The Death Of Fossil Fuels

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nekomatic
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:41 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:58 am
Despite rising gas prices, UK voters (including blue wall swingers) don't favour scrapping green levies as a solution. More evidence that consumers are generally willing to invest in a more sustainable future.
https://twitter.com/SteveAkehurst/statu ... 3191749639
Ha, somewhere down that Twitter thread I find myself in conversation with someone who I think is lining up to discredit the whole concept of renewables… they’ve just stated that “There’s never been a moment when fossil fuels haven’t generated some of [our electricity]”. I know via this thread that that’s not true, can anyone find the link quicker than I can?
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:50 am

nekomatic wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:41 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:58 am
Despite rising gas prices, UK voters (including blue wall swingers) don't favour scrapping green levies as a solution. More evidence that consumers are generally willing to invest in a more sustainable future.
https://twitter.com/SteveAkehurst/statu ... 3191749639
Ha, somewhere down that Twitter thread I find myself in conversation with someone who I think is lining up to discredit the whole concept of renewables… they’ve just stated that “There’s never been a moment when fossil fuels haven’t generated some of [our electricity]”. I know via this thread that that’s not true, can anyone find the link quicker than I can?
Not sure about that Neko, according to National Grid ESO the minimum carbon intensity we’ve achieved is 39 gCO2/kWh, 03/01/22, but that’s not the same as no fossil fuels at all. We’ve had long periods with no coal, but no periods without gas or coal afaik.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:59 am

Hm, I must have misremembered that then because if anyone would have posted that it would have been you!

In the small hours of Wednesday morning it was only 11 gCO2/kWh for the North West! 39 nationally is pretty good though.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:15 am

nekomatic wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:59 am
Hm, I must have misremembered that then because if anyone would have posted that it would have been you!

In the small hours of Wednesday morning it was only 11 gCO2/kWh for the North West! 39 nationally is pretty good though.
North of Scotland routinely has zero fossil fuel electricity if that helps, at time of writing this is true and the North East also is using zero fossil fuel - although they are using 12% biomass which isn’t much better. Southern Scotland often has zero fossil energy, currently they have 2% gas.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:20 am

The ESO app shows how the country is divided into regions. Although it’s all linked nationally each region is managed separately.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:31 am

I recently discovered electricitymap which collates worldwide data, which is interesting to compare…
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Little waster » Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:46 am

nekomatic wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:41 am
“There’s never been a moment when fossil fuels haven’t generated some of [our electricity]”
The counter-argument there must be "Has there ever been a moment when renewables haven’t generated some of [our electricity]?"

The UK's (and the World's) first hydroelectric powerplant was activated in 1878 and has been generating electricity* ever since.




*it powered a single lamp 8-)
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by IvanV » Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:51 am

Grumble wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:50 am
nekomatic wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:41 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:58 am
Despite rising gas prices, UK voters (including blue wall swingers) don't favour scrapping green levies as a solution. More evidence that consumers are generally willing to invest in a more sustainable future.
https://twitter.com/SteveAkehurst/statu ... 3191749639
Ha, somewhere down that Twitter thread I find myself in conversation with someone who I think is lining up to discredit the whole concept of renewables… they’ve just stated that “There’s never been a moment when fossil fuels haven’t generated some of [our electricity]”. I know via this thread that that’s not true, can anyone find the link quicker than I can?
Not sure about that Neko, according to National Grid ESO the minimum carbon intensity we’ve achieved is 39 gCO2/kWh, 03/01/22, but that’s not the same as no fossil fuels at all. We’ve had long periods with no coal, but no periods without gas or coal afaik.
Gas-fired generation remains crucial to deal with large short-term demand/supply fluctuations, like something large falling off the system, such as a large windfarm. It isn't just the energy response, it is about inertia. The inertia is increasingly the major point.

Inertia is literally about the inertial mass of turbines rotating. Gas and steam turbines are synchronised to the 50Hz of the system. Because they have that physical inertia, providing 50Hz, when something big falls off (or comes on), they are slow to speed down or speed up. So they keep the frequency up (or down) for that crucial few seconds before you can make reponses to balance again. Nuclear stations provide inertia, but generally not enough these days. So they always need a bit of gas on for that these days. On a windy night, you will usually see at least 3GW of gas running, and they constrain off wind to keep it there. By chance last night was a windy night, and you can see at Gridwatch gas never went below 3.1GW last night, a very normal windy night. It depends how much nuclear is on. There is 5GW at the moment. I have seen gas go down to about 2.5GW some nights, but rarely. It's more obvious at night, because you have this long plateau of night minimum demand, and no solar. But in the day, with higher demand, the requirement for inertia increases. Gas will generally be a bit higher in the day. But it is hard to distinguish what is for inertia/response, and what is just for dealing with that large increase in demand at breakfast time.

