Power generation issues in South Australia

 
  simont141 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide
According to the scrolling banner on Foxtel's SKYNEWS on ch 601 the recent 'Power Shedding' in SA was NOT required and the operators are apologising to their customers who were affected by the shedding !!!
gordon_s1942
That's not quite correct. 100 MW of shedding WAS necessary, but SA Power Networks - for reasons currently unknown - shed 300 MW. Three times as many customers were affected than necessary, hence their apologies to them.

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  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
According to the scrolling banner on Foxtel's SKYNEWS on ch 601 the recent 'Power Shedding' in SA was NOT required and the operators are apologising to their customers who were affected by the shedding !!!
gordon_s1942
Adequately summarising a 21 page report into a headline is an art!
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
But in the past having 700MW of thermal generation 350km distant from the main load in SA was perfectly OK!

The report indicates 438MW of thermal capacity was unavailable and this excludes the 75MW of Pelican Pt steam generation that is only available when the second GT is in operation.  Thus 513MW (18%) of installed thermal capacity was unavailable on the day.
62430
The bulk of Vic's thermal base load stations are on the eastern side of Mel +700km away, the Snowy is further as is NSW generation.

The loses from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_power_transmission#Losses seem to indicate around 2-2.5% per 100km of travel. So about 15%, SA has to pay for that.

While pulling from 350km is also not the best outcome, its half the distance and feeds some of the customers along the way including large industry near by the station.

I read that the steam turbine (ST) runs at slightly less than 50% of capacity when only one gas Turbine (GT) is in operation. As my employer has about 20 x GT's running 8 x ST's, I tend to agree with that. That link posted by other recently also stated the same and specifically mentioned PP. (thats how I read it and open to correction). Running a GT without a ST is incredibly inefficient and expensive and usually only done for peaking purposes and the report stated that PP rarely runs 2 x GT's and the graph demonstrated this.

There is nothing wrong with SA being connected to the Vic grid to help provide a more balanced, efficient and secure load. But the level of dependency is exceeding common sense as demonstrated since Northern went off line.

SA has for reasons only known to them a rag tag number of small generators including the previous Northern that date back decades. Why are they doing this, its not recent decision its generational?

For a load of its SA's size (Nominally 1100MW lowest, 2800MW highest peak) and considering the coal resource it should by my book have 2 x base load generators physically separated to reduce risk.  Looking at whats been built elsewhere in Oz (mostly Qld) in last 20 years the standard approach appears to be for a coal fired station is, twin turbine ~800-900MW depending on grade of coal. This should be built again at Port Augusta due to convenience of rail, water and local large demand.

Additionally a twin turbine GT with ST in Adelaide running on gas. Such as Pelican Point which is 160MW x 2 GT + 165MW ST = 485MW. However these are smaller units and I would go larger as combined with coal thats only 1335MW. If they had something around >250MW each or >750MW combined, thats >1600MW which covers probably 40% of the time.

On top of this you have 5 x peaking gas GT's adding another 300MW each for a total of 1500MW or grand total of 3100MW. Again for reliability of supply you would place these in two separate stations. The extra GT allows for 1 turbine to be off load and not connected to the SE qrid and still keep the lights on.

During winter the coal fires station would do its down time for maintenance, allowing 1 off at a time.

The inter tie with the SE grid provides further redundancy and allows the option to pull from Vic rather than use some/all the GT's during peak

This covers all bases all year round and gets SA off the front page of the developing world press as a laughing stock.

Now for RE
- PV roof top Solar, has minimal impact and only a few percent of total load and typically it peaks when demand peaks.

- Wind, wind is a great alt to use peaking supply (not capacity) when its available. Note I said PEAKING. However the push above ~1000 - 1200MW will cause significant harm and cost to the grid. Potentially it can be sold into Vic and NSW during times of excess and even the Base load gas can ramp down somewhat, but the viability of the base load gas power station should not be compromised. The wind energy also no longer needs to be subsidised.

