The lack of general availability of 3 phase power in the USA - Page 12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    I am not sure what the eco-objection is to geothermal, but I am sure there is one.
    After a well is bored and a plant installed above it, and power lines run from it to the grid, there's no way to know how long it will function before the heat source gets too cool.

    Sometimes, energy and material invested is more than the energy recovered.

    Could be all BS, but that's what I heard.

    For the record, I am a hard core left wing greeny.
    But a skeptical one. I abhor greenwash.

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    I recently read that there are about 90,000 dams in the USA that do not produce electricity. About 10% of them are candidates for the addition of hydro generators. They are mostly smaller, lower flow, than, say, Grand Coulee. But they would still be a relatively cheap, easy add on of a fair amount of additional power. No new giant earthmoving construction, no new flooding of cropland, the majority of the structure is already built.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    I recently read that there are about 90,000 dams in the USA that do not produce electricity. About 10% of them are candidates for the addition of hydro generators. They are mostly smaller, lower flow, than, say, Grand Coulee. But they would still be a relatively cheap, easy add on of a fair amount of additional power. No new giant earthmoving construction, no new flooding of cropland, the majority of the structure is already built.
    YES !

    There are (3) nearby that I know of, all Corp of Engineer flood control dams:
    Google Maps

    Google Maps

    Google Maps

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    Sending it from the areas it is available, to the areas that need it is another issue, incurring extra losses. ....
    I understand your other points, but that one's a head-scratcher. I think you just described *any* source of electric power. Yes
    indian point was just down the street from me, but for most power users, there had to be a considerable transmission infrastructure.

    Does not matter if it's nuclear, hydro, coal-fired, natural gas fired, pedal-power, or whatever. You are going to incurr extra losses sending the
    power to where it's used.

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    Better to lose an extra percent or three shipping it long distance, than shut down renewable plants in areas of excess power and fire up gas a few hundred km away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim rozen View Post
    I understand your other points, but that one's a head-scratcher. I think you just described *any* source of electric power. Ye.................
    If hydro is available in the western mountains, and power is needed in a more eastern state, there is going to be more loss shipping it than from local generation.

    Moot point anyway, all the power is already spoken for, and will be spoken for two or three times over if the coal and nuclear plants are shut down.

    Again, How's that solar power workin out for yah overnight? Kind of a silly, but actually pretty relevant question..... There is no utility scale battery yet available and in use that is capable of powering a city plus suburbs overnight.

    In fact, most of the stuff needed to avoid running the existing coal base-load plants is not yet available. No nuclear plants will be built, and now there is no longer time to do so before the issue gets pretty big.

    We knew all about this problem 60 or 70 years ago, I saw the articles back then. But, as usual, nothing was done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim rozen View Post
    I understand your other points, but that one's a head-scratcher. I think you just described *any* source of electric power. Yes
    indian point was just down the street from me, but for most power users, there had to be a considerable transmission infrastructure.

    Does not matter if it's nuclear, hydro, coal-fired, natural gas fired, pedal-power, or whatever. You are going to incurr extra losses sending the power to where it's used.
    That's a good argument for distributed power. Minimized line loss, less infrastructure required. The utility wins, too. Reduced stranded costs and free increased generating capacity. Even better than DSM.

    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    ....

    Hydro ...runs all the time, but..., it is not available everywhere, so it is not an available source for everyone. ....
    Yup. Every utility is a special case. I mighta mentioned that. Safe to say that hydro in the Northeast is fully capable of covering base loads. NY Mohawk has been supplying hydro for decades, hydro Quebec more recently, and expanding.

    ...And, out west, we have a certain small problem with one of the largest hydro installs in the US. No water. So it is not nearly as reliable now as it has been in the past.
    Yup. Got a lot of sun, though, and now that most western utilities' load profile peaks in the daytime, solar electric is a very good fit.

