Power generation issues in South Australia

 
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Thank you 5910 and RTT_Rules. Point established.

There's nowhere within reasonable distance of Spencer Gulf that will provide 100m of head.

Even if you could find somewhere with 50m of elevation inside a convenient radius, 4,400 gigalitres of water is huge storage.

Another media thought bubble.
SinickleBird
Telowie is only 10km from the Gulf, with up to 400-500m of head potentially available from the top of the ridge.

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  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Keeping this on a railway topic there would be plenty of water storage capacity by damming Saltia Creek, there is a narrow gorge at Saltia which just lends itself to damming. The storage would flood the Pichi Richi Railway out of existence although boat trips could probably be undertaking from Woolshed Flat.

Just kidding.... I hope.
  simont141 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide
Thank you 5910 and RTT_Rules. Point established.

There's nowhere within reasonable distance of Spencer Gulf that will provide 100m of head.

Even if you could find somewhere with 50m of elevation inside a convenient radius, 4,400 gigalitres of water is huge storage.

Another media thought bubble.
Telowie is only 10km from the Gulf, with up to 400-500m of head potentially available from the top of the ridge.
Carnot
There's nearly 300m elevation 2km inland near Commissariat Point. On the other side of the Gulf, there's 200m at 4km from water (there's already potable water storage tanks here) and 400m approx 5.5km (Mambray Ck).
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
While the 'head' (the distance water drops from the storage into the turbines) is probably the most important thing, it's also important to have the penstock as steep as possible to minimise things like friction losses. That's why some large scale hydro installations build their power stations underground to make things as steep as possible.

While I doubt an underground power station would be appropriate for a South Australian pumped storage hydro power plant, it IS important that it be located on the steepest practical hill. A long gentle slope would greatly reduce the power generated and increase power consumed to pump the water uphill in off peak times.

BTW, back in the 1980s the unlamented old SECV conducted feasibility studies for pumped storage hydro in Victoria. If anyone reading this is researching possible locations in that state, it would be worth having a look at their research. Eight locations were considered, but at the moment only three come to mind, Tallarook - Yea area, Ada River (headwaters of La Trobe River) and West Kiewa (as an adjunct to the big Kiewa hydro scheme). I have some independent analysis of the studies done in the late 1990s, send me a message if interested.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Can't remember where I saw it, but apparently back in the days before privatisation, ETSA (Electricity Trust of South Australia) purchased suitable land on the southern Fleurieu peninsula for a salt water pump back Hydro system.
Unfortunately during the design stage it was realised that there would be a very high (read unacceptable) rate of salt contamination to the soil in the storage area. The scheme was abandoned and the land sold.
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
Pumped storage sounds interesting. I wonder where this would be located? (Spencer Gulf is a rather general term covering anywhere from Port Lincoln to Port Augusta and back to Corny Point on YP). Given existing transmission infrastructure around Pt Augusta, that might be logical but is quite low-lying terrain.

Logic suggests that best results would be obtained from a reasonable head of pressure, necessitating a storage facility at some elevation above MSL, or an enormous reservoir at lower elevation. I'm sure there's someone on here with an engineering degree who could calculate the volume of water required to deliver 600-800MWHof power at (say) 10m of head vs 50m of head.

Not many high valleys in the Port Augusta area, suggesting a heck of a lot of construction required.
Completely ignoring friction and other losses:

600MWh=2.16x10^12 Joules.

From Potential Energy = mass x gravity x height (E=mgh)

m = E/gh

  = 2.16x10^12/(9.81 x 10)

  = 22 Giga tonnes

  = 22 Giga cubic metres of (pure) water

  = 22,000 GL (Giga Litres)

For comparison, Sydney Harbour holds about 500 GL of water.

If you raised the head to 50 metres, you'd need a fifth of that 22,000. Still not in the realms of possibility for South Australia, I think.
apw5910
I think there is an error in the calculation:

m = E/gh

  = 2.16x10^12/(9.81 x 10) kg = 2.2x10^10 kg

  = 22 Mega tonnes

  = 22 Mega cubic metres of (pure) water

  = 22 GL (Giga Litres)

Kangaroo Creek Reservoir has 19GL capacity.

