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Power grids on the brink of capacity

by C1ay / July 6, 2010 3:33 AM PDT

Can you imagine adding the nations transportation needs to them with electric cars en masse?

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I just don't see electric cars being practical...
by EdHannigan / July 6, 2010 3:53 AM PDT

unless we go nuclear in a big way or people start generating their own electricity at home. The idea tat electric cars are "clean" and non-polluting is just false.

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(NT) With personal household reactors maybe
by C1ay / July 6, 2010 4:21 AM PDT
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It is a potential problem ...
by Bill Osler / July 6, 2010 5:06 AM PDT

I am curious, though, whether there was some news report or publication or something that prompted the OP? You didn't offer any link or context.

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we have too much power generating capability
by James Denison / July 6, 2010 5:33 AM PDT
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That report
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 6, 2010 5:54 AM PDT

was from 2002. It would be interesting to see how it has changed since then.

I couldn't see that 813 Gigawatts figure though, nor where it said that this is too much.

I agree with Ed. In a small nation the size of the UK, a national grid works fine, but a country the size of the US, a national grid seems too difficult.

Mark

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Re: power
by Kees Bakker / July 6, 2010 5:42 AM PDT

It's a rather well-known fact that the growth in the generation and use of electrical power isn't matched by the growth of the capacity to TRANSPORT it between the places where it's produced and it's used.

In stead of saying, as James does, "we make more electricity than we can transport across the country" you could just as well say "we use more electricity than we can transport across the country".
The big problem: who will pay for the modernization of the grid?

See http://energybulletin.net/node/43823

Kees

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That's what I'm saying....
by EdHannigan / July 6, 2010 5:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: power

Instead of being on the grid, generate power locally or individually.

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Any recent news about Hyperions product?
by Kees Bakker / July 6, 2010 6:07 AM PDT
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Even on the grid
by Roger NC / July 6, 2010 7:32 AM PDT

more smaller producers widely scattered would allow you to add much more power available than centralized production.

Either a development that would make smaller regional plants available, or a breakthrough in home generation still tied to the grid would be needed.

To just pick a number, if every town/city over 25,000 had a means of generating enough power to cover 110% of their use, but all still tied together, the backup from regional supplies would probably carry the load when there were down problems. It would also help supply all the smaller towns that didn't have generating power.

It's the cross country delivery that is the real problem.

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good point
by James Denison / July 6, 2010 6:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: power

There's a move to connect the big three at Tres Amigas in Texas to try and solve that.

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It's that time of year...
by C1ay / July 6, 2010 10:29 AM PDT
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(NT) You mean like the US soil bank program?
by Steven Haninger / July 6, 2010 8:01 AM PDT
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why not big batteries?
by James Denison / July 6, 2010 9:10 AM PDT

Maybe made from swimming pools? Store the energy or at least act like a capacitor during peak periods to smooth out the power surge.

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Energy demands
by Willy / July 6, 2010 11:34 PM PDT

There is no easy answer. The best way to look at this in the long run is to remake the infrastructure that best supports all this in the future. It will cost money no thought but the end result will be a better sustained future. Even to those that make fun of anything outside of current grid power systems will have to build all alternative power generation to include homeowners than that in some way generate their own but also reduce demand as well. While electric autos maybe weak in initial offering they get better like everything else if allowed to progress. It wouldn't hurt to return to electric trains as well.

tada -----Willy Happy

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