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    I lived in Maine in the 70's.
    There were small dams all over the place, with hydro generators that were all off line.
    Supposedly, Bangor hydroelectric had bought them all, switched them off, and wired the customers to their big thermal plant.

    I wonder where it all is now?
    Of course up in Maine, those rivers froze solid in winter.
    Back in the 70's anyway.

    I'd love to have my own micro-hydroelectric generator, just for the fun of it. Almost bought such a property, but moved to the flatlands instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    ....Moot point anyway, all the power is already spoken for, and will be spoken for two or three times over if the coal and nuclear plants are shut down....
    Incentives have a marvelous way of creating new generating capacity.

    ...Again, How's that solar power workin out for yah overnight? Kind of a silly, but actually pretty relevant question..... There is no utility scale battery yet available and in use that is capable of powering a city plus suburbs overnight....
    For off-grid applications, it's not a problem. Batteries are an integral part of every system.

    Check the Australian 100 MW storage system, commissioned in 2017 and discussed here on PM. Estimated to handle the load from 30,000 homes. That was 4 years ago, built pretty quickly, so it's not that hard, it just needs capital.

    It's not as big a technical issue as it may seem. It's financial. Start by looking at utility load profile and rates. Generally speaking (yeah, I know, each utility is different ) if a utility charges different time-of-day rates, on-peak (usually daytime) rates are 3x or more off-off-peak (almost always nighttime).

    Usage is high in the daytime, the utility has to handle peaks with relatively expensive power, rates are higher. Usage is low at night, the utility has relatively cheap power available, or too much, and is encouraging energy usage at night through lower rates.

    Bingo. Utilities don't need storage at night.

    And EVs charge at night because it's cheap. And solar electric works well in the daytime because power's expensive then, it's a great load match.

    ...In fact, most of the stuff needed to avoid running the existing coal base-load plants is not yet available...
    Apparently easily built, or at least Elon thinks so. Come up with the money and he'll hit the nail with a sledgehammer. The solution is there.

    ....No nuclear plants will be built, and now there is no longer time to do so before the issue gets pretty big....
    Nuclear isn't the only solution.

    ...We knew all about this problem 60 or 70 years ago, I saw the articles back then. But, as usual, nothing was done....
    Awww.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilho View Post
    .....................

    Bingo. Utilities don't need storage at night.

    ..............
    Now THAT is crazy talk.

    If the goal is to get rid of the power sources that are not liked, you sure as heck DO need storage. What is widely hated is coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro. Even wind power and solar have hate groups based on environmental impacts

    Base load coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro run all the time. If there is not enough load, the powercos have to do expensive things like shut off some of them (bank them and bring them up again in the morning). Hydro is the easiest, but most of the US has little to no hydro available, and we sure are not building more.

    THAT is why electricity is cheap at night.... because the widely hated coal, gas, nuclear and hydro power plants have excess capacity and would prefer to run continuously.

    Get rid of those, and what is left? Maybe shipping in Canadian hydro power at large losses and expense?

    Your "logic" is faulty, picking and choosing present conditions and wrongly applying them to future situations.......

    As for batteries..... do you have ANY idea of the scale needed? It is far beyond what you can imagine. You would need cubic miles of batteries based on presently available types. There are gigawatt hours of power needed.

    Then also, after you tear down the coal, gas, and nuclear plants, leaving you with no overnight power, what do you use to CHARGE those batteries with all those gigawatt hours of energy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    If hydro is available in the western mountains, and power is needed in a more eastern state, there is going to be more loss shipping it than from local generation.

    Moot point anyway, all the power is already spoken for, and will be spoken for two or three times over if the coal and nuclear plants are shut down.

    Again, How's that solar power workin out for yah overnight? Kind of a silly, but actually pretty relevant question..... There is no utility scale battery yet available and in use that is capable of powering a city plus suburbs overnight.

    In fact, most of the stuff needed to avoid running the existing coal base-load plants is not yet available. No nuclear plants will be built, and now there is no longer time to do so before the issue gets pretty big.

