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Hydro dam energy stores for 100% renewable power

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posted on Mar, 11 2012 @ 01:29 PM
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In future, we won't need any coal, oil or gas burning or nuclear power stations, at all.

All we'll need to generate all the electrical power we'll ever need is renewable energy from wind, tidal, wave, solar and other renewable sources of energy and a good place to store our surplus renewable energy for later use.

A good way to store energy where you have steep hills and water is to build pumped-storage hydroelectricity dams, reservoirs and power stations.

Scotland is such a place with plenty of steep hills and water. Scotland is the land of the mountain and the flood. So where better to develop the art of building pumped storage hydro?

Scotland best for pumped-storage hydroelectricity energy economy

This is a statement of the obvious as far as Scottish electrical power-generation engineers and scientists are concerned I expect but I am making this statement anyway, not for the benefit of our scientists or engineers but to inform the political debate about the potential of the Scottish economy "after the North Sea oil runs out" because political debate involves mostly non-scientists and non-engineers who need to have such things explained to them.

The Scottish economy has a profitable living to make in future in the business of electrical energy import/export from/to English electrical power suppliers and perhaps even to countries further away one day.

The tried and tested engineering technology we Scots can use in future to make money is pumped-storage hydroelectricity.


Wikipedia: Pumped-storage hydroelectricity

The technique is currently the most cost-effective means of storing large amounts of electrical energy on an operating basis, but capital costs and the presence of appropriate geography are critical decision factors.




In Scotland, the Cruachan Dam pumped-storage hydroelectric power station was first operational in 1966 and was built there to take advantage of Scotland's appropriate geography and available capital.

So Scotland has the appropriate geography for pumped-storage hydroelectric power and we have the capital particularly if we invest some of the taxes on North Sea oil before it all runs out and it is all spent.

Investment in wind-power energy generation is proceeding apace, in Scotland, in England, on and offshore, and that's very "green" and quite clever, though wind power is not as dependable as tidal power, but unless and until sufficient capacity to store energy becomes available to supply needs when the wind isn't blowing then conventional, and perhaps increasingly expensive, coal, gas or oil burning or nuclear energy power will still be needed to keep the lights on when the wind doesn't blow.

Scottish opportunity
Here is the opportunity for the Scottish economy in a future where wind-power generation is increasingly rampant: if we Scots build a large capacity of new pumped-storage hydroelectric power stations, not only can we supply all our own Scottish energy needs from "green" renewable energy schemes, but we could provide energy storage capacity for customers outside Scotland, particularly in England, who live in a land not so well endowed with appropriate geography for hydroelectric power.

In future, a Scotland with investment in a massive pumped-storage hydroelectric capacity could buy cheap English wind-power while the wind is blowing then sell the same energy back to English power suppliers, at a profit, when the wind isn't blowing and the English will pay more for energy.

So everyone wins, the energy is all green, the electricity supply is always available when it is needed and that is how the Scottish energy economy does very well after the North Sea oil runs out.


So problem solved but not job done as yet. We Scots do actually need to get busy investing and building pumped-storage hydroelectric power generation and supply capacity in Scotland now.




posted on Mar, 11 2012 @ 01:33 PM
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My vision for a LARGER hydro dam at Coire Glas, Scotland than SSE's

I am presenting here my vision for a large pumped storage hydroelectric 2-square kilometres surface-area reservoir and 300+ metre tall dam which I have designed for the Coire Glas site, Scotland.

(View site using Google Earth where the convenient label is "Loch a' Choire Ghlais" - or, /coireglas)

I was inspired to conceive and to publish my vision by learning of the Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) proposal to build a smaller hydroelectric pumped-storage scheme at Coire Glas which has been presented to the Scottish government for public consultation.

I have not long been aware of the SSE plan for the Coire Glas scheme, not being a follower of such matters routinely, but I was prompted by an earlier tangentially-related news story (about energy storage technology for renewable energy generators such as wind farms) to write to Members of the Scottish Parliament on the merits and urgency of new pumped storage hydroelectric power for Scotland on 14th February and a reply from Ian Anderson, the parliamentary manager for Dave Thomson MSP received the next day, the 15th February informed me about the SSE plan and Ian added "initially scoped at 600MW but, to quote SSE, could be bigger!"

I replied to Ian "So the schemes proposed by the SSE are welcome and ought to be green-lighted and fast-tracked, but I am really proposing that Scots start thinking long term about an order of magnitude and more greater investment in pumped storage hydroelectric capacity than those SSE plans."

So I had in mind "bigger would be better" but it was not until the next day on the 16th February when a news story informed me that the SSE plans had been submitted to the Scottish government for public consultation that I thought "this needs consideration now".

So starting late on the night of the 17th, early 18th February and all through the weekend, I got busy, outlining my alternative vision for a far bigger dam and reservoir at the same location.

So this is my vision as inspired by the SSE plan. If my vision is flawed then the fault is mine alone. If my vision is brilliant, then the brilliance too is mine.





