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Rethinking Electricity

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Offline Freddy
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That's what free speech is for Smiley

In principle I am for solar farms like you - I just feel that this location is not very well thought out. I grew up in the countryside, so maybe that's why I have a strong reaction to this one.
Posted July 01, 2018, 23:29:23 PM Logged

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I believe the location was chosen to make it work in better harmony with the new Dogger Bank off-shore windfarm that they want to build, the windfarm will be the largest in the world by a long way. This is all part of the master plan for renewable energy in the 21st century.

Dogger Bank WindFarm
Posted July 02, 2018, 09:28:14 AM Logged

Offline DaveMorton
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Quote
There, converters will change it from alternating current – as used in mains electricity but which incurs losses of power over long distances – to direct current for transmitting back to the UK or Netherlands.

For years, I was given to understand that the above bit of information was incorrect, and for overland power transmission it still is*. However, I learned something while researching the information I needed to make this post, and as a result, have had to change my response. It seems that overland (and to a lesser extent, underground) transmissions experience greater loss per mile of conductor with direct current than with alternating current due to the resistance of the conductor. Interestingly enough, the high inductance and capacitance of the conductor "turns the tables" so to speak, when the conductors are under water, making DC transmission preferable with underwater cables. Interesting. scratch-head

I learned something new today. Cheesy

*
Quote from: quora
Straight wires in air have very little inductance and capacitive losses.  Over the distances that mains power is transmitted, there are some losses when using AC, but the losses are small.  A DC system would have better transmission efficiencies as it has lower losses, but would be more expensive and less efficient at the step-up/step-down stages.

Underwater cables however, are a different story.  Underwater cables have a much higher inductance and capacitance (due to the interaction of the magnetic and electrical field with the water).  An underwater AC cable would have much higher capacitive and inductive losses, and so high voltage DC cables are always used for long distance underwater power transmission.
Article here
Posted July 02, 2018, 12:28:19 PM Logged
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Offline Freddy
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The Dutch are doing our one too, had a letter today in fact.

I just feel they need to get it right from the outset. If a precedent is set that wiping out rare wildlife habitats is okay, then I feel that would be a very sad thing to happen.

If we look back to that article; I find this comment of their's telling :

Quote
A Hive Energy spokeswoman said the firm was working to minimise the scheme’s impact, claiming that sheep would graze among the panels.

They may feel that the grazing sheep will placate people, but they are in fact missing the point entirely and with that kind of naivety it shows they really don't understand the concern at all.

 Sad
Posted July 02, 2018, 22:18:18 PM Logged

Offline DaveMorton
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I'm with Freddy on this, if I'm honest. You folks have a number of older coal-fired power plants that aren't in use as often as they once were. Why not take one offline and convert it into a combination solar farm/battery complex? It's entirely conceivable that it could produce a significant percentage of power that it did as a coal plant (though probably not near as much as a 6.5k acre^ solar farm), and if there's usable acreage surrounding the plant, could produce even more, if planned and constructed properly, I think. Of course, I could be talking out of the wrong end here, but...

The Eggborough Power Plant is on only 370 acres (just over 1/3 the area of the one proposed in the article Data linked to), so it's not got much area to host PV panels, but it IS scheduled for shutdown in September of this year, so could make an excellent location for battery storage, and if 300 of the 370 acres were covered with a PV array, that's roughly 130MWh of electricity generated, if my calculations are correct (see below)

300 acres * 43,560 ft2/acre = 13,068,000 ft2 total (src: Quora)
1kWh = ~100 ft2 (rough, general estimate, under "normal" conditions)
13,068,000 ft2 ÷ 100 ft2 * 1kWh = 130,680kWh = 130MWh

Now granted, this doesn't take into account the availability of sunlight in the region, which, given the actual location will be less than optimal, but the NASA site for calculating such things is rather hard to read, but I believe that this is a better choice than risking ecological harm to ANY species, don't you?

^NOTE: I have no clue where that 6.kk acre figure came from. It's only some 890(?) acres, if I recall correctly. Oops?
Posted July 03, 2018, 05:31:34 AM
Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 10:37:04 AM by DaveMorton
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Offline DaveMorton
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By the way, other coal-fired power plants are scheduled to be taken offline permanently (or converted to gas/biomass) in the coming years, so this same plan could be put into place at these other locations as well. I think that the same thing should be considered over here, too. This is one area where I disagree completely with our president: No way in HELL is coal to be considered any SORT of "clean" (SMH)
Posted July 03, 2018, 05:40:25 AM Logged
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Nice post Dave with some well thought-out analyses in it  thumbsup

I'm not against Freddy here, he did bring up some valid points that I agree with, however I think we should consider a few things.

