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jgonza5

EVs and Their Drawbacks

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Not saying you’re wrong but there is a big difference between cold/snow and ice.  

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1 hour ago, pictor said:

What I don’t understand is how a Grid the handles all that AC in the summer can’t handles the electric heat in Winter.  I guess they just don’t insulate to keep the cold in during the summer

 

One major issue was the windmills were taken out by the ice storm.  The second issue is texas has a LOT of natural gas fired generation.  Those gas lines loose a lot of capacity when it gets cold.  Compounding the issue, natural gas gets diverted to heating demand in the winter, especially when it's this cold.  So there's a lot of natural gas generation offline in Texas on top of the windmills being down.

 

It used to be natural gas was only used for "peaker plants" that came online during demand peaks only, with nuclear and coal carrying the base load (i.e. they run 'round the clock).  As a result of the fracking revolution over the last decade, natural gas has gotten so cheap it's actually displacing coal and nuclear as a baseload source.  The only trouble is the fuel supply infrastructure isn't really optimal for baseload reliability.

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1 hour ago, pictor said:

What I don’t understand is how a Grid the handles all that AC in the summer can’t handles the electric heat in Winter.  I guess they just don’t insulate to keep the cold in during the summer

 

1 hour ago, akirby said:


I heard part of the problem is the windmills are frozen.

According to SPP, the windmills were actually generating more electricity than they had forecast. They might've been a bigger problem in Texas, though, as Texas has a heck of a lot of wind generation. I think the bigger problem for the SPP states was that the extreme cold caused some of the natural gas wellheads to freeze up, reducing the amount of NG available for electricity production. (It doesn't matter if you have a century's worth of reserves if you can't get them out of the reservoir.)

 

From what I gathered from the SPP press conference today, the problem is that everybody was calling for a lot of electricity everywhere across the SPP members' networks. In the summer you might have a high draw in the southern parts of the grid, but not as much in the northern areas, so it evens out at a lower threshold.
 

It also doesn't help that Covid has more people working from home, so you now have not only a more widely distributed load but also higher than normal individual loads because of the cold--and you haven't necessarily offset that by reducing the loads at schools or places of business and schools.

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There's also this helpful comparison from my electric coop:

  • In Oklahoma, we are accustomed to extreme summer temperatures. To put this storm in context, keeping a house at 72 degrees when it is -5 degrees outside is equivalent to cooling a house to 72 degrees when it is 149 degrees outside.

In short, in this cold, you're comparing trying to maintain a 77*F temperature differential today with trying to maintain a 25-35*F temperature differential in August. That's gonna take a much bigger energy expenditure.

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23 minutes ago, SoonerLS said:

There's also this helpful comparison from my electric coop:

  • In Oklahoma, we are accustomed to extreme summer temperatures. To put this storm in context, keeping a house at 72 degrees when it is -5 degrees outside is equivalent to cooling a house to 72 degrees when it is 149 degrees outside.

In short, in this cold, you're comparing trying to maintain a 77*F temperature differential today with trying to maintain a 25-35*F temperature differential in August. That's gonna take a much bigger energy expenditure.

Nailed it.  Temperature delta is only part of it, though.  Heat pumps will run electric resistive strips which are less than 1/4 as efficient as a heat pump/ac working on a 20-30 temperature delta.  Also, I read many homes were using electric space heaters.

 

The current grid/generating capacity issues call into question the robustness of the grid and how it would handle a significant number of BEV.  I really don’t care if on an average day the grid will be just fine, I care about the extremes.  For the well off, it is a minor annoyance as they utilize their F150 powerboost with pro power on board, generators, or pay the peak demand price.  For the poor, it can be deadly.  Freeze to death or CO poisoning from running improperly working fireplaces, heaters, or grills indoors.

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It was always the cold that causes the issue....ask any german panzer tank crew near near stalingrad while facing down a moving t37...

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Quote

Nearly half of Texas' installed wind power generation capacity has been offline because of frozen wind turbines in West Texas, according to Texas grid operators. 

Wind farms across the state generate up to a combined 25,100 megawatts of energy. But unusually moist winter conditions in West Texas brought on by the weekend's freezing rain and historically low temperatures have iced many of those wind turbines to a halt.