Image also hosted on postimage

The black contour line at 550 metres elevation shows the outline of the SSE proposed reservoir of about 1 square kilometre surface-area and the grey thick line shows the position of the proposed SSE dam which would stand 92 metres tall and would be the tallest dam in Scotland and indeed Britain to date though it seems our dams are several times smaller than the tallest dams elsewhere in the world these days.

Part of the red contour line at 775 metres elevation, where the red line surrounds a blue shaded area, blue representing water, shows the outline of my larger reservoir of about 2 square kilometres surface-area and the thicker brown line shows the position of my proposed dam which would stand 317 metres tall which would be one of the tallest man-made dams in the world, 1475 metres long and about 72 million cubic metres in volume.

Enhanced satellite photograph




Image also hosted on PostImage.Org

Cross section of the Dow-dam
The Dow-dam would be more than 3 times higher than the proposed SSE-dam. In this diagram, a horizontal line one third of the way up the Dow-dam indicates the relative height of the SSE dam although it is not aligned with this cross-section.




Image also hosted on PostImage.Org

Maps showing the line of cross-section viewed from each side




Image also hosted on PostImage.Org



posted on Mar, 11 2012 @ 01:36 PM
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Image also hosted on PostImage.Org

Cross section of the Dow-dam reservoir



Cross section along the major diameter of the elliptical excavation of the reservoir bed


Also hosted on PostImage.org

The Upper Reservoir

The green ellipse of major diameter of 1.5 kilometres and minor diameter of 1 kilometre represents an excavated reservoir bed, as flat and as horizontal as practical, at an elevation of 463 metres.

Since an excavated reservoir bed is not, that I can see, part of the SSE plan, at any size, I will provide some more information about my vision for that now.

The basic idea of excavating a flat or flattish reservoir bed is to increase the volume of the water stored in the reservoir because more water means more energy can be stored.

Capacity of the reservoir, energy stored and power supplied

Excavating around 138 million cubic metres of rock increases the volume of the reservoir so created to about 400 million cubic metres, achieving a theoretical energy storage capacity of more than 600 GigaWatt-Hours and it ought to be possible to excavate enough rock to achieve a practical 600GW.Hrs electrical energy supplied.

Accordingly, I envision it would be appropriate and useful to install the required turbine-pumps to supply up to 12 GigaWatts of electrical power to the grid for up to 50 hours before the energy store would be exhausted.

Excavation details

Depending on the geology and strength of the rock of Coire Glas the walls of the reservoir bed perimeter could be as steep as vertical from the reservoir bed up to the natural elevation of the existing rock surface which would mean, presumably, blasting out rock to create a cliff which at places could be as much as about 290 metres tall.

Near the dam, the reservoir bed perimeter wall would be only 40 metres or less tall. The further from the dam, the higher the wall will be and the more rock needs to be excavated.

A vertical reservoir bed perimeter wall would be ideal to maximise reservoir volume wherever the geology provides a strong stone which can maintain a vertical wall face without collapse, (a stone such as granite perhaps). Ideally this would allow about 138 million cubic metres to be excavated to flatten the reservoir bed.

Where the geology only provides a weaker stone then a sloping perimeter wall at a suitable angle of repose for reliable stability would be constructed.

So the reservoir perimeter wall could be as sloped as shallow as 45 degrees from the natural elevation at the perimeter of the eclipse sloping down to the reservoir bed at 463 metres elevation in the case of the weakest and most prone to collapse kinds of stone.

Exactly how strong the stone is at each location I guess we'll only find out absolutely for sure if and when engineers start blasting it and testing the revealed rock wall face for strength.

The shape of the perimeter of the excavated reservoir bed is not absolutely critical. So long as it ends up as a stable wall or slope, however it is shaped by the blasting, it will be fine. There is no need to have stone masons chip the perimeter smooth and flat! The ellipse is simply the easiest approximate mathematical shape to describe and to draw. If the end result is not a perfect ellipse, don't worry, it will be fine!

Loch Lochy and vicinity water flow control works

Here is an annotated satellite photograph of the land south from Coire Glas showing Loch Lochy, Loch Arkaig, the isthmus between the lochs, Mucomir where Loch Lochy empties into the River Spean before it flows on as the River Lochy, the Caledonian Canal and Fort William where the river flows into a sea loch.




Click to see larger image



posted on Mar, 11 2012 @ 01:37 PM
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New waterway

Loch Lochy is separated from a neighbouring loch, Loch Arkaig, by a 2 km wide isthmus, which I have identified on this map as "the Achnacarry Bunarkaig isthmus", after the local place names.

It ought to be quite straight forward to build a canal or culvert, to connect those two lochs. The idea is that the new waterway would be wide and deep enough, enough of a cross section area under water, perhaps hundreds of square metres, so as to allow free flow from one loch to the other, so as to equalise the surface elevations of the two lochs, so as to increase the effective surface area of Loch Lochy so as to decrease the depth changes to Loch Lochy when water flows in from the Coire Glas reservoir when it discharges water when supplying power.

