The Future of Power Generation in Great Britain

The Future of Power Generation in Great Britain

Author
Discussion

Gary C

7,663 posts

143 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
CraigyMc said:
Several of the coal stations still exist, as standby. In other words, it's possible to both shut them down and not be caught short.
Google "supplemental balancing reserve (SBR)".
Only if you pay for it and maintain it.

These stations were never designed to be shutdown for long periods. One of our units (which are actually Parsons 660MW sets fitted to coal stations) was shutdown for 6 months and we had to do all sorts of things to preserve it in good condition. Even then when we started up, we had lots of problems (though daft things like LP spindle windage caps falling off are simple to rectify). We also wrote off about 40,000 litres of lub oil due to bacterial growth. We had to run all the installed heater systems on the generator to keep it dry and therefore the stator water systems, generator coolant systems. I spend most of my time for 4 months with the Chemistry department on preservation.

To use an old CEGB coal station as a quick reserve (ie within minutes) it has to be already running. To use it as a standby (an hour or two) means the oil systems and condensate systems need to be mainly in service and clean. To use it as a winter reserve means a lot of summer preservation techniques.

Not a cheap option and certainly not as simple as just turning it off then back on again.

Also, the 'several units' are only the ones still running. The rest, while some buildings may still stand, are not recoverable.

Of course, we would have to not comply with the large combustion plant directive to do this, which might cost us even more.

Gas plants are far more suitable for standby units.

Condi

11,513 posts

135 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
CraigyMc said:
Several of the coal stations still exist, as standby. In other words, it's possible to both shut them down and not be caught short.
Google "supplemental balancing reserve (SBR)".
Think you're a few years out of date there....

SBR no longer exists (as far as I know) and certainly some of the coal stations which were on it will never generate again.

The only stations which exist are West Burton, Drax (5+6), and Ratcliffe in GB. Of those West Burton is due to close in September and Drax did announce the closure date for theirs too, but I forget when it was. Maybe this September as well?

CraigyMc

12,219 posts

200 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
Condi said:
CraigyMc said:
Several of the coal stations still exist, as standby. In other words, it's possible to both shut them down and not be caught short.
Google "supplemental balancing reserve (SBR)".
Think you're a few years out of date there....

SBR no longer exists (as far as I know) and certainly some of the coal stations which were on it will never generate again.

The only stations which exist are West Burton, Drax (5+6), and Ratcliffe in GB. Of those West Burton is due to close in September and Drax did announce the closure date for theirs too, but I forget when it was. Maybe this September as well?
Balls.
Anyone got the number for RR's SMR division?

Gary C

7,663 posts

143 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
CraigyMc said:
Condi said:
CraigyMc said:
Several of the coal stations still exist, as standby. In other words, it's possible to both shut them down and not be caught short.
Google "supplemental balancing reserve (SBR)".
Think you're a few years out of date there....

SBR no longer exists (as far as I know) and certainly some of the coal stations which were on it will never generate again.

The only stations which exist are West Burton, Drax (5+6), and Ratcliffe in GB. Of those West Burton is due to close in September and Drax did announce the closure date for theirs too, but I forget when it was. Maybe this September as well?
Balls.
Anyone got the number for RR's SMR division?
What do you mean by 'balls' ?

You were talking about existing coal stations and the shutdown ones are dead. The remaining ones are not long for this country and not really as suitable as they would need to be for that duty.

If you mean its possible to build backup stations, yes your right but your post seemed to indicate we could just use the old CEGB stations.

Now SMR's, I agree. I think they could be the answer but none have been built.



Edited by Gary C on Thursday 25th February 22:44

CraigyMc

12,219 posts

200 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
Gary C said:
What do you mean by 'balls' ?
It's an exclamation of "I done fked up". As in, oh balls.

Condi

11,513 posts

135 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
Gary C said:
Now SMR's, I agree. I think they could be the answer but none have been built.
Or even fully designed. Tested. Signed off by regulators. Had planning permission approved.

If in 20 years the UK has a still day it'll be good to know they're available. hehe

Gary C

7,663 posts

143 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
CraigyMc said:
Gary C said:
What do you mean by 'balls' ?
It's an exclamation of "I done fked up". As in, oh balls.
Ah, I see. Sorry,

beer

CraigyMc

12,219 posts

200 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
Gary C said:
CraigyMc said:
Gary C said:
What do you mean by 'balls' ?
It's an exclamation of "I done fked up". As in, oh balls.
Ah, I see. Sorry,

beer
It was ambiguous. I just didn't read it the wrong way until you asked smile

Gary C

7,663 posts

143 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
Condi said:
Gary C said:
Now SMR's, I agree. I think they could be the answer but none have been built.
Or even fully designed. Tested. Signed off by regulators. Had planning permission approved.

If in 20 years the UK has a still day it'll be good to know they're available. hehe
True.

I believe from conversation I had with someone senior that SMR's were possible for Sizewell C but getting regulatory approval would probably have to be available now to meet any realistic program.

Then we could have a fleet of them.

Each one different from the one before until we finally get them right and dump them for something different ;}

Condi

11,513 posts

135 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
Gary C said:
Each one different from the one before until we finally get them right and dump them for something different ;}
Naturally, because we have to keep all the different UK engineering companies in jobs.... oh wait.... If RR are the only people left then maybe we can have 1 standard design with interchangeable parts!

CraigyMc

12,219 posts

200 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
Gary C said:
Each one different from the one before until we finally get them right and dump them for something different ;}
The RR way is test until break, fix break, test again.

At least it was when I was reading Stanley Hooker's autobiography.

