Using liquid natural gas powerships for emergency power is a mistake - Chris Yelland

Swa

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So which battery tech are you referring to store and dispatch the scale of energy involved in replacing the need for these powerships (i.e. in excess of 1200MW)? i.e. what design can be pointed to that could do this on a large scale?

I certainly hope you're not simply scaling up in your mind what a household, business or even farm would deploy.

While we're at it, what timeframe are we talking in getting these in place, i.e. additional solar and wind generation + the storage solution?
Ask Tesla. They did it in Aus. This isn't some untried tech.
 

Gordon_R

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Ask Tesla. They did it in Aus. This isn't some untried tech.

The South Australia Tesla big battery is mostly a grid stabilising facility, and for power storage it is both inadequate and rather expensive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornsdale_Power_Reserve

It can either supply full power for 10 mins, or one-third power for 3 hours. That is not exactly going to help with day-night load shifting.
 

Swa

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The South Australia Tesla big battery is mostly a grid stabilising facility, and for power storage it is both inadequate and rather expensive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornsdale_Power_Reserve

It can either supply full power for 10 mins, or one-third power for 3 hours. That is not exactly going to help with day-night load shifting.
That was only for 150MW. You can have ten of those for less than one year of this.
 

mypetcow

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That was only for 150MW. You can have ten of those for less than one year of this.
Sure but that will still provide power for only 10 min at full output. So 1500MW power for 10 min or 1220MW power for 24 hours...We’re going to need more batteries than you realize
 

Swa

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Sure but that will still provide power for only 10 min at full output. So 1500MW power for 10 min or 1220MW power for 24 hours...We’re going to need more batteries than you realize
We're going to need less negativity than you realise.
 

Lupus

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We're going to need less negativity than you realise.
No you're going to need more realism then you realise, peaks are 5am to 9am and 5pm to 9pm. So we would need a lot of batteries to maintain that. Or CCTGs which the ships basically are
 

Iwojima

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We're going to need less negativity than you realise.
Yes, because tangible workable solutions for a country in a situation like ours are built on hopes, dreams and unicorn farts.

The country simply does not have the time to be messing about being guinea pigs for an unproven, massively scaled up solution that would require not only the storage solution designs to be conjured up and built, but also the additional wind and solar generation that will be feeding this storage.

Yes, there is lots to dislike about the powership idea, but unfortunately at the moment nothing else appears to be able satisfy the time sensitivity of our problem.
 

Cosmik Debris

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Everybody jumped up and down with excitement when power ships were announced. Nobody asked the right questions. The thinking was it's like plugging in a generator in your home. It's not.

Power generation with a single exception, Koeberg, is all inland in Mpumalanga. Therefore the distribution infrastructure is heavy in Mpumalanga and gets lighter as it approaches the coast. Plugging a power ship in at the coast is like plugging a big generator into a home in Cape Town to power a factory in Gauteng. Ain't gonna work without a very expensive distribution reversal upgrade.

Those power ships require crew to run them and a connection running underwater to shore if you don't want the generation pollution emitted in harbour. This will require service vessels to maintain the underwater cables with robotic vehicles and those are expensive in the region of over R1M a day. Crew changes will require helicopters and/or ferries and the crew will need to be flown in and out of South Africa. You will be paying the salaries and air fares of the crew.

The power ships also run gas turbines to generate the electricity. Eskom can't even afford to run the static gas turbines that supplement the base coal generation in peak demand (Except for the Zulu King's funeral).
 
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mypetcow

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The thinking was it's like plugging in a generator in your home. It's not.
Except that it literally is just like that. Just like any other power station in SA. Just way smaller.

Power generation with a single exception, Koeberg, is all inland in Mpumalanga. Therefore the distribution infrastructure is heavy in Mpumalanga and gets lighter as it approaches the coast. Plugging a power ship in at the coast is like plugging a big generator into a home in Cape Town to power a factory in Gauteng. Ain't gonna work without a very expensive distribution reversal upgrade.

Those power ships require crew to run them and a connection running underwater to shore if you don't want the generation pollution emitted in harbour. This will require service vessels to maintain the underwater cables with robotic vehicles and those are expensive in the region of over R1M a day. Crew changes will require helicopters and/or ferries and the crew will need to be flown in and out of South Africa. You will be paying the salaries and air fares of the crew.

The power ships also run gas turbines to generate the electricity. Eskom can't even afford to run the static gas turbines that supplement the base coal generation in peak demand (Except for the Zulu King's funeral).
I'm not sure you read the article about how these power ships work.

