-battery-cost_-Element-Energy-report_March2012_Finalbis.pdf
If your heavy use means you will do more than 375,000 km during the lifetime of the car you may not wish it to participate in Vehicle to Grid storage. But relax anyway because you still retain some green credentials.
Because, when you buy a new battery and get cash back for the old one, or when you scrap the car, the battery will be used for grid storage. A battery whose range is down to 70% of the original may be a pain for EV use, but has many years of useful life ahead of it for grid storage. And this will mean that grid battery storage is always much cheaper than EV battery prices 10 years previously.
Think most of 70% of 13 TWh of grid battery storage for the first complete cycle of 260m USA EV battery/car replacements of 50kWh each. All at a small fraction of the original cost, and by around 2035. This is more than enough to cover the gaps less than a day in (second version of) my post above.
Cummins engines, C series and up, can be warranted for half a million miles. That doesn’t include the B series engine in the Dodge pickup, which the customers screwed up anyway. I like Freightliners, Navistars, Macks, etcetera. There is or was a Mack truck with a Mack engine near here that had 1,7 million miles on it without an overhaul. That is my kind of car. There is no reason, except the stupidity of the average customer, why cars couldn’t do that.
Now you are talking about my kind of vehicle.
It is hard to imagine an all battery powered vehicle towing a 28 foot caravan from Brisbane to Cairns.
Tony and Edward, re vehicle mass, Australian B-Doubles are up to 68 Tonnes. Road Trains can have mass above 100T.
1 Tonne = 1000kg = 2204.8 lbs.
How many tonnes of battery to haul a B-Double Melbourne-Cairnes, ie 3000 kms/ 1850 Miles?
A good snapshot of truck configurations, fuel consumption, emissions, etc in Australia is at http://www.truck.net.au/system/files/industry-resources Truck%20Impact%20Chart%20-%20Public%20-%20June2010.pdf
I am familiar with truck configurations and earthmoving equipment.
I have stated before there is no replacement for the high speed diesel used in road transport/earthmoving or the jet engine.
Large marine diesels can be replaced with small nuclear reactors.
Electric vehicles will offer commuters an alternative in some instances. The power to weight ratio of battery power precludes it from many uses.
My apologies re the link above.
Click to access Truck%20Impact%20Chart%20-%20Public%20-%20June2010.pdf
(I know posting pictures in the Open Thread is culturally frowned upon by some here, but just could not resist this one.)
An “nm” is a nautical mile, or about 1.15 miles.
Are you trying to take the piss out of me?
Here is a production car that reached one million km on the odometer with the original exhaust, engine, clutch and transmission. It did have regular maintenance.
As with trucks, this car’s drivetrain is over-engineered (I drive the VW version)
It is thanks to conservative engineering, not good maintenance that the car went 1 million kilometers [~ 600,000 miles]. Weigh the engine and divide by the horsepower then cube. That Mack engine weighed 10 pounds per horsepower.
The Skodas have probably been “improved” since then per demand of stupid customers.
If I were younger, I would look for a Skoda dealership. At my age, I am looking forward to self-driving cars because I may need one in 10 or 20 years.
“Still, that won’t happen until improved battery technology is available.”
They could have substituted the word “battery” with “fission”.”fusion” or “flux capacitor” for all the relevance your article has.
Or concievably, they could make the plane underside a rectenna and beam electricity via a network ground based microwave transmitters. This is actually technically possible although the power density from the tranmitter would be worryingly high and each transmitter could only supply one plane at a time.
Just as irrelevant, though.
The car marketplace is now going to move to electric vehicles much faster than previously assumed thanks to lithium ion techology.
There’s a lot of research into lithium-air and into aluminium-air batteries. Battery technologies get huge funding from government research grants.
There has been a couple of significant breakthrough in lithium air battery technology recently. If lithium air pays pays off (and it is now looking a better bet) there will be a battery with 5-15 times the specific energy (kWh / kg) of lithium ion batteries.
I have already seen enough cars on fire, possibly with dead people in them. Hydrazine could be worse as a fuel, but lithium is all too flammable, and lithium reacts with water to make hydrogen.
We lost several helicopter crews because of lithium fuel tanks. How stupid could AVCOM be?
“Weigh the engine and divide by the horsepower then cube. That Mack engine weighed 10 pounds per horsepower”
Is that formula an estimate of the thousands of miles an engine can run without a rebuild? ie 1000 x 1000 = 1,000,000 miles for the Mack?
In that case, that Skoda has far exceeded your expectations since its AXR engine weighs about 440 lbs (dry) and produces 101 bhp so by your formula, it should only be able to go about 83,000 miles (~133,000 km). I hear quite a few reports from the US VW diesel forum of these engines reaching 300,000 miles (~500,000 km) quite comfortably.
