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August 18, 2012

Black Start


Not all generating plants are suitable for black-start capability.
Wind turbines are not suitable for black start because wind may not be available when needed. Wind turbines, mini-hydro, or micro-hydro plants, are often connected to induction generators which are incapable of providing power to re-energize the network. The black-start unit must also be stable when operated with the large reactive load of a long transmission line. Many high-voltage direct current converter stations cannot operate into a "dead" system, either, since they require commutation power from the system at the load end. -- - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 18, 2012 11:36 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

This reminds me of the power outage on the Indian subcontinent. At one point I read over 600 million were out of power.

Over the years doomsayers have told us such an event would lead to the total breakdown of the social order because failure of the grid on such a level would mean it couldn't be restarted for, what, a year or so? Such a cataclysmic failure means the death of huge transformers and generators which spares don't exist but must be built. No electricity means no commerce, no food, no fuel. Starvation would ensue and people would turn on each other fighting over the scraps of a dieing civilisation.

I'm waiting for stories out of India about such eventualities, evidently in vain. In fact I don't find any stories at all.

Posted by: John Hinds at August 18, 2012 2:30 PM

My argument w the wind grid is similar. What people don't realize is that the geographic spread of these matchstick sources means that the farthest flung windmills contribute nada to the grid. Friction occurs in power lines.

Don't tell this to the gubmint. They need the PR of big blades rolling next to I-90. Me? I imagine we'd do much better with one or two more hydro turbines (the real ones).

Posted by: Casey Klahn at August 18, 2012 7:07 PM

"In fact I don't find any stories at all"

That's because they ate the news people first.

Posted by: I-RIGHT-I at August 19, 2012 7:52 AM

A serious issue. Think about it as 'priming the pump',
or an 800 mile fuel pipeline that suddenly goes empty.
All the king's windmills couldn't put Humpty back together again.

Posted by: GaGator at August 19, 2012 9:20 AM

John Hinds:

Have you ever lived in India? Most people do without electricity on a daily basis. Complete loss will be but a minor inconvenience to most people as it is not a necessity like it has become in North America.

It's a completely different (3rd) world with but a few spots of almost 1st world trappings.

Posted by: pdwalker at August 19, 2012 9:35 AM

That's because they ate the news people first.

As they say, a good start.

I wonder if they would be interested in importing some nice American newsreaders? I'm not sure it would do much for our trade deficit, but it would help everything else.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 20, 2012 12:15 PM

I wonder if they would be interested in importing some nice American newsreaders?

You mean like Couric, Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Amanpour and Diane Sawyer?

Sorry, they don't eat cows in India, not even stupid ones.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at August 20, 2012 1:29 PM

Nice one, Don. Rachel Madcow! Reminds me of a great line from the movie Quiz Show where the husband says to his wife: "If you want to be worshiped go to India and 'moo'".

Posted by: Brett_McS at August 20, 2012 3:51 PM

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