Having been to a talk on "Tidal Range" I realised the whole idea of renewables seems to be well off track. Looking at one of the largest in France this produces 240MW of power. This seems a lot until one reflects that Sizewell "B" produces 1500MW and Connah's Quay power station on Welsh side of the Dee produces 1600MW. So even the biggest is very small really.

It can be seen how a road also uses the barrage although a lock seems to be on left hand side so there would likely be shared access at points like these and navigateable rivers are likely to have problems of this type.

But the main problem is generating time.  The idea is that as the tide ebb's and flow's water is forced through the generators but this means that power is only available from a time after high tide to a time before low time so in 12½ hours two lots of around 4 hours power can be used. This leaves around 4 hours without power.  

If we look at Dee and Seven taking Sat 21st Aug as an example: It can be seen only around 2 hours difference between the times so even using both estuaries it would still mean there would be a time when no power is produced.

LW HW LW HW
01:28 07:31 13:44 19:48
23:38 06:36 12:07 18:44

 

     To use these forms of energy means that one still needs some other method of generating while the tides are on the turn so even if the power output was increased to be able to contribute some useful power it still means we have to rely on the other power stations to fill the gap.

When working on the Connah's Quay power station it was pointed out how once a turbine is up to speed and running hot it can take 48 hours before the turbine can be at rest again as they have to heat up and cool down slowly. Although Dinorwig is able to react very fast this is unusual and most power stations have to be running and hot to be able to take up the demand. Wind power also suffers from not only dead zones where they can't produce but also being unpredictable as to when they can produce.

With the largest wind turbine at moment being 7MW and even as a wind farm 200MW seems at the moment to be the highest output. At the moment these systems can be brought on line without too much of a problem in satisfying demand from more conventional methods but there seems to be a lot of nonsense talked about what we can do with renewable power and also how much power we can save by some simple actions.

Sky says by turning their box to standby if everyone did this we would save enough power to supply Birmingham. Not sure what area Birmingham covers, most people consider Sutton Coldfield, Perry Barr, Erdington, Ladywood, Hodge Hill, Edgbaston, Hall Green, Yardley, Northfield and Selly Oak of all being Birmingham Constituencies but Birmingham City council give the population as one million. Each Sky box will take around 7 to 11W on standby and 12 to 16W on run according to make and type so around a saving of 5W by switching into standby. This of course will not be for 24 hours I will assume people will watch it for 4 hours so 100WH per day so 36.5KWH per year so at 1955KWH per person per year average a saving of 1955GWH is required to save what the one million people in Birmingham use so 54 million sets would need to go into standby the population of UK is around 61 million so nearly every family would need to have two Sky boxes for that to be true.

I would think this is unlikely and is one of the many lies being published about what power can be saved. The same applies for items like light bulbs where only where the heat is not required will there be any saving as during the winter the central heating will have to work harder because there is no heat being emitted by the bulbs in the house.

 As one looks at the figures and one realises although powering the 30MPH sign with a solar panel may save a lot of money as cables will not need laying. But most of the systems are really only a political tool and do no real good in reducing global warming. I am sure they generate many jobs and reduce the number of unemployed. And they produce statistics which can be manipulated to show the UK is doing it's bit.

But I wonder what next! Maybe we should all become vegetarians and we should have some collecting appliance connected to our backside and all the gases will be used to drive our cars? Other than ourselves all other animals will need culling as they produce CO² every time they fart. Many be I am speaking through my arse but on the other hand maybe that's where the real power lies?