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Texas dodged a bullet: Would you like explosions with your blackouts?

Houston Texas, Feb 2021. Image by Fish & Trips

Texas toyed with cascading crises

The Green Experiment could have gone so much worse. Here’s a man who was a gas industry executive involved in a near miss in New England in 1989. The four day blackout sounds bad, but it was a lottery win compared to the worst case scenarios. Not only was a full state-wide blackout possible, which may take months to correct, but the gas system is a bomb waiting to go off too.

ERCOT officials admit they only just averted a blackstart:

Texas was “seconds and minutes” away  Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday.

— by Erin Douglas, Texas Tribune

The Blackstart in Venezuela took weeks to restart — rebooting an induction motor takes six times the normal current. Energizing a substation can cause explosions. It’s much easier to add load to an operating grid than to rebuild one from scratch. Surges on start up can break things, that fail. It can take rolling rounds of rebooting to get back in action. (Read all the gory details thanks to Lance at the link).

But there was a potential gas powered disaster in the works too. As the cold bites, and everyone with a gas heater switches it on, the flow in pipes ramps up, and pressure falls. If gas powered plants also swing into operation, the gas pressure can fall so low that air can leak in to the pipes. The system has one way valves but at low pressure any faulty valves in the system allow air with oxygen back into the pipes. As Vic Hughes warns “Whole city blocks could be destroyed in an air/gas explosion.”

So when a big freeze arrives, the wellheads may be icing up and reducing supply at the same time as demand is exploding. In New England in 1989, gas supply fell 95%.  Hughes reports that the decisions that came next were gambles on major scales. On the one hand, the low pressure might lead to deadly suburban explosions, but cutting the gas to areas might be even worse. When every home in that area then switches on their electric heaters, the grid faces an electricity blackout as well. As blackouts spread, homes switch on their gas heaters, and so it unravels.

An Insider Explains Why Texans Lost Their Power

by Vic Hughes, American Thinker

To maintain safe gas pressures, the operators wanted to shed load with localized gas shutoffs.  Since all non-critical gas loads had already been shutoff, only critical loads were left.  This included houses and hospitals.  To save the gas grid, the operators had to cutoff gas to a very large number of customers.

Whose gas to shut off?

After the gas was shut off:

The houses without gas would rapidly lose heat and quickly become unlivable.

Anyone who had any kind of electric space heater would plug it in.

That would blow the electric grid.

An electric utility call confirmed a sudden, albeit short-lived, increase in electric load for space heaters would probably blow the already critically strained electric grid.

The electric grid in areas well beyond the gas shutoff area probably would be blown also.

Widespread blackouts would impact not only shut off gas customers.  It would kill the electric blowers in furnaces that could still get gas.  How many?  No way of knowing.

Lots and lots of people are in the cold and in the dark.

Many would probably get in their cars for heat and try to drive somewhere, although in reality there is nowhere for that many people to go.

All the traffic lights would be out, creating a massive traffic jam, trapping many tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands)?

Since the blackouts killed the electric gasoline pumps, filling your tank would be impossible.

As cars ran out of gas, abandoned cars would block traffic and create massive traffic jams, possibly for days.

In the end, it was only luck that the gamble paid off:

The decision was made to just let the gas system pressure drop and hope it would stay high enough to get by.  If it didn’t, a few blown up neighborhoods would be less damage than a gas shutoff.

Luck saved them.  An unexpected break in the weather lowering demand, along with some unexpected supplies, saved the city.

If you aren’t properly scared, all this relates to the short-term deaths.  Longer-term deaths from a gas shutoff were incalculable.

Hughes goes on to explain that shutting off the gas en masse can take as long to reboot as a blackstart. Frozen houses get burst pipes, basements flood, things ice over, then every furnace and gas line needs to be individually cleaned and inspected…

His last words:

Wind power did this to Texas.  Be very afraid of the Green New Deal.

Read it all at American Thinker.

h/t to Bill in AZ.

PS: Hanrahan sent in an excellent long comment from an Engineer in Texas. I would like to post that, but am hoping to find out if we can get permission, or if it is published elsewhere. I’m hoping Hanrahan will check his email, or perhaps someone else has seen a forum with perhaps “Goatboy” and these words: “ I’ve been an engineer in the Fossil Power Generation industry for over a decade. I am based in Texas, but have worked at plants around the US and even around the globe. I literally know these plants inside and out. ” He mentions AEP Turk. And AEP Walsh and “Sickening Schadenfreude”.

PPS: While the media has roasted Ted Cruz for leaving the state during the crisis, they are praising Joe Biden for not turning up.

Andrea Widberg, American Thinker

On Sunday, the Washington Post enthusiastically relayed that the White House’s pronouncement that Biden is “eager” to visit Texas and might even go there this week. According to the WaPo, Biden’s hands-off approach is a virtue:

Biden is taking a notably low-key approach to the storm relief process. It’s a marked contrast to predecessor Donald Trump’s habit of making himself the often-hostile center of attention during natural disasters.

It all makes sense if you understand that the American media are Pravda West – except the media are actually worse than the original Pravda. Soviet “journalists” lied and propagandized because they’d be imprisoned or killed if they didn’t. Our American “journalists” lie and propagandize because they want to.

9.7 out of 10 based on 80 ratings

104 comments to Texas dodged a bullet: Would you like explosions with your blackouts?

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    There’s no such thing as Political Engineering which gives a composite solution to an expressly physical situation.

    Electricity generation and distribution is Engineering.

    Leave engineering to properly qualified engineers.

    420

    • #

      Keith I have been saying this, as a Professional Engineer, for years.
      Having activists and politicians design our power grid is a complete catastrophy waiting to happen.

      I have lost count of the times in companies I have worked in when Marketing or other people have been eager to tell me what we need to do. I am always happy to talk with them, but Engineers cannot avoid the laws of Physics, and fortunately I have had sway and we avoided issues.