Now, Loch Arkaig has a natural surface elevation of 43 metres and this would be lowered to that of Loch Lochy. The surface area of Loch Arkaig is given by wikipedia as 16 km^2 also, (though it looks to me somewhat smaller than Loch Lochy). In addition, partially draining Loch Arkaig to bring its level down to that of Loch Lochy will also reduce its surface area.

If say, the additional surface area of Loch Arkaig is about 10 km^2 added to Loch Lochy's 16 km^2 this would give an effective surface area of 26 km^2 and reduce the potential depth variation to

Potential depth variation of Loch Lochy + Loch Arkaig = 400 000 000 m^3 / 26 000 000 m^2 = 15.3 metres.

Without equalising the loch levels, the depth changes to Loch Lochy that would require to be managed may be potentially more like 25 metres than 15 metres. So the new waterway is an important part of the new water flow control works that Coire Glas/Dow requires to be constructed.

Additional Loch Lochy water level control measures

When the Coire Glas reservoir is full, then the water level of Loch Lochy should be prevented, by new water works - drains, dams, flood barriers etc. - from rising due to rainfall and natural flow into the loch above a safe level which allows for the reservoir to empty into the loch without overflowing and flooding.

The safe "upper-reservoir-full" loch level will likely turn out to be around about 15 metres below the maximum loch level.

The next diagram showing the new loch drain and the reservoir pump inlets indicates how this might be achieved.




Click to see larger image

The drain from Loch Lochy to the sea which goes underground from the 14 m elevation level in the loch would need capacity for the usual outflow from Loch Lochy which currently goes through the Mucomir hydroelectric station.

I have estimated the flow through Mucomir from its maximum power of 2MegaWatts and its head of 7m as somewhere near 0.2 Mega-cubic-metres-per-hour and compared that value using a spreadsheet I have written to predict the capacity of water flow through different sizes of drains using the empirical Manning formula and this is also useful for determining the appropriate size of the new water channel between the lochs.



posted on Mar, 11 2012 @ 01:38 PM
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Ease my quantity


To construct Coire Glas/Dow/600GW.Hrs/12GW may cost of the order of around £20 billion, but that would be my order of magnitude educated guess more than a professional cost estimate.

In other words, I'm only really confident at this early "vision" stage that the cost would be closer to £20 billion than it would be to £2 billion or to £200 billion but I'm not claiming to be able to quote an accurate cost estimate at this stage.

I have not itemised my costs - how much for land, how much for labour, how much for trucks, how much for diggers, how much for cement, how much to install the generators etc. and the SSE have not published itemised costs for theirs either so I can't calculate my costs in a proportion to the SSE's costs.

Although my version offers 600 GigaWatt-Hours energy and 12 GigaWatts power (or 20 times the capacity and performance) some of the items in my version would cost more than "in proportion", in other words more than 20 times the SSE's cost.

For example, the cost of my dam will be more like 27 times the cost of the SSE's dam. (3.44 times higher and thicker and 2.27 times longer).

For example, the cost of excavating 400 million tonnes of rock from the reservoir bed to increase the capacity of the reservoir to hold water (and energy) in my version won't be in proportion to the SSE costs for excavating their reservoir bed because, as far as I know, they don't plan to excavate their reservoir bed at all.

On the other hand, my land costs are about the same as the SSE's - much less than in proportion. I may well need to use more land to dispose of the additional excavated rock spoil but perhaps when that additional land has been landscaped over it could be resold?

So it depends how much the land is as a proportion of the SSE's costs. If land is a small part of their costs, if 20 similar sites to build on are just as cheap and easy to buy then my costs will be much more than proportional, since saving land won't save much money.

If land is scarce and valuable and the cost to purchase suitable land with a good chance to get permission to build on it is a significant proportion of the SSE's or anyone's costs to build 20 of their size of hydro dam schemes then my costs may be better than proportional. Sometimes securing suitable land for development can be very problematic, very expensive. Sometimes people won't sell their land. Sometimes the authorities won't agree that the land can be used in this way.

The SSE say that suitable sites for such pumped storage schemes are rare indeed, so land costs may be very significant and my scheme good value for money.

If indeed the cost of my scheme is somewhere around £20 billion it is likely to cost far more than the SSE or any electrical power supply company looking to their annual profits for the next few years could possibly afford.

Something like £20 billion I expect could only be found as a national public infrastructure project, spending government money, like the building of a large bridge or motorway would be.

A £20 billion government project would require Treasury approval, at least while Scotland is ruled as part of the UK.

I have suggested funding my much larger hydro dam scheme by re-allocating of some of the Bank of England's "Quantitative Easing" funds which amount to some £300 billion of new money printed with not much to show for it.

Any Questions?

