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Texas and Other US Power Shortages
11

Texas and Other US Power Shortages

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

for fear of starting a fight, my tagline says it all...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

(OP)
Well they did lose half their wind turbine capacity. Someone can confirm, but I heard that 30,000MW of generation tripped off line.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

2
What fight? The tagline tells people they are helpless to do anything. Can't fight against God's wrath can you?

Apparently this happens every 10 years in Texas as they would rather boost executive pay than winterize their power generation plants. arsTechnica has a lot more information.

There is a link to the last time 2011, https://www.ferc.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/0... and this, a summary: https://www.powermag.com/ferc-nerc-february-blacko... (note Feb 2011, not 2021.) No one learns.

Apparently Texans subscribe to power companies; it's not the company that actually has wires on the street. One of them let rates drift up in this to the point that customers were paying $9 per hour to heat their homes. The suggestion was to switch to a lower cost provider.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Link to areTechnica article: https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/02/texas-power-grid-crumples-under-the-cold/

Looks like it wasn't just wind, but all types of power plants, coal, natural gas, and nuclear.

Quote (arsTechnica)

Authorities will probably need several weeks, if not longer, to fully understand how so much generating capacity was taken offline at what turned out to be a period of critical demand.

I can't wait for turbines to be the popular issue and all the talking heads going on and on about how green energy is literally killing us. Which leads me to my favorite line from the article, a caption from the thumbnail picture:

Quote (arsTechnica)

Wind turbines can apparently operate in Antarctica, so it's not clear what Texas' problem is.

Chris

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Wind turbines with ice tend to operate like a car tire that is unbalanced. Or does anyone remember the lead weights that would put on tires?

Gas at the wellhead, can have water in it, which tends to freeze. So until the water is removed, at a finishing plant (or whatever they call them? We called then Helium plants, as that is one of the things they remove from the raw gas).

Dry gas is likely not the problem.

Freeze proofing has been a problem at power plants, but then, if there is no gas that is also a problem.

Outside coal bunkers can freeze when wet, but one would think a D9 can break that up (if it will start).

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

(OP)
I'm still confused though. How is it that power plants in New England and Canada don't freeze?

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Quote:

No one learns.

Exactly. If anything I'd even expect the grid to now be less capable of handling these weather events than it was 10 years ago.

I do recall that last event. I believe there was a thread or two here about it. Not much of a surprise that a cold weather event happened, even though certain groups are acting like it's a sign.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

It is a sign. Go with more green energy, so you can freeze in the dark.

It is also a sign that people forget history.

Texas remember the Alamo, because you lost that one.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

2
It represents serious problems with the planning by ERCOT. ERCOT's "Extreme Peak Load" estimate was 67,208 MW. Sunday night, the peak was 69,150 MW. Inadequate capacity margins. The expected contribution by wind turbines during weather this cold was already heavily discounted, and actual output was far below this. Solar is negligible. The loss of a huge amount of thermal (gas) generation was the proximate cause of the grid collapse - or near-collapse - not sure what really happened. I don't know if that was totally due to inadequate gas supplies or other mechanical issues related to the cold weather. I suspect a lot of these gas turbine plants don't have firm gas contracts. Either way, adequate margins are needed even during extreme events.

Another way to think about this - in Texas, about $73 billion has been spent on wind and solar generation and related transmission. What if that $73 billion had been spent on nuclear power?

For those blaming the weather - planners get paid to anticipate weather events like this. It does get this cold in Texas from time to time. Even if curtailment was necessary, larger industrial loads should have been shed first. These rolling blackouts are an absolute last resort. And it's not just Texas. Deregulation has probably thinned out generation margins throughout the US.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Thanks Turn_of_the_Screw - I was in the midst of the arsTechnica comments and forgot to copy/paste to the main article due to distraction with reading the FERC and PowerMag articles (which I did manage links to) which were far down in the arsTechnica comments.


Mbrooke - the plants in Canada and New England don't freeze because they see freezing weather every year and so no one there can put up a PowerPoint chart that says "In the last 5 years we have reduced costs by not preparing and nothing bad happened." Put that chart up 5 years in a row and the situation is what it is today. Same with putting insulation on home water pipes, or, in the case of at least one major Dallas hotel, on the business water pipes which burst and sent all their guests back into the dark cold night.



RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Actually I believe there were several industrial plants closed during the cold in Texas and area. I can't say why I know, but likely gasolene is not the only thing going up in price.

Maybe try food?

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Quote:

What if that $73 billion had been spent on nuclear power?

Sadly, that would mean they'd probably have one more 2GW nuke plant.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

That Texas tries to do electricity all on its own doesn't help. If Texas was in the Eastern Interconnect they wouldn't have rolling blackouts, but that wouldn't be the Texas way.

I’ll see your silver lining and raise you two black clouds. - Protection Operations

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Not to be argumentative, but I live in the eastern interconnection (SPP area) and we have had rolling blackouts two days in a row. It was -14F this morning when we went dark and the house got cold very quickly. Unlike some of the ranting crazies on Facebook, I gladly accept an hour of cold knowing it will be back on soon, as opposed to the unknown alternative. Makes one appreciate how important this electricity and gas stuff is...

Alan
The engineer's first problem in any design situation is to discover what the problem really is. Unk.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

(OP)
@David: Considering how many local plants tripped, wouldn't the amount of power needed over the Eastern interconnection be just to great? I'd imagine ties would reach their thermal limits while the areas around Mason and Parker county would have depressed voltages.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

(OP)
@Itsmoked: The US needs 502 multi reactor 2,200MW output nuclear plants scattered through out the US with a 765kv system interconnecting it all. This would be the ideal scenario for me.

Relying on anything else is not only green, but bound to fail as we are seeing now.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Ok, perhaps assumptions based on "the other side". There are various, very significant, differences between how the eastern interconnect works vs. how the western interconnect works. Load shedding is very rare in the west (except in CA, except in the period of time the PV is falling off a cliff in the evening on hot days, except when various transmission paths have outage based constraints). Everybody is supposed to have enough reserves lined up to cover their MCC (maximum credible contingency) and it seems to mostly work. But the two big grids work very differently and Texas has very little border with the western interconnect and lots of border with the eastern. Hadn't heard of other eastern interconnect capacity issues. Close enough to the hydro resources anything can be dealt with by sending more water downstream.

I’ll see your silver lining and raise you two black clouds. - Protection Operations

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Actually SPP has issues with capacity, and Xcel energy in the west has asked customers to cut back. That maybe because of how close it is with the east. Or because of the DC tie to SPP, and their sister in SPP.
But all that wind in Kansas I doubt is helping SPP. Same as the wind in Texas.

Even without wind generation, Texas is still full of wind (just a different type).

David is correct, each powerpool is suppose to have enough reserves, but believing wind and solar are firm power is a problem. And so is the lack of freeze proofing in the gas industry.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

I agree that whatever the power generation method, inadequate protection from cold weather is a big problem in Texas. Similar problems occurred in 2011 and also in the late 80s, IIRC. The more or less total deregulation of the electric power industry in Texas has been a disaster, IMO. If you are one of the retail utilities, do you really want to repair your downed lines right now so you'll be forced to buy power at $1000/MWh and then sell it to your customers at the agreed price of maybe $120 MWh? If you're a merchant power plant, what is the payback in providing solid cold weather protection? It probably doesn't pencil out. The incentives are all wrong.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Most utilities don't think like the "do you really want to repair your downed lines right now so you'll be forced to buy power at $1000/MWh and then sell it to your customers at the agreed price of maybe $120 MWh?". Most think like the JD Powers ratings.
REA's may think like that, but are likely waiting for cheep money to fix things (as in FEMA money).

Most power plants, are owned by a utility or government, so the cost of freeze proofing is regulated, not an exacting decision by the plant owners. If the regulators don't allow the cost to be fixed to customers, then it is not done. It's just that simple.

But the interoperability between gas and electric has been documented in WECC, but has not been translated to gas regulations on wellhead freeze proofing.

This will trickle down to higher prices in fuel, food, insurance, homes, etc. You will see.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

cranky108,

The situation in Texas is much different than other parts of the US due to the near total deregulation of the electric power industry and lack of FERC/NERC oversight. I was being only slightly facetious regarding disincentives for the retail utilities. I'm sure there are a lot of people working hard to restore damaged power lines. But economically, that's reality in Texas at the moment. All power generated is sold on a wholesale market. The old vertical integration of electric utilities is gone. Power distributed within ERCOT is not subject to FERC regulation.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Quote:

I'm still confused though. How is it that power plants in New England and Canada don't freeze?

