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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  15/12/2007  :  07:03
I thought it might be a good thing to have a topic devoted to this important subject.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Doreen
hippies understudy


429 Posts
Posted - 18/12/2007 : 22:44
Ive just heard that a new airoplane has been developed that  goes on solar energy, and that in three years it could be in general use.
Any body else seen the documentary?


Dordygail

always the one to make the best of things.

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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 05:36
Frank is right.  In order to get economies of scale we use enormous power atations and transfer the energy via the grid and local sub stations to where it is needed.  This wastes 85% of the original energy.  The technology exists now to build local heat and power stations making electricity and providing heat locally by using the waste heat from the generating process that would only waste about 15% of the original energy.  Problem is the capital cost and the price of the electricity from smaller generators.  The bottom line is the will to do it and accept the cost.  Micro generation using a combined heat and power plant instead of the conventional central heating boiler is a possible route forward in terms of efficiency but there again, there is a cost penalty.  The cheapest way to increase efficiency at the moment is improved energy efficiency in the home.  The payback on insulation like loft packing, draught-proofing and double glazing is the shortest of the lot.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Mercury
Regular Member


233 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 09:33
Our new projects coming on stream now incorporate ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers in accordance with the new Part L of the Building Regs. Also affected are insulation thicknesses and improved U values.

What gets me is that every day I drive past 'carbon dinosaur' Fiddler's Ferry Power Station. This has a thermal efficiency of around 37%. At this time of year the 8 cooling towers are chucking out enough waste heat to warm the homes of Runcorn! Scandalous! OK they burn 20% biomass in the form of pine kernels which are ground up and fired along with the pulverised coal, but what a waste of fuel.


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Julie in Norfolk
Senior Member


1632 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 09:58
In Thetford we have a power station that runs on chicken poo and is described as Europes largest biomass fueled generator

The following is taken from their website. There is no smell (NIMBY people)

"The plant is located at the centre of England's poultry producing region and consumes 420,000 tonnes of litter each year. The litter sourcing is managed by a dedicated EPR team.

High quality fertiliser is produced at the plant that is marketed through a group wholly owned subsidiary, Fibrophos.

The plant was designed to benefit from the experience gained at the two earlier plants at Eye and Glanford. At its heart is an extremely reliable and robust chain grate, spreader stoker combustion system. Steam conditions are 450°C and 65 bar.

EPR operates and maintains the plant."


2 benefits, what else do you do with 420,000 tonnes of chicken poo apart from spread it on the land. We are in the middle of a nitrite vulnerable zone - we don't want any more nitrate / nitrite on the fields.

There is reduced transport costs as the positioning of this is just right, being in the middle of chicken land and having good roads too.


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Mercury
Regular Member


233 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 10:44
Julie, that's a good system, using a sustainable fuel. At FF, the coal comes via ships into Liverpool docks (from Columbia and elsewhere) - how efficient is that! They are bulding an FDS system to rid the flue gases of sulphur, but the CO2 continues to pour out. Add to that the fact that the plant is life-expired and should be demolished.


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 13:40
Mercury    Fiddlers Ferry has converted I think, two units to run on Bio Mass  ( 'carbon dinosaur' Fiddler's Ferry Power Station ) How do you come to the conclusion that it needs demolishing??? It would take at least 400 yes 400 plants burning chicken s*** to cover the lost generation from Fiddlers  Ferry. FGDS is a benefit don't mock it.  I wait with bated breath your alternatives



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 13:42
Didn't mean that to sound so direct



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 14:00
Sorry gents I am going to have to back you up...it all got a bit too technical for me, and i am left with the impression that to store electricity from wind turbines you have to build resevoirs and run water up and down hill?

How does a car store energy to a battery...is it the alternator that is the key? Can there be no way of adapting that system on a larger scale?


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 14:19
Here you go Belle

power station imageDINORWIG POWER STATION
When it was fully commissioned in 1984, Dinorwig Power Station was regarded as one of the world's most imaginative engineering and environmental project.

Today, Dinorwig's operational characteristics and dynamic response capability are still acknowledged the world over. Dinorwig is the largest scheme of its kind in Europe.

Dinorwig is comprised of 16km of underground tunnels, deep below Elidir mountain. Its construction required 1 million tonnes of concrete, 200,000 tonnes of cement and 4,500 tonnes of steel.

turbine imageThe station's six powerful generating units stand in Europe's largest man-made cavern. Adjacent to this lies the main inlet valve chamber housing the plant that regulates the flow of water through the turbines.

Dinorwig's reversible pump/turbines are capable of reaching maximum generation in less than 16 seconds. Using off-peak electricity the six units are reversed as pumps to transport water from the lower reservoir, back to Marchlyn Mawr.