With 100m head, volume would be 2.2GL.  For comparison, Hope Valley Reservoir is 2.84GL

The suggested location for the pumped hydro is given as Cultana in the army training area.  The hills there rise 300m within 2-3km of the coast.
  apw5910 Chief Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
I think there is an error in the calculation:

m = E/gh

  = 2.16x10^12/(9.81 x 10) kg = 2.2x10^10 kg

  = 22 Mega tonnes

  = 22 Mega cubic metres of (pure) water

  = 22 GL (Giga Litres)

Kangaroo Creek Reservoir has 19GL capacity.

With 100m head, volume would be 2.2GL.  For comparison, Hope Valley Reservoir is 2.84GL

The suggested location for the pumped hydro is given as Cultana in the army training area.  The hills there rise 300m within 2-3km of the coast.
62430
Yeah, I think you're right.
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
Can't remember where I saw it, but apparently back in the days before privatisation, ETSA (Electricity Trust of South Australia) purchased suitable land on the southern Fleurieu peninsula for a salt water pump back Hydro system.
Unfortunately during the design stage it was realised that there would be a very high (read unacceptable) rate of salt contamination to the soil in the storage area. The scheme was abandoned and the land sold.
Pressman
Lew Owens, former CEO of ETSA, referred to this when interviewed by ABC Radio recently.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

At least the closure of the Coca Cola bottling plant will reduce the demand

for electricity.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
At least the closure of the Coca Cola bottling plant will reduce the demand

for electricity.
theanimal
That's sad, yet another industry leaving the state. Sad

There's an old saying "will the last one to leave turn out the lights", but in the case of South Australia that may not be necessary as there may not be any electricity to power the lights anyway.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
At least the closure of the Coca Cola bottling plant will reduce the demand

for electricity.
theanimal
Not by much, four bottling lines are hardly a major consumer of electrical energy.

Still sad to see though
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
Thank you 5910 and RTT_Rules. Point established.

There's nowhere within reasonable distance of Spencer Gulf that will provide 100m of head.

Even if you could find somewhere with 50m of elevation inside a convenient radius, 4,400 gigalitres of water is huge storage.

Another media thought bubble.
SinickleBird
Having done a work project near the Tanks where the Eyre Highway turns to go west toward WA and the Lincoln Highway starts, I know this intersection is at 103m above sea level and yet it is not that far from Spencer Gulf. Looking east of there, there is a mesa that at one point comes within 2.5 km of Spencer Gulf and is in excess of 200m high.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

At least the closure of the Coca Cola bottling plant will reduce the demand

for electricity.
theanimal
All part of the grand plan.
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
"Looking east of there, there is a mesa that at one point comes within 2.5 km of Spencer Gulf and is in excess of 200m high. "
"The suggested location for the pumped hydro is given as Cultana in the army training area.  The hills there rise 300m within 2-3km of the coast. "
"There's nearly 300m elevation 2km inland near Commissariat Point."

You need to measure the head from the base of the storage/valley, rather than the highest point.

2GL equates to a cube of water 1.25km in each direction. Or a square pool of water (say 100m deep) 4.5km by 4.5km

A 2GL storage built atop a mesa or ridge line doesn't sound real practical to me based on those dimensions.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

"Looking east of there, there is a mesa that at one point comes within 2.5 km of Spencer Gulf and is in excess of 200m high. "
"The suggested location for the pumped hydro is given as Cultana in the army training area.  The hills there rise 300m within 2-3km of the coast. "
"There's nearly 300m elevation 2km inland near Commissariat Point."

You need to measure the head from the base of the storage/valley, rather than the highest point.
SinickleBird
A seawater pumped storage reservoir would be a completely artificial 'turkey nest' reservoir built on top of the hill using equal amounts of cut and fill, rather than finding a natural valley where you can dam an existing river.

