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Hope you guys in Texas hold tight!


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1 hour ago, Jost Amman said:

After what's happening I guess we can say the snow biome is the most difficult to survive.

Keep up the heating (if you can) and stay safe guys! :smow:

 

Agreed, I've got a few friends in Texas, although this morning we, (Oklahoma), were below the temps in Siberia, and Alaska according to the national news.

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33 minutes ago, Maharin said:

And keep an eye out for big bearded lumberjack zombies running around your neighborhood.

 

They'll be coming down from Canada.

 

Image result for lumberjack commandos

see maha this is where us mole people would be nice and cozy as we would be below the frost line :)

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It has been a disaster in Texas. I live in Houston. Our power infrastructure is not set up for this cold weather. Hardening was not put in place for natural gas delivery to generators and even a nuclear power plant has gone offline because of the cold.

 

My power has not stayed on longer than 6 hours at a time for the last two days. Interestingly enough, sometimes it has been off for two hours. Sometimes eight. Sometimes four. There's no rhyme or reason to it.

 

At present people are dying of hypothermia. Many people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning using whatever to heat their houses. Water pipes have burst in the thousands. Water pressure is low throughout the system and firefighters are finding it difficult.

 

I'm very lucky in that my while power has gone off, the temperature in my house never got below 56°. Other people have been out for days. There's no rhyme or reason to it.

 

I'm fixing to go start up a game. I generated a new world yesterday and I managed to get self-sufficient in food yesterday. Now I need to finish building my base. I don't use anything but glass for my walls. That means I have to mine a lot of lead and sand. I'll get some time in for the power goes out again.

 

One thing I would recommend if you got a PC is a UPS, uninterruptible power supply, it's a battery backup for your PC. If the power goes down it gives you enough time to exit out of the game and shut your PC off gracefully. Put your PC on it and your monitor. It you have a spike in the power, your PC stays up and you keep playing. I recommend cyberpower. Never had a problem with them.

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2 hours ago, ElCabong said:

One thing I would recommend if you got a PC is a UPS, uninterruptible power supply, it's a battery backup for your PC. If the power goes down it gives you enough time to exit out of the game and shut your PC off gracefully. Put your PC on it and your monitor. It you have a spike in the power, your PC stays up and you keep playing. I recommend cyberpower. Never had a problem with them.

Yes! For sure. I myself have several of them and highly recommend them to anyone reliant on city governed hydro. CyberPower is great, but so is APC, or at least that's been my experience with them so far.

 

This is just my guess, but power outages there could relate to the increased demands in electricity to heat ppl's homes and being too much for the grid to handle. If it creates heat, it consumes a lot of energy. Also, power lines could be flexing and breaking due to the sudden changes in temperature. Happens in Canada all the time.

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We lost power for only about 4hrs, but luckily we are prepared.  Gas is still on but we're on a boil notice for water.  Or we aren't.  News isn't very clear for our MUD district.  Meh.  Lowest it's got in the house is 65' so I'm lucky.  

 

I'm an insurance adjuster and yes, lots of pipes busting... And yes, people are dying because they're burning things they shouldn't.  Just had a mom and kid die because they are in a car in a garage warming up.  Sigh.

 

Centerpoint (main power people here) say they're 60% without power.

 

Wind turbines frozen, solar panels covered in snow, traditional plants frozen over... It's interesting.

 

People are at home depot buying lumber to burn.  It's raining now, so that'll make the roads fun again when it drops temp again.

 

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On 2/17/2021 at 8:30 AM, ElCabong said:

Hardening was not put in place for natural gas delivery to generators and even a nuclear power plant has gone offline because of the cold.

 

Thanks for saying this. My company is nationwide (mostly) and in the supply chain for energy production. Today we had a sort of conference going on. Wind turbine shutdowns are a contributor (the turbines ought to be retrofitted for extreme weather), but the contribution from natural gas supply constraints is far greater.

