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1 minute ago, Old-Ruffneck said:

Over 4 million loss of power is just a "stumble"? 

Yup!  At least they didn't "black out"!

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30 minutes ago, turbguy said:

I'm certain ERCOT has some plan for a black start.  I know they have supposed black start thermal generation to boot the system back up.

Since that plan has never been tested, there are plenty of unknowns to be revealed and overcome (equipment damage, "black start" units that don't, personnel shortages, communication issues, and a whole bunch more). 

I doubt the grid controllers were lying to him, and they probably aged 20 years as well.  Making it "harder" on "them" would do exactly what?? Miss a bathroom break?  They were reacting correctly to a rapidly emerging situation.  Being a "hard ass" does nothing, when the only control he actually had is the spot price, and commanding load shedding.

Oh, and it is STILL an old boy's club...

GIVEN HIS POSITION AND POWERS, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY??

Yes, this type of coordination role often doesn't win that many friends. It's often why people hate governments and such.

I'm curious about other longer range interconnectors and how they can be used to "destress" the system, for example:

https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/the-smarter-grid/testing-the-systems-to-link-grids-across-continents

"Submarine cabling" has come a long way, probably due to the economies of scale caused by so much undersea internet cable (usually fiber optic these days, but can be long distance data/power carrying HVDC in principle, there are so many projects planned for this variety of cabling that I assume economies of scale will kick in at some point. Usually precise timing is important so synchronization of distributed atomic clocks are used with a lot of extremely precise time of flight sensors and adaptive noise tolerant sensors).

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1 minute ago, surrept33 said:

Yes, this type of coordination role often doesn't win that many friends. It's often why people hate governments and such.

I'm curious about other longer range interconnectors and how they can be used to "destress" the system, for example:

https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/the-smarter-grid/testing-the-systems-to-link-grids-across-continents

"Submarine cabling" has come a long way, probably due to the economies of scale caused by so much undersea internet cable (usually fiber optic these days, but can be long distance data/power carrying HVDC in principle, there are so many projects planned for this variety of cabling that I assume economies of scale will kick in at some point. Usually precise timing is important so synchronization of distributed atomic clocks are used with a lot of extremely precise time of flight sensors and adaptive noise tolerant sensors).

The "grid" is man-made.  I can GUARANTEE you that, from time to time, it will fail.

This time, it survived.

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(edited)

Some great comments in the last couple of hours.

Mr. Ward Smith's last 2 sentences ought to be bookmarked as THAT is exactly where the main focus will be placed in the coming months.

 

While I am certainly no expert in these matters, I have, for several years, observed the power generation systems over many regions.

Theses include NE ISO, NYISO, PJM, Australia's AEMO, MISO, SWPP, CAISO, and a few of the European systems.

 

Many similarities exist, some fundamental differences, but all have the over riding mission of ensuring reliable service at the lowest cost.

 

Way upthread, Mr. Clemmensen threw out an idea of having a new wind operator be required to also offer an OCGT as backup.

One of the state's regulatory bodies was actually considering that as a requirement for new wind approval. (Don't know how that worked out).

 

The results of the forward capacity auction for New England were just announced.

~50 page, downloadable pdf. Don't bother reading it unless you are a hardcore masochist OR you own a competing power plant in New England.

The fact that a New Hampshire coal plant AND an oil burner (Wyman in Yarmouth, Maine) will be paid substantial monthly stipends to sit around and be ready 3 years from now gets to the heart of Mr. Smith's comments above.

Reliability is achievable.

It costs money.

It takes an exceptionally sophisticated skillset to ensure systems are in place and are able to 'fire up' at a moment's notice in times of great distress.

 

The 'elephant', to use Mr. Ward's description, is that intermittent supplies can  NEVER be reliable by their very nature.

When 'renewable' (sic) sources supply 5%,10%, perhaps up to 20% (Gail Tverberg's implosion threshold), all manner of difficulties can and do arise.

When Texas received ~42% of its power from wind just days before this current debacle, the stage had LONG been set for a potential disaster.

 

I have a great deal of faith in Texans' ability to quickly understand the situation and rapidly implement remedies to ensure that this tragedy is never repeated.

Being a self contained system, they are in a unique position to act as they wish to protect the interests of their people.

 

Do not be surprised if some type of capacity market/compensatory back up mechanisms are mandated for ALL generators who are authorized to access the grid.

 

As the wind folks are HUGELY vulnerable in this regard, (and they sure as shit know it), the ongoing  onslaught of anti hydrocarbon propaganda will continue unabated.

Edited by Coffeeguyzz
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(edited)

6 minutes ago, Coffeeguyzz said:

Some great comments in the last couple of hours.

Mr. Ward Smith's last 2 sentences ought to be bookmarked as THAT is exactly where the main focus will be placed in the coming months.

