Ideology > Engineeering and Logic

A couple of reports mixed here, because they go to the same point. First, South Australia had a power outage last week. Ordinarily, that’s not news, but in this case, I gather nearly the whole state was off. Why? Here’s Andrew Bolt to tell you.

South Australia ran to Canberra for subsidies to protect Arium Steel – which has now been shut down in part because of the state’s ruinously juvenile obsession with green power. Terry McCrann and Nick Cater expose how green power is killing South Australia.

Terry McCrann:

Clements Gap wind plant in South Australia

Clements Gap wind plant in South Australia

ABSOLUTE unmitigated, undiluted bullcrap: the desperate, indeed seriously panicked claim that South Australia going ‘all North Korea black’ last week had nothing to do with its embrace of useless wind ‘power’ (sic).

Now for the facts. Yes, the proximate cause of SA’s power failure was transmission towers being blown down in last week’s storm.

We’ll put aside the rather important question of whether they were blown down because they weren’t built robustly enough, because the scattered nature of wind turbines requires so many of them that it would cost too much to ‘gold plate them.’

That said, despite the additional lies told by the global warming fanatics, the winds in SA last Wednesday were neither unprecedented nor particularly violent. They didn’t top 100kmh; they didn’t even reach the speeds of the lowest level of cyclone.

The key question, the question that utterly damns the SA reliance on wind turbines, is what happened next — when SA ‘lost’ its wind generation.

As AEMO — the Australian Energy Market Operator, — explained in a press statement last Thursday, the damaged transmission lines supported supply and generation north of Adelaide.

But “the reason why a cascading failure of the remainder of the South Australia network occurred is still to be identified and is subject to further investigation.”

Without stating so, AEMO then gave precisely the answer.

About 1900 megawatts (MW) was being consumed in South Australia at the time of the power failure, AEMO said; the SA generation — mostly, my words, wind from the north — was “being supported” by a total of 610MW from Victoria.

What AEMO didn’t say, but is blindingly obvious, when wind ‘generation’ dropped from around 900MW to zero literally in an instant, SA just as instantly ‘asked’ Victoria for that 900MW.

So suddenly the long extension cord from the coal-fired stations in the Latrobe Valley was being asked to increase its supply from around 500MW to around 1500MW.

In effect, the ‘wind-powered state’ wanted to ‘borrow’ almost the entire output of one of Victoria’s coal-fired stations. And it wanted to borrow it immediately, at 4.18pm last Wednesday. The cord just ‘shorted out.’ …

There are two damning, utterly undeniable points that prove it was ‘all about wind.’

If you are going to rely on the unreliable power ‘sources’ of wind or solar, when the wind don’t blow and/ or the sun don’t shine, you have to have back-up from a reliable power source, either gas or coal.

Further, you have to keep that back-up turning over, because when the wind don’t blow or the sun don’t shine, it can go from 1000MW to zip pretty quickly — even without dodgy towers falling over.

Which of course makes the whole exercise a farce. Why have wind at all to replace coal or gas if you still have to keep the coal/gas?

Unless, and this is the critical second point, you try to do it on the cheap — both the real cheap and the ‘environmental’ cheap: by using that long extension cord to ‘someone else’s dirty power.’ Except Wednesday showed us exactly what can happen when you do that.

Nick Cater:

It is barely two months since Weatherill demanded $100 million from Canberra to keep Arrium Steel working. Yet it was the blackout, a consequence of Labor’s renewables policy, that ­finally shut the Whyalla plant down. Enforced idleness is costing Arrium about $4m a day.

Green politics really is shutting down Whyalla, after all.

South Australia is also running to other states to supply it with the kind of power it deems too dirty to produce itself – yet needs to keep on the lights:

The state’s capacity to produce its own baseload power from fossil fuels has rapidly diminished. The state’s four largest power stations — two at Port Augusta, Pelican Point and Torrens Island A — will have closed or will be in mothballs by this time next year, made unviable by unpredictable deluges of cheap wind power.

The combined lost capacity of 1250MW represents a third of the state’s generating potential. What has filled the gap? You’ve guessed it: imported power from Victoria, generated mostly by the same brown coal deemed unacceptable in oh-so-clean South Australia.

Upgrading the national grid to give South Australians the comfort of a reliable energy supply will be expensive. The costs inevitably will push up power prices, passed on as another hidden cost of Labor’s carbon fetish.

via Renewable Power Australia – Green Power Works When There’s A Daddy To Pay | PA Pundits – International

And that’s the thing if the sun don’t shine, or the wind don’t blow (or blows too hard) your solar and wind power don’t work. And no, nobody has an efficient means to store power. A lot of taxpayer’s money has been squandered on it though, with very limited results. And what South Australia has done is exactly what California is doing, for the same political reason. Eventually, it will have similar results.

And it diffuses the grid, which has other problems, such as security. I have wondered for years when I would write this story, because, to me, it’s the obvious way to disrupt life in the west, disrupt the power grid. From Weaponsman.

In 2014, we asked, “What can a mere rifle do?” in reference to a standoff attack on a Pacific Gas and Electric power substation in Metcalf, California.

