Matching Items (5)

Methodology for Estimating Electricity Generation Vulnerability to Climate Change Using a Physically-based Modelling System

Description

In recent years, concerns have grown over the risks posed by climate change on the U.S. electricity grid. The availability of water resources is integral to the production of electric

In recent years, concerns have grown over the risks posed by climate change on the U.S. electricity grid. The availability of water resources is integral to the production of electric power, and droughts are expected to become more frequent, severe, and longer-lasting over the course of the twenty-first century. The American Southwest, in particular, is expected to experience large deficits in streamflow. Studies on the Colorado River anticipate streamflow declines of 20-45% by 2050. Other climactic shifts—such as higher water and air temperatures—may also adversely affect power generation. As extreme weather becomes more common, better methods are needed to assess the impact of climate change on power generation. This study uses a physically-based modeling system to assess the vulnerability of power infrastructure in the Southwestern United States at a policy-relevant scale.

Thermoelectric power—which satisfies a majority of U.S. electricity demand—is vulnerable to drought. Thermoelectric power represents the backbone of the U.S. power sector, accounting for roughly 91% of generation. Thermoelectric power also accounts for roughly 39% of all water withdrawals in the U.S.—roughly equivalent to the amount of water used for agriculture. Water use in power plants is primarily dictated by the needs of the cooling system. During the power generation process, thermoelectric power plants build up waste heat, which must be discharged in order for the generation process to continue. Traditionally, water is used for this purpose, because it is safe, plentiful, and can absorb a large amount of heat. However, when water availability is constrained, power generation may also be adversely affected. Thermoelectric power plants are particularly susceptible to changes in streamflow and water temperature. These vulnerabilities are exacerbated by environmental regulations, which govern both the amount of water withdrawn, and the temperatures of the water discharged. In 2003, extreme drought and heat impaired the generating capacity of more than 30 European nuclear power plants, which were unable to comply with environmental regulations governing discharge temperatures. Similarly, many large base-load thermoelectric facilities in the Southeastern United States were threatened by a prolonged drought in 2007 and 2008. During this period, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reduced generation at several facilities, and one major facility was shut down entirely. To meet demand, the TVA was forced to purchase electricity from the grid, causing electricity prices to rise.

Although thermoelectric power plants currently produce most of the electric power consumed in the United States, other sources of power are also vulnerable to changes in climate. Renewables are largely dependent on natural resources like rain, wind, and sunlight. As the quantity and distribution of these resources begins to change, renewable generation is also likely to be affected. Hydroelectric dams represent the largest source of renewable energy currently in use throughout the United States. Under drought conditions, when streamflow attenuates and reservoir levels drop, hydroelectric plants are unable to operate at normal capacity. In 2001, severe drought in California and the Pacific Northwest restricted hydroelectric power generation, causing a steep increase in electricity prices. Although blackouts and brownouts were largely avoided, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council estimated a regional economic impact of roughly $2.5 to $6 billion. In addition to hydroelectric power, it has also been theorized that solar energy resources may also be susceptible to predicted increases in surface temperature and atmospheric albedo. One study predicts that solar facilities in the Southwestern U.S. may suffer losses of 2-5%.

The aim of this study is to estimate the extent to which climate change may impact power generation in the Southwestern United States. This analysis will focus on the Western Interconnection, which comprises the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, New Mexico and Texas. First, climactic and hydrologic parameters relevant to power generation are identified for five types of generation technologies. A series of functional relationships are developed such that impacts to power generation can be estimated directly from changes in certain meteorological and hydrological parameters. Next, climate forcings from the CMIP3 multi-model ensemble are used as inputs to a physically-based modeling system (consisting of a hydrological model, an offline routing model, and a one-dimensional stream temperature model). The modeling system is used to estimate changes in climactic and hydrologic parameters relevant to electricity generation for various generation technologies. Climactic and hydrologic parameters are then combined with the functional relationships developed in the first step to estimate impacts to power generation over the twenty-first century.

Contributors

Human and Organizational Factors that Contributed to the US-Canadian August 2003 Electricity Grid Blackout

Description

The US-Canadian electricity grid is a network of providers and users that operate almost completely independently of one another. In August of 2003, First Energy’s (FE) Harding-Chamberlain transmission line near

The US-Canadian electricity grid is a network of providers and users that operate almost completely independently of one another. In August of 2003, First Energy’s (FE) Harding-Chamberlain transmission line near Akron, Ohio went offline starting a series of cascading failures that eventually led to 8 US states and 1 Canadian province totaling nearly 50 million people without power. The failure of transmission lines are common occurrences relating to the inability to exactly predict the electricity demand at any time (as will be discussed later in this document). The inability to properly monitor and react across multiple organizations to the downed line was the true failure that led to the blackout. This outage not only left homes and businesses without power but paralyzed critical public services such as transportation networks and hospitals. The estimated cost of the outage is between 4 and 6 billion US dollars.