 

While I am certainly no expert in these matters, I have, for several years, observed the power generation systems over many regions.

Theses include NE ISO, NYISO, PJM, Australia's AEMO, MISO, SWPP, CAISO, and a few of the European systems.

 

Many similarities exist, some fundamental differences, but all have the over riding mission of ensuring reliable service at the lowest cost.

 

Way upthread, Mr. Clemmensen threw out an idea of having a new wind operator be required to also offer an OCGT as backup.

One of the state's regulatory bodies was actually considering that as a requirement for new wind approval. (Don't know how that worked out).

 

The results of the forward capacity auction for New England was just announced.

~50 page, downloadable pdf. Don't bother reading it unless you are a hardcore masochist OR you own a competing power plant in New England.

The fact that a New Hampshire coal plant AND an oil burner (Wyman in Yarmouth, Maine) will be paid substantial monthly stipends to sit around and be ready 3 years from now gets to the heart of Mr. Smith's comments above.

Reliability is achievable.

It costs money.

It takes an exceptionally sophisticated skillset to ensure systems are in place and are able to 'fire up' at a moment's notice in times of great distress.

 

The 'elephant', to use Mr. Ward's description, is that intermittent supplies can  NEVER be reliable by their very nature.

When 'renewable' (sic) sources supply 5%,10%, perhaps up to 20% (Gail Tverberg's implosion threshold), all manner of difficulties can and do arise.

When Texas received ~42% of its power just days before this current debacle, the stage had LONG been set for a potential disaster.

 

I have a great deal of faith in Texans' ability to quickly understand the situation and rapidly implement remedies to ensure this tragedy is never repeated.

Being a self contained system, they are in a unique position to act as they wish to protect the interests of their people.

 

Do not be surprised if some type of capacity market/compensatory back up mechanisms are mandated for ALL generators who are authorized to access the grid.

 

As the wind folks are HUGELY vulnerable in this regard, (and they sure as shit know it), the ongoing  onslaught of anti hydrocarbon propaganda will continue unabated.

I would agree that some storage, or back-up, needs to be a part of the "answer".  At least financial support for same. 

Edited by turbguy
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1 hour ago, Ecocharger said:

Nice dodge, but the point I made is that empirical science is divorced from the multiverse speculations. A simple point, which you may choose not to respond to. I would understand.

If I choose to not respond it is because you are anti-science. 

Discussing science with someone who invokes "faith" is a waste of time. The word faith by itself means you do not require evidence

"You shall not test your lord, your God." 

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22 minutes ago, turbguy said:

The "grid" is man-made.  I can GUARANTEE you that, from time to time, it will fail.

This time, it survived.

Sure, nobody can yet predict the future with 100% probability (or else they would be clairvoyant, and you should be suspicious), but reducing brittleness by having multiple redundant methods of <insert domain here> communicating governors (controllers that adaptively regulate some waveform of some system) without too much capital inefficiencies caused by underutilization can both be done, I think.  Reducing cascading failures, reducing the amount of fickle (usually older mechanical equipment) that are prone to damage in case of irregularities in upstream/downstream components (I'll just call it harmonization issues. this type of problem shows up in a lot of different fields), learning from "regretful" situations (like any brownouts or blackouts), but keeping up with the dynamics of electricity consumption (I think Texas can learn from California or say Norway here. Imagine more two way bidirectional distributed grids with increased uptake of EV, distributed energy storage, and solar grids) necessitating a lot of hybridization. 

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55 minutes ago, turbguy said:

Yes.  Can you describe some "shift in culture" that might have made a difference to operating ERCOT as it was designed and built?

Anything? 

I'll wait right here...

Just business, two massive system failures under one's oversight. The loss of billions of dollars and civil liabilities that will take yrs to settle

Opinions no longer matter.

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22 minutes ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

Just business, two massive system failures under one's oversight. The loss of billions of dollars and civil liabilities that will take yrs to settle

Opinions no longer matter.

"Oversight" goes quite high in this matter.

Opinions only matter at the ballot box.

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(edited)

59 minutes ago, Symmetry said:

If I choose to not respond it is because you are anti-science. 

Discussing science with someone who invokes "faith" is a waste of time. The word faith by itself means you do not require evidence

"You shall not test your lord, your God." 

The word above should be  "tempt", not test...elsewhere we are told to test the Lord and his promises to see that they are true.. You seem to invoke your own faith-based beliefs as a knee-jerk reaction.

Edited by Ecocharger
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8 minutes ago, turbguy said:

"Oversight" goes quite high in this matter.

Opinions only matter at the ballot box.

Can you imagine sitting in front of a owner asking.

Why did the turbines fail?

Why did the gas supply fail.