      But here the huge issue is that there is not even an attempt to talk to Engineers. Probably because they would be perceived as “negative” as they would oppose, with technical reasoning, the outlandish, unworkable and 100% political solutions being foisted on us.

      210

  • #
    Hanrahan

    Will this warning be taken seriously? Past experience says No!

    SA thinks another battery is all that is needed.

    330

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      There is no software patch for stupid.

      Just like when hollywood realesses a dig if a movie, it huts cinemas all at once to stop peopke realizing its a dog. Same approach to the cov19 “vaccine” and the green power blitzkrieg….

      71

  • #
    Hanrahan

    Jo, that email was fourth hand. I have asked my son if he could ask Goatboy if he would repost on this site. All I can do, sorry.

    80

  • #
    Hanrahan

    Biden is taking a notably low-key approach to the storm relief process.

    But Ted Cruz is pilloried because he took his family to Mexico and flew straight back. Of course one of our resident TDS sufferers claimed he flew on a private jet.

    290

    • #
      Dave in the States

      Even if he did fly on private jet, I have no problem with it. Private jets emit co2 which is good for the planet. I don’t mind if anybody flies on private jets as long as they don’t criticize others for doing the same.

      And so what if took his family to Mexico? What’s wrong with that?

      281

    • #
      Richard Owen

      But Ted Cruz is in the ‘wrong’ party. John Kerry, Oprah, Not Royal Meghan, Climate Conference attendees and any Democrats doing so cannot be criticised.

      220

    • #
      David Maddison

      And Ted Cruz flew on a standard commercial flight in any case. Only Billionaire Socialists who believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming fly by private jet.

      70

    • #
      stevem

      Ted Crux, like Scott Morrison, has pre-teen children. After months away from home he planned a time to take a family holiday to spend time with children he had not spent enough time with. No doubt his children were at him to spend time with them and were delighted with the prospect of spending time with him in some exotic locale.
      Circumstances conspired against him and he elected not to disappoint his children rather than hang around, unable to materially help the situation.

      For this (and being on the “wrong side” of politics) he is pilloried and forced to abandon his children. At the same time, Biden doesn’t go to Texas and is praised because there is nothing he can do to help. Naked media bias is standing proudly and largely unchallenged.

      91

  • #
    Michael

    What was it the Washington Post said about Bush and Hurricane Katrina?

    140

  • #
    TdeF

    It’s amazing how Saint Biden can do no wrong. Even doing absolutely nothing is praised as a virtue. Anyone doing anything is obviously going to inflame the situation. We are going to have four years of this and then the demand that Biden is canonized as the most devout Catholic in history. And all his family and staff. Except no one believes it. They know he stole the election and his whole family is swimming in cash and he is just a sock puppet for the radical left.

    The Green New Deal is no electricity or gas or coal for America and free cash and citizenship for everyone. Only America can save the planet by shutting itself down. And the UN and EU and the Chinese Communist Party agree.

    490

  • #
    tom0mason

    Maybe some will get the message — it’s not just adding generators that makes an electricity supply but maintaining a simple and robust grid with adequate reserve supplies that make it reliable.

    I believe that many will not see it still, and will call for yet more unreliable renewables. These necessarily add excessive complication to the grid — moving away from the elegant simplicity, easily maintained and controlled grid to a system more like an over complex web of unreliable parts. Command and control from a black start with such a web would have been quite an engineering task!

    220

    • #
      TdeF

      Renewables? Coal, gas and oil are free. The renewable part are the windmills and solar panels which would be lucky to last 20 years before they have to be completely replaced. A coal power station uses free natural coal and they last much longer, basically because they are repairable which windmills and solar panels are not.

      But wind and solar are not commandable. The wind stops. The sun goes down for at least half a day and much longer in winter. The batteries go flat very quickly. And you cannot dial up more power when you need it. If you had a car like that, you would get rid of it.

      As for the ridiculous idea that wind and solar are cheap? This without any evidence at all? It’s all subsidized by massive hidden taxes on coal, oil and gas.

      Why is everyone around the world paying so much for limited, risky and unpredictable electricity?

      We can only subsidize China so much. And now, thanks to the Greens, they are the only suppliers of most rare earths for electronics and windmills and are now starting to blackmail and threaten everyone with withholding supplies, like the threat of witholding pharmaceuticals in the middle of a pandemic they started.

      Global warming, cheap eternal Green power, white supremacy, BLM, AntiFA, all movements of the extreme left which lack any actual facts. Fake news, fake science, fake history and fake energy.

      432

    • #

      They already are calling for more wind and solar for Texas.

      According to this article Texas had to request that the EPA allow them to ramp up coal and NG capacity,( capacity they had) and the EPA said no…

      https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/shocker-biden-doe-forced-texas-power-grid-to-below-60-capacity-to-meet-arbitrary-green-emissions-targets-demanded-multi-million-dollar-residential-power-bills-to-overrule/

      I yet maintain this graphic shows that all wind shut down on the morning of the 16th, including functioning wind turbines.
      https://i.postimg.cc/tTc1tYnV/texas-GAS-saves-the-day.png

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      • #
        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Time to secceed?

          30

        • #
          William

          From the link:

          “There are a variety of cold weather and anti-icing technologies that are used on wind turbines in the coldest regions,” she said. “These technologies help prevent the buildup of ice on turbine blades, detect ice when it cannot be prevented, and remove ice safely when it is detected.”

          […]

          The sensors can even tell which blades have ice on them and which ones don’t. When ice is detected, heating elements inside the blades turn on to melt the ice.

          For safety reasons, the turbines are shut down while the heating elements melt off the ice, Kurt said. That way, there’s no chance of ice flying off spinning blades, potentially damaging the turbines or, worse, striking someone on the ground, she said.

