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Want to save the environment and not use LEDs?

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Entropy wrote:

This is interesting.

How do they generate power then waste it? Big resistor banks?

I can see them bringing boilers and turbines on-line and letting them idle, producing nearly no outputbut to generate then waste the power seems extremely difficult.

Please excuse me if I might have caused confusion. I was fighting to remember the terms my dad was telling me over the Thanksgiving holiday. I remembered them right after I hit Send.

You are more correct in that they spin up the turbines to their generating capacity, but do not produce much. If I remember right, the term is"Spinning Reserve"


The spinning reserve is the extra generating capacity that is available by increasing the power output of generators that are already connected to the power system. For most generators, this increase in power output is achieved by increasing the torque applied to the turbine's rotor.

The fuel required to cause the turbines to spin is still consumed and costs money. Not to mention the CO2 and other green house gases produced, which partially or mostly defeats the reason to go to Green energy, right?:devil::devil:

- Keith

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RichardH wrote:

Yes, I am sure they don't "hold" back energy because nobody paid for it.


On the contrary, energy companies can only generate what is being used. Over generation or under generation causes serious problems.

Once such instance was mistakenly intentionally caused on 11/4/06 in Europe. You can read about it at http://www.rte-france.com/htm/an/accueil/coupure.jsp.

Some excerpts are below:

In the north-eastern area, for example, electricity generation greatly exceeded consumption (over 10,000 MW). This immediately caused the frequency of the network to rise above 51 Hertz.

In the western area, which included France, a generation shortfall of more than 9,000 MW caused the frequency of the network to fall to 49 Hertz.

In the south-eastern area, there was a generation shortfall of 700 MW, which caused a less substantial frequency drop to 49.7 Hertz.

When the amount of electricity being consumed at any given time exceeds the quantity being generated, this causes the generation units to "slow down", and the frequency of the power system to be lower. If they slow down too much, they are automatically disconnected from the network. This then exacerbates the imbalance between consumption and generation, leading to a cascade effect that can result in a widespread system disturbance : a "blackout", where the power network collapses completely. It may take a number of hours to restore electricity supply to consumers, and sometimes even several days, as was the case in the United States in 2003.

There are further explanations, description, and charts in the article.

Hope this helps.


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