Like the LNT radiation model, I think your formula may be invalid below a certain threshold.
As you stated, newer version of these cars have been “improved”, largely due to regulations led by your CARB and will almost certainly be less durable
It is not an “=” sign. It is a proportional to. How many cylinders? There is a correction factor. It works fine at all horsepowers, but you have to keep the technology strictly the same and it is a decision tool, not an exact formula. 1000X1000 does not appear in my formula. I don’t know where you got that. You have to follow the math correctly.
By “improved” I mean the stupid customers want more horsepower from the same engine. They killed the Dodge that way. At 185 horsepower it is medium duty and will go 400,000 miles. At 325 horsepower it is light duty and worn out at 100,000 miles.
Stupid customers bought the high output version and wrecked it.
Where is the proportional symbol in your post? There is an approximate symbol for the miles to km reference but nothing else of that nature.
Can you give the complete formula (including correction factors) for the engine power/weight vs mileage or a reference to it? I made the best inference I could based on the sparse information in your posts and asked if it was relevant.
I worked through the Skoda as an example based on the inference which you have stated is incorrect. I would be interested to see what the result would be given the correct formula,
I cannot imagine how the Mack engine is fundamentally different to the AXR but would be glad to see the limitations for the formula to see if the differences were enough to invalidate the result.
There were higher output variants of that engine but they were much rarer than the common model since few diesel passenger car buyers are interested in outright performance. The “improvements” were forced by regulations for lower emissions and fuel usage (in the government agency test ratings – real world fuel consumption was not noticeably different)
Buy the book. Google it. “How to Tell Which New Car Will Last Longer”
Remember that there are no guarantees. There is always a distribution of actual results. I actually told you enough already if you do exactly what I said and realize that you are making a choice between 2 very similar vehicles. With what I told you, you could avoid making the wrong choice that the stupid customers did when buying a 2003 Dodge pickup with a diesel engine if this was still 2003. But that opportunity is gone. I think it was 2003. Remember, very similar vehicles.
Comparing apples to apples: You can’t compare MacIntosh apples to yellow apples.
Similar vehicles: You have already chosen exactly what you are going to buy but you have a choice of 2 or 3 engines. Separate diesels from gasoline, the technology is too different. You can choose between 2 diesels. For car buyers, this is as much as makes sense. Cars are all about the same, so you are making a marginal choice most of the time.
The same formula is going to work for transmissions if they are similar.
I already told you: Since all of the Dodge diesels weigh the same, the right choice is the one with the least horsepower.
There’s an interesting response to that InDaily article at http://medium.com/@ketanj0/wind-power-in-south-australia-makes-people-forget-about-causation-93afb4364f45#.9hbbxzvyg
But the main problem in SA at the moment is the failure to properly prepare for the closure of our coal fired power stations. Solar thermal would be a much better solution than relying on more OCGTs and upgrading the links to Victoria.
Ketan Joshi says: “I work for a renewable energy company. Anecdata analysis, research, writing, caffeine. Cofounder/curator of the @yeahsessions in Sydney.”
That says it all. Ketan Joshi warps the truth to help sell his company’s product.
Nuclear Street: The New York ISO warns of an energy deficit if two more nuclear power plants close in the region.
Perhaps the cold will bring them to their senses.
World Nuclear News: Royal Commission has released tentatively findings, finding that participating in once through actinide pins from elsewhere likely to be of economic benefit in South Australia. The first “elsewhere” will be South Korea although marketing this service to Japan seems wise.
@ Aidan S, re wind power in SA.
Interesting link, but on first reading the article to which you linked has several problems.
RETs are waved away on the basis that they were federally legislated. Well, they also cost a shed-load of dollars which are passed through to customers in the form of higher tariffs.
Transmission systems are generally more extensive and have higher capacity with wind power than without. The costs for augmenting the grids are also passed through to the customers.
Other costs which I will not detail here include ancillary services such as black start capacity and frequency response. These are also passed through to all customers, regardless of the contribution of wind to the overall need and hence cost.
Any discussion about the retail price of electricity which considers only the wholesale energy price sends the wrong message.
Whether this is due to intentional blindness or to ignorance I cannot tell, however it seems to be a common failing.
Local utility wants regulatory permission to establish several hundred electric car charging stations.
DBB, did you perchance happen to overlook adding a link?
Singletonengineer — As I have stated many times I know of no way to add links on this mobile device.
Avista Utilities plus Washington state news ought to find the announcement.
