The Future of Power Generation in Great Britain

The Future of Power Generation in Great Britain

Author
Discussion

garagewidow

1,161 posts

134 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
afraid i'm very sceptical about 'green' renewable energy,

I look at it this way if you were given 10k barrels of oil to last you entire lifetime how much of it would you use developing and manufacturing solar panels and windmills to provide a lower return of power?

s2art

18,890 posts

217 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
Check out https://www.u-battery.com . I can see a big future for these small modular reactors. And it looks like they will be rolling these out before Hinkley point even gets generating. (or so they claim)

LongQ

13,864 posts

197 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
There have been a lot of useful articles and discussions on this site.

http://euanmearns.com/

Plus it has links to several "live" power generation monitoring sites in the side bar. (Not all in the UK)

Tesla roof tiles are discussed about 3 items down at the time of writing. Here:

http://euanmearns.com/blowout-week-176/

Go back somewhat further and you can find some detailed analysis of tidal options and some calculations about how much of Scotland (for example) would need to be turned into a giant reservoir in order to address any meaningful amount of pumped Hydro storage capacity.


GT03ROB

10,424 posts

185 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
Likes Fast Cars said:
It's actually a very difficult question to give a straightforward answer to. As Irate Ninja says reg approvals are needed, each country has its own nuc regs., etc. I think IrateNinja also infers the costs of R&D are almost prohibitive, there are (were) technologies in past years which are mature but not as efficient, hence the newer technologies which are as he says not yet fully "developed" or out of the box market ready, unlike a conventional turbine.

Westinghouse and Toshiba are a financial basket case, their nuclear businesses have screwed the entire company.

At the end of the day it is a giant political trade game, the final decisions are made at the top level of government; dangerous in the case of a country like Turkey who are building a Russian reactor near Antalya, it frightens the crap out of me, it could become a political football, not to mention a terrorist's wet dream.
It will be interesting to see how how the Korean reactors in the emirates perform, 1st units due on stream this year, just 5 years in construction.

Personally I think there is a future for small modular reactors. A number of the issues on the bigger reactors relates to the construction difficulties imposed by the sites. Moor side was always going to be very difficult from a construction point of view.

In the meantime gas powered plants are quick & easy to throw up relatively clean & flexible. We would need to build some new regas terminals but plenty of sites for these at the existing refineries. Development of fracking would reduce reliance on imports of gas, but there is plenty of gas out there.

loafer123

12,109 posts

179 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all

I agree about small modular reactors.

Very simple to site them on military bases, thereby getting the security thrown in for free.

98elise

18,888 posts

125 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
garagewidow said:
afraid i'm very sceptical about 'green' renewable energy,

I look at it this way if you were given 10k barrels of oil to last you entire lifetime how much of it would you use developing and manufacturing solar panels and windmills to provide a lower return of power?
What do you mean by a lower return of power? Solar panels will return way more energy than they take to produce.

LongQ

13,864 posts

197 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
Here is another interesting web resource.

https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/energy-minerals-a...


s2art

18,890 posts

217 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
98elise said:
garagewidow said:
afraid i'm very sceptical about 'green' renewable energy,

I look at it this way if you were given 10k barrels of oil to last you entire lifetime how much of it would you use developing and manufacturing solar panels and windmills to provide a lower return of power?
What do you mean by a lower return of power? Solar panels will return way more energy than they take to produce.
Possibly in Texas, but in a cloudy northern Island off the coast of Europe. Not so much.

http://euanmearns.com/the-energy-return-of-solar-p...

wc98

9,844 posts

104 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
well done getting this started op ,it definitely needs a thread of its own. i am very sceptical of wind and solar . solar for obvious reasons due to where the uk is situated and wind due to the huge amount of obfuscation when those involved attempt to explain the numbers. one point recently made elsewhere regarding the viability of wind on a large scale was the "wind is always blowing somewhere".

well in europe apparently not.
"Of course wind energy proponents like to say that the solution is a European-wide integrated network where if the wind is not blowing in one region, then excess power in another region can fill in the gap. After all, “the wind is always blowing somewhere in Europe” they like to say. However, the following chart plainly illustrates that this is far more a fallacy than a truth."
https://stopthesethings.com/2017/05/12/germanys-wi...

when asking those involved in the industry about the long term effects of removing huge amounts of energy from the atmosphere via wind turbines and the ocean via tidal energy i hear nary a mumble,yet some people appear so certain of the effects of getting much of our energy from an inert substance extracted from way below the surface of the planet. for me ccgt and nuclear are where the money should be spent in the near to mid term . current knowledge dictates nuclear in the long term.

vonuber

15,137 posts

129 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
That new wind farm offshore from Liverpool has started up, got 8MW turbines I believe.