          “We’d rather the ice drop below the turbine,” she said.

          Once the ice is removed, the turbines are turned back on and the blades can safely spin in the wind again.

          Given the massive size of those blades, how much electricity is drawn from the grid to de-ice those things and keep the mechanisms warm enough to restart?

          100

      • #
        Dave in the States

        “According to this article Texas had to request that the EPA allow them to ramp up coal and NG capacity,( capacity they had) and the EPA said no…”

        It’s time for another lawsuit by the state of Texas on behalf of citizens harmed. They would surely have standing. Lawfare is the avenue remaining to fight things like the green raw deal, onerous regulations, and the Paris disagreement. The unconventional ways, essentially bypassing constitutional means, these things have come into being leaves such things very vulnerable to be struck down. They could be tied up in the courts for at least next 11 years.

        30

        • #
          Richard C (NZ)

          >Dave in the States

          Also, quoting ZeroHedge:

          John Woods, an independent trader, said while the energy crisis unfolded across the central U.S. and Texas, natgas was still flowing to gas export terminals. He said, “disgusting price-gouging that we have not seen since the California energy crisis” was observed.

          By Feb. 16, Texas Gob. Greg Abbott announced a ban on natgas shipment out of the state borders. Even then, more chaos in energy markets unfolded as one energy trader, according to Bloomberg, lost $1 million in minutes, having bet right before Abbott’s ban that gas would continue to flow to the West Coast.

          The gas export ban also spilled over into Mexico, where power plants were unable to get filled. This led to widespread outages for households and factories in Northern Mexico.

          20

  • #
    Zigmaster

    There were massive financial spikes in the electricity cost in Texas. I was disappointed that the Texas government was going to implement policies to reduce the cost to consumers. Actions like this hide the real cost of renewables. Subsidies that make renewables affordable delude people into thinking that they cost less than they do.

    300

  • #
    James

    How will this work out once people plug cars into the grid ready to go somewhere in an emergency like this?

    240

    • #
      John R Smith

      What is the total energy required to stock your average Wal Mart.
      At lest half should be fossil fuels just for transit.
      I see no sign of them preparing the grid to take double the load.
      Two conclusions.
      They are not serious.
      Or, they are serious about imposing a preindustrial existence on 99% of the population of the planet they pretend to want to save.
      (Those pungent WM insurrectionists deserve it. How dare they.)

      160

      • #
        Chad

        John R Smith
        What is the total energy required to stock your average Wal Mart.
        At lest half should be fossil fuels just for transit.
        I see no sign of them preparing the grid to take double the load

        John, if you run the numbers, you will find that the extra demand on the grid for EV charging is t a myth .!
        It is not that large.compared to total grid supply capacity, even will all vehicles converted to EV, the extra electrical demand is less than 20%. ..probably less than a typical evening peak currently seen. That could be handled easily with a little “Demand Management”. Technology
        ..and Full EV conversion is not going to happen for a long time ..if ever !

        13

        • #

          Run the numbers. The Vector report on EV concluded that a 7kW slow charging car was like adding three houses to the grid. And a fast charger at 50kW was like adding 20 houses.
          https://joannenova.com.au/2018/03/another-way-to-destroy-a-grid-add-a-million-electric-vehicles/

          70

          • #
            Chad

            Yes Jo,
            Your numbers are “load” , a power figure. Which obviously if everyone wanted to charge at the same time, would be a huge problem.
            That is where “Smart Grid Technology” Comes into play to control the grid load, and spread out the demand to suit the supply capacity available.
            I was referring to total grid “capacity”,.. GWh. Of which, most grid/generator systems have a surplus..by necessity !
            But anyway, At the current and likely future rate, of EV uptake, there is plenty of time to plan and install any necessary generation increase that may be deemed prudent.
            The bigger issue is what will those generation sources be ?
            A few numbers….
            15m cars in Au
            Average daily distance,..30km
            Assume 50% (7.5m) change to EV with a typical consumption of 4km/kWh
            So daily total EV power usage..7.5m x 30/4 = 56m kWh.. = 56 GWh. ..per day.
            Au current daily electricity usage is approx 550 GWh per day
            So, the extra “capacity” required for 50% EV uptake is around 10% extra on todays usage .( but we are many , many, years away from a 50% EV saturation !)
            It just would need to be “managed” !

            02

            • #
              Chad

              I intended to add ,
              I believe the actual current maximum Capacity of the Au grid (East Coast ) is in excess of 700 GWh /day ?

              00

            • #
              yarpos

              ah yes yet another layer of complexity, amazing how much “smartness” is required to deliver what has been taken for granted for 70 + years

              40

            • #
              William

              Chad, most people will be charging at the same time and this will cause problems.

              20

              • #
                Chad

                William, ..why do you assume that ?
                Current USA experience is that “most people”. Use a whole variety of charge rates and times…
                Either charge overnight slowly during off peak periods,..
                Charge at home during the day from home solar ( after the school run etc)
                Charge during the day at works carparks (often with solar covered lots
                Charge at Fast chargers whilst traveling
                + others.
                I expect there will be many other options developing also
                And most wont be needing a “full” recharge…or a fast charge rate.
                You are visualising a “worst case “ situation.

                00

            • #
              bobl

              Chad, what you miss as usual is transport fuels which is reported on in Petajoules. To replace transport fuels with electricity you need to replace the energy Joule for Joule. Joules are directly related to kWh 1 kWh=3.6 megajoules

              From, memory transport fuels are about the same as electricity consumption so yes you need twice the generation to replace them

              30

              • #
                Chad

                Bobl,
                And what you are missing is that you DO NOT have to replace fuel energy .”joule for Joule” with electrical power for EVs.
                70% of fuel energy in ICEs is wasted to heat and friction.
                So an EV only requires 30% energy equivalence on a “Tank to Road” comparason.
                Run the numbers as i did above..this is fact , not hype !