    We knew all about this problem 60 or 70 years ago, I saw the articles back then. But, as usual, nothing was done.
    yes , yes and yes . why we are were we are ? the lunatics have taken over and we have to much dead wood aka people . 40 years ago i guy ask me what is the biggest threat to the world ? ok what ? every china man wanting a refrigerator . well to the grid now its everyone wanting Tesla

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1yesca View Post
    ask me what is the biggest threat to the world ?a
    Maintenance. Or rather, lack of same. Worldwide problem, just we in North America have older infrastructure than most of China.

    L7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    Now THAT is crazy talk.

    If the goal is to get rid of the power sources that are not liked, you sure as heck DO need storage. What is widely hated is coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro. Even wind power and solar have hate groups based on environmental impacts

    Base load coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro run all the time. If there is not enough load, the powercos have to do expensive things like shut off some of them (bank them and bring them up again in the morning). Hydro is the easiest, but most of the US has little to no hydro available, and we sure are not building more.

    THAT is why electricity is cheap at night.... because the widely hated coal, gas, nuclear and hydro power plants have excess capacity and would prefer to run continuously.

    Get rid of those, and what is left? Maybe shipping in Canadian hydro power at large losses and expense?

    Your "logic" is faulty, picking and choosing present conditions and wrongly applying them to future situations.......

    As for batteries..... do you have ANY idea of the scale needed? It is far beyond what you can imagine. You would need cubic miles of batteries based on presently available types. There are gigawatt hours of power needed.

    Then also, after you tear down the coal, gas, and nuclear plants, leaving you with no overnight power, what do you use to CHARGE those batteries with all those gigawatt hours of energy?
    I don't think you adequately read the post. Given a reversal of the pricing incentives so that daytime power is cheaper, you would expect a substantial reduction in night-time power usage.

    If we're in a position to shut down the thermal plants during the day, it's presumably because there's been a massive many-GW-scale build-out of solar/wind. You charge any batteries you do use off that, during the day.

    I'd also expect more interconnects with chunks of Canada that do have substantial hydro infrastructure - ship them power in the daytime, import from their hydro at night.

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    Day rates are high because in the daytime the less efficient peaking plants have to run.

    The night rate is closer to the "real" rate, since the idea is to, as much as possible, run a constant load all the time. That is the most efficient. It is made cheaper, to encourage swapping usage.

    But, the efficiency is based on having those nuclear and fossil fuel base load plants running. That's the faulty assumption, since the idea here is to get rid of them. Take them away, and the rates will change. THEN, the 24/7 base load capacity is no longer present.

    The reason day usage is higher is because people are out USING the electric vehicles. You either charge, or drive, since right now there is no way to do both.

    COULD it be reversed? Probably, at least partially. Many things now taken for granted would need to be turned on their heads, but it is theoretically possible. That would not take care of the other fatal flaws of EV's, but at least the charging would partly occur in the day. There would have to be a LOT of charging stations, many times more than now exist. And charging would become much more expensive than the present overnight system, since by definition, most would be at work, and not where their charger is. Those chargers would have to be paid for as part of the rates for charging.

    There would no longer be a surplus capacity at night, there would be a shortage, and overnight rates might be many times higher than even the daytime rates as they are now.

    With so many things being forced to be electric, there would still be a capacity problem without a large investment. The energy cost of mining, manufacturing etc all that new equipment would very likely cause a big spike in greenhouse gas emissions.

    If that did NOT occur, then a lot of people would have no power as they wait on lists to get their new power systems.....

    It's a classic case of poor planning, kicking the can down the road, and finally being faced with having to do everything NOW.

    We'll probably end up owing our souls to the chinese to pay for it all. They are the ones who will make all the equipment. And I DO mean all.... Can't afford to do it here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    Now THAT is crazy talk. If the goal is to get rid of the power sources that are not liked, you sure as heck DO need storage....
    If the goal is to...? You just changed the goalposts, also noted by others. My answer was to your "how's your solar storage at night working out?" which is the present tense. My answer is that utilities don't have it now because it's not necessary.