OK, well I guess that's the vision part over. The rest is fairly straight-forward engineering I hope. Oh, and there is always getting the permission and the funding to build it of course which is never easy for anything this big.

OK, well if anyone has any questions or points to make about my vision or can say why they think the SSE plan is better than mine, or if you don't see why we need any pumped storage hydroelectric scheme at Coire Glas, whatever your point of view, if you have something to add in reply, please do.



posted on Mar, 11 2012 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by Mr Peter Dow
 

Too bad the wind mills only work great in theory, while in practice they produce MUCH LESS. They also destabilize the grid if you have too many off them, which means there is absolutely no way to power more than a small little village with current windmill technology. They are also very expensive to maintain and extremely unreliable, which means that they will have to be SUBSIDED with tax payers money for it to be possible at all.

Hydro on the other hand works great where it is possible, but still you cannot power the entire world with such as there are only a few countries that got the geography and rain needed. Those hydro plants also ruin nature, so even if it was possible it would not be a good idea to use it in a big scale.

Why not invest in thorium plants instead, which is much safer and less polluting than current nuclear plants. These plants cannot have a meltdown and there are near unlimited amounts of fuel.



posted on Mar, 11 2012 @ 01:52 PM
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Implementing this idea in Southern California USA has been ongoing but meeting local resistance since the existing lake, the source of water would rise and fall four feet every day causing issues for those who live along the lake and boaters. More info at lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com...



posted on Mar, 11 2012 @ 02:58 PM
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wow you have certainly thought this out rather extensively. Hydro power should be used much more extensively than it is, unfortunately the same "environmentalists" that don't want us running coal and nuclear plants also don't like hydro because of the dams.

Instead they'd rather follow the georgia guidestones and exterminate all but a few of us in the name of making sure there is plenty for everyone when in reality there is and has been plenty for everyone for at least the last 70 years.

Projects like you are proposing could have a very amazing effect on not just the power demands of the local area but also the local economy. I really hope you manage to gain the support you need to realize your dream.



posted on Mar, 11 2012 @ 04:27 PM
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reply to post by Mr Peter Dow
 


You bring up good ideas and bad ideas. An example of the bad would be pumped storage where a company skims electricity at low cost during off-peak hours and generates electricity during on-peak hours. In our greed driven society, the accountability formula is basically if the dollar value of the cost of life and property from "potential" lawsuits is less than the dollar value to do the job correctly, then the job will be done incorrectly. As an example, I give you the Taum Sauk Reservoir which collapsed December 14th, 2005 and literally eroded the ground down to the bedrock. You can google it for more information, but it is a classic case of poor engineering and substandard construction in the rush to "scam" governments and people while skimming power. They tout these projects as green, they are far from it. That 400mw-600mw of power to pump the water to the upper reservoir has to come from someplace and it's generally coal-fired or nuclear generating stations.

Now, in Ontario a company called Northland Power is teaming up with a company called Aecon to turn an old iron quarry that is now filled with water into the lower reservoir and then they will build an upper reservoir on the tailings piles. About 2 years ago, during the 5.3 earthquake in Quebec, the tailings piles started vertically shedding material during the earthquake. If Aecon/Northland build this upper reservoir on the tailings piles we can certainly expect a disaster like the Taum Saulk but with far more reaching ramifications, including the potential loss of life of the entire town of Marmora. A 100+ foot wave traveling at roughly 110 mph with a pressure of about 50psi and 27 billion gallons of water behind it, will not make for a pretty picture.

Now, how do we work out whether or not substandard engineering practices and construction will be put into play? Northland says they are budgeting at 650 million dollars for this complete project and that THEY are putting up the money, NOT the government. We know this to be patently a lie as they have far too many politicians in their collective pockets, taxpayers Will be paying for the construction so they can also pay increased electrical rates as well as increased property taxes. What is the approximate cost however of a catastrophic disaster, say the wall of water during a breach headed for the town (which can see the tailings piles at 100 yards distant)? Well, 4000 people, assume a 3 people per home and a property value of 200,000 average. So roughly 1,340 times 200,000 would be the property value and because of the tort laws in Ontario/Canada, that's a hard loss cost or about $268,000,000 and you can add in about 30 million for the business. So total loss due to catastrophic failure would be $298,000,000 and about 4000 women, children, men and retired people dead.

Now what's the cost in leveling the tailings piles and building a secure upper reservoir? I have all the work done already so the number is about $790,000,000. Look at that, it's about $490 million more than the catastrophic loss and $140 million more than the budgetary cost of building this death trap.

So you decide, is it a good idea to build this piece of crap so some jackass CEO can garner big bonuses while the taxpayers pay them plus the increases in property taxes and utilities? I think NOT! And I really don't care if it has to be proven that they are physically paying off politicians or not, something stinks about this Marmora pumped storage deal!

In the best case, everybody in the area pays more in property taxes and everybody in Ontario pays more in electrical utility costs while Northland's CEO walks away with huge bonuses while skimming and the politicians keep their mouths shut concerning the entire scam.