2GL equates to a cube of water 1.25km in each direction. Or a square pool of water (say 100m deep) 4.5km by 4.5km

A 2GL storage built atop a mesa or ridge line doesn't sound real practical to me based on those dimensions.
SinickleBird
That's because you've somehow mucked up your maths and ended up being out by three orders of magnitude, just like you were with your attempts on the previous page. Please stop trying to do maths until you've learned how.

A 2GL reservoir would be 126x126x126 metres if it were a cube, or a circle of 160m radius if it were 25m deep - but in practice larger than that as the sides would be sloped. That's small enough that a canopy could be built over the top if evaporation is an issue.

But don't just take it from me, read the Melbourne Energy Institute report linked earlier in the thread which even includes photos of existing 'turkey nest' pumped hydro storage reservoirs. The Yanbaru seawater pumped storage dam (0.6GL, 188MWh, 30MW turbine capacity) is 252m across at its widest point with quite shallow sloped sides, and 23 metres deep. For a ballpark comparison (literally in this case) with other infrastructure in South Australia, that reservoir covers a footprint a bit smaller than Adelaide Oval including the grandstands.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
"Looking east of there, there is a mesa that at one point comes within 2.5 km of Spencer Gulf and is in excess of 200m high. "
"The suggested location for the pumped hydro is given as Cultana in the army training area.  The hills there rise 300m within 2-3km of the coast. "
"There's nearly 300m elevation 2km inland near Commissariat Point."

You need to measure the head from the base of the storage/valley, rather than the highest point.
A seawater pumped storage reservoir would be a completely artificial 'turkey nest' reservoir built on top of the hill using equal amounts of cut and fill, rather than finding a natural valley where you can dam an existing river.

2GL equates to a cube of water 1.25km in each direction. Or a square pool of water (say 100m deep) 4.5km by 4.5km

A 2GL storage built atop a mesa or ridge line doesn't sound real practical to me based on those dimensions.
That's because you've somehow mucked up your maths and ended up being out by three orders of magnitude, just like you were with your attempts on the previous page. Please stop trying to do maths until you've learned how.

A 2GL reservoir would be 126x126x126 metres if it were a cube, or a circle of 160m radius if it were 25m deep - but in practice larger than that as the sides would be sloped. That's small enough that a canopy could be built over the top if evaporation is an issue.

But don't just take it from me, read the Melbourne Energy Institute report linked earlier in the thread which even includes photos of existing 'turkey nest' pumped hydro storage reservoirs. The Yanbaru seawater pumped storage dam (0.6GL, 188MWh, 30MW turbine capacity) is 252m across at its widest point with quite shallow sloped sides, and 23 metres deep. For a ballpark comparison (literally in this case) with other infrastructure in South Australia, that reservoir covers a footprint a bit smaller than Adelaide Oval including the grandstands.
justapassenger
You cannot dam a natural fresh water river water course and fill it with seawater and get away with it in this day and age. It has to be a location where overflow is extremely unlikely (its SA, rain is not a huge issue). While the dam will always need a spillway, basically the design of the turbines must be such that even in a 1:100 year event, the dam ever over flows so that should a down pour occur the turbines draw the water to sea, not over flow. One benefit is that the fresh water will sit on top of the seawater in the dam, but that's not your mitigation against allowing seawater to run down a nominally dry creek/river.
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
"That's because you've somehow mucked up your maths and ended up being out by three orders of magnitude" - you are correct, justapax - my apologies.

Although "just like you did on the previous page" relates to someone else's maths.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

You cannot dam a natural fresh water river water course and fill it with seawater and get away with it in this day and age. It has to be a location where overflow is extremely unlikely (its SA, rain is not a huge issue). While the dam will always need a spillway, basically the design of the turbines must be such that even in a 1:100 year event, the dam ever over flows so that should a down pour occur the turbines draw the water to sea, not over flow. One benefit is that the fresh water will sit on top of the seawater in the dam, but that's not your mitigation against allowing seawater to run down a nominally dry creek/river.
RTT_Rules
Read my post again, we are in furious agreement.

The fact it would be unacceptable to pump seawater into a river is not the only issue, there's also the practical problem of it being rare to get a river where you could get >100m of head close enough to the coast to make seawater practical.