1. Weather

2.Who knows

The rest is minutia at this point, I am quite sure someday it will be published,and hashed over and over again until then there is a new culture at ECORT. Time to move on.

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2 hours ago, surrept33 said:

Yes, this type of coordination role often doesn't win that many friends. It's often why people hate governments and such.

I'm curious about other longer range interconnectors and how they can be used to "destress" the system, for example:

https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/the-smarter-grid/testing-the-systems-to-link-grids-across-continents

"Submarine cabling" has come a long way, probably due to the economies of scale caused by so much undersea internet cable (usually fiber optic these days, but can be long distance data/power carrying HVDC in principle, there are so many projects planned for this variety of cabling that I assume economies of scale will kick in at some point. Usually precise timing is important so synchronization of distributed atomic clocks are used with a lot of extremely precise time of flight sensors and adaptive noise tolerant sensors).

As usual, you're way out ahead of your skis. You have whatever algorithm you're using to substitute 50 cent words when a 5 cent word would do, to obfuscate your ignorance on subjects. Again I'm reminded to come up with a better term then Botass but it still seems to apply, or Assbot perhaps, hard to tell which way the assistance is going. 

Meanwhile, HVDC has those two key letters right there in the name. DC, meaning Direct Current, meaning no synchronization needed! So throw out all your atomic clock nonsense (trivial today, virtually every cellphone tower has one) because DC doesn't need it whatsoever. Ship the power at high voltage to minimize I^2 R losses then do the DC to AC conversion at the far end, trivially aligning the phases with the AC wavelengths. Not even remotely difficult. BTW Texas has HVDC connecting to other states, which negates the FERC requirements for interties. It's an elegant solution and frankly more reliable. Unfortunately as I proved days ago here, Texas by itself produces and consumes more power than MISO. it is the really big dog on the block. 

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1 hour ago, Ecocharger said:

The word above should be  "tempt", not test...elsewhere we are told to test the Lord and his promises to see that they are true.. You seem to invoke your own faith-based beliefs as a knee-jerk reaction.

The vast majority of decisions I make are not based on faith, as logic does not require faith.

Science is not religion; and you can have both in your life.  Just don't pray and expect physical things to happen.

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1 minute ago, Symmetry said:

The vast majority of decisions I make are not based on faith, as logic does not require faith.

Science is not religion; and you can have both in your life.  Just don't pray and expect physical things to happen.

I've been praying that you grow a brain, apparently I don't have enough faith or God is unwilling to perform that big of a miracle

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1 minute ago, Ward Smith said:

I've been praying that you grow a brain, apparently I don't have enough faith or God is unwilling to perform that big of a miracle

How Christian of you. You can apologize now and then ask forgiveness later; or do you think you have a free pass to bully (sin) because you are saved?  Holy warrior?   Archangel!!

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(edited)

2 hours ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

Can you imagine sitting in front of a owner asking.

Why did the turbines fail?

Why did the gas supply fail.

1. Weather

2.Who knows

The rest is minutia at this point, I am quite sure someday it will be published,and hashed over and over again until then there is a new culture at ECORT. Time to move on.

Those are,indeed, SOME of the questions that need honest and truthful answers (no matter how much it might hurt an owner, a supplier, a Board member, or a politician).  AND ANSWERED IN THE MINUTIA! 

Else, it WILL happen again, no matter WHAT the "culture" is...

Are we after root causes, or just "heads"?

Would YOU accept the answer "Who Knows"?  I somewhat doubt that.

If so, you may want to examine being any part  of the industry.

Edited by turbguy

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(edited)

39 minutes ago, Ward Smith said:

As usual, you're way out ahead of your skis. You have whatever algorithm you're using to substitute 50 cent words when a 5 cent word would do, to obfuscate your ignorance on subjects. Again I'm reminded to come up with a better term then Botass but it still seems to apply, or Assbot perhaps, hard to tell which way the assistance is going. 

Meanwhile, HVDC has those two key letters right there in the name. DC, meaning Direct Current, meaning no synchronization needed! So throw out all your atomic clock nonsense (trivial today, virtually every cellphone tower has one) because DC doesn't need it whatsoever. Ship the power at high voltage to minimize I^2 R losses then do the DC to AC conversion at the far end, trivially aligning the phases with the AC wavelengths. Not even remotely difficult. BTW Texas has HVDC connecting to other states, which negates the FERC requirements for interties. It's an elegant solution and frankly more reliable. Unfortunately as I proved days ago here, Texas by itself produces and consumes more power than MISO. it is the really big dog on the block. 

I am aware DC doesn't need synchronization. 

I was talking more about hybrid HVDC/AC systems like those proposed in the north sea. I assume at deep sea wind will be more of a thing based on what I see utility companies procuring in the 2020s in the eastern seaboard. 