1. This is only 1220 MW so almost all of the generated energy will end up being used close to the ships and will most certainly not travel across the country. Think of a pipe network and how water flows out the nearest tap. For high voltage overhead cables that already exist it's a drop in the ocean. So no crazy extra distribution infrastructure is needed. They literally only have to connect the ships to the nearest medium voltage substation.

2. The ships are moored in a harbour so there is no underwater connections, no helicopters, no ferries, no robotic vessels. Here's a picture:
https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/art...transnet-buy-in-for-20-year-harbour-moorings/

3. The price that Eskom is to pay for each kWh of electricity includes everything. They also don't have to source gas or anything else for that matter. To Eskom it's a passthrough cost. They just pass it on to the customers just like with all the other electricity they generate.
 

Swa

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No you're going to need more realism then you realise, peaks are 5am to 9am and 5pm to 9pm. So we would need a lot of batteries to maintain that. Or CCTGs which the ships basically are
Still thinking in isolation.

Yes, because tangible workable solutions for a country in a situation like ours are built on hopes, dreams and unicorn farts.

The country simply does not have the time to be messing about being guinea pigs for an unproven, massively scaled up solution that would require not only the storage solution designs to be conjured up and built, but also the additional wind and solar generation that will be feeding this storage.

Yes, there is lots to dislike about the powership idea, but unfortunately at the moment nothing else appears to be able satisfy the time sensitivity of our problem.
It's not unproven. It's been used successfully all over the globe. The last thing our country needs is "solutions" that will just hike the price even more. As for time, IPPs have been standing at the door for years now. All that was needed is a signature. So please don't bring up time.
 

Swa

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Except that it literally is just like that. Just like any other power station in SA. Just way smaller.


I'm not sure you read the article about how these power ships work.

1. This is only 1220 MW so almost all of the generated energy will end up being used close to the ships and will most certainly not travel across the country. Think of a pipe network and how water flows out the nearest tap. For high voltage overhead cables that already exist it's a drop in the ocean. So no crazy extra distribution infrastructure is needed. They literally only have to connect the ships to the nearest medium voltage substation.

2. The ships are moored in a harbour so there is no underwater connections, no helicopters, no ferries, no robotic vessels. Here's a picture:
https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/art...transnet-buy-in-for-20-year-harbour-moorings/

3. The price that Eskom is to pay for each kWh of electricity includes everything. They also don't have to source gas or anything else for that matter. To Eskom it's a passthrough cost. They just pass it on to the customers just like with all the other electricity they generate.
1. Our problem isn't a localised one so you can't just plug it in and hope for the best. Our network isn't set up to carry the power cross country.
3. It's not inclusive. The figures being thrown around are total cost but never have they quoted this as the actual cost as there are variable costs like fuel which will get even more expensive over the years. Eskom can't supply the fuel locally so that's even more international procurement. The total cost is more than what consumers pay currently so Eskom can't just pass it on.
 

Iwojima

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1. Our problem isn't a localised one so you can't just plug it in and hope for the best. Our network isn't set up to carry the power cross country.
3. It's not inclusive. The figures being thrown around are total cost but never have they quoted this as the actual cost as there are variable costs like fuel which will get even more expensive over the years. Eskom can't supply the fuel locally so that's even more international procurement. The total cost is more than what consumers pay currently so Eskom can't just pass it on.
1) It's called the Transmission grid and it carries power cross country. How else does HV power get from where it is generated to where it needs to go? Conceptually this is no different to what would be needed to add an IPP to the grid.

2) I'll give you that the total cost is not clear at this point. We've yet to see an actual figure on cost per kwh, merely assumptions based on projected contractual costs divided by generation capacity. More info is needed.
It's not unproven. It's been used successfully all over the globe. The last thing our country needs is "solutions" that will just hike the price even more. As for time, IPPs have been standing at the door for years now. All that was needed is a signature. So please don't bring up time.
Again, you cannot simply scale up lower end instances of the solution in what would be required to replace the 1200MW offered by the powerships. It simply does not work that way.

I bring up time because it is a factor that has to be considered. Regardless of the history with IPP's you need to realise what adding 1200MW to the grid now (or as close to now as possible) represents in terms of preventing further instances of loadshedding and/or allowing further plant to be taken down for much-needed maintenance to be conducted. The implications of which will have a positive economic and power security impact.

Just a reminder as well. What you are proposing is already underway albeit at a smaller scale and has been for some time: https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/a...ivate-investment-in-the-technology-2020-11-19 . Note that is being described as a medium term solution.
 

Cosmik Debris

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1) It's called the Transmission grid and it carries power cross country. How else does HV power get from where it is generated to where it needs to go? Conceptually this is no different to what would be needed to add an IPP to the grid.

