Stick this in your wind power pipe and smoke it.

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dpb wrote:

I have to agree but not quite totally. Small communities that could use solar, wind, tidal and pump storage could achieve a non fossil generation of electricity, but with big risk.
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Clot wrote: ...

...
It would be a very small community in a very special set of circumstances, indeed, to make that a workable solution at anything at all like a reasonable cost.
There's a lot that can be done for individuals or very small or specialized purposes or areas w/ a particular combination of natural resources.
The problem is, there's 300+ million in the US grid alone and that's the system that has to be both functional and simultaneously not put us into excessively dire position competitively.
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dpb wrote:

Part of the problem is that people seem to think 'power' always equals 'electricity'. US should have been requiring passive solar design and super-insulation for new houses for 20-30 years now. That would have made a noticable difference in how much new electrical generating capacity was needed. Other than crunchy treehuggers, most people seem to prefer the beige McMansions of many gables, which aren't exactly energy misers. Not just because they are big, but because they take no advantage of the free energy mother nature has to offer, like sunrooms, geothermal, etc.
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dpb wrote:

Hmmm, The project is going ahead. You sound like a part of problem in green movement. Be part of solution. Yes, near our city there is an area where wind blows pretty well 24/7/365. Here even now we have an option to buy green power or conventional power(thermal, hydro). I can tell power company which is city owned what I want. My power is 7 cents/Kwh locked in for 5 years. By locking in they give some incentives Green costs little more but all of us has to chip in some where. Right now federal and provincial government have rebate program for green effort(conserving energy). We can upgrade our heating/cooling equipment, windows/doors/siding/insulation/roofing to claim refund to a certain limit Right now I am reroofing to save energy and upgrading old gas furnace to 95% efficient one. a/c was done last year.
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That is SO much BS. Unless there is a direct line from your house to the source, you can't tell a hydro-generated KW, from a thermal KW, from a coal-fired KW.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

Look up 'fungible commodity'. Works like a grain elevator or oil/natural gas pipeline. You buy 'X' units of whatever from your vendor, and they dump it into the system. The system hands 'X' units over to you at your point of delivery. Is it the same 'X' units? Probably not. But it looks and smells and works the same, so who cares?
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My point exactly. He is suggesting that he can tell the power company if he wants wind, thermal or other kinds of power. I am saying that he will have no idea of where it came from.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

Hi, Power grid is fed from more than one source of generation. If total consumption is X mega Watts. We know what percentage of that is from where at different cost. Key word here is cost not what kind of power is fed into my house. If I support green energy at higher cost, that means we use more clean power. Maybe some of you need few more cells up in your brain to see what is what? Think like an intelligent adult, not like a kitergarten kid.
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It's spelled kindergarten. And for someone claiming you live somewhere that the wind that blows 24/7 is going to supply 100% of the energy for a city of 1 mil, I wouldn't be hurling insults.
Wind can provide some fraction of the overall solution. But your statements are not reality. Clearly you've bought into a lot of pure propaganda. Like that you can just buy as much green power as you want from your electric company. That may be true in some cases, because very few people are actually doing it. But if even 10% of the electricity demand had the option of specifiying that their electric company supply them with only green energy there wouldn't be enough green energy to meet it. And day after day, I see the same environmental extremists who tell us to go green show up to block the development of ANY new sources of energy, whether green or not. They have blocked windmills in the ocean, solar in the desert, all for "environmental" reasons.
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Ah yes, so we'd better build a new green grid system to carry the "good" electrons and ensure they don't get mixed up with the "bad" coal/gas/oil based electrons.
GE is itching to build one but the poor dears don't have the money and can't come up with a viable business plan. So, they're doing what any good business would do: their lobbyists are working hard on their corporate welfare applications! After all, it seems that the tax payers love to fund projects that are totally non-viable economically but highly correct politically.
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Tony Hwang wrote: ...

I've been part of the solution for 30+ years. I've said before and continue to agree it's a part but cannot be 100% for very practical reasons.

"Pretty well" isn't the same thing as "definitely does". Give me the name of the generating facility and I'll look into its actual generation figures.

And while you're buying (or fooling yourself into think you are since once it's on the grid one electron is pretty much indistinguishable from another; at most one generation facility displaces some of another) the rest for the remainder of the grid is coming from those other sources.
It ain't all wind until there's nothing else and that is virtually impossible. I would be very surprised if much over 20% of the total generation is actually wind owing to operational constraints. What is the utility?
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Tony Hwang wrote: ...

I'm still waiting to hear which wind farm is in and where this magical location is so I can check out its production figures and the climatological records.
And, of course, the utility grid to which it's connected that is going 100% green in the very near future so I can see it's long term planning/construction plan.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Evidently.
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The Daring Dufas wrote: ...

