Power in cold weather

Mar 14, 2005
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Just seen interview on television, apparently the wind isn't blowing and the solar panels are covered in snow, so neither of them are producing power at the coldest spell of the year when the demand is highest, really who would have thought we might get snow in Britain in December? The environmental expert that was wheeled out sought to defend renewables by comparing us to Costa Rica which mainly relies on solar and wind power.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Problem is not so much with renewables such as wind and solar but the years of failing to invest in a balanced robust approach to power generation, including gas storage and nuclear. plus insulation improvements. Here’s the current output chart for today and it’s been much the same since high pressure established itself. But worry ye not we were recently promised eight new nuclear stations by 2030.

 
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Nov 30, 2022
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Sadly our gullible politicians have, for many years, been in the thrall of the vociferous green lobby and believed everything they told them. The manic rush to "Net Zero" has been carried out with almost messianic zeal, but has singularly failed to build in any resilience for when renewable aren't producing (like now) OR implement a long term energy policy.

A prime example being the destruction, rather than mothballing, of coal fired power stations, so now, with limited renewables we are struggling to produce enough electricity and are reliant on foreign countries to "top us up" at peak times IF they have any spare capacity to do so.

Just how our leaders think we will be able to manage in a few winters time when we are all expected to convert to EV's for transport and heat pumps in our houses when even now we are on a knife edge in regards to electrical generation, and our aging nuclear stations are reaching the end of their lives, so things can only get worse, is beyond me.

Chickens, home, roost??
 
Mar 3, 2022
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No sun = no solar power!
No wind= no wind power!
Nuclear = radioactive waste which might be safe in a couple of million years!
We are on an island with tides running around us 24/7 yet no one is mentioning tidal power generation!
Could be wrong but I believe Japan has the technology in use. (Maybe experimental)
Again no mention of utilising the rivers. They used to power various mills without problems or vast expanse!
 
Nov 6, 2005
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No sun = no solar power!
No wind= no wind power!
Nuclear = radioactive waste which might be safe in a couple of million years!
We are on an island with tides running around us 24/7 yet no one is mentioning tidal power generation!
Could be wrong but I believe Japan has the technology in use. (Maybe experimental)
Again no mention of utilising the rivers. They used to power various mills without problems or vast expanse!
Tidal power generation does exist in the UK, the problem is that the conditions are difficult where the most energy could be generated, eg the Pentland Firth where research is ongoing.

Hydro-electric power is well established in Scotland and Wales - excluding the Lake District, the terrain in England doesn't suit large-scale hydro-electric.

Nuclear power is the answer - it's not perfect but it would get us through the medium term crisis - but sadly we'll need to wait while they rebuild the UK nuclear industry and then build new power stations.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
I don’t know whether nuclear power is the answer. Over here our government has determined that the last nuclear power stations will be phased out in 2023. Will wait and see whether the decision proves to be justified or not.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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I don’t know whether nuclear power is the answer. Over here our government has determined that the last nuclear power stations will be phased out in 2023. Will wait and see whether the decision proves to be justified or not.
Politicians in the UK are two-faced about nuclear power - some abhor it but are more than happy to import power from France, most likely nuclear generated - I believe Germany imports power from France on the same basis.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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Tidal power generation does exist in the UK, the problem is that the conditions are difficult where the most energy could be generated, eg the Pentland Firth where research is ongoing.

Hydro-electric power is well established in Scotland and Wales - excluding the Lake District, the terrain in England doesn't suit large-scale hydro-electric.

Nuclear power is the answer - it's not perfect but it would get us through the medium term crisis - but sadly we'll need to wait while they rebuild the UK nuclear industry and then build new power stations.
Politicians in the UK are two-faced about nuclear power - some abhor it but are more than happy to import power from France, most likely nuclear generated - I believe Germany imports power from France on the same basis.
Thank the Politicians for the current (sic) problems . We left ourselves exposed years ago abandoning nuclear and gas exploration and storage
 
May 7, 2012
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MrPlodd has hit the nail on the head. Frankly whatever we do will make no difference, as the Chinese, India and USA amongst others are busy making more pollution than we can deal with and our 1% is so insignificant it can almost be ignored. That is not an excuse for doing nothing but is a simple fact.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Sadly our gullible politicians have, for many years, been in the thrall of the vociferous green lobby and believed everything they told them. The manic rush to "Net Zero" has been carried out with almost messianic zeal, but has singularly failed to build in any resilience for when renewable aren't producing (like now) OR implement a long term energy policy.