Gary C

7,663 posts

143 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
CraigyMc said:
Gary C said:
Each one different from the one before until we finally get them right and dump them for something different ;}
The RR way is test until break, fix break, test again.

At least it was when I was reading Stanley Hooker's autobiography.
smile

It was a dig at the UK nuclear industries performance so far.

Each magnox then each AGR were so vastly different from each other, they were essentially new designs. Ok Heysham 2 and Torness went back to the basic Hinkley design, but even then no parts were interchangable and we even used different turbines on each station to keep Parsons and GEC in business and even completely different computer systems to control the same reactor (Ferranti Argus for Torness and a hybrid CEGB Honeywell/Intel system for Heysham)

Mind you RR's Autolog software was don't test it, try to fix it, give up smile

QuantumTokoloshi

4,050 posts

181 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
robinessex said:
Isn't the point that the emphasis by governments and authorities worldwide to SHIFT TO RENEWABLES? a bad move. Then, sure as eggs are eggs, at some time in the future, it will all go pear-shaped again. Texas is an example, although it wasn't solely due to having renewables, just poor planning.
This, exactly.

The concern is based on the piss poor planning currently surfacing, when questions which should have been asked before the climate change bill and net zero commitment was undertaken, are now only being asked, hoping that as yet to be delivered technologies can solve the self created problem.

Committing to "net zero" before you even have the vaguest idea how you are going to do it, self evident gargantuan costs involved, no matter which as yet theoretical strategy is adopted, disruptions it will cause to the economy and society, and never mind the increased potential for Texas style outage. Reliable, affordable and clean. The CO2 bias potentially losses us reliable and affordable, and clean is debatable.

Little late to start asking these questions ?

https://greenallianceblog.org.uk/2021/03/02/we-sti...

Hope we all have deep pockets, it is going to be expensive.

https://www.ft.com/content/fdbfd592-4455-44be-a1b1...







Gary C

7,663 posts

143 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
QuantumTokoloshi said:
This, exactly.

The concern is based on the piss poor planning currently surfacing, when questions which should have been asked before the climate change bill and net zero commitment was undertaken, are now only being asked, hoping that as yet to be delivered technologies can solve the self created problem.

Committing to "net zero" before you even have the vaguest idea how you are going to do it, self evident gargantuan costs involved, no matter which as yet theoretical strategy is adopted, disruptions it will cause to the economy and society, and never mind the increased potential for Texas style outage. Reliable, affordable and clean. The CO2 bias potentially losses us reliable and affordable, and clean is debatable.

Little late to start asking these questions ?

https://greenallianceblog.org.uk/2021/03/02/we-sti...

Hope we all have deep pockets, it is going to be expensive.

https://www.ft.com/content/fdbfd592-4455-44be-a1b1...
Well, if you don't commit, it will never happen. There is always a reason to extend it a little longer.

The questions have been asked a long time ago and the grid has done a lot of work to stabilise itself.

As we move into the phase with no coal and the loss of all but one/two of the nuclear stations, thats a lot to replace. I dont want to say everything's fine but its not like those that understand these things are not aware of exactly how much we need and how much we have.


robinessex

9,172 posts

145 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Gary C said:
QuantumTokoloshi said:
This, exactly.

The concern is based on the piss poor planning currently surfacing, when questions which should have been asked before the climate change bill and net zero commitment was undertaken, are now only being asked, hoping that as yet to be delivered technologies can solve the self created problem.

Committing to "net zero" before you even have the vaguest idea how you are going to do it, self evident gargantuan costs involved, no matter which as yet theoretical strategy is adopted, disruptions it will cause to the economy and society, and never mind the increased potential for Texas style outage. Reliable, affordable and clean. The CO2 bias potentially losses us reliable and affordable, and clean is debatable.

Little late to start asking these questions ?

https://greenallianceblog.org.uk/2021/03/02/we-sti...

Hope we all have deep pockets, it is going to be expensive.

https://www.ft.com/content/fdbfd592-4455-44be-a1b1...
Well, if you don't commit, it will never happen. There is always a reason to extend it a little longer.

The questions have been asked a long time ago and the grid has done a lot of work to stabilise itself.

As we move into the phase with no coal and the loss of all but one/two of the nuclear stations, thats a lot to replace. I dont want to say everything's fine but its not like those that understand these things are not aware of exactly how much we need and how much we have.
When you say "those that understand these things", are you saying the guys 'at the coal face', or the useless politicians, who plan our energy requirements?

Gary C

7,663 posts

143 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
robinessex said:
When you say "those that understand these things", are you saying the guys 'at the coal face', or the useless politicians, who plan our energy requirements?
Ah, good point. I mean the engineers not the Politicians.

alangla

3,033 posts

145 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Potential new fusion station at Ratcliffe - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamsh...

take-good-care-of-the-forest-dewey

1,177 posts

19 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
alangla said:
Potential new fusion station at Ratcliffe - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamsh...
Could be built...

You could build a giant statue of me dressed as a fat he-man astride battle cat but it's unlikely.

alangla

3,033 posts

145 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
take-good-care-of-the-forest-dewey said:
alangla said:
Potential new fusion station at Ratcliffe - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamsh...
Could be built...

You could build a giant statue of me dressed as a fat he-man astride battle cat but it's unlikely.
Someone, somewhere, in the architect's office is currently pondering that.

loafer123

12,109 posts

179 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
take-good-care-of-the-forest-dewey said:
alangla said:
Potential new fusion station at Ratcliffe - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamsh...
Could be built...

You could build a giant statue of me dressed as a fat he-man astride battle cat but it's unlikely.
I would pay to see that. Not much, mind.