Because they spend the money to design and build for cold weather. In Texas, no one wants to invest in winter reliability so they don't bother and then this happens about every 15 years or so.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

And you believe all FERC and NERC regulation is good?

Most of those regulations are things the utilities should be doing already, except the added paperwork that NERC and FERC add to the work as far as record keeping.

Also there are several NERC and FERC regulations that don't improve reliability, such as system monitoring standards.

It's a mixed bag, and more costly for utilities that have already have been doing those things.

And if the utilities are not allowed to recover the costs of Winter proofing, they won't.

And it is difficult to generate electricity, if there is no fuel.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

I find it kind of annoying that people think that the Texas grid is run in some adhoc manner when it follows the same NERC standards that everyone else does is watched by the TRE, the RE for the Texas Interconnect. The market may have made it hard to get people to invest in peaker generation with the cap being around $9,000 per MWH but there really isn't anything with the grid in of itself. Some capacity was lost due to wind turbines and plants freezing up but the bulk of the capacity lost has been due to wells and natural gas pipelines freezing up. There isn't anything special or particularly unusual with the grid in the Texas Interconnect. I have a lot of strong suspicions that much of the criticism is political in nature due to Texas being a red state or this idea that all of Texas is run by wild cowboys. While, it would be easy to say that it is Texas's fault for not interconnecting to the eastern or western interconnects, you would never get the eastern or western interconnects to join even the grid east of the rockies but west of the eastern interconnects board is extremely isolated and weak due to politics and likewise, you will never see Texas fully tying itself with the outside for the same reason. Even in europe, the ties between sections of the grid are DC, so as regions have control of their own regions. But even at that, like I said earlier, this isn't a grid problem but a fuel supply issue.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

(OP)
Am I the only one who is angered by reporting like this? Its not fair to blame ERCOT for generators they do not own. Second the system is indeed tied via AC-DC-AC. Third there is little to no 500kv and 765kv at the borders of Texas... the sheer amount of power that would have to be imported into Texas to compensate for all the lost generation would not be possible even if the system had been interconnected.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvredgJPgi8

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

As I said "But the interoperability between gas and electric has been documented in WECC, but has not been translated to gas regulations on wellhead freeze proofing."

I agree it is political, and news media driven.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

(OP)
Am I correct to say that if the Texas Grid was interconnected via AC lines, nothing would have been different?

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

I don't think the problem is that Texas is on its own grid. The problem is that Texans could have invested in resources that would have prevented this from happening and chose not to. This was a choice that was made to save money, which is fine. If you ask me, I'd rather pay a few more cents for electricity, knowing that it won't shut off when I need it most. You may just hear that call from more Texans now.

Chris

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Mbrooke,

The Texas Interconnect does have AC ties to the other interconnects' to aid in blackstart. Those types of ties are limited in number just like the DC connections. I suspect that the few power plants that roll back and forth between the interconnects based on the market have a bigger impact than all the dc ties put together. MISO quit a few days ago exporting power into ERCOT due to having its own problems with the weather.


RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages



Turn on the Screw,

There was an event back in 2011 where a bunch of plants froze due to not being winterized in Texas. That was gotten through with rolling blackouts. This event is a 200 year weather event and of a different magnitude. The freezing of the wells and pipelines was only exacerbated by the fact that there has been a shift to a greater portion of the generation using natural gas due to how cheap it is.

Here is FERC's report on the 2011 event.
https://www.ferc.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/0...

I thought these parts were telling why the producers didn't want to winterize the wells.

"In Northern regions of the country this equipment is normally part of the original well design and installed as a matter of necessity along with all other production equipment. On wells that can cost
well in excess of $1 million each, these costs are not as significant as when compared to a retrofit after the well has been placed on production. This investment needs to be weighed against the impact and ramifications of the reduction in gas flow, power reductions and outages during this time period. (Ref4, 19, 20)"

"Producers suggest that even improved winterization of the wells would not
prevent a significant portion of production declines, since other problems, such as icy roads that prohibit hauling off water (which, if not done, shuts down the well),are also commonly encountered. "

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

It's strange that you would say you would pay a few more cents, most people would not. Then again I am also befuddled at the number of people who always sign up to pay extra for green power. I wonder how those people think that we can route the green electrons to only their homes.