I don't know where you read that, but it's wrong.
Given their ability to generate cheap power, in general it's far more cost effective to run them baseloaded and use others for load following but it's not a requirement.
In a former life a primary selling point/competitive advantage of our reactor design was the capability to load follow at rates that far exceeded those of our competitors. Turned out to not be a significant factor in the longer run since the switchover to almost a fully-nuclear grid never happened as we then expected, but it would have been a major operating consideration had the expected generation mix changed as we expected at the time.
As a side note I've mentioned before, during the eight years since the Gray County wind farm went online here, I've also watched the Wolf Creek Nuclear station average capacity factor. While wind is roughly 40%, Wolf Creek has an overall average of about 85% and a couple of years of >95%. (That's possible since they're on 18-month fuel cycles.)
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dpb wrote:

What do you think, nuclear subs run wide open all the time? That's a nutty statement.
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Van Chocstraw wrote:

I said I read it, I didn't say it was gospel. If you have information to the contrary I'd love to read that too. I know that there are many different reactor designs in the world and I have no intimate knowledge of nuclear plant operations but I do know that there is an optimum level for any power system to operate efficiently. I've always understood that the startup and shutdown of a power plant of any type is not a flip of the switch, it's much more involved especially for a nuclear plant. If I'm wrong, please set me straight and point me to a source of information so I may learn.
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

I'm right here...NucE, 30 years in commercial nuclear.
It does take time (couple days or so) to start up any large power plant from cold shutdown whether it's fossil _or_ nuclear. Little of that has to do w/ the technology of firing the boiler per se, it's mostly limited by metallurgy and how fast one heat the components w/o exceeding design thermal stress limits.
As for power control for commercial nuclear reactors, they are controlled basically as another poster said by positioning control rods (neutron absorbing material) in the core. It is somewhat analogous to controlling a conventional boiler; the more fuel/air in, the more flame.
A chain reaction doesn't work _quite_ the same, but can be envisioned as follows. The control rods are withdrawn to a certain position and by them being further out of the central fuel region the number of neutrons will increase since they're no longer being absorbed in the control rod. These neutrons will then be absorbed in the fuel, a certain fraction of them causing fissions and as a byproduct therefrom releasing yet further. At this point the power is continuing to increase as this process continues (under close monitoring/control, of course). As the power approaches the desired power level, whether that is 10%, 20% or 100% or anywhere in between, the control rods are gradually inserted further until the number of neutrons absorbed by the control rods and fuel comes into balance. At that point the reactor will continue to operate at that power level until some change is made to either insert or withdraw them to absorb more or less than required to maintain the status quo and a new equilibrium point established again. All of this is, of course, controlled and monitored by plant control systems with operators in charge.
There are a few unique things about the operations of a nuclear unit as compared to fossil, but really surprisingly few.
As noted, I spent 30+ years consulting supporting commercial generation starting in nuclear and gradually evolving to fossil as the nuclear work slowed so I've been around 'em both first hand for quite a spell.
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dpb wrote:

It's been about four decades since I majored in physics at college and I do understand the basic operation of a conventional nuclear plant. I assume your experience is with light water reactors rather than heavy water rectors like the CANDU. Did you work with pressurized or boiling water rectors or both? Which is the most common type in the US? I've read some about the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor design and was wondering what you may think about it? I wonder if the tree huggers would be more receptive to a PBMR in the neighborhood?
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote: ...

...
Some peripheral contact w/ CANDU thru contacts at Chalk River, but no in depth work w/ them.
Primarily PWR altho fair amount of generic control system work on BWRs. Don't recall exact count in the US but I think it's very roughly 2:1 PWRs. There're statistics easily available at the NRC site on all operational reactors in the US you can look up as easily as I.
PBMR is interesting concept -- guess we'll have to see how the utilities like it. AFAIK there aren't any license applications for one on file w/ the NRC. At last look there were something on the order of 27 on the docket for LWRs over the next 7-8 years. Whether the C-sequestration folks have any intent of actually accomplishing something useful will be clearly demonstrated in their response in hearings. Unfortunately, I suspect I already know what the reaction will be...
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dpb wrote:

This irrational fear of anything "nuclear" resulted in the name Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imagining being changed to the more politically correct MRI to keep the dumb masses from freaking out. The tree huggers will never admit the fact that coal fired plants put more radioactive material into the atmosphere than any of our nuclear power plants (Chernobyl excluded)ever have. Those wacko Luddites would rather see the economy stifled by high energy prices than allow safe, nonpolluting nuclear power to exist. If I step in carbon black before kicking one of those nutjobs in the ass, could that be called my carbon footprint?
TDD
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