These transatlantic cables would surely send frequency data over fiberoptic and would necessitate fairly precise metrology (especially for multiple distributed clock trees) especially with wide geospatial distribution in remote areas that may or may not want to use power to talk to satellites. That ain't trivial. 

The whole should the "grid" be allowed to island or not reminds me of other networks in the past. I assume packet switching will again overwhelm circuit switching because of so many cheap digital logic semiconductors everywhere:

historical refs: https://edwardbetts.com/monograph/packet_switching

Internet of Power of Things?

Edited by surrept33
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(edited)

27 minutes ago, Ward Smith said:

As usual, you're way out ahead of your skis. You have whatever algorithm you're using to substitute 50 cent words when a 5 cent word would do, to obfuscate your ignorance on subjects. Again I'm reminded to come up with a better term then Botass but it still seems to apply, or Assbot perhaps, hard to tell which way the assistance is going. 

Meanwhile, HVDC has those two key letters right there in the name. DC, meaning Direct Current, meaning no synchronization needed! So throw out all your atomic clock nonsense (trivial today, virtually every cellphone tower has one) because DC doesn't need it whatsoever. Ship the power at high voltage to minimize I^2 R losses then do the DC to AC conversion at the far end, trivially aligning the phases with the AC wavelengths. Not even remotely difficult. BTW Texas has HVDC connecting to other states, which negates the FERC requirements for interties. It's an elegant solution and frankly more reliable. Unfortunately as I proved days ago here, Texas by itself produces and consumes more power than MISO. it is the really big dog on the block. 

Yeah, HVDC ties work.  There's even variable frequency transformers that will "synchronize" two out-of-sync systems while transferring power either way.  They have rather large rotating parts.    

The DC wires are less expensive per mile and some of the losses are also lower (particular is single jacket packaging such as used underwater), but the valves at each end are REALLY pricey.

Edited by turbguy

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31 minutes ago, turbguy said:

Yeah, HVDC ties work.  There's even variable frequency transformers that will "synchronize" two out-of-sync systems while transferring power either way.  They have rather large rotating parts.    

The DC wires are less expensive per mile and some of the losses are also lower (particular is single jacket packaging such as used underwater), but the valves at each end are REALLY pricey.

I'm quite aware of the technology. "Valves" is an interesting description of an electrical component. If you meant circuit breakers, you'd be on the right track. Quickly shunting 750kv to ground is no picnic, in fact the "ground" will get into the action quite spectacularly. No SquareD on off switch here, the kind of designs I've seen involve exploding conductors and minimum 2 meter gaps. I posted a video last year or so on this, not going to bother looking for it now. 

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24 minutes ago, Ward Smith said:

I'm quite aware of the technology. "Valves" is an interesting description of an electrical component. If you meant circuit breakers, you'd be on the right track. Quickly shunting 750kv to ground is no picnic, in fact the "ground" will get into the action quite spectacularly. No SquareD on off switch here, the kind of designs I've seen involve exploding conductors and minimum 2 meter gaps. I posted a video last year or so on this, not going to bother looking for it now. 

That's the Old Systems term.  Back when they used Mercury Vapor "valves" before the advent of solid state power electronics. There were several different methods of commutation (can't recall them all).

There are much better ways to avoid the arcs with DC switching now.

 

Edited by turbguy
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53 minutes ago, turbguy said:

That's the Old Systems term.  Back when they used Mercury Vapor "valves" before the advent of solid state power electronics. There were several different methods of commutation (can't recall them all).

There are much better ways to avoid the arcs with DC switching now.

 

Now how they do would be quite interesting,I cannot imagine a solid state device that could with stand energy.

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(edited)

32 minutes ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

Now how they do would be quite interesting,I cannot imagine a solid state device that could with stand energy.

Effectively, staged switching with mechanical and solid state devices in parallel.

Edited by turbguy

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1 hour ago, Ward Smith said:

I'm quite aware of the technology. "Valves" is an interesting description of an electrical component. If you meant circuit breakers, you'd be on the right track. Quickly shunting 750kv to ground is no picnic, in fact the "ground" will get into the action quite spectacularly. No SquareD on off switch here, the kind of designs I've seen involve exploding conductors and minimum 2 meter gaps. I posted a video last year or so on this, not going to bother looking for it now. 

"valve" is the British term for "vacuum tube".    "Two nations separated by a common language."

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3 hours ago, Symmetry said:

The vast majority of decisions I make are not based on faith, as logic does not require faith.

Science is not religion; and you can have both in your life.  Just don't pray and expect physical things to happen.

That is your own statement of faith. You are welcome to it. But multiverse ramblings have nothing to do with science.

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Wall Street Journal article by Russell Gold just published "Wind Power was thriving in Texas. Then came the Freeze".

It describes the financial underpinnings of many of the Texas wind operations that now threaten to severely damage their ongoing viability.

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