In the worst case, everybody in the area pays more in property taxes and everybody in Ontario pays more in electrical utility costs until 4000 people die and Northland's CEO shifts the blame to the universities for preparing this bullsh*t plan and he still walks away with his bonuses while skimming and the politicians blame everyone but themselves for the entire scam. I guess because the politicians couldn't see past their own greed.

There you have it, so don't even talk about pumped storage because I have physically researched this program, done all the math, talked to Northland and I've been an engineer and a physicist for 35+ years. You can't make energy from nothing using conventional technology and EVERY conversion has a loss and reduction in efficiency. So, 400megawatts out requires 440-480 megawatts in. The whole plan for pumped storage is absolute garbage dreamed up by greedy businessmen using stupid politicians to push their agenda of skimming profit out of an already broken system while putting 4000 people at risk.

Cheers - Dave
edit on 3/11.2012 by bobs_uruncle because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2012 @ 07:46 PM
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reply to post by Mr Peter Dow
 


By the way, since I ran out of room. Are you a paid shill for the electrical utility because all I see is glorified nonsense since we all know privatized electrical utilities cut corners to no end? This looks like something Northland would put out, except you're allegedly in Scotland.

Recently, to circumvent the electrical utility industry past its initial privatization, the AECL/AECB (Atomic Energy Commission) in Canada was bought out by NM Rothschild. I suppose this will legitimize the "disappearance" of large quantities of plutonium and other spent fuels as occurred in 1987 under Maurice Strong's watch as CEO of Ontario Hydro. I did speak with him after the fact in 1990 and he was quite shocked that someone outside of the "club" knew that bit of information about the 27kgs from Bruce GS, but being in R&D for the intelligence community in the past, one does maintain contacts ;-)

So, as long as the psychopathic "criminals" are in charge of our "prison," none of these "programs" will work. The privatization of all the original government owned corporate subsidiary operations in any country are all part of what is known as the Shock Doctrine as espoused and developed by Milton Friedman, the destroyer of countries.

I hope Scotland fares better and manages to secede from London.

Cheers - Dave
edit on 3/11.2012 by bobs_uruncle because: a letter



posted on Mar, 12 2012 @ 07:12 PM
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Originally posted by juleol
reply to post by Mr Peter Dow
 

Too bad the wind mills only work great in theory, while in practice they produce MUCH LESS.

If you build enough of them, wind generators can provide enough power.


Originally posted by juleol
They also destabilize the grid if you have too many off them,

That's why you need pumped storage hydro schemes to balance the grid, so that you can deploy all the wind generators you need.


Originally posted by juleol
which means there is absolutely no way to power more than a small little village with current windmill technology.



Wikipedia: Wind power in the United States

The use of wind power in the United States has expanded quickly over the last several years.

Construction of new wind power generation capacity in 2011 totaled 6810 megawatts (MW) bringing the cumulative installed capacity to 46,919 MW.

This capacity is exceeded only by China.

In 2011 the electricty produced from wind power in the US amounted to 120 terawatt-hours (TW·h) or 2.9% of all electric power.


which is powering a lot more than "a small little village" and so you are wrong Juleo. So wrong in fact I'd have to question either your basic knowledge, intelligence or your honesty. Are you dumb or a liar or what?


Originally posted by juleol
They are also very expensive to maintain and extremely unreliable,

Yet cost effective and reliable enough to supply the US with 120 Terra-Watt-Hours of energy in 2011.


Originally posted by juleol
which means that they will have to be SUBSIDED with tax payers money for it to be possible at all.

Looks like it is a subsidy worth paying.


Originally posted by juleol
Hydro on the other hand works great where it is possible, but still you cannot power the entire world with such as there are only a few countries that got the geography and rain needed.

What I am proposing in this topic is not "hydro as a primary source of energy" but pumped storage hydro as a secondary energy store for surplus wind energy for later use when the wind is becalmed.

Maybe the entire world can either have its own pumped storage hydro or connect to the grid and use someone else's pumped storage hydro? Maybe wind and pumped storage hydro can indeed power the whole world?

Whilst it is a lot easier to set up a pumped storage scheme where you have lots of water, it isn't essential if you can get enough water to fill a two-reservoir sealed system. I mean for example if the two reservoirs are (1) underground (for the lower reservoir) and (2) buried in a mountain (for the upper reservoir). The reservoirs don't have to be open to the dry air and evaporating their water away; they could be sealed.

So long as you can stop big leaks and evaporation losses then you don't need rainfall with a sealed system.

Maybe it'll be cheaper and easier to connect to the grid for your pumped storage back-up in most dry areas but pumped storage is possible in dry areas, even though it is not the easiest place for it.



Originally posted by juleol
Those hydro plants also ruin nature, so even if it was possible it would not be a good idea to use it in a big scale.

No they don't ruin nature. Nature is fine with them. We've had these pumped storage schemes on a smaller scale for decades.