 

As of Sunday morning, those iced turbines comprise 12,000 megawatts of Texas' installed wind generation capacity, although those West Texas turbines don't typically spin to their full generation capacity this time of year.

 

Fortunately for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state's electric grid, the storm's gusty winds are spinning the state's unfrozen coastal turbines at a higher rate than expected, helping to offset some of the power generation losses because of the icy conditions. 

 

Wind power has been the fastest-growing source of energy in Texas' power grid. In 2015 winder power generation supplied 11% of Texas' energy grid. Last year it supplied 23% and overtook coal as the system's second-largest source of energy after natural gas.

 

Source (Not Fox News):

https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2021/02/14/historic-winter-storm-freezes-texas-wind-turbines-hampering-electric-generation/4483230001/

 

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But yet, Iowa generates 40% of electricity from wind turbines, and ours are working fine in colder temps than they have in Texas.

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24 minutes ago, AGR said:

But yet, Iowa generates 40% of electricity from wind turbines, and ours are working fine in colder temps than they have in Texas.

The temperature isn’t the problem.  It’s the ice buildup on the turbines.  Time for some heated blades or de-icing system.  I doubt a widespread ice event was considered.  It probably will be now.

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12 hours ago, akirby said:


I heard part of the problem is the windmills are frozen.

...and the natural gas typically used as stand-by power when that happens had to be diverted to residences for home heating. And it wasn't just stand-by power that needed to be diverted. Some of it was baseload plants as well. The problem isn't too much wind power in Texas (in the winter it typically only accounts for 10%) but not enough natural gas supply, pipelines, infrastructure, and NG stand-by power. That blame goes squarely on Texas not planning ahead enough. Yeah it is freakishly cold there, for Texas, but these things do sometimes happen. With the new natural gas policies coming out of Washington that will restrict supply, increase costs, and make infrastructure and pipelines more difficult to build, fixing the issue might not be easy, especially if Texas continues its policies (which in and of themselves are not necessarily the problem) of placing heavy financial incentives on further increasing the wind power share of the energy mix.

Edited by Gurgeh

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Heat protection for windmill blades and control systems cost money. I'd pay the cost in the upper midwest. In Texas, not so much. May be some recalculation going on right now. Difficulty with renewable is you can't choose to turn on the sun or wind. You can choose to run a gas turbine or coal plant, with contingency for breakdowns. I have difficulty conceiving a complete renewable grid without much cheaper storage. Add electric cars/transportation and heating to the mix, require twice the generating capacity.

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9 hours ago, slemke said:

The temperature isn’t the problem.  It’s the ice buildup on the turbines.  Time for some heated blades or de-icing system.  I doubt a widespread ice event was considered.  It probably will be now.

https://www.windpowerengineering.com/the-cold-hard-truth-about-ice-on-turbine-blades/

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10 hours ago, slemke said:

The temperature isn’t the problem.  It’s the ice buildup on the turbines.  Time for some heated blades or de-icing system.  I doubt a widespread ice event was considered.  It probably will be now.

 

I don't know how many times we Southerners can explain this to our Northern friends.  It's not the cold or the snow.  It's the freezing rain and sleet and snow that melts and refreezes as ice.  You can't drive on ice (at least not without studded tires) and ice will down trees and power lines and apparently stop wind turbines.

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11 hours ago, AGR said:

But yet, Iowa generates 40% of electricity from wind turbines, and ours are working fine in colder temps than they have in Texas.

 

I've read multiple articles that NG, coal, and nuclear systems failure caused more problems than alternative energy. So much for the political bullshit being spread around. Latest article on this came from the Detroit News, a conservative newspaper.

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1 hour ago, akirby said:

 

I don't know how many times we Southerners can explain this to our Northern friends.  It's not the cold or the snow.  It's the freezing rain and sleet and snow that melts and refreezes as ice.  You can't drive on ice (at least not without studded tires) and ice will down trees and power lines and apparently stop wind turbines.

 

So you don't think places like Michigan get freezing rain? I can remember more than a few times in MI when we were without power for days without power because of freezing rain storms. The big difference though was because of fallen power lines, not power generation failure. DTE and CP were able to repair most of the power lines within 48 hours, not weeks.

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6 hours ago, paintguy said:

I'd pay the cost in the upper midwest. In Texas, not so much.

