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View Diary: Wind is king, biofuels are bunk (118 comments)

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  •  Transmission (0+ / 0-)

    ... isn't my specialty.  I only know the US average number and  I've seen one number quoted for HVDC transmission (3% loss per 1000km), which is clearly a major generalization.  As for generation efficiency, however, I have read more about that.  The US average for coal generation is about 32%.  In Europe, it's about 35%.  Older plants are generally 30% or less, while newer plants can be over 40%, and it's believed that they could break 50% with current tech.  Natural gas's average is 42% or so, and newer plants can get well over 50%, and I've seen some suggestions that we could be seeing 60% or so soon.  So, yes, efficiency in power plants has indeed been increasing.

    •  HVDC should be 4-8 times (0+ / 0-)

      Less transmission loss, over the same distance. IIRC

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 08:21:12 PM PST

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      •  Depends... (0+ / 0-)

        Because of the ~2% loss in converting to higher voltage DC and back down to lower voltage AC it is more efficient to stick with AC for shorter runs.

        At some point out HVDC becomes more efficient (having "paid off" the conversion costs) and from there on out there are additional savings accrued.

        15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

        by BobTrips on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 09:10:21 PM PST

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        •  A minimum of 50KM for HVDC (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Plan9

          is recommended. They are building a such a line from Pittsburg, CA to San Francisco. Conversion is expensive and HVDC is usually without 'taps', so it's a highway with no exits, usually, so to speak.

          Ideally, HVDC is very good for nuclear, especially 'nuplexes' of 6 or more reactors, 8GWs and up. Very efficient. We can build them on the coasts and wheel the power inward.

          Most of what is discussed here on the Daily Kos, Energy Pulse, etc for alternatives can actually be more cheaply applied to nuclear and big power station than the alternatives.

          Don't forget...electric cars in Paris are now powered almost strictly by...nuclear!

          David

    •  Shouldn't be a function of type of power (0+ / 0-)

      Transmission losses should be a function of the technology used for tranmission.  It's worth knowing, though, since it tells us where we want to generate power.  If transmission is very efficient and cheap, you don't care.  And obviously enough, the opposite can be true otherwise.

      As for generation efficiency:  what does that mean?  Efficiency is measured relative to some notion of 100% efficiency.  Which notion is that here?

      "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

      by mbayrob on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 08:28:27 PM PST

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