                00

              • #
                Roger Knights

                Chad: “70% of fuel energy in ICEs is wasted to heat and friction.”

                I’ve read that Toyota’s new Dynamic Force engine is 40% efficient.

                00

        • #
          Richard C (NZ)

          >”John, if you run the numbers, you will find that the extra demand on the grid for EV charging is t a myth .!”

          Which grid?

          Not such a myth in the low voltage electricity distribution network (the grid “downstream” from local transformers that directly supplies electricity to consumers).

          A study based on an area in Melbourne has shown that an electric vehicle penetration of only 10% can lead to network failures in an unregulated environment, From:

          ‘Australia’s electricity grid can easily support electric cars – if we get smart’

          Issues are:

          Power demand
          Voltage drop
          Phase unbalance and power quality
          Getting smart

          A ways to go with the LV grid obviously. But that’s just cars, now think of the effect on downtown Auckland HV supply (scene of supply failures in the past) from Port of Auckland plugging in its new electric tug with a 1.5MW charger taking two hours to fully charge:

          ‘Ports of Auckland Buys World-First Electric Tug’

          Cars are minor. All the heavy lifting around the world whether shipping, trucking, rail (even much electrified), air, etc has fossil fuel energy source.

          Once a few of those large EVs multiply and start charging in the same locale THEN everyone will know “decarbonization” is the real myth.

          50

          • #
            Richard C (NZ)

            >”Cars are minor”

            By this I mean in terms of charging compared to heavy electric vehicles as in example previous.

            Not so in terms of CO2 emissions”

            ‘Cars, planes, trains: where do CO2 emissions from transport come from?’

            45.1% cars
            29.4% road freight
            11.6% aviation (pre covid)
            10.6% shipping
            2.2% other

            So even if all cars are electrified (still fossil fuel source in places like coal-fired Michigan) there’s still 54.9% of the global transport fleet outstanding.

            That’s where the real decarbonization “myth” begins.

            20

          • #
            Chad

            Sure every country will be different, but none with well developed working power systems , should not have problems.
            And yes, Auckland has issues even before you think of further power loads.
            My point is..do not believe the hype about the impossibility of supporting a steady conversion to EV transportation.
            Its easy to throw EVs into the same “impractical” basket as solar and Wind generation, when they actually can make a lot of sense in the right situation..
            But they will need better batteries and lower prices before there is mass uptake.

            02

            • #
              Richard C (NZ)

              >”..do not believe the hype about the impossibility of supporting a steady conversion to EV transportation”

              My reasoning comes from a background of work (asset mgt & design/const) in electricity distribution and transmission networks plus hydro and coal generation facilities – not hype.

              Plus production work involving in-rush current from large motor startup and dual forklift fleets, one working the other charging.

              I’ve answered this already above but my comments are in permanent moderation so your question beat my answer.

              Basically, assuming all car conversion issues get sorted (a stretch to begin with) what is the actual feasibility (rather than impossibility) of converting the non-car 54.9% global HEAVY transport fleet:

              45.1% cars
              29.4% road freight
              11.6% aviation (pre covid)
              10.6% shipping

              And then, assuming feasibility of that (extremely doubtful imo), how do you propose charging these heavy vehicles so as not to cause brownouts (at the very least)?

              Randomly?
              Planned allocated time slots?
              All at night (or peak prohibition)?
              Penalties similar to existing power factor correction?
              Upgrades of underground cables and overhead wires (non-trivial)?
              Transformer upgrades?

              Or is all of that just “steady conversion”?

              20

              • #
                Richard C (NZ)

                >”Transformer upgrades?”

                Chad, this alludes to profit-driven utilities already running transformers “hot” i.e. loading power transformers beyond their nameplate rating.

                Refer:

                ‘Transformer Overloading and Assessment of Loss-of-Life for Liquid- Filled Transformers’
                pserc.wisc.edu › reports › T-25_Final-Report_Feb-2011 PDF

                10

              • #
                Chad

                RichardC
                Why are you thaling about CO2 %s ?.. that is of no concern to me , or i assume , to you ??
                And why are you talking Global ?..Every country will be different, and frankly, beyond my concern..
                I am making a direct , practical look at Australia as an example !
                Shipping , and Air travel, are not going to be “Electrified” easily or quickly, and will not impact the grid system in the forseable future.
                …Heavy Road freight is a long way from being realistic for electrical conversion, and is a MINOR portion of EV potential…
                It is quite likely that Heavy trucks etc, will be running Fuel Cell (Hydrogen) systems) with zero impact on Grid demand..but that is way off also.
                BUT, 75% of all road vehicles in Au are “cars” and that is the sector that IS going to SLOWLY convert to EVs ,..over time..
                Sure there will be issues with infrastructure , transformers, charger installs, etc etc..but actual generation CAPACITY in Au is not a problem currently for mass EV uptake…
                ….providing we keep it away from dilution by Renewables !

                00

              • #
                Richard C (NZ)

                >”Why are you thaling about CO2 %s ?”

                Simply because the residual after cars defines the HEAVY transport (54.9%) that needs to “decarbonize” according to GLOBAL zero carbon goals. These plans are integral to all developed countries whether leaders or laggers, for better or worse. Australia the latter.

                NZ has (unfortunately) The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019.

                Australia had The Zero Carbon Australia 2020 plan. Now has a pathway to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – less than 30 yrs.

                Obviously, cars are the lessor fraction using global figures because I can’t find a breakdown specific to Australia (45.1%). You’ve thrown in the towel on shipping and aviation (21.6%), which is my point exactly – zero carbon just a dream for those two sectors.

