So what's going to replace coal?

 

Pinned post created by dthead

Posted 2 years ago

  allan Chief Commissioner

Fusion is no biggy - the Yanks cracked that in 1952. Controlled (contained) fusion is a way off, yet. I'd rather not take the risk. There's a perfectly good - and really big - ongoing fusion reaction just one AU away that bathes the Earth in energy every day.

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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Fusion is no biggy - the Yanks cracked that in 1952. Controlled (contained) fusion is a way off, yet. I'd rather not take the risk. There's a perfectly good - and really big - ongoing fusion reaction just one AU away that bathes the Earth in energy every day.
allan
Unfortunately the world doesn't have such a luxury and that 1 AU looses alot of energy.

While Solar thermal has some potential, the reality is to replace coal and gas without hydro and creating other much larger environmental problems such as mining on a scale we have yet to encounter for Lithium and large scale land clearing for solar and wind with what we know know and yet still supply reliable and reasonably priced power to all parts of the world will require Fission or preferably Fusion.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
More bad news for coal, especially in Victoria:
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/03/coal-fired-power-stations-caused-surge-in-airborne-mercury-pollution-study-finds
Carnot
Describing the brown crap burnt in Vic as coal is an insult to decent coal.

Vic should have been forced to start diluting its crap coal with NSW/Qld coal years ago then alot of the emissions problems would be reduced.

With regard to the SO2 and NOX emission issues quoted in the same article, this is not a coal problem, its a govt regulatory problem. Try building a coal fired power station in USA or EU without SO2 scrubbers and see how far you get! Even older plants in many parts of US and EU have been upgraded to have such emission control equipment.

As seen with upgrade plans for Mt Piper, they will get around 10% lower emissions per MW simply by upgrading the turbines.

Moral of the story, run 1980's coal fired technology and you will get 1980's emissions levels, especially when burning mulch!
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The problem with that 'fusion reactor in the sky' is that indeed as already mentioned a lot of energy is lost in the AU, but even worse is that most often PV panels are where the insolation isn't.

There are 8766 hours in a year, Adelaide for example gets an average of 2774 hours of sun a year (32% of the time).

That's best case for insolation, and then we further need to consider that 61% of those hours occur on days that are no full sun.

This is why PV solar (on any scale) always has a really smeg capacity factor spec (and almost never even make that capacity factor), because they are just not predictable. Have a read about Ivanpah (positioned where it gets sunlight during about 37% of all hours) and it's stunningly woeful results.

Solar is definitely not predictable, ask a PV plant manager to predict on any given day the gross output of their system, they cannot do this with anymore accuracy than if they looked at the entrails of a chicken and used these to predict lotto numbers. A kettle spinning a turbine, be that black coal (or for the Victorians peat), or (my preference) thorium, is vastly more predictable and (hence) reliable than solar.

DirtyBallast, you don't know what you're talking about, predicting when you won't be generating energy is no measure of predictability, hell, 'predicting' you won't be generating any energy for 68% of the year (at best case scenario) is hardly something to be hanging your hat on. It's not even a prediction, it's an 'admission' of a huge and unavoidable shortfall.

They made some big predictions surrounding Ivanpah, and it's still about 7% behind in capacity factor, and way under it's claimed peak generation, I don't think you'll find many (any) operational coal/nuclear steam turbines that far behind.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
With regard to the SO2 and NOX emission issues quoted in the same article, this is not a coal problem, its a govt regulatory problem. Try building a coal fired power station in USA or EU without SO2 scrubbers and see how far you get!
RTT_Rules
Germans are learning this right now, they started to shut down their flawless nuclear energy plants and now they're learning about SO2 and NOX in a big way.

Even older plants in many parts of US and EU have been upgraded to have such emission control equipment.
RTT_Rules
Not in Poland! In a few months I am going there, it's a bit nerdy, but one of the things high on the itinerary is a visit to Lodz and their Belchatow power station, second largest fossil fuel thermal power station in the world just a bit less than 5500MW nameplate. She's BIG, beautiful, nice and very, very dirty!
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Some of the new wind farms are approaching 50% capacity factor. About the same as some of the old coal plants like Liddell.