A prime example being the destruction, rather than mothballing, of coal fired power stations, so now, with limited renewables we are struggling to produce enough electricity and are reliant on foreign countries to "top us up" at peak times IF they have any spare capacity to do so.

Just how our leaders think we will be able to manage in a few winters time when we are all expected to convert to EV's for transport and heat pumps in our houses when even now we are on a knife edge in regards to electrical generation, and our aging nuclear stations are reaching the end of their lives, so things can only get worse, is beyond me.

Chickens, home, roost??
If you look at the chart in my post you will see that todays demand is quite high ( but reduced now from 0840 gmt level) and any top ups from interconnecting cables, pipelines is very small. Currently 10% Two days ago we were exporting electricity to the Continent. The system is working. But certainly as a country we have failed to invest, but have suffered lots of hot air in the meantime. The big plus is that over the last years we have consistently had low energy prices, but at what cost to energy security?
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Politicians in the UK are two-faced about nuclear power - some abhor it but are more than happy to import power from France, most likely nuclear generated - I believe Germany imports power from France on the same basis.
Recently German power has been going to France as their nuclear plants have not been at full output.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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MrPlodd has hit the nail on the head. Frankly whatever we do will make no difference, as the Chinese, India and USA amongst others are busy making more pollution than we can deal with and our 1% is so insignificant it can almost be ignored. That is not an excuse for doing nothing but is a simple fact.
I’ve posted numerous links showing how China is transitioning to renewables and nuclear, but yes they still burn coal, but look at our percentage of power utilised by gas when it’s cloudy and windless. Stones and glass houses springs to mind. Likewise the reduction in CO2 in USA has been very significant. Admittedly India has a problem, but should we expect them to continue to live in poverty ad infinitum?

Whilst our 1 percent may be small in global terms this thread wasn’t about CO2 emissions it was basically about energy security, something that this country hasn't really confronted for too long.

 
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Jul 23, 2021
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Sadly our gullible politicians have, for many years, been in the thrall of the vociferous green lobby and believed everything they told them. The manic rush to "Net Zero" has been carried out with almost messianic zeal, but has singularly failed to build in any resilience for when renewable aren't producing (like now) OR implement a long term energy policy.

A prime example being the destruction, rather than mothballing, of coal fired power stations, so now, with limited renewables we are struggling to produce enough electricity and are reliant on foreign countries to "top us up" at peak times IF they have any spare capacity to do so.

Just how our leaders think we will be able to manage in a few winters time when we are all expected to convert to EV's for transport and heat pumps in our houses when even now we are on a knife edge in regards to electrical generation, and our aging nuclear stations are reaching the end of their lives, so things can only get worse, is beyond me.

Chickens, home, roost??
The flip side being, if we all had EVs with car to home or car to grid capability, we could store energy from excess generation overnight, and use it to smooth out the peaks in demand during the day. EVs are another tool in our belt.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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No Sun = No solar Power... Not true. Modern solar panels can still produce some power on an over-cast day. However its probably not enough to make a major difference.

Some on also said well all be driving EV's ina few years - again not true. The transition towards EV's will take decades as only a modest percentage of drivers will change each year.