 

Upper Midwest U.S. is a great testing area for both renewable energy systems such as wind power as well as EV for extreme conditions. The range of ambient temperatures must be the widest anywhere in the world. 

 

North Dakota for example has recorded temperatures as low as −60 °F in the winter and as high as 120 °F in the summer.

Edited by rperez817

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7 minutes ago, FordBuyer said:

 

So you don't think places like Michigan get freezing rain? I can remember more than a few times in MI when we were without power for days without power because of freezing rain storms. The big difference though was because of fallen power lines, not power generation failure. DTE and CP were able to repair most of the power lines within 48 hours, not weeks.

 

I wonder if a higher % of homes "Up North" prepare for situations like this, and provide themselves an alternate form of power generation, than our "Southern" counterparts?

 

HRG

 

Generac 01022020 resized.JPG

Edited by HotRunrGuy

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7 minutes ago, FordBuyer said:

DTE and CP were able to repair most of the power lines within 48 hours, not weeks.

 

Kudos to DTE and Consumers Energy for applying lessons learned from the massive ice storms that affected Canada and northeastern U.S. back in January 1998. I don't know if Michigan was impacted by that storm system at all, but in the places highlighted blue in the map below, some people were without power for months after the storms hit! 😮

 

1998_Ice_Storm_map.png

Edited by rperez817

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10 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

 

Upper Midwest U.S. is a great testing area for both renewable energy systems such as wind power as well as EV for extreme conditions. The range of ambient temperatures must be the widest anywhere in the world. 

 

North Dakota for example has recorded temperatures as low as −60 °F in the winter and 120 °F in the summer.

 

And I bet they get freezing rain every now and then also. Trees, power lines, and heavy ice don't mix very well. 

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1 hour ago, akirby said:

 

I don't know how many times we Southerners can explain this to our Northern friends.  It's not the cold or the snow.  It's the freezing rain and sleet and snow that melts and refreezes as ice.  You can't drive on ice (at least not without studded tires) and ice will down trees and power lines and apparently stop wind turbines.

 

Freezing rain, sleet, and melting snow refreezing aren't uncommon in the Great Lakes and Northeastern parts of the U.S., and bordering regions of Canada. These weather events are caused by warm air masses heading northward along the Mississippi River valley and clashing with cold air layers trapped at the surface in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River areas.

 

The 1998 ice storm event mentioned in my previous post is probably the most notable example of this in the past 25 years.

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7 minutes ago, FordBuyer said:

 

And I bet they get freezing rain every now and then also. Trees, power lines, and heavy ice don't mix very well. 

 

Yes sir FordBuyer. The photo below shows the aftermath of an ice storm affecting North and South Dakota in November 2005. Wow! 😮

 

15969636248_64ba4d3132_k-700x466.jpg

 

 

Edited by rperez817

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7 minutes ago, FordBuyer said:

 

And I bet they get freezing rain every now and then also. Trees, power lines, and heavy ice don't mix very well. 

 

There are trees in ND?

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1 minute ago, rperez817 said:

Freezing rain, sleet, and melting snow refreezing aren't uncommon in the Great Lakes and Northeastern parts of the U.S., and bordering regions of Canada. These weather events are caused by warm air masses heading northward along the Mississippi River valley and clashing with cold air layers trapped at the surface in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River areas.

 

The 1998 ice storm event mentioned in my previous post is probably the most notable example of this in the past 25 years.

 

Sure we get ice storms in the Great Lakes area.  I guess the difference between us in the north to you southerners, is that our highway departments are better equipped to handle the variety of winter weather that gets thrown at us.  Ice storms happen when temps are near freezing, but these are temps where road salt is very effective.  Of course you have to use common sense, you just don't drive in that kind of weather until the road crews get out.  My county is excellent.  Roads are usually driveable by 8:00 AM.

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3 minutes ago, Schpark said:

There are trees in ND?

 

Yes sir. While most of the state was originally prairie that was eventually converted to cropland and grazing, there are woodlands along river valleys, urban forests in cities like Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, etc., and the Turtle Mountain pleateau region in the north central part of the state which has aspen forest. The famous International Peace Garden is located in the Turtle Mountain region.

 

800px-International_Peace_Garden.jpg

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