Over on Tallblokes there’s an article about Poland building a new coal plant. They need energy. They have coal. It works. They are building. I really like the Polish people. Every one I’ve met has had a decent head on their shoulders and interesting to talk with. (Though when I looked at learning Polish I ran away quickly ;-) They glory in the “run on sentence” and it can take a page or two to reach the period at the end… ;-)
EU member Poland breaks ground on new coal fired plant
Posted: May 21, 2015 by tallbloke in Energy
By Kelvin Ross
A groundbreaking ceremony has taken place in Poland on the site of a €800m lignite power plant in Turów.
The ceremony was attended by Poland’s Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and representatives Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe (MHPSE), which will build the plant in co-operation with Polish company Budimex and Técnicas Reunidas from Spain.
It goes on to talk about who and when and such. So Poland needs some added juice, and “renewables” are not on the menu. Might it be that they have seen the downside of wind? These guys are already coping with too much wind and not enough power (in more ways than one…)
Poland Builds Electronic Wall to Keep Out German Renewables
German renewables are invading Poland.
RenewEconomy, Giles Parkinson
November 18, 2013
Poland, the host of the climate change negotiations, is going to extreme lengths to protect its coal-fired electricity industry — making sudden changes to renewable energy support schemes, and even going so far as erecting a form of electronic barrier to keep renewable energy from neighboring Germany out of its grid.
The move appears to have been made with the sole intention of protecting the economic interests of its incumbent, centralized and heavily coal-reliant grid. As Germany roars toward a decentralized, renewables-based grid, Poland appears determined to stick to the past. The contrast between the two countries could not be starker.
The move to install equipment known as phase-shifters on transmission links between Poland and Germany is designed to give the Polish grid operator the power to block excess renewables output from Germany entering the Polish grid. As in Germany, a large amount of renewable energy causes wholesale prices to come down — and profits to fall.
The phase-shifters are being tested in coming months and will be installed over the next year by the German network operator 50Hertz, which looks after the grid in the eastern past of the country adjoining Poland.
Grzegorz Wisniewski, the president of the Institute for Renewable Energy, says the move is clearly designed to protect the income of the incumbent generators in Poland, and comes as the country is facing a looming energy deficit in a few years’ time.
“This is such a short-term strategy,” said Wisniewski. “We should be making the connections bigger, and opening the market up, not closing it,” Wisniewski said, noting that the state-owned utilities returned 10 billion Polish zlotys last year. “They are treating it like an extra tax.”
The move comes as Poland’s own renewable energy development grinds to a halt, hit by changing rules and a lack of policy support, and a renewable energy scheme that has encouraged coal-fired generators to burn biomass to generate green credits.
It goes on from there, generally moaning about the lack of support for renewables and how this must all just be a push for coal profits and all. It also has a rather funny photo… while attempting to promote more solar, it has a photo of a field of solar panels under low cloud / high fog and doing nearly nothing… Gotta luv it…
I like some of the comments, which happen to show more understanding than some of the article. Such as:
The reason the ‘wall’ was put up is that the Germans wanted to force power onto Poland when it could not handle any more. Renewable output is impossible to manage on the scales that Germany is planning, and Poland does not want to freeze in the dark, as is the Germany plan for 2020.
Someone has clue. And it is Poland. And a guy named Tom Anderson.
But that got me wondering just what is a “phase shifter” and how does it stop power from flowing?
The Tech Of Valves On Power Lines
The Tech of a phase shifter is also known by the name “quadrature booster”. Nice to know about in case one ever needs a way to put a faucet in the power line somewhere.
A phase angle regulating transformer, phase angle regulator (PAR, American usage), phase-shifting transformer, phase shifter (West coast American usage), or quadrature booster (quad booster, British usage), is a specialised form of transformer used to control the flow of real power on three-phase electricity transmission networks.
For an alternating current transmission line, power flow through the line is proportional to the sine of the difference in the phase angle of the voltage between the transmitting end and the receiving end of the line. Where parallel circuits with different capacity exist between two points in a transmission grid (for example, an overhead line and an underground cable), direct manipulation of the phase angle allows control of the division of power flow between the paths, preventing overload. Quadrature boosters thus provide a means of relieving overloads on heavily laden circuits and re-routing power via more favorable paths.
Alternately, where an interchange partner is intentionally causing significant “inadvertent energy” to flow through an unwilling interchange partner’s system, the unwilling partner may threaten to install a phase shifter to prevent such “inadvertent energy”, with the unwilling partner’s tactical objective being the improvement of his system’s stability at the expense of the other system’s stability. As power system reliability is really a regional or national strategic objective, the threat to install a phase shifter is usually sufficient to cause the other system to implement the required changes to his system to reduce or eliminate the “inadvertent energy”.
The capital cost of a quadrature booster can be high: as much as four to six million GBP (6–9 million USD) for a unit rated over 2 GVA. However, the utility to transmission system operators in flexibility and speed of operation, and particularly savings in permitting more economical dispatch of generation, can soon recover the cost of ownership.
So we are starting to see the stability issues and the resultant stability wars caused by too much power that can not be dispatched on demand. Thus the reasonable solution being a dispatchable power source like coal or gas turbines.
The rest is a direct quote of the wiki and their image. It’s pretty clear for anyone with electrical experience and an understanding of transformers. For everyone else, it’s a large metal box full of wires where magic happens in a controlled way… ;-)
Simplified circuit diagram of a three-phase quadrature booster. Arrows shown on shunt transformer secondary windings are movable taps; the windings have floating ends shown, and grounded centre taps (not shown).
Method of operation
By means of a voltage derived from the supply that is first phase-shifted by 90° (hence is in quadrature), and then re-applied to it, a phase angle is developed across the quadrature booster. It is this induced phase angle that affects the flow of power through specified circuits.
A quadrature booster typically consists of two separate transformers: a shunt unit and a series unit. The shunt unit has its windings connected across the phases, so it produces output voltages shifted by 90° with respect to the supply. Its output is then applied as input to the series unit, which, because its secondary winding is in series with the main circuit, adds the phase-shifted component. The overall output voltage is hence the vector sum of the supply voltage and the 90° quadrature component.
Tap connections on the shunt unit allow the magnitude of the quadrature component to be controlled, and thus the magnitude of the phase shift across the quadrature booster. The flow on the circuit containing the quadrature booster may be increased (boost tapping) or reduced (buck tapping). Subject to system conditions, the flow may even be bucked enough to completely reverse from its neutral-tap direction.
What a nice little giant gadget! Lets you do neat things like string a bunch of parallel wires of different capacities and run just the right amount of power over each to keep it full, but not overfull. Even lets you control what gets onto your grid, or not, as the grid stability demands. It makes perfect sense to put one of these between the Overly Green partner and the folks with a stable and reliable grid…