                That leaves heavy road transport (29.4%), a not insignificant fraction. OK hydrogen seems to be the future. First hydrogen fuel cell trucks due to hit the road in NZ later 2021.

                But if hydrogen is the future for trucks then why not cars?

                That would alleviate ALL electricity supply issues in respect to EVs. Worst being HV/LV distribution – not generation capacity.

                00

              • #
                Chad

                Richard C (NZ)
                February 24, 2021 at 3:30 pm
                >”Why are you thaling about CO2 %s ?”

                Simply because the residual after cars defines the HEAVY transport (54.9%) that needs to “decarbonize” according to GLOBAL zero carbon goals.

                Richard,
                We are not discussing CO2 !!
                This thread is simply concerned with Grid capacity required for EV charging..aand i have focussed that specifically to the Australian grid (not Global) to keep it a relevant example..
                EV Cars are already happening and as such are the main focus,
                There is currently no commercial heavy haulage truck available, and ships, Aircraft etc are a total “furfy” so far.
                A few Ferrys, and local delivery vans etc, wont make a significant impact compared to the potential millions of cars.
                Im just trying to be realistic and correct some of the misconceptions about EV practicality.
                Personally , i am very happy with my 5.0 L/100km diesel !

                00

    • #
      William

      As I pointed out during last Summer’s bushfires in NSW, how would people be able to evacuate, or emergency vehicles operate if they were, as is threatened, EVs?

      So many idealistic dreamers, deluded by climate alarmism, never think things through to their logical conclusions.

      70

  • #
    UK-Weather Lass

    [R]ebooting an induction motor takes six times the normal current. Energizing a substation can cause explosions. It’s much easier to add load to an operating grid than to rebuild one from scratch. Surges on start up can break things, that fail. It can take rolling rounds of rebooting to get back in action.

    Thank you for that, Jo. This is the single most powerful message to all the people who just don’t get the fact that electricity generation is not a simple case of one source having sufficient power to start up another larger generator and so on. The power houses of electricity generation are exceedingly powerful for a very good reason and that is the simple fact that without them baseload and peakload will never ever be reached no matter how many wind turbines or whatever else are available. It is time to get nuclear moving and the technology developed on a scale where it will still be powering us (without any carbon excess) well into the future and at a much cheaper price and no large scale environmental blemishes.

    300

    • #

      Thank Lance. He explained it in the post on Venezuela that I linked. I will add that h/t in the post.

      It’s his expertise not mine. :- )

      190

    • #
      OldOzzie

      Why startups can pull awesome loads, wild variations, and are risky and sometimes explode:

      Every inductive load (induction motors) takes 6 times the normal running current to start each and every one. In terms of real and imaginary (complex) power components, the Load appears to be almost purely inductive with a Real component vector of nearly zero.

      I see a simple example of this with one of my current (getting old) pool motors that blows heavy stream into Spa, liaising with 2 Air Blowers.

      Switch on and hear straining of motor trying to turn, but does not start – solution turn off and send son-in-law under pool equipment cover with short handled screwdriver – get him to insert screwdriver in slot at back of motor and turn clockwise and anti-clockwise loosening up armature, then step back and I turn on motor which works (yeah ok, getting near time to replace)

      50

      • #
        Annie

        We see a brief dimming of lights when the induction hob is turned on, also seen with water pump and ‘fridge.

        31

      • #
        Chad

        “solution turn off and send son-in-law under pool equipment cover with short handled screwdriver ”
        ……next time , send him in with a can of WD40 !
        ……or that other useful can of ..“Start ‘Y Bars1ard”

        20

        • #
          another ian

          Be wary of “Start y Bastard”.

          We have an Allis 45 grader which needs a sniff of ether for a cold start.

          Got a new can of SYB and it wouldn’t start – white smoke but no fire. And no obvious mechanical reason that behaviour should suddenly happen.

          Eventually found the tail end of a can of CRC equivalent and it went back to the usual just a sniff and action.

          20

        • #
          yarpos

          thought he was talking about an electric motor?

          00

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Yup. Induction motors function as a transformer under initial start. I recall doing the current calculations for them. Some motors benefit from soft start using VFDs ( rated current, not 7x rated current ) but is more expensive. If you needed to reduce circuit breaker capacity or run off a generator, a VFD could be useful.

        https://www.electrical4u.com/equivalent-circuit-for-an-induction-motor/

        Large 3 phase will do dell-star start up sequence to get the initial grunt to start with a load.

        We can tell when they kick a large motor, our central heating fan despite a couple of decent spike filters on it, can sometimes get triggered by big voltage variation in our supply….its annoying….

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          Hanrahan

          Yup. Induction motors function as a transformer under initial start.

          Not really, they are a short circuit until the spinning rotor builds up back EMF.

          In a black start there would need to be a massive radio and leaflet campaign insisting that households turn off all switches except phone chargers. Explain that the contents of the fridge have already spoiled so delay switching it on for a couple of hours.

          Snow ball’s chance in ‘ell that many will understand let alone do as requested.

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    pyromancer76

    Reply to John R. Smith: “Or, they are serious about imposing a preindustrial existence on 99% of the population of the planet they pretend to want to save.”

    I notice you didn’t end that statement with a question mark. Anyone who “complains” about the current administrations with the expectation that complaints, no matter how many, will make any difference, are in la la land. Probably, on purpose. The alternative is too horrendous to hold in mind for very long.

    That is exactly the oligarch’s plan. Just like socio-you-know-what Bill Gates owns half the private land in the U.S.,they plan to own it all, impoverish or kill all Earth’s unwanted so they can have it all. American citizens must be the first to go, because they are the most difficult to abuse of their freedoms.

    Marxists are the shock troops to destroy. Comm China is willing to believe they will come out on top. The oligarch’s probably have a plan for them and their billions, too, after they are finished “using them.”