    ...Base load coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro run all the time....
    With the possible exception of gas, yes. Which is why off-off-peak rates are low.

    ...If there is not enough load, the powercos have to do expensive things like shut off some of them (bank them and bring them up again in the morning)....
    Off-off-peak rates are low at night because costs are low. They don't need storage for use at night because they have plenty of capacity. Utilities aren't doing expensive things to make rates low.

    ....THAT is why electricity is cheap at night.... because ... coal, ... nuclear and hydro power plants ...run continuously....
    Exactly what I'm saying, too. Glad we agree.

    As for batteries..... do you have ANY idea of the scale needed? It is far beyond what you can imagine. ...
    Perhaps you mean it's far beyond what most people can imagine? I imagine you're using "you" in the general sense, not me specifically. If you mean that storage batteries might be big in the future, I agree that it's possible. It's the future, we don't know.

    ...Then also, after you tear down the coal, gas, and nuclear plants, leaving you with no overnight power,...
    Haven't done that yet. No one has asked me to bid on it yet, let alone signed the papers. Wanna submit an RFP?

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    Gotta say, I think the best thing for long term stability of utilities is government regulation (yes, I know that’s fighting words in the US, but it works) and smart meters with different rates depending on time of day. People (most) aren’t stupid- they’ll modify their usage to cheaper end of day, as will big industry if given a logical reason to do so.

    L7
    Last edited by lucky7; 08-07-2021 at 09:48 AM. Reason: Bad grammar…

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    "Changing the goalposts" is not "in play" here.

    There would need to be storage that is "beyond huge" if the existing base load plants are decommissioned, especially just as the electricity usage is being increased by mandating 100% use of electric cars, and even forcing the use of electric stoves instead of gas. Those things are being discussed as "necessary".

    Obviously if the base load coal, nuclear, hydro, and yes, gas-fired base load plants * are left in place there is no need for storage, that is obvious, and hardly needs to be mentioned or discussed. But those plants are being decommissioned as they age out, and there seems to be no appetite for building more. The idea of many seems to be to tear them all down as soon as possible.

    The idea presented by other posters was that "wind and solar can do it all". To do that will require huge storage, an environment destroying surge in building that equipment (in china of course), and drastic lifestyle changes for all. The lifestyle changes will be required because of the scarcity of power and very high prices that will exist for a long time.

    * In case you are unaware of it, gas is replacing coal in many cases for fueling formerly coal-fired plants, because it is currently cheaper.

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    Interesting documentary on fusion and fission:



    If ITER does manage to achieve ignition, we'll have our long-term answer for base load power.


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    Default The lack of general availability of 3 phase power in the USA

    Coal powered about 50% of America’s electricity just 15 years ago. Now, due to plant closures and switching to natural gas, coal’s share of electricity generation is down to about 20% of the total.

    So, the United States is doing our part to clean up the air!

    When are the other big polluters like China and India going to step up?

    And EG’s premise of “per capita” pollution measurement is just Chinese propaganda nonsense.

    As far as the environment goes, what difference does it make how many people are in a country versus how much it pollutes?!

    A countries’ total pollution is all that matters to the environment…

    China is by far the greatest threat to the global climate today. There’s just too many people in that country, the environment can’t handle all of them having refrigerators and IC vehicles.

    And once the billion-plus Indians get deep into the conversion to a first-world, energy-based economy, it’s lights out for our little planet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    When are the other big polluters like China and India going to step up?
    Not until it is economically preferable to do so. Communist and developing nations tend not to put much stock into idealism or principles. They often can't afford to. Hell, we can't even afford to as evidenced by our incurable addiction to deficit spending.

    Just print more money, right? Don't bother paying it off - just wait for the population and GDP to grow so the debt-to-GDP ratio drops. Then spend more money. Right?



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