Originally posted by juleol
Why not invest in thorium plants instead, which is much safer and less polluting than current nuclear plants. These plants cannot have a meltdown and there are near unlimited amounts of fuel.

Well that's your case to make in your own topic. So go and start a thorium reactor topic if one is not started already.

This topic is all about pumped storage hydro and I am promoting that, not knocking research and development of thorium nuclear. If thorium one day turns out to be successful, all well and good.

Meantime we need to move forward with a tried and tested energy store system for wind power - and that's pumped storage hydro.

edit on 12-3-2012 by Mr Peter Dow because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-3-2012 by Mr Peter Dow because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 12 2012 @ 07:43 PM
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Originally posted by chuckk
Implementing this idea in Southern California USA has been ongoing but meeting local resistance since the existing lake, the source of water would rise and fall four feet every day causing issues for those who live along the lake and boaters. More info at lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com...

Interesting. It seems to me that the power company should be offering to build new jetties, piers and marinas (or modify existing ones) all with the needed extra 4 feet of depth of water so that people can use their boats pretty much as normal, even when "the tide is out" so to speak.

From what I remember reading of the pages you linked, some people were complaining about the bigger high voltage power lines and the pylons to hold them up. Some people prefer not to buy a house with a view of a power line. "Not in my back yard". This seems to me to be a fussy complaint to make right.

I suppose the company could offer to buy out everyone's property with a view of power lines but that could be a lot of people so it seems to me that you need to draw the line somewhere. My goodness some people live in very beautiful parts of the world and it will still be very beautiful even with a power line in the distance, won't it?

Maybe some publicity campaigns calling for a small sacrifice by noble locals for the greater good might help with this complaint? Perhaps giving some free shares in the power company to the locals effected might buy support?

It is good business practice to offer to make good any reasonable loss you cause someone else if you can. It's the right thing to do and if such measures can help build support in the community when people see they won't lose out then the advantages can outweigh the disadvantages for almost everyone.

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" said Spock. True but the few can still get a pretty good deal with new pumped storage hydro.

edit on 12-3-2012 by Mr Peter Dow because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 12 2012 @ 08:00 PM
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Originally posted by roguetechie
wow you have certainly thought this out rather extensively. Hydro power should be used much more extensively than it is, unfortunately the same "environmentalists" that don't want us running coal and nuclear plants also don't like hydro because of the dams.

Well natural dams caused by landslides occur in nature - indeed the tallest dam in the world is one such landslide dam. So the environment upstream and downstream from a dam changes equally when a natural dam is made as it does when a man-made dam is made. Beavers make living out of making dams, all as nature intended.

It seems to me the bigger legitimate worry about big dams is the safety aspect. Burst dams have killed way more people than, say, nuclear power stations ever have, for example. So really focusing on proving the safety of your dam design and the excellence of your building standards is the way to tackle real worries about dams.


Originally posted by roguetechie
Instead they'd rather follow the georgia guidestones and exterminate all but a few of us in the name of making sure there is plenty for everyone when in reality there is and has been plenty for everyone for at least the last 70 years.

Nature is not the conservationist that some think it is otherwise humans would never have evolved. As for those who want to exterminate people - like the Nazis - it turns out they were not the strongest and their evil politics did not survive. Survival of the fittest indeed!


Originally posted by roguetechie
Projects like you are proposing could have a very amazing effect on not just the power demands of the local area but also the local economy. I really hope you manage to gain the support you need to realize your dream.

Thank you very much!

edit on 12-3-2012 by Mr Peter Dow because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 01:54 AM
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reply to post by Mr Peter Dow
 


You should look at the Dinorwig installation in North Wales which is perhaps better known these days as 'Electric Mountain'. It's a very large pumped storage hydro station capable of over 2GW output but that power doesn't come cheaply even after the cost of building it is excluded because the pumping uses much more energy than you can ever recover by releasing the water for generation. A general rule of thumb is that a single 150MW hydro turbine 'motoring' on the system with its runner submerged will consume 20-30MW just turning the rotor. Running the machine economically for reactive support is accomplished by pumping the draft tube water level down below the runner so it's spinning in air which reduces that 20+MW figure by 90% or more. So the rough calc for 2GW capacity indicates around 300-400MW lost in pumping - could even be considerably higher than that depending on the installation head/flows/turbine types.

The economics of operating such a station means it's only suitable for fast response to sudden demand increases over short timespans or providing system restart reserve capability and pumping is done when system demand is at its lowest overnight because the market price is lowest then. Thermal (coal) stations don't like shutting down overnight because there's a large cost involved in shutting down at night then starting up in the morning so extra demand such as a large pumped storage installation is welcomed by them. On the downside, it also means more fossil fuels being burnt even when only the losses involved in pumping are considered. The main advantage is enhanced system security and little else.