    Pretty bleak future. Nothing but fighting/out-smarting in every way possible ahead for us.

    Notice that our science (the scientific method) and our cheap, reliable energy supply were taken over first in tandem.

    We need to get together with our plans. Thanks, Joanne, for being an essential part of the alternative.

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      John R Smith

      “Notice that our science (the scientific method) and our cheap, reliable energy supply were taken over first in tandem.

      Yep, I noticed.
      Had a hard time believing it.
      If one was following the climate issue, step two was clearly visible.
      Started about a year ago.
      Climate fear wasn’t as immediate as personal health fear.
      Can’t tell if they are smart or just lucky.

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    Aloha! Now “re-imagine” 550,000 new EV charge stations across the USA that Biden wants as part of the Green Marxist Deal! Now “re-imagine” the EV traffic jams from California to New York and the dead bodies on the side of the road!

    NOW THAT’S PROGRESSIVE! Thank you Fabian Society!

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    Rather than saying Texas dodged a bullet, I would say Texans shot themselves in the foot.

    In August 2011, the official report on the early 2011 rolling blackouts in Texas, which affected 3.2 million people, said to ‘winterize’ the Texas energy infrastructure, or it would happen again. Well. it just happened again.

    Instead of winterizing,, the decision was made to buy windmills. They bought the cheaper windmills NOT able to operate in freezing cold weather. The windmill investment provided a good return due to poorly conceived incentives..

    Winterizing might never be needed. After all, there was global warming. For the next ten years those decisions looked smart. And then in 2021, they looked dumb.

    Because windmills have such variable and unpredictable output, ERCOT planned for very low output from their windmills — a worst case estimate. During the blackout, thanks to half the windmills freezing, total wind power fell to as little as 2/3 of the already low expectations — a deficit of about 2,000 megawatts. That was a problem, but it was a small part of the total power deficit (demand exceeding supply), which peaked at about 30,000 megawatts.

    Windmills were only a small part of the total problem. They frequently have periods of very low output. One week earlier, for one hour of one day, windmills provided 58% of all ERCOT electricity. At other times, under 5%.

    The wind happened to be weak when wind power was needed most. That happens often with wind power. There is too much variation from day to day, and sometimes from hour to hour, for a balanced electric grid. Windmills must have 100% natural gas back-up. They should really be in museums, not on the electric power grid.

    The good news when half the windmills froze up — half the birds in Texas were safe !

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      William Astley

      Richard.

      Excellent summary of the source of the problem….

      There is a limited amount of ‘money’/GDP to spend on everything. The Left/Fake Media ignore/hide that fact…. And forced wind farms to be installed. Logically, every government should and will eventually be forced to prioritize spending.

      The US year after year cyclic of borrowing/money creation will end to avoid any difficult choice. What is the justification/Cost benefit analysis to install wind farms in Texas?

      How much climate change did the Texas wind farms avoid? What ‘benefit’ came because of the wind farm installation?

      If the Texas wind farms were not built what would change? Did Texas wind farms change atmospheric CO2?

      The wind farm money could have been spent on electric grid/water supply cold weather protection and gas supply protection. Same money could have been spent to improve roads, schools, subsidized secondary education, provide more subsidized healthcare and so on,

      Texas power plant gas supplies and gas lines needed to winterized and gas supply/store built to ensure gas is always available.nd there needs to be back-up electric power to maintain pressure in the gas system in case there is loss of grid electric power.

      The wind farms added/forced there to be, thousands of miles of new transmission lines and expensive/complicate green interconnects to trade power….. It is a stupid game. Which makes the electric grid more complicate and less reliable.

      Climate change is a fake problem and the solution does not work. It just wastes money and the wind turbine wear out and need to be replaced/operated at half power, at or before 15 years of service.

      Comment:

      Civilization falls apart if and when there is no long 24/7 electricity available. Food stores become filled with rotting food. Large cities become grid locked because of loss of traffic lights. No rapid transit. No elevators, 30 store buildings full of apartments.

      As an aside it appears we are going to experience what causes a Heinrich event.

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    Penguinite

    PM
    We’ve already had a couple of close shaves. Please don’t push your luck with a very tender electorate in the race for more subsidised solar and wind generation. The Lib/Nat Coalition was reelected on the premise, if not the promise, of coal-fired generation and dams. If we experience a Texas Event this winter it will be one of discontent!

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    PeterS

    Don’t people’s lives matter any more? Why aren’t those responsible for the energy policies and those cutting off the power slapped with manslaughter charges for causing the recent deaths? Oh yes, I know, CAGW is going to lead to far more deaths so we need to keep reducing our emissions. The whole West has gone mad. It now deserves to crash to teach everyone a lesson about scam artists who are already filthy rich purely based on the biggest scam of all time becoming even more rich while the rest of us are thrown into harm’s way to take the risk of freezing to death. Scam artists in the past were put in prison for life for far less. Now the biggest scam artists are being encouraged by Western governments to continue their schemes to become ultra-rich. Go figure.

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      el gordo

      Western governments have erred badly, Russia hasn’t invested much in wind and solar renewables. They also put their oligarchs behind bars.

      ‘Renewable energy in Russia mainly consists of hydroelectric energy. … 16% of Russia’s electricity was generated from hydropower, and less than 1% was generated from all other renewable energy sources combined. Roughly 68% of Russia’s electricity was generated from thermal power and 16% from nuclear power.’ wiki

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        OriginalSteve

        Its simply that the west has been cowed by the noisy loopy left, and rather than telling them to take a hike, have ( via some pollies who likely are in on it ) allowed our energy security to be compromised.

        Texas should be a loud wake up call to start ripping out anything more than 5% of total grid capacity of renewables. Maybe they could convert the windmills to transmission line poles?

        You notice the TDR flunkies started calling for more renewables to fix the Texas problem, like socialists who call for more socialism to fix “not done right” socialism…..