The answer, in that case, was to blow the transformers to hell and gone, and bug out. To date, there has been no arrest in the case; at one time, a DHS official suggested it was an inside job. There have been subsequent attacks, despite attempts to upgrade security; indeed, once, criminals cut through a fence and made off with equipment that was on site — for security upgrades.

Now, there’s been a new rifle attack on a station, in rural Utah. It appears to have been less sophisticated and less persistent than the California attack, but more effective — the attacker or attackers blew the station off the grid with as few as three rifle shots.

On Sunday, somebody went to the remote substation located between Kanab and Page, Arizona, and fired at least three rounds with a high-powered rifle into the main transformer, knocking out power to an estimated 13,000 customers in Kanab, Big Water, Orderville, Glendale, Hatch and surrounding towns in Garfield County.

“Just from the looks of it, it looked more criminal than vandalism because they knew exactly where to shoot it and they shot it multiple times in the same spot,” Brown said. “For somebody to know exactly where that substation is and how to hit it exactly like he did, (it) seems like he’d have to have knowledge of that.”

Countermeasures that can be used in cases like this are limited. In California, the power company deployed cameras, but they’re investigative, not preventive, technology; and constructed blinds that block sight of the most vulnerable transformers, but they’re concealment, not cover. In Utah, the power company has asked for tips, and done something even less practical than the Californians:

Now you go and combine those stories, well if the bad guys do, we’re likely to go back a (or a few) hundred years. Substations are really hard to secure, and a rifle is the bottom level threat. There are others, and they would be more catastrophic.

Not sure there is really an answer, there’s not in this article, but it’s something we should be thinking about – at all levels.

And then there is the EMP threat attack, by the NORKs and others.


About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

11 Responses to Ideology > Engineeering and Logic

  1. the unit says:

    Project requiring possible engineering and logic concerning residential power line
    Need: Trim over head and over reaching tree limbs around incoming power line to home
    Preliminary need to clean out pickup truck bed so that step ladder can be set up in it. Bed filled with junk and years of leaves actually composted, … with earth worms. Done. Now needs washing out. Problem though is water in bed runs toward the front. Engineering ideas. Lift and shim the front of the bed so it tilts to the rear. Naw! Jack up the front higher than the back. Naw, jack only lifts one side of an axle to change flat.
    Engineering solution: Park the truck with the rear wheels in the driveway mudhole where the dirt is gone from tracking out when driving through over the years (choice as multiple mudholes in driveway). Front wheels up higher above the mudhole depression. A-la, water now runs out back of bed! Preliminaries done.
    Next step ladder secured and stable in bed, proper positioning of truck so limbs don’t fall on cutter-person (me). Pole saw at hand. Now job accomplished. Secondary attribute: internet and tv cable line cleared as well.
    Morning done, break time, check NEO’s site and see if I’m able to comment today. Only a break, still plenty of day light. Clean up next. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Sounds like a good day, so far, Unit! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Yep, and all loaded on trailer for early trip to county landfill. Got called in for supper, barbecued ribs! Logic said go eat. Then have an hour left to tie down good…then time to lie down. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yay! You! You accomplished more than I did today. Not that that was difficult! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Even tho it’s not Saturday yet I’ll have to shower tonight ’cause my hair is full of wood chips from sawing overhead. Looked high and low for my old ball cap to wear for the job, but couldn’t find it. Just as well. Working up in tree I’d have to turn the bill backwards. That looks stupid. Guess a shower won’t hurt. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Mine always was – even with a brain bucket on. Showers rarely hurt, as long as you don’t fall down! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    Sort of a continuation of situation above. Got some more pole saw business 300 feet away from 120 volt source. Would really like to put my Generac 5500 in truck bed for power. However it has floating neutral and manual says have frame properly earth grounded. Local Generac service guy says don’t worry because pole saw is plastic handle and switch. Internet discussion sites say don’t worry because you’re using on board receptacles. Also manual says all this proper grounding is code required and MAY help prevent electric shock.
    I’ve also read sometime ago that grounding rod needs to go down to the water table.
    Any thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Generac guy is mostly correct, if you use mostly double insulated tools. And in fact even if you don’t. Here’s the thing, if you’ve reasonable tires on the pick-up, it’s sort of a floating ground, itself.

      What I would do, and what I always did, was to bond the generator to the vehicle frame, so there is no possibility of making yourself a circuit between. Then I would use an in-line GFCI cord on everything.

      In fact, that is pretty much what OSHA mandates as well, for construction sites. In the POCOs when working hot lines, we either drive temporary ground rods, or bond our trucks to the lines neutral, but that’s a step way to far for you, and there we have specific problems to solve.

      In any case, the GFCI cord is a proven lifesaver, even on older central stations systems. Easily worth the money.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Great. I can do that bonding gen frame to truck frame and get GFCI cord. I looked the cord up and they are short. I’ll need to use say a 50 ft. extension cord from it to saw. That ok?

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Sure, as long as your cord is good. That’s what I always did on a service truck with a welder, as well. There are some commercial GFCI cords that are 50-100 ft. long, but don’t know how available they are, mostly I see them in construction supply catalogs. Remember this as well, A GFCI makes an old two wire outlet nearly as safe as a current one. It’s one of the few ways to replace a two wire outlet without rewiring, legally.

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          OK. And thanks.


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