We should be looking at ways of storing excess energy to help level the overall load. EV's car to load has a massive potential, but we should also be looking at house batteries, Thermal stores for heating demands and others.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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We should be looking at ways of storing excess energy to help level the overall load. EV's car to load has a massive potential, but we should also be looking at house batteries, Thermal stores for heating demands and others.
I’m looking at 3 large 12 v batteries ready for the tip. Have to agree a shame they can’t be used some way at home.
Sadly , unless we remove politics no real progress will be made. We need a cohesive Multi cross party group to focus on our energy development for at least the next 20 years. Same for the NHS.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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No Sun = No solar Power... Not true. Modern solar panels can still produce some power on an over-cast day. However its probably not enough to make a major difference.
However if a solar panel is covered in snow it probably will not produce anything? There is talk of temperatures dropping below 10C and at more than -11C apparently air source heating will not work? Hopefully that will never happen.
 
Nov 30, 2022
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No Sun = No solar Power... Not true. Modern solar panels can still produce some power on an over-cast day. However its probably not enough to make a major difference.
I have 15 solar panels on my house in Weymouth right on the south coast. They do indeed produce power on overcast days, however..........

At the height of the summer they can generate in excess of 25Kwh.
Yesterday, with no snow on them, they produced 2.4Kwh and last Monday just 1.2Kwh. Scale that differential across all of the nations commercial solar farms and 5% of whats possible ain't much.

As for everyone plugging their EV's back into the grid to supply others that's all well and good but...........
How many EV's will need to be provide any significant amount of power? Are they actually going to do that as maybe they will be at work when there is a need for them to feed back into the grid, or it will rob them of the ability to either actually use their car (because its plugged in) or it will deprive them of range for the next time they wish to use it.

Things are never as simple as they first seem are they??
 
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Nov 30, 2022
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I’m looking at 3 large 12 v batteries ready for the tip. Have to agree a shame they can’t be used some way at home.
I have bought a couple of crocodile clips so, in the event of a powercut, I can connect my caravan (Kampa Sabre) awning LED strip light to an old 12v battery and have some light. Tge current draw in minimal so any old 12v battery will do.
Gas cooker and gas fire in the lounge, I'm sorted.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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However if a solar panel is covered in snow it probably will not produce anything? There is talk of temperatures dropping below 10C and at more than -11C apparently air source heating will not work? Hopefully that will never happen.
Can’t an air source system be supplanted by an electric heater for very cold weather usage. Just a thought.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I have 15 solar panels on my house in Weymouth right on the south coast. They do indeed produce power on overcast days, however..........

At the height of the summer they can generate in excess of 25Kwh.
Yesterday, with no snow on them, they produced 2.4Kwh and last Monday just 1.2Kwh. Scale that differential across all of the nations commercial solar farms and 5% of whats possible ain't much.

As for everyone plugging their EV's back into the grid to supply others that's all well and good but...........
How many EV's will need to be provide any significant amount of power? Are they actually going to do that as maybe they will be at work when there is a need for them to feed back into the grid, or it will rob them of the ability to either actually use their car (because its plugged in) or it will deprive them of range for the next time they wish to use it.

Things are never as simple as they first seem are they??
We are in an energy transition phase just like the days of going from horse drawn to petrol and coal to town gas to natural gas. But more strategic planning would have been welcomed.
 
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Nov 30, 2022
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We are in an energy transition phase just like the days of going from horse drawn to petrol and coal to town gas to natural gas. But more strategic planning would have been welcomed.
That doesn't address the fundamental issue that (currently) there are occasions, especially heavy overcast windless days, where renewables just cannot deliver! I for one cannot see any way those shortcomings can be overcome as we cannot control tge weather.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Can’t an air source system be supplanted by an electric heater for very cold weather usage. Just a thought.
Not if you have a power failure also which happens in rural areas. We do have a large gas fire in the lounge area for emergency use, but can only run it for 20-30 minutes as do not want to suffer from CO poisoning.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Not if you have a power failure also which happens in rural areas. We do have a large gas fire in the lounge area for emergency use, but can only run it for 20-30 minutes as do not want to suffer from CO poisoning.
Just fit a CO alarm in your lounge - that's what we've done.
 
Nov 30, 2022
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A gas fire should have a flue and that's where the CO goes provided the fire has been installed correctly and is serviced!
We have a gas fire in the lounge (and a CO detector) it stays on for many hours and we are still around to tell you about it.
 

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