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    TdeF

    It reminds me of the time at the end of the 19th century when America was ruled by super rich men like Rockerfeller, JP Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, Vanderbuilt. Standard oil, banks, steel, trains. New technologies which dominated the lives of ordinary Americans. To which you could add newspapers and beer. Long before we had the internet and computers and pharmaceuticals. Before Henry Ford and Howard Hughes and long before Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

    These people did a great deal of good but ultimately were too powerful and their fiefdoms were broken up by concerted action by the US government. Or competition from overseas as the rest of the world caught up. This is not counting what we now see as the evil empires of Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan.

    The first shots have been fired in the internet wars, by little Australia. Meanwhile China has been working hard on a long term plan to dominate the world, subtly. However in the Western Democracies, this appalling fakeness, wokeness, climate extinction, fake science is starting to cripple Western society.

    And the perpetrators had to get rid of Donald Trump, but what Donald did and said is still very much alive. Wind towers don’t work. Solar doesn’t work. Batteries don’t work. Overpriced unreliable Electric cars are no solution to anything.

    Plus it’s not a secret. Men and women are biologically different. Tall people are taller. There is no slavery in Western society. And freedom is about legal equality, not any other sort of equality. And if people want to dress up as the other sex, fine. And homosexuality is not a crime any more. Just don’t make it compulsory.

    Quite apart from the obvious plans of China and North Korea and Iran, there will be a growing tide of reaction against fake elections, fake science and fake energy. Texas is just the start as the temperature starts to fall rapidly. And that’s not because of warming.

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    OriginalSteve

    “Our American “journalists” lie and propagandize because they want to.”

    Yeah and when the same journos are dying from cold coz the power goes out, at that point they will too late realize they are but expendable useful left wing idiots….

    Those who will survive the green mess are people who “know stuff” and happy to defend thier families with all means necessary….the same people the lefties mock as “deplorables”….

    The jokes is on the lefties….

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    David Maddison

    The destruction of Western Civilisation and the access to cheap reliable energy (except for the Elites) so that we “freeze in the dark” is exactly what unreliable “green” energy, as advocated by the Left, is meant to achieve.

    This trial proved that the Left’s strategy works.

    It even works in Texas, arguably the most independent-thinking, conservative and freedom-loving state in the USA. If it works there, how much more so throughout the rest of the US and even more so again thhroughout Europe, Canada, Australia, NZ etc.?

    The mass-acceptance of stripping away of virtually all rights and liberties due to the China Virus proves how dumbed-down and anti-freedom people have now become.

    Note also, the strong connections and loyalties all senior Biden staff have to China. Chinese values are not compatible with the traditional freedom values of the US and West in general.

    LOOK DEEPER AT WHAT’S GOING ON HERE.

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      Dennis

      * New World Order – see Fabian Society of socialism founded 1800s in England and Australian Fabian Society today, and United Nations, and other organisations/individuals.
      * One World Government or World Parliament with no borders, no sovereign nations, a China style European Union with no member nations, just controlled states.
      * Globalism socialism (Marxist).

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    Kalm Keith

    Above I tried to convey the idea of political domination of one area of our lives, engineering.

    This fellow, Chris Hedges, does a comprehensive job of defining our troubled, lost, demoralised and dangerous world and provokes me to understand that we need to fix this.

    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/825055-we-now-live-in-a-nation-where-doctors-destroy-health

    Urgent action needed to change things.

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      OldOzzie

      The Quote is excellent

      “We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.”

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      Orson

      “ We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.”

      ― Chris Hedges

      Yet Hedges is a progressive Leftist?

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      Kalm Keith

      Has the Australian response to CV19 been disproportionate?

      Perhaps they are trying to get us to focus on their latest pet control mechanism.

      From LifeLine;

      Over 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt each year.
      In 2019, 3,318 Australians took their own life.

      From Australia’s government; total deaths 909 from COVID19.

      The “treatment” for CV19 has been unprecedented in the annals of our nations history with the lockdowns taking pride of place, but the real damage bill from The Treatment is still to come.

      This has been a disaster for us with politicians running our medical response and it parallels the Texas electricity PolyZap.

      Change is needed.

      KK

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        Dennis

        What is the statistic?

        99.something per cent of Australians who are diagnosed with COVID-19 survive.

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          Dennis

          What our politicians must concentrate on is the treatment of returned service men and women and why the suicide rate among them is so unacceptably high.

          And a Royal Commission into the Brereton Inquiry into the ADF including the handling by the other most senior officers within the ADF.

          A sovereign nation needs a strong motivated defence force but from what I have observed in recent times is unacceptable politically correct impositions and morale busting lack of leadership.

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            Dennis

            I forgot to include the fact that in Afghanistan Australian soldiers went on patrols approved by the Afghan Government and with Afghan military partners.

            There has been no report of a complaint about the behaviour of Australians in Afghanistan (ADF members) by the Afghanistan Government.

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            • #

              Guys, this is all off topic.

              The actual stats on Covid deaths might surprise you. In Australia, with practically the highest level of testing in the world, if you are diagnosed with Covid your odds of dying are 1 in 30.

              Australian Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is 3.1%.
              UK CFR is 2.9% Germany is 2.8%.

              It’s more like 2% in the US and France. Perhaps they are better at using anti-virals and vitamins or just in treatment in general? Case fatality rates have fallen since August last year (when infection rates were running high in Australia).

              People are mixing up the CFR with the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR), a figure that is much lower but is still a weak guesstimate with a large range, a year after this pandemic started.

              Dennis, you are absolutely right about the Vets.

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              • #

                Likely the Australian death rates are skewed due to the age profile: various outbreaks in aged care homes/ cruise ships etc make up a relatively high proportion of cases, whereas other countries proportional having more “random” community transmission ie more likely to reflect the age distribution of the general population.