Hence you use a completely artificial 'turkey nest' reservoir on top of a hill, with drainage systems built in to protect the land from leaked seawater.
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
You cannot dam a natural fresh water river water course and fill it with seawater and get away with it in this day and age. It has to be a location where overflow is extremely unlikely (its SA, rain is not a huge issue). While the dam will always need a spillway, basically the design of the turbines must be such that even in a 1:100 year event, the dam ever over flows so that should a down pour occur the turbines draw the water to sea, not over flow. One benefit is that the fresh water will sit on top of the seawater in the dam, but that's not your mitigation against allowing seawater to run down a nominally dry creek/river.
RTT_Rules
Read my post again, we are in furious agreement.

The fact it would be unacceptable to pump seawater into a river is not the only issue, there's also the practical problem of it being rare to get a river where you could get >100m of head close enough to the coast to make seawater practical.

Hence you use a completely artificial 'turkey nest' reservoir on top of a hill, with drainage systems built in to protect the land from leaked seawater.
"justapassenger"

And that would work.
All you need then is a windmill that fills it up and a turbine that uses the water to generate electricity when required. If there is a lid on top and an excess sluice in case of overfill, who cares about rain water landing on top as it will just run off the sides. That way you can have a devoted wind farm to fill it up and it can supply all sorts of power generation when it needs to.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Pretty much as I wrote on page six.

Helpfully, high ground close to the coast is exactly the same stuff you need for wind farms too, and a couple of the sites identified by the Melbourne Energy Institute (west of Rapid Bay, and near Portland) are actually within sight of existing wind turbines.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
You cannot dam a natural fresh water river water course and fill it with seawater and get away with it in this day and age. It has to be a location where overflow is extremely unlikely (its SA, rain is not a huge issue). While the dam will always need a spillway, basically the design of the turbines must be such that even in a 1:100 year event, the dam ever over flows so that should a down pour occur the turbines draw the water to sea, not over flow. One benefit is that the fresh water will sit on top of the seawater in the dam, but that's not your mitigation against allowing seawater to run down a nominally dry creek/river.
Read my post again, we are in furious agreement.

The fact it would be unacceptable to pump seawater into a river is not the only issue, there's also the practical problem of it being rare to get a river where you could get >100m of head close enough to the coast to make seawater practical.

Hence you use a completely artificial 'turkey nest' reservoir on top of a hill, with drainage systems built in to protect the land from leaked seawater.

And that would work.
All you need then is a windmill that fills it up and a turbine that uses the water to generate electricity when required. If there is a lid on top and an excess sluice in case of overfill, who cares about rain water landing on top as it will just run off the sides. That way you can have a devoted wind farm to fill it up and it can supply all sorts of power generation when it needs to.
nm39
ok, but we don't need a dedicated windfarm, just pump back when the power price is low, ie night and night time power prices after 10pm will be much cheaper than wind power and help transfer load from day to night.

This is far more reliable and likely cheaper as the wind is likely strongest when you need the power the most and on hot sunny days there is little wind.
  Halo Chief Train Controller

I don't consider pumped storage as any form of power generation. It's a battery, a economic exercise only. Actually you get nothing for free. You'll lose energy in the exercise. Only the generator makes money... Not us.

We need energy baseload generation. With a consideration for what happens on a hot day... With low sun and wind.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Petrol generators have been selling out across SA in the last few weeks - seems many people don't want to be caught short again. It's not acceptable that the grid isn't reliable, these are issues from 100 years ago not the 21st century.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Petrol generators have been selling out across SA in the last few weeks - seems many people don't want to be caught short again. It's not acceptable that the grid isn't reliable, these are issues from 10-20 years ago not the 21st century.
don_dunstan
Edited for accuracy.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Petrol generators have been selling out across SA in the last few weeks - seems many people don't want to be caught short again. It's not acceptable that the grid isn't reliable, these are issues from 10-20 years ago not the 21st century.
Edited for accuracy.
bingley hall
The old ETSA really wasn't in the same league.

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