100% efficiency? not even close



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 05:10 AM
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reply to post by Pilgrum
 


I looked quickly at your plan and the numbers look good for a hydro scheme which could exceed 15GW. I assume that the reason this location hasn't been exploited yet is to do with the longterm average inflow to the overall catchment as that is the key to this large development being feasible.

(Once you've satisfied the environmental groups that is)



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by bobs_uruncle
reply to post by Mr Peter Dow
 


You bring up good ideas and bad ideas. An example of the bad would be pumped storage where a company skims electricity at low cost during off-peak hours and generates electricity during on-peak hours.

Would you waste in times of plenty and starve in times of famine?

The market is one way to organise this prudent and efficient use of resources. It is not the only way but it can work fairly for all with appropriate regulations.

If the hydro dam schemes were part of a large electricity supply company then essentially this same method could be used equally without the internal accounting and measures of efficiency being visible to the consumer.

But since you are clearly not a reasonable person it is pointless dealing with your other points.



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by Pilgrum
reply to post by Mr Peter Dow
 


You should look at the Dinorwig installation in North Wales which is perhaps better known these days as 'Electric Mountain'. It's a very large pumped storage hydro station capable of over 2GW output but that power doesn't come cheaply even after the cost of building it is excluded because the pumping uses much more energy than you can ever recover by releasing the water for generation. A general rule of thumb is that a single 150MW hydro turbine 'motoring' on the system with its runner submerged will consume 20-30MW just turning the rotor. Running the machine economically for reactive support is accomplished by pumping the draft tube water level down below the runner so it's spinning in air which reduces that 20+MW figure by 90% or more. So the rough calc for 2GW capacity indicates around 300-400MW lost in pumping - could even be considerably higher than that depending on the installation head/flows/turbine types.

The economics of operating such a station means it's only suitable for fast response to sudden demand increases over short timespans or providing system restart reserve capability and pumping is done when system demand is at its lowest overnight because the market price is lowest then. Thermal (coal) stations don't like shutting down overnight because there's a large cost involved in shutting down at night then starting up in the morning so extra demand such as a large pumped storage installation is welcomed by them. On the downside, it also means more fossil fuels being burnt even when only the losses involved in pumping are considered. The main advantage is enhanced system security and little else.

100% efficiency? not even close


I am familiar with Dinorwig. The efficiency seems to be about 75%.

However, the concept that I am proposing is to use pumped storage to store surplus wind energy in future when there are more wind generators than are now installed. When surplus wind energy would otherwise go to waste then it makes sense to store it for later use. Even though only 75% of the energy is recovered by the turbines it is worth a lot more than the 100% when it was used to pump up the store.

So long as the selling price of 75% is more than the buying price of 100% then there is a trading profit.

edit on 13-3-2012 by Mr Peter Dow because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by Pilgrum

I looked quickly at your plan and the numbers look good for a hydro scheme which could exceed 15GW.

Well at 12GW the energy store from full to empty would take 50 hours and the wind could occasionally be becalmed for longer than that so actually ideally I could do with more in my energy store.

12GW is quite enough power for a first big scheme in Scotland. The maximum generating capacity in Scotland is only 10GW. Even if that was all wind power, it's not now, but if in future it was, a 12GW energy store could deliver enough power but the problem would be the energy store would not last more than 50 hours using 12 GW or 60 hours using 10GW or 70 hours using 8.5GW. Ideally, it would be nice if the store could last a lot longer.

So the real issue is the limited size of the energy store at 600GW.hours, not the limit of the power at 12GW.

I could have easily selected to install more turbine-pumps but didn't want to. It would not be so easy to make the reservoir any bigger, not at that Coire Glas site.

I'd like bigger but that was the biggest that could be got out of the Coire Glas site efficiently. If I want more and bigger then I should consider other sites.



Originally posted by Pilgrum
I assume that the reason this location hasn't been exploited yet is to do with the longterm average inflow to the overall catchment as that is the key to this large development being feasible.

(Once you've satisfied the environmental groups that is)

Like Dinorwig the reservoir is not filled by rain falling into it but by pumping up from a lower reservoir.

There is not much rainfall directly into Coire Glas - it is quite an isolated catchment area. Nothing really in the way of streams coming into it.

So it is only really useful for pumped-storage hydro and not until now when the need for pumped storage to balance wind is becoming more and more urgent to get working on, has it been identified for exploitation.


edit on 13-3-2012 by Mr Peter Dow because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by Mr Peter Dow

The market is one way to organise this prudent and efficient use of resources. It is not the only way but it can work fairly for all with appropriate regulations.

If the hydro dam schemes were part of a large electricity supply company then essentially this same method could be used equally without the internal accounting and measures of efficiency being visible to the consumer.

But since you are clearly not a reasonable person it is pointless dealing with your other points.