Firstly I think that we must not forget the article was published in the Daily Mail, they have a way of whipping up feelings and concentrating on the negatives, they have posted many articles that were anti electric cars and their readers love it. They will have put their slant on the article for sure.

If constructed the project will not kill off all wild life in the area, not a chance, life has a way of adapting to these changes, we have seen it time and time again, ship wrecks turning into fish houses, seagulls living on the roofs of our houses, bats and owls roosting in old barns, there are more examples but time is short.

The project wants to put the panels on a 12 foot high rack, animals will still be able to get underneath, I'm sure some animals would even like a bit of shade, other animals will find a new home under there too. I don't see it as all bad, there is plenty of good there too. 

The project is also about scale, cost and time, it will be far less expensive and quicker to build one large solar/battery farm then say 3 smaller farms.

Is the project perfect ? no, only cats are perfect but it does have plenty of positives as well as negatives.   

I'm going to leave it there but I will just add this:

Quote
Scotland has recorded its hottest ever temperature, according to provisional figures from the Met Office.

Scotland 'breaks temperature record'

The clock is ticking on global warming.
Posted July 03, 2018, 10:14:03 AM Logged

Offline DaveMorton
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I also saw the bit about putting the PV panels on 12 foot racks/stands/whatever, and I think it will help, but it will also create a huge "shade footprint" that will certainly change the types of plants and/or animals that would be able to live there. Many wetland plants require a certain amount of sun, and unless those new solar panels are made to be "mostly transparent" (something we're headed toward, but aren't even close to yet), some (if not many, or even most) of the plants there won't be able to cope. I admit that I don't know enough about the location, or the tech to be used, to make a fully informed decision and that a LOT of people who are smarter than I am are working on this, but that doesn't stop me from having concerns. One reason I proposed the soon to be defunct coal plant is that much of the infrastructure necessary for the project is already in place, which would save a lot, even with the expense of refitting the facility to a storage farm. Perhaps a compromise of some sort might be in order? Something like using only half of the 800+ acres for the solar farm should be built, in addition to the conversion of Eggborough? Something to think on, yes? Smiley
Posted July 03, 2018, 10:38:03 AM Logged
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I guess the powers that be will decide in the end, the final decision is up to them, we can only give our opinions and hope they listen and then take a balanced view.

Humans have a way of changing the landscape, Britain was once a forest, now we have towns, cities, roads all over the place but somehow the animals (including humans) and plants still survive.

Time will tell  Smiley
Posted July 03, 2018, 10:49:51 AM Logged

Offline Freddy
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You have to think more about the endangered species though. We've wiped out many habitats and destroyed far too much to be complacent and hope that nature soldiers on. Once an animal or plant is extinct, that's it, game over. Too sad.
Posted July 03, 2018, 11:14:16 AM Logged

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You have to think more about the endangered species though. We've wiped out many habitats and destroyed far too much to be complacent and hope that nature soldiers on. Once an animal or plant is extinct, that's it, game over. Too sad.

I think that will have been taken into account mate, Britain has one of the strongest animal rights laws in the world. The Daily Mail on the other hand has no morals other than to make money  Sad
Posted July 03, 2018, 11:18:18 AM Logged

Offline Freddy
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You're more trusting of big business and politics than me Data  lol

Agreed about the Mail though. The Guardian are often more neutral even if it's considered on the left.
Posted July 03, 2018, 17:40:40 PM Logged

Offline Freddy
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Posted July 03, 2018, 20:10:06 PM Logged

Offline DaveMorton
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While this is a Fully Charged video, I think it's more appropriate to post it here:

Posted July 04, 2018, 23:31:41 PM Logged
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Great to see graphene being used in a real world product  Smiley

These Ultra Capacitors should start to find their way in to all kinds of energy storage now, who knows we might start to see hybrid Lithium-ion/Ultra Capacitors BEV's coming to market sooner than later.
Posted July 05, 2018, 10:28:24 AM Logged
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