When given the chance, most people will show up to oppose any rate increase, and demand only green energy be provided.

The same people proposed that a local power plant make the consate from the cooling towers rotate with added colors, and to be light up at night.

But what if the problem is with the fuel, and not with the power companies. How do you suggest we increase the reliability? How do you translate the added cost to the producer?

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Cranky,

FERC is going to descend on the industry with a phonebook of new regulations like how the northeast blackout gave birth to NERC.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Yes I believe that to be true.

How much of that cost will out rate payers bear? 100%.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

3
All of it but it doesn't matter because after this fiasco, it will be obvious that "cheap electricity" wasn't cheap.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Mbrook the alternate reality of ERCOT seems to overstate the time required to restart a power grid. I grant it is much hard work.

Comparable blackout (a real one) to compare with the texas averted blackout
This one occurred during summer so none of the cold weather problems.
Northeast blackout of 2003

The Northeast blackout of 2003 was a widespread power outage throughout parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, and the Canadian province of Ontario on August 14, 2003, beginning just after 4:10 p.m. EDT. Most places restored power by midnight, some as early as 6 p.m.Wikipedia
Duration:Between 2 hours - 4 days, depending on location
Date:2003-8-14–2003-8-16 (2003-8-14 – 2003-8-16)

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

(OP)
Yup- Ironically because the system was interconnected. And they did not shed enough load fast enough at First Energy.

I think folks (and the media) need to give ERCOT a break. Any part of the world that loses 185 (yes, one hundred eighty five) generating stations or 46,000MWs of generation in a 500 mile diameter circle will experience forced load shedding if not voltage collapse and large scale cascading black-outs. Lines would overheat and trip trying to draw power from the rest of the interconnection while voltage would sag locally to the point of collapse unless enough load was shed fast enough.

As far as I see it not having the system interconnected along with ERCOT's quick action was the lesser of two evils.

Regarding interconnection being able to prevent outages- unless Texas had four dozen 765kv transmission lines well anchored into the central US the outages would still have occured with the typical AC interconnections.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

I think people don't understand how much energy can be exchanged in a 0.1 Hz difference in the grids of the size of the three grids we have in the US.
Tieing the eastern and western grids has been tried several times, and all met with failure because of the large power and var flows. The AC-DC-AC ties are the only way to make a tie that works, and that method is costly, and complicated.

One AC-DC-AC tie has about the capacity of one power plants worth of energy for exchange.
So if ERCOT lost 185 power plants, about how many tie will be required?

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Cranky,

Frequency differences don't cause powerflows. Angular differences do. It is doable but you have to either move generation to the eastern side of the rockies or uses variable frequency transformers or quadrature transformers. You have a whole bunch of wind generation down the corridor of the midwest that flows to the east and if any connection was made between the interconnects, a very significant portion of real power would flow west. Var flow would also flow west unless caps were put in place because the part east of the rockies in the western interconnect would want to hang off of the eastern interconnect. While there are politcs involved that would make it hard for any sort of merger, one of the biggest benefits would be being able close inefficient power plants due to not needing to keep them available for capacity due to being able to share capacity amongst a large region. t.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

(OP)
"close inefficient power plants due to not needing to keep them available"

Errrr... no. I don't believe in closing power plants. I think this is part of the problem with the industry as a whole.


I think what the US needs is a massive 765kv system with 345kv substransmission. Ample reserve generation scattered about.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Quote (I'm still confused though. How is it that power plants in New England and Canada don't freeze?)


We don't have the cold... ours is a dry cold...bigsmile

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Quote (Mbrooke I think what the US needs is a massive 765kv system with 345kv substransmission)


A few years ago, during the development of the CREZ project, a 745 kV transmission system was proposed instead 345 kV but found an strong opposition by large number of utilities members of ERCOT.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

(OP)
CREZ Project?