I thought this of interest due to the low population density in the service area except for Spokane.
I found it here: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2016/feb/14/avista-wants-to-install-265-electric-vehicle-charg/
There are adequate details in the article to describe the system and to describe user experience and expectations.
Avista’s plugshare public charger map is here:
Presumably, most charging is currently done overnight at home.
Since this is a “talk about anything” thread, I will use it to share some news that I see as very good. As of last night (Feb. 16) Wisconsin (USA) has voted, in a bipartisan fashion, and in both legislative chambers, to remove a 32 year-old moratorium on construction of new nuclear plants, and to place “advanced nuclear” into the State’s prioritized list of energy options. Nuclear will come after renewables and conservation/efficiency, and ahead of all fossil options. This should be signed into law soon by the executive.
This is the first of these state moratoriums to fall.
Ketan Joshi works for Infigen who are in dire financial straights due to the costs of operating their wind and solar farms, despite all the inbuilt financial advantages these receive from government policy.
I read the same article on the RenewEconomy site which also failed to mention his vested interest in the renewables power industry.
As well as the criticisms mentioned by singletonengineer, Ketan also uses the usual renewables tactic of reporting time averaged figures for everything with the minimum resolution being a day. This masks the literally instantaneous peaks and troughs in renewables output which, in the absence of utility scale storage, requires continual backup from dispatchable sources, leading to wild fluctuations (industry term – “volatility”) in the wholesale electricity price. His “analysis” of fuel usage is particularly deceptive in this regard.
BTW Infigen was a division of Babcock & Brown if you can recall the aftermath of the GFC down here
Why electricity deregulation fell short of expectations.
Opinion piece today @ oilprice.com
I found this useful.
Link to DDB’s reference:
singletonengineer — Thank you.
Does anybody know what has happened to nnadir? I’ve been watching for his next installment for a while.
Canadian Gen 4 reactor design moving forward:
EDF finds European power market incorrectly structured with no capacity credits. This makes new build impossible Levy states:
Much the same difficulty in the USA. The market restructuring to enable “competition” is not performing well.
World wide electricity backbone grid by 2050:
Here’s a slightly more detailed article on the Canadian Molten Salt Reactor from the WNN site:
The editors at powermag.com must have their calendar advanced by 34 days with that World Wide Grid article, trying to equate a power grid with a the internet.
“Eventually, our world will turn into a peaceful and harmonious global village, a community of common destiny for all mankind with sufficient energy, blue skies and green land”
Comprehensive new comparison of Overnight Construction Costs (OCC) of nuclear power stations in 7 countries.
This article expands on the commonly cited experience of USA and France with nuclear power station construction.
It includes discussion and explanation of the paradoxical experience, especially in USA, where the OCC of new plant appears to continually escalate, contrary to the conventional reduction in costs which arise from learning-by-doing.
Reasons include regulatory impact following Three MIle Island and a tendency, especially in USA, for endless trialling of FOAK instead of refining and repeating established designs.
At the other end of the scale, Korea’s experience appears to follow the traditional learning curve.
I note that the OCC figures do not include the cost of the initial fuel charge. Presumably, this is because fuel in all other power stations is an operating expense – one does not include the cost of multiple years’ supply of coal in the OCC of a coal fired power station. That said, I am certainly no expert in this area. I mention it only to alert readers to the possibile inclusion or omission of fuel costs from other analyses of competing electricity generation technologies.
That’s an interesting analysis. Your summary is plenty, but I suggest readers might also peruse Fig 12, which shows production by both S Korea and India as converging toward routine low costs. We can hope that routine production can continue to lower costs. Eventual mass production may need to be set up by international summit, but the know-how must be ready for it to happen, as happened with the Liberty Ships in WW2.
The Koreaans have proven know-how installing APR-1400s. Four of them are being installed Barakah in the UAE (yes, in the gas-rich Persian Gulf). When the first one comes on-line next year, it will be an examplar for big, international, 5 $/W, 5 year builds.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has certified 6 reactors for factory production. 5 More certifications for factory production are on the way.
The problems are not technical. The problems are irrational fear of everything nuclear, public ignorance and superstition, fossil fuel industry propaganda and lobbying and the poor to rotten US public education system. Did you know that the governors of a few southern states shut down the public schools rather than allow integration for a few years way back then? Not that Louisiana public education was much good anyway. Even in states that border Canada, only half of all high school students take even one course in physics.
Edward, that page is not about factory production, the word “factory” does not even appear on it. One of them, the AP1000 has a minimum requirement of a 15,000 tonne press taking 350 tonne ingots (WNA). Such presses are few, do only a few jobs a year and are booked up a few years ahead. That’s more like a one-off job than a production line.