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Methodology for Estimating Generating Capacity Losses in Thermoelectric Power Facilities with Recirculating Cooling Systems Under Climate Change

Description

This report updates Supplementary Information section 2.1.2.2 (Recirculating Cooling) of Bartos and Chester (2015). Extraneous derivations have been removed and an error corrected.

Impacts of Climate Change on

This report updates Supplementary Information section 2.1.2.2 (Recirculating Cooling) of Bartos and Chester (2015). Extraneous derivations have been removed and an error corrected.

Impacts of Climate Change on Electric Power Supply in the Western U.S., Matthew Bartos and Mikhail Chester, Nature Climate Change, 2015, 4(8), pp. 748-752, DOI: 10.1038
climate2648. 

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Performance verification of the raptor guard installed in sub transmission systems

Description

In sub transmission systems, many more raptor deaths have been recorded near metal poles rather than wood poles. The metal pole, which is reliable in structure but also grounded, may

In sub transmission systems, many more raptor deaths have been recorded near metal poles rather than wood poles. The metal pole, which is reliable in structure but also grounded, may increase the risk of electrocution when raptors perch on the insulator. This thesis focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of the raptor guard to prevent both debilitating and lethal electrocutions to local wildlife in 69 kV sub transmission systems. First, the two-dimensional (2D) finite difference methods (FDM) were proposed to solve the Poisson and Laplace equations, which describe the electric field. Second, the verification of the FDM algorithm was made based on a parallel-plate capacitor model. Then, the potential and the electric field were simulated by the raptor-insulator model to evaluate the possibility of flashover and leakage current under various conceivable scenarios. Third, several dielectric performance experiments were implemented to gain insight into the physical property of the raptor guard developed by the Salt River Project (SRP) as an example. The proposed initial-tracking-voltage and time-to-track experiments tested the ability of the guard, which is designed to prevent the tracking phenomenon under a contaminated situation such as rain, fog, and snow. A data acquisition also collected the leakage current data for the comparison of maximum raptor tolerance. Furthermore, the puncture voltage of this guard material was performed by the dielectric breakdown voltage experiment in an oil-covered container. With the combination of the model simulation and the experiments in this research, the raptor guard was proven to be practical and beneficial in sub transmission system.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Transmission system restoration strategies in real time

Description

After a power system blackout, system restoration is the most important task for the operators. Most power systems rely on an off&ndashline; restoration plan and the experience of operators to

After a power system blackout, system restoration is the most important task for the operators. Most power systems rely on an off&ndashline; restoration plan and the experience of operators to select scenarios for the black start path. Using an off&ndashline; designed restoration plan based on past experience may not be the most reliable approach under changing network configurations and loading levels. Hence, an objective restoration path selection procedure, including the option to check constraints, may be more responsive in providing directed guidance to the operators to identify the optimal transmission path to deliver power to other power plants or to pick up load as needed. After the system is subjected to a blackout, parallel restoration is an efficient way to speed up the restoration process. For a large scale power system, this system sectionalizing problem is quite complicated when considering black&ndashstart; constraints, generation/load balance constraints and voltage constraints. This dissertation presents an ordered binary decision diagram (OBDD) &ndashbased; system sectionalizing method, by which the splitting points can be quickly found. The simulation results on the IEEE 39 and 118&ndashbus; system show that the method can successfully split the system into subsystems satisfying black&ndashstart; constraints, generation/load balance constraints and voltage constraints. A power transfer distribution factor (PTDF)&ndashbased; approach will be described in this dissertation to check constraints while restoring the system. Two types of restoration performance indices are utilized considering all possible restoration paths, which are then ranked according to their expected performance characteristics as reflected by the restoration performance index. PTDFs and weighting factors are used to determine the ordered list of restoration paths, which can enable the load to be picked up by lightly loaded lines or relieve stress on heavily loaded lines. A transmission path agent can then be formulated by performing the automatic path selection under different system operating conditions. The proposed restoration strategy is tested on the IEEE&ndash39; bus system and on the Western region of the Entergy system. The testing results reveal that the proposed strategy can be used in real time.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2010