How to prepare for a total Eskom blackout

garp

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Aug 2, 2004
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#23
Doubt a total blackout will ever happen.
Once upon a time, I would have agreed with you. But things have changed. From what I can glean, we came within a hair's breadth of a cascading failure yesterday when 6 units had to be shutdown despite that we were already in stage 2 load shedding. The stats are scary - an installed capacity of something like 45 000 MW yet despite average summer demand being 30 000 MW we had to shed 4000 MW. So, with a theoretical 45 000 MW capacity and, therefore, a 15 000 MW margin of safety, Eskom could barely deliver 26 000 MW. They managed to contain the problem, but what if there was just one more element thrown into the mix? What if, say, during all of this something like the supply cable from Mozambique went down, or Koeberg had to be shut down in a rush?? The point is, we were on a knife edge just containing one set of failures, add another and we'd be toast.
 

daveza

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Apr 5, 2004
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#24
https://ewn.co.za/2019/02/12/eskom-in-depth-audit-should-take-3-months-hadebe-says

Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe has told Eyewitness News that an in-depth audit should take about three months to establish what needs to be done to solve the country's power crisis.

The utility on Monday said it was concerned that the Medupi and Kusile power stations showed a lack of reliability to generating capacity.

Eskom has implemented stage 3 load shedding on Tuesday morning until 11pm tonight.

The parastatal says that its board will launch the audit to ensure all technical problems are understood to prevent a crisis as seen on Monday.

Hadebe says that they already had an audit at an official level.

We did an audit to identify things that need to be done and that’s why we’re able to come up with 63 outages that have to be done.” ( sorry, what ? )

He says this audit is to give clarity on the magnitude of the problem.

“We now felt that we need to get experts to go out and identify all of them so that we’re clear on what exactly needs to be done.”

The utility's board will institute an urgent review of the system to establish realistically when its projects will be completed.
So after the elections then ...
 

Praeses

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Oct 29, 2005
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#25
I wonder if there will be load shedding on election day as a friendly reminder to the voting public who not to vote for... :)
 

eg2505

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#26
do agree with this assessment, majority of people will be toast should a TOTAL blackout happen,
I doubt even eskom will be able to blackstart everything with the power supply they do have,

yes load shedding is really bad,
but total collapse is MUCH much worse, we talking looting,chaos,hospitals overwhelmed, civil unrest,
the whole 9 yards,

is there anything one can do? yes and no,
yes you can prep supplies,batteries,diesel, nappies ect...

but the minute it all goes to SH*T it will all be looted, and who will loot?
your neighbors, as they got kids to feed as well, and know you got supplies
if not them, then the police themselves, as guess what? they also got families to feed,

it will all be like a stack of dominos, 1 falls, and the rest follow in quick succession,
before long it will be mad max and leathers, and eating cans of dog food,

is there a solution, maybe in isolated pockets, that nobody knows about, might survive.
but even a bunker will get raided, when the police turn up in a bulldozer, and smash their way in, as its got food.
and the police got families as well.

we looking at a complete breakdown of civil society, people will fight to do what they have to do,
will get nasty, blood will be spilled, no doubting that.

yes, maybe a week things will be quiet, but longer than that, even martial law wont protect you.
 

garp

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Aug 2, 2004
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6,875
#30
yes, maybe a week things will be quiet, but longer than that, even martial law wont protect you.
I think we'd manage for a week, maybe two. Thanks to the load shedding, there is a lot of infrastructure, shops, businesses, factories, depots, etc with alternative power options and as long as the refineries still have reserves fuel will still be delivered (many filling stations have backup power, etc). I don't believe everything would grind to an instant halt. The biggest concern will probably be water if reservoirs aren't being refilled, but we will probably have a few days to prepare. But, yes, anything much longer than a week and things will become hairy - but really is it likely that Eskom wouldn't be able to get at least some generation and distribution going, even if very limited, within that period?
 

ToxicBunny

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Apr 8, 2006
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#31
So we're still bashing on the 2 weeks thing?

At worst power would start to be restored to major areas in a matter hours, day or two at most..... 2 weeks for the full system to come up yes, but that would be the outlying areas...
 

Shaun108

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May 11, 2009
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7,993
#33
So we're still bashing on the 2 weeks thing?

At worst power would start to be restored to major areas in a matter hours, day or two at most..... 2 weeks for the full system to come up yes, but that would be the outlying areas...
Best case scenario is a week. This is South Africa though...
 

eg2505

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#34
So we're still bashing on the 2 weeks thing?

At worst power would start to be restored to major areas in a matter hours, day or two at most..... 2 weeks for the full system to come up yes, but that would be the outlying areas...
you have an awful faith it will happen that way, remember a black-start needs MUCH more energy,
so if at current strength it cant cope, who says with nearly double that , their ancient crumbing infrastructure will just short out?
 

Shaun108

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#35
Black start

Besides leaving the country without power, a national blackout would leave us in a situation where Eskom would have to restart power plants without electricity – a “black start”.

This could take 2-3 weeks, said Yelland.

Power plants use some of the electricity they generate to operate equipment such as conveyor belts that feed coal into furnaces, so to start them up you need to start with a small generator.

To bootstrap a power plant, a small diesel generator is typically used to start up a larger generator, which in turn is used to start parts of the plant.

“There are procedures and protocols in place to do a black start. This matter has been carefully thought out and procedures put in place.”
 

garp

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6,875
#36
So we're still bashing on the 2 weeks thing?

At worst power would start to be restored to major areas in a matter hours, day or two at most..... 2 weeks for the full system to come up yes, but that would be the outlying areas...
Yes, it's hard to imagine a scenario where Eskom wouldn't be able to get at least some limited supply going. Often cited is that the stations require power from other stations to get going, and if everything has tripped there is no way to get anything going again, but we have nuclear, solar and cross border sources of power that could surely be used for this.
 

Shaun108

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#37
https://mybroadband.co.za/news/ener...-africa-should-scare-the-hell-out-of-you.html


A total blackout will be akin to civil war

Robbie van Heerden, a senior energy specialist at the CSIR and Eskom’s former general manager of the national electricity system operator, previously said a blackout would be a disaster “akin to civil war breaking out”.

He explained that during a blackout, darkness, no or minimal telecoms, water schemes running dry, social unrest, and looting would occur.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille explained in 2015 that while generators will be able to provide some reprieve, their fuel will run out.

“Cellphone companies can no longer transmit signals. Radio transmitters also die. So do ATMs,” said Zille.

Sewage pump stations would overflow, and hospitals and clinics would also stop functioning, she added.

“The criminal justice system, including courts and prisons, would grind to a standstill. Public transport would come to a halt. Shops would close.”

“Life as we know it, in a modern economy, cannot function without electricity,” she said.
 

Temujin

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Apr 18, 2015
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5,302
#39
So we're still bashing on the 2 weeks thing?

At worst power would start to be restored to major areas in a matter hours, day or two at most..... 2 weeks for the full system to come up yes, but that would be the outlying areas...
TIA... the second its heard 'all power is down', all the cables are looted and subs raided and stripped... there will be nothing left to turn it back on for
 

ToxicBunny

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#40
you have an awful faith it will happen that way, remember a black-start needs MUCH more energy,
so if at current strength it cant cope, who says with nearly double that , their ancient crumbing infrastructure will just short out?
No, you are literally clueless about this..

The power stations will have generators on site to restart the basics, which can then be used to restart the main systems.... would happen within hours... The units had to be started initially, and those systems will still be there.
 
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