 

I live in the SPP (the dark purple plus I think most of the aqua blue above it; map is out of date) and we had rolling blackouts yesterday to balance supply and demand. But since we are part of a very large interconnect the impact was minimal. Reboot the PCs, set the clocks, etc. House maybe dropped 3-5 degrees (F) during the 1-hour outage, and we were sleeping so didn't really notice.

 

On top of having their own independent interconnect (green area), TX as I understand it has privatized delivery, meaning you can choose from several 3rd parties to resell grid power to you. To me that is bizarre. Several of those private companies are looking at bankruptcy as supply prices are skyrocketing. Like 100x normal. I saw a blurb yesterday (did not confirm) that at spot prices yesterday it would cost $900 to recharge a Tesla. One of the companies directly told its customers that they should change suppliers because costs were going to go way up.

 

Where I live electricity rates are governed by a public utilities commission, not by a private company.

 

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Some wind turbines did freeze up but for the most part the wind farms have generated the amount of electricity they were required to. Another problem with our system in Texas is there is no incentive to have excess capacity. Suppliers are not paid to have generators in backup that might only come on once or twice a year.

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The big problem I see everywhere though, is in the distribution infrastructure. That will always be the weak link in the chain, since often you have hundreds of miles of either cables or pipes that need to be working to ensure distribution of energy/gas/oil. With the crazy temperatures we're seeing here most of the net is at risk. That being said it sound very strange that a nuclear plant will stop working at very low temperatures... maybe THOSE specific plants weren't built with that in mind, but they could be "upgraded" in the future, just in case this happens again.

 

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As only a consumer it's my understanding that CenterPoint is still the delivery guy and the third party companies just act as resellers, purchasing based on futures.

 

... It's not like we actually have a couple of hundred companies generating electricity, it just seems that way.

 

Then you have companies like energy ogre that basically track your usage, then shift you around to the different resellers based on your usage so that way you always have the cheapest price. It works for us. 

 

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I read that CenterPoint has no natural gas storage and rely on the constant flow of the pipelines to keep things running. I’m no expert but that doesn’t sound so smart to me. Any disruption in supply will cause problems. Have some on-site storage in case of pipeline issues. I read also that natural gas provides 67% of Texas electricity while wind turbines provide 7%, forget how much nuclear provides. All have contributed to the loss of power but natural gas has hurt the most.

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On 2/17/2021 at 2:53 PM, BFT2020 said:

Regarding wind turbines - Greenland has wind turbines for power generation and they run them all the time......I expect they get colder more often than Texas does.  😉

I don't know, probably there's different models of turbines then.

Maybe the ones that don't freeze cost too much? Just saying.

 

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5 hours ago, BFT2020 said:

Regarding wind turbines - Greenland has wind turbines for power generation and they run them all the time......I expect they get colder more often than Texas does.  😉

 

Greenland has a population of about 10 people in it's largest city. 😉

 

Not sure it's the best example of how to run an energy infrastructure for a large country.

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The newest nuclear plant in Texas (Over 2 GW) wasn't "hardened" for cold like the older ones were, cuz its cheaper...  Heads will roll for that one.

The biggie was gas powered plants failing because gas lines froze which provide the most power to Texas.  That's probably a wash, no heads rolling.

The bigger biggie was Mexico was cut off from all gas from the US which caused them say FU to Texas gas in the near future.  MANY heads will roll on that one on both countries. 

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On 2/17/2021 at 1:29 PM, Jost Amman said:

The big problem I see everywhere though, is in the distribution infrastructure. That will always be the weak link in the chain, since often you have hundreds of miles of either cables or pipes that need to be working to ensure distribution of energy/gas/oil. With the crazy temperatures we're seeing here most of the net is at risk. That being said it sound very strange that a nuclear plant will stop working at very low temperatures... maybe THOSE specific plants weren't built with that in mind, but they could be "upgraded" in the future, just in case this happens again.

 

 

How about a practical example: Renewable energy provided 50% of the net electricity in 2020 in Germany. And there are practically no power outages at all.

 

Now that doesn't mean everything is wonderful, for example power is relatively expensive. This is quite logical though, you get what you pay for. No redundancy means it is cheaper but also has more chance for outages or breakage. Also Germany is changing the way to generate power in the space of a few decades and that costs money.