Perhaps I should use the term “modular” instead: SMRs are defined by WNA as –
“Small modular reactors (SMRs) are defined as nuclear reactors generally 300MWe equivalent or less, designed with modular technology using module factory fabrication, pursuing economies of series production and short construction times.”
In other words, large scale production requires investment in large factory equipment.
If the volume of business is there, the investment will be made. Roger Clifton’s argument is silly. Anything we did in WW2, we can do again. It is a matter of political will. As an acquisition executive for the US army, making sure the factory had enough equipment was part of my job. If forging presses are needed, they will be built.
@Edward. Mass production of Liberty Ships started small, at 10,000 t. The political will for mass-produced nukes is likely to start small, too.
So? WW2 lasted 4 years. That isn’t long.
The analogy is good. We seem to be in a protracted “phoney war”, when nothing much seems to happen, and the public doesn’t quite believe that much is going to happen. Maybe it’s going to take the equivalent of bombs falling on our cities to arouse the public and expand the political will to mobilise. I remember that Cyclone Katrina led to a shift in US public thinking. What else will it take?
There are two perfect storms coming which may eventually shift public (and thus political) opinion.
In Europe, USA and Australia subsidized, intermittent renewable energy is given priority in the electricity market driving down the cost of wholesale power making it difficult for conventional baseload power such as nuclear and coal to be profitable resulting in some closures.
The global temperatures are currently rapidly rising resulting in more extreme weather events that will likely require more electricity during periods of hot summer and cold winter events.
With more baseload power closures, more intermittent renewables and more extreme weather events the risk of extended periods of power shortages will increase. These will be very politically damaging and will hopefully drive the need for a change to more firm non carbon capacity.
Whether this takes 1 year, 5 years or decades is unpredictable due to the complexity of the human mind and our attachment to beliefs.
The Big Field wind farm in Cornwall, UK could become the first UK wind farm to be installed without government subsidy, relying instead on the market price of wholesale electricity. 11 turbines, 38.5MW, estimated 88,500 MWh/year (= 26% capacity factor). Around 85m hub height and 80m rotor diameter.
Go ahead is dependent on the success of a planning appeal as Cornwall county council turned down the planning application. They are planning to give a 20% reduction in electricity costs to those living locally and to allow locals to invest in it to improve the chances of success in the appeal.
When will Peter Davies write something that has actually happened, instead of about something that might not?
This time, it is about not-yet-approved, turned-down-and-subject-to-appeal, not-yet-funded and not-yet-constructed turbines.
Ever the optimist, is Peter.
Just for you as a result of your special request above.
In China the electricity delivered to the grid from wind overtook that delivered from nuclear in 2013, and that ignores the electricity that was not delivered from wind (but could have been) for the following reasons :
x – the Chinese grid hasn’t yet connected up all the wind farms installed
x – the Chinese grid has operated a policy of curtailing wind in favour of coal
Hope you enjoy this little snippet.
It appears that 3 SMR engineering companies are now interested in the British market. I’ve already described the Nuscale plans. In addition, Westinghouse seems to, once again, show interest in their larger SMR, aiming for England. Slightly smaller, the mPower unit, now from Bechtel and BWXT, has been revived aiming at the same market.
Will even one of the 3 become a reality? I suppose the British will choose just one design?
For those who may be iterated there is a free online university unit here on the subject of ‘The Science of Nuclear Energy. Anybody is eligible to apply.
Peter, the WNA has updated information about nuclear plans and activities in China (much more comprehensive than your CleanTechnica link):
CleanTechnica seems to pick data points favorable to its perspective, and then build predictions and rhetoric around them, e.g., projecting that wind can and will become the “backbone” of China’s non-carbon electrical system. Regardless of how comforted, confirmed, or filled-with-endorphins such assertions may make renewable energy advocates feel, the central energy problem of civilizations remains that they need complete energy systems to get the useful work done, which includes getting it done when the weather is dreary and still for an extended period over an extended area. From an environmental perspective, civilizations need to get that quality of energy from much cleaner sources that can fulfill that requirement.
Thanks for the link, FJ.
It is well worth reading. Snippets:
China continues to burn more than half of the total coal used globally for electricity. China’s regulated cost of power to the grid is about 7 cents US per kWh, which is less than the price offered for wind and only half of that for Chinese solar output.
The combined total of Chinese Wind+Solar is still only 4% of Chinese electrical energy production. China also has prodigious hydro resources. Accommodating the vagaries which are inherent in unreliable wind and solar power is very easy when they total only 4% of the grid’s annual energy load and thus (my guess) less than 10% max of instantaneous demand. South Australia’s situation, where they are approaching zero reliable electricity sources, is diametrically opposed to China’s.