Power generation with a single exception, Koeberg, is all inland in Mpumalanga. Therefore the distribution infrastructure is heavy in Mpumalanga and gets lighter as it approaches the coast. Plugging a power ship in at the coast is like plugging a big generator into a home in Cape Town to power a factory in Gauteng. Ain't gonna work without a very expensive distribution reversal upgrade.
 
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Cosmik Debris

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2. The ships are moored in a harbour so there is no underwater connections, no helicopters, no ferries, no robotic vessels. Here's a picture:
https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/art...transnet-buy-in-for-20-year-harbour-moorings/

Did you even read that report you linked?

Transnet has confirmed officially that it has neither granted written permission to the Turkish-based power project – nor had it received a formal application when the list of preferred power supply bidders was announced last week by Gwede Mantashe, the minister of mineral resources and energy.​

The announcement that Turkey’s Karpowership group has scooped pole position on the starting grid to provide emergency electricity to Eskom continues to raise questions, especially now that an eye-watering price estimate of more than R200-billion has emerged.

So far, Karpowership and its local empowerment partners have jumped over, ducked or side-stepped several regulatory hurdles in the race to despatch a fleet of gas-burning “powerships” to South Africa.

But it has yet to secure one of the most important approvals – written permission from Transnet to occupy constrained harbour space in three of the country’s busiest harbours for the next 20 years.

To generate up to 1,220 megawatts of electricity, the company plans to park eight ships for two decades in the ports of Richards Bay, Ngqura and Saldanha Bay.
 

Cosmik Debris

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Still thinking in isolation.


It's not unproven. It's been used successfully all over the globe. The last thing our country needs is "solutions" that will just hike the price even more. As for time, IPPs have been standing at the door for years now. All that was needed is a signature. So please don't bring up time.

Of course it has been used. But only in areas where the grid can cope. The ports of Richards Bay, Ngqura and Saldanha Bay are end users, not suppliers of electricity. The distribution network will have to be upgraded. Just as it would need to be if you put a 2 MW generator in your back yard to supply the factory in the next suburb. You're an end user, not a supplier.

It's like trying to fill a dam by connecting your home plumbing to a huge pump.
 

Cosmik Debris

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3. The price that Eskom is to pay for each kWh of electricity includes everything. They also don't have to source gas or anything else for that matter. To Eskom it's a passthrough cost. They just pass it on to the customers just like with all the other electricity they generate.

You're thinking like an accountant instead of an engineer. The exact thinking that got Eskom into the mess they're in when the ANC replaced white engineers with black accountants at Eskom.
 

Cosmik Debris

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2. The ships are moored in a harbour so there is no underwater connections, no helicopters, no ferries, no robotic vessels.

Are you aware of the noise generated by gas turbines? Anyone living near those harbours is going to have the sound of at least 10 - 20 aircraft taking off simultaneously all the time. Gas turbines are what hang under the wings of commercial aircraft.

The burnt gasses will also be expelled in an urban area. Any environmental impact done on this? The reason I state the ships will have to be moored far offshore.
 

Cosmik Debris

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So no crazy extra distribution infrastructure is needed. They literally only have to connect the ships to the nearest medium voltage substation.

What, to you, is medium voltage? And the substations are designed to serve the maximum end user load expected x 1.5 safety factor. Now you want to supply a city from these sub stations with no capacity upgrade?
 

Cosmik Debris

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2. The ships are moored in a harbour so there is no underwater connections, no helicopters, no ferries, no robotic vessels. Here's a picture:
https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/art...transnet-buy-in-for-20-year-harbour-moorings/

From your link:

In three draft EIA reports published last month, Karpowership consultants acknowledge that there is currently no space available in the three ports to moor the eight Karpowership vessels on a semi-permanent basis, so they would have to be positioned in “unused areas” of the ports.

Where are these unused areas in those ports?

And how are you going to enforce this in any of those ports:

Proposed mooring sites had therefore been chosen to allow for the safe passing of other shipping traffic and also to maintain a 250-metre safety exclusion zone for potential gas fires, explosions and flammable gas clouds during regular ship-to-ship transfers of liquid petroleum gas.
 

Cosmik Debris

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Here's the bottom line. It's been dreamt up by a BEE group with close connections to the ANC:

In response to a request to disclose the names of its South Africa directors and shareholders, it said:

“Current directors of Karpowership SA are as listed on CIPC. Further, Karpowership SA has a broad and women-dominated BEE ownership structure. Mr Tiego Moseneke is the Chairman-elect for Karpowership SA, subject to compliance with regulatory requirements. He also chairs the executive steering committee that Karpowership SA has constituted to coordinate the work of the local and international teams, who are working tirelessly to meet the deadlines prescribed for financial close.”

So it has already been decided and he's already on the payroll of Karpowership.
 
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