Argentina's grid fails

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Potemkin Villager
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Argentina's grid fails

Post by Potemkin Villager »

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-c ... 91491.html

" Electricity companies in Argentina blamed a huge spike in demand for energy, which caused technical failures resulting in the power cuts.

The outage came as temperatures in the capital rose higher than 41C, while higher temperatures were recorded elsewhere."



"....... Marta Lorusso, 59, an architect, said the changing climate was a major concern: “I was always born here in a temperate climate and I saw how the temperature changed over the years, and it is not what we’re used to,” he said.

“This with the low pressure really kills me, I can’t stand it. I drink litres of water and do what I can. And on top of it all, without electricity. I don’t know what to do.”"
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adam2
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Re: Argentina's grid fails

Post by adam2 »

Sounds like a fairy typical event in the less developed world.
Old infrastructure, some dating back to colonial times, subsidised retail prices, so no incentive to invest in improved generating capacity and distribution infrastructure.

A lot of electricity is stolen, further reducing income to pay for improvements.

Makes our system look very good.
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clv101
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Re: Argentina's grid fails

Post by clv101 »

Wouldn't be overly confident in the UK grid sailing through a record heatwave... We'll find out within the next few years.
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adam2
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Re: Argentina's grid fails

Post by adam2 »

clv101 wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:11 pm Wouldn't be overly confident in the UK grid sailing through a record heatwave... We'll find out within the next few years.
I agree, but the UK grid is better run than many others making a general or widespread failure unlikely.

If demand exceeds available supply then the grid frequency falls, this fall in frequency has several results.
1) Increased generation from already running plant, so far as possible which is very limited these days. This response is instant
2) Instruct pumped storage plant to start, this takes a few seconds.
3) Instruct diesel and OCGT plant to start. This takes between one minute and a few minutes.
4) Utility scale batteries to feed power into the grid, almost instant, less than a second.

All the above are AUTOMATIC, human reactions are not quick enough in most cases. Not applicable in Argentina, I very much doubt that they have any spare capacity for unexpected demands.

If the above actions prove insufficient then large areas are disconnected by frequency sensitive relays in high voltage grid substations. This is also fully automatic, human reactions and decision making are far too slow.
Such events are very rare but have occurred twice in the last twenty years or so. The low frequency disconnect system worked correctly both times and averted any general collapse.
If the frequency continues to fall, then larger areas are blacked out.

If the emergency lasts longer than two or three hours, then different areas will be manually disconnected by the national grid control room, in order that those areas initially blacked out may have power restored.

Local failures caused by hot weather are an increasing risk, as distinct from a general lack of generating capacity. If repair or replacement of damaged equipment will take more than few hours, then large transportable generators are used.
Plans exist and worked well when last called upon.
I doubt that large fleets of utility sized transportable generators exist in Argentina, and even if they did I doubt that the power company have the money to hire them.
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Potemkin Villager
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Re: Argentina's grid fails

Post by Potemkin Villager »

The article did not actually state how widespread the "Power Cuts" were
or of what duration though "grid fails" would suggest the entire national system failed
to the pint where it would have to be restarted from scratch.

On balance I would rather prefer to deal with a power cut due to extremely cold weather rather than
extremely hot weather. Also wonder how many of us really know "what to do" without leccy! In countries
with less reliable systems folk generally have experience of what to do during any extended power cuts. I wonder
how folk, used to more or less uninterrupted supply, would fare and the state of social cohesion after a lengthy power
outage - especially if there was no clear indication as to when the lights were going to come on again. Of course this
would be even worse when a significant amount of personal transport depended on EV batteries being charged.......
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adam2
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Re: Argentina's grid fails

Post by adam2 »

Other reports suggest that the power cuts in Argentina were widespread but not by any means national, so not a complete collapse.

In the UK, National demand is greater in the winter than in the summer so power cuts due to excess demand in Summer are unlikely. OTOH, the UK electricity supply industry has historically got away with some very optimistic cable and transformer ratings, on the assumption that peak load is in cold weather. DNOs actually have "winter" and "summer" cable ratings !

A multi day power outage in an urban area of the UK would IMHO result in considerable rioting, looting, and general disorder. However I would not expect an extreme heat wave to result in PROLONGED power cuts. Areas cut off for a few hours at a time certainly, but for days ? I doubt it*

We recently had week long outages in the UK due to storm damage, no significant disorder resulted. But that was largely rural areas, and it was too cold for rioting.

*A multi day power outage could result from a solar storm, an EMP attack, or cyber attack, or determined terrorist attacks BUT THIS THREAD IS ABOUT HEATWAVES. IF YOU WISH TO TALK ABOUT THOSE OTHER POSSIBILITIES PLEASE ADD TO AN EXISTING THREAD ON SUCH.
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BritDownUnder
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Re: Argentina's grid fails

Post by BritDownUnder »

Makes you wonder how modern infrastructure will survive sustained blackouts. Food preservation, water supply, air conditioning or heating - it's all been tailored for electricity. Not much passivity except in rare circumstances.
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Re: Argentina's grid fails

Post by kenneal - lagger »

Then there is the food supply and how we pay for what we buy: all are dependent on electricity. Most food ordering, like almost all other ordering, is computerised.
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Re: Argentina's grid fails

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For any activity, especially in looking after oneself and one's family, it's always worth bearing in mind that simplicity equates to resilience.
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