 

 Without going in too deep there are simple reasons why it can work: You need a mix of renewable energy sources and you need a huge area from which you get your renewable energy. Germany can get energy from the whole european continent (and vice versa they from Germany) and the north sea. Usually somewhere the wind is always blowing.

 

 

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On 2/17/2021 at 8:31 PM, Astronomical said:

 

Greenland has a population of about 10 people in it's largest city. 😉

 

Not sure it's the best example of how to run an energy infrastructure for a large country.

Sorry I was trying not to be too political...

 

How about this.....

 

Wind turbines have been shown to work in cold environments (like Greenland and Minnesota) if the operators make the proper investments in heaters and deicing systems.  Over 67% of power issues during this cold spell is actually tied to thermal generation sources -nuclear, coal, natural gas rather than wind.  😉

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Im sorry to ask because i assume its been asked, i just dont know: where's the National Guard? I get that Texas is huge and that it has a lot of residents, but i didnt heard the Guard being deployed to at least provide food, water, anything?

 

I take they can operate pretty much in the hardest situations. Im just wondering what is the situation regarding them right now.

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On 2/18/2021 at 9:13 AM, meganoth said:

Without going in too deep there are simple reasons why it can work: You need a mix of renewable energy sources and you need a huge area from which you get your renewable energy. Germany can get energy from the whole european continent (and vice versa they from Germany) and the north sea. Usually somewhere the wind is always blowing.

Ok, but what most of you are missing (or outright ignoring to support your point) is that to have the corresponding amount of energy of one modern coal plant (or nuclear plant) you need a very large amount of wind turbines and/or solar panels.

 

The disadvantages I see with this approach are:

  1. Actually ruining the eco-system in the areas where you install them (huge landscapes full of wind turbines are not only very ugly, but also not echo friendly at all)
  2. You'll need to periodically maintain all those machines but, while in the case of a plant you only have one point of intervention, in the case of SPs/WTs you have to check each and everyone and run around all over the place.
  3. Most people ignore that the energy and ecologic cost of production of each solar panel or wind turbine is actually not negligible, especially when multiplied by the huge amount of machines you'll need.
  4. Every X years each panel or turbine will need to be completely replaced. The wear and tear they're exposed to, compared to a single (enclosed) plant, is much higher, hence the need to reinstall them from scratch with new machines every now and then. (As always, times the number of machines you installed).
  5. Finally, the most important downside of current renewable power sources is that they are simply not reliable enough. Energy accumulators can compensate up to a point but they also add to the overall cost of a "green solution". Forget also about being able to support the heavy industry (steel mills / military factories and such) just by going green.

 

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When you look at what happened, natural gas wells shut in because of the cold and gas couldn't be delivered to generators. One unit at a nuclear power plant went offline because a cooling pump couldn't deal with the ice. Some wind generators did freeze up. And at least one coal plant and maybe more stopped generating because of the cold.

 

The commission that regulates electricity in Texas recommended winterizing for very cold weather like what we had as part of their best practices list. Unfortunately this was optional not mandatory.

 

We're over the hump now and while there's still a lot of people out of power, almost a million people were restored this morning and more will be restored over time. Heads are going to roll over this. It never should have happened.

 

 

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On 2/18/2021 at 12:02 PM, Jost Amman said:

Ok, but what most of you are missing (or outright ignoring to support your point) is that to have the corresponding amount of energy of one modern coal plant (or nuclear plant) you need a very large amount of wind turbines and/or solar panels.

 

I did not forget, did not go there at all. We could talk for hours about all the intricacies of energy generation. I just gave an example of a country that actually provides half its electrical energy from renewable resources today. 20 years ago I heard an expert say he wouldn't know how this could ever be possible.

 

Talk all about costs of producing the turbines, scientists have made the same calculations, but when they include all the environmental and other costs a coal plant loses out against wind and solar power. Need I remind you there is a man made climate change going on that will cost us all trillions in damages even under best circumstances.

 

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