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Cuky,

That was probably for good reason because the state has no existing 765 kv network to tie into so the only points that would be able to tie into the network would need 765 step down transformers. Double circuit 345 kV brings more benefits than tieing in at a high but odd voltage.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

(OP)
Ideally, there would a a whole 765kv mesh covering the whole national from Washing State to Florida, From Arizona to Maine. Canada would interconnect with relative ease as they already have 765kv in Hydro Quebec IIRC.

345kv subtransmission and 34.5kv distribution.

@#DDave- Thanks for the pdf! :)

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

All these great ideas about a bigger HV grid. The problem is getting it done. We put in a ~170 mi 345 line from state to state about 3 years ago. The planning / permitting process took 8 years and I don't know how many millions of dollars. The physical construction portion took almost 2 years. This was sold as being able to move green energy from the West to our region.

The next interstate line, proposed for the same reasons to a different neighboring state, has been approved. Whenever we travel to visit the in laws, there are signs along the highway (for about 30 miles) stating opposition to the new line.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Permitting is often a very high hurdle.
Surry-Skiffes Creek Transmission Line was needed to mitigate stability violations that would occur after the Yorktown Generating plant was retired (age and environmental emissions reasons). All of the other possible paths have more significant environmental problems than the skiffs creek option. Details are in the links.

The project involves a 7.76-mile 500 kV overhead transmission powerline from Surry nuclear power plant in Surry County to the proposed Skiffes Creek 500 kV-230 kV-115 kV switching station, on 51 acres of private and commercial property in James City County, and 20.2 miles of 230 kV overhead powerline along an existing right of way from the switching station to Whealton substation in Hampton.

Application for first permit to build June 11, 2012 (State Utility Regulator)
Energized on Feb. 26, 2019.
March 1, 2019 - The D.C. Circuit Court remanded the Army Corps of Engineers permit for the Skiffes Creek transmission line and ordered the Corps to conduct an environmental impact statement.
Not sure what happens if the permit for necessary infrastructure gets rescinded, the other scenario in the original study included rolling blackouts

Surry-Skiffes Creek Transmission Line

Dominion Power Surry-Skiffes Creek-Whealton EIS Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

I think this talk about transmission while helpful is misleading. The most reliable system is one which the generation is placed the nearest to the load. These overlays, Crez or XCap in Miso, are the result of violating the principle to bring renewable energy to their load centers. I am not aware of any mechanisms that force or incentivize generation to be located near load centers. When utilities were vertical, the planning was better due to not having competing groups. Transmission utilities are more than happy to build transmission to the moon if they get their rate of return. Generators don't have an incentive to mitigate grid issues if they aren't being compensated for the hassle.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Quote:

One would think a D9 can break that up (if it will start).

Almost certainly it would, as long as it's one of the older ones with a gasoline-fueled starting engine; starts by hand, once running rolls the main engine over at low speed, gasoline engine heat warms block, oil, etc. in main engine, while exhaust gases are routed into main engine air intake manifold, further enhancing main engine warm-up.

Continue until main engine is fully warmed, then crank main engine at high speed . . . voilà!

Yes Québec has 765 kV lines, but all ties from Trans-ènergie to other entities are via AC-DC-AC tie due to the aforementioned instability issues.

CR

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." [Proverbs 27:17, NIV]

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Quote:

One would think a D9 can break that up (if it will start).
It'll start in Canada, but maybe not in Texas.
The operators and mechanics in Canada know a lot of methods and tricks to start diesel engines in cold weather.
Did you know that if you buy a Chevrolet in Canada with a factory installed block heater it has a built in thermostat and in not active above 0F, -18C ?

By the way, I haven't heard one of those pup engines starting a big Cat for decades.
With that little gas engine resonating in the large diesel exhaust system, you could hear a Cat starting on the next mountain on a cold morning.
Bill
--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

A collector not far from my place has one of those big old Cats...

For a while until the 1970s my utility had four 30 MVA simple cycle gas-turbine-driven generators here https://www.google.com/maps/place/Waterloo,+ON/@43... for short-term peak shaving; they were still there when I was briefly detailed to work out of that site in the mid 80s, but they hadn't run in some time. Starting was by a pup gasoline engine [ four-cylinder, if memory serves ] that was used to start a big honkin' Cat Diesel engine of some sort, it mighta been an eight or twelve cylinder in-line, although I'm far from positive on that. It in turn was used to crank the gas turbine through purge and eventually to self-sustaining speed, which IIRC was around 90% of synchronous speed.

