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Electricity supply problems?


Kirk W
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I am amazed at the mess electricity supplies are in the D/FW area. They claim to have rolling blackouts, but some areas are off for really extended periods, while others seem to keep it all of the time. One of our sons has only had power for two periods of about 1 hour in the past 24, while the other has been interrupted. Fortunately we were visiting the second son when the roads got bad and so are still here. The senior community where we live has not been without power for 36 hours, with 3 periods of power lasting between 1 and 3 hours. People there are really getting cold.

How are things where you are currently?

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When you sleep wiyj dogs, expect fleas. Meaning they are depending on the completely undependable renewable power. Wind power units are at least 50% off line in the cold, blades are covered in ice and motors frozen. Solar power panels are snow covered. Meanwhile to nuke and fossil power plants just keep working.

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We are in the Texas Hill Country near the small town of Medina (south of Kerrville). We haven't lost power yet, but our electrical supplier has warned of rolling blackouts and has stated that as many as 1/3 of their customers have been without power. I guess that we've just been lucky here. 

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12 minutes ago, agesilaus said:

When you sleep wiyj dogs, expect fleas. Meaning they are depending on the completely undependable renewable power. Wind power units are at least 50% off line in the cold, blades are covered in ice and motors frozen. Solar power panels are snow covered. Meanwhile to nuke and fossil power plants just keep working.

Do you really have to make every subject political? The subject is the record cold and how it is impacting people, as well as where you are now.

 

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35 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

Do you really have to make every subject political? The subject is the record cold and how it is impacting people, as well as where you are now.

 

I didn't mention politics, just pointed out the unreliable nature of Wind and Solar power. When you need them the most, then they are offline. To be reliable they need 100% backup by fossil and nuke power base loaded units. Where is the politics in that? That is engineering and physics not politics

Edited by agesilaus
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We have friends in the Kansas City area that are getting rolling blackouts as well. 

Here is a quote from a daily email I get called the Morning Brew.

 

Quote

 

Texans cranked up the heat... 

And the power grid buckled. Spot prices for electricity on Monday jumped a ridiculous 3,466% from Friday, hitting the cap put in place by regulators. About 5 million people across the region suffered power outages thanks to surging demand and lots of supply being taken off the market.

  • About half of wind turbines in Texas were inoperable on Sunday. Like Uggs, they don't function so well in moist winter conditions and freezing rain. 
  • You're probably thinking, "nbd...Texas is a powerhouse for fossil fuels, not renewable energy." But wind power is actually the fastest-growing source of energy in the state's power grid. It recently overtook coal as the state's No. 2 energy source after natural gas, and last week supplied 42% of total power. 

The storm is hammering oil output, too. The largest oil refineries in North America shut down their operations due to the weather yesterday. 3+ million barrels/day in output have been taken offline, more than half of the 5.8 million barrels/day typically produced in the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico. 

 

 

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I know several people that are trying to get home to the east coast and are stuck in a couple of different places in Texas.  They’ve been reporting power off and on, and that the campgrounds are having water issues also (frozen pipes).  All of them have solar and seem to be more concerned with the availability of propane - one reported that there was only 1 place in the area she was at who had any propane, everyone else was sold out.

I’m glad I’m not in Texas at the moment.  Stay safe everyone!

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3 hours ago, hemsteadc said:

As I mentioned, Texas has its own.

I know that Texas has a (mostly) statewide grid called the Texas Interconnection managed by - ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas).  It's lines are not actually isolated from other states but the area managed does not cross state lines which keeps it free from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rules. So I guess you could say it has its own but I see it as more smoke and mirrors.

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7 minutes ago, hemsteadc said:

Is it importing power right now?

Quote

Spot prices for electricity on Monday jumped a ridiculous 3,466% from Friday, hitting the cap put in place by regulators.

Based on that, I would say yes. They have to be buying it from somewhere.

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33 minutes ago, Lou Schneider said:

I guess it's a good thing we haven't elimated all those CO2 greenhouse gasses keeping the planet warm.

Actually, increased ocean temperatures lead to increase in moisture in the air, leads to more energy in the atmosphere, leads to worse storms no matter what the season.   ICE is not knew in Texas but the strength of the storm to go that far down to the Gulf means the storm is very strong.  

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45 minutes ago, Lou Schneider said:

I guess it's a good thing we haven't elimated all those CO2 greenhouse gasses keeping the planet warm.

That's why they stopped calling it global warming, because too many people think that meant everything just gets warmer.

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1 hour ago, Chalkie said:

I know that Texas has a (mostly) statewide grid called the Texas Interconnection managed by - ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas).  It's lines are not actually isolated from other states but the area managed does not cross state lines which keeps it free from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rules. So I guess you could say it has its own but I see it as more smoke and mirrors.

I'm not sure that is unique to Texas, Florida has a state wide distribution system. We has a local distribution center that is tied into it. I've been in it several times. Each local system sells power blocks on the hour. And the prices go up and down. There is an auction system. Macon GA might buy 100 MWe/hr from Jacksonville FL for example at so much per MWe. The state system coordinates the whole thing and makes sure that half the power plants do not shut down at the same time for maintenance for example. And that system reserves are maintained.

This is how Cali provides as much power that they do since they do not produce enough in state. They buy it. There are long term contracts too.

 

So far as I know the feds do not get into the actual distribution. They provide long term standards. 

Edited by agesilaus
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5 hours ago, agesilaus said:

. . . they are depending on the completely undependable renewable power. Wind power units are at least 50% off line in the cold, blades are covered in ice and motors frozen.

Not surprising since none of the TX wind units are fitted with anti-icing technology which may change after this storm passes.

However, that's no surprise. Both the EPA and ERCOT predicted a warmer, not colder, TX. In fact, ERCOT 2020-21 winter forecast predicted another mild winter. So why bother with the expense?

This storm was unprecedented.

 

5 hours ago, agesilaus said:

Solar power panels are snow covered.

Exactly. And solar panels don't even work at night!

Edited by Zulu
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Quote

Not surprising since none of the TX wind units are fitted with anti-icing technology which may change after this storm passes.

However, that's no surprise. Both the EPA and ERCOT predicted a warmer, not colder, TX. In fact, ERCOT 2020-21 winter forecast predicted another mild winter. So why bother with the expense?

This storm was unprecedented.

If you design for heat loss and icing at 25 degrees and the temp drops to 7 degrees, like it did in Dallas, then you have a big problem. That 25 is imaginary but they did design for some temp.

And when is the last time you saw the NWS predict a cold winter, I don't recall that happening and this is despite the series or record breaking low temp and more snow winters that we have seen since the 1990's. They constantly bungle the hurricane forecasts too because there is supposedly a war between different weather agencies so non of them get enough funding for computer power and modellers. And I don't advocate throwing money at all of them, just starve all except one and fund that one fully.

Edited by agesilaus
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Politics, grids, renewable energy, solar panels, BS.  Let's put the blame for all of this squarely where it belongs.  It's all the fault of Punxsutawney Phil.  If he hadn't seen his shadow we would be having spring-like weather, but no, he had to be afraid of his shadow and look at what that has caused!

Phil

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6 hours ago, Kirk W said:

How are things where you are currently?

The subject was not grids or who is at fault. I'm still wondering about our fellow RV folks and how they are making out, as well as where. In other words, RV related.

Edited by Kirk W
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