DINORWIG FACTS & FIGURES
Surge Pond Data:
Dimensions of surge pond80x40x14 metres deep
Diameter of surge shaft30 metres
Depth of surge shaft65 metres
Generator/Motors:
TypeVertical shaft, salient pole, air cooled
Generator rating330 MVA
Motor rating312 MVA
Terminal voltage18kV
ExcitationThyristor rectifier
Starting equipmentStatic variable frequency
Generator-Motor Transformer:
Number Six
Approximate rating 340 MVA
Voltage ratio18 kV/420 kV
Underground Caverns:
Distance of power station inside mountain 750 metres
Depth of turbine hall below top level of Llyn Peris71 metres
Machine Hall:
Length 180 metres
Width 23 metres
Height51 metres max
Transformer Hall:
Length 160 metres
Width 23 metres
Height 17 metres
Diversion tunnel Length 2,208 metres
Width6.5 metres
Height5.5 metres
Maximum flow 60 cubic m/s
Normal flow 1-8 cubic m/s
Fall1:1500
Pump/Turbines:
TypeReversible Francis
Number6
Plant orientationVertical spindle
Average pump power input275 MW
Pumping period (full volume)7 hours
Synchronous speed 500 rpm
Average full unit over all heads (declared capacity)288 MW Generation potential at full load
Output5 hours
Station power requirements when generating12 MW
Standby operational mode  
Synchronised and spinning-in-air Emergency load pick-up rate from standby0 to 1,320 MW in 12 seconds
Transmission Switchgear:
TypeSF6 metal clad
Breaking capacity35,000 MVA
Current rating4,000 A
Voltage420 kV
Excavations:
Main underground excavation1 million cubic metres (approx. 3 million tonnes)
Total scheme excavations12 million tonnes

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Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Mercury
Regular Member


233 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 14:31
Frank, no problem with the direct approach. I was being deliberately provocative. The term 'Carbon Dinosoar' was coined by Friends of the Earth during one of their campaigns. And of course FGDS is a good thing. And yes, with a capacity of almost 2000 MW what IS the alternative in that key location? Obviously, no short term solution is available. But added to the low efficiency and consequent waste of energy at the plant, are carbon emissions from sea crossings, and rail transport. The station's sister plant at Ferrybridge does slightly better on carbon emissions, but I don't have the data to hand.


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softsuvner
Regular Member


604 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 14:31
Belle

You've generated a good discussion, but I can understand if you are getting lost in the technicalities.
Back to your basic questions, pumped storage, as at Dinorwic, is the only feasible way to store excess current from the National Grid. You can see from Frank's posting the size of the task!

Regarding your question of storage to batteries. With the current state of battery technology, you would need to change (rectify) the Alternating current from the Grid, or the generator (alternator) on your wind generator,  to Direct Current (the type which can be stored in a battery). What that means is, that you would lose more than you save in changing (rectifying) the current back and fowards, and in sending it to and from your battery (this is what they call transmission losses).
To do this on a National Scale, you would need a battery the size of Anglesey as well!
Your car actually functions as its own generating station, and only stores a fraction the excess current that it produces in the car battery just so it has enough to start up.

Does this help?

Malcolm


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 15:47

Mercury   I'm not sure about the burners at Ferrybridge both Stations had ABB Low Nox Burners installed. I would need to check with my trainee, he's commissioning a new FGDS plant at Long Gannet in Fife. My last job was commissioning a Circulating Fluidized Bed plant in Mississippi burning lignite, It is one of the cleanest plants in the US.

Google Red Hills Mississippi for new clean coal technology.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 16:58
Another problem that we haven't mentioned in regard to alternative fuels is that when you start to burn pelleted waste, chicken shit or anything like that you can run into trouble with erosion in the furnaces.  At REW John had to completely renew two big furnace tubes in a plant in the NE burning a mixture of coal and household waste in pellet form.  The erosion had thinned the tubes to danger level in 18 months.  Even the thicker furnaces will wear out long before they would have done on any other fuel.  You get the same scale of troubles when burning wood, only in that case it's attrition on the hammer mills and other machinery used for shredding the wood so it can be burned automatically. 

One other area they will have to look at seriously is tidal barrages in the Severn and Morecambe bay and I'm afraid the wildfowl defence will have to be ignored.  An enormous amount of cheap and totally clean energy going to waste.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 18:15
That's the same sort of problem with CFBs the ash circulating is very aggressive to the tubes. Here is a link to Barrage Systems
http://www.carboncommentary.com/2007/10/15/28
Expensive but they are reliable !!!!!



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Mercury
Regular Member


233 Posts
Posted - 19/12/2007 : 18:41
Stanley, even conventional coal is very aggressive to the delivery tubes of pneumatically fed burners. And then there's the blown ash! All bends have their outside radii built up in thickness by welded steel sections. But I guess you probably knew that. The abrasiveness is something to behold.
Just out of interest, the company I work for is constructing Australia's largest combined cycle gas fired power station at Darling Downs, Queensland. Rated at 630 MW.


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