Chinese coal consumption is expected to rise progressively till 2050 and beyond.
Where is the environmental good news in this, apart from the fact that nuclear power is cheaper than the low- and no-carbon alternatives?
What contribution are Chinese solar, wind or, for that matter, nuclear, currently making towards a decreasing the concentration of CO2 in the globe’s air and oceans? The answer, of course, is that China’s emissions appear to be planned to continue to increase beyond 2050 and that no amount of additional wind power will be able to change that terrible outcome.
“…that terrible outcome.”
While there is any rate of increase in CO2 in the greenhouse at all, there is no hope of stabilising the climate, not even at 1.5 or 2.0 or 3.0 degrees. The most lurid fantasies of the anti-nuclear folk pale in comparison to …that terrible outcome.
“I had a Geiger counter that would screech like a cockatoo every time we passed through high-level fallout.” Typical example of anti-nuclear hysteria in journalism. Nice scientific description there Mark Willacy, but maybe it could be improved with references to Godzilla? Just how many micro-Sieverts per hour were you exposed to? How many a year, if you lived there? How does that compare to natural background radiation? What about Kerala India? What about Ramsar, that was about 3 times higher than the ‘hottest’ suburbs in Fukushima? No? Just you take your screeching cockatoo and bury it out the back in your graveyard of dead and irrelevant prose.
As a counterpoint to the anti-nuclear hysteria, Geoff Russell has recently written a very well considered piece for the New Matilda site on the implications of a nuclear waste disposal after the Royal Commission’s casual dismissal of the proposed site in South Australia.
Well worth reading although it is best to avoid the comments section (you’ll quickly see why if you scan the first few)
Geoff, you really should submit your New Matilda articles here as well – they’re great reading.
I see no way to get to the comments on New Matilda.
Try registering as a user, then logging in. Then go to the article. Worked for me.
Here is one way to measure the value of switching power generation to nuclear – it’s by measuring the costs caused by removing it.
Kelleher, S. (2016), The high cost of switching power sources, Eos, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO047361
I would be fascinated to hear if you guys know anything about Genex, the company that is proposing to build a 330MW pumped hydro plant in a disused gold mine in Queensland.
They have passed their pre-feasiblity study for the hydro project, and have just been given DA approval for the construction of a 150MW PV plant right next-door to their hydro project.
I’m still doing my due diligence on the company, but it’s been an incredibly steep learning curve dealing with the ins and outs of (future) electricity generation. Finding the excellent topic about stored hydro (https://bravenewclimate.com/2010/04/05/pumped-hydro-system-cost) was a real gem.
If you’re curious, their prospectus has a lot of good information:
Old minewaters are typically very acidic and stratified. Having a pH of neutral (says the website) rather than acidic or limey would mean that the water is buffered somehow. But it is unusual, so a check would be in order. For example, ask, do the water samples come from all depths in the lake?
Having hydro backup may just be a feint, attractive to idealists but not the beancounters. Hardcore investors may require the subsidised, must-take solar to be a “Phase One”, whereas the hydro backup is to be written up as a “Phase Two” to be funded when the cows come home.
How do you know it isn’t a gold mining project in disguise? The falling water can be diverted into a fine centrifugal separator for gold “panning” on a medium scale.
If I understand you correctly, the company is using the pumped hydro not as “backup” but as a means unto itself to arbitrage the electricity market (i.e. it takes advantage of the differential between on and off-peak power, which is particularly large in QLD).
As I understand, the pumped hydro project is their flagship enterprise, so I’m not sure it would be written up as “phase two”.
The potential for stratified acidity is something to think about… According to Geoscience Australia (https://d28rz98at9flks.cloudfront.net/22201/Res_Rep_04.pdf) the mineralogy is characterized by base metal sulfides with associated replacement of carbonates. The report says there is <5% sulfides by volume, so it may well be that the carbonate has indeed neutralized the waters, and then some.
Yes, you’re right there. There is a bicarbonate buffer around pH 7.
There is an awful lot of information in your reference. It needs a geologist. Will you be able to get the gold and other minerals without poisoning the water?
The Myth of Expensive Nuclear Power
2016 Mar 12
reviews the Lovering, et al. paper and includes the data for Russia and China. Worth a read.
DBB’s link: The Myth Of Expensive Nuclear Power
Yes. As I have said many times, nuclear power is cheapest and safest. But the news media are very good at leading people to believe anything that can be used to keep eyes glued to the TV.
I wonder what is RealClimate’s hangup? RC allows renewables to rattle on.