It is now possible for windpower to provide "synthetic inertia", but it requires costly investment to provide it. In general wind is not providing inertia, despite the rotation of the turbines, because it is not synchronised, rather their is a conversion process to convert the generation coming from the irregular rotation of a wind turbine to to 50Hz AC. But it is possible to arrange so that it can provide something that does the job of inertia, and National Grid is now buying a certain amount of synthetic inertia from windfarms. But it's only there when that windfarm is turning, so it isn't as reliable as gas/nuclear/coal inertia.

We often also need gas to respond to these demand fluctuations, given the high standards of reliability set in our energy codes. Batteries and pumped storage increasingly deal with response at the 30 seconds level. But batteries mostly don't last very long. So at the 30 minute - 2 hrs level, we often still need gas. This can be about the wind dying down by more than was forecast, over a 30min-2hr window. Our forecasts are still not good enough so that at the 99% level demande by the codes, we know sufficiently precisely how much wind is coming in that period, especially when you add in the risk of wind farms going down. Most gas plants need to be actually running at a substantial proportion of total capacity to be able to provide rapid response. So they keep a range of gas plants running at their minimum practical load, so that they can be turned up. Gas plants mostly can't be turned on in 30 mins. They can mostly be turned on in 2 hrs, but again not very reliably so, that's traditionally been about 70% success rate in getting them on in 2 hours. Though increasingly gas plants are being designed/modified to be able to turn on mroe reliably in shorter periods of time, to be able to offer balancing services at the 2 hr level without the need to be running.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:19 pm

I realise that rotation speed of turbines increases as the wind increases, but can’t they be set to have a maximum rotation that’s in sync with 50Hz?
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:30 pm

I assume that wind turbine output is rectified to DC then inverted to 50 Hz AC? Steam turbines in fossil or nuclear power stations would be mechanically synchronised because the tech is older and the output larger, but in principle I’d think you could do it electronically nowadays if that made more sense from a grid point of view.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:43 pm

Interesting point about the need to respond to unexpected losses of input to the grid. I guess this is where vehicle-to-grid connection of EV batteries, and having smart loads like fridges able to switch off for a bit on remote command, could be very helpful
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by jimbob » Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:01 pm

https://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/ ... m-2022-01/
New Panasonic battery extends Tesla S range to 750km

Next year Panasonic plans to start mass production of a battery which will give a Tesla Model S a range of 750km – up from 650km at the moment

The new battery will have five times the capacity of the previous battery and will be twice as big and, costed on a capacity basis, be 10-20% cheaper.

Mercedes’ EQS currently has a range of 770km but is planning a car with a range of 1000km using a battery from CATL of China.

In the UK, Britishvolt, armed with £100 million of government funding, and £1.6 billion of private funding, aims to build a battery plant in Northamptonshire and Envsuon of China is expanding one in Sunderland.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:16 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:30 pm
I assume that wind turbine output is rectified to DC then inverted to 50 Hz AC? Steam turbines in fossil or nuclear power stations would be mechanically synchronised because the tech is older and the output larger, but in principle I’d think you could do it electronically nowadays if that made more sense from a grid point of view.
Wind turbines have gearboxes that change the speed of the turbine to something close to the most efficient for running the generator - 1000-1800 RPM. Although direct drive generators are becoming more common. In either case, they are frequency converted/rectified and inverted from the output frequency to match the grid distribution frequency. That needn't be in the turbine itself, but at a centralized substation for wind farms.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by monkey » Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:32 pm

dyqik wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:16 pm
nekomatic wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:30 pm
I assume that wind turbine output is rectified to DC then inverted to 50 Hz AC? Steam turbines in fossil or nuclear power stations would be mechanically synchronised because the tech is older and the output larger, but in principle I’d think you could do it electronically nowadays if that made more sense from a grid point of view.
Wind turbines have gearboxes that change the speed of the turbine to something close to the most efficient for running the generator - 1000-1800 RPM. Although direct drive generators are becoming more common. In either case, they are frequency converted/rectified and inverted from the output frequency to match the grid distribution frequency. That needn't be in the turbine itself, but at a centralized substation for wind farms.
That doesn't surprise me, but my first thought was "It'd be a right bastard to get/keep them all in phase"