CR

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." [Proverbs 27:17, NIV]

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

I heard the news as they interviewed several people, mostly political people. It almost made me throw up. It is just becoming a running joke. We need to do this and that.

It seems they did not winterize the gas system and many electric plants, because of maybe rates, or regulation, and now that all want to blame the utilities for inaction.

There were reports on this from 2011 about winterizing, and reports on the interoperability of gas and electric, and all that paper used for those reports must have been thrown in the trash. So now we can see clearly the problem, it's government waste and finger pointing.

Just frustrating.

Sorry to rant, but I feel better.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Quote (It's start in Canada, but maybe not in Texas.)


I remember my cousin, on the farm, using ether sprayed into the intake during really cold mornings.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Quote (because of maybe rates, or regulation, and now that all want to blame the utilities for inaction.)


or maybe it simply increases profits... at the cost of lives?

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Who lives in Texas?
Are there any products like this stocked in Texas fuel depots?

I haven't seen an engine started with raw 100% ether for about 50 years.
It was very dangerous to use and to store.
It had the power to traumatically dis-assemble an engine if too much was used.
It was a liquid, often poured on a rag and held in front of the air intake.

Many of the newer diesel engines use pre-combustion chambers and many pre-combustion chambers will not stand the stress of starting fluid.
Many diesel engines now have glow plugs to pre-heat the air in the intake manifold.
I have used a propane torch to heat the intake manifold as an aid to starting a diesel in cold weather.

Bill
--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

The can I have is a spray. I need to use it to start the lawn mower in the Spring.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Then again I am not in Texas.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

I have two diesel generators, two diesel tractors and two diesel trucks.
Of the six engines, only one allows the use of starting fluid.
The other five each use a combination of both glow plugs and block heaters.
As well as the block heater and the glow plugs I needed to use booster batteries to start one tractor at minus 30C to clear the driveway of snow a few years ago.
This was one of the engines in which the use of starting fluid was prohibited.

Bill
--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

18 HP three-cylinder Yanmar Diesel tractor and a new-to-us 2012 VW Touareg 3.0 litre TDi here, both of which prohibit starting assist sprays; former uses air intake preheater grid, latter uses glow plugs.

CR

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." [Proverbs 27:17, NIV]

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

It is a little disgusting that in the disaster thread the powers to be can't be bothered to correct the fact that the state's name is misspelled and this thread has delved into starter fluid. It is like everyone is forgetting over 58 people died. It really feels like politics or something is really getting pushed to the front.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

With respect to my learned colleague, I'm not seeing any state names misspelled . . .

True, the little digression into Diesel engine starter fluid is tangential, but the fact that technological solutions exist for cold weather starting problems and power plant mitigations to address cold weather operation is not; I'm sensing a more or leas across-the-board disgust on behalf of the participants here that moderate-cost ways to mitigate loss of human life continue to take a back seat to purely bean counting considerations.

Or am I wrong?

CR

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." [Proverbs 27:17, NIV]

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Taxes, Taxas and Texas.
Well if you have to push the point, this is an international forum and we have been ignoring a slightly misplaced vowel rather than embarrass a valued friend and contributor who unfortunately speaks American as a second language.
While I suspect that our friend speaks several languages, I fear that the Texican dialect of American is further down his list of capabilities, possibly fourth or fifth.

Is Texican still part of the vernacular?
If it's good enough for John Wayne, it's good enough for me!

Bill
--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

I don't accept that a discussion of engineering solutions to the challenges of cold weather is out of place in this thread.
A lot of the truckers in the Canadian prairies have Webasto heaters installed on their trucks.
This is a diesel fired coolant heater with a 12 Volt circulating pump.
The Wabasto may be started by a timer several hours ahead of a scheduled start time, or, in the event that the driver is taking a rest break in the sleeper or just has to wait in his cab for any reason, the engine may be shut down and the Wabasto will keep both the engine and the cab and sleeper warm while using a lot less fuel than a running engine would.
Those of us who have experienced extreme cold and seen good engineering solutions for coping with cold weather are somewhat aghast at the disaster caused by a chilly day in Texas.