Mr GrimNasty

8,172 posts

134 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
It's funny how Germany is always held up as the icon of transition to 'renewables', yet it is an unmitigated disaster, and hasn't even successfully cut CO2 (not that that matters).

So they've spunked Euro billions down the drain for some of the most expensive electricity in Europe (they bung extra onto domestic bills to subsidize heavy industry so that doesn't collapse), industrialized their pristine countryside, destabilized their grid, ruined their health with infrasound, decimated the wildlife, all for nothing.

Worse, the collapse of the discredited green party vote and their hated energy policies has been the lifeline for Angula Merkin's party (even though she's just as responsible) for the almighty windmill disaster unfolding.

Plenty of expert/political opinion articles on the matter can be found here.

http://notrickszone.com/

eldar

16,140 posts

160 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
mcdjl said:
We got all the weapons grade plutonium we needed and are still wondering what to do with the left overs.
An interesting political decision.

It can be incorporated into nuclear fuel for certain types of reactor that can accept MOX fuel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOX_fuel

Alternatively, it can be buried.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_geological_repo...

Or stored, short term, in very large concrete sheds..

The UK stockpile contains the equivalent energy capacity of at least 1.5 billion tonnes of coal.

V8 Fettler

7,019 posts

96 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
Coal, fission and fusion

voyds9

7,765 posts

247 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
I remember reading something about a 3D photovoltaic cell being tested

Apparently a traditional PV cell only absorbs a small percentage of the light that hits it, the rest is lost.

The new cell was designed to let the unabsorbed light through to further layers hence improving efficiency.

Heard nothing more about it, seemed like a good idea.

silentbrown

6,356 posts

80 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
Surprised nobody's mentioning demand management... The situation where everyone boils their kettles at half-time in the FA cup will pale to insignificance compared to everyone plugging in their hybrids when they get home from their commute at 6PM.

The intermittency of solar and wind is a big issue but probably not insuperable. Over continent-sized areas wind will tend to even out, and has the advantage that the output is somewhat complementary to solar (high wind often goes with low solar).

Storage is the biggie, though: Being able to use EV and home batteries as distributed grid storage is interesting, as DInorwig-like facilities are massive projects and can only deal with very short-term demain peaks.

Coal is terrible. Even the Chinese are cutting right back on that. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/world/asia/chin...

Mr Fusion for the win, though...

V8Matthew

2,326 posts

130 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
Shakermaker said:
I'm in favour of solar power and I do believe it to be more feasible and on the way to making big changes.

In the first house I bought, the previous owners had fitted a solar panel to the roof which charged up the hot water tank. From around April to September/October, we didn't need the boiler on at all to give us the hot water we used, and it worked well.

I've also read some articles which show how much more effective the new solar panels are becoming at collecting even low-levels of daylight and turning it into useable power.

We are tied to 240v in the UK for many many reasons, but at a local level, in the home, there are not many appliances that are still using such power all the time? Kettle, yes, washing machine/tumble dryer, yes, electric oven.

But advances in technology mean that things like mobile phones, and computers, don't need massive 240v power sources, which are all rated down to 5-12v in many cases are they not? Why do we still need to keep them going from a 240v source? I don't believe we do, and as such, there is enough daylight in most parts of the UK to actually give homes a lot of the power they actually need.
Phones, computers etc may not need 240v but try running your shower or cooker on 110v or less and see what needs to happen to your conductor sizes to provide the requisite current.

LongQ

13,864 posts

197 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all



Just as a random snapshot point of reference.

I suspect that Hydro/Bio is basically Drax.

s2art

18,890 posts

217 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
LongQ said:



Just as a random snapshot point of reference.

I suspect that Hydro/Bio is basically Drax.
Where is the dial for solar?

XM5ER

Original Poster:

5,080 posts

212 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
loafer123 said:
I agree about small modular reactors.

Very simple to site them on military bases, thereby getting the security thrown in for free.
Careful now, you're making too much sense. There's no future for you in government. smile

mcdjl

4,608 posts

159 months

Friday 19th May 2017
quotequote all
voyds9 said:
I remember reading something about a 3D photovoltaic cell being tested

Apparently a traditional PV cell only absorbs a small percentage of the light that hits it, the rest is lost.

The new cell was designed to let the unabsorbed light through to further layers hence improving efficiency.

Heard nothing more about it, seemed like a good idea.
Not very new, they've been around for years and get efficiency u up to about 40%. They're ii-vi and based on cadmium rather than silicon. As a result they're expensive and also work best with focused light on them. They do get used in space though.