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:36 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:43 pm
Interesting point about the need to respond to unexpected losses of input to the grid. I guess this is where vehicle-to-grid connection of EV batteries, and having smart loads like fridges able to switch off for a bit on remote command, could be very helpful
Grumble wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:10 pm
Grumble wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:58 pm
FlammableFlower wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:20 pm
Thought's from those with more understanding of this?:

Giant flywheel project in Scotland could prevent UK blackouts
The article is deplorably lacking in detail, however the essentials of the article including the stability afforded by traditional power stations having big spinning lumps of metal seem correct. It’s kind of an obvious solution really - replace one big spinning metal thing with another. I wish they had a bit more info though.
More technical article here (about the topic not this installation): http://watt-logic.com/2017/10/12/inerti ... %20to%20GJ.
From earlier discussion around this topic

ETA: looks like the link to watt-logic has stopped working :(
Last edited by Grumble on Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:36 pm

monkey wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:32 pm
dyqik wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:16 pm
nekomatic wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:30 pm
I assume that wind turbine output is rectified to DC then inverted to 50 Hz AC? Steam turbines in fossil or nuclear power stations would be mechanically synchronised because the tech is older and the output larger, but in principle I’d think you could do it electronically nowadays if that made more sense from a grid point of view.
Wind turbines have gearboxes that change the speed of the turbine to something close to the most efficient for running the generator - 1000-1800 RPM. Although direct drive generators are becoming more common. In either case, they are frequency converted/rectified and inverted from the output frequency to match the grid distribution frequency. That needn't be in the turbine itself, but at a centralized substation for wind farms.
That doesn't surprise me, but my first thought was "It'd be a right bastard to get/keep them all in phase"
Phase angle correction is something that I assume has to be done in most major grid nodes - after all, the phase changes depending on the distance traveled from the source, so if one path is 100 km longer than another, the phase is off by 6°, even if the sources are in sync.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:41 pm

jimbob wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:01 pm
Next year Panasonic plans to start mass production of a battery which will give a Tesla Model S a range of 750km – up from 650km at the moment
Do they mean that Tesla will actually use these batteries or is this an over-condensed summary of a press release that says something like ‘if fitted to a Tesla, the new battery could extend its range to 750km’?

In any case I guess we are in for a phase of EVs with unnecessarily long ranges until everyone gets used to them and the charging infrastructure gets sorted out. At least once that happens the manufacturers will be able to keep up with tightening efficiency requirements by taking the excessively big and heavy batteries out again :?
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:47 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:41 pm
jimbob wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:01 pm
Next year Panasonic plans to start mass production of a battery which will give a Tesla Model S a range of 750km – up from 650km at the moment
Do they mean that Tesla will actually use these batteries or is this an over-condensed summary of a press release that says something like ‘if fitted to a Tesla, the new battery could extend its range to 750km’?

In any case I guess we are in for a phase of EVs with unnecessarily long ranges until everyone gets used to them and the charging infrastructure gets sorted out. At least once that happens the manufacturers will be able to keep up with tightening efficiency requirements by taking the excessively big and heavy batteries out again :?
They mean that Panasonic are going to start making the larger batteries that Tesla announced plans for in Battery Day in 2020. Tesla will be making them as well, and whoever else Tesla are partnered with. Panasonic aren’t going to be making many, just enough for the Japanese market I think.
A bit churlish

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by jimbob » Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:53 pm

Grumble wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:47 pm
nekomatic wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:41 pm
jimbob wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:01 pm
Next year Panasonic plans to start mass production of a battery which will give a Tesla Model S a range of 750km – up from 650km at the moment
Do they mean that Tesla will actually use these batteries or is this an over-condensed summary of a press release that says something like ‘if fitted to a Tesla, the new battery could extend its range to 750km’?