By the way if anyone follows the History channel reality television series "Ice Road Truckers", you may remember an episode where one of the drivers was stranded for several days and when he was able to continue, he was ran out of fuel before he reached town as he had used up too much fuel running his engine so that neither his engine nor he would freeze up.
I suspect that he did have a Wabasto and that it was turned off to add drama to the episode.

Bill
--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Waross,

You are trivializing a serious issue. I feel this thread is filled it so many nonsensical things due to it being a Texas problem. I am a northerner living in Texas and there is obvious lack of empathy for the people of the state. Morgues were filling up with bodies in Galveston and the last count I heard was 58 people died. Now compare this to how serious the thead in the disaster forum treated the collapse of the Hard Rock Cafe in New Orleans was. No one in that thread was talking about crawfish and Mardi Gras. Most engineering problems don't just appear out of thin air. Someone made some wrong decision somewhere along the line and other people were impacted by it. The fact that the PUC and Railroad commission likely made some poor decision doesn't make it any different than most other engineering disasters. Lord knows that there would have been a series of studies showing the impact of hurricane on the northeast but nobody was running around saying "well, why didn't you just prepare for it. Hurricane Sandy would have been nothing if you had done that. Why didn't you just spend a lot of money and harden up the whole coast? ". You see in hindsight that spending millions of dollars on each well would have been worth it. Anyone that has done any planning can't just plan for every contingency. There is not enough money or justification for every single possibility. Someone has to make a decision and live with it and hope for the best.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

And you believe Califorinia is ready for a Hurricane? That might be more of a compair as hurricane typically travel West. And maybe they aren't ready. I don't know. (yes I know I misspelled the state name).

Every year, many people are killed by avalanches, which is also a cold weather event. There is little to no discussion on that. Then again, many of these are avoidable.

We are talking about how many cold weather event deaths are avoidable, and things that can be done, or done differently. And in specific about Texas.

Yes I know people there, but some areas have done better than others. What was done differently?
Is some of the news, just hype to sell a story. I think so.
Could things have turned out differently? I think so.
I also believe some of this was self caused, by people in government office. I can't shed a tear for that.

Lighten up. If the conversation strays, we are communicating ideas, that we feel like communicating.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

I just received this,

FM Global podcast sheds light on what the Texas power blackouts can teach businesses about resilience

Valentine’s Day 2021 brought a freakish winter freeze that disrupted power, heat and water for millions of Texans. And the impact continues. What can power companies and leaders of enterprises everywhere learn from it all? Tune in to the latest episode of the ‘Resilience Is A Choice’ podcast where FM Global’s Allan Johnson, operations senior vice president and head of power generation, provides insights from being on the ground in Dallas.


What the Texas power blackouts can teach businesses about resilience, Resilience Is A Choice • Feb 24


Other FM Podcasts
https://anchor.fm/fmglobal

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Apparently mixing a bit of water and freezing temps with coal makes it a big challenge to move. There was also some hint that water supplies freezing caused problems, but I don't know if that affected the coal plants.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

A lot of the coal plants in the south are not fully enclosed. The turbine deck is outside and also the boiler front. Lots of little piping and instrument tubing that can freeze up and ruin your day if not heat traced.

RE: Texas and Other US Power Shortages

Back in the day when I was an Auxiliary Plant Operator in a coal-fired generating station, during winter operation I was part of the crews using sledge hammers of various weights [ generally whatever we were capable of lifting and using effectively ] to pound on the 36" diameter coal pipes leading from the coal hoppers to the feeders and pulverizers of those units in operation so as to clear hang-ups...

Although the plant was in Ontario, Canada and therefore completely indoors, the coal pile was unprotected from the elements. As a result the coal plant operators, despite their best efforts, sometimes ended up coaling the plant with some icy chunks mixed in; being right near the fusion temperature of water and now within a plant whose interior was kept at a minimum 15° C / 59° F, freeze/thaw/re-freeze issues would develop, necessitating the muscular expenditure I describe.

I shudder to think of the effects of that type of weather on the type of plant dpc is describing...

CR

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." [Proverbs 27:17, NIV]

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