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          Kalm Keith

          And the term “Diagnosed”, aka Cased, is a real issue in terms of truth telling.

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          • #

            KK, or Not. As I keep saying. The PCR test might be abused in some instances in the US, but here in Australia we’re testing literally thousands of people to find each case, and they are almost all in quarantine. ie. looks, smells, acts like a very useful test.

            In the US, as abused as some labs/states may be with using too many rounds, if you get a positive test your odds of dying are 1 in 50. That’s still far far higher than normal odds of dying. Same for hospitalization.

            Sigh. For the 100th time. PCR testing has been used for 35 years in millions of medical tests, legal cases, hundreds of different labs, forensic and scientific studies. Doctors use it all the time to figure out which virus you have and what treatments to use.

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              Frost Giant Rebellion

              Its not that its abused. Its that its used on its own. I would say that using it on its own is where the abuse is. It should perhaps be a first screen only.

              Someone here posted a study of some sort where these guys followed up the PCR test with electron microscope observation. They found that in this case it wasn’t Covid, but instead specifically identifiable influenza viruses. The Danes don’t leave it at the PCR test. They do a lot of follow up on every positive test.

              Some people (and I’m thinking of the exceptionally insightful Dr Cowan and also Dr Kaufman) take a really extreme point of view. They say that few of these viruses, in all of history, have passed Kochs postulates, and only a handful have even been properly isolated … they then make the leap that the viruses aren’t what is doing the damage. I think thats going way too far. I can’t prove it. But thats what I think. I think they have taken their paradigm too far.

              But we don’t need to throw out all their criticisms of what is going on. We cannot make what ought to be a first screen test, into adequate science, by way of quoting the mayor in Millers Crossing and claim that the test is “hallowed by time and usage.” People are being locked up on these grounds. So if we really really cannot have a gold standard test, and there simply is no way around it, then we ought to have some sort of follow up analysis, and it strikes me that getting out the electron microscope sounds like a very good start.

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            • #

              “….odds of dying are 1 in 50.”

              Yes, if one ignored the age factor, which is very large, and is also NOT the same as saying ” if you contact the disease, as it is likely that a very high number of people are asymptomatic.

              In India it looks like over 20 percent of the population has been exposed.

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    David Maddison

    There is a lot of credible evidence that the world is cooling as we come to the end of the current rare and brief inter-glacial.

    Modern civilisation will not survive the cold without access to cheap, reliable coal, gas, nuclear and real hydro power (not BS “green” schemes like Snowy Hydro 2 in Australia).

    Texas is a preview of what life will be like in a cooler world, reliant upon unreliable “green” energy.

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    William

    Well Jo, you will have your challenges in WA no matter which party wins the election with the Liberal leader promising carbon neutral by 2030, with that goal supported by closing coal generators by 2025. He and Matt Kean (and all of the phaction) in NSW are in the wrong party. Libs are no longer conservatives, they too are being driven by a radical Green agenda.

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      Dennis

      NSW Minister Matt Keen is an accountant.

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        William, luckily Democracy still works here and the Green-Liberal leader will lose not just the election but almost certainly his own seat.

        But the bigger problem of spineless uninformed Conservative politicians remains.

        And the problem of bullying, parasitic, uninformed Left wing politicians does too.

        The media…

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    David Maddison

    The way ahead for Texas is to use cheap, reliable coal, gas, nuclear and hydro. (Texas has limited hydro production.)

    Ditch wind and solar. They are not viable engineering solutions for cheap and reliable energy.

    Let Leftists purchase wind and solar exclusively without coal, gas, nuclear or hydro backup. They claim it’s cheaper than proper power generation so what’s the problem? (Smart electricity meters can manage such a distribution arrangement.)

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      Dennis

      Now David that’s not what inner city Greens, woke and young post-Whitlam Labor educated, believe, and they being young must know better than we do.

      sarc

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    Peter Garlick

    I have a few thoughts on the Texas experience. From what I understand coal based generation energy share reduced from 40% to 20%, and was replaced by wind and solar.

    Now coal based generation can produce at say 95% capacity factor, while wind (30% CF) and solar (20% CF) are much less energy intensive. What could possibly go wrong.

    Everybody seems to forget that 40 years ago, before the growth in cheap air conditioners, most power systems were winter peaking with maximum electrical demand occurring on a cold night early in the evening.

    So Texas has just experienced a classic case of a primary energy constrained system. In winter, solar capacity factor is less than 10%, and of course is zero if panels are snow covered.

    Wind could produce more energy, but will also be zero if the wind is not blowing. So the next energy source is natural gas, used for power generation, industrial processes, and building heating.

    So any shortage of NG is going to cause major issues, with rationing the only response. Note that in summer, NG availability is not a problem as there is no building heating demand.

    The other problem in Texas would have been the use of reverse cycle air conditioners for building heating.

    Unfortunately these don’t work when temperatures fall to freezing, with a natural fall back to less efficient electric radiators, further increasing the demand for electricity.

    I understand that Rick Perry, Trump’s Secretary of Energy, gave Texas some good advice, but the boofheads ignored him.

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      Hanrahan

      If all the Texas engineers and politicians were Chicom agents intent on breaking the system, they would have designed what exists in Texas today. [Many pollies ARE agents of the east]

      You are on a fool’s errand to try to demonise one technology and praise another.

      If Keep IT Simple Stupid, was used as a mission statement for twenty years things would be different. Snowy II is another complexity that will weaken our grid, allowing others to cut corners “knowing” pumped hydro is their parachute.

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    dp

    Facebook blocked me from linking this post. Feeling more and more like a mushroom where the gatekeepers keep us in the dark and feed us excrement.

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    dp

    I just got around this Facebook problem using outline.com which recreates the target page under a new shortend link.

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