UK wind record

Can Wind Power meet the energy needs of Britain in the 21st century or is it just a lot of overblown hype?

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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

We could learn a lot from other regions where there isn't enough generation. South Africa is a good example, the grid was expanded out to a broader area but there wasn't enough capacity to support the newly connected demand.
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Post by Tarrel »

clv101 wrote:We could learn a lot from other regions where there isn't enough generation. South Africa is a good example, the grid was expanded out to a broader area but there wasn't enough capacity to support the newly connected demand.
You can say that again. I've worked there quite a bit in the past few years. The TV carries a ticker-stream advising people to turn things off when demand is excessive.
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Post by Tarrel »

Actually, one of the most dramatic pieces of television I've seen in recent years was that documentary where they hooked up a house's electricity demand to a team of cyclists pedalling bike-driven generators. Anyone remember it? It really brought home the need to avoid turnng everything on at once! I.e. would it be such a hardship to delay turning the oven on until after the washing machine has finished?

Imagine if every household had a simple traffic-light style indicator on the wall, based on the total electricity demand they are creating at a moment in time, and everyone avoided going "red". What impact would that have on the size of our peak generating requirement?
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Post by RenewableCandy »

Yes, it was a "Bang Goes The Theory" special. A classic of its kind.
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Post by clv101 »

Tarrel wrote:Actually, one of the most dramatic pieces of television I've seen in recent years was that documentary where they hooked up a house's electricity demand to a team of cyclists pedalling bike-driven generators. Anyone remember it? It really brought home the need to avoid turnng everything on at once! I.e. would it be such a hardship to delay turning the oven on until after the washing machine has finished?

Imagine if every household had a simple traffic-light style indicator on the wall, based on the total electricity demand they are creating at a moment in time, and everyone avoided going "red". What impact would that have on the size of our peak generating requirement?
Agreed. I talked about something similar in this ancient (in web terms) blog:
http://chrisvernon.co.uk/2005/10/interm ... le-energy/
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Post by RenewableCandy »

I think someone has designed fridges that cut out if the mains goes below 50 - delta herz AND the temperature limits aren't breached. The idea, I think, is the leccy company gives you a small allowance for running such a thing because it helps lop the demand peaks.
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Re: UK wind record

Post by adam2 »

Tarrel wrote:
mobbsey wrote:
biffvernon wrote:11% of total.
Yeah, but we're still in the relatively low half of the annual consumption cycle -- that figure will less in December!
You could say that we are "storing" some of the wind energy generated now by being able to channel a greater proportion of our natural gas purchases/production into storage, rather than into power stations.

(And boy, do we need to).
Yes, absolutely.
I have long argued against new, complex, costly, and untried ways of "storing surplus windpower" We already HAVE energy storage in the form of natural gas storage.
Under most conditions every GWH of electricity produced from wind represents a corresponding amount of natural gas either put into the store, or not taken out, except of course when the store is full.
If the gas storage is full, then each additional GWH of wind power represents a corresponding amount of gas either not produced from our own reserves and therefore still available for the future, or a similar amount not imported with a corresponding improvement in our balance of payments.
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Post by Blue Peter »

Tarrel wrote:Anyone remember it?
A friend of mine was one of the cyclists. Other than him reporting it was very hard work (when they switched the shower on and were roasting the dinner), I can't remember any more,


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Post by RenewableCandy »

Kudos to your mate! That prog was a gruelling session for the cyclists. I've had a go at a cycling dynamo and producing 100 watts is quite hard work. Keeping it up for an entire day (I think they were at it for 16 hours) must have been knackering.
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Post by adam2 »

Tarrel wrote:Actually, one of the most dramatic pieces of television I've seen in recent years was that documentary where they hooked up a house's electricity demand to a team of cyclists pedalling bike-driven generators. Anyone remember it? It really brought home the need to avoid turnng everything on at once! I.e. would it be such a hardship to delay turning the oven on until after the washing machine has finished?

Imagine if every household had a simple traffic-light style indicator on the wall, based on the total electricity demand they are creating at a moment in time, and everyone avoided going "red". What impact would that have on the size of our peak generating requirement?
It would have almost no effect on the peak generating requirement.
Use of the oven and then the washing machine will consume exactly the same number of KWH as use of both together.
The peak demand of THAT DWELLING is substantialy reduced which is a matter of some importance if only a restricted supply is available.
The national peak would be about the same since both appliances are still likely used in the peak.
If by useing the appliances one after the other, the second appliance is used just after the peak then some saving in national peak demand results.
On the other hand, if both appliances were formerly used just before the peak, but now use of the second appliance is postponned until the peak, then the situation has been made worse.