I'm frankly embarrassed by many of the conservative politicians in this country.  I agree with them on many issues, but they're backing the wrong horse when it comes to energy generation...
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Do these new wind turbines have 2000MW on the nameplate?
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

There's currently about 2400 MW of wind generation approved but not yet built in Vic.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
There's currently about 2400 MW of wind generation approved but not yet built in Vic.
Carnot
One nameplate? No? By the way, I did a really quick and dirty calculation of our current wind production capacity factor, difficult to do because most farms don't state their horrendous figures, and because public data is not available for some farms, and I might not have found all the farms anyway. The figure I arrived at was just under 30%, 20% less that Liddell, and I think 7% less than Ivanpah which I previously labelled as woeful.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

There's currently about 2400 MW of wind generation approved but not yet built in Vic.
One nameplate? No? By the way, I did a really quick and dirty calculation of our current wind production capacity factor, difficult to do because most farms don't state their horrendous figures, and because public data is not available for some farms, and I might not have found all the farms anyway. The figure I arrived at was just under 30%, 20% less that Liddell, and I think 7% less than Ivanpah which I previously labelled as woeful.
Aaron
It's mainly the older wind farms that have poor capacity factor.  Look at how good Coonooer Bridge and Kiata are performing:
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The wind has completely died across southern Australia today and as a result the spot price of electricity has gone through the roof - especially here in SA ($98.00 per mw/h a few minutes ago).
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
With regard to the SO2 and NOX emission issues quoted in the same article, this is not a coal problem, its a govt regulatory problem. Try building a coal fired power station in USA or EU without SO2 scrubbers and see how far you get!
Germans are learning this right now, they started to shut down their flawless nuclear energy plants and now they're learning about SO2 and NOX in a big way.

Even older plants in many parts of US and EU have been upgraded to have such emission control equipment.
Not in Poland! In a few months I am going there, it's a bit nerdy, but one of the things high on the itinerary is a visit to Lodz and their Belchatow power station, second largest fossil fuel thermal power station in the world just a bit less than 5500MW nameplate. She's BIG, beautiful, nice and very, very dirty!
Aaron
Thanks, when I say EU I'm mostly refering to the western EU.

On the SO2 and NOX emissions, part of my job is to run the world's largest SO2 scrubbers on the world's largest aluminium smelter. We remove +90% of SO2 (most smelters including all in Australia/NZ don't have any SO2 scrubbing), technology by GE who also are getting ongoing contracts to retrofit coal fired power plants in US and EU (western).

If you are next to the sea, the scrubbers operation is as easy a Pi.


Its ironic that while Coal in Australia is demonised, we also operate old to very old technology coal and could reduce CO2 emissions by (my understanding) 25-30% by modernising and using decent coal on all generation capacity, then a further >90% reduction in SO2, I believe similar in NOX as well as heavy metals. And still have reliable non-nuclear power, but still allow RE to progressively take over from coal over next 40 years as the technology evolves.

Meanwhile on gas front, the bulk of Australia's CCGT power stations (base load) are also hardly new and hence would be lucky to have efficiencies of >50% (most likely ~45%), which ironically the bulk of the gas power stations built in recent years is open cycle Gas Turbine used for short peaking loads and these are around 35%'ish and rising efficiency. Meanwhile CCGT is pushing +63% efficiency.

Point is the lagging investment in baseload gas and coal is resulting in efficiencies not far a head of the far more modern peaking gas power stations which are inhertiately higher cost operations and therefore typically used for peak only and these plants are pushing out the base load plants.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Some of the new wind farms are approaching 50% capacity factor. About the same as some of the old coal plants like Liddell.

I'm frankly embarrassed by many of the conservative politicians in this country.  I agree with them on many issues, but they're backing the wrong horse when it comes to energy generation...
Carnot
The best locations in Australia is in low 40's and thats average with periods of 0% as well as 100%.

Liddell is older than most people in this forum, what will be the reliability of a wind farm after nearly 50+ years? Additionally Liddel is operated in this manner to supply a reliable supply of around 50% of its output 24/7 (I believe they only operate with 2/4 turbines running at anyone time) and there will be no major investment to enable it to operate at near 100% because its due for closure.