As I said, good and bad ideas... Damns in existing areas are very possibly a prudent form of storage, but they can still fail. Building artificial lakes above ground to create a storage reservoir is a bad idea waiting for failure. And yes, I would store food to alleviate the effects of a future famine, but I don't think you can equate the effects of storing food for 4000 people to keep them alive to storing 27 billion gallons of water above ground that can kill them in the first 5.0 earthquake. If you are going to make an argument, please apply apples to apples.

The cost of building a damn and a reservoir are two entirely different projects, again. Whereas one blocks an exit vector of the natural flow of water to produce a storage medium (beavers do this), the other creates an above ground lake that could not exist without human intervention. In both cases, these methods are subject to failure but moreso with the above ground lake due to the extra support systems required. To build one of these in an existing populated area is beyond retarded. Yes, I am clearly not a reasonable or sensible person. /sarcasm off. No, I just have a 38 year career in engineering and physics and have taught at, worked for or contracted to colleges, universities, the government, NRC, think tanks, the military and the private sector. My concerns are well founded in both reality and science.

As I said, these pumped storage projects are NOT green. The use power from a multitude of sources, primarily coal fired or nuclear generation.

These plants are not self sustaining, they do not create a NET energy surplus. They are consumers of energy to the amount that is the difference between the input/output energy losses and the output energy produced, so they use 15 to 30 percent more than they produce.

These plants are not stand alone. You cannot "turn one on" and it runs forever like a breeder reactor. Once it has been turned on, as long as the reservoir is filled first, it will only run through one cycle without inputing roughly 120% of the energy it produced.

These plants are a huge waste of taxpayer dollars, since they do NOT have a NET energy gain. They are simply extremely dangerous "batteries" that require more than twice the maintenance costs of a hydro-electric dam system.

These plants DO NOT create jobs for the local community that's placed at risk by this folley. Specialized personal are brought in from "outside" to run and manage these plants. In addition, during construction, the corporation in charge of the building of the plant is generally predatory and protective to insure that their people have the jobs, NOT the local community. It keeps all the money in the "family."

Now let's take the cost to alleged value equation into consideration. For about $800 million, you get 400mw for 8 hours a day. What is the value of 3.2gw hours? Well at roughly $0.14 per kw hour (on peak with the delivery charges), we get about $448,000 per day in revenue. But what is our cost on the 3.7gw hours to fill the reservoir? Well, let's call it $0.11 (off peak with delivery charges), we get about $407,000. So, a daily gross profit of around $41,000, but we haven't taken into consideration labour costs, taxes, maintenance, etc. so you can knock another, $30,000 to $50,000 a day off that profit number. The plant would be either running at a slight profit or slight loss. If it's a loss, the taxpayers and rate payers will be picking up the tab to insure the CEO gets his bigass bonuses. Costs would even be cut to make sure this happens increasing the risk to the local community.

So you think this is a good idea? Throw money at something dangerous that would risk people and property to support a CEO's bonuses? When you use the term unreasonable, I suggest you use a mirror at the same time. And BTW, I designed large sections of two nuclear and three coal fired generating stations for Ontario Hydro, so you ain't pullin' the wool over this boys eyes. That dog don't hunt here.

Cheers - Dave
edit on 3/13.2012 by bobs_uruncle because: added a word



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by Mr Peter Dow
 


One more thing. The present paradigm used by the "corporate energy mafia" promotes energy dependence rather than energy independence, or personal distributed energy generation. There are two ways to produce fusion reactions that can produce fusion reactors and they sit at "temperature" extremes. The sun which produces a natural fusion reaction is the high temperature form. The other method is the use of absolute zero to produce string entanglement and thereby fusion which sheds mass for conversion to energy in the process. This is called an adiabatic reaction and just above absolute zero it produces BEC's and other theoretically postulated and proven reactions. Thorium reactors have also been proposed but I haven't looked into them at any great depth.

An adiabatic reactor can be produced for about $2,500 that generates about 5kw per hour at 120vac (less that $3,500 for 5kw at 240vac). It is a breeder so it does require input energy for the first five seconds of operation, after which it continues to run quite literally forever. There are NO moving parts. If every house and business in Canada let's say, had one of these and basically used the existing grid (modified a little) for power distribution, Canada would have roughly 10,000,000 (homes) times 5000 watts per hour of power available. That would be 50gw per hour, just for residential use. If one were to produce this same reactor at 240vac, that would be 100gw for residential use or 2.4 terrawatts per day, every day. Put them in the businesses as well at a ratio of 10 in each business to one in each home and you are probably looking at 100 to 300 terrawatts per day.

Apart from the initial cost of the reactor, there would be NO electrical charges to any home, ever again and everyone could share everyone else's excess energy output.

We have to change our thinking. If we want a sustainable future we have to work together and move from energy dependence to energy independence. We have to think like the North American Indians did before we showed up, do no damage and leave something better seven generations forward in time. Not this, "pay these asshat CEO's to rape us some more" ideology our governments and media promote to keep the "status quo" in place.

Cheers - Dave

edit on 3/13.2012 by bobs_uruncle because: added a word



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