In general, nothing is gained by use of 3KW for an hour as compared to 6KW for half an hour.
If the demand is shifted not by a few minutes, but to the night hours, then that is more worthwhile and is already encouraged by means of off peak tarrifs.
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Post by RenewableCandy »

adam2 wrote: In general, nothing is gained by use of 3KW for an hour as compared to 6KW for half an hour.
Except here at Chateau Renewable when the sun's shining and there's about 1.5 kW pouring in off the roof :D

There's probably more to it than that though: if people are tending to use their individual electricity less "peakily" then does that make for slower variations in demand overall? If so, then that does save some energy: you don't have to have so much generating kit on hot standby (thinks of recent visit to Dinorwig).
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Post by Tarrel »

RenewableCandy wrote:
adam2 wrote: In general, nothing is gained by use of 3KW for an hour as compared to 6KW for half an hour.
Except here at Chateau Renewable when the sun's shining and there's about 1.5 kW pouring in off the roof :D

There's probably more to it than that though: if people are tending to use their individual electricity less "peakily" then does that make for slower variations in demand overall? If so, then that does save some energy: you don't have to have so much generating kit on hot standby (thinks of recent visit to Dinorwig).
That's more or less what I had in mind. Higher peaks and troughs mean that generating companies have to invest in servicing a higher peak demand (in power terms, rather than energy-consumed terms). This capital could be used to invest in alternative (renewable) generating capacity rather than additional generating capacity.

Anyone who generates their own power will very quickly realise the difficulties of large peaks in demand. The cyclists illustrated this very well.
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Post by adam2 »

Shifting power demand from the peak to the off peak would reduce the amount of generating plant needed.
This is already encouraged by various off peak tarrifs.

Shifting demand from one part of the peak to another part will not have any effect on the peak demand.
For example useing the oven from 17-00 until 17-45 flowed by the washing machine from 17-45 until 19-00 would have a similar effect to use of both appliances together, since use is still within the evening peak.

Postponing the laundry until 02-00 would reduce peak demand, but postponning it or bringing it forward to a different bit of the peak does not help.
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Post by adam2 »

RenewableCandy wrote:Kudos to your mate! That prog was a gruelling session for the cyclists. I've had a go at a cycling dynamo and producing 100 watts is quite hard work. Keeping it up for an entire day (I think they were at it for 16 hours) must have been knackering.
Yes 100 watts is the figure that I normaly qoute as being a fair average for what a reasonably fit person can produce. Some cant manage that, and a trained athlete could manage at twice as much or even more, but 100 watts is a fair average.
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Re: UK wind record

Post by BritDownUnder »

adam2 wrote:
Tarrel wrote:
mobbsey wrote: Yeah, but we're still in the relatively low half of the annual consumption cycle -- that figure will less in December!
You could say that we are "storing" some of the wind energy generated now by being able to channel a greater proportion of our natural gas purchases/production into storage, rather than into power stations.

(And boy, do we need to).
Yes, absolutely.
I have long argued against new, complex, costly, and untried ways of "storing surplus windpower" We already HAVE energy storage in the form of natural gas storage.
Under most conditions every GWH of electricity produced from wind represents a corresponding amount of natural gas either put into the store, or not taken out, except of course when the store is full.
If the gas storage is full, then each additional GWH of wind power represents a corresponding amount of gas either not produced from our own reserves and therefore still available for the future, or a similar amount not imported with a corresponding improvement in our balance of payments.
I agree. Looks like the UK is stuck with natural gas for the time being as they need something easily despatchable to cover when the wind is not blowing. I think there is at least one other tried-and-tested means in the form of hydro pumped storage. Looks like from the National Grid information website you would need about 2 days of pumped storage when the wind generation is less than 2GW and pump the water back up when the wind is greater than 2GW up to 5GW.

I fear though you would have storm of NIMBYism if you actually tried to build the required pumped storage.

Here is Australia the Snowy Mountains Hydro scheme has been used to cover lulls in wind power and also to provide voltage control.

I have also heard that in some deregulated electrical markets the generators of wind power have great difficulty in selling it sometimes the wind generated power has a negative price so you have to pay someone to take it.
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