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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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handlamp
Senior Member


1100 Posts
Posted - 16/12/2007 : 14:32
During the anti-cyclonic weather we've had here for the past ten days, and the same forecast for the next week, the wind farms won't produce much energy. We'd be far better spending money working on clean coal technology, wave and nuclear power. As regards gas from Russia - forget it. 


TedGo to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 17/12/2007 : 06:47
Ted, I know it's unpopular in some quarters but like it or not, the sensible way out is to invest in renewables but at the same time put in some modern nuclear capacity.  Looked at objectively it's a no-brainer.  Nuclear is the safest and least environmentally damaging way we have ever found for generating electricity.  People get on their high horse about one wind turbine on a moor and say nothing nationally about open cast, new conventional power stations and oil and gas developments.  I'd be a lot more impressed by their arguments if they turned the power off at the mains and went back to the stone age.  In 50 years we will have fusion power, only by-product will be water vapour.  Roll on!  And let's build up the expertise needed to run the new generation now.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 17/12/2007 : 07:44
In 50 years we will have fusion power
I really hope so it does look to be the way out,then we can have electric cars, back to trolley buses etc.



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


6502 Posts
Posted - 17/12/2007 : 09:08
We have just had a group of windmills erected on the road to skipton. I drove past them a week or so ago, in winds so strong it was hard to keep the car steady, and they were all at a standstill...???
I really do applaud the individual efforts put out by those keen to do their bit, but the Governemtn needs to start in earnest with those who really contribute to the problem, A recent report stated that all the carrier bage in Britian, for a year, only contribute 1% of the landfill! So why are we all wasting time pretending that if every house holder switches lights off or takes their own shopping bag, it will somehow help, yet every tree is lit, people fly to investigate something on almost every TV programme. industry and retail waste energy likes there's no tommorrow (OH dear that could be true!) etc etc. Lets start with the things that will really make a difference.... air travel would be my suggestion. Bring back the slogan "IS your journey really neccessary!?"


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 17/12/2007 : 09:23
IS your journey really neccessary!?"
Yes I needed to go to Bali for the weather and the tan needed topping up for Christmas.
It is a balance that's needed, we are not all going to go to Blackpool every wakes fortnight by train. The couple of billion people in India and China WANT air conditioning and the only way to have it is through electricity.
I know I worked for two years in China commissioning a new Coal Fired Power Station, ( it was a lot greener than the Russian built one next door)  what I did learn whilst working in China ? 
The Chinese, Indians,  Pakistanis etc   Want What We Have     That is the DILEMMA facing the World, how do we stop them having it  ????
Wind turbines in Skipton only make Us feel better like we are doing something about it when really it's just tinkering



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


5150 Posts
Posted - 17/12/2007 : 12:04
 A newbie's contribution to the debate!

For a good read about climate change I can recommend:

"The Revenge of Gaia: Why the earth is fighting back - and how we can still save humanity" by James Lovelock, published in paperback at about £7 by Penguin/Allen Lane in 2006.

 Jim Lovelock is a scientist, now about 90 years of age and living near Launceston in Devon (edge of Dartmoor). He invented the electron capture detector for gas chromatography, which allowed detection of extremely low levels of various chemicals and stimulated investigation of the atmosphere. He came up with the Gaia theory which sees the Earth as almost a living organism. But you don't have to subscribe to that theory in order to enjoy and benefit from his book.

 He started out being against nuclear energy but now recognises that this is the only way that Britain will get enough energy in the short-term, while developing other sources.

He moved to Devon in, I think, the 1950s and set up his own lab in a barn on his farm. The River Tamar runs through his land and he initially got annoyed when he found people trespassing on his land to go fishing. But then he found that they knew more than anybody about the health of the Tamar and so he now encourages them!

 


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 17/12/2007 : 17:40
You're right Tizer, he's a good man and practical.  A lot of his fans went ballistic when he advocated nuclear but he was only following the logic.  Belle, I don't know the turbines you mean but the ones on Chelker that sometimes are still even in a strong wind are stopped because they only come on stream when power is needed for the pumps that lift water from the river to the reservoir which is a feeder for Bradford.  One wonders why they aren't on all the time and feeding energy into the grid.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 18/12/2007 : 10:27
You may not know of them because they were only erected a couple of months ago, but like you say, why can't they be making energy that is stored....surely that is possible.?


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softsuvner
Regular Member


604 Posts
Posted - 18/12/2007 : 14:29
Belle, you have put your finger right on the problem with electricity generation.

These wind turbines are hooked up direct to the National Grid, with that type of electric (alternating current) you can't save it to a battery.

The only way I am aware of to save electric that has been generated for the Grid, is by pumped-storage schemes. This is a throw back to the early days, when steam engines couldn't drive factories, they pumped water up to a mill pond and it drove a water wheel, once the water had gone over the wheel, it was pumped back to the top pond again.
In pumped storage, you substitute a reservoir up a mountain for the mill pond, and water turbines for the mill wheel. The civil engineering and environmental considerations are huge. There are several such schemes in North Wales and Scotland. When the demand is low, they use the spare electric from the grid to pump the water up to the top reservoir. At peak times the water is let down from the top through huge pipes, and a water generating station to feed electric back to the Grid.

The best known one is in the old Dinorwic Slate quarries, you see it as you approach Llanberis from the South, down the Llanberis Pass.

Malcolm


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 18/12/2007 : 14:56
Hi Stanley from what I understand Dinorwic is now the spinning reserve for the whole of the grid network. Problem with pumped storage is you have to take into account the fuel you burnt to pump the water back up the hill.
It all came about when sets got bigger than 500 MWs and you couldn't " two shift the 660MWs units"  due to turbine heating and cooling cycles. So to keep the big units on 24 hours a day two things came into play   1 The White Meter  2 Pumped Storage.



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


1100 Posts
Posted - 18/12/2007 : 15:23
I hope you've taken all that expertise in Belle, no doubt ther'll be questions later.


TedGo to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 18/12/2007 : 17:13
Belle, biog steam turbines, like engines, need to be brought up to temperature very sowly to allow them to soak in the heat and not be distorted when they start.  You can't just press the button and start them up.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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


3975 Posts
Posted - 18/12/2007 : 19:40
You see Belle it's a case of the fixed and moving blades coming into contact with each other, it causes a bit of a mess if they don't expand evenly !!!!!!!! They also have to keep the turning gear on the machine when it's cooling down, so the shaft does not hog/sag.



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


5150 Posts
Posted - 18/12/2007 : 20:24
....and every time you convert your energy from one form to another you lose some of it. So saving it is better than discarding it, but using it direct is best of all.

Although sometimes it's worth converting because you get a more convenient type of energy - e.g. electrickery only needs wires for distribution instead of the gret big pipes used for gas!

 There's a shift towards using more gas now in the UK and pumping it through pipes over thousands of miles from nice, safe, reliable places like Russia. Trouble is, the gas seeps out of the pipes (even without terrorists!) and it's much more destructive to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide is.


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 18/12/2007 : 22:18
Sorry Tizer, transmission loss through the power grid are really quite substantial. That's why we went to 400Kv up from 132. This is getting a little technical,but if you want to look at it all from an energy efficiency point of view. Nuclear is a good point to start.  Energy Efficiency not Cost Efficiency !!!      Nuclear can't be beat but, again not the cleanest fuel.
 A Combined Cycle Power Plant  (gas) beats a Coal plant by around 40% inprovement in the conversion of Chemical Energy into Heat Energy into Mechanical Energy in to Electrical Energy



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
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