Wind also needs to fund the Peaking gas plants to remain viable when on stand-by as that's winds insurance policy. So the ability for wind to sell into the grid more than say ~500 -750 MW should be limited to them paying for stand-by operation of the peaking stations. ie the owners still make a profit whether they are used or not.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
According to the scrolling banner on Foxtel's SKYNEWS on ch 601 the recent 'Power Shedding' in SA was NOT required and the operators are apologising to their customers who were affected by the shedding !!!
That's not quite correct. 100 MW of shedding WAS necessary, but SA Power Networks - for reasons currently unknown - shed 300 MW. Three times as many customers were affected than necessary, hence their apologies to them.
simont141
Triple M news this morning was saying that "SA Power Networks claimed it was a computer glitch that somehow turned the required 100MW of shedding to be interpreted as 300MW"
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
According to the scrolling banner on Foxtel's SKYNEWS on ch 601 the recent 'Power Shedding' in SA was NOT required and the operators are apologising to their customers who were affected by the shedding !!!
That's not quite correct. 100 MW of shedding WAS necessary, but SA Power Networks - for reasons currently unknown - shed 300 MW. Three times as many customers were affected than necessary, hence their apologies to them.
Triple M news this morning was saying that "SA Power Networks claimed it was a computer glitch that somehow turned the required 100MW of shedding to be interpreted as 300MW"
Pressman
Standard excuse for just about everything and anything.
Does no one monitor anywhere what computers are outputting?
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

....... The bulk of Vic's thermal base load stations are on the eastern side of Mel +700km away, the Snowy is further as is NSW generation.  
"RTT_Rules"


Where does Mortlake fit in, if at all?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
....... The bulk of Vic's thermal base load stations are on the eastern side of Mel +700km away, the Snowy is further as is NSW generation.  


Where does Mortlake fit in, if at all?
kitchgp
South Australia should be dependent on power generated in SA not in Vic, it keeps jobs in SA.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
South Australia should be dependent on power generated in SA not in Vic, it keeps jobs in SA.
RTT_Rules
So your saying the National Electricity Grid should be dismantled, so no state is dependant on another?
So then you also support cutting all the interconnectors between Victoria and New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland as well as the two interconnector between SA and Victorian
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
South Australia should be dependent on power generated in SA not in Vic, it keeps jobs in SA.
So your saying the National Electricity Grid should be dismantled, so no state is dependant on another?
So then you also support cutting all the interconnectors between Victoria and New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland as well as the two interconnector between SA and Victorian
Pressman
I didn't say it all, you said it and this be would clearly a stupid thing to do so I wouldn't even think it.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Each State should have a viable Power Industry where possible to meet its own needs but connected to the National Grid to cover those times when the situation demands extra is needed and should eliminate the need to cut the power to its users.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

The problem is that each state has its own agenda with renewables and the generation mix. At present we have a mess. Private generators in a market that encourages rorts, State governments that see renewables as more important than low cost reliable supply, and a Commonwealth Government paralysed by hostile senators who only see their own parochial interests rather than the national interest. An interconnected national system makes perfect sense, but there doesn't seem to be any sense at the next level down.
That is why each state should be responsible for the power supply for itself. If it chooses to go down a pathway that reduces reliability then it needs to address that and be responsible for the outcomes. The interconnectors can be used for stabilising the system but really should not be used for massive unplanned back-ups when the wind doesn't blow.
I also repeat my earlier assertion that consumers in one state should not pay higher prices for their power to cover the ideological driven deficiencies in another state.
It is crazy that an energy rich country cannot manage a power system that gives low cost reliable supply. Absolutely insane to sell all our gas overseas and have none for our own industries and homes.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

All this discussion has focused on generation and transmission, not unsurprisingly. There are alternative approaches which can lower costs to particular consumers.
In commercial properties a large portion of the demand is for air conditioning. In one Adelaide CBD building an ice storage system was installed in the early 90s. Off peak power was used to operate the chilling plant to make ice; the ice was then melted during the day to supplement the air conditioning chilling requirements. I am not aware if this system is still in use as it may have been abandoned when power price rises foreshadowed in the 90s didn't happen soon enough.
Another approach is peak lopping using either diesel or gas fuelled engine generators. The same generators can provide standby power when the SAPN supply fails. The cost of such schemes can be recovered by paying less demand charges and purchasing energy on the wholesale market. I have applied such schemes to storm water pumping, with success. Standby power generation where it is installed could earn its keep and financial incentives could be given to encourage consumers to use them.
Co-generation also needs to be applied with greater rigor; gas fired generators produce power and the waste heat is used in absorption chillers. Schemes have been installed but they have suffered from poor engineering and/or aggressive energy marketing practices. The nRAH has such a scheme although I am not certain that it has been well enough engineered to be a success.
The problems facing the above schemes are a lack if engineering product development. For instance a co-generation plant producing both electricity and chilled water should be available as a skid mounted package, fully integrated and engineered.