In any case I guess we are in for a phase of EVs with unnecessarily long ranges until everyone gets used to them and the charging infrastructure gets sorted out. At least once that happens the manufacturers will be able to keep up with tightening efficiency requirements by taking the excessively big and heavy batteries out again :?
They mean that Panasonic are going to start making the larger batteries that Tesla announced plans for in Battery Day in 2020. Tesla will be making them as well, and whoever else Tesla are partnered with. Panasonic aren’t going to be making many, just enough for the Japanese market I think.
Panasonic is very strong in power electronics
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Fri Jan 28, 2022 3:13 pm

jimbob wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:53 pm
Grumble wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:47 pm
nekomatic wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:41 pm


Do they mean that Tesla will actually use these batteries or is this an over-condensed summary of a press release that says something like ‘if fitted to a Tesla, the new battery could extend its range to 750km’?

In any case I guess we are in for a phase of EVs with unnecessarily long ranges until everyone gets used to them and the charging infrastructure gets sorted out. At least once that happens the manufacturers will be able to keep up with tightening efficiency requirements by taking the excessively big and heavy batteries out again :?
They mean that Panasonic are going to start making the larger batteries that Tesla announced plans for in Battery Day in 2020. Tesla will be making them as well, and whoever else Tesla are partnered with. Panasonic aren’t going to be making many, just enough for the Japanese market I think.
Panasonic is very strong in power electronics
I’m sure they are, but the announced factory size for these batteries isn’t that big.
A bit churlish

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by monkey » Fri Jan 28, 2022 3:54 pm

dyqik wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:36 pm
monkey wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:32 pm
dyqik wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:16 pm


Wind turbines have gearboxes that change the speed of the turbine to something close to the most efficient for running the generator - 1000-1800 RPM. Although direct drive generators are becoming more common. In either case, they are frequency converted/rectified and inverted from the output frequency to match the grid distribution frequency. That needn't be in the turbine itself, but at a centralized substation for wind farms.
That doesn't surprise me, but my first thought was "It'd be a right bastard to get/keep them all in phase"
Phase angle correction is something that I assume has to be done in most major grid nodes - after all, the phase changes depending on the distance traveled from the source, so if one path is 100 km longer than another, the phase is off by 6°, even if the sources are in sync.
I'm sure it can be done, and often needs to be. I was just thinking about how many inputs you have. Wind farms can have many turbines that need there output placed on a single line for transmission, which seems to me would make things more complex, with the complexity scaling in some way with the number of turbines. Joining up many DC sources and then making that output wiggle at 50 Hz seems to be a lot easier to me.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by IvanV » Fri Jan 28, 2022 4:50 pm

An article on how wind turbines can provide synthetic inertia.
Tldr: It is provided by programming the inverter to respond to frequency fluctuations in the grid.

So actually it doesn't even make use of the physical inertia of the wind turbine. Any DC power source that connects to the grid via an inverter can do it, like solar or a battery. The advantage of doing it with solar is that they have big inverters which invert the collective output of a collection of wind turbines.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Sat Jan 29, 2022 10:12 am

New wind record today, 18.43 GW. I don’t think Hornsea 2 is contributing quite yet either.
A bit churlish

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:43 pm

IvanV wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 4:50 pm
An article on how wind turbines can provide synthetic inertia.
Tldr: It is provided by programming the inverter to respond to frequency fluctuations in the grid.

So actually it doesn't even make use of the physical inertia of the wind turbine. Any DC power source that connects to the grid via an inverter can do it, like solar or a battery. The advantage of doing it with solar is that they have big inverters which invert the collective output of a collection of wind turbines.
South Australia has installed synthetic condensers to help with grid stabilisation, working along side synthetic inertia provided by inverters. They provide literal inertia to smooth out fluctuations, it’s also meant they’ve been able to relax requirements for natural gas back up, raised the cap on renewables generation all while reducing carbon emissions and costs at the same time.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Sat Jan 29, 2022 1:35 pm

IvanV wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 4:50 pm
An article on how wind turbines can provide synthetic inertia.
Tldr: It is provided by programming the inverter to respond to frequency fluctuations in the grid.

So actually it doesn't even make use of the physical inertia of the wind turbine. Any DC power source that connects to the grid via an inverter can do it, like solar or a battery. The advantage of doing it with solar is that they have big inverters which invert the collective output of a collection of wind turbines.
That article does talk about them using the physical inertia of the turbine though. They use up to 60% but are restricting it to 20% in the latest standard.
A bit churlish

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