Most Politicians are realists, usually exposed to lots of data, if not their aids and advisers are. I'm more embarrassed about the growing number of Australian's that think a wind turbine and PV solar panel is viable technology to shut down the coal power sector. It has its place sure, but its place is not in 224/7 supply.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The wind has completely died across southern Australia today and as a result the spot price of electricity has gone through the roof - especially here in SA ($98.00 per mw/h a few minutes ago).
don_dunstan
As I type this
East Coast & SA Grid demand 27,000 MW

Wind out put 780 MW, installed capacity is I believe around 3500 to 4000 MW

Coal is just under 20,000 MW

PV solar is doing a good job taking the peak spike at 2,400 MW

Hydro 2800 MW

Gas 3300 MW

Qld and Vic are propping up NSW and SA.
(Tas basslink has been off-line for sometime now)
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
There's currently about 2400 MW of wind generation approved but not yet built in Vic.
One nameplate? No? By the way, I did a really quick and dirty calculation of our current wind production capacity factor, difficult to do because most farms don't state their horrendous figures, and because public data is not available for some farms, and I might not have found all the farms anyway. The figure I arrived at was just under 30%, 20% less that Liddell, and I think 7% less than Ivanpah which I previously labelled as woeful.
It's mainly the older wind farms that have poor capacity factor.  Look at how good Coonooer Bridge and Kiata are performing:
Carnot
interesting

There is no doubt better studies on placement and newer wind turbine technology is helping lift capacity factors and I suspect +50% is possible, but like all things there is an ongoing law of diminish returns and the fact that no wind will always equal no power.

Obviously more wind farms geographically scattered will help the overall average output and reduce the need for back up sources, for example right now Tas is pumping more wind than SA, but has a fraction of the installed capacity but wind will always need a battery and/or back up generation, which adds the cost of the quoted capital and operating costs of wind but rarely quoted.

For me the wind energy sector should not be allowed to bid into the electricity market unless it is partnered with a backup source for at least 50% of its output.

For now commercial PV does not have this issue as their output is nominally at high load periods from A/C and other human activity, but if Commercial PC starts to eat into baseload output, then this too will need to bid with a back up source.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I like the idea of retrofitting coal power stations to burn biomass:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-08/uk-conservatives-are-abandoning-coal-fired-power-stations/9630936

One big advantage the poms have is nuclear base load.  Although many of those power stations are getting closer to their used-by date (7 out of the 8 to be decommissioned next decade).
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Drax Power Station is using imported wood pellets instead of domestic coal. The literature suggests that this may not be as good an idea as Drax's PR flacks suggest it is...
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Drax Power Station is using imported wood pellets instead of domestic coal. The literature suggests that this may not be as good an idea as Drax's PR flacks suggest it is...
LancedDendrite
its a sad day if Australia is importing fuel to make electricty!
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Drax Power Station is using imported wood pellets instead of domestic coal. The literature suggests that this may not be as good an idea as Drax's PR flacks suggest it is...
its a sad day if Australia is importing fuel to make electricty!
RTT_Rules
Drax is in North Yorkshire UK.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Drax Power Station is using imported wood pellets instead of domestic coal. The literature suggests that this may not be as good an idea as Drax's PR flacks suggest it is...
its a sad day if Australia is importing fuel to make electricty!
Drax is in North Yorkshire UK.
don_dunstan
Ok thanks, my bad!
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Drax Power Station is using imported wood pellets instead of domestic coal. The literature suggests that this may not be as good an idea as Drax's PR flacks suggest it is...
its a sad day if Australia is importing fuel to make electricty!
Drax is in North Yorkshire UK.
Ok thanks, my bad!
RTT_Rules
We're probably only inches from considering such lunacy in this country; why not just incinerate recycling that can't/won't be sorted any longer? I know its not that easy but surely worth considering given there's no market for some of it now; makes better sense than putting it into landfill.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
It would appear the extra capacity security is helping to level and push down wholesale power prices so far.

However Vic is missing Hazellwood big time and this is I think affecting NSW as well

http://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard#average-price-table
  fugazi Beginner

Drax Power Station is using imported wood pellets instead of domestic coal. The literature suggests that this may not be as good an idea as Drax's PR flacks suggest it is...
its a sad day if Australia is importing fuel to make electricty!
Drax is in North Yorkshire UK.
Ok thanks, my bad!
We're probably only inches from considering such lunacy in this country; why not just incinerate recycling that can't/won't be sorted any longer? I know its not that easy but surely worth considering given there's no market for some of it now; makes better sense than putting it into landfill.
don_dunstan

I agree. I also thing that recycling is an issue here. And it is really woth to consider!

Brisbane Property Management
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
Wasn't impressed by that bunch of fossils calling themselves the 'Monash' Group.

Unlike them Monash was innovative and hardly one of 'them'. Step back in time and that lot would have been the first to thwart any attempt to modernise battlefield strategy. Their sort would have undermined (no pun intended) Monash at every turn even more so because of his heritage. That's who they were and are!  Mad

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