As for the stability of the transmission system we may well have to rediscover synchronous condensers and develop a means whereby operators of such plant are suitable recompensed.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
What is the difference in heights-above-sea-level for various pumped-water storage systems?

The smallest would be at a tidal pumped storage station which might be 20m.

What about fly-wheels? AFAIK, London Transport are experimenting with same in conjunction with regeneration? Flywheels may even be mountable on the trains themselves.

The early Southern Railway electric locomotives needed something to tide the locomotive over gaps in the third rail. They powered the traction motors indirectly by a series motor-flywheel-generator combination which leaped the gap.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
... It is crazy that an energy rich country cannot manage a power system that gives low cost reliable supply. Absolutely insane to sell all our gas overseas and have none for our own industries and homes.
neillfarmer
I generally agree with the post, but I have to take issue with this last short paragraph.

One of the reasons we have a shortage of gas is that various governments have applied bans to onshore gas exploration, not just to fraking, but even to ordinary conventional gas exploration and extraction. As the onshore gas wells (such as the Port Campbell - Timboon area ones in Victoria), are exhausted, replacements are not permitted.

So we have an increasing demand for gas and a decreasing supply. You don't need to be an economist to understand that means increased prices, it's the way every market works.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
What is the difference in heights-above-sea-level for various pumped-water storage systems?

The smallest would be at a tidal pumped storage station which might be 20m.
awsgc24
There are different sorts of hydro turbines for different situations.

It comes down to engineers looking at the "head" and the flow of a hydro project and choosing a turbine according to the circumstances. Dropping a small amount of water a long way may produce the same amount of power as dropping a lot of water a shorter distance, but different sorts of turbines are used.

There are essentially three different sorts of hydro turbines, while a few variants on these have different names, they all (more or less) conform to the three designs.

For low flow and high head projects, Pelton wheels are used. They look a bit like a wheel with lots of cut off spoons attached to the perimeter and the design hasn't changed much in 150 years.

Francis and Kaplan turbines are also about a century old, but appear more like what you'd expect turbines to look like. They are used for systems with lower heads (such as 20 metres) and greater flow.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
There is a wave generator derelict off Carrickalinga which might help.  It is brand new, or was before it sank on a tow from Port Adelaide to its target site. Its been there for ages and, according to the Sunday Mail, the locals are getting a bit peeved by it.

It just has to be refloated and towed to somewhere useful, refurbished, and a cable attached to connect it into the grid.

That is not, apparently, easy since it would have been done a long time ago.    Neither it seems is it economical for it to be salvaged for scrap, or more probably no one has the money for it.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
... It is crazy that an energy rich country cannot manage a power system that gives low cost reliable supply. Absolutely insane to sell all our gas overseas and have none for our own industries and homes.
I generally agree with the post, but I have to take issue with this last short paragraph.

One of the reasons we have a shortage of gas is that various governments have applied bans to onshore gas exploration, not just to fraking, but even to ordinary conventional gas exploration and extraction. As the onshore gas wells (such as the Port Campbell - Timboon area ones in Victoria), are exhausted, replacements are not permitted.

So we have an increasing demand for gas and a decreasing supply. You don't need to be an economist to understand that means increased prices, it's the way every market works.
Bogong
East Coast gas supplies would be perfectly adequate for the next couple of decades if there weren't 3 massive LNG export terminals in Gladstone hoovering it all up to be sent to East Asia:

(data source: http://forecasting.aemo.com.au/)

Export LNG demand dominates domestic gas market prices because it is able to pay the most (the international gas market is willing to pay a much higher price than Australian consumers) and it consumes the majority of east coast market gas.

Because forcing the LNG terminals to stop consuming all that gas is 'market coercion' and 'anti-business', the only approved free-market solution is to approve much more onshore conventional & unconventional gas development.

You can't have a fracking ban, LNG export terminals and low gas prices all at once. Something's gotta give.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
....... The bulk of Vic's thermal base load stations are on the eastern side of Mel +700km away, the Snowy is further as is NSW generation.  


Where does Mortlake fit in, if at all?
kitchgp
Peaking gas power station, not base load.
  Halo Chief Train Controller

When was the last time SA exported power to Vic?  No seriously, it's a two way link? When did Vic last buy power from SA?

Each state should be able to support its self, using interconnectors for peak demand or failings in one state to cover a short fault a generator need to be shut down.

Interconnectors should NOT be used for constant baseload power, what happens when a or both interconnectors are (and do go) down. The lights go out.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
When was the last time SA exported power to Vic?  No seriously, it's a two way link? When did Vic last buy power from SA?

Each state should be able to support its self, using interconnectors for peak demand or failings in one state to cover a short fault a generator need to be shut down.

Interconnectors should NOT be used for constant baseload power, what happens when a or both interconnectors are (and do go) down. The lights go out.
Halo
I believe its two way or otherwise how would they export their excess wind energy?

I've been watching the spot prices for 3 days now constantly and SA was always cheaper than NSW and Vic cheaper than SA. So overall I'd expect little to flowing from SA into NSW, but I wouldn't say it doesn't happen from SA into NSW and Vic. As I type this SA is $3 more than Vic, which is very close.

In the old NEMCO website before AEMO, they used to have flow meters and direction on the map showing the inter state flow instantaneously. They also had each states actual generation and demand. I miss this.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Sounds like pumped storage in the Spencer Gulf might actually happen.  Makes a lot of sense: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/02/energy-australia-wants-to-build-a-100mw-hydro-electricity-plant-in-south-australia/

"Located in the Spencer Gulf of South Australia, the proposed project would have the capacity to produce around 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity with six-to-eight hours of storage. That's the equivalent of installing 100,000 home battery storage systems, but at a fifth of the cost, Energy Australia says".

My feeling is that it would be helpful on hot summer evenings when solar power drops off a cliff during peak demand.
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
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.
  apw5910 Chief Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
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.
SinickleBird
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.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
This is the write up on Spillyard Dam which is a 500MW pump back hydro system

- 100m of head
- 500MW of output for a max of 10hr, 14hr to refill
- 28.6 GL of dam capacity, assume not all of its required for power

Assume 5 GL/hr for 500MW of power with 100m fall.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splityard_Creek_Dam

The dam is located 30 kilometres (19 mi) northwest of Ipswich in the Somerset Region and forms the upper reservoir for the Wivenhoe Power Station.

Construction commenced in 1977 and was completed in 1980 by contractors Thiess Brothers and John Holland. The rock and earthfill dam structure is 76 metres (249 ft) high and 1,140 metres (3,740 ft) long. The 3,371-thousand-cubic-metre (119.0×106 cu ft) dam wall holds back the 28,600-megalitre (6,300×106 imp gal; 7,600×106 US gal) reservoir when at full capacity. From a catchment area of 3.8 square kilometres (1.5 sq mi), the dam creates an unnamed reservoir, with a surface area of 102 hectares (250 acres). The uncontrolled un-gated spillway has a discharge capacity of 570 cubic metres per second (20,000 cu ft/s).[1] Initially managed by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, management of the dam was transferred to Seqwater in July 2008.

Power station[edit]
Main article: Wivenhoe Power Station
Owned and operated by CS Energy, Wivenhoe Power Station is located on the eastern side of Wivenhoe Dam, north west of Brisbane. The station, which began commercial operation in 1984, was Queensland’s first pumped-storage hydro-electric plant. It is operated remotely from an operating centre used to manage the Queensland electricity grid.[2]

The dam's water capacity is enough for the power station to run at full load for approximately ten hours. Using both pumps, this water can be replaced in about 14 hours. The pumped storage power station consists of two circular concrete silos, each of about 32 metres (105 ft) internal diameter. Each of the silos houses a 250 megawatts (340,000 hp) turbine generator and pump set, giving a total capacity of 